There’s no doubt about it, the global pandemic over the past year (I won’t mention the ‘C’ word or say ‘unprecedented’) has had a massive influence on how people use digital media. It’s more crowded out there, presenting us with more digital marketing challenges than ever.
Lots of people were forced into digital activities they weren’t used to, like using online banking or booking their shopping online. More people are now online, and our digital behaviour has been accelerated.
If everyone’s online, and you need your brand or business to be found, then that’s where you need to be right?
But digital marketing can be a minefield. We have similar discussions with clients every week about the challenges they face when developing a digital marketing strategy.
Here we have compiled a list of common digital marketing challenges which pop up quite often when assessing what challenges you will encounter when growing your digital presence.
- How to target the right audience
- Knowing who that audience is
- Choosing the right channels to focus on
- Regularly creating engaging content
- Converting traffic into leads
- Maintaining consistency
- Knowing which tools to use
- Knowing what metrics to track and measure
- How long will it take
How to target the right audience
It’s all well and good if your marketing efforts are bringing in tons of traffic to your website. But if that traffic isn’t converting into enquiries, maybe you aren’t targeting the right people.
For example, let’s look at Acme Cleaning Products, a fictitious commercial cleaning company. They specialise in cleaning offices and shops. Maybe their website ranks well for a phrase such as “cleaning floors”. A quite generic term.
Now people searching for this phrase could be someone at home who wants to know how to clean their carpet. Or it could be someone looking for a job cleaning floors. Neither of these own a commercial premises which needs cleaning, so it would not convert into a lead.
The search terms you use must be focused on bringing in relevant and targeted traffic with the aim of converting.
To do this, you need to know who the person is you are trying to reach. Which leads me nicely onto…
Knowing who that audience is
Do you know who your ideal customer is, what their behaviours are, what they like to do, what problems do they face?
Creating personas of your target audience can really help you to work out who these people are. If you know who they are, what they like and where they ‘hang out’, you can by much more targeted with your marketing efforts.
If you need help creating your personas, there are free templates available at Xtensio.com.
Things to consider with your buyer personas include their…
- Preferred channels
Remember to get people from all departments involved in the creation of your buyer personas. You may get more valuable insights into some of their behaviours from someone in accounts compared to someone from marketing.
Choosing the right channel
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Search. The list goes on.
If you try and reach customers on all platforms you are going to spread your marketing efforts quite thin and waste money on channels which simply won’t work for you.
Not every channel works for every business. This is one of the biggest digital marketing challenges.
Your buyer personas should give you some valuable insights into their digital behaviours. Be targeted to make sure you are reaching the right people in the right place at the right time.
Regularly creating engaging content
Inbound marketing is focused on creating engaging content which will attract visitors to your website.
Creating good content isn’t easy. It’s time consuming and you don’t know how well it’s going to work until it’s published and out there.
A good approach is to think of questions your customers or potential customers ask you. You will often find there are questions which pop up time and time again. Maybe they are about processes or costs, or enquiring about the pros and cons of one system versus another.
Use this as a basis for some content. Not only will you be able to market this content, but you can save yourself time by referring customers to these articles. Also being upfront on some queries such as pricing and processes will build up trust with your potential clients.
You will have to make the time to create content, or hire a content marketing agency to create it for you. Your SEO efforts will struggle unless you are posting regular fresh, engaging and high quality content to your website.
Good content will also naturally attract back links, another key component of SEO.
Converting traffic into leads
Ok so the traffic is coming to your website, but is it converting into sales or leads?
Make sure you continually track measure and optimise to improve these conversions.
There are tools available to help you locate sticking points on your website. HotJar for example will create screen recordings of your website visitors so you can see how they interact with the site. Improving their journey throughout the site can help those conversions.
Your conversion rate will be good only if you are attracting the right traffic in the first place. So make sure you work through steps 1-4 before attempting to improve your conversions.
If you are taking a multi channel approach as most business will need to, ensure you are consistent.
Be consistent visually and in tone. Have a library of graphic assets which can be modified and amended as required. Keep branding simple and easily recognisable. Keep your language and tone relevant and effective in attracting engagement.
Make sure that they work together when looking at the bigger picture.
Knowing which tools to use
There are lots of tools available to help you to overcome your digital marketing challenges.
For example social media scheduling, marketing automation, email marketing, analytics and reporting, etc.
Most tools have free trials available so it’s a good idea to run some tests and see what you like. Check the integrations of the tools, you might find there are some great time saving options available if the tools speak to one another.
Knowing what metrics to track and measure
Remember to regularly check the analytics. It’s important to know which ones are important and can help you manage your ROI.
Social media can give you a lot of vanity metrics. A high following on Instagram is great. But what if there is no engagement? Look at comments and leads rather than followers and likes.
A lower volume following with high levels of engagement is far better than the other way around.
Focus on metrics which help you measure your goals and highlight what you need to do to obtain them.
How long will it take
If it was quick and easy everyone would be nailing it first time.
Things like SEO are a marathon – it takes time to fully kick in but the rewards can be great. For instant rewards use paid campaigns such as Google Ads.
Truth is it takes a lot of time and energy to get right. You’ll have to test things and not everything will work, and you will make mistakes.
But learn from them to help streamline your processes and execute a high performing digital marketing campaign.