Investing in digital marketing for the first time is like buying your first home.
You will squander your investment if you don’t know what you’re looking for because everything looks good.
Companies often splurge on digital marketing simply because they fear that they will miss out if they don’t. But just as you don’t need to buy your dream home right away nor do you have to pay for more digital marketing than you need. Like with real estate, investing wisely at the outset will yield successes that will help you afford more in the long-run.
So, resist the allure of promising but discretionary digital marketing channels such as augmented reality and voice search for now. Increase the return on your initial investment by prioritizing these three essential digital marketing channels instead.
Your website is the most effective tactical channel, according to 63% of the 265 respondents in Ascend2’s 2017 Digital Marketing Plans Survey. But it is also the most difficult digital marketing channel to execute, 40% of respondents indicated.
Your website’s effectiveness and difficulty emanate from the potential it offers and the role it plays. As the heart of your online presence, your website most affects how customers and prospects perceive you. If they like what they see, they will work with you. If they don’t, they won’t.
Given their importance, websites were the top expenditure in 2016 marketing budgets, according to the Gartner 2016-2017 CMO Spend Survey of more than 300 industry leaders. Marketers spent an average of 9% of their budgets on websites, more than 13 other spending categories, researchers found.
Successful B2B websites inform and educate visitors, helping them to resolve problems and capitalize on opportunities.
Ascend2 ranked email as the second most effective tactical channel based on the replies of 52% of survey respondents. Though it may seem antiquated, email remains effective because it is still a primary communication method, particularly among businesses.
Business and consumer emails sent and received per day will reach 269 billion in 2017, according to the latest email statistics report from The Radicati Group. Usage will increase at an average annual rate of 4.4% over the next four years, reaching 319.6 billion by the end of 2021.
Though the proliferation of emails is positive in terms of your potential to reach prospects, it also impairs your ability to garner attention for your message. You must compel recipients to open your emails by writing concise subject lines then hook them with powerful openings. Only then can you build trust by providing your reader with relevant content before advancing your relationship by securing their commitment to act.
At 49% percent, social media ranked as the third most effective digital marketing channel in Ascend2’s survey. It tied with a company’s website as the most difficult, at 40%.
Social media interactions have become more personalized as the channel has gradually accounted for a larger portion of digital marketing efforts, according to an EContent article on the state of digital marketing in 2017.
When managed properly, social media can establish you as a thought leader, problem solver or other value-provider. But if you don’t capitalize on your opportunity to communicate with prospects or you fail to control what is said about you then social media can be a liability instead of an asset.
If you haven’t invested in digital marketing yet, you may indeed miss out because your competitors likely have or will do so soon. Digital marketing budgets are expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 11% and will hit $120 billion by 2021, according to Forrester research on digital marketing spending.
But you will fall short of optimal results if you do too much too soon. Build a strong foundation that will support future expansion instead by starting with these three essential digital marketing channels.
Which digital marketing channels would you add to this list?