9-Point digital marketing framework to attract customers
In a previous blog, we looked at the basics of attracting visitors to your site. In this one, we take that a step further into some potential strategies. We’ll be working within a 9-point digital marketing framework that will help you populate your customer acquisition plan.
Digital marketing – a 9-point framework
Digital marketers use different approaches and categories for the elements of a digital marketing plan. We will be sharing a 9-point framework which we find helpful for our own business. This post doesn’t discuss digital marketing in detail, but focuses on the areas that are important when you want to drive traffic to your site.
Remember that your digital presence starts with a well-designed e-commerce site. That needs to be in place before you even think of doing anything else. We also highly recommend that you incorporate SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) into your website structure right up front, not as an afterthought. If you’d like help with that process, contact us here.
From this 9-point digital marketing framework, we will not discuss web design, measurement or managing your online reputation (or PR) in this post. Those areas are not directly related to finding and driving traffic to your site, and we discuss them in detail elsewhere.
So, focusing on driving traffic to your site, we will be discussing numbers 2 – 7 in the diagram above. As it is such a vast topic, we will simply give you highlights of each of these areas now, and fill in the rest through more detailed blogs on each topic elsewhere.
As always, when defining the strategies for your own business, you need to take into account the behaviour of your customers and how they prefer to interact online. This is where your customer personas and customer journey mapping come in handy.
Let’s look at your customer acquisition options
Online advertising and PPC
We will talk about this extensively in a later blog, and it’s also a good idea to get some expert advice about applying it for your particular business.
Online advertising is a way of driving traffic to your site through carefully considered online ad placement. Essentially, you pay for the space you ‘rent’, just as you would pay for an ad in a magazine or on a billboard.
Sometimes marketers refer to online advertising as PPC. In fact, pay-per-click (PPC) is a payment method for online advertising, where the advertiser pays every time a visitor clicks on their ad. Since most advertisers use this method (and not pay per impression (PPI), for instance), people use the terms online advertising and PPC interchangeably.
There are many different types of ads, for example, Google text ads, display/banner ads and retargeting ads. These can be placed on online platforms such as Google’s Adwords, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and so forth. So marketers will very often talk to you about your Facebook PPC campaign or your Google display campaign. These all-in-one terms refer to types of ads, their platforms and their payment method.
Although Google Adwords is one of the largest and most popular platforms, there are many different online advertising options to choose from across several different platforms:
- Search engine marketing – ads are displayed based on a key phrase you type into a search engine.
- Display advertising – these are banners, displaying your ads, placed (by Google, for instance) on other websites.
- Social media advertising – Youtube and Facebook ads are very well known here.
- Retargeting advertising – when someone has visited your website, retargeted ads remind them of your brand later when they visit other places on the internet.
- Price comparison website advertising – these are sites like PriceCheck or Bid or Buy. At Comalytics we can integrate your website with price comparison websites for you.
- Affiliate marketing – this is when someone recommends your products in return for a small payment.
Here are a few examples:
Example: Adword text ads and Google Shopping Listings
Example of a Facebook ad in the newsfeed
Search engine optimisation (SEO) helps potential customers find your site via search engines. If you’ve ever done a Google search yourself (and who hasn’t?), you’ll know that you usually start investigating the listed websites below the ads from the top down. So the higher up the rankings you are, the more likely it is that customers will come to you first.
Search engines like Google use complex formulae to organise their rankings, and there’s a lot you can do to move up.
Keywords are king, so once you’ve planned your site pages, research the best keywords for each page. Bear in mind what words are relevant for your industry, as well as what potential customers might type in when searching for a product you sell. Then you can get busy with both on- and off-page items to boost your rankings.
On-page items include using your keywords strategically throughout the text, writing excellent and useful content, and including multiple, useful links. Off-page SEO refers to the links you have with other relevant and credible sites, creating a traffic flow from them to you.
The old-fashioned, hard-sell method is no longer the most efficient way to reach your audience. Instead, it’s all about consistently providing relevant and useful information that helps your targeted audience solve their problems, shows you are an expert on your subject and raises awareness of your brand.
Communicating via content marketing can take many different forms, for example:
- Your web, category and product pages
- Your product description and images
- Vlogs (video blogs)
- Social media posts
- Case studies
- Installation guides
Ideally, you should make use of a few of these in your customer acquisition strategy.
