These days, the term “Digital marketing” raises an extensive list of questions that need answering.
Planning and being open to change down the line are two of the most important things in creating a strategy.
When looking at your digital marketing strategy, there are so many questions to consider and here are just a few:
You know your business needs to have a presence, but what sort of presence?
Which platform is likely to give you the best opportunity to meet your business goals?
Which platform is expected to be the best to attract your target audience?
How much should your business invest in digital marketing?
Do I need to commit to an SEO strategy when using Google and/or Microsoft Search Ads?
Finally, how on earth do I put my digital marketing strategy into practice and make my budget work????
As a digital marketing agency who have a vast wealth of experience in all aspects of this potential minefield, we ask and answer these questions daily. Committing to a digital marketing budget without considering these questions is likely to lead to a significant amount of wasted investment.
Let us go through the above questions now, so you know what to consider when formulating your digital marketing attack strategy.
1 – Does my business need a digital marketing presence?
If your business is selling a product or service, we anticipate that you would benefit from a digital marketing plan. Success in digital marketing comes from being there at the right time and advertising to the right people – Digital marketing, be in it to win it!
We have seen very significant advances in targeting methods across all digital marketing platforms over the last few years. These advances have made it possible to pinpoint your ideal target audience and to serve ads to as many of these people as your budget will allow. If your targeting is formulated correctly, wasted spend would be significantly minimalised.
Depending on the digital marketing platform being used, you can target everything from specific post codes, company size and job roles through to subject intent, demographics and interests PLUS SO MUCH MORE!
The power of targeting through digital marketing and measuring performance is why so many businesses have moved away from traditional advertising platforms that are harder to target and measure. In 2018, there was over £8bn more spent on digital marketing compared with the next largest platform, Television.
Not only is digital marketing by far the largest advertising platform in the UK, but it is also growing at a significant rate – 15% increase across 2018 alone.
Make sure you get it right.
To grow your business by gaining new leads and/or sales, it is now imperative to have a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. With a vastly growing group of companies advertising on digital, getting it right is the hard part.
Over 65% of digital ad spend in the UK is classified as being wasted spend. Do not become a statistic, work with the professionals to ensure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck.
I would never dream of trying to fit a new gas boiler after watching a few “How to” videos. Yet so many businesses risk their money on poorly set up and managed digital marketing campaigns.
2 – Which platform is likely to give you the best opportunity to meet your business goals?
So, you know you want your business to succeed through digital marketing. The next consideration is, which platform(s) do you expect will help you achieve your business goals.
With so much choice out there, you will likely already have a rough idea which platform could work for you. One thing to consider is that, in general, humans are weird and wonderful creatures who often do things differently to what we would expect.
We do not live in a world of conformity, so it is worth considering thinking outside of the box. All of your competitors might already be targeting similar audiences on Google Search, so why not try something different.
With so many platforms available for consideration, think of the advantages and disadvantages of each – You might be surprised by what you find.
Huge reach and targeting capabilities – consider, is this platform already saturated, or is there still an opportunity for your business to win? With four elements within Google Ads (Search, Display, YouTube and Shopping), we expect that at least one of these will form a part of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads)
This platform allows you to advertise on Bing, Windows 10, Cortana and Office. Microsoft also has publishing partnerships with AOL, The Wall Street Journal, Gumtree, InfoSpace and more. The reach is significantly growing, with 22.7% of search engine queries carried out on Bing in the UK, equal to 407m monthly searches. With similar targeting capabilities and marketing elements as Google, is there an opportunity here where your competitors are not saturating the market?
Facebook & Instagram Ads
The worlds largest social media platform with very powerful targeting capabilities. If you are a services or B2B sales business, you might consider that your business would not be likely to attract new customers through Facebook/Instagram. It is imperative to remember that many of your ideal customers will likely spend some of their downtime scrolling through their Facebook/Instagram feed. This can be an excellent opportunity for businesses of all kinds to grab the attention of their ideal customers when they are relaxed and happy to take information on board. For other businesses, particularly eCommerce, Facebook & Instagram Ads are the perfect platform to showcase your wares and gain a broader customer base.
