5 steps to create a practical digital communication strategy

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Digital marketing can be ten times as effective as traditional marketing. But it assumes that you have a digital strategy and a website that is built for digital marketing.

To begin with the very first question: What is digital marketing? The traditional way of advertising products and services has been in print media – or analogously, in the tribal language. Ads have been purchased in newspapers and magazines and brochures and product catalogues have been created. The challenge with print media is that you have limited opportunity to measure the impact of the ads. If you advertise in an industry magazine or magazine for interested people, you target an audience. You can see the effect of the ads if you increase sales, but you do not know who is reading and what action is taken after an advertisement is read. You can also not repeat the message against those who might read the ad but did not order anything. To a limited extent, you can also measure which of the ads worked best. Often one should also wait a long time to see the effect of the advertising.

With digital marketing, you no longer need to guess at what works best. You can measure the effect immediately. You can also test which ads with different messages work best in different channels and instantly see what works well and what’s not working well. Done properly, you can also measure quite exactly what it costs you to get a new customer.

To get this and much more – you must have a well thought out strategy with a plan for how to proceed.

The biggest difference between traditional and digital marketing is that most of the work can be automated and that you can conduct a dialogue with many people with tailored messages that are pertinent to those you are talking to.

An advertisement in a newspaper that promotes products for women is rarely read by men. If you go to a pharmacy to shop for shaving equipment, you probably do not want to be contacted by a seller who will present the latest news from a cosmetic manufacturer.

Done properly, you can tailor your digital ads so that they appear only for those you want to see the ad, repeat the message and test out variations of the message that best meet the people you want to talk to.

In order to succeed in digital marketing, ask the following questions: Who do you want to talk to? Where are you going to reach the people you want to talk to? What will you tell them when you reach them? And most importantly, what will happen after you have presented your message to the people you want to talk to?

Who do you want to talk to?

If you have a website, you’d like to know who you want to talk to. With proper analysis tools, many are surprised when they find out who actually visits their and competitors website.

Where are you going to reach the people you want to talk to?

Digital-level advertising is about getting the best visibility for relevant content to the right audience for the lowest possible price. The most famous – and still for most – most cost-effective platform is Facebook. For others, paid keywords on Google Adwords are most effective. However, there are many alternatives and the challenge is the trial and errors to find the right channel or channel mix.

What are you going to tell the people you want to talk to?

With digital marketing, you no longer need to look at what works best. You measure the effect immediately. You can also test which ads with different messages work best in different channels and instantly see what works well and what’s not working well. Done properly, you can also measure quite exactly what it costs you to get a new customer.

What will happen when you reach the people you want to talk to?

Too many, the “advertisement” moves on to a digital platform but forget the most important: How those who read your message are followed up when you have caught their interest in a short while. Then you need to have the toolbox in order so you can collect valuable data and automate the response so it’s valuable.

The goal is to convert the interest into a relationship that makes your products or services sold. Far too many lead traffic to websites that work like the old-fashioned corporate presentation. You want to say “everything” about your company, your products and services and so on. The visitor would like to be briefly concerned with just the one message you have communicated. You must, therefore, have what we call a landing page that is focused on just one message and one action. Everything else you can talk about later.

Last Click vs algorithmic attribution

For small and medium-sized businesses, the last-click model is most often used to explain which digital media contributes to traffic and conversions.

Once you have the website dedicated to digital marketing with the right tools, you can measure how much return you get for your marketing in social media. If you’re doing it right you will know how much it costs you to advertise on, for example, Facebook or using Google Adwords and what traffic your ads create. You know what value a new customer has for you and you know the conversion path: You know what the customer has done on your pages, on your landing page and what did it cost to get the customer there and all the way to a completed order.

