There is a huge misconception that a digital marketing strategy is required only for big brands with deep pockets. However, the fact is that having a digital marketing strategy, irrespective of the size and scale of your business, can make a huge difference to your end results, if executed properly. A digital marketing strategy is a must for any business that is looking to grow and sustain itself in the long run.

Industry reports reveal that 47% of businesses undertake digital marketing initiatives without a defined strategy. As a result, firms engage in multiple experimental campaigns and end up burning their marketing budgets unnecessarily. While experimenting is good and also recommended by industry experts, it’s important that you set timelines to draw results out of your experiments and also decide on course corrections. An in depth analysis of your ROI out of your digital marketing campaigns and consistent optimization are both critical for achieving great results.

Now that you have understood the importance of having a digital marketing strategy, let’s take you through the top 5 reasons why a digital marketing strategy is required for every business.

 

1. For a clear DIRECTION

You may have a general idea regarding what you want for your business from the digital space. Try to pen down these ideas, along with how you would achieve them? I’m sure you’ll be struck by the numerous thoughts that flow in and you will soon realise that a casual approach wouldn’t help you progress with the general digital plan you initially had in mind.

You’ll begin to think more deeply about your customers, goals and objectives, target market, brand and its unique selling points and a lot more. The process could be pretty overwhelming especially if you’re a beginner or new to the digital environment. But, I bet if you fight this battle and draft a digital marketing strategy for your business, you’ve taken the first step towards achieving your desired results.

 

2. To COMPETE in the online space

Many businesses fail to realise the importance of having an online presence and the proportion of customers they’re losing out only because their business can’t be found on the internet. The loss could be huge and in some cases, your absence could be in fact paving growth for your competitor who has already established himself in the online space. So, make sure you think through these scenarios and carve out your strategies accordingly.

By defining a strategy, you’ll gain a better understanding on how you can leverage your business to attract more online share and what are the essential steps to be taken in order to achieve this. Also, always keep an eye on what your competitors are doing online and what marketing strategies are working for them. You can take lessons from these and improvise & implement your plan in a far more efficient manner. Keep this in mind – your digital plan shouldn’t be just to acquire new clients, it should also focus on engaging existing clients that would make them stay loyal to your brand.

 

3. To INTEGRATE your entire marketing strategy

Digital Marketing works best not when it is performed in silos but when it’s integrated with offline marketing activities. One marketing tactic alone will not help any business. You will have to identify, try and test several channels for your business and mix them in various proportions to achieve full potential.

These days, a mix of online and offline marketing is what most businesses opt for. But when you choose this, it’s important that your entire marketing plan is integrated with both online and offline marketing activities. This is crucial in order to maintain consistency in all your marketing messages among all audiences and across all channels. The key here is to have an integrated marketing plan that publish and distribute integrated messaging across all channels including website, social networks, advertising campaigns, newsletters, catalogues and so on.

 

4. To ANALYZE, OPTIMIZE & to achieve EFFICIENCY

A digital marketing that clearly lists out the metrics you will measure in each stage will help you analyze your results against set benchmarks and also optimize your campaigns to get closer to your defined KPIs. A strategy that is well drafted and integrated would also help your business achieve operational efficiency by avoiding duplication and through better utilisation of available resources. Further, it would help in tracking progress and also re-tuning the strategy in response to changes in the market and evolution of technology. A strategy that is flexible to incorporate such tweaks based on industry trends can become invaluable in helping you ensure that your marketing tactics stay optimized over time and do not fall behind.

 

5. Since the world is going DIGITAL

Yes, the world is no longer ‘going’ digital. It’s already become digital and this is pretty evident by the increasing number of users who are getting online. Checking on a brand’s online and social presence to understand brand maturity or to assess product (or service) quality through online customer reviews and feedback has become a crucial step in almost every customer’s buying journey. Therefore, it’s important your business reaps the benefits out of this mass audience who are present on the internet by formulating a digital marketing strategy tailored to your needs that will ultimately enhance your business profile in the long run.

