The term “digital marketing” defines the use of marketing strategies and skills in the continually changing online environment. However, given the technological advances of recent years and the evolving behaviour of end users, it goes much further than that.
There is no such thing anymore as traditional marketing, at least not if the term traditional is used to imply non-digital. Today, all marketing is digital marketing.Even when the digital element might not be immediately apparent - as with the printed matter you might find on your doormat - its source was definitely digital; the research behind the material was carried out and the findings written, re-written and edited, on a computer. The graphics and images were produced digitally - taken with a digital camera and edited on a computer, or drawn digitally in Photoshop.What’s more, while leaflets, letters and newspapers may come through your letterbox, more often than not you will view them in a digital format. Think about how you read newspapers online, receive letters in the form of email and watch animated messages illuminate traditional advertising hoardings.With all marketing now digital, the opportunities to reach audiences in attractive, enticing, intriguing and entertaining ways are more plentiful than ever before. But with everyone given access to the same set of digital tools, how can you ensure they are used to craft your message into one that will stand out?
That is where the pixel-perfect expertise of a digital marketing agency is vital.
What is it that a digital marketing agency brings to the table? Why should you look at getting some expert agency help, and what are the benefits of doing so?
An effective digital marketing agency will have the technical resources, strategic experience and creative expertise to make the most of the marketing potential within the digital world.
These assets would require significant investment to first of all acquire, and then maintain, in house. By using the services of an external agency – particularly one with a proven track record in the digital marketing arena – you will be able to tap into today’s exciting communications environment in a cost-effective and dynamically powerful way.
You may believe that in business the only strategy that counts is making more money. And, to a large extent you would be right - making money is the aim of business.
However, while making money is a great business goal, it is in fact a terrible marketing strategy.
Audiences don’t want marketing that goes straight for the biggest, juiciest wallet, rips it out of a pocket while screaming “Buy now!” and then flings its dried, empty husk over a shoulder, while resolutely refusing to cast even the briefest glance back.
Audiences like to be wooed. They want a reason to buy into something. Even when they know they are being sold to, they want to feel like their time is valued and that the attention they are lavishing on a brand is appreciated. Audiences want to feel that a business has made an effort to reach them; they want to be educated, amused, informed and moved. This is where a marketing strategy comes in.
Forming a strategy is not easy but a strategic aim is the most vital building block of any marketing campaign. The rest of the steam might move your campaign along but without a strategy in place, you will never know if it is on track.
Once a digital marketing strategy has been defined, the tactics can be selected that will best deliver it.
Let’s say, for example, your product is similar in many ways to the competition but its component parts are sourced in a more sustainable way. Your marketing strategy might be to promote the environmental ethos of your brand and to differentiate your product on its ecologically responsible credentials.
Assuming you have done your research and your target audience is likely to care about sustainability, then the best way to reach them might well be to create shareable social media posts that allow you to get the message to a new market, and also allow your brand’s new fans to show off their support for you and your shared ethos.
Suitable types of posts will be highly visual and easy to comprehend at a glance.
Memes may be appropriate if the channels used include Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Of course, the purpose of most digital marketing will be to drive traffic to a website.
Unless you have an actual bricks and mortar business and are dependent on footfall, you are likely to want people to either order through your website or, having read about your services, get in touch with you through it.
The digital marketing tactics that can be employed to increase traffic to a website can be split into two groups: those that push traffic to a website and those that pull it in. Push-Marketing is very much as the name suggests – it involves sending material outwards to reach specifically targeted audiences, in the hope that they respond to the message by answering its call to action.
Pull-Marketing is a softer approach. While it might not generate the same sense of urgency in prospects, it will nonetheless generate brand awareness, nurture trust and encourage a positive brand image.
The type of tactics that will be right for your business will depend on the strategic aims of your digital marketing campaign, as well as the types of stimuli to which your target market is most likely to respond.
Obviously, each campaign is unique. However, there are certain tried and tested methods that are often used as digital marketing techniques:
The execution of a digital marketing programme brings together strategic objectives and the tactical methods selected to achieve them. Reliability of marketing data and a thorough understanding of the audience being targeted together play a significant part in positive outcomes.
Given those criteria are in place, then the implementation skills of the digital agency will come into play. These are creative, business related and technical. They involve producing high quality, relevant and engaging written content together with potent imagery and video material in line with the demands of the individual client’s business, corporate identity and budget.
The technological resources and capabilities to transmit and share this content effectively are also paramount, which demands close cooperation between marketing and technical experts on the agency team. Everyone in the agency needs to understand the client’s business and be committed to carrying out a brilliant campaign to promote it.
However, that’s not the end of the story. The success of digital marketing depends on focus and timing. Which of the multi-channel communications options you use, the selection of content relevant to them and when those messages go live are all critical factors.
Some campaigns will require a big splash to grab attention while others will gain traction through a gradual process of communication. It all depends on business aims, brand characteristics and the demographics of the audiences being approached.
Reviewing the progress of a digital marketing programme is a vital component in the ongoing implementation of the chosen strategies and tactics. Appraisal also needs to be continuous because of the speed and changeability of the digital environment.
A digital marketing agency requires both the tools to measure the impact of a campaign and the expertise to analyse the data and findings provided by the technical resources at their disposal. The agency team needs to know what has occurred in real time, to evaluate why it has happened and to have the expertise to act accordingly. Opportunities must not be allowed to slip by and timely responses are essential.
Modifying the digital marketing tactics adopted for raising brand awareness and promoting products and services is a key feature at every stage of a campaign. This last letter of our STEAM formula represents the importance of both adjusting methods which are not achieving the required results and building on the success of those that are.
No matter how successful the marketing programme is proving to be, an effective and professional agency will know that there is no room for complacency. Because the digital environment is so fast moving and because online statistics and information are so readily available, the agency team will be able to tweak content and adapt timings to meet current needs. The old cliché “what gets measured gets done” is fine as far as it goes, but combining the ability to understand and analyse what has been measured and the expertise to be able to act correctly on it to best effect is what really counts.
Digital marketing services offered by BBI Brandboost can be provided through our innovative and flexible Brandboost Credits formula. Contact us to discover how we can support the online presence of your business through an effective and focused digital marketing programme.