If you are marketing in many digital channels – typically for larger companies with a larger marketing budget, the assessment of the results is more complex. Before a prospect becomes a customer, they may have been exposed to multiple channel ads. Perhaps in print media, banner ads, blog posts, visited the website and landing page and clicked on a Facebook ad without having ordered anything. So one day when the customer has gone through all his phases from the appraisal phase to the decision phase, they click on a Google Adwords ad and the sale is in the box. If you only measure the cost of just the Google Adwords ad, you’ll see that the image will not be correct. The other channels are not credited to have influenced the customer.

Digital journeys can, therefore, be very complex but also seamless. There are advanced technologies that explain and credit all impressions and clicks, so-called data-driven attribution. Attribution based on algorithms and game theory credits all clicks and impressions in a digital customer service. Large advertisers use attribution to calculate accurate returns on their media investments.

Computer-driven attribution is analytical technology for major marketers and requires relatively high traffic for the measurements to make sense. With a good digital marketing strategy, you’ll see that you get much more left for your marketing in digital channels. For a business that really succeeds in digital marketing, and has traffic and budgets to grow, data-driven attribution is a natural next step.

Tools for algorithmic attribution have so far been complicated to set up, relatively costly and most relevant for companies with large marketing budgets and large data traffic.

However, Google has announced that they will offer a solution for algorithmic attribution that is also relevant to smaller businesses.

To get this and much more – you must have a thought-out strategy with a plan for how you want to proceed.

Our research shows that digital marketing can be ten times as effective as traditional marketing, but this depends on a good action plan. In this article, we will look into five ways we recommend here at Bramhall Web Designs to improve your digital strategy:

1 Plan your digital marketing strategy

You must understand your current position. Set goals and goals, decide what’s the best strategy to get on. Then, take the time to analyze the data you get and learn from the results you achieve.

The first step in all strategies is planning. The competition for attention in digital channels is great and to be one of the best, you must: plan, implement and optimize your digital presence in a successful manner.

And not least, think long-term.

Analyze your situation

Start by analyzing your current position. Do absolutely necessary research before developing your digital strategy. Start with results you get from free analytics tools like  Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and AdWords Auction Insights. There are also many other tools you can use to analyze the performance of your site and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Many of these are also free to use.  Use Google to search for them and try as many of them as possible. You should focus on analyzing:

  • Customer insights from existing digital activity (such as data from your promotion in social media)
  • Digital channels you are active in (this includes all your social profiles)
  • Your website and its Effectiveness (is your website current?)
  • Opportunities in the market (see what your competitors are doing!)
  • Competition for benchmarking (are there any threats? Or new ideas?)
  • Internal resources and production (look at your team and analyze how to improve communication flow)
  • Be sure to check all channels you are represented in.
  • Know who is your audience in the different channels and how your presence is.
  • Compare with the presence of your competitors.
  • Also, check by searching Google if there are any channels you do not own where someone claims or mistakenly appears as a representative of your business. (For example, same domain name, but another domain suffix  [.com – .co.uk.)

1.2 Define your interim goals and goals

Analyzing your current position is a good start to better understand your goals and goals. It is now you ask yourself: where do I want to be? You must define SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based goals.

Set the following goals:

  • Combine the digital strategy with your business goals
  • Define your sub-goals (what are you aiming for?)
  • Select SMART Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Cost of acquisition cost per customer (CAC)
  • Return on investment (ROI)

1.3. Decide on your strategy

Once you’ve decided where you want to be, the next step is to figure out how to get there. There are many different models that can help you develop your strategy, but we recommend Business Model Canvas

You should focus on:

  • Customer segments and target segments
  • Valuable suggestions, special offers, lead baits, triggers
  • Channels, SEO, PPC, Organic, etc.
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Activities, Content Marketing, Promotion, etc.

In addition, you can test special offers like a “free 30-day trial”, or other offers that can help you increase your confidence in your target audience. You should also have a strategy for integrating your website, social channels, email services, and customer relationship management.

