Online keeps getting more and more important within the marketing mix. But it’s also getting more and more complex. So how do you make it work?
No decent marketer today would deny the importance of online channels in customer acquisition and retention.
In research this year by the US software company DNN, 89% of respondents claimed it was somewhat or very important to manage their own online communities, while 88% felt similarly about social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
But with the range of online channels and tools continuing to growth, controlling digital communications in no easy task.
According to DNN, 72% of marketers find it difficult to locate the right target audiences online, and for a similar number it’s hard to stand out because of the sheer volume of content they have to compete with. What can you do to win online, then?
Here are five suggestions.
- Think first, engage later. While it is enticing to jump on the latest social media fad because everyone else is doing it, if you have limited resources then it pays to work out who you want to reach and the best way to do it.
- Be selective about where you invest your efforts. In DNN’s survey, 63% of marketers said they had too many marketing technology vendors to manage. More than half claimed they needed a dedicated information officer to help.
- Make sure you have the resources you need to make an impact. In the UK, 82% of companies surveyed were unable to even muster a single tweet a month after aiming for a presence on the world’s second-largest social media channel.
- Look for integrated systems to cover several bases at once. DNN says 60% of marketers think the growth of social media makes it difficult to prioritise efforts, so try to think of ways you can kill several birds with one stone.
- Consider outsourcing management of some channels. Given the challenges in maintaining a decent social media presence, it can make sense to get a third party to do some of the work under contract.
The key? If your customers don’t use Facebook, or Twitter, or Google+, then neither should you, because you will just be wasting your time. And if you’re not sure what you should be using, then speak to an expert.