If the content addresses your potential customers’ “pain points” and answers key questions for them, you’re providing a useful service to them, as well as building credibility for your brand. There’s a good chance they will then open your communication and click through to the landing page on your website.
It is important to have a content strategy that takes into account your goals, your core messages, and the needs and behaviours of your customer personas. Set up an idea bank of all the topics you could create content about, categorised per persona. For each piece of content, plan how you are going to produce it and then where you will distribute it to make sure it reaches your audience and brings them back to your site – hopefully, to buy.
To come up with ideas and topics for your content marketing strategy, try using your sales funnel as a framework, as in the example below.
Social media platforms help you create an online presence that potential customers can easily find when they search for your brand or any related keywords.
Share information about your company and your products, and invite others to share their opinions and experiences too, creating a buzz around your brand. You can also share posts from other people or companies, which helps to keep things interesting and provides your followers with useful additional information. If you share posts from industry influencers, you may even catch their attention too and get the opportunity to build a relationship with them.
As an added bonus, social media helps you keep an eye on what people are saying about you, so you can manage your brand image. It may even spark great ideas for new products and services you could provide to meet people’s needs.
Different types of social media
Use this to connect with other individuals or businesses in your own and related industries. Join or create your own group to discuss your area of expertise/products/services, or write useful and interesting blog posts to share.
Follow others in your industry, retweet from others’ feeds and post your own tweets that link back to your site and/or your blog.
Use this to publicise your blogs, as well as your company’s brand, products and activities. Adding Facebook Shop to your page makes it even easier for people to buy directly from there.
This is an image-based network with descriptions indexed by Google, so make sure you include keywords there. Post images from your website, and when people click on them, they are taken back to your site.
This fast-growing photo sharing website is often used by e-commerce retailers.
Connect with others interested in similar subjects by joining related communities and creating a circle of your own to share posts with.
Share your own or reblog content from others to create backlinks that draw people to your site and also boost your search ranking.
- Photo sharing websites:
Share your photos on sites like Shutterfly, Flickr or Photobucket so others can download them to use. When they do, their attribution should include a link back to your site. Include keywords with your photos so they also show up on Google Image search.
- Document sharing websites:
Sites like Slideshare, Scribd and Docstoc allow you to share documents.
- Video sharing websites:
Post your videos on Vimeo, YouTube or Metacafe.
- E-book sharing websites:
Share your e-books on EBooksDownloadFree or E-booksDirectory.
- Podcast sharing websites:
Share your podcasts on iTunes, PodOmatic or Podbean.
- File sharing websites:
Share useful files on Google Drive, Dropbox or Box.
- Slideshow sharing websites:
Use platforms like Slide.ly or SlideShare, rather than PowerPoint, to share slideshows on Pinterest or Facebook.
- Social bookmarking:
Share content on sites like Digg and StumbleUpon so people can interact with it and share it on to their networks.
Readers vote on Reddit posts, so share quality content or ask good questions, preferably before 5pm to take advantage of the highest traffic.
Effectively managing your social media takes time and effort, and few e-commerce site owners do it really well. Make it easy for yourself by asking us to manage it for you. Contact us here to find out how you can take advantage of our expertise.
In South Africa, 57% of online traffic is mobile-based, with searching being one of the most popular mobile device activities. People are always looking for information that improves their lives. You can use this to help people find you in several different ways.
Different types of mobile marketing
- SMS or MMS marketing
- Bluetooth mobile marketing
- Mobile internet marketing
Trends to look out for here are instant apps, voice search and a one-to-one user experience (one-to-many is old news) – in other words, personalisation. Simply being responsive is no longer good enough… Mobile marketing is only going to grow.
Email marketing for attracting customers
Email marketing tends to work best to engage and retain your existing customers by building your relationship with them. If you have a large enough database though, one that perhaps includes people who have only bought from you once or a long time ago, you may be able to draw them back to your site as “new ” customers, especially if you make a splash around launching a new shop or product.
When starting a business, it’s therefore worth focussing on building your email database as fast as possible.
The bottom line…
Used correctly, this digital marketing framework can help you think through your acquisition strategies and ideas. Don’t try to implement everything at once though, or you’ll end up completely overwhelmed. Once you know what drives your customers, you’ll have a better idea of which channels to focus on for customer acquisition. Pick a few to start with, test how they work for you and then fine-tune your strategy from there.