 

During Valentine’s week, more brands are now trying to lure customers into a bond of love with them, even if they do not sell Valentine’s Day related products. It is now a custom for many brands to play cupid by injecting some love into their marketing campaigns leading up to February 14th. We look at 5 examples of brands seeking to help their customers fall in love with their loved ones, as well as with the brands, through digital media marketing campaigns.

 

#O2Tweetheart Twitter Contest

In 2013, Telecommunications firm O2 hosted a Twitter competition in the UK where they asked people to tweet their Valentine’s Day messages to their loved ones using the hashtag #O2Tweetheart. These tweets of love were broadcasted on screens in stores across the country – taking online conversations into the real world. One lucky tweet selected at random won a £500 bag of vouchers for Malmaison Hotels, so a couple could arrange a romantic getaway. Also, 20 selected tweets received £50 vouchers.

O2TweetHeart

 

Flipkart Gif Delivery Microsite Campaign

In 2016, one of India’s largest e-commerce company took to the business of delivering gifs. The brand built a microsite housing 50 gifs for different kinds of love, and you can choose any and send it to the person it reminds you of. There are adorable gifs capturing the little moments of love in our everyday lives, and there’s one for everyone – families, spouses, lovers, BFFs, pet lovers, and more. Along with gif deliveries, the microsite is also driving sales for its Valentine’s Day gifts and gift cards.

 

#PilotLoveGuru Social Media Campaign

Pen brand Pilot says that love has been commemorated with handwritten love notes for centuries, but it is often difficult to pen and post a Valentine’s Day message in this busy digital age. That’s why, for the past several years, the brand runs its ‘Pilot Love Guru’ campaign, which brings the heartfelt written word into the digital space by creating custom one-of-a-kind handwritten notes to send to those we love, through social media.
To participate, customers can tweet, tag, comment or share their valentine’s name with the hashtag #PilotLoveGuru on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Pilot’s specially trained ‘Love Gurus’ will hand-write a personalized and heartfelt message and send it to the valentine via the selected social network. Each message is customized based on the customer’s original message to Pilot. The brand says the #PilotLoveGuru campaign has already played cupid for hundreds of lovers and friends. Pilot has seen a 20 percent increase in love messages each year.

 

Cadbury Dairy Milk #SayItWithSilk Microsite Campaign

In 2016, the premium chocolate brand from Mondelez India was all out with its flagship Valentine campaign #SayItWithSilk that enabled couples to express their love to each other with a microsite that created personalized videos. On the microsite, one needed to answer a few questions like what their partner means to them, select appropriate stickers and submit along with email id. A video is generated that is shareable on social media as well as downloadable. Adorable visuals and gifs were used to amplify the social reach, and drive more people to visit the microsite.

 

Krispy Kreme UK Love Roulette Online Game

In 2012 and 2013, Krispy Kreme UK ran a ‘Love Roulette’ game to help singles find love and a free doughnut, with just one spin. Users can access the game through the Krispy Kreme UK website or its Facebook page, and are asked to provide their Twitter name, and their sexual preference – male or female. The roulette then matches the user with a potential partner and any successful pairing who strike up a conversation using the #krispykremeloveroulette hashtag will be automatically entered into a prize draw for the chance to win a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts. As an added incentive, participants received a voucher for a free doughnut of their choice when they bought any of the Valentine’s special range of donuts.

LoveRoulette

 

 

 

Social Media – temporary yet powerful fad that must be taken advantage of while it’s still in the spotlight. Here’s a look at just some of the ways social media marketing can improve your business:

