It’s the start of the new financial year. Have you made a dint in your goals for 2015? It’s a cliche but it’s the truth, failing to plan is planning to fail.
This is no different to developing an online strategy in 2015. The online landscape is vast and rapidly changing, there are promises of vast, targeted audiences, shares, likes, views, clicks and all the magical things to bring new customers to your door. Sounds easy right?
If you have ever had a go yourself, you’ll know that there is a bottomless pit of online advertising. As long as you are happy to spend, there are limitless possibilities. The question lingers however, are they in line with the goals of your business and are you seeing a return on investment?
It’s easy to be dazzled by flashy reports, bar graphs, pie charts and big numbers.
What’s important here is to scratch beneath the surface and find out what these numbers really mean. Are they even relevant to your business?
If you, like many others, have an ad-hoc marketing strategy, with “a few things happening”, but a lack of consistency across the platforms, the chances are you are wasting your money!
Once when I was asked the best way to spend $50 on online advertising, my answer was to set it on fire and video it for social media. (I know this is illegal and the suggestion was made in jest!)
The point is that there are many ways to advertise online, but will anybody notice?
In the noise, you have to find a way to cut through the clutter and stand out. What this truly takes, is time. Everyone is looking for the easy answer and I am a subscriber to the theory that laziness breeds efficiency, but not when it comes to marketing. Set and forget is the dream and that is what your competitors will do. If you want to beat them, you need to put in the hard yards and that starts with forming a strategy.
Take the time to consider the current position of your business and set a budget. I say again, Set A Budget! Not an amount that you can turn on and off depending on how the company cash flow is going and be the first thing that you turn off. Digital marketing requires a significant commitment and even more important, it needs consistency.
Once you have identified the goals of your business and your monthly budget, then you can start to explore the options. There are many opportunities, each with their own features and benefits and associated cost. You can consider AdWords, SEO, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Banner Ads, Sponsored posts, remarketing, targeting mobile users based on the IP location, email marketing and the list goes on.
Usually a mix of services is most appropriate
and is very much in line with the thinking of not putting all your eggs in one basket. From a small to a large budget, there are opportunities for all, but it requires careful consideration of your goals and your means. From there, a plan can be developed that can then be rolled out, tested and measured. As I said earlier, set and forget is just a pipe dream if you want to be at the cutting edge pushing out your competitors. Constant review and revision is needed, as ads and target groups are tested and refined. This does two things, improving your communication process and refining your message.
This is the joy of the digital landscape, as you A – B test your material and then further develop from the highest performer.
There is plenty of opportunity and what is required is sound advice. A shotgun approach is not required, you can test and refine and improve around a well thought out plan.