Based on different studies and recent data:
- Marketing budgets are increasing
- More money is being spent on digital at the expense of traditional advertising channels
- Total marketing budgets are between 7 and 12% of total revenue
- B2Cs generally spend more on marketing compared to B2Bs
- Smaller companies spend more on marketing as a percentage of their total revenue
- Search and Display marketing represent the lion’s share of digital budget
With this in mind, how much budget should be allocated to digital marketing and how to allocate marketing budgets across channels? The answer depends on the type of business; its nature, target market, competition and how different types of target demographics behave throughout the buying funnel.
Start with defining clear objectives, your target audience and the channels they are using/consuming. Using the available targeting options in different traffic channels, prepare budget estimates and think about how much you should get in return in terms of impressions, clicks, conversions, etc. per channel. That will help you decide on best channels to be present on and how to allocate the budget across these channels.
Not setting up goals
If you don’t have a goal, how will you know if your marketing strategy is successful? You need to have a specific, measurable goal (e.g. sales, form completions, calls, sign ups) in order to create a marketing strategy that gets results.
Not targeting the right audience
Even with the best marketing strategy and best content in place, you won’t get the desired results if you are targeting the wrong audience. You need to know who your audience is in terms of demographics but also interests, behaviour etc. and design your strategy around them.
Mobile has become the dominant digital platform consumers are using to search so it’s imperative to have a mobile strategy in place. From the website being optimised for mobile devices, optimised content to special offers. Everything needs to be compatible with all devices.
Not measuring results
The only way to know if your marketing efforts are working is to measure the results. With available tools like Google Analytics, analyse the results, update your strategy and work on improving the results. Without it, you won’t know if your campaign was cost-effective and worthwhile.
Ignoring users who leave your site or abandon the shopping cart
Potential customers are leaving your site without buying? Implement a remarketing strategy to re-engage with them and encourage them to return to your site to finish the conversion.
Not implementing a user-centric strategy
With all the available technology nowadays users expect to be treated individually, they want to receive offers designed specially for them and they want to read content adjusted to their needs etc. Through personalisation, targeting, journey mapping and data analysis, brands are now able to deliver a customised brand experience that provides value to customers and keeps them coming back for more.
Not using social media effectively
Social media is a great way to reach your audience but you need to figure out which channels your target audience is using (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or maybe YouTube?) and engage with them there. You need to develop a strategy including what and when to post, how to get more likes and shares, and how to encourage engagement. That way you can build a network of real people who will have the potential to become customers in the near future.
If you want your marketing strategy to be successful, you must take the above points into consideration.
I think one of the major changes that we have seen has been the increased focus on content and its quality. We talked a lot and we still are talking about importance of mobile optimisation and social media presence. With our global clients we have also seen a shift to a centralised approach, whereby they would move, for example, Paid Advertising under 1 roof to have full visibility of the results and a unified strategy. This is where our multilingual skills are really paying off.
Surprisingly, there has also been a lot of demand for setting up web analytics or for reviewing the current set-up to ensure that all marketing activities and conversions are tracked correctly. This indicates that a lot of businesses are still not making the most of the many tools and techniques available which measure campaign performance, ROI, help you better understand user behaviour online and to ultimately make informed data-driven decisions.
Number 1 – Know your audience – Which channels do they use? What type of information are they looking for?
Number 2 – Make sure your website is mobile optimised, that it loads quickly and meets all the technical requirements.
Number 3 – Make sure you update content on your website. If you do other types of digital marketing, be sure to change and update your creative to ensure your potential customers don’t get tired of your ads.
Number 4 – Make sure that you track all your KPIs so that you know what is happening on your website and you know what is performing well and what is not.
Number 5 – Optimise. Everything is happening very quickly these days. What worked yesterday may not work today. Keep an eye on your activities and make sure you always tweak and optimise for better performance.
Yes, definitely. It is important for all companies to have a digital presence. Digital marketing is a great way of building brand awareness and all sales and long-term brand loyalty starts with initial exposure and awareness.
The majority of people ‘google’ a product or service before buying online or from the high street, so in order for consumers to be aware of you company's existence, it is necessary to have an online presence.
