Thinking Marketing? Think Digital.
Let’s face it, we’re all pretty attached to our devices. We turn to our smartphones and tablets for everything from staying connected at work and with friends, to shopping and managing our finances. Given that we’re searching online more than ever, it only makes sense that marketing would be moving in the same direction. So if you’re thinking about marketing in 2016, you need to be thinking digital.
If you’re a small shop (or even if you’re not), the online marketing world may seem daunting. Competition can be fierce and over time, large players have sought to monopolize search results in particular industries. In some cases, they have succeeded very well, so relying on search alone tends not to be the best plan, especially if you don't have an SEO strategy in place.
What I’ve found works the best is actively seeking to understand your users and finding out what motivates them. It’s important to ask questions. For example, you need to know where your users are going online. Once you know the answer to that question, you can make sure that you have a presence there. This isn’t a one size fits all marketing strategy and taking steps to better understand your users will put you ahead of the game.
I often use a strategy of trying several different digital channels with my clients (ie, paid ads, social media, social ads, email marketing, local google listings, etc.) to see what sticks with the target user group. We also test different messages to these channels to see what resonates the most. Once you find out what works, you can invest more in it.
The good thing about online marketing is that the data can be tracked for success (and to help you make smarter decisions). So these strategies should always include keeping a close eye on your analytics data. Being willing to try different things, fail and learn from your mistakes is key. A willingness to make changes based on what the data is telling you will go a long way to ensuring your success in the digital marketing world.