1.4 Use your strategy

Your next question should be: What should I do right away? You must divide your strategy into specific activities and identify the team that will perform the tasks in the future.

You should look at:

  • Your digital roadmap
  • Improvements that can be made on the website
  • Content publishing plan
  • Plan for promoting
  • Resource allocation and budget

Feel free to contact Bramhall Web Designs if you have any questions. You can send us an email directly at [email protected] or just leave your contact information below and we will be back soon.

Need help with your digital marketing?

Digital marketing can be much more effective than traditional marketing, but then you need to know what you are doing. We happily do that and can help you with what you need!

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1.5 Analyze and make improvements

The final step in the planning process is to decide how to control and keep an eye on your progression. The question you should ask yourself is: how do I measure my results?

You should focus on:

  • Analysis and reporting tools
  • The audience, the range you have, sources of traffic and the customers’ experiences
  • Regular meetings for review
  • Priority Actions

2 Reach out more in social media

The first phase of a customer’s buying cycle is to realize the need. During this phase, the customer will typically be on the lookout without necessarily thinking about buying something. They look at their interests, look through social media channels, news pages, blogs, other sites, and so on.

In this phase, your main goal is to influence potential customers’ wishes and needs. Your main challenge in this step is to reach your audience with information or a message. The biggest drivers for this are social media and search engines, but there are many other digital channels to consider.

2.1 Social media

Facebook has almost 2 billion users, and every month Google has around 2.5 billion users of its services. Market shares change, but in the UK, over 90% of all ages 18-39 have a profile in social media and 68 per cent of UK’s population over 18 years use Facebook daily. The number of posts on social networks is constantly increasing, making it difficult to compete for attention. Do you strive to increase the spread of your content to your audience?

The various social media channels focus on making the user experience the best for their users. This is why advanced algorithms determine what each user sees when looking for updates. Only those updates with high relevance to the user will be displayed.

For example, if you have a page for your business on Facebook with many thousands of followers, usually 3-4% of your posts will be seen on the news feed to those who have liked your pages. Even if you pay to reach out to your followers, it’s likely that you will only reach out to a minority of your audience. The reason is that you compete with your competitors’ content.

This is what you need to do to reach social media:

  • Post high-quality content
  • Promote your content
  • Address your audience
  • Publish content that lasts a long time
  • Share content that your audience likes

2.2 Search engines

The other major source of traffic is search engines. 90% of all purchase decisions begin with a search – and preferably on Google. The bigger the purchase value, the more often it is Googled before a purchase decision is taken.

Google’s search engine has a 78% market share globally, with around 50,000 searches per second! The Chinese site Baidu comes second with 10%, followed by Yahoo by 6%. This is global statistics for clean search engines, and this leaves only 6% broken down by other search engine features, such as Yandex, Bing and others (Source: Internet Live stats ).

There are two ways you can use search engines to expand your reach: by organic search or paid searches. Organic search results will require you to prepare your website for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), while paid searches are done by paying for clicks, also called Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Often, many of the users will skip the ads and look for organic searches, but both methods can give you a lot of traffic if used properly.

Search engines are one of the most widely used forms of artificial intelligence we use today, and they become smarter for each day. Their main goal is to show you the most relevant results on all searches – that’s how they acquire their users. So you can forget to try to trick them. The only way to get high on the list of results is to provide good content, great user experiences, a website that is technically optimal and increase your authority as one that affects.

This is what you need to focus on with Search Engine Optimization:

  • Choose the right tool
  • Optimization on the page
  • Optimization off the page
  • Search Engine Updates

This is what you need to focus on with Search Engine Marketing:

  • Initiate and manage your advertising account
  • Create the actual ad
  • Select keywords
  • Aim to your target audience
  • Create good landing pages for your campaign

2.3 Other digital sources

There is an infinite number of other digital sources for traffic. Depending on the type of industry you are in, they may be as important as social media and search engines. Or they may be irrelevant to you.