There are different channels and ways to build brand awareness online, and the great thing is that you can be as broad or as specific as you would like to be with the different targeting opportunities in different channels. For some, Paid Search will work great, for others, the best option could be Gmail or Facebook advertising.
If a company is considering entering the digital space or expanding their digital presence, ideally they should start with a digital strategy. Start with defining clear objectives, your target audience and the channels they are using/consuming. With the available targeting options in different traffic channels, prepare budget estimates and think about how much you should get in return in terms of impressions, clicks, conversions etc. per channel. That will help you decide the best channels to have a presence on.
Don’t forget to decide what KPIs you are going to measure. It can be everything from clicks to the website/landing page, time spend online, pages visited, conversions etc. You must ensure that you are tracking everything so that you can follow the results closely and measure your ROI. Then it’s time to set everything up and wait for the great results.
Personalisation is a great way to engage with your audience – 75% of marketers (according to research by Econsultancy) realise that it’s a powerful tool for improving customer experience and ultimately, digital campaign performance. Yet only 20% of marketers are actually using it.
With the different technologies available today and different techniques to collect data about users, marketing campaigns can be highly personalised, delivered with the right message, at the right time and on the right device.
People are willing to share their personal information with brands but in exchange they expect to receive personalised information/offers, etc.
So we as marketers should ensure that we deliver quality, customised campaigns for different personas and to ensure that they work for both customer and business benefits.
Omni-channel marketing is a multichannel approach that provides the customer with an integrated shopping experience. The customer should receive seamless experience whether shopping online, buying products in-store or by telephone. All marketing channels involved should work together and deliver integrated experience with consistent messaging.
The omni-channel experience is critical in today’s customer-centric approach. Customers are becoming increasingly demanding and businesses need to get quicker and better at identifying their needs. Customers don’t think in terms of channels so they can get frustrated when a promotion offered online in not honoured in the store or when the website promises that a product is in-stock but actually it is not. Failure to meet customers’ expectations can impact the business negatively and break customers loyalty towards the brand.
As an example, customers could benefit from:
- Quick and easy product browsing on smartphones
- Ability to save products in their shopping cart across multiple devices
- Personalised recommendations based on preferences and history
- Discounts and promotions in appreciation of customer loyalty
Customers are buying a brand experience through many different channels simultaneously. Therefore, it’s vital that businesses unify their brand experience so that when customers meet them, they are meeting the same powerful, consistent brand everywhere.
Digital marketing campaigns are effective in reaching your target audience and generate a favourable response that can convert them into leads or even customers. While each digital marketing channel is effective in their own individual way, business owners can generate better and bigger results through a combined, multi-channel digital marketing campaign that makes use of the best of what these channels can offer.
In today’s multi-device, multi-touch world, digital marketing must be handled in a multi-channel campaign fashion to reach consumers at every touch point during the whole purchase funnel. Whether they are just starting the research, or in the final stage of the purchase.
With new platforms, new channels and new opportunities, brands and businesses can’t afford to remain idle and focus only on traditional or popular marketing channels. All businesses should plan, prepare and launch a multi-channel campaign and bring their business to the new age of digital marketing.
Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to build brand recognition and trust with your potential consumers. To really benefit from content marketing, you need to do it right. Here are some common content marketing mistakes to avoid.
Your potential consumers don’t want to read only about your company and products. Instead, you should focus on providing valuable information that solves problems and addresses key issues in your industry. That way you will build connections and trust with your audience. To deliver valuable content, you have to truly understand your audience.
Know your audience
It’s not enough to assume you know what your audience is interested in. It’s crucial to conduct research on your target audience to understand their needs, wants, concerns, preferred content platforms, and buying triggers and to deliver content they are interested in.
Market your content
Creating content and not updating it won’t bring you the results. You need to leverage strategies like social media marketing, influencer shares, PPC campaigns, email marketing, etc. in order to increase it’s visibility amongst your target audience and deliver the results.
Measure the results
Tracking your content (e.g. CTRs, unique visitors, time on page, bounce rate, conversions) and analysing data is critical for learning what works and what doesn’t in order to refine your marketing strategy over time. With available data you will be able to make informed decisions about how to market your content, what type of content is converting and what type of content to create.
Create an editorial calendar
Ensure that you post regularly and stay on schedule.
