14 Reasons You Need a Digital Marketing Strategy in 2018
As we’re already 2 months into 2018, there’s one thing that’s for certain: if you’re not already implementing digital marketing tactics, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful and effective marketing techniques available today. Digital marketing allows you to reach people where they’re spending time – on the Internet (since more than 3.74 billion people now use the Internet worldwide) – and it can help you both generate leads and convert them to paying customers.
If you’re considering using digital marketing in 2018, it’s essential you create a strategy for those marketing efforts. A digital marketing strategy can mean the difference between efforts that work – and those that fall flat. Here are 15 of the most important reasons that your company needs a digital marketing strategy for the coming year.
1. You Can Differentiate Yourself from Competitors
There’s a good chance that there are at least several other companies that do what you do. By sitting down to build a digital marketing strategy, you can map out just how you plan to differentiate yourself. Maybe you want to dominate a specific arena within digital marketing (content marketing, video marketing), or maybe you want to be very specific about the audience you appeal to online so you can build your relevant customer base. Developing a digital marketing strategy will allow you to think about how your digital presence is going to make you different from everyone else.
2. You Will Be Able to Retain Customers – Not Just Attract Them
Sure, an important part of digital marketing is attracting customers. Ads, emails, content marketing efforts and more can ensure that you get discovered online. But having people see your ads isn’t enough – you need people to buy from your brand and to keep coming back. By setting up a digital marketing strategy, you can see the entire customer attraction – and then retention – process through. You can build a customer funnel that includes bringing in leads, nurturing them, converting them and then continuing to make them happy after they’ve paid.
3. It Will Help You Better Define Your Goals
With a solid digital marketing strategy in place, you’ll be better able to define and achieve your goals. Whether the purpose of your strategy is to build a larger customer base or expand into new markets, you’ll be able to better develop your strategy with your goals in mind, improving its chances of success.
4. You Can Spend Money on the Right Things
Digital marketing has its own associated costs. People pay for tools, services and more to help make digital marketing work. So, if you map out a strategy for how you’re going to use digital marketing efforts, you can also budget for those efforts effectively.
5. You Can Get Your Teams Coordinated
Ensure all of your teams are involved in creating your marketing strategy. This means that sales, marketing and PR should be present when the strategy is created. That way, you can ensure that everyone knows what the end marketing goals are – and ensure that their efforts work in tandem with what you’ve laid out.
6. You Can Increase Your Budget
Want more money to do more marketing? Start by laying out a strategy that shows how you will use that money and how you expect it to pay off. By showing a potential ROI at the outset, you may be able to convince execs that investing more in marketing is worth it.
7. You Can More Effectively Integrate Different Online Marketing Techniques
Digital marketing comprises many different strategies, such as SEO, email marketing, landing pages, Pay-Per-Click (PPC), content marketing, and more. Without a strategy, it can be difficult to weave all of these strategies together into one cohesive, solid marketing plan. Effectively integrating all techniques improves brand recognition and online visibility as potential customers and clients see a unified Web presence throughout.
8. You’ll Know How You’re Doing
Part of laying out a digital marketing strategy is also determining KPIs, or key performance indicators. Measuring KPIs against your goals can help you determine whether your marketing is performing as well as you wanted it to or not. Lay out your marketing goals during a strategy-building session, and you can be well aware if your marketing is working as it’s happening or whether you need to tweak some things as you go.
9. You Can Get Clear on How to Incorporate Social Media
Is social media a marketing technique or is it customer service? Social media can be used for many purposes and managed by many different departments, which means it often gets under- or mis-utilized by marketing teams. Social media is going to be huge by 2018, and experts expect platforms like Facebook to have more than 169.2 million active users just in the U.S. For that reason, laying out a strategy that includes how to use social media for marketing purposes will ensure that you harness its power.
10. You Can Focus on Personalization
Experts agree that 2018 is going to be focused on personalized marketing efforts. For that reason, it will be helpful for you to build a strategy around making your marketing efforts as personalized as possible. Think about automating marketing content so that first-time visitors see one thing, returning visitors see another and paying customers see their own stable of content. Strategizing these different layers of the funnel will ensure you get on top of the personalization trend.
11. You Can Figure Out How Influencers Factor In
It’s undeniable: social media influencers are really important for getting word about your product out to the public. But, influencers aren’t on your company’s team – they’re affiliates from the public who help you promote your product. You need to lay out a strategy for working with influencers, how much you will pay them and how much promotion you expect them to do. That way you know that influencers are doing enough promoting for you – and that you’re not overspending on other marketing tactics they’ve already taken care of.
12. You Can Maintain Your Edge Over Your Competitors
Just because you can differentiate yourself from your competitors doesn’t mean you’ll also do better than them. That’s because if your competitors are smart, they are constantly striving to improve their own marketing strategy. By using analytics to grade your own strategy against those of your competitors, you can fine-tune and make adjustments as necessary to continue to maintain your edge and level the playing field.
13. You Can Better Understand the Online Marketplace
Consumer wants and needs are always changing, as well as the online marketplace and how consumers today utilize the Web to research companies, products, and services. A solid digital marketing strategy will help you to better understand and track trends and important changes in consumer behavior.
14. You Can Improve Your ROI
With a better understanding of how effective your digital marketing strategy is, and with real-time feedback and analysis, you’ll be able to make changes in a timely fashion, saving money and time wasted on parts of your strategy that could be performing better. As your marketing strategy improves, subsequently your overall ROI also improves.