You’ve probably heard the terms Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Video Content, Blogs, Social Media and Digital Branding. There is no question that digital marketing is quickly becoming the most effective means of advertising, but you may be wondering which strategies will be the best for your business. Some of the challenges that digital marketers face are collecting and analyzing large amounts of data, tracking cost and return on investment, and developing digital media for multiple devices.
Collecting and Analyzing Big Data
In the mid-1990’s, websites began to use counters to track the number of visits or hits received on the domain. Now, businesses have the ability to track much more detailed information about these visits including:
- Where traffic comes from such as age groups, gender and geographical locations
- What products and promotions interest consumers
- The purchasing habits of different demographics
- Social media shares such as tweets and likes which result from customer interaction on the site
- First clicks to know what encouraged the customer to visit the site
- Last clicks to know what converted the visit into a purchase or made them leave the site
You can see how beneficial this information would be in developing a digital marketing strategy. However, the challenge online marketing professionals face is analyzing this large amount of data into useful insights. Businesses can use an in-house marketing analytics team, hire a digital marketing agency or outsource this job to a marketing cloud service. Some of the benefits of a good digital marketing service include:
- Multi-channel integrated analysis which combines data from social, display and paid search campaigns into one useful statistic
- Segmentation to better understand the habits and interests of different demographics
- Opportunities to test content, images, themes and page set-ups and respond accordingly to the results
- Tools to optimize your website in order to better define and reach your target market
Some businesses using cloud marketing services have reported success increasing conversion by at least 33%.
Digital media campaigns differ from other more traditional marketing efforts such as television and radio ads in that digital marketing has evolved into building relationships with the customer. This is a long-term effort which requires establishing a foundation of trust. As such, it is sometimes difficult to determine the actual ROI. Businesses transitioning into the digital marketing world also sometimes struggle to know how much money to invest initially in their new campaigns.
One mistake that is often made in digital marketing is spreading your campaign too thin. Because the face of the internet is constantly changing and new sites are added daily, businesses can feel pressure to advertise on every latest addition. However, there are many social media and other sites that turn out to be “one-hit wonders.”
It isn’t necessary to have a presence on every site, but it is essential to have a presence on the most popular and current sites. For example, according to eMarketer, two-thirds of U.S. internet consumers used social networks in 2012. Facebook continues to be the most popular social site and an excellent marketing opportunity. In 2012, 67% of B2B companies and 41% of B2C companies acquired a customer through Facebook.
Analytics will show you what reaches your target market so you can narrow your campaign and save money. Many businesses that reported more than a 33% increase in conversion also reduced their marketing spending by almost half using a cloud marketing service.
According to Forrester Research, 93% of U.S. online adults own a mobile phone and 19% own a tablet. It is expected by some experts that by 2014 mobile internet will take over desktop usage. This has become a challenge for digital marketers because every page of a website needs to be designed for multiple devices. The website should be engaging, interactive and well-organized whether it is viewed on a PC, tablet or smartphone. Fortunately, there are websites that can help you make your own site mobile-compatible. There are also cloud marketing services which include tools for optimizing your website for multiple devices.
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