Take the travel industry, for example, I would like to claim that community sites like TripAdvisor or Hotels.com may be more important to create traffic than social media. You also have other websites for this industry that focus on airline tickets, restaurants or nightlife activities.

Other digital sources that generate traffic that is worth considering:

  • Email marketing
  • Anonymous banners and advertising networks
  • Other websites for your industry
  • Third-party blogs and your own blog
  • Digital PR

You can learn more about e-marketing in this article

3 Turn your site into a sales machine

The second phase of the buying cycle is usually called the assessment phase. Your potential customer has decided to purchase and will now seek the right solutions for his or her needs. It is in this phase your website is the most important thing in your digital strategy. The goal is to convince your potential customer that you have the best solution, price or product that suits them best.

While social media and search engines are great tools for expanding your reach, the core of all digital strategies is your website. If your website is not prepared to handle traffic from social media, search engines and other digital sources, it’s simply a waste of money to invest in your outreach.

Most websites are not designed for digital marketing. Astonishingly enough, many websites have a great design but lack the basic features and tools for effective digital marketing. On top of all of this, you have all the sites that fails purely on bad design.

3.1 Mobile-friendly

More than 60% of all online traffic comes from mobile devices. This proportion is rising all the time. Being mobile-friendly means that your website is readable and functional on mobile phones and tablets. This is called “responsive design” and means that your website delivers a good experience on all devices.

If your site is not mobile-friendly, consider taking action right away! Think mobile at the very first time when a site is designed from scratch. Our experience is that in some campaigns, as much as 95% of traffic come from visitors using mobile devices.

This is also important for search engine optimization, as search engines reward mobile-optimized websites. You can check if your website is considered mobile-friendly by Google by following this link:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

You can learn more about mobile-friendly online design in this article

3.2 The content of your website

Many businesses have a lot of good content. Often it is not available on the website or hard to find. The absolute best way to create a site with a lot of traffic is to fill it with a content of high quality and value.

Content Marketing is basically just about creating and sharing interesting, valuable, relevant and useful content. This is the way you build your brand and trust into your products and services.

Blogging is a form of content marketing. If you want to attract customers in social media, you should blog. Creating trust is the best way to attract customers. If potential customers do not trust your brand, it will limit sales. That’s just how it is.

The question you need to ask yourself when you decide what kind of content you are going to produce or make available to your visitors is: what will my audience be interested in? What content would they like to share on their profiles in social media?

3.3 Services on your website

If you want to increase your profits online, you must provide services that support your strategy. These are important choices when considering the design aspect of your website. Choose the right tools to help you maintain good and valuable communication with your customers and not least potential new customers.

You must consider these services:

  • Online Chat
  • Contact form
  • bookings
  • Online shopping
  • Library with resources
  • Online Forum

3.4 Website security

Security on your site is surprisingly often underestimated or not fully understood by those who manage the site. You can put your entire business at risk if your site is hacked and customer information gets stolen as a result of this.

If the site is the main source of your sales and customer prospects, it should not be necessary to tell how important it is to compromise with certainty.

You can learn more about how to improve the security of your website in this article

4 Convert visitors to new customers

The next step in the buying cycle is the decision-making phase. It is in this phase that the potential buyer has decided on a solution and that your solution is the best, but he or she may hesitate to complete the purchase because they worry about regretting it later. It is at this point that the final decision of the purchase is being made and your challenge is to get the order – a conversion in digital language.

If your products or services are too complex to get orders or online sales, you should rather focus on obtaining leads. Here at Bramhall Web Designs, we do both.

Our web design services, search engine optimization and digital marketing services are complex and this requires us to talk with potential customers before we let them buying anything, and we also focus on collecting leads.

Need a new website?

A functional website that brings new customers and drives your sales is the cornerstone of all your digital marketing. We make solutions tailored to you and your digital marketing. Contact us today and we can help you create a website that sells!