  1. Increased Brand Recognition. Your social media networks are just new channels for your brand’s voice and content. This is important because it simultaneously makes you easier and more accessible for new customers, and makes you more familiar and recognizable for existing customers. For example, a frequent Twitter user could hear about your company for the first time only after stumbling upon it in a newsfeed.
  2. Improved brand loyalty. Brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing consumers into being brand loyal.
  3. More Opportunities to Convert. Every post you make on a social media platform is an opportunity for customers to convert. When you build a following, you’ll simultaneously have access to new customers, recent customers, and old customers, and you’ll be able to interact with all of them. Every blog post, image, video, or comment you share is a chance for someone to react, and every reaction could lead to a site visit, and eventually a conversion.
  4. Higher conversion rates. Social media marketing results in higher conversion rates in a few distinct ways. Perhaps the most significant is its humanization element; the fact that brands become more humanized by interacting in social media channels. Social media is a place where brands can act like people do, and this is important because people like doing business with other people; not with companies.
  5. Higher Brand Authority. Interacting with your customers regularly is a show of good faith for other customers. When people go to compliment or brag about a product or service, they turn to social media. And when they post your brand name, new audience members will want to follow you for updates. Not to mention, if you can interact with major influencers on Twitter or other social networks, your visible authority and reach will skyrocket.
  6. Increased Inbound Traffic. Without social media, your inbound traffic is limited to people already familiar with your brand and individuals searching for keywords you currently rank for. The more quality content you syndicate on social media, the more inbound traffic you’ll generate, and more traffic means more leads and more conversions.
    Social Media
  7. Decreased Marketing Costs. Six hours is not a significant investment for a channel as large as social media. If you can lend just one hour a day to developing your content and syndication strategy, you could start seeing the results of your efforts. Even paid advertising through Facebook and Twitter is relatively cheap (depending on your goals, of course). Start small and you’ll never have to worry about going over budget.
  8. Better Search Engine Rankings. SEO is the best way to capture relevant traffic from search engines. It’s no longer enough to regularly update your blog, ensure optimized title tags and meta descriptions, and distribute links pointing back to your site. Google and other search engines may be calculating their rankings using social media presence as a significant factor, because of the fact that strong brands almost always use social media. As such, being active on social media could act as a “brand signal” to search engines that your brand is legitimate, credible, and trustworthy.
  9. Richer Customer Experiences. Social media, at its core, is a communication channel like email or phone calls. For example, if a customer complains about your product on Twitter, you can immediately address the comment, apologize publicly, and take action to make it right. Or, if a customer compliments you, you can thank them and recommend additional products. It’s a personal experience that lets customers know you care about them.
  10. Improved Customer Insights. Social media also gives you an opportunity to gain valuable information about what your customers are interested in and how they behave, via social listening. For example, you can monitor user comments to see what people think of your business directly. You can measure conversions based on different promotions posted on various social media channels and eventually find a perfect combination to generate revenue.

Reference : Forbes
AdWeek

TWITTER.
The word has been in use since last several years and you’re still wondering what happens there? You already signed up once, went through the whole website couple of times and wondered “what on Earth is this place”, or as Twitter itself says, “WHAT’S HAPPENING?”, and right away quit ‘cz you got bored?
Chill, ‘cz Twitter is actually one place where you can show off, waste your time doing things that matter and don’t matter and still don’t get bored!

• Explore the Twitter World. Tweet. Tweet often. Tweet whenever you can. Tweet all the time, but DO NOT flood your followers’ timeline with your tweets! Don’t focus only on yourself. Eventually, you’ll learn the Twitter-terminologies – RT, TT, FF, Fav (etc. etc.)

• Fav/ RT topics that interest you. That’s one way to reach more people (the owners of those tweets, ofcourse!)

• Used a brand or some services and totally loved it? Open up to the world about it. Tweet short, sweet testimonials for them. Don’t forget to mention/ tag their official accounts!

• Interact. Explore. Engage with your followers. Reply to all who reach you, start a conversation with people/topic you are interested in.

• Follow international and local trends. This actually helps you keep updated with the things happening around the world. Also, tweet anything and everything that comes to your mind regarding that trending topics you’re interested in.

• Make good use of hashtags, be it for personal or official use. Hashtags are here to stay.

• Found something interesting on the web. Share those links (use URL shorteners such as ow.ly or bit.ly) with your short comments.

• Ask questions. Like, real questions. Seek help from ‘experts’ in Twitter. Questions you have no idea what the real answer is!

• Tweet real/ interesting photos. Attention-grabbing images in your tweets receive 89% more favourites & 150% more retweets.

An integral part of your business success is reaching customers through inventive and comprehensive social-media marketing campaigns.

Here are some tips to help build up your following and your brand.

