3 Essential digital marketing tips for beginners

In case you didn't notice, at Road21 we love everything that is digital: from customized software development, to IoT, to digital marketing. Let's discuss the latter: digital marketing.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing includes all marketing efforts that use digital technologies and media, including company websites, mobile apps, social media pages, search engines, advertising and email & automation. Digital marketing is more important than ever, especially with the COVID crisis in our mind. On the internet you find many guru's, dummy guides and best practices for digital marketing. The information available is massive and this makes it hard to know where and how to start. That's why we asked our digital marketing expert Ruben Baestaens for some tips and tricks. He shares three tips for companies that are considering starting out with digital marketing.

#1 - Make a plan, because without it, you're directionless

Without a plan, you're directionless. Many companies read about digital marketing and then decide to try it out. At random, they then test different tactics like Google advertising, email marketing and Facebook advertising. Or better: they say they test them; Because in reality, they spend very limited budgets for a very limited amount of time on poorly designed experiments. Therefore, the results of these "experiments" are not valuable or insightful. This leaves companies frustrated and makes them believe digital marketing doesn't work for them. You can avoid these frustrations and gather real learnings, by setting up a digital marketing plan first. When developing such a plan, you have to include components such as determining your target audience, an adequate value proposition and your business objectives. Based on your business objectives, you can then try out different strategies

#2 - Go all the way: go 360

A second tip relates to adopting the principles of 360-degree marketing. 360-degree marketing is about reaching your customer with a focused messaging spread across multiple points of contact. The goal should be to give your prospective clients the idea that your brand is everywhere. You can use digital channels for this, but also offline marketing can be part of a 360-degree approach. Because no, offline or traditional marketing is not dead. And yes, it can still be a vital part of your business marketing mix. However, offline marketing has its challenges for which you have to be attentive, such as the fact that it is often not measurable and not easily adaptable. For example, you cannot measure how many people have read your printed ads, or easily adapt the copy once its printed.

Having a 360-degree mindset, starts when setting up your digital marketing plan. Because at that stage you should also draft a value journey. The customer value journey is the step-by-step process that attracts and converts prospects into customers and keeps them coming back. If you're just starting out with digital marketing, you will have to make assumptions about what touchpoints your clients have with your brand, and assumptions about the key channels you will reach your customer through. You will then have to test these assumptions and finetune them until you have designed a successful and impactful 360 campaign. Typically, you need 90 days to test your assumptions.

#3 - Don't be afraid to try out something new

Once you have designed a successful and impactful 360-degree campaign, you have to challenge it continuously. It's so easy to get stuck in a rut, and keep using tried-and-true methods. But good marketing isn't static, it is a dynamic mix of great ideas that attract your audience continually, over and over again. That's why you have to dare to challenge the status quo and to try out something new. Trying out something new starts by talking to your customers. Their lives and their needs are always changing, so you need to keep up. You can do this by holding focus groups or doing surveys. Other ways are to try out new forms of media or creating new types of content. Just remember to always plan your experiments, to track your results and to learn from them.

Ruben Baestaens, CEO at Are agency

Ruben is the CEO of Are agency. Ruben's interest in digital marketing started when he started his own webshop for fitness products. Initially, his webshop attracted only 2 visitors. But Ruben started to learn more and more about digital marketing and applied his learnings to his website. This way he was able to increase the number of visitors to 15 0000. That's when he decided to study marketing. During his student time he started as a student-entrepreneur with Are agency, which today is a successful digital marketing company. Are agency focuses on 360-degree marketing and works out a personalized marketing plan with each client in which this approach is central. Interested to know more? Contact them via ruben@are-agency.be or read more at www.are-agency.be