Social network for business with the potential to reach over 630m professionals worldwide. If you are in the B2B arena, you will likely be interested in marketing on LinkedIn. With LinkedIn targeting, you can create custom audiences based on job role, size of company, industry, seniority and much more. The power at your fingertips with LinkedIn Ads can be a game-changer for many businesses who are looking for new customer growth.
Fast-moving, short and snappy social media platform. Ideal for many businesses who want to increase their profile and awareness of products and services. Again, this platform also comes with many powerful targeting options to focus on the right audience for your business. You can promote specific tweets, build your following (ideal if you are already active on an organic basis) or promote particular products and services through visual creatives.
The above is just a small extract of what platforms are available. With new platforms launching all the time, it is vital to keep up with all the action and tweak your digital marketing strategy on an ongoing basis.
3 – Which platform is expected to be the best to attract your target audience?
It all depends on your business goal. Are you looking for awareness, consideration, purchase or return custom – or a combination of these? Serving the best digital media on the right platform is vital.
The classic funnel of awareness, research and purchase is now a much greyer area. The funnel is less linear and decisions are now made after going back and forth or in an instant. Some people jump directly to purchase, some spend a long time in the research phases. It all depends on what your business is selling.
What this means for advertisers is that there is often a requirement for presence at every stage of the classic funnel. This is to ensure you can be found when your ideal customers are looking.
If this was to be broken down into the four stages, it could look something like this:
You will need to have ads that are visually engaging and set up for maximum reach. The wider the reach, the higher the opportunity to build awareness in a brand, product or service.
Brand awareness campaigns are run across any visual digital marketing platform, such as YouTube, Google Display, Facebook, Instagram, Microsoft Display, Twitter etc… Ideally, you are looking to market to people who are not yet considering purchasing what is available with your business but building the awareness of what is on offer.
You are looking at a hybrid of awareness and purchase. This is the stage where people have been made aware of your products and services and are beginning their research phase to find out more.
For this stage, you need to maintain a visual marketing presence, but also bring in the capability for people to find your business when they are looking. At this point, you will be marketing on platforms such as Google Display, Google Search, Microsoft Display, Microsoft Search, Facebook, LinkedIn, MailChimp etc…
You are now looking to target people who have completed their research and are ready to take the next steps in becoming a customer. This is the point where it is vital that you are visible in the search results pages.
This generally means advertising on Google Search, Microsoft Search, LinkedIn, Facebook, MailChimp etc… If somebody is looking for what you have to offer, then the value of being at the front of the queue when they do a search can be very significant to your business.
You are looking to re-engage with people. There are those who previously bought from your business and those who researched but not yet purchased. This is known as remarketing.
All digital marketing platforms provide the tools to gain return custom through remarketing, with the main ones being Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising and Facebook & Instagram Ads. Email marketing is also useful to gain return custom.
When considering the above, you need to think about where your target audiences are likely to be. With so many possibilities, it is always worthwhile building testing phases into your digital marketing strategy. Testing means you can find the right solution(s) without putting all of your eggs into one basket.
4 – How much should your business invest in digital marketing?
This is the BIG question – Just how much do you need to spend on digital marketing to hit your goals. The things to consider here are:
Your business’ standing within your industry?
If you are not well known or highly established, the general rule is that the business will need to invest more to gain traction and increase market share. If your business is an industry leader, the budget will need to reflect this standing, so your current market share is, at a minimum, maintained.
One way to work out a budget based on business size is to consider investing a minimum of 10% of gross revenue for small/medium business and a 5% minimum of total revenue for an established business.
What is a new customer worth?
If you already know your customer lifetime value, then you are halfway there. You already know how much can be invested in marketing to gain one new customer. If you do not know this, then you need to work out the net profit gained per additional client or sale and how long your business keeps customers.
This will give you the net profit lifetime value of an average new customer. By knowing what a new client or sale is worth to your business and how many additional customers you need for your marketing goal, you can calculate how much you need to invest.
For example, Starbucks has a customer lifetime value of $14,099. With this figure, they can afford to spend $14,099 to gain one new customer without making a loss.
Which marketing platform(s) to use?
Each marketing platform is priced differently. For example, a click on Google Search for a generic keyword is likely to cost more than a display impression on Facebook. However, there is expected to be more intent to purchase from the Google Search click than there will be for the Facebook ad impression.
