When I was a kid, I loved to solve puzzles. In fact, I still keep plenty of puzzles from my days in elementary school all over my apartment. However, it is not just about puzzles; what I love is getting to understand how many different pieces fit together to provide a solution to a problem. This was a major factor in my decision to take up an engineering course in college.
Even as an adult, I still love to solve puzzles, though it has been a while since I solved a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.
Instead, I now spend a large part of my time and most of my energy solving the different pieces that come together to create successful digital marketing. When you look at the process of creating a digital marketing campaign as a big puzzle that needs to be assembled, it is easier to get your head round the entire process.
However, when compared with a jigsaw puzzle, digital marketing has one big and important difference: You do not have a box with the completed picture to offer a guide on how the pieces fit together. This certainly makes the process of digital marketing significantly more difficult.
The point of this article is to try to give digital marketers a glimpse of the finished picture. It contains a detailed walkthrough of a tried, tested and proven digital marketing framework in four simple steps which are the essential pieces that form a successful digital marketing plan.
Before looking at the components of the marketing framework, it is important to analyze the workings of digital marketing. When broken down into its most basic components, any successful digital marketing strategy follows the same basic formula:
(Marketing Revenue) = (Conversion Rate) x (Traffic) x (Customer Value)
What this formula means is that the revenue you earn from digital marketing is a function of how many visitors you get to your website, how many of these visitors you are able to convert into paying customers and the value that these customers offer to your business.
Another way to look at it is that there are three distinct ways to increase the revenue you earn from digital marketing: Increase the traffic you get to your website, raise the rate at which you convert the traffic and increase the value that you offer to your customers.
A vital point to remember is that the revenue you earn from your website will be nil if any of the three important digital marketing aspects is zero. It is basic math; even if you are able to drive millions of unique visitors to your website but cannot convert them into paying customers, your revenue will still be zero!
Once you have an understanding of this marketing formula, you can now move up to the details of the framework, which we will call ‘The 4-Step Guide toward Digital Marketing Success.’ These 4 important steps are what every business with an online presence must work on continuously to ensure they remain competitive online.
1. Website Traffic
The first of these steps is building up enough website traffic. Clearly, if you are unable to get enough people to visit your website, you are unlikely to find any success with digital marketing. This should be your main area of focus when you get started with digital marketing.
You should think of your website traffic like fuel for your business. Your business needs a consistent supply of this ‘fuel’ to ensure that your marketing efforts have a base to build upon.
2. Website Conversions
As we mentioned earlier in this article, it does not matter if you are able to get all the traffic in the world coming to your website if you are not capable of converting the traffic into leads and sales. If you already have an established business and your website has a continuous stream of heavy traffic, the conversion of your visitors is likely to be the key to increasing your sales.
Let us examine an example that explains this point. Let us say you are able to get 1,000 people to visit your website every month and are subsequently able to convert 5 of these visitors into sales. Your conversion rate is then 0.5%. What would happen if you find a way to increase the rate of conversions to 1%? You would, in effect, double your sales figures while having the exact number of people visiting your website! This doubling of your sales would happen without necessarily having to increase your investment in traffic building through SEO, social media or advertising.
3. Customer Value
Although there are many businesses that ignore it, customer value is considered the X-factor that can make or break a digital marketing campaign. Once again, I will use an example to show how offering value to your customers could play an essential role in the success of your marketing effort.
Let’s say that you have a conversion rate of 0.5% and the average value per customer is $100. What this means is that, generally speaking, every visitor that views your website is worth $0.50 to you. By this calculation, it makes no sense to spend more than $0.50 to market your website to each visitor, since it would mean that you are losing money.
However, what happens if you have your main competitor with a similar conversion rate, but with a higher value per customer of $150? Your competitor will be able to afford to spend up to $0.75 per visitor, which means they can attract much higher traffic than you do. Even though they may offer the same product or service, have a similar website and convert visitors into customers at the same rate, their higher customer value means that your competition will dominate your market.
The final thing you need to consider is tracking. If you do not implement a proper tracking system for your website, you will have very little data to refer to when trying to improve on the three other steps.
When carrying out digital marketing, you should think of visitor tracking and statistics as you would the dashboard of your car. Driving would not be the same if you did not have a fuel gauge or speedometer. It would be harrowing to drive without knowing whether you should slow down or accelerate. Also, without the warning signals that your fuel gauge gives you, it is likely that you would suddenly run out of fuel.
Implementing a proper tracking system will help you to make better decisions since you will know where to place your focus.
In the same way that you would need to complete a puzzle in order to see the final picture, following through each of these 4 steps will assist you in creating a complete plan of action in achieving digital marketing success.