Destination unknown: the digital bog

Kim V Goldsmith digital marketing strategy

Are you one of the huge number of SMEs operators in Australia who experienced lousy social media results in the past year? Or do you simply not know if the social media marketing you are doing is working for you? Maybe it feels like being bogged in mud.

Imagine trying to drive through causeways of deep, sticky, oozing mud. What you’re aiming for is just ahead – you can see it but you just can’t reach it. Think of that mud as a shapeless, congested mess of messages blocking the channels of communication we use to reach our people – our market, audience, community.

Messages lose their shape for many reasons – poor wording, inappropriate language, lack of visuals, poor quality or delivery (be it the format or content), poor timing, frequency, lack of focus, lack of market research, conflicting objectives…all contributors to the digital bog.

Part of the reason we end up in the mud is we try to travel without a map or a plan to keep us on the road…towards a destination that isn’t well defined.

In my travels across NSW, I too often see organisations and small businesses operating without a defined destination, a road map to navigate the plains and valleys of the digital landscape or methods in place to monitor the journey. Without a plan, we constantly bump into the competition and end up being pushed off the road into the mud.

The challenge is not so much the ever-changing social media landscape, where new estates pop up every few months ready to be populated; the challenge is creating a digital marketing plan that centres on your well researched and profiled target market or community as the destination, rather than just following the car in front of you.

…87% of Australians aged 18 to 65+ access the internet at least daily…

With the monetisation of many of the more popular social media networks, spending a relatively small amount of money (compared to traditional media and printing) promoting our content is critical to ensuring our messages reach our intended audience – think Facebook Adverts/boosted posts or Instagram’s sponsored posts.

However, the 2016 Sensis Social Media Report (June 2016) is alarming in its reading that indicates many SMEs aren’t reaching their audiences because:

80% of small businesses and 73% of medium-sized businesses DID NOT pay to advertise on their social media accounts.

What’s even more concerning is:

52% of small businesses and 46% of medium-sized businesses are said to NOT have a social media presence.

Given that 87% of Australians aged 18 to 65+ access the internet at least daily, one would have to ask what on earth are those businesses thinking? What opportunities are being missed in terms of brand awareness, feedback, word of mouth referrals, direct sales or leads, data gathering, collaborations and more?

Even 85% of regional residents access the internet daily – a miracle in some places. Of those internet users, almost 70% use social media AND the frequency of use and time spent on those networks is increasing as well – with 12.5 hours a week is spent on Facebook alone (still the daddy of all the social media networks).

Getting a digital marketing strategy in place shouldn’t be a hard task…

Getting a digital marketing strategy in place shouldn’t be a hard task if you already have a business and marketing plan. It’s just a matter of asking the right questions about the destination, getting the right KPIs in place to work out the best route to get there, and knowing how you’re going to fuel the car to make the journey.

If you’re looking for a guide to help you get your digital marketing back on track, out of the mud, or you need help with assessing or implementing your current plan, give me a call. There are options for all types of digital marketing travellers.

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