Digital marketing is not a quick fix
Often in a bind, with customer numbers flagging and the viability of a business waning, potential clients seek marketing services as a “quick fix”.
With the digital arena making marketing more cost effective and visible than ever before, these ventures expect an immediate return once the digital campaign of their investment is live.
However, there are a series of factors that impact on the reach and return on investment on any marketing – and digital marketing – investment. (Let’s remember – marketing is not an expense – it’s an investment in your business)
Firstly, marketing is based on thinking about the business in terms of customer needs and their satisfaction. It considers the entire business process as an integrated effort to discover, create, arouse and satisfy customer needs.
This all takes time.
It requires us to educate and engage people, to build champions for our products and services, and to nurture potential clients as they move through their journey.
Digital marketing’s greatest growth opportunities lie in the “content” arena. Content is focused on developing information that is valued by existing and potential clients and resonates with them. It sets your venture apart from others as a credible and trusted choice.
Trust emerges over time – and while it is not a “quick fix” it creates loyalty and champions for your business.
Customers are more savvy than ever before. For larger or more important investments such as buying homes, cars, overseas holidays or even investing in healthcare, insurances and schools, they will often spend months researching – often online – their choices.
People now seek most of their information online – and to be in front of them your business will need to place your content where they are.
This is often social media, however it’s not the network but the “content” it delivers that is where the real magic happens and engagement occurs.
You don’t engage with Facebook but the content that you discover. Social media platforms are simply the distribution networks for video, text and images that take people through engagement and acquisition process.
Marketing – including digital marketing – is a continuum. It requires you to continue to build your presence over time and create sustainable and trusted relationships.
It’s naive to think a three-month approach to marketing will result in an influx of clients for the coming year. It all depends on your products, services and customer journeys. For example, as a child care centre vying for the attention of mums and dads to be (as parents we plan this far ahead) …. it may be six months to a year after first connecting or becoming visible to these parents that the centre secures an enrolment.
Being visible and engaged and consistently marketing throughout that time is critical in order to stay top of mind.
With strategy, time and persistence your business will:
- Build trust;
- Develop a reputation as a credible leader;
- Secure brand awareness;
- Promote industry “thought leadership”;
- Drives inquiries and leads;
- Build sales; and
- Develop champions for your business.
Finally, a continuum of marketing in the digital arena will help optimise your position in Google rankings. Less continuous activity will result in a slide.
While making that longer-term investment in the growth of your business consider the following when developing content:
- Does your content confirm what you do and your point of difference?
- Does your content show you add value to your clients/ customers?
- Is your content relevant, engaging and meaningful (from a customer perspective the why should I care factor)?
- Are you creating information that will keep your audience coming back for more – and sharing it with others?
Above all – your content isn’t material that matters to you – its information and storytelling that matters and resonates with your existing and potential customers. Nurture that information, and grow your community of customers and champions.