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So the ‘Digital Marketing’ buzz words have finally made their way into your vocabulary, and you’ve realized that you cannot ignore them any longer. Or maybe you’re just at your wits end on how to cash in on this technological wave, or last but definitely not least, you want to grow your business by expanding your reach and ultimately your market. Now, we do realize it can be somewhat overwhelming and intimidating figuring it all out or knowing where to even start, so let’s try and simplify this process for you and get you on your way to implementing and maintaining a solid and effective online presence.

Let’s start by defining what a Digital Marketing Strategy is. In simple terms it is a set of tools that enable you to achieve your marketing goals (in this case digitally) that will ultimately expand your business by growing its market and customer base.

Just to avoid bombarding you with too much information, this will be broken down into a Four-Part series:

  • Digital Marketing Strategy Part 1 : The Basics
  • Digital Marketing Strategy Part 2 - Get Seen, Get Found
  • Digital Marketing Strategy Part 3: Get Traffic, Get Leads
  • Digital Marketing Strategy Part 4: Review, Convert, Get Clients

Stay on the lookout for the full series.

In this article we cover the basics:

  • Branding - Your Identity
  • The Elements - Creating / Developing you online presence

Now, most agencies, or professionals will jump right into the nitty-gritty of Digital Marketing and all the jargon that goes with it. We like to start right from the beginning… knowing, understanding and defining WHO YOU ARE... i.e. your Brand.

drutechmedia brandingBranding – Your Identity

You may be excited and impatient to get your brand out there, get online, get onto social media, etc. But one of the most important aspects of developing a lasting and effective strategy starts from developing your Brand.

Your Brand is more than just your logo, or a fancy, colorful depiction of your company, it is who you are, and what you want your target market to perceive you as. Before the advent of social media and online marketing as a whole, customers chose to do business with companies that they could relate to, that spoke to them, based on what they could SEE or HEAR and how a brand depicted itself, brands that displayed values that customers could relate to and thus wanted to be associated with stood above the rest. Companies like Apple have spent large amounts of money and time in developing and growing their brands to the point where some consumers simply want to buy into the brand or be associated with it. The same should apply to your brand. What does your brand say about you? Does it elicit feelings of pride? Are you proud to wear and carry your brand? What do your customers think of your brand? All these are questions you need to answer confidently in order to gauge the effectiveness of your brand and before launching into the online space. So, start with ensuring that your brand is a solid effective depiction of your company. One that reflects your values, your mission, goals and speaks to the consumer.

Once you have that bit sorted, this rolls over into your Corporate Identity, your stationery, digital elements (Email signatures etc.), marketing and promotional material and so on. All these elements need to bear some form of uniformity and clearly depict your brand. This carries over onto the type of imagery you use, the platforms or medium that you use etc. For example, if you are a corporate dealing primarily with high-end business clients, your colors, imagery, message etc. needs to speak to that market. You would not for instance use funky playful colors, messaging or images to speak to that market now would you?

Your brand is your persona, what the market perceives of you, and what expectations they should have when doing business with you. Make it a powerful one.

 

The Elements - Creating / Developing you online presence

drutechmedia webOk, you’ve got your brand sorted, you have developed your company profile, worded it correctly, checked it for typos and grammatical errors, and you’re happy and ready to go online.

I sometimes find it amazing and somewhat shocking that in 2017, some companies that have been in business for a while do not have a website! How do you expect to be found? How do you plan to tap into the digital market if your would-be customers cannot find you?

Like many, I am one of those people who quickly fire up Google when I need to find a product or service, and simply put, if I cannot find your website and subsequently your company in the first 2 pages, chances are I will never do business with you (I will delve into Search Engine positioning at a later stage). Let’s consider the alternative… this would be akin to me jumping into my car and driving around looking for what I need, and let’s face it, I don’t have that time or energy while I could simply ‘Google’ what I need. Hopefully you quickly see the importance of having an online presence.

Let’s talk basics.

Assuming you’re one of the few who are yet to get a website, this one’s for you.  Without going into too much detail, the steps are as follows:

1. Get / Register a domain name
This is the web address by which your users can find you. The most advisable practice would be to use your brand / company name in a simple but memorable form. This would typically be: www.yourcompany.com. But remember, keep this simple and short so that your users can easily remember.

2. Get Your Website Developed
Your website is not only an online brochure or representation of who you are, it also provides your customers a chance to interact with you and even buy your products/services. Look at it as your online shop front, you want to be able to tell users who you are, what you’re selling, but at the same time convert those visitors to customers. You therefore need to be able to have a functional interactive website where you can generate leads and get customers. Gone are the days where you could get away with a pretty looking website, users now want more functionality and the ability to interact with you.

3. Hosting Your Website
Your website has been designed and developed, now it needs to be available. It’s no use having a snazzy, flashy website if your users cannot log onto it. It goes without say that you get what you pay for, and you may be tempted to use a cheap hosting service to cut costs, but in the long run, this will do you more harm than good. Gone are the days when users had to pay exorbitant hosting fees, now you have affordable options to have your website hosted, but don’t skimp on this. Have your website hosted by a reputable company that can guarantee some level of uptime, availability and a high level of support should your website go down for any reason.

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Next:  Digital Marketing Strategy Part 2 – Get Found, Get Seen

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