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So, the bottom line of this is: you need to build a system optimised for conversions to either take orders or to collect leads, or in some cases both. However, your website must collect data for analysis, track visitors and collect their contact information.

4.1 Conversion Tools

You convert visitors to become leads or customers by using what is commonly called Call To Action (CTAs), Landing Pages, and of course the ability to make a direct order.

It’s really simple: why should you use marketing resources on your reach in social media if you cannot convert visitors to become customers? You should, therefore, have CTAs everywhere on your web pages. It must always be possible for your visitors to make a purchase or to leave their contact information.

An even more effective way to convert visitors to your digital campaigns is to send them directly to a landing page for a campaign. A landing page is specifically designed for your campaign and has it to convert visitors as the sole task.

You can learn more about landing pages in this article

4.2 Orders or online shopping

CTAs and landing pages are perfect for providing leads, but there is even a greater chance of converting visitors if you can accept orders or sell your products online. There are good solutions for ordering or booking online and online shopping that makes this possible.

You must think about these things:

  • Solutions for ordering or booking online
  • E-commerce Solutions
  • Payment Solutions
  • Additional security measures

Whether your business is based on bookings, such as a hotel, a restaurant, a hairdresser, a dentist or the like, it is crucial that you have a good booking system that is integrated with the rest of your site. A good booking system that is integrated with your site with tracking and other tools will save you time and increase your conversions. It is obvious that it then becomes easier and faster for both your customers and yourself.

There are different solutions for ordering/bookings available. They come in all sorts of shapes and shapes, some are more appropriate for different needs than others. You must consider the different solutions based on your needs. Have you built your site on WordPress, Checkfront, Appointments + and Bookly are some plugins you can consider?

Checkpoint is an example of a solution suitable for online booking of activities, rentals and the like.

 

For the sale of physical products or services online, you need a good online store solution. There are many good alternatives. Your needs are what must be in the centre when choosing a platform for e-commerce.

One common solution is Magento, and for WordPress, you should consider WooCommerce. The advantage of these solutions is how they integrate with your ERP solutions and payment solutions.

You must also choose which payment solutions to use with your order system or online trading. Some solutions to consider are PayPal, Stripe and Square.

If you want to receive online payments and handle confidential customer information, you must also consider additional security measures. We highly recommend SSL encryption. Most payment solutions also require your website to be secured with SSL. (Secure Socket Layer.) When viewing URL on a website, HTTPS:// at the beginning of its address, you know it is secured with SSL.

You can find more information about SSL in this article.

4.3 Email conversion

Email is a reasonable way to follow up prospects. In many cases, it will be very effective if it is done correctly. The first rule is to make sure your customers and prospects can leave their email address when they visit your site.

At Bramhall Web Designs we collect email addresses by using CTAs in all blog posts. We’ve created a few “lead baits” like e-books, guides, webinar and so on that our visitors can download in exchange for their contact information.

One of the tools that can be used is Optinmonster, which offers visitors the opportunity to sign up for newsletters as they are leaving the pages. Some think it might be a bit intrusive with such requests, but believe it is very effective. You can adjust in settings, such as this offer will not appear until after two weeks if a visitor has been invited and selected to cross the opportunity.

If you have an online store, with Recheckit, you can automate email delivery to those who visited you, started on an order, but not completed it. The system will automatically send an email with your shopping cart the way it left before your visitor left your online store. Not long ago, this was a costly technology that fits better for larger businesses with your big budgets. Now even small businesses with more modest budgets can take this into use. Recommended!

4.4 Remarketing Techniques

The example above of e-mail remarketing aimed at those who have left the shopping cart can be done with many other re-marketing techniques. By tracking visitors to your website and which of the pages they visit, you can create very effective campaigns for re-marketing in social media or search engines.

The first rule of re-marketing is to get track of your tracking with pixels, codes for analytics and cookies. These are small pieces of code that are installed on specific sites on your website and which logs what visitors are looking at.

