Marketing Everybody in business will have their own views on how marketing should be done and which are the best practices to follow. However, all companies should take on an individual approach; what is best for one company may be inappropriate for another. You need to cater for the needs of your business and provide a marketing solution and strategy that is best for you. One of the most important factors to consider in any digital marketing programme is measurement and return on investment. Identify and inform your audience Its vital that you identify whom your audience is, how they interact with brands such as yours, and what they need to know. Some research is needed, and the internet is a great place to start. Perform some competitive benchmarking by identifying competitors in your field and examine how they communicate online. What is their tone of voice, do they have an online value propositions that stands out. Sign-up for their digital marketing communications to understand more about their brand and culture. Then you can perform an audit that shows you the strengths and weaknesses of the competition. This will then allow you to look at your online assets and digital marketing communications strategy to understand how you can build your audience through a sensible content marketing strategy and a compelling lead proposition. Using tools such as Google Analytics will help you to understand if your strategy is working. You can set up simple goals such as dwell time, page count and lead conversions to report on. Use a Blog Blogging is a great tool to use for content marketing and to inform customers about your expertise. Create a blog and use it for writing about topics and issues related to your industry and business. You could share advice, tips or industry news. Not only will this benefit your customers but it could also have a positive effect on your Search Engine Optimisation effectiveness (SEO) as Search Engines will assign weighting to updated content on websites. Fresh, new content will also keep your visitors engaged and when you post a new blog, make sure you also share it through your social media channels and email marketing to reach the widest audience possible. Share with your audience Social Media is a great channel to reach out to your audience and connect with previous and potential customers. There are many different Social Media platforms to utilise including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. These platforms when used properly are effective in keeping users informed or to create further awareness of your company. Ensure that you are utilising at least one of these social media platforms with regular updates about your company. You could share images, news, customer feedback or perhaps a special offer as well as linking to blog posts, new content pages and even email campaigns using the view in your web browser link. Regular Contact It’s not always about gaining new customers, anyone who has studied the principle of marketing will understand the value of retention and lifetime value proposition (LTV). A key facet of digital marketing is to maintain contact and develop a good relationship with existing customers. These are the customers that are already aware of the work you can produce and whom you have already created a relationship with. Once the project or interaction is over, don’t forget about them. Ensure you send regular emails to your client-base with news or offers to keep them in the loop with everything your company is doing. This type of marketing is important as it will keep a level of engagement with previous customers and continue the relationship you have worked hard to create. It costs far less to make an incremental sale to an existing customer than it does to acquire a new one. Companies that retain customers prosper. Companies from SME up should actively be researching and implementing marketing automation tools and behavioural scoring in their email and PPC campaigns to best understand existing customers and prospects. Closing Thoughts Some of the above marketing advice will work well for your company and others may not. However, before undertaking any marketing activity ensure that it is thoroughly thought-through, planned-out and implemented strategically in order to create the desired impact. Another important element to consider is how you wish to monitor and record the results and how you plan to compare any changes. Measurement is king in digital marketing, and there are no excuses for not capturing key metrics and developing return on investment (ROI) reports. If you wish to discuss any of the above in more detail, would like advice for your company or have any questions, please feel free to contact the strategic digital marketing team at Star Digital. Star Digital are a full service digital marketing agency based in Northampton. They are a Google Partner, an IBM Silverpop agency and a Magento ecommerce Silver Solutions Partner.