7 Key Ingredients of a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital-Marketing-Strategy
In today’s rapidly changing marketing landscape, digital marketing has become an indispensable part of a business’ overall marketing strategy. Most marketers today have understood the importance of digital marketing and the mammoth difference that a well-executed, result-oriented digital strategy could make to the overall growth and profitability of a business. Going by the Marketing Budgets 2014 Report, 71% of companies surveyed are planning to increase the amount they invest in digital marketing this year.

Crafting a Result-Oriented Digital Strategy
Crafting a winning digital plan entails understanding the business in and out, clearly defining its goals and drawing up a profile of its target audience. All these differ from business to business and hence there is no one size fits all strategy. However, there are certain key ingredients listed below which must be effectively incorporated into every digital strategy to successfully drive business growth.

1. Website Design
The website is, and should be, the focal point of every digital strategy as this is where traffic from every other digital marketing channel would be directed. A poorly designed website can ruin most of the effort being put in on the other channels. Listed below are some key questions to ask, while checking if your website is optimized to convert maximum visitors into leads/customers.

  • Is the website responsive and optimized for all browsers and mobile devices?
  • Is it correctly Search Engine Optimized?
  • Does it have a Clear Call-to-Action?
  • Is it clean and easy to navigate?
  • Are there multiple lead capture points
  • Is the contact email/phone clearly visible and clickable?
  • Is there a link to the business’ Social Media pages?

2. Search Engine Optimisation
Amongst all other components of a digital strategy, SEO plays a major role in customer acquisition and sales. Almost every customer begins their search for a product/service on a search engine and ranking high in search results, for the right keyword, can drive a large volume of organic (un-paid) traffic to your website.

With paid advertising getting increasingly expensive across channels, it is essential that every business invests in SEO to attract a good percentage of organic traffic, reduce the overall customer-acquisition cost and boost profitability.

3. Blog
Maintaining a blog which constantly shares valuable, informative, engaging and relevant content plays a pivotal role in attracting the right kind of audience to your website. Apart from this, it also establishes your business as an expert or thought leader in the space and builds trust with prospective customers. Apart from the fact that a good blog can be an excellent source of inbound traffic and leads, the content helps your SEO efforts as well.

4. Social Media
Social media is an extremely effective medium for branding as well as lead generation and developing a cutting-edge social media plan should be a major part of your digital strategy. The plan would entail clarifying business objectives for social media, putting together a content plan (audience analysis, content categories, post frequency, post timings) and determining the main metrics and KPIs that would be used to consistently set targets and measure success

5. Paid Advertising – Google Adwords/Facebook Ads/LinkedIn Ads/Retargeting
Paid advertising is essential, especially for businesses that are in the startup stage, to help get the word out and extend their products/services to a greater audience. It can help get consistent and valuable traffic to the website while SEO and offline efforts are yet to begin showing results. For established businesses too, paid advertising is an excellent customer acquisition and branding channel and should be given due attention while drafting the digital strategy.

While paid search campaigns on Google Adwords offer the benefit of being highly targeted – displaying ads to people actively looking for your product/service, retargeting campaigns as well as campaigns on the Google Display Network, Facebook and LinkedIn offer a wide range of targeting that could help you reach out to the right audience with ease. Promoted posts on Facebook and sponsored updates on LinkedIn too help get the message out to a larger audience.
Each medium’s relevance and effectiveness for the business in question must be analyzed and ad spends allocated accordingly. Spends can then be re-allocated to the medium that is performing best and delivering the best results.

6. Email Marketing
With the growing popularity of social media, email would seem to be losing out on its sheen as an effective digital marketing channel. However, this is far from the truth and email marketing is still as effective as ever. If statistics are anything to go by, 95% of consumers use email and 91% check their inbox at least once a day. Also, a recent study by McKinsey found that e-mail is still a significantly more effective way to acquire customers with the rate at which e-mails prompt purchases being at least three times that of social media and the average order value too being about 17 percent higher.

7. Analytics & Reporting
As the digital strategy is being executed, it is of paramount importance to constantly analyze results and compare them with the set KPIs to check if all campaigns are on track to yielding the desired results. It is therefore essential to draw up a list of key metrics, for each of the channels listed above, that will be monitored and measured at pre-set intervals.
Keeping a close tab on analytics data can help drive the strategy in the right direction and correct any errors early enough before a considerable amount of money has been spent.

Right Integration is the key
Each ingredient in the digital plan has its own unique benefits and, in order to gain real value, they will have to be perfectly integrated keeping in mind the broader long-term goals of the business. It is this seamless integration that will eventually determine how successful the strategy will be and how quickly it will begin showing desirable results.
Offline Integration matters too
Digital Marketing definitely has its benefits but it still cannot replace offline marketing in entirety, at least for now. Forward-thinking marketers have understood this and are working on integrating offline and online marketing efforts into one synchronous campaign for a powerful lasting impact. Things as simple as on online check-in help customers communicate their physical interaction with your business, to the online world . Ensuring that your digital strategy integrates seamlessly with your offline efforts will go a long way in enhancing the bottom line of your business and boosting your ROI.

Is your digital marketing strategy working for your business? Contact us is you are looking for the best digital marketing agency in Mumbai and digital marketing agency in Bangalore.