Content marketing is one of the best ways to form long-term relationships with your potential and current clients/customers. However, it requires careful planning, a commitment to being consistent and the willingness to get to know what your audience really wants.
Creating new content, if it’s not converting, is pointless. If you want to create content that converts, you have to put your readers first – you need to know your audience and engage with them. To create converting content you should:
- Know your audience – any business strategy must start and end with your audience. If you want to convert, you need to know whom you are trying to convert.
- Choose a topic which is relevant and useful – after doing your research on your audience, you should know what their needs are. To maximise conversions, you should pick an interesting topic that addresses their wants and demonstrates your expertise in the field.
- Be helpful, give advice – within any content you are creating you need to show your audience that you can provide value. If readers find your content to be helpful, they will be confident that purchasing your products or services will benefit them so much more. You can do so by creating content related to solving a problem, educating your readers and giving an informed opinion.
- Build a connection – content marketing is about building a relationship with your potential customers. You create content to build a connection with your audience and once you show them that you understand what information they are looking for, how they think, what they feel, etc. they will start to trust you and come back for more.
- Make it urgent – urgency is a great tool for creating content that converts. You can achieve this by, for example, making things available for a limited time or presenting your products/services in a way that they won’t want to wait.
- Use compelling headlines and close with the right call to action – you have around 5 seconds to capture your reader’s attention when they land on your website so headlines are playing a vital role. The headline has one purpose – to capture your reader’s attention so that they want to read your content. A call to action is asking your readers to do something after they have read your content. If you don’t make a suggestion, they probably won’t do anything. However, you should avoid sales related calls to action.
By applying above techniques, not only will you drive traffic to your site, attract quality clients and increase conversions but also you will provide real, long lasting value for your readers that will keep them coming back for more.
There is no definite answer to this question as every industry and demographic sees different content consumption patterns and users have different expectations. From a search engine perspective you need to keep your content fresh and relevant but the frequency is not specified. What is more important is the quality of the content, which of course also matters for users.
If you are running a news, lifestyle or sports site then you will most likely have to post multiple times a day to keep your content relevant and fresh. However, if you are running a blog or nutrition site, a couple of updates a week will be enough.
Don’t forget that you are creating content for users so focus on what they want to read about. User-generated content is also a great way to update the site e.g. in the form of comments, forum posts, reviews etc.
Consumers today are bombarded with more adverts and messages than ever before, so the impact of more traditional channels is somewhat diluted. Content marketing has the capacity to resonate more powerfully with your customers because it’s carefully tailored to their needs and interests. By delivering content, you are building trust around your brand, products and services.
On the site you should have content that not only builds trust, but also educates users. You should also remember to take advantage of user generated content like reviews or videos and most importantly, to have content which converts.
To understand exactly what type of content to create, you need to know your audience. Listen to them by performing detailed keywords/topic research to find out what your potential customers are looking for and what they want to read about. It is also a good idea to perform a website audit at the same time and then analyse your findings. You will then see if your current content offers what your potential customers are looking for online or not.
The online video advertising industry had a very impressive year in 2016 with growth of 200% and it is expected that 2017 will be the year of online video marketing. It is predicted that digital video advertising will see double-digit growth annually through to 2021.
There are a few reasons why brands should invest in video advertising:
Customers are watching more video
The statistics prove that your audience is watching videos:
- 92% of B2B prospects consume video online
- 4 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day
- over 30% of consumers will purchase a product after viewing a video ad
Video boosts conversions
According to statistics, 35% of customers are more willing to buy a product when there is a video ad added to the product description.
People share video
People who view a video ad and find it interesting or valuable will share it with their followers on social media, which can increase your video exposure.
Video appeals to mobile users
Since people like to watch videos on the go, and the amount of smartphone users is growing, your video audience keeps getting bigger and bigger. Mobile users feel a sense of personal connection to brands that show video content or ads on their devices.
Video is an excellent format for informing and educating
98% of users say they’ve watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service. Videos work great as an educational tool because they incorporate audio and visual elements that appeal to multiple senses.
Search engines love videos
Videos on the site increase the likelihood of higher rankings in SERPs. Distributing videos via social media, posting them on blogs and embedding them on your website increases the possibility that your target audience will find you when searching for relevant information.
