Tech-savvy consumers are using websites, mobile applications and a wide variety of social media to connect with brands, assimilate information and formulate buying decisions. A company’s digital presence begins with and is centered around its website, but can include a variety of electronic communications such as social networking sites, blogs, video and photo sharing sites, digital ads, email messaging, newsletters and more.
These various touchpoints of customer engagement must all be carefully considered and blended when developing a digital strategy. bfw Advertising believes that a company’s digital presence cannot simply be an extension of an existing process or strategy, but should be an integral part of your corporate DNA. A digital audit by bfw includes an examination of all your current online activities and identification of areas for potential opportunities.
Digital objectives are always crafted with the bigger, long-term picture in mind. This begins with research – gained both from the client and conducted in-house to better understand the digital challenges and competition surrounding any particular campaign.
- Are these digital marketing platforms likely to change, and if so, how can we plan ahead to come out on top?
- Which strategic approach will provide the most granularity in the way of results?
- What digital marketing platform(s) will best fit your particular product or service?
- What assets can we leverage to set your product or service apart from the competition?
- Who is your target audience?
Whether we’re creating a brand from scratch or refreshing one online, our digital services team leverages unique in-house skill sets to drive results.
Digital Marketing Strategy Demystified
A corporate website is the cornerstone of a business’s digital presence – and should make a lasting impression on its visitors. You have mere seconds to capture your audience’s attention. Messaging should be strong and clear. If visitors can’t decipher what you do in a few moments, they’ll go elsewhere. Website navigation should be straightforward and easy for the visitor
A recent comScore report says smartphones and tablets combined now account for 60 percent of all online traffic – up from 50 percent a year ago. In that context, it’s crucial that your corporate website is mobile-friendly – especially with Google now giving better search rankings to sites leveraging mobile-compatible/responsive technology. Tablets and smartphones are often lumped together in the mobile discussion, but many companies opt to deliver their desktop site to the tablet user. This decision hinges on the type of site, the audience and the desired call to action.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
From a design, content creation and programming perspective, bfw follows industry-accepted Best Practices for Search Engine Optimization. We develop an appropriate site hierarchy and naming convention, identify keyword phrases and incorporate them in the copy of the website to enhance the chances for placing well in Organic Search results – and we continue to audit and optimize regularly.
ONLINE PAID CAMPAIGNS – DRIVE CONVERSIONS. CAPTURE MORE LEADS
Specific business goals such as newsletter signups, product offers, brand awareness, and driving site traffic should be supported with a comprehensive, paid digital advertising strategy that includes tactics such as programmatic, behavioral targeting, retargeting and Google/Bing search.
From custom-tailored Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns to native advertising and landing page design and implementation, our number-one goal is to capture more leads for your business. Our team of designers, buyers, and digital media professionals work in tandem to produce creatively designed to capture your prospective audience’s attention in the appropriate environment. We create a comprehensive digital media mix that complements traditional advertising and is custom-tailored to your business goals.
If time is of the essence, PPC and Social campaigns can be implemented with speed in order to grab new business and drive brand awareness quickly. Before any campaign is implemented, extensive keyword research is done through various tools, including SEMRush, Google Trends, and Google Analytics. Campaigns are tested, optimized, monitored and adjusted on a daily basis to determine the best placement and copy for your business utilizing both proprietary and third-party tools and services.
BEST PRACTICES INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:
- Keyword-optimized TITLE tags
- Meta tags and descriptions
- ALT Text image tags – keyword optimized
- Website content with acceptable keyword frequency
- Spider-friendly navigation
- Site Map
- Social Media Integration where applicable
SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING (SEM)
While the optimization process is a Best Practice, there is no guarantee that even a properly optimized website will rank sufficiently well for a given search term or phrase. bfw advises Pay-per-Click advertising in instances where an immediate Search Engine presence is desired, or competition is fierce for certain keywords and phrases. When bfw uses Google AdWords and/or Bing Ads to supplement organic search, the SEO and SEM efforts are run in parallel and are monitored closely. When specific keywords and phrases begin to rank well in Organic Search, they can then be suspended from the Pay-per-Click effort.
THE SOCIAL SPACE
Social Media has become the center of conversation in many advertising circles because the common perception is that it’s free, it’s relevant to everyone and it’s powerful. All those things are either true or not true. It all depends on the audience.
Whether it’s social media or video/photo sharing, mobile, and web-based technologies have changed the way we communicate. For businesses, technology has changed the way consumers interact with brands. Consumers want the same personal relationship with a brand that they have with their friends – which puts the onus on brand marketers to deliver that experience and satisfy that expectation. A commitment to a social media presence is no casual activity; it takes dedication and consistency to be effective.
A well-crafted strategic email marketing campaign consists of an opt-in newsletter. Targeted opt-in direct email is still a successful formula to stay in front of your target audience, inform them of breaking news or special offers and generate new leads. This holds particularly true in fast-moving or competitive industries where knowledge is power.
Whether you’re in the process of harvesting leads or are now making a greater attempt to reach an already established customer base, innovative tools such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact can produce measurable results with flexible delivery.
Digital coupons have become increasingly popular due to the increase in smartphone and tablet usage. Whether it’s posted directly on your website, delivered through an app, or sent via email, coupons can be much more effective than traditional paper coupons in today’s marketplace.
Companies large and small are beginning to see the value in having some sort of mobile application. Mobile apps can be used to sell products, target local customers with special offers, provide customer support, collect data and user behavior or simply create brand awareness and loyalty.
OUR TYPICAL APPROACH:
Once an audience has been identified for the mixed-use environment, we develop a Social Media Strategy designed to reach the targeted audience. We look at all relevant social media outlets – Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Stumbleupon and Reddit (among others) to determine the best allocation of resources to reach the desired audience.
Ideally, Social Media does quadruple duty. It builds awareness, improves search authority, creates content and inspires action. We look to maximize all four either through paid advertising campaigns or organic, non-paid techniques across any social platform.
Our projects have ranged from developing integrated sales force automation and customer relations management systems to online product customization and e-commerce projects. Much of our work in interactive today also involves integrating relational databases, content management technology, and third-party data. Additionally, bfw provides complete integration between campaigns and digital assets – creating unified, easy-to-measure, real-time initiatives that can be optimized or enhanced. Accordingly, our interactive staff includes database architects and software developers, as well as the traditional retinue of designers, content managers, coders, animators
and media experts.
We’ve staffed a complete, in-house interactive department since 1998. Our creative and technology professionals provide extraordinary design, programming, database administration, and interactive media planning – services that a larger, more traditional agency usually farms out. We understand the power that digital technologies bring to communications initiatives – beyond their ability to maximize and measure the effectiveness of our campaigns. Digital and social media continue to change the marketing landscape and create profoundly different ways to be creative – and effective. At bfw, we pride ourselves on staying ahead of the wave – and taking our clients along for the ride.
WE KNOW WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT.
The technologies and services we employ throughout a digital strategy are used with measurability in mind. Whether that’s measuring results or evaluating our competition, the latest arsenal of both proprietary and third-party tools helps ensure that conversions increase and a larger number of leads are captured to help you achieve your business goals.
DOWNLOAD: This article is available for download as a White Paper (PDF), as well.
Greig Santos-Buch is the Digital Services Strategist at bfw Advertising+Interactive in Boca Raton, Florida. bfw is a tight-knit collection of writers, artists, designers, technologists and thinkers who share a common passion for doing great work that makes things happen. For more information call (561) 962-3300 or visit www.gobfw.com.