Does your business have an up-to-date digital marketing strategy that evolves and grows in line with your turnover?  Or is it something that you only stop to consider when sales start to fall?

If it’s the latter scenario, then you’re guilty of falling prey to the belief that marketing is a medicine – that is, something that you only consider as reactive process, rather than a proactive one. It’s actually quite a commonly-held belief, leading one unnamed marketing expert to coin the expression ‘Marketing is food, not medicine’.

And with an article in Forbes reporting that almost half of all businesses don’t have a well-defined strategy for their digital marketing in place, this is clearly a subject that needs addressing.

How digital marketing helps business

Every child has had the experience, when growing up, of bumping into a relative or family friend that they haven’t seen for a few years.  ‘My, haven’t you grown!’ is an expression that we’ve all had directed to us, as though the expectation were that we might have remained in exactly the same child-like state that we were in that last time we bumped into that person.

There’s a very similar effect with businesses that don’t keep their customers abreast of their continuing growth.  Out of sight is out of mind, as the saying goes, and a company that fails to highlight its latest products and services to customers old and new, runs the risk of remaining forever static in their minds.

An effective digital marketing strategy means that your goods and services will remain an ongoing and relevant presence in the minds of your customers, making it much more likely that they will consider your company the next time they need products that you supply.

Think of your digital marketing strategy as the nourishment that your business needs in order to thrive,  Regular good-quality nutrition is key to survival, and your company is no different.  Starving it of the publicity that it needs is harmful in the extreme, as the flood of online businesses makes it all too easy for consumers to forget companies they’ve dealt with in the past.

Why digital marketing is essential

Unlike traditional marketing methods from the pre-digital era, it’s easy to quantify the success of your digital marketing strategy.  That’s because digital footprints can be measured and assessed, with analysis of website data showing how many visitors have browsed through your site, what pages they visited and how many of them went on to have a positive interaction with your brand.  This data gives a unique insight into your customers and their online behaviour, making it easy for experts in the industry to respond quickly to emerging trends.

The speed with which changes can be implemented makes it possible to achieve excellent results that far outweigh anything that would have been possible in the pre-digital era.

Unless you are actively turning away potential customers due to demand far exceeding supply, then you need to have an ongoing marketing strategy in place.  Although even if you have more customers than you can cope with, it’s still important to have some sort of marketing campaign on the back burner, as every business going through peak times will inevitably experience a trough at some point.

Digital marketing benefits

Unlike traditional marketing methods from the pre-digital era, digital marketing is extremely cost effective.  It produces quantifiable results that let you see exactly how customers are responding, giving great flexibility for changing of adapting aspects of your strategy according to need.  And with global reach, your digital marketing strategy gives you access to potential customers from much further afield too.

In a previous blog post we addressed the subject of Social Proof (https://www.brookstonecreative.co.uk/social-proof-what-it-is-and-why-your-marketing-campaign-needs-it/), which has the potential to attract new customers, based purely on the experiences and recommendations of their peers.  Social media channels are ideal for this approach, and using them effectively is a great way of adding value to your brand.  Regular, interesting snippets of news about your goods and services have the potential to travel far and wide – and all at minimal cost, as your followers spread the message on your behalf.

Once you’ve attracted new customers, digital marketing techniques allow you to offer them a highly personalised experience, based on products they have bought previously, or on goods and services that they have shown an interest in.  You can even welcome customers by name, which helps to establish feelings of loyalty to your brand.

But it’s the trackable results that most online businesses appreciate the most.  Knowing which marketing techniques are producing the desired results enables marketers to adjust their strategy immediately so that they can take full advantage of emerging trends, thereby delivering the best results to their clients on an ongoing basis.

How to implement an effective digital marketing strategy

If your digital marketing strategy is going to provide your business with the ongoing sustenance that it needs to survive and thrive, then it’s crucial that you spend time sorting out the finer details of your campaign.  And this starts with identifying your key goals.  Are you hoping to add another 1000 customers to your database?  Do you want to attract followers on social media?  Or are you aiming to hit specific sales targets?  The more precise you can be, the greater your chances of success.

The next step is to identify your key channels.  For this stage to be as effective as possible it can be helpful to create buyer personas, that represent your core customers.  Explore their reasons for choosing your products, identify pain points, and assess which media channels are appropriate for their needs.  An elderly demographic, for example, is highly unlikely to use Instagram or Snapchat, whereas for a younger audience these types of social media can be incredibly useful.

Armed with this information, you can begin perfecting your digital marketing campaign, using data analysis to keep track of progress.  Keep a close watch on the results, and don’t be afraid to change direction if something is clearly not having the desired effect.  Always keep in mind that your digital marketing strategy is feeding your business, so if something isn’t working you need to alter the diet.

Of course, running an effective digital marketing strategy takes up a lot of time and resources, particularly if it isn’t your area of expertise.  But at Brookstone, crafting effective and adaptable marketing campaigns is something that we specialise in, and we’re always delighted to share our knowledge and experience with interested clients.

So if you want to steal a march on your competitors, and ensure that your business can continue to thrive and grow even during the lean periods, then come in and have a chat with us.  We can help to create an efficient and effective campaign that will provide your business with the essential marketing nutrients that it needs in order to flourish.