Digital marketing is a rapidly changing environment where building long‑term strategies is not effective for small and medium‑sized businesses.
Instead, you need to use small, manageable strategies that allow you to quickly adjust to changing conditions by launching marketing campaigns quickly, learning what works and optimizing for better results.
If implemented correctly, this cycle of learning and optimizing is how small and medium‑sized businesses can maximize their return on their digital marketing investments.
Learn from successes and failures
One of the least used but most valuable aspects of digital marketing is measurement and analysis. It allows businesses to learn from failures and successes and increase their return on investment (ROI).
I've spent over a decade creating marketing strategies for large companies and most cannot measure the true ROI of their marketing mostly because their technical environment is too complex.
However, small and medium‑sized businesses are a natural fit for this type of marketing approach because they have less complex technical environments and more nimble management, allowing them to adjust and optimize quickly.
Four steps to success
There are four main stages involved in setting up a results-driven digital marketing framework.
The build stage can also be seen as the set‑up phase. This is where you develop a basic digital ecosystem (website, social media platforms, mobile and email database) for your businesses that will allow you to quickly launch, measure and optimize your digital marketing efforts.
At this stage, you are ensuring you choose the right technical platform (one that can be easily expanded) and ensuring elements like your brand, products and services are strongly presented. You also want to ensure that you can accurately measure the activity of visitors to your digital properties.
Attract potential customers
Once your digital ecosystem is set up, you will then need to figure out how to drive potential customers to your online properties. To get started you should launch a few simple campaigns, using such tools as Google AdWords or Facebook to learn how best to attract visitors and allocate your budget.
During the measurement stage, you are assessing the results of your campaigns to understand what tweaks should be made to your digital marketing properties and your digital marketing plan. It's important to listen to what prospective customers are saying and analyze their behaviour on your online properties so you can figure out the best way to convert them into paying customers.
Ongoing cycle of improvement
The final stage is optimization as part of an ongoing cycle of measuring, learning and making changes to your digital ecosystem to help improve conversion of prospects into paying customers. This agile framework ensures that your content and the addition of more advanced technical features are based on true customer needs.
The result of your efforts will be continuous improvement and a maximum return on your digital marketing investments.