Creating online success is very important for businesses today because most of their customers can be found online. Unfortunately, many companies waste too much money and time on their online presence by getting started without a concrete plan.
“But how do I make sure that my online presence is successful and not a waste of time?” we hear you thinking. Good news, in this blog post we’ll give you an overview of all the information you need to create online success for your business. We’ll do this through three sections: digital strategy, digital marketing and email marketing. Let’s go! 🚀
Online success thanks to a digital strategy
The foundation of a good digital strategy is knowing who your target audience is and how they interact with your company. You won’t know this by guessing, but by establishing customer personas and a customer journey. Are these terms Greek to you? We are happy to explain!
Customer personas are fictional characters that describe your different types of customers. Using personas, you can develop campaigns and content more easily and purposefully. 🧑🤝🧑
They are the beginning of everything. If you know who your customers are, you also know what they want to know, what their questions are, their frustrations and how you can help them. So it’s very important that you create your customer personas thoughtfully.
Not sure how to get started on creating customer personas? No problem! Read this blog on how to get started with customer personas and download our template there. And you’re ready to start!
Next step: drawing up a customer journey. A customer journey describes the steps your prospects or customers take to get to you. The most popular model of a customer journey is the AIDA model (awareness, interest, decision, action).
Once you have uncovered the customer journey of your customers, you need to make sure you’re present and taking action at every step of this journey to respond to the questions or issues of the moment. “The right message, through the right channel, at the right time, to the right person” is a slogan you should definitely remember!
One golden tip: the further along in the customer journey a prospect is, the warmer the lead becomes and the more open he/she will be to sales pitches. However, avoid this at the beginning of the journey and prioritize informing and helping. Be sure to check out what assets and content you have lying around to support you in this!
Have you done all of the above and want to take a next step? Also create a journey per customer persona or per business unit. You’ll see that your approach for different target groups or products/services can sometimes be completely different.
Digital marketing as the key to your online success
Now that you have an idea of who your target audience is and how and when they get in touch with your business, you can start reaching them digitally. You can do this in several ways. We’ll go over the main components of digital marketing with you below. 👨💻
Content is key in any market. Without content you have little to offer your leads or prospects, or you would have to follow up everything immediately 1 on 1. Unfortunately, this wastes a lot of time: hours and hours of calls and meetings without results because the lead is not yet ready to buy. Nowadays, customers like to look everything up themselves first, compare different options with each other and start making decisions on their own.
Therefore, focus on content and let your marketing take over part of your workload! Always think carefully about which content is interesting for which target group and in what format you can best display it.
You can use the same content on different channels, so this is never a lost effort. The more content you have, the more you can respond to the needs and questions of your potential customer.
Social media marketing
Social media is now an integral part of our lives and it would be a shame not to use it to its full potential. It is therefore important that you offer a good customer experience on all channels where your customers are present.
To deliver this good experience to your customers, you should always keep your target audience and goals in mind when posting social media posts online. This way you will know which channel to engage for which content.
It is therefore also smart to check whether you’re present on the right social media channels. In other words: are you present on the channels where you can reach your customers? Is there room for expansion or can you drop an irrelevant medium? For example, if your customers are not on TikTok, you shouldn’t invest time and effort in this channel. Quality over quantity!
Tip: take pen and a piece of paper and describe the customer journey of your ideal customer. This will help you find which social media channels are relevant for your business!
Also, try to post regularly. By doing this you will always stay top of mind with your followers. This way they’ll remember your brand faster, build a relationship with you emotionally and engage with you more easily. Posting regularly is not only useful for the customers, it will also be more convenient for you and create more structure.
Of course, you have to be careful not to post for the sake of posting. Always think about why you are telling something and what you want to get out of it. No idea what content works best for you? Take a look at your best (and worst) performing posts and analyze similarities. That way you’ll know what your followers want to see from you.
Finally, social media are the perfect place to build a community with your followers. So be sure to engage with them. This will ensure a better relationship and more relevant 1 on 1 communication.
In need of inspiration? Take another look at your best performing posts and create something similar, or recycle an old post by giving it a new look! This will also save you time.
Would you like to learn more about the basics of social media marketing? Then be sure to read this blog!
When you get started with content marketing and social media marketing, you’ll soon be creating a lot of content. Social media posts, blogs, white papers, e-books, and so on. It then becomes harder to keep track. The solution? A content calendar! Using a content calendar allows you to work efficiently and effectively with all your content.