  1. Make your tweets stand out.

If you don’t want your posts to get lost in the Twitter stream, make sure to include an image, related link or even an emoji to separate your missives from the torrent of other tweets.

  1. Express yourself with longer posts.

If you feel limited by Twitter’s 140 character count, feel free to expand on a point with posts on platforms like Tumblr, Google+ and LinkedIn.

  1. Strengthen your Facebook network.

If you find that you aren’t getting the response you are after from your company’s Facebook page, create some groups to spark more connections and conversations around your product and brand. Your customers can also choose to get updates from you this way.

  1. Inspire action.

Include call to action buttons (i.e. “like this page” and “learn more”) in your posts to gain more traction, clicks and conversions.

  1. Stay top of mind.

Market and post consistently across multiple platforms. Tailor your posts for each community and be sure to include links to your other social accounts in the bio and about sections so customers know where else to find you.

  1. Make connections.

You’re not just selling a product or a service, but a larger network. If you know of people in your orbit who would benefit from meeting, whether they are an investor, advisor, client or customer, make the introduction – you and the brand be well remembered.

  1. Share your feedback.

When you get positive feedback from a customer, don’t be afraid to highlight it. Retweet customer praise, thank individual customers on your Facebook page and consider a crowd sourced, user-generated campaign.

  1. Veer off the beaten track.

If a marketing idea appeals to you but you’re not sure if it’ll work, do the research but give it a try anyway. People will appreciate something a little unusual, and it could go viral.

9 . Stand behind your actions

Being honest, forward and entirely reasonable will win support from social media audience and will gain new paying clients.

  1. Put a positive spin on things

Emotions are contagious and people love optimism. Social media users are more likely to follow you if you share happier updates all the time.

 

Source : www.entrepreneur.com

“Personal branding” is a bit of a buzzword these days. Many claim to be experts on it even though the subject isn’t really that complicated at all.
It is simply the art of creating a recognizable brand around yourself. The goals are:

Be recognized whenever the brand is seen.
1. Have that brand represent certain ideas in the minds of the viewer.
2. Here are 9 quick tips to help you build up your personal brand.

1. Decide between using your name or a made-up name. If you build a brand around your name, then do so for the purpose of raising your reputation. On the flip side, any brand built around you is not sellable. When you decide to quit, the brand dies. If you build a brand which is separate from you, then you can sell it.
2. Own your domain. Whatever brand you use, you need to own the dot-com. If your name is available as a dot-com, go buy it. We specifically recommend the dot-com as opposed to other domain extensions like dot-net or dot-org because dot-com is assumed by all. It is easiest to remember.
3. Invest in a professional blog design. One of the biggest mistakes bloggers make is trying to design their own blogs when they have no idea how to do it. Saying that you’re not going to invest in a professional design until you make some money is to put the cart before the horse. Realize that you need to treat your blog like a business if you want it to be a business, and sometimes that means investing in it at the beginning.
4. Use professional photo of yourself. You are going to use a photo of yourself in various places on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc. You want that photo to be professional and attractive. You also want it to convey the mood expressed by your brand. If your brand is about fun, then look happy and fun in your photo. You can pay somebody to take very professional photos of you. It isn’t necessary, but you’ll get better results.
5. Go for visual consistency. Preferably, you want your Facebook and Twitter background, your blog, your Youtube channel layout – all of it – to have the same overall design and color scheme. It maintains visual consistency for the brand. Also, I recommend you use the same photo of yourself in all online profiles.
6. Get a logo. You need a professional logo for your brand. Don’t use your photo as the logo. Also, make sure the logo would work equally in color and black-and-white. In other words, it should translate well into print.
7. Invest in swag. Ever thought about building out your brand into the offline world? Perhaps shirts, cups, hats, mousepads, USB sticks, business cards, etc. If you give away some swag at a conference, you’ll be easily remembered.
8. Nail down your brand keywords. This was something that Ted Murphy talked about recently. In the same fashion you might add tags to your blog post, sit down and tag your brand. What words describe the brand you want to create? Then, see if you can further nail down the brand description to a single phrase.
9. Be Everywhere. Easier said than done, right? But, this is part of being a pro blogger. You need to be out there on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, LinkedIn, etc. And it all needs to lead into your blog where you are posting quality, helpful content designed to bolster your brand. You can build your brand visually all you want, but it isn’t a brand if it is not out there in front of people.

