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digital communications


Digital Communications and its growing importance in a post-pandemic world


Unsurprisingly the importance of having a strong digital presence has risen up the agenda of most organisations, big and small, in 2020. Pre Covid-19, organisations approached digital in many different ways. While most will have had a website, and possibly also a social media account, digital marketing strategies were perhaps the preserve of those with large internal marketing teams, writes Claire Rason and Joanne Bayliss of Client Talk


In the new normal, most organisations will instinctively know that digital should be somewhere in their marketing mix but knowing where to start can be daunting. Whilst SEO and PPC might be mentioned in some marketing budgets, for others those terms will be alien and not something they feel they need concern themselves with. Then there is UX, digital PR, inbound marketing, content marketing and social media to contend with. The list of confusing digital marketing jargon can seem endless.


What is digital marketing?


At its most basic level, digital marketing it is a way of using online tactics to deliver marketing strategy. It is a channel that organisations can use to communicate with their chosen audiences and can offer fantastic value for money when used effectively.


To ensure the best return on investment it is important to understand where digital marketing fits within your broader marketing strategy. What are you offering your clients? Who is your target market? What do you want to be perceived as? And what messaging do you want to deliver?


It is vital to have clarity in your marketing objectives, once achieved a digital marketing strategy can then work to help you achieve those. When digital becomes overwhelming, coming back to basics and asking yourself how and why your digital communications will help you achieve your goals can focus intentions. Not only will keeping sight of the fundamentals help you navigate your way through, it will also enable you to make smarter decisions.


What should a digital marketing plan contain?


A strong and cohesive digital marketing plan should always contain clear goals. Think SMART. A lot of what makes a digital plan successful is monitoring – regular tracking and measuring of your performance against your goals can then inform future activities. If you don’t know what you are looking to achieve, then you will never get there.


Claire Rason


There are many digital tactics and tools that you can use to achieve your goals. These goals are likely to map into a traditional sales funnel; from goals which help you raise awareness of your brand, through to those which help you convert leads from digital channels. It is important to remember that digital can also be a way of delivering your service to your clients, at present it could be the only way available to you! A well thought out digital marketing plan with clear objectives can help you in achieving that.


Here, we set out an overview of what you should think about when pulling together a digital marketing plan.


Websites


If you ask people to think about their digital communications, then a company website is usually top of the list. Having a website ticks many boxes. Some might use it as their calling card, others a means of verifying that they are what they say. Many businesses use their website as a means of attracting and winning work. However, a strong, effective website can be so much more. To truly realise its potential your website needs to have clear messaging, targeted content, strong SEO and a well-developed user journey. Particularly if you rely upon the site to drive enquiries or generate sales.


continued overleaf ... THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2020 businessmag.co.uk 9


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