Mansfield Inc.

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 Say goodbye to digital marketing in the dark.

Have you ever had a “great feeling” about a marketing strategy, but aren’t quite sure what the results will look like? Say goodbye to shooting in the dark, and say hello to the world of digital marketing where everything is measurable and accountable.

Digital marketing makes up 52% of overall marketing spending. CMOs expect to spend $228 billion on digital marketing in the US market alone this year. Digital marketing budgets are expected to outgrow TV in 2017. Considering your audience will be obtaining most of their knowledge online about your product offering, you should be creating a digital strategy for this year and next.

What are the basic ingredients of a digital marketing plan? Your plan should have a seamless transition from one media channel to the next- including mobile. Here’s 5 tips you should always think about when measuring your digital marketing success. The following list of simple components should be considered in your plan:

1. Inbound Marketing

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How do you plan on bringing traffic to your website to gain more business and maintain loyalty of current customers? What is content creation strategy? Do you blog, have video or newsletters? And how do you plan on using that to generate more website views? What is your re-marketing strategy for those people that visit your site but don’t necessarily stick around and complete a purchase? How are you measuring bounce rates and conversions to sales?

2. SEO

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Search engine optimization. How does search play a role in your views? There are two types of search: paid and organic. Both are important contributors to your campaign, but organic usually has a higher resonance (75% more likely to convert from organic vs. paid). That means you need to think about what kind of campaign will draw customers to your product or website and increase visibility. How are you elevating search engines and climbing the results rankings?

3. Display Ads vs. Native Advertising

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More and more, there will be a shift to native advertisement in 2016 and beyond. Why? Because it is a creative way to engage a customer in a more meaningful way than your standard banner ad. Native means creating content that will use some of your brand’s attributes, but will often be more about an experience with the content.

For example, if you were an outdoor tent company you may take part in a series of articles in Men’s health on hiking in Tibet.

Native will continue to become more prominent because ad displays are prone to ad blocker, and they are becoming less effective. There is definitely still space for display ads in digital strategy, as long as it’s done tactfully.

4. Social Media Marketing

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How are you going to mobilize your community through social media? This channel can prove to be one of your most valuable assets, and if it spreads virally, can often produce more fruit. Timely responses to customer complaints, questions and praise are all expectations of a brand today. Having a poor community management strategy can be the demise of many companies. Given the enormous upside to community management and planning, it’s shocking how badly these channels are operated by so many companies today.

5. Mobile

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If you’re still struggling with an unresponsive website, you will be sad to learn the for the first time in 2015, Google announced that mobile searches passed desktop searches. Google’s algorithm has also started to penalize sites that aren’t responsive on mobile. Starting May 2016, if your site isn’t responsive to mobile, it will rank lower.

Considering that nearly 52% of mobile users get their information via mobile apps like Facebook and Twitter, these will only continue to increase in 2016. Advertising spend on mobile is on the rise – this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

In the end, if you embrace these five strategies, or consider asking your CMO what they are doing to ensure these basic components are being followed, you’ll keep up with the times and be in good shape to succeed. I’ve got a very good feeling about this.

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