With a content calendar you plan in advance which topics you want to discuss, on which channels and which target groups and goals you have in mind. Are you working with several people on the content? Then indicate who’s responsible and when certain deadlines are. It may seem like a lot of work but you’ll see that everything will run smoother this way!
Would you like to know what our content calendar looks like for inspiration? You can download it here.
Would you like to advertise online as a business? There are several ways to do this. Two popular and effective ways are advertising through social media and advertising through Google.
Social media ads
Advertising on social media has the advantage that you can very well target your ads to your audience. This is less possible with ads on radio or television, for example. You can target on age, interests and life events, among other things. Is your market B2B? Then LinkedIn is a very interesting channel, because there you can advertise on job title, company name, seniority, etc.
It is also recommended to do remarketing with social media ads. With remarketing ads, you can reach people who have already interacted with your brand again with a highly targeted message. For example, people who have visited a certain page on your website or have a product in their shopping cart. That final push can win them over to the desired behavior!
Did you already run some social media ad campaigns in the past but they weren’t so successful? Analyze the data from those ads and draw conclusions. By taking those conclusions into new campaigns, they will keep getting better. 📈
Search engine advertising with Google Ads
Google Ads is Google’s online advertising program. It allows you to advertise through search ads, display ads, video ads, shopping ads and app ads.
By not using search engine advertising you are missing out on many opportunities. Customers who already know your brand but see the same service or product in competitor’s ads during their Google search, are quickly lost to that competitor.
In addition, it’s also interesting to reach customers who know what products or services they’re looking for online but do not yet have a brand in mind. They will often choose the top search results in Google. So that’s where you want to be!
When setting up ads with Google Ads, it’s important to keep regularity and continually optimize your campaigns. You’ll need to test new keywords and copy, add relevant extensions, and properly align campaigns and landing pages. People who click on an ad about terracotta flower pots don’t want to end up on a landing page with plastic flower pots. Getting this right will make your ad quality scores go up and your ad spend go down.
Don’t stop campaigns when there is less budget available. This will only bring disadvantages, such as having to re-optimize your bids. Our advice? Take into account less active periods and reserve part of your ad budget for a bare minimum campaign that is always running. Often this will be your branded campaign.
Data collection & optimization
Do you want a successful digital marketing strategy? Then it’s essential to measure and gain insight into your data.
Event and conversion tracking is very important! To be able to collect all relevant data you need to set up tags, events and conversions. For example, an event could be downloading a PDF file from your website and a conversion could be filling out and sending in a contact form.
Gaining insight into your data is not only useful for analyzing the behavior of your customers, but it is also going to give you necessary insights to improve your online communication.
For example, online advertising campaigns provide a wealth of data. So use that data. You’ll find out which advertisement (read: copy or visual) works best, what type of people clicked on your advertisement and converted, etc.
Analyzing data can sometimes feel like a lot of work. *Sigh*, we feel you… But remember, you’ll reap the rewards afterwards. Promise! After all, by optimizing your campaigns based on conclusions from previous campaigns, you’ll be achieving more and more online success.
Last but not least: email marketing
Digital strategy: check! Digital marketing: check! Now we’ve reached to the final component: email marketing. 📧
If you want to do email marketing, using a CRM system (Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics,…) to keep track of customer data is very important.
The more data you have of your customers and prospects, the more targeted and relevant you can communicate. Keeping this in one structured database instead of fragmented silos ensures that you always keep one truth about your customers and prospects.
Today, these systems are easily integrated and you can use your customer data anywhere to personalize your communications.
Email marketing tools
When you’ve collected all the important data of your customers thanks to a CRM system, you can start with email marketing.
There are several tools for doing email marketing, such as Oracle Eloqua and ActiveCampaign. Would you like to know which email marketing tool fits your business? Then be sure to read this white paper in which we compare 5 marketing automation platforms.
Email marketing tools can use both profile data (age, gender, function…) and behavioral data (website visits, email opens, email clicks, form submits…) to determine which communication is relevant for your target group and which information they should definitely see. So it’s certainly a missed opportunity not to use this in your marketing mix.
Most tools are already pretty automatable, so it’s a small effort to initially configure and figure everything out correctly. In the long run, you gain a lot in efficiency and have time to work on the more important and creative things.
Moreover, email marketing tools have different functionalities, so use them to the best of their ability. Analyze your previous campaigns, set up A/B tests, automate as much as possible and only get better!
So, when you take all of the above into account, there’s no doubt that you’re creating online success for your business! Working on your digital strategy, digital marketing and email marketing is quite a task though. Would you like help with one (or more) of the three parts? Don’t hesitate to contact us! Together we take care of your online success strategy! 🚀