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Likes don’t pay the bills

Not all social metrics matter as much as others. In this article, learn more about how to track return on investment on things which directly impact your business.

Companies are in business to make a profit, that’s generally how they stay in business, and beat the competition. “Well, thanks for that dynamic insight Captain Obvious.” I hear you say. Well as basic as that statement is, in the digital economy, for some unknown reason a lot of companies pride themselves and brag about the strangest metrics? “Have you seen our Facebook page, we have this many followers and this many likes” etc. As much as things like followers, likes and shares are great, they create little to no value if they are not translating into sales at the end of the day. Any business accountant worth his weight in gold will tell you, “Likes don’t pay the bills.” Companies are investing large amounts into digital channels and like any marketing channel, they should yield a good return on investment. Just having a digital or social presence is not enough, it needs to be working hard for the business.

Now more than ever, digital is becoming the marketing channel of choice. Here are a few interesting stats around the digital environment we find ourselves in. There are over 3 billion smartphone users in the world right now. Millennials are on their phones 5.7 hours per day, while baby boomers devote 5 hours to their smartphones. On average people spend 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phones. To all, you marketers out there, do you know any other advertising channel or medium that people carry on them, basically every waking minute? Through mobile, digital marketing can reach your target market anytime, anywhere. They don’t have to be driving on a specific road to see your billboard or listening to a certain radio station at a certain time to hear your 30-second radio commercial.


Another fantastic benefit of digital marketing and strategy is that you have the right research in place to monitor your content. You don’t need to pay research companies astronomical amounts of money to do focus groups and research. A lot of the feedback is opinion based and open for misinterpretation. With digital data, numbers don’t lie and the truth is plain to see in black and white. Plus after a few days, you can immediately see if your content is achieving its business goals and if not optimise your content immediately, not in 3 or 4 months.

Now to measure if your content is delivering on its business goals and objectives you need to have a digital strategy in place. Generally speaking the majority of the digital strategy work I have dealt with revolves around 1 of 2 business objectives. Creating online awareness around a brand and lead generation.

The who:

But before we tackle that do you have the correct and relevant research in place? Research and data is always the precursor to strategy and without it, makes digital strategy a shotgun type approach. You should already know your target market but do you know for example but do they know who you are? What digital channels they gravitate towards, what devices they are using to access and interact with your content? What content on your social platform are they resonating with and what is performing well? Once you have a clear and concise idea of who you are talking to, you can address the what.

The what:

Now you have a concrete foundation to build your digital strategy on, what do you want to communicate to them? Is it awareness you are trying to build or drive leads and sales or both? Something you need to keep in mind is, that new consumers you are trying to reach are not necessarily looking for you. So what are they looking for, what are their interests and how can you seamlessly become part of their digital journey and add value or entertainment to their lives? Be interested in what your target market is interested in, immerse yourselves in their digital word, become part of their conversations and see how your product or service can fit in with them and make their lives easier. Less you more them. Too many brands force themselves uninvited into user journeys. They interrupt people and place advertising hurdles in their way.

The best example I can give is when you want to watch something on YouTube and you are forced to watch and endure those annoying pre-rolls that you didn’t ask for or want to watch. How many times have you ever clicked the see more button? Don’t be a pre-roll brand.

That is where digital strategy plays a huge role. It makes sure your content is relevant for the digital channels it is living on and is meeting your target market where they are at with the information they are seeking. This makes your sales pitch less awkward and forced and more organic and adds value to their lives. This less hard-sell approach is more likely to translate into a sale. Also, keep in mind the sheer volume of content these consumers are navigating every day. Is your message clear, concise and entertaining? Does it stop them in their tracks and demand their attention or is it boring, vanilla and digital wallpaper? If you are trying to close business always try to make the process as simple, seamless and easy as possible. Don’t take them from platform to platform with a 7 step process. The tech-savvy consumer has already interacted with eCommerce sites like Takealot or Amazon and if your sales funnel is complicated many will lose patience and just leave.

There are a lot of variables to consider when it comes to digital strategy but one thing is clear. You need to have clearly defined digital business goals and KPI’s for your company, a goal to aim at. To achieve this you need to have informative and insightful research that feeds into digital strategy. With these two elements in place, digital can become one of the most powerful tools in a business’s marketing arsenal.

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