2014 Review of The Indian Blogosphere

Content-Marketing Social Beat

Content is King

In the age of content marketing, blogs form the major chunk of content on the web. One of the oldest forms of social media communication is still going strong. They are the fastest growing medium on the web in India, with a growth rate of ~48% in the last calendar year. Apart from providing necessary information to potential customers, active bloggers are a brand in themselves.

The IndiBlogger & BusinessWorld Study 2014 – A Review

IndiBlogger & Business World studied the Indian blogosphere in Dec last year and came up with interesting statistics. The survey in itself was one of the largest of its kind, done across 1059 responses to a questionnaire, 318,059 blog posts submitted on IndiVine and 35,464 blogs.

Unsurprisingly, English is the primary blogging language for 88% bloggers with Hindi being a distant second at 5%. The study reinforces the fact that blogging and social media is essentially a young generation phenomenon with approximately 80% of the bloggers under the age of 35 but what surprises is the fact that 75% of active bloggers are male.

Blogs on Healthcare grew at 90% in 2013

Food and Drink, Travel, Movies & Technology seems to be the preferred blogging topics but healthcare has seen the highest growth last year. Twitter & Facebook were the top-2 social media network but with LinkedIn now jumping in the competition with the blogging platforms with its “Create A Post” feature; it will be interesting to watch the impact of LinkedIn in 2014. Currently, with 63% share, BlogSpot is the hot favorite.

Bangalore, Mumbai & Chennai are the top-3 cities in terms of blogger base

It’s the metros that rule the roost currently with 12% bloggers from Bangalore & Mumbai each. 86% bloggers monetize their blog in some way or their other & 56% of the blogs influence buying decisions. With a steep rise in the usage of social media by brands, blogs have become an integral part of the marketing & brand-building strategy. Hence it’s not surprising that guest blog posts stand at a high of 35% among all posts.

 

The Madras Song

In 1639, a Nayak ruler handed over a small strip of land to the East India Company to build its trading warehouse. Little was known that it would lay the foundation for one of the historic cities of India in years to come.

22nd August, 2014 would mark the 375th anniversary of Chennai, earlier known as Madras. As part of the 375th anniversary celebrations, the Murugappa group has launched the #TheMadrasSong to celebrate the occasion & give a fitting tribute to the history, tradition, and culture of this city.

Check out the song that captures the soul of Madras:

In fact, the Murugappa group has planned a notable month-long campaign to celebrate the 375th year with already underway contests such as #FavMadrasMemory Map & photo contest, daily Madras trivia and the upcoming Murugappa Madras Quotient Quiz 4th edition on 6th September.

#FavMadrasMemory Map app that asks people to mark the spots that has given them their fondest Madras memory, has turned out to be very popular among the citizens here. It gives them a chance to reflect back to the memorable times spent in the city.

This is the time to be in Madras and enjoy the city at its best. Umpteen other events have been planned across the city such as quizzes, heritage walks, photo exhibitions, lectures, etc. Social Beat is proud to be associated with the #Madras375 Celebrations.

Dynamic Pricing – the future of ecommerce in India

Today, approximately 60% of Indians are shopping online and it is anybody’s guess on what would be the future of ecommerce in India. As the Indian e-commerce industry grows, practices such as dynamic pricing will gain significance and give strategic advantages to the e-retailers who use them.

What is Dynamic Pricing?

Simply put, Dynamic Pricing is the multiple price changes in a product at different times of the day. These price changes can be based on the consumer behavior on the website, the browsing patterns, etc.

Amazon changes its price every 10 min on an average

The most notable proponent of dynamic pricing is the airline industry – the sheer range of variation of ticket price can surprise even those who are in knowledge of this widespread practice. The airlines have been able to maximize their profits using this. The e-commerce industry statistics point out that Amazon changes its price every 10 mins on average1. They have been intelligently using dynamic pricing for more than a decade to undertake empowered business decisions. Offline retailers like Walmart have also followed suit in recent years.

Not leveraging pricing as a factor to drive sales? You are missing out on a big chunk of your revenues.

With technology as its backbone, the e-commerce retailers have the complete information from the pages browsed to the time spent on each page to the past purchase data. Moreover, you cannot simply change the price tag once a customer steps into the store, but in an-online counterpart you can change the prices for every customer who logs in using a plethora of information including browsing history.

Just think of a case where you browse through a product category for a long time and yet does not carry out a purchase transaction. In such a scenario, the e-commerce retailer has the data available and can roll out an immediate 24-hour expiry coupon for the purchase within that product category. This not only sounds interesting from a user point of view, but also makes business sense for the retailers.

If a number of e-retailers offer a standardized product, then in that case, price becomes the differentiating factor. Consider the following example for Samsung Galaxy S5:

Social Beat Ecommerce dynamic pricing

Is dynamic pricing alone going to win it for the e-retailers?

Though many would want to differ on the importance of pricing, citing other factors like shipping, products on offer and customer service as equally important. Of course, these factors are also important, but in a price-sensitive market like India, dynamic pricing is going to play an important role in shaping the future of e-commerce.

 

1Amazon price changing machine http://www.retailwire.com/discussion/17222/amazons-price-changing-machine

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