As a marketer or a business owner, you probably ask yourself every day… What is the most effective online marketing strategy? Or … what are the strategies for successful digital marketing? Your marketing plan is a strong predictor of your overall effectiveness as a business. Your marketing plan also significantly affects who and how many people interact with you online aka your traffic.
Generating online traffic is a key component to the life of your business and is one of the things that determine your Marketing return on investment. Without it, you are doomed and it’s the one thing all your competitors are aggressively pushing for. Hence, your business is constantly under pressure and at risk of not meeting goals and targets.
Arguably, businesses today have a much bigger problem than they had back in the day when there weren’t too many options to generate traffic or to advertise. This dilemma is what psychologists call the paradox of choice which is when an individual has to make a choice between too many alternatives. We all know when you go to a restaurant and you see many options there, you feel overwhelmed and perhaps frustrated. For marketers today, having all these different channels to drive organic and paid traffic, presents a paradox of choice. Am I utilising my budget properly? – is perhaps a question most marketers ask to themselves on a daily basis.
The solution to this paradox is straightforward but not easy and most likely not practical. You ought to find out and test all the options. But can you? So, how do you know you that your cold hard-earned cash is invested in the right place? Here is a simple framework that can guide you to optimize and calibrate
1. Start out with building a customer persona
The first thing you need to make sure you nail, is your customer persona. If you don’t know your customer, the chances you are wasting spend are higher. And knowing your customer needs to be as accurate and well researched as possible. Check out this guide on how to conduct an end-to-end customer or buyer persona exercise. Once you are done with this exercise, you will find that your perception of who your customer is clearer and more accurate. Sometimes you’ll find that there is a new customer segment you didn’t know exist or that you had two or more segments bucketed under one more generic group. Having a laser sharp understanding of who your customer is, will be very helpful moving forward with optimising your marketing plan.
2. Revisit your existing marketing plan
Start by revisiting your current marketing strategy and do a SWOT analysis on each channel. What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats you are seeing?
For example, search engine optimization has a great ROI, average traffic volume but you haven’t fully utilized it. Referrals could perhaps be increasing in cost and generating low ROI. It’s quite important you use as much data in this exercise to validate the calls you make on each channel. Some of the things you want to consider for each channel are
- Cost per Acquisition: How much is it costing us now to get leads and sales through this channel?
- Growth potential: How much more revenue and growth we estimate to get from this channel if we keep investing in it?
- The speed of execution: How fast can we expect to see results if we focus more on this channel?
- Competitors’ presence: How strong is the competition in this channel?
Once you are done with this exercise, you might find out that it’s worth readjusting and making some bold moves. Ideally, you want to follow the 80/10/10 rule which basically means, 80% of your investment should be in proven and established channels, 10% should be invested in channels that are less attractive channels (from ROI and CPA) but are still bringing positive returns and have future potential, and finally, 10% in unproven channels that are worth exploring.
3. Leverage Automation
Automation isn’t just about saving time and or money. It’s much bigger than that. Automation tool can help you scale while ensuring your conversations with your visitors are at a personal level. A good example of automation is a messenger chatbot. You can set it up to talk with visitors and help them find the information they are looking for. It can also personalise the conversation according to the visitor’s profile or interest. A whole guide on chatbot development can be found in this chatbot marketing guide.
Some of the other areas that can significantly see a boost through automation is content marketing. Over the last couple of years, we have seen a burst of AI and automation tools that help brands move the needle and establish a stronger presence through content marketing. A nice content tool is Content Studio which lets you discover, curate, create and automate content.
4. Set up Attribution properly
We live in an Omni-channel world and your customers are most likely interacting with your competitors across various channels and medium – and so should they be with you. Understanding and applying attribution becomes critical when it comes down to Omni-channel marketing plan. Not all channels will have the same yields if you look at them from a Last-Touch-Point basis. But, if you consider their influence across time, the picture might change especially when your attribution is measured from Ad spend to lead to sales conversions. Utilizing attribution tools like Bizible can help you understand what’s happening behind the scenes.
5. Understand the Visitor Journey
It makes all the difference in the world when you view every channel’s visitors according to their unique journey. For example, someone who clicked on a Google Search Ad has had a very different journey than someone who was on a referral partner’s site. And, that’s very different than someone who saw your re-marketing Ad on Facebook. Your advertising channel’s effectiveness will then be strongly tied to you adjust your messaging based on your visitors’ journey. And this is where personalisation and dynamic content is king.
6. Aim for permission marketing
As Seth Godin lays it out ‘Permission is like dating. You don’t start by asking for the sale at first impression. You earn the right, over time, bit by bit.’
So, how do you move higher on the scale of permission marketing? Think of your marketing plan in terms of micro-commitments and micro-conversions. Give your visitors value in exchange for small commitments of their time and or personal information.