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Is your digital strategy high enough on your agenda?

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Rebecca Kincade on October 24, 2014 - 9:21 am in Advice, Featured Advice
Leeanne Nuttall-Lowe

Leeanne Nuttall-Lowe

Recent studies show that business leaders are placing digital strategy and data analytics higher on their agenda. A 2014 Global Top of Mind Survey of 500 top-level executives from across the globe, found that 54% of respondents cited digital strategy as a key priority over the next 12 months. Leeanne Nuttall-Lowe, Digital Marketing Manager, The Web Bureau, gives her advice…

The recognition among businesses that they need to have a comprehensive digital strategy for marketing and advertising has been slowly but surely building over the past decade, and in 2014 there are very few businesses who can afford not to put digital at the core of their promotional efforts.

This digital shift reflects the changes in how we, as a society work, play and communicate. Technology powers our lives. Ofcom’s 2014 Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report advises that 83% of UK adults are now online, with two-thirds of those using the Internet also participating in social media; demonstrating that digital media offers a phenomenal opportunity for building brands and businesses.

Engaging a digital agency is the best route to achieving a successful digital strategy that delivers effective online advertising and marketing and maximises return-on-investment. But what does a digital agency actually do and what are the options for promoting a business online?

What Digital Agencies Do Best

Many people associate a digital agency’s remit with the design and build of websites, ¬but digital agencies also provide many other critical digital offerings such as ecommerce solutions, strategic planning, social media management and marketing, search engine optimisation, pay-per-click advertising, and email marketing to name but a few.

A digital agency’s mission is to help their clients acquire qualified customers and maximise their return-on-investment. To this end, they harness the true power of the medium with robust and focused audience targeting, and comprehensive, specific campaign success measurement.

Real-time audience demographics, preferences and behaviour tracking enables digital agencies to target those that fit a specific customer profile and then record the exact number of users who look at and engage with online marketing. This was previously not as achievable with traditional forms of advertising, where the reach of a campaign could only be approximated through averaging how many viewers a TV station may have or the perceived readership of a magazine was for example. Traditionally the success or failure of marketing and advertising was measured against long-term sales figures. Digital’s ability to offer immediate performance statistics and accurate reporting, means advertising and marketing efforts are now more agile and that helps to get the most out of budgets.

Promoting Your Business Online

In many cases audiences that could once only be reached via channels like print, TV and radio, can now also be reached (and increasingly only be reached) via digital marketing and advertising channels.

Also, digital marketing being relatively inexpensive means you don’t have to have a huge budget to run far reaching and effective campaigns¬—which significantly lowers the barrier to entry¬—allowing businesses of every size and function to take advantage of reaching their customers on digital advertising channels.

Whereas a single 30-second prime-time TV advertising spot or a full-page advert in a high-profile regional daily newspaper could set you back several thousand pounds. A digital agency can take the same budget to deliver a highly targeted and successful digital marketing campaign lasting a number of weeks, and encompassing several online marketing channels.

The digital delivery methods used in a campaign might include:
Search Engine Marketing
Often referred to as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, these are essentially paid search engine results. They are ideal for driving potential customers to a specific campaign promotional web page.

Social Media Advertising and Engagement
Social media is all about engagement and any digital marketing campaign worth its salt should be utilising at least one of the major social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) to raise awareness and invite interaction with the campaign.

Content Marketing
Blogging, infographics and other imagery, video, and ebooks (among many others) all fall under the content marketing umbrella. Every business and each campaign requires a different mix of high quality content marketing elements to tell the campaign’s story and add value for the user.

Email Marketing
Done well, email marketing is still very relevant and effective in 2014. It is a great way to get a campaign launch message out to a large, but targeted audience. As well as drive campaign momentum forward at intervals throughout.

When a campaign has been effective enough to draw a customer’s attention, but they’ve not yet purchased or submitted a lead generation form, then remarketing advertising is a great way to reinforce the message and hopefully re-engage with that potential customer. Remarketing ads can be displayed on social networks and other highly visited websites across the Internet and only shown to users who have already visited the campaign web page, but not yet completed the action you want them to.

Viva la revolution!

Modern technology has democratised advertising. Businesses of any size can now harness the advertising and branding power that was once the exclusive realm of larger companies with big budgets. Digital agencies use this technology to help their clients expertly target and¬¬ engage their customer base through digital marketing.

The benefits of working with a digital agency are many, but the two clear advantages are cost and accountability. Maximum return-on-investment is what every business needs¬ and in 2014¬¬ no one should be in any doubt that if you want to get the most out of your advertising and marketing budget (whatever its size), digital is the way to go.

For more information visit www.thewebbureau.com .



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