Marketing plays an important role when it comes to digital business development, but it can easily be summed up in the concept of digital footprint. Digital footprint refers to the extent, ease, and frequency with which your brand, products, and services are visible to potential customers online.
Digital marketing is essentially about building as large a digital footprint as possible, allowing a company to, for example, open a dialogue with potential new customers or increase e-commerce sales, depending on the need. Although digital marketing is constantly evolving, its fundamentals have remained very similar.
Start with your client
The starting point for any marketing planning is to figure out who your client is. It can be helpful to define your ideal customer personas (or ICP’s). Sit down with the salespeople and ask who they are talking to, what characteristics they can identify from the most successful customer cases, and what the clients are asking.
Look at the analytics and find where your clients currently find you. Your marketing data can give you a pretty good idea of where your customers spend their time and what kind of content they appreciate.
But the best way to find out who your customers are and what they want is to ask them. Customer interviews are an excellent way to learn more about your customers and gain valuable insight. And don’t just interview satisfied customers. Former customers will hold even more helpful information.
Building a solid digital footprint for your digital business
The digital footprint is how your digital business can be seen in digital channels. For example, a common thread in content marketing is to increase your digital footprint by writing blog posts. The bigger the footprint, the more likely a potential customer is to find the content you offer.
The impact of a digital footprint on your business’s online visibility can be compared to the interest-rate effect, where increased capital creates a flywheel effect, where in the long run, you achieve much better results than you first dared to imagine. Therefore, investing in a digital footprint is an investment that can be expected to pay back the effort and the euros invested, plus interest.
Search engine optimization
To be honest, search engine optimization is a must for any business that wants to achieve the best digital visibility in organic search results and stay ahead of the game. At the turn of the millennium, various tricks made it possible to stay ahead of the competition, but nowadays, these so-called “black hat SEO” tricks are being sanctioned. The global and ever-intensifying competition for the best visibility and the constantly updating ranking algorithms of search engines require an active approach to optimization.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the quality of a website and driving the desired traffic to it. SEO aims to ensure that the website and its sub-pages consistently rank as high as possible in the search engine results page (SERP).
A smooth website user experience is one factor that affects digital visibility. User experience can be improved through service design and UX design tools. So even if someone who understands search engine optimization can point out areas for improvement, there is often a need for skills that the optimizer does not have. Therefore, modern optimization is a team effort, covering every aspect of a website.
Good content spreads on its own. Well, true, but the content is rarely so good that it doesn’t need any support to attract the attention of potential customers. The reality is that to be seen online requires constant investment in paid advertising across channels. The good thing about investing in marketing is that it’s easy to track results.
Great online content
Content marketing means focusing on the needs and wants of the customer. The primary role of content marketing is to attract, assist and engage.
In principle, content can be any digital content. In other words, content marketing is not just blog posts. It can be videos, PDF guides, or even games. Content is usually distributed using social media channels, reaching identified and unidentified user groups.
Of course, content marketing aims for customer acquisition, but it does so in a way that feels, at best, like helping the user.
Be brave and try things out
Successful digital marketing requires expertise, experimentation, time, and investment. From the outset, shake off the traditional “one size fits all” marketing mindset.
Digital marketers must be patient, willing to experiment, courageous, and persistent. The above list may explain why the effectiveness of digital marketing has not yet been revealed to everyone.
At the heart of what we do must be the courage to put assumptions online for all to see and measure their effectiveness. If a hypothesis doesn’t work, it is changed. Advertising that doesn’t work should not be seen as a failure but as a valuable lesson. Therefore, digital marketing usually takes months to years to deliver results, but on the other hand, (cost) efficiency is constantly increasing because of learning.
On the other hand, the more persistent and better digital marketing is practiced, the easier it is to exploit and the lower the threshold for results, for example, through an improved digital footprint.