Digital marketing often involves continuous quick decisions to react to new opportunities and market changes. So it is critical to stop occasionally and take a look at what is working and what isn’t, to make sure your business is getting the best bang for its buck.
There is no better time than a new financial year to review digital marketing efforts and identify areas for improvement and increased Return on Investment (ROI) for the year ahead.
With a flat WA economy and further disruption on the way, you may need to consider a new approach in FY17/18 to ensure you make the most of your marketing dollars. The digital marketing experts at Alyka have offered these four top tips for planning your next budget.
1. Refresh your approach
Amazon is coming to Australia, audio marketing has taken off, programmatic marketing is growing. In other words, the digital market in 2017 is completely different to the market in 2016 let alone 2012!
Despite this, are you doing the same thing you did in 2012 or even last year? If so, you probably need to refresh your approach to marketing activities. Take some time to research how you can get an edge on your competitors by trying something new. This could be as simple as investing in an upgrade of basic digital infrastructure, such as your website. A great example of this is the new City of Cockburn website, built by Alyka, which achieves AA accessibility and replaces a 10-year-old out-dated site.
A fresh approach can also help you to get ahead or stay ahead of your competitors, particularly in the ecommerce market. The recent announcement that global ecommerce company Amazon is entering the Australian market will disrupt the retail market and be a game changer for local retailers. Businesses that adapt and respond to this disruption with a strategic, well-planned approach will benefit the most from these developments.
2. Start with a strategic plan
According to Alyka’s WA State of Digital Report, more than 50 per cent of businesses plan to spend more money on both traditional and digital marketing in the next financial year.
Alyka suggests you start with a strategic plan to identify key priorities and avoid blindly following every new marketing trend.
When developing a strategy, Alyka suggests considering the following:
• Who are you trying to target? Mature public sector CEOs? Start up entrepreneurs? Doctors?
• What platforms does your target audience engage with? Google? Instagram? LinkedIn?
• Would your business benefit most from long-term or short-term lead generation?
• How can you incorporate your business strengths in your content marketing? For example, could you capture the personality of your staff through profiles or podcasts?
Without a strategic plan, businesses risk investing in tools that aren’t suitable for their audiences or diluting messages by spreading their attention across so many platforms they cease to be effective. Discussing your strategic ideas with a skilled, expert team could help you ensure you invest your budget effectively.
3. Look for niche channels to achieve the best Return On Investment(ROI)
Alyka’s WA State of Digital Report also shows that, despite plans to increase marketing budgets, almost 50 per cent of businesses don’t believe they are making the most out of their current investment.
Alyka recommends being smarter with how you choose your marketing channels.
For example, Search Engine Optimisation has been a buzz word for two decades and most businesses invest in this more than anything else. However, this is not always the case especially in the last few years. Google is no longer the dominant force that it once was with other advertising platforms now competing in the same market.
For example, Facebook pay-per-click adverts offer a very good ROI due to their low cost per click and ability to achieve pin-point targeting. Facebook adverts also allow you to stand out by being creative in your use of clever imagery, videos, text and call to actions.
This is just one example, but there are also other channels worth exploring outside of Google.
Predict where consumer attention is heading
While it is important to not blindly follow every new trend, it is essential to keep an eye on where consumer attention is heading in the future.
Today, Facebook and Instagram capture consumer attention better than most platforms, but tomorrow the digital marketing world could change dramatically. You need to stay ahead of the game and plan accordingly.
Take audio marketing, for example, which is experiencing a surge in popularity globally. Audio marketing includes the use of regular podcast episodes and other non-episodic audio clips in formats such as Q&As or presentation recordings. Other developments, such as programmatic adverts, are also changing the face of advertising by using software programs to purchase digital advertising space, making ad buying more targeted and efficient.
Audio marketing is only one way in which the digital marketing world is continually adapting and moving. Things change so quickly, you’d soon get left behind if you’re not looking ahead and factoring in new developments and platforms. Accessing support from digital experts will ensure you’re not reacting to developments, but proactively spotting the next big thing before it disrupts your market completely.
In summary, it’s important to take the time to plan your marketing strategy to ensure you’re investing in targeted activities that help you achieve your business objectives and improve your ROI. Engaging digital marketing professionals can also help you to keep your finger on the pulse and plan ahead for innovative new developments.