2017 will be the official breakthrough year of digital marketing. For the first time ever, online marketing spends will surpass TV advertising. It’s a significant, if inevitable turning point.
For marketers an CEOs alike, this milestone is proof that digital is where you need to be focusing your efforts and investment. This global marketing revolution has been led by accurate real-world metrics. Businesses are re-investing where they see results.
Online marketing is clearly what works best – and it’s worth doing right!
My wife and I used to go on long trips with no itinerary at all, aside from a rough list of places we wanted to visit. We ventured out for months at a time on trips around Europe, South America and Southeast Asia, and had some fantastic adventures.
It was also horrendously stressful at times, and more than once we could have been killed. We would never travel like that today. It’s far too risky.
Now imagine running a marketing campaign in a similarly haphazard fashion.
Nearly half (44% to be exact) of online marketing campaigns do exactly that.
You need a strategic approach to give direction to your online marketing efforts, avoid duplication, be optimized and target the right customers. There’s a lot on the line, and everything to gain through proper planning.
A barrier I see all the time is that small companies underestimate the effort and skills required to plan, design, write, code and deploy top-quality, inspired content. Few one or two-person marketing teams have the time and depth to plan in adequate detail and sustain a high level of quality and engagement – especially if their role is combined with sales. At the same time, marketing managers seldom point out the holes in their skills and knowledge for fear of losing their job.
If you don’t have the resources to do it right in-house (and few small teams do), consider hiring an online marketing agency. It can be much more effective and cost less to use part of a larger team than by over-stretching your own staff.
The 80/20 rule is one of the great business truisms of all time, yet many of us still ignore it. We are conditioned to believe we need to please absolutely everyone, a distortion amplified in recent years by social media and ubiquitous rating systems.
But the squeakiest wheels are often the very worst customers, and are experts at robbing you of your focus. Especially if you run a B2B company, you need to identify and diplomatically fire problem customers. It’s never easy, but every bad customer you lose enables you to better service at least one really great customer – often more.
Digital marketing platforms like Hubspot make it easy to mine your information, and discover which customers give you the most grief for the smallest returns.
You can also identify which ones have bought most Recently, most Frequently, and have spent the most Money. This is R-F-M analysis, and it can be the foundation of a buyer persona towards whom you should direct your online marketing efforts.
Metrics about unique visitors and pageviews are hypnotically attractive and distracting. We all get sucked in – and forget that only conversions are worth anything in online marketing.
I would much prefer to have 20 of the right people read a post and five convert over having 10,000 people pageviews but no conversions. Or worse yet, 20 conversions from badly targeted prospects that I've now got to service.
As content marketers, we must avoid being distracted by the allure of big, meaningless numbers and focus on the ones that count. By publishing narrower content that targets your best customers and by measuring engagement the right way, you become optimized for what really works. This too is counter-intuitive and requires discipline.
And it’s where the rewards live.
Digital marketing can be expensive, complicated and time-consuming. So it's not hard to see why many businesses dive in with too little knowledge or planning.
It’s also where you stand to increase profits and become an industry leader, if you’re among the marketers who plan, focus and do it right.
For 26 more ways you can seriously excel at targeting sales leads and drive conversions through online marketing, click the pink button below!
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