As mentioned above, it is crucial to consider which platforms are best set up to achieve your goals. Facebook may appear cheaper, however, there could be the potential for higher sales through Google or vice versa.
Targeted geographic area
Whether it is one country or one hundred countries, you need a plan. If targeting the entire world with your digital marketing campaign, then the budget will need to be on a global scale! One thing to consider is the size of the audience within the target geographic area.
For example, marketing to the UK and USA could hit an audience of 392m people. Whereas marketing to just London could hit an audience of 8m. Plan a realistic budget based on the size of your geographic area.
Impression Share Consideration (Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising)
Marketing impression share, especially with Google Ads – Impression share is calculated by looking at how many times your ad could have shown based on the search term volumes.
You are losing out if your keywords could have been triggered 1,000 in a given day, but your budget only stretched to show ads 500 times in a day. You will want to achieve a high impression share to ensure you are not missing out on potentially valuable clicks to your business.
Impression share budget calculation
If the average cost per click for your keywords is £4, the expected click through rate is 5% and search volumes for your keywords are 1,000 per day, then:
- 1,000 impressions x 0.05 = 50 clicks per day
- 50 clicks x £4 per click = £200 daily budget
As a result, a budget of £200 per day could give you maximum coverage based on the cost per click and click through rate. Having a high impression share ensures you stand a great chance of your ad showing each time your keyword search terms are triggered.
Calculating your budget can be a minefield. One thing to always keep in mind is how much profit you will make from a sale, how many sales you expect over the lifetime of one new customer and how many units or service bookings you have available to sell.
A £20 per day budget where your business is going to make £10k profit on a sale is unlikely to work as the competition and pricing of the required targeting would price you out. In the same sense, spending £1,000 per day for a £10k profit sale could be deemed too high if there is a limited number of products or service bookings available.
5 – Do I need to commit to an SEO strategy when using Google and/or Microsoft Search Ads?
Digital marketing on search engines is often seen as a quick fix, whereas SEO is viewed as a long term strategy. This belief is incorrect. Both Search Engine Marketing and SEO are most effective when used together in creating a digital marketing plan.
If your website is performing well organically AND coming at in the top 3 of the paid search results, you are gaining maximum results page real estate. The more space your business takes up on the search results, the more likely people are to see your business and click to learn more and purchase.
An SEO strategy does not simply mean gaining a higher organic position within the search results and doing content marketing, it also incorporates the technical elements of your website. It is about making sure your website is technically brilliant so visitors can easily navigate through and quickly find the information they need. Its all about customer experience.
If you have a speedy, technically sound website, then your ad quality score will also increase. If you have a neglected website that has errors, link issues and toxic backlinks, this can also damage your ad quality score.
We would always recommend running both at the same time to gain maximum benefit for your financial investment in digital marketing.
6 – Finally, how on earth do I put my digital marketing plan into practice and make my budget work????
There are a few options available to you at this stage. The main choices are – You can do the marketing yourself, hire somebody who is a specialist in digital marketing or work with a specialist agency.
One thing to consider is the time commitment needed to learn, create and maintain your digital marketing campaigns. Do you have the time capacity and knowledge to manage this yourself? Do you hire a new staff member who has sufficient knowledge? Do you work with an agency where you gain access to multiple areas of expertise and who’s job it is to keep up to date with the latest and greatest advancements in digital marketing?
Doing it yourself can and does work for some small businesses, but this depends on the size of the marketing accounts and time that you have available.
Hiring someone to join your business who’s focus will be on digital marketing can be a great solution if you are looking to grow your internal staff numbers and prefer to have someone in-house.
Working with an agency can be of great benefit to many businesses. You gain access to a team of people who have a comprehensive knowledge of so many industries and marketing platforms. When spending on marketing, ideally you want a professional approach, that is what you should get from an agency.
Here at Factory, we are lucky enough to have an ex-Googler in-house who has created and implemented strategies on hundreds of various sized accounts. As an agency, we have a vast experience in a wide range of industries, so we really do know what does and doesn’t work.
At the end of the day, you need to think about how best to invest your money into digital marketing.
If you are looking to take the next steps and increase your digital marketing activity, please speak to our friendly team today who will be more than happy to help out. We also offer FREE no-obligation Google Ads audits and comprehensive SEO reports.