As with everything, the basics are easy. It just requires follow-through. It is one thing to read this post and ultimately do nothing different. Or you could come up with some steps to actually DO IT.
Now, go build your brand!

 

Source : www.blogmarketingacademy.com

Branding goes way beyond just a logo or graphic element. When you think about your brand, you really want to think about your entire customer experience…everything from your logo, your website, your social media experiences, the way you answer the phone, to the way your customers experience your staff. When you look at this broad definition of branding, it can be a bit overwhelming to think about what is involved in your brand.

In short, your brand is the way your customer perceives you.

It is critical to be aware of your brand experience and have a plan to create the brand experience that you want to have… a good brand doesn’t just happen… it is a well thought out and strategic plan.

 

BRANDING PROMOTES RECOGNITION.

People tend to do business with companies they are familiar with. If your branding is consistent and easy to recognize, it can help people feel more at east purchasing your products or services.

 

YOUR BRAND HELPS SET YOU APART FROM THE COMPETITION.

In today’s global market, it is critical to stand apart from the crowd. You are no longer competing on a local stage, your organization now competes in the global economy. How do you stand out from the thousands or millions of similar organizations around the world?

 

YOUR BRAND TELLS PEOPLE ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS DNA.

Your full brand experience, from the visual elements like the logo to the way that your phones are answered, tell your customer about the kind of company that you are. Are all of these points of entry telling the right story?

 

YOUR BRAND PROVIDES MOTIVATION AND DIRECTION FOR YOUR STAFF.

A clear brand strategy provides the clarity that your staff needs to be successful. It tells them how to act, how to win, and how to meet the organization’s goals.

 

A STRONG BRAND GENERATES REFERRALS.

People love to tell others about the brands they like. People wear brands, eat brands, listen to brands, and they’re constantly telling others about the brands they love. On the flip side, you can’t tell someone about a brand you can’t remember. A strong brand is critical to generating referrals or viral traffic.

 

A STRONG BRAND HELPS CUSTOMERS KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT.

A brand that is consistent and clear puts the customer at ease, because they know exactly what to expect each and every time they experience the brand.

 

YOUR BRAND REPRESENTS YOU AND YOUR PROMISE TO YOUR CUSTOMER.

It is important to remember that your brand represents you…you are the brand, your staff is the brand, your marketing materials are the brand. What do they say about you, and what do they say about what you’re going to deliver (promise) to the customer?

 

YOUR BRAND HELPS YOU CREATE CLARITY AND STAY FOCUSED.

It’s very easy to wonder around from idea to idea with nothing to guide you…it doesn’t take long to be a long way from your original goals or plans. A clear brand strategy helps you stay focused on your mission and vision as an organization. Your brand can help you be strategic and will guide your marketing efforts saving time and money.

 

YOUR BRAND HELPS YOU CONNECT WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS EMOTIONALLY.

A good brand connects with people at an emotional level, they feel good when they buy the brand. Purchasing is an emotional experience and having a strong brand helps people feel good at an emotional level when they engage with the company.

 

A STRONG BRAND PROVIDES YOUR BUSINESS VALUE.

A strong brand will provide value to your organization well beyond your physical assets. Think about the brands that you purchase from (Coca-Cola, Wrangler, Apple, Ford, Chick-Fil-A, Quick Trip)… are these companies really worth their equipment, their products, their warehouses, or factories? No, these companies are worth much more than their physical assets…their brand has created a value that far exceeds their physical value.

 

WRAPPING IT UP

The best branding is built on a strong idea… an idea that you and your staff can hold on to, can commit to, and can deliver upon. Your brand needs to permeate your entire organization. When your organization is clear on the brand and can deliver on the promise of the brand, you will see tremendous fruit while building brand loyalty among your customer base.

 

Source : www.strategynewmedia.com

 

 

Building Brands People Love.