Video engages with users
Today’s audience wants to see the product in action instead of reading long product or service descriptions. It’s one of the most important forces of video advertising.
So if brands are not using video as part of their marketing strategy, they should start as quickly as possible.
Display advertising has been the fastest growing digital ad format over the last few years and in 2016 accounted for 35% of total digital ad spend. It’s a great channel to get relevant messages to potential customers at the right place and time.
Display advertising is an effective way of achieving different objectives like increasing brand awareness or getting direct responses such as downloading a white paper. Display advertising can affect consumers at every stage of the marketing funnel from awareness, education and consideration to purchase. With display, brands can build brand awareness quickly because people are more likely to remember what they see rather than what they have read or heard.
Unlike traditional advertising methods, display advertising gives marketers a cost-effective way to engage their target audiences without wasting a single ad impression on those who are not in their target audience.
Display ads featured alongside relevant content increases the likelihood of getting noticed and clicked. Display advertising has many targeting options available which include demographics, geographic/location, specific placements or apps, interests, topics and contextual behaviour. You can also use a combination of these to ensure you are targeting the right consumers in the most relevant places.
Display is also a great way to remarket/retarget to potential consumers. They might not have converted the first time they saw your ad or visited your website. With remarketing you can remind them of your product/service and convert them during the next visit.
Display ads give you an opportunity to test several strategies at the same time and then decide which one is the most effective at getting the best outcome.
Display ads allow you to take advantage of rich media, which can use 3D images, animation, videos and audio to engage better with the end user.
With display advertising you also have access to additional features like advertising only above the fold, frequency capping, ad scheduling and exclusions to avoid advertising on any irrelevant or inappropriate sites.
Whether a big or small brand, display advertising campaigns are great strategies that can improve the visibility of your product/service and brand.
Everyone knows that mobile is important and it should be incorporated into your marketing strategy. But what changes do we need to make to accommodate today’s mobile-heavy world?
Make sure your site is mobile friendly
Ensure that the site is accessible on all devices, it loads quickly and your content structure isoptimised e.g. use shorter paragraphs and/or use bullet points.
Mobile search intent is different from desktop, mobile users are seeking an immediate answer to their most pressing questions e.g. afternoon movie times, coffee shop opening hours or closest car repair centre. Local search optimisation is essential for mobile search result visibility.
Define mobile-friendly conversion points
If your main conversion points include, for example, downloading a white paper or signing up for a newsletter, you should simplify the forms for mobile users. Consider changing the mobile conversion points e.g. downloading a mobile coupon to make is as easy as possible for mobile users.
Mobile coupons are a smart way to drive in-store foot traffic, boost online conversions, promote new products/services and strengthen customer retention.
Take advantage of the rapid growth in video content marketing
Video content is more popular than ever and short video content, such as ads, are viewed the most often on mobile devices. Marketing strategies that take advantage of this large amount of video content-viewing on mobile devices have the highest chance of increasing brand awareness. Short ads, informative video content, and entertaining content can all generate increased site traffic and better conversion rates.
Divide the day into several parts and provide unique programming during each. Dayparting can help to spend your budget more wisely, allowing you to present the right message (e.g. via text, push notification, paid or display ad) at the right time to the right person. For example, restaurants should reach out to potential customers just before lunch or dinner time.
Invest in in-app ads
Mobile device users turn to apps first when engaging with their devices rather than opening up a browser. On top of web advertising, you should also consider investing in in-app ads.
Use available targeting options
No matter which platforms you use, make sure you target your mobile ads as much as possible because consumers have a very low tolerance for irrelevant ads on mobile devices. The capabilities of many devices (GPS, etc.) allow for targeting options that can dramatically improve effectiveness. Therefore, be sure that you make use of as many of the targeting options as your mobile ad network allows, from standard demographic groupings (gender, age, etc.), to newer options such as micro-location targeting and micro-time targeting.
Although it may not yet be suitable for all organisations, having mobile at the centre of your marketing strategy is certainly something you should consider.
There is no clear answer to that question as every business should be present wherever their customers are. Each business should look into different social media channels and determine where their customers are and follow them there. Think about the product or service you are offering, available demographics for each platform and then decide which ones are the most relevant to your business. You don’t need to sign up for every available platform as you might waste your time on irrelevant audiences. Instead, you should focus on the best ones and reach your target audience there.
