Digital Marketing in 2018: What You Need to Know
The Digital Marketing Race
Digital marketing is the fastest growing form of customer interaction. As such, it is increasingly vital to your company’s profile and profitability. Yet mastering current marketing trends and technology can be a struggle! It takes time to grow and manage digital customer relationships on top of traditional forms of marketing, and digital marketing can be especially challenging if you’re not sure what results your business can or should expect.
Setting a Course of Action
To meet your company’s digital marketing needs, it’s important to first understand exactly what your business goals are. Once you identify these goals, you can focus on a marketing strategy that will position your digital presence to take advantage of your offline and digital marketing activities. If your company has an online presence or a digital advertising plan, it’s important to assess its effectiveness in terms of time and money spent and the contribution it makes to your bottom line. This is where setting business goals for your digital marketing plan is vital. If there are no clear metrics identified, how can you assess the contribution digital marketing makes to your overall marketing strategy?
Luckily, you’ve already done the hard part – you know your business and who your clients are. Now all you have to do is align your online presence to grow your business in a way that’s steady and sustainable. Short of becoming your own digital marketing guru, the best way to manage your company’s digital growth potential is by setting SMART goals. SMART doesn't just mean intelligent, it’s a marketing tactic that has worked successfully for decades and continues to be highly effective. Designed for business leaders like you, our digital marketing goal setting guide will help you fine-tune your short-term and long-term digital marketing goals, and develop practical and meaningful targets for your online activities throughout a given time period.
Set a SMART Pace
As you may know, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound: all key components for any successful marketing plan. Our marketing goal setting guide will help you pinpoint your specific marketing needs and challenges by prompting you with the right questions – questions only you can answer – to help formulate appropriate goals for your company’s digital needs. Whether you want to attract a higher volume of visitors and sales leads to your website, or translate a higher percentage of those leads into actual customers, this easy-to-use guide can get you thinking in the right direction and help you set a practical pace for those goals to become realities.
Digital Marketing Goal Setting Guide
At Red Dragon Marketing, we specialize in understanding the ins and outs of digital marketing trends. This has allowed us to develop a digital marketing goal setting guide that has our clients and business professionals in mind. We invite you to explore what this easy-to-use guide can do for you. Ready to get started? Simply download the guide, and begin setting goals!
How is Digital Marketing Changing the Competitive Landscape?
Harnessing the Power of Digital Marketing
Traditionally, only large businesses and corporations had the marketing resources to reach and convert highly targeted traffic. A robust digital marketing plan makes it easy for small and medium-sized businesses and clinics to reach an audience that is interested in their products and services, and to then convert these individuals into potential customers. With tools such as Google Adwords and Facebook Advertising, it’s possible to target a very specific audience based on their demographics and interests. For example, a company could target “small business owners” in a specific region who work in “the automotive industry” and have shown an interest in “payroll software.”
Increasing your Marketing ROI
Digital marketing is much more cost effective than traditional marketing. Magazine placements, billboards, and radio ads are examples of traditional advertising methods that require large financial investments. These traditional methods are not easy to change if they aren't performing at the required level to meet your SMART goals. Digital marketing makes it possible to test and modify advertisements, and offers real-time measurement – at a much lower cost!
Measuring with Ease
Conversion tracking and optimization are just a few of the benefits marketers and business professionals realize after developing a digital marketing plan. When using digital analytics, it’s possible to find and fix leaks in the sales funnel, helping you both avoid losing valuable and qualified leads, and to convert more of those leads into customers. For example, by implementing search engine optimization (SEO), you can increase the size of your sales funnel by attracting clients who are interested in the products and services you offer, but have yet to discover (through an online search to your website) that you offer them.
Increased Opportunities to Generate Leads
With the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets, you are able to reach your target audience wherever and whenever – at work, on the way home, or in line at the grocery store. Wherever and whenever your potential customers are using electronic devices, you can engage with them.
Limitless Reach and Brand Awareness
90% of consumers claim they trust information about a particular brand, product, or service if the data comes from somebody they know. One way to take advantage of this trend is through social media. Digital marketing using social media builds trust by leveraging social media signals and testimonials from people who have used your product or service, or have engaged with your brand online.
Digital Marketing is Only Going to Grow – Don’t be Left Behind
Your most important takeaway from this blog post? That digital marketing is going to allow you to measure and then increase your return on marketing investment. You can reach a highly targeted audience while spending less, and you can educate and build rapport (create brand awareness) with customers by engaging them digitally.
Top Trends to Consider Implementing in 2018
Digital marketing is getting more personal than ever. Big data has been a trend for the past few years, but now there are marketing tools available to better utilize this data to create meaningful experiences for your audience. One-to-one marketing is the process of creating a unique digital experience for the individual instead of the audience as a whole. A simple example of this could be a medical office with several locations in a few different states and time zones. Using the users' geographic data, the content on this company's website can be dynamically changed to reflect that user's needs. Content that can be changed includes,
- Business hours and telephone numbers
- Physician availability and contact information
- Images (interior and exterior shots of the nearest clinic)
A more advanced example of this could be dynamically changing the colour of a button or a call to action to the users favourite colour. Or limiting/expanding the number of form fields that are required to be filled based on the users previous behaviour.
SMART Goals Refresher (Digitally Adapted)
When you’re creating goals, make them as short, crisp, and speciﬁc as possible. Having “a good marketing year” isn't an accurate reﬂection of what your company accomplished. Imagine that your boss is about to leave for a critical meeting, and you have less than 90 seconds before they run out the door. They've just asked, “What is next year's top marketing goal?” What are you going to say that concisely explains your plans?
Companies often say they want to increase their social media following. While that is a goal, it's not measureable. If you start the new year with 100 followers and end with 101, technically you’ve met your goal. However, if you switch the goal to increase your social media following by 25%, suddenly you can measure your progress every month to see if you're on track to growing from 100 to 125 followers – although hopefully your goal is more ambitious than this example!
While record-breaking goals are beneﬁcial – and here at Red Dragon Marketing we're all about breaking records – it's still important to keep your goals realistic. If you've generated an average of 10 leads every month, jumping to a goal of 2,000 leads per month would be a drastic change. Many businesses set impossibly high goals to motivate employees to "go the distance." In reality, this is discouraging, as employees cannot reach such unrealistic targets. SMART goals are goals that can be achieved.
Why have a goal if the goal doesn't matter? Say you operate a health food store that only has one location. In this situation, your goal shouldn't be to "increase social media followers across the country." While it's great you have an attractive store and products, if your clients can only buy locally, why bother advertising elsewhere? In this instance, a relevant goal would be increasing social media followers in town the health food store is located in, and to increase weekly store visits.
While having all these elements will help you develop a solid goal, you need to have a timeline for meeting that goal. Returning to the health food store example, if you decide your goal is to increase weekly store visits by 10% through social media marketing in the month of November, you will need to know which products need to be promoted ﬁrst. This will allow you to start working on an attractive social media call-to-action and marketing campaign that will reach buyers before and during the month of November.
Help from the Experts
Are you unsure of how to start digital marketing, or unsure if you’re going in the right direction with your digital marketing? At Red Dragon Marketing, we enjoy helping businesses navigate this rapidly changing landscape. Our team of experts can help you set digital marketing goals, create a strategy to attain those goals, or help you achieve those goals.