Your Companies Digital Marketing Strategy

According to a survey published by Smart Insights, 44% of businesses are not engaging in digital marketing, preferring traditional marketing methods.

Out of the remaining 56% who are using digital marketing for their business, 47% are not following a digital marketing strategy, choosing to adopt more of a “wing it” approach.

Do either of these categories describe your approach to digital marketing? If so, then you could be missing out on a golden opportunity to grow your business online.

Businesses not engaging in digital marketing at all, are simply not in the game alongside their competition. Consider it a bit like the lottery. If you’re not in it, you can’t win it.

Businesses working without a digital marketing strategy risk delivering hit-and-miss actions and results, meaning they have no real insight into what does and doesn’t work online. KPIs from your digital marketing activity enable you to formulate new, more effective strategies year-on-year, ensuring you get the best out of your marketing budget.

Is Digital Marketing Essential

In this day and age, the answer to that question is a resounding yes. Here’s why:

  1. Internet tools allow businesses to engage with targeted audiences in real-time.

Unlike print marketing, where there is an expected delay from campaign execution to lead generation and sale, the internet enables businesses to speed up this process. Channels such as social media, PPC and display advertising enable users to instantly visit key pages of your site, where they can convert quickly.

  1. The trend of traditional marketing is on the decline.

Unlike offline marketing, online marketing offers reduced costs, measurability and long-term exposure, giving more longevity and a greater return on investment.

  1. Digital marketing is effective for all industries.

You will always have competition within your industry sector who are nailing digital marketing. Joining them gives you the opportunity to grab a slice of the pie and maybe even own the largest piece!

So Exactly How Much Should a Business Spend on Digital Marketing?

There is no hard and fast rule. As an established digital marketing agency, we believe this to be based on a company’s objectives and at what rate they want to grow. This can of course vary, so it’s good to have a guideline, but we would ask businesses to consider a number of factors, before determining your digital marketing spend, as outlined below:

  1. How many products / services are you marketing?

The size of your product portfolio may be proportionate to the percentage spend. However if you have some products that perform much better than others, you may need to invest more into your digital marketing strategy to grow the revenue of these products.

  1. What is your expected growth?

Are you looking to grow your business quickly or achieve slow, steady growth?  Are you a new business needing an initial boost in the digital marketing arena, or are you looking to improve upon existing results. Your expectations here will of course drive the level of activity required.

  1. What is your position in the marketplace?

What is your market share against your competition? Who are your competitors and what digital marketing activity are they carrying out? Do you want to match this or do even better?

Before working with clients, we look at these factors to come up with a marketing strategy that is suited to their objectives and expectations. This will involve doing a competitor analysis and setting a plan of action that factors in your key performance indicators.

The 10% Rule

In the early 2000’s, it was said that 10% of a company’s revenue should be spent on digital marketing to get a good ROI. Gartner Research however suggests that 18% of a company’s annual revenue is now being spent on digital marketing demonstrating the more and more businesses are increasing their digital marketing spend to be as competitive as they can be.

Whilst 18% might be a good guideline, the aforementioned variables are important in establishing how much effort is required for your business and whether you intend to be competitive or the leader in your industry.After all, the more nets you cast, the more fish you catch.

How Should the Digital Marketing Budget Be Split

Search Engine Optimisation

Whilst SEO is organic and predominantly free, it’s also notoriously hard to get right. As Google’s search parameters evolve, so too does the level and complexity of activity required to do well. The cost of employing and training an SEO expert in-house is sometimes greater than the cost of outsourcing SEO to an agency. This is why we see more clients looking to spend money on SEO, than any other channel.

PPC

PPC can be costly as you’re essentially paying for each click to your site, however if you set a sensible budget and ensure your landing pages make conversion easy, this should be one of your most effective digital marketing activities. You can of course increase your budget as you wish.

Social Media Marketing

71% of consumers are more likely to make buying decisions based on what they learn about brands on social media, so it is vital that your social channels are engaging and give the very best representation of your business.

Social media is relatively inexpensive to do, but it requires a lot of time and effort and can be complex to measure.

Email campaigns

Email marketing is an inexpensive and an effective way of getting your message across and should definitely form part of your digital marketing strategy. Since cost is low, you can maximise effort here and apportion more of your budget to other areas of your digital marketing strategy, as outlined above.

In terms of deciding which activity to spend most of your budget on, this really differs from industry to industry and company to company. The only way to really tell is to try and test!

Start with a strategy and budget that makes the most sense with your objectives and position in the marketplace and monitor the activity. If the success of one activity overrides everything else, then adapt your strategy to incorporate more of this.

If some channels prove to be less successful, don’t be too hasty in culling them. Try a different tact. For example, social media campaigns could prove to be less popular than you expected. This could be about the time of day you publish these campaigns, requiring a change a scheduling rather than a change of activity.

Take your time to figure out the finer points in your digital marketing strategy so you can maximise your digital marketing spend in a methodical way.

If you require help with your digital marketing, please get in touch with a member of the team at Whitefish Marketing, who would be happy to help. We are a local, Kent-based digital agency, with experience across all digital media channels. Call us on 01303 720 288.