While a business’s choice in digital channels depends on target audience, there are a few channels that seem to work really well for B2B marketers.
Email marketing is one of the oldest strategies in digital marketing and continues to be an integral part of B2B strategies. To be the most successful in the field and have the ability to capture more data on users and their behaviour, you need to be much smarter with how you target your potential customers. One of the biggest trends at the moment is marketing automation. It allows you to automatically send highly targeted emails to leads that are personalised specifically to them.
Content is beneficial in establishing a company’s thought leadership and spreading brand awareness. By sharing relevant, engaging content, not only can businesses drive more traffic to their websites but they can also begin to build trust. What type of content will work best? There is a lot to choose from and each brand need to test what type of content will work best for their audience e.g. articles, blogs, case studies, videos, white papers, infographics, webinars, research reports etc.
Professionally driven social media like LinkedIn are best suited for B2B industries. This is a great platform to use to improve your business’s quantity of generated leads. To get the best results, your social media strategy should work together with your content and search marketing strategies.
Organic and paid search marketing is one of the most valuable long-term strategies for generating B2B leads. As with the consumer market, each brand should be where customers are looking. With search marketing you present your brand whenever potential clients are looking for information, related services etc.
Video content is one of the most successful forms of promoting online content. Creating great video content isn’t easy, but it can help guide your strategy and point you towards high engagement (and ultimately sales) from your customers.
Even though in both cases you are selling to people, there is a difference between marketing to a business and to a consumer. For businesses, which work on both b2b and b2c, it is important to understand the differences between the two.
- B2B customers want to be educated and provided with expertise, while B2C companies employ more merchandising activities like coupons, offers, promotions etc. as they need to capture customer interest immediately.
- B2B buying decisions are driven by relationships based on trust, while B2C is product driven
- B2B buying decisions are most often based on business value, while B2C is more often based on emotions
- B2B buying cycle is often much longer than B2C decision process. B2C buys tend to satisfy immediate needs, while B2B decisions are meant to complete long-term goals, making it a much more significant decision.
- B2B brand identity is created through repetition and imagery, while B2C focuses on personal relationships
- The Primary objective for B2B is to increase and generate leads while for B2C it is to increase brand and product awareness.
The main difference between B2B and B2C marketing is the perspective the buyer has about the purchase. Business buyers make buying decisions based on business value, increasing profitability, reduced costs, etc. while consumers make emotional, immediate decisions based on security, comfort, quality, etc.
When creating a marketing strategy, it’s crucial to remember what is important to your target audience and to adjust the strategy accordingly.
So you are getting satisfactory traffic on your website but not enough conversions? Increasing your website traffic even more is not a solution to that problem. Increasing your conversion rates is absolutely critical. Having a good conversion rate is the foundation of high sales volume. So how do you do it?
Website testing (split testing, A/B testing, multivariate testing, etc.) is a technique for increasing your website’s conversion rate. The only way you learn what works and what doesn’t work on your website is to continuously test, e.g. headlines, page layout, navigation, offers, calls to action, colours, etc. Testing should be an on-going process and as soon as you find the winning version, you should build on that and test something new.
Set up sales funnel
The more expensive and/or complicated the product, the more time people need before they’re ready to buy it. Instead of asking for conversions during the first visit, you need to build a sales funnel: build trust, develop relationships and prove your expertise first and then ask for the conversion.
People need to trust you, your products/services before they decide to purchase/use it. To increase trust, add trust elements to your site like collect reviews, add physical addresses, make it easy to contact you, update your site’s content regularly, avoid errors, have a clear returns policy, offer demos, etc.
Make the conversion process as easy as possible
- You should ensure that the conversion process on your site is as easy as possible. To achieve this:
- ask to fill in as few fields as possible
- do not force users to sign up or register, e.g. allow for guest checkout
- offer different payment options
- do not give too many options
- tell users what they should do next
- inform upfront about products out of stock and delivery costs, etc.
Communicate value and USP
Your unique selling points are what set you apart from the competition, so highlight these on your site. Don’t forget to include all relevant information about the product or service you are offering so potential consumers will feel confident in buying it.
Conversion rates are key to increase sales and ROI. The above points can help you to start improving them.