In March 2020, a lot of businesses had no choice but to go digital. This meant they had to adapt their marketing strategy, communication platforms, and sales efforts to a completely digital world.
Before this, most businesses generated leads through a mixture of online and traditional marketing. Some, more than others, were counting on traditional methods like conferences, trade shows, networking events, or tours to meet their sales targets. We did too.
Now that we have a better idea of how we are going to finish the year, it is time to plan for 2021. One thing has become very clear – if you have not already adapted your marketing strategy, you need to.
Here are 5 key steps to adapting your digital marketing strategy:
1. Understand your Client Persona
The first step to overhauling your digital marketing strategy is to gain an understanding of your client persona. Even though you have likely analyzed your buyer persona in the past, it is time to recreate them. These are not the same customers that you were marketing to six months ago, and you need to update your messaging and branding accordingly.
You have to understand what they need and where they are in a digital world – what are their biggest priorities? What are the largest challenges that they are facing? It is also important to determine what their interests are and where they are spending the majority of their time online. This will help you identify where they will be the most receptive to your messages.
Remember that no one marketing strategy is going to being effective for every market segment. You must develop tailored content for your persona!
Use this time to revisit their priorities, pain points, and concerns. According to a survey conducted by Bain & Company, people’s priorities have shifted significantly as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
They want to feel less anxious and more connected. They are looking to achieve a healthier lifestyle, while also seeking purpose and kindness. Most importantly, individuals are being very mindful of their spending and so are businesses.
Reach out to your clients and do some market research so that you can reconstruct your buyer persona. This will allow you to properly adjust your marketing strategy so that you can find success in this digital world.
2. Choose the Right Channels
The next step is to make sure that your new digital marketing strategy is focusing on the right channels. The aim is to attract, engage, and delight your target audience. Different channels can be used for various objectives.
Is the goal to raise awareness about your brand or spark interest? Or is the intent to make a sale and close the deal?
There are so many tactics and channels to choose from, like SEO, SEM, social media, email marketing, webinars, and more. So, which channels should you focus on? It is essential to answer this question so that you can use your limited resources appropriately and gain maximum traction towards achieving your goals.
Let’s break down some of these channels a bit further.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a way to increase traffic to your website by improving your ranking on search engine results pages. This inbound marketing strategy can be supported through paid or non-paid ads.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing refers to advertising your products and brand on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. A study by Globalwebindex found that the average person spends about 3 hours per day on social media. This estimate was made in 2019, so you can imagine how much this number has grown with the stay at home orders in place!
Social media has become integrated into our daily lives. Use your social media strategy as a way to connect with your audience and provide them value-added content that will keep them loyal to your brand and help you achieve your business objectives.
Email marketing is another very important digital marketing channel. According to LYFE Marketing, it has one of the highest returns on investment of any marketing tactic – it can provide up to a 3800% return if done right!
Email marketing focuses on delivering relevant content to your audience – with a powerful call to action that can be personalized based on that customer’s unique interests.
3. Optimize your Website for Conversion
Once you have developed your new buyer personas and selected your marketing channels, it is time to optimize your website for conversion.
Take a look at your website from your customer’s point of view. What is the visitor journey? Use Google Analytics to analyze your visitors’ behavior. Is there a specific page where you lose most of your visitors? What are the pages that visitors see most and spend the most time on? Where do they go from there? I sure hope it’s towards your conversion point.
Often websites are hard to navigate and confusing which leads to difficulties with conversions. Are you providing your customers with a clear incentive to make a purchase? Are you providing this call to action at the right time, and do they understand the value that they’ll get in exchange for what you are asking for?
Your website should display your customer value proposition and let them know why they should buy from you. It should be easy to navigate and work intuitively – if it is too hard for them to find what they’re looking for they’re just going to go elsewhere! Make the decision for them to buy from you as easily as possible.
Carefully think about the placement of buttons and content. Having content like blog posts and FAQs are important, but we don’t want these things to take away from the primary goal of the website: to convince a potential customer – or returning one – to make a purchase.
Be sure that your call to action is visible and that it creates a sense of urgency to take the desired action. For instance, letting your customers know that they have a limited time to act will encourage them to make the purchasing decision sooner rather than later.
On the other hand, don’t put them in a scenario where they are facing too many options. This option overload can lead them to analysis paralysis, and then they end up choosing none.
4. Ensure that your Sales Process is Ready for the Digital World
Although updating your website and social media accounts to resonate with your target audience is important it is just as valuable to ensure that your sales process is ready for the digital world.
If your company provides a service, your traditional sales process may have involved inviting potential clients to your office to discuss the benefits of your brand. You now have to do this virtually. The same goes for lunch meetings or networking events.
This change does not mean that you don’t still have to build a relationship with your potential clients. Instead, you need to leverage technologies to help you provide an excellent customer experience in our new digital world.
Digitizing your sales process to adapt to virtual prospecting does not mean that you have to replace your sales teams. Leverage your salespeople in combination with your digital tools to maximize where you connect with your customers.
Other things to think about are your online sales process. Is it easy to purchase through your website, or is this process creating obstacles in converting sales?
5. Choose the Right Metrics to Measure Performance
The last tip on our guide to adapting your digital marketing strategy in 2021 is to choose the right metrics to measure your performance. It will be difficult to optimize your strategy if you are not using the proper tools to gauge your success.
Selecting the right metrics is perhaps one of the most important things to do when you’re adapting your digital marketing and sales strategy because it will allow you to see what is working and what areas still need improvements.
Utilize tools like Google Analytics that give you the ability to track specific goals and events. Leverage the data and insights that you get from your social media platforms – listen to customer feedback because they are the ones you are trying to engage with!
Try to be specific with your goals and measurements as well. If your goal is to get more organic traffic to your website, you should be measuring website visits. On the other hand, if you are looking to improve your email clickthrough rate, you should be focusing on measuring that conversion rate.
The global pandemic has caused businesses to drastically change their marketing strategies.
We don’t know how long we’re going to be doing business virtually or what the business world is going to look like after this. Likely, normal will never be the same.
What we do know is that now is the time to speed up your digital transformation and adapt your online marketing strategy so that your company can not only survive but also thrive and meet your customers’ needs during this pivotal time.