The millennium up until now has been defined by a major shift in marketing strategy from traditional forms of media to a greater focus on digital. As an industry, digital marketing is defined by constant evolution—staying abreast of every new development is essential when maximising your revenue streams. That’s why at Parna Recruitment we constantly have our finger on the digital pulse.
The most recent seismic shift towards online has been the COVID-19 pandemic. Even businesses that had been resistant to digital-only in the past had to find new ways to function on a totally digital playing field, and while we are starting to return to some sense of normality, the impact lockdown has had is massive. With shopping, ordering food and working online now all the norm, businesses have to find ways to adapt to this new status quo.
One of the major areas of change has been shopping. Not only are consumers purchasing everyday items online more frequently, they’re also changing their buying habits as a result. Whether actively seeking bulk-buy deals that simply wouldn’t be practical in person, or scouring online forums for the cheapest deals across the board, the digital marketplace is distinctly different from the real world one.
While retail stores have begun to reopen, there has been a notable decline in footfall throughout city centres. With no clear end to the ongoing pandemic, no consistent timeline for when staff will return to offices (if at all), and a quantifiable shift in buying habits already, there are understandable fears that retail will continue to suffer for some time to come.
Fortunately, many of our partnered businesses have had immensely successful quarters during the pandemic by reprioritising their digital efforts. Consumers weren’t purchasing less, they were simply purchasing differently, meaning that tapping into the online marketplace has become immensely important for any and all sectors.
Those who struck early, struck gold, but the good news is that it’s not too late to pivot. At Parna Recruitment we’re not just experts in recruiting, we’re experts in marketing, and that means knowing exactly how to build out a successful digital marketing campaign, and what talent you need to make that happen.
It goes without saying that there’s no one quick route to building a successful online presence. Digital marketing is a huge multifaceted department that needs solid investment, strong talent and a good timeline. Let’s break down the options you have, and where your priorities should lie.
PPC advertising, or pay-per-click, refers to buying ad spaces for your business across the internet. Whether that’s Google, Facebook, Instagram, or any other number of retail spaces available, you need to develop a comprehensive campaign around who you’re targeting, and how. That means building out a clear demographic, and doing a good amount of research into who will convert, and how much it’s worth paying to reach them.
For most online businesses, PPC is the cornerstone of their outreach attempts. That means that bringing on a good digital marketing manager is essential. They need to know their way around a litany of different tools, from keyword research, to analytics, and they need to have the confidence to use your marketing budget wisely.
Any long-term digital strategy has to include SEO. SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the process of creating websites that rank well on search engine results, particularly Google. Achieving an organic page one rank can mean thousands of users coming to you directly, guided by their trust of Google’s algorithm. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for how to achieve this, but there are some consistent areas of focus.
Search engines usually put an onus in strong, reliable, and informed content, so ensuring that your website is full of useful writing is a good start. That means blogs, of course, but it also means making sure that each individual page is performing a clear, sustained purpose. Find your voice, create engaging content, and, above all else, be original. That’s why we believe having a good, passionate content writer on your team is a must.
Having a clearly designed website works for you on two levels. The first relates to search engine optimisation: if a website has a tight, easy-to-understand navigation structure, with quick page load times and no broken links, then Google will begin to rank you better. Having good content is one thing, but your website needs to work well too!
The second upshot of this is simple: users will enjoy spending time on your website. If your pages load slowly, or the information is difficult to interpret, then people are not going to stick around for long. Having an easy-to-use user interface with a simple route to purchase is a surefire way to up your conversions, and having an in-house dev means your website will always be running smoothly.
If search engine optimisation helps your content reach new audiences, then social media is where you engage your existing consumers. Never before have we had platforms so well-suited to engaging your user base, so make sure that you’re not posting boring, repetitive content there. That’s where a marketing executive comes in.
Consider your brand image first, then develop content that sits alongside it. Space out your calls-to-action with posts that suit your demographic, whether that’s crowd-pleasing memes or thoughtful think pieces on your industry. The more you can develop the relationship you have with your users, the better, and the more value will be added on both sides of the equation.
In a similar vein is email marketing. Once your customers have given you permission to use their email address, you have another possible point of engagement with them. Creating strong email flows that interact with users at essential points of the sales funnel helps massively, particularly with regards to remarketing once a user has bounced from your website.
One last way to ensure your users are consistently engaged is to develop a loyalty scheme. Whether it’s points-based, or simply offers ongoing incentives such as free delivery, loyalty schemes give your users a reason to return time-and-time again, without the hassle of punching a hole in a cardboard card. Reward your committed online users—the results will speak for themselves.