Knowing when to change your digital marketing campaign or simply to give more time to meet your performance goals is not an easy decision. Sometimes your campaign just needs a few tweaks, sometimes you need to rethink every element of your digital marketing campaign. Moving too quickly to implement a change can hurt your market performance as it can take 6 to 12 months for your ROI to improve. Wait too long to make a change and your business can fail. What can a company do? Let’s start with an understanding of why you need a digital marketing strategy.
Why you need digital marketing
All companies rely on digital marketing to be successful. With millions of people online at the same time and more and more people at home, it’s no wonder consumers are increasingly using digital tools to access businesses and meet their consumption needs.
This means that companies need to be present online – preferably with several of these digital tactics: social media, a website, digital advertising, email marketing, content marketing or influencer marketing. Not only does digital marketing reach a large proportion of consumers, it is also inexpensive and generates measurable results to guide optimization.
When running your digital marketing campaigns, you can see the results of your efforts instantly in real time (and over time) using tools like Google Analytics to see how many people visited your website, how they got there, who is converting and the revenue generated from your digital marketing campaign, especially if you use tags and event tracking to provide granular details from your conversions. Did they use the swipe up option on a social media article, search for, or click a link in a marketing email? From there, you can see who converted, where they came from, what pages they visited on your website, how many times they visited before the conversion, and much more.
As you work on your campaign, the results speak for themselves. However, interpreting the meaning behind the metrics is extremely difficult.
Here are some of the signs that you need to take another look at your digital marketing campaign to decide how to improve its performance.
Are you changing your digital marketing campaign or not?
Think of your marketing performance goal like the hole on a golf course (in this example even mini golf or a driving range counts). Constantly adapting your tactics can mean that you constantly either miss the hole or overshot it instead of sinking the ball. If you aim in the wrong direction, you will never sink the ball despite the good swing. If you keep hitting the ball exactly as you always have, you won’t get the lowest score either. Instead, you need to understand course and external factors like wind (market, competition and environmental factors), know where to point your ball (establish effective tactics), and know when to change your approach.
The same is true if you know when to change (or if you need to) change your digital marketing campaign. Here are some pointers you should consider changing.
1. You are not seeing the results you want for a channel
Every day there seems to be a different digital marketing channel that needs to be considered. The newest is TikTok. If you’re constantly switching from one channel to the next, looking for the next big thing, you’re likely to see worse results. This is especially true for small businesses with limited bandwidth. Using a few channels effectively is MUCH better than doing a bad job with a few of them. You also need to start with the channels that are most likely to reach your target market. Below is the best social media channel based on age. You can find similar charts for other critical consumer segments like gender and income. Choose platforms that suit your target market.
Image courtesy of Marketing Charts
Once you’ve identified multiple candidates, you can narrow your choices to a few that you can manage effectively with your limited bandwidth. It often makes sense to start with the best perspective and then add additional channels as you gain confidence in the first. Give your channel 6 to 12 months of hard work before discounting the channel or changing your strategy to make sure you see the real impact of your digital marketing campaign.
2. You lack commitment
Imagine your company has a Facebook page with 1500 likes. That’s pretty good for a small business, isn’t it? If each of those people who “like” your site have made a purchase, your business is likely to become a nice proposition. Law?
There is hardly any correlation between likes and the ringing of the cash register. Instead, you need to get followers / fans to engage with your content. By engaging, you amplify your message to reach a large number of new potential buyers (see the graphic below to see how this works).
Post engagement is a metric provided by many social media channels that you should monitor consistently. If you don’t see engagement after about four months, or if you notice a drop in engagement that rational considerations like vacation can’t explain, it’s time to consider changing your digital marketing campaign.
To increase engagement, observe which types of posts are generating the most engagement and focus on creating similar posts. Often times, this means leveraging human interest and backstage access to your community. Be timely and professional with your responses to comments and respond quickly to complaints. Social media is a great way to demonstrate your customer service and that builds trust over time.
3. You are investing too little in your digital marketing campaign
Most companies are guilty of putting together a campaign at the last minute at times, but getting used to it is bad news.
Good campaigns take time, effort, and money. They require data analysis, testing, and targeting. For businesses that want coherent marketing, campaigns need to be planned in advance by focusing on critical elements like keywords, tailoring your messages to your target market, hiring people who understand your market and digital tools like automation, monitoring and SEO, and choose the metrics that you use to measure success.
4. You are not up to date with developments in consumer behavior
The internet is giving more and more people access to information faster than ever before. Because of this, customers are getting smarter and recognizing which products they are buying where. For example, many buyers will not make a purchase if it doesn’t include free shipping as this benefit is now widespread.
Thousands of potential customers looking for a specific product or service go online to read reviews before visiting online or store retailers. Notice in the graphic below that ratings influence 87% of purchasing decisions, more than any other factor.
Image courtesy of the Digital Marketing Community
Reviews are one of the best sources of advertising for a company. People who have a great experience will want to tell others about it. These positive reviews have a huge impact on ROI.
5. Your website is old and out of date
The internet is open around the clock. Potential customers can look at the products of certain companies and make a decision and buy within a few moments. If your website is out of date, difficult to navigate, or making the buying process difficult, it’s time to make it more user-friendly. Customers who don’t know how to use your website will want to leave the website as soon as they get there. This metric is known as the bounce rate.
We have seen all of the websites from the early days of the internet with sliders, unusable mobile sites, and even out of date content. It’s hard to trust a company that doesn’t care about maintaining a modern website.
When you feel that your digital marketing programs are no longer working, it can affect the overall performance of your business. Take the time to evaluate your current campaigns and make a few small changes to see if it is successful.
Author: Angela Hausman, PhD
I run Hausman and Associates, a full-service marketing firm that works at the intersection of marketing and digital media. We offer a variety of digital marketing solutions, including content marketing, email marketing, SEO / SEM, social media marketing, lead generation as well as marketing strategy, branding, market research and a variety of … Show complete profile >