The holiday shopping season is typically the busiest and most profitable time for many retail businesses. From Halloween to New Year’s Eve is when most E-commerce stores make half or more of their annual revenue. It is therefore crucial that retailers start planning now as we could be facing a very different peak period this … Continued
Why Invest In Digital Marketing Strategy?
Find out why you should invest in effective Digital Marketing Strategy.
How much can really be gained from an investment in digital marketing strategy? Is the return on investment as promising as so many online gurus would make it seem? The simple answer is, yes!
Digital marketing can seem like a bit of a minefield. Especially if you are not used to the technical jargon or the tools utilised to facilitate digital marketing strategy. From SEO and Google AdWords to email and social media marketing, there is a lot of scope when it comes to your brand’s digital marketing toolbox. With each tool providing a lot of potential to provide a significant return if used in the best way possible!
To put this into a bit of context and give you a true perspective on what an effective, congruent digital strategy can do. Let us take you through the case of one of our longest standing clients, The Normandy Hotel in Glasgow.
For the majority of modern business owners, having a website for your company is a given. There’s no denying that the overwhelming majority of consumers take to the internet for each and every search they do. Most especially when it comes to a purchase. The internet has truly taken the reigns on two pivotal steps in a consumer’s purchase decision making journey – Information Search and Evaluation of Alternatives. So, what can you do to maximise conversion for your brand?
Conversion refers to the percentage of visitors who complete a desired goal out of your website’s total visitor count. Meaning if you are a hotel brand this goal may be for your web visitors to make a room booking online. As was the case for our client, The Normandy. But simply having a website available isn’t necessarily enough. Websites must be built with the user experience (UX) in mind. They must be easy to navigate, clearly signposted and the information which users are likely to seek easily found. Essentially, the objective of the website is to lead the visitor to make a booking as effortlessly as possible. An effective website is a crucial component to any digital marketing strategy, as the brand’s online hub.
This demands a great deal of technical and design skill and expertise. To ensure that a brand’s website is not only able to facilitate a great user experience, but have the systematic capabilities to handle significant traffic and usage. Glitches are not welcome when it comes to increasing conversion! The phrase “there’s plenty more fish in the sea” springs to mind.
It’s all well and good having a quality website which offers your visitors a seamless online brand experience. But there’s the small matter of getting visitors to your website to consider. It has been found that more than 67% of all clicks on Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) will go to the first five results. Considering with every Google search there can be hundreds, if not thousands, of results. This is a disheartening statistic.
But if there’s a will, there’s a way. Brands worldwide have flocked to search engine marketing strategies to boost their visibility and likelihood of appearing in those first five search results. With the understanding that search engines are a primary tool in digital marketing strategy success. Strategies including Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising, Google Adwords and Google Remarketing. Each of these can enable a brand to be found online more frequently and easily. If they are utilised intelligently and with a brand-focus.
The Data-Driven Search
Search engine marketing tools must be targeted and highly specific to the brand in question. For example, The Normandy are one of hundreds of hotels available within and around the city of Glasgow. So, if they were to deploy SEO to boost visibility and focused on keywords like “Glasgow Hotel” they would likely struggle to feature in the top search results. As this is a very open phrase and one which would undoubtedly have been used by hundreds of other competitors with greater traffic already. This can often be the case for many brands not accustomed to digital marketing strategy intel.
Instead, marketers must narrow-down to the niche of their brand. What would customers search for if they were looking for a brand like yours? In this case, what exact words would search engine users type into Google when looking for The Normandy? Through data analysis and monitoring, it was found that for The Normandy their key search terms related strongly to their tribute nights. With a strong reputation for being a fantastic entertainment and party host venue. Based on this data, search engine marketing tools focused upon key phrases including: ‘tribute nights glasgow’, ‘normandy hotel events’ and ‘hotel party nights.’ Therefore, if a user searched for these terms or something similar in the area then The Normandy would be very likely to feature.
Did you know that roughly 9 in 10 brands are active on social media as part of their digital marketing strategy? That means that almost every business is adopting the online social world as a strategy to boost brand performance. This, of course, being no coincidence!
Engaging with consumers where they are most active is a fundamental marketing principle. From traditional marketing practices, like bus stop ads targeting commuters or billboard marketing dotted throughout major city centres. Brands need to be present where they can be see, and today this is on social media.
Brands need to actively create engaging, informative, visual content for their followers. Establishing positive brand associations and boosting brand awareness through consistent and frequent content publishing. This includes posting at strategic times, using targeted Call-To-Actions and taking advantage of paid ad campaigns. There’s certainly a lot more to a successful social media digital marketing strategy. Involving a great deal of data crunching, segmentation and customer service.
The Social Impact
Social media does, however, hold the potential to develop meaningful, positive customer relationships as users can interact live with the brand. Brands are able to remain in the minds of consumers as they frequently appear on their newsfeeds as a reminder. As long as it’s not overkill in quantity. This creates positive associations as they are able to recall the brand when making future purchasing decisions.
The Normandy welcomes over 1,000 Instagram and Twitter followers and over 25,000 Facebook likes. This fantastic audience has been developed through consistently brand-friendly and entertaining content which resonates with their target audiences. Developing a brand community which demonstrate their loyalty through repeat bookings.
Last but certainly not least, the humble email marketing campaign. Email campaigning remain a great way of communicating with customers directly and drive traffic to your website. By embedding links to certain web pages and providing gentle nudges throughout your email copy, an email campaign can be a great success.
Not only does it have the same capabilities as social media marketing to boost brand associations and image. It also creates a more personal quality as you are communicating directly with your customers. Boosting brand value and customer experience. With the right content and writing style, you can lead consumers to your webpage. What’s more, with that high quality website design we mentioned previously, you should see a welcome boost in conversion.
The Normandy have seen great success from email marketing, as they commit to a weekly email with a different topic every time. This keeps content fresh and exciting, whilst maintaining an appropriate length of time between engagement. This way customers don’t feel bombarded or irritated by constant emails flooding into their inboxes. What’s more, we have consistently developed their email database acquiring thousands of new customer contacts to communicate with. Always, of course, adhering to GDPR policy by contacting only those that agree to it. Though this certainly hasn’t impacted The Normandy as hundreds sign up to receive our marketing material on what’s going on at the hotel.
Thanks to the combined effort of these digital marketing tools, we have helped The Normandy see great results. Within 1 year between 2017 and 2018, The Normandy saw a 41.47% rise in online website users and a 31.94% rise in new users visiting the site. This means that a great deal more people are visiting The Normandy website and with more traffic, comes greater conversion.
This increased visitation and online engagement has led to a whopping 118% year on year increase in room bookings. Meaning that for The Normandy, quality digital marketing has quite literally paid off and led to hundreds of new and returning customers.
In addition to these fantastic results, The Normandy welcomed a 41.03% increase in sessions. Sessions being a group of user interactions which occur within a specific time frame, which Google currently has set at 30 minutes. This is a significant insight into the quality and functionality of the renewed Normandy website. Visitors quite frankly would bounce back off the site if it were visually unappealing or difficult to use. However, the fact they remain on the site for such a considerable length of time indicates that they are finding the information they want and actively engaging with it.
The Normandy are a wonderful example of how a tailored digital marketing strategy can be highly effective and deliver a significant return on investment. It demonstrates that consumers genuinely respond to and appreciate marketing efforts online, and this can deliver great results for a business.