You can learn more about pixels in this article

Remarketing is aimed at an audience who has shown interest in the products or services is usually very effective. It can easily be done in social media or in search engines. There are many techniques for remarketing. One of the easiest is to address the public who has already visited your website – assuming they are likely to be interested in the products or services you offer.

Another effective technique you can use is to mirror customers and mailing lists with prospects. You can upload your email addresses to Facebook. Facebook then finds those who use the same email as login to their Facebook accounts and create an audience of these. Based on this audience, Facebook can make a mirror audience. Sounds a little intimidating? Facebook knows so much about their users that they can find similar users as they have on your lists. (Anonymous). They find profiles in social media similar to the same and assume there is a greater chance that they will also be interested in the same as those in your email lists.

If you send a lot of emails to your contacts, you are quickly perceived as junk or intrusive. With the audience and mirror audience, you can target paid content. It is perceived as less intrusive and gives much more impact than if you promote content to anyone. For the simple reason, the same people have shown interest in what they have read of content from you on an earlier occasion and provided you with their email address as “proof”.

You can learn more about the benefits of building an audience in this article

5 Create engagement with your customers

The last part of the customer’s purchase cycle is the “Delight phase”. It is in this phase your focus should be on delighting the customer to become an ambassador. Customers who are very pleased will likely buy your products or services again and tell their friends and family about it.

5.1 Customer Reviews

Enabling your customers to leave comments or reviews can be very useful for potential new customers. This is probably the best way to trust, which is again the key to winning the trust of potential new customers who do not know your company.

Another way is to write customer stories or case studies that you share on your site. Reviews are also common in social media, but they will be more valuable if available on your site. It’s also very important that you have a plan for how to deal with bad reviews.

5.2 Customer service

It’s essential for your business to establish an easy way for your customers to get in touch with you when they need help. There are many good solutions for managing customer support, with support ticket systems, chat, opportunity to escalate the case, email support and so on.

Some of the most commonly used solutions are UserVoice, ClickDesk, ManageEngine and Zendesk. If your website is built with WordPress, consider HelpScout, Zendesk for WordPress, AwesomeSupport, or WPhelpDesk.

An example of support form generated by Zendesk

5.3 Social responsibility

All companies have a social responsibility to contribute to society and help improve the environment to their surroundings. This is also greatly appreciated by your customers and the community and should be communicated to your website and your social media profiles.

5.4 Creating a social networking community

One of the best ways you can engage your audience is by building a social network where you can combine all communication with your customers and potential customers. Providing login to a customer account that provides access to resources and customer service makes you a great tool for communicating with your audience.

You must also be aware that there are solutions that allow people to sign in with their Facebook or Google account (and many others). This makes it very easy for your customers and gives you access to communicate directly with the members of the community with Facebook notifications.

 

What Bramhall Web Designs do

Bramhall Web Designs can help you with everything you need to be your best online. We can handle your entire online presence: your digital strategy, your website, profiles in social media, your digital marketing, and all the complicated technical details to effectively increase your online profits.

We offer a managed web design service where we not only design the website with modern, mobile-friendly design, including your customers’ needs – we will also handle your website and keep it updated and secure on a regular basis.

We can also take care of your search engine optimization, search engine marketing, social media profiles, and SoMe (social media) marketing and all other digital marketing campaigns, including email and ad banners. We also deliver all your graphic design, photo, video and text content or other services you will need to maximize your profits online.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need help! You can reach us by sending us an email with your questions: [email protected] or simply leave your contact information below and we will be back to you as soon as possible.

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Torkild Smith is the owner of Bramhall Web Designs, helping business owners to get more time so they can concentrate on closing more deals with their strategic partners.

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Torkild Smith

Torkild Smith is the owner of Bramhall Web Designs, helping business owners to get more time so they can concentrate on closing more deals with their strategic partners.

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