"A leader or a man of action in a crisis almost always acts subconsciously and then thinks of the reasons for his action. "
- Jawaharlal Nehru
We live in a world where everyone is online. Technology, internet and social media are now an undeniable cog in the running of the world. In recent years, concepts of digital marketing, SEO and social media management have become increasingly important to businesses. However as it’s grown in popularity, online marketing has also become crowded with both experienced and inexperienced individuals/companies who are trying to carve a niche for themselves.
Whether you’re an experience digital marketing expert or someone who is attempt to break into the world of online marketing, there will be challenges that will stump you. Below are some of the biggest challenges faced in online marketing :
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
A social media strategy is becoming an increasingly essential part of any digital marketing campaign. Whatever the size of your brand – from a pop-up shop to a global brand- social media is allows you to stay ahead of the competition, keep track of the changes in the market and attract new customers. However, working out a strategy that works for your own individual brand is much bigger challenge than it appears to be. Some common questions that brand owners are faced with in terms of their social media management include :
- CONTENT : What kind of content should we produce? 2) How can we make our content stand out?
- SALES: How often should we advertise and sell on our social media? 2) How can we get people interested in our products with direct sales?
- MANAGEMENT : 1) Who will manage the account? 2) How do we choose the right person to strategize and lead our social media campaign?
- FOLLOWERS/ENGAGEMENT: 1) How do you organically increase your followers/ engagement on social media? 2) How do you find time to manage different channels effectively?
Possible solutions :
- Focus management of the strategy rather than planning/process of it.
- Draw up a content calendar to brainstorm and document ideas –put down the type of content, the peak engagement times for different channels- sourced from platforms like Google analytics- and other ideas.
GETTING THE BEST OUT OF SEO
Search engine optimisation seems like an easy enough skill to pick up. However, the changing algorithms and lack of keyword data, makes it harder to get the desired results as it becomes more difficult to find the right keywords and hyperlinks. As search engine rankings become what companies rely on for their online revenue, the companies try to break through competition without low-cost solutions to get better SEO, which often results in the dangerous trend of decreased rankings and subsequent decreased output.
Possible solutions :
- Don’t rely heavily on the rankings for your revenue.
- Don’t compromise or dilute your content simply for good SEO. Even if your online traffic increases, weak content will only serve to reduce visits to your site.
- Aim towards building a brand that’s consumer-centric so that people not only come back but also recommend your brand to others.
- Organic traffic is great, but it’s hard to achieve particularly if you’re looking for big numbers. So either be realistic in the numbers you’re aiming for or consider a Google AdWords campaign if you have the budget.
BUILDING AND MANAGING YOUR WEBSITE
Websites, once upon a time, were simply static brochures of your brand. However, now for a website to be truly effective in attracting and engaging customers, it needs to dynamic and ever-evolving. While it was possible in the past to get your website to rank high on searches simply by populating the copy with keywords, this is no longer as effective. Now, your websites attract people with quality content over quantity of information. Making your website responsive and accessible is a challenge faced by many companies.
Possible solutions :
- Don’t be afraid to invest in the operation of your website. Hire experts from developers and hosting experts to digital marketers and content developers.
- If your website is both dynamic and responsive, look into further improving it with a mobile-optimised booking engine like Trekksoft
If your brand is looking to thrive online then it needs to be accessible and trackable from multiple devices. If not, it might affect the conversion rates of your channels as it would become impossible to trace back the sale to its origins ; for example if a customer sees something they like while browsing their phone but then makes the purchase days later on their desktop or iPad.
Possible solutions :
- Having a responsive website that reformats your site based on the users’ screen size
- Keep in mind that consumer behaviours will vary in different points of the buying cycle, and adjust your messaging and presentation accordingly.
EMAIL MARKETING AND ANCILLARY REVENUE
Email marketing may not be trendy anymore but it is still a very effective way to engage customers and other brands/sponsors. This form of marketing allows your brand to succeed without an algorithm. However, you can’t do this successful without a list of email addresses. Gathering them is the challenge mainly because of brunt work and time required. You will have to run contests on social media, having a pop-up on your website to sign up to your newsletter, and much more before you start seeing results.
However once you’ve got a big mailing list you have the freedom to test out different ideas to engage the recipient. In fact once you’ve grown your email network enough, you can even get other companies to partner with you so that you can earn ancillary revenue ; i.e. selling somebody else’s products for extra revenue in addition to your own.
Online marketing seems simple in theory, but it is not easy in practice. But by taking a step to identify the key areas for growth to aim for as well as the challenges that deter this growth, any business can achieve controlled growth where the speed of your company’s growth aligns with the effectiveness of the growth itself.