ADOTAS – My digital marketing agency, DigitalMarketing.com, is a leading indicator of how the economy is doing. Businesses tend to invest the most in their digital presence when they’re confident that the economy is strong. In the first quarter of 2014, we’ve seen a 300% increase in sales so far, compared to the same quarter last year. That suggests to me that we can expect economic growth for the next six to nine months, unless there’s an inciting incident that causes a slowdown.
You won’t be able to compete with rivals who are actively building their digital presence now if you don’t do so, too. Many owners know this instinctively, but they don’t feel confident about getting started, because it’s outside of their expertise. Here are some strategies I recommend.
1. Make digital marketing a priority. If you want to dominate your niche in the digital world, set aside 10% of your overall budget for marketing. Then, allocate one-third to 50% of that budget for digital efforts like high end search engine optimization, paid search, social, and content marketing. You will need smart, creative experts in your corner to achieve your goals.
2. Choose the right partner. Look for digital marketing experts who know the best practices for your type of business, whether that is a law practice or a carpentry shop. Ask agencies if they will give you a money-back guarantee. Providers that know the game are willing to bet on themselves.
Before you sign any contracts, get out of the sales department and talk with the experts who will actually be running your campaign. You’ll get a good sense of how talented a team is when you talk with the people who will be doing the work. Talk with the agency’s clients, too. They’ll be quick to tell you if the provider is ethical and honest.
3. Measure your success. A good digital marketing firm should be able to tell you how much money the companies in your professional niche spend, on average, to get a sales lead — and how much it costs to convert a lead to a paying customer. You need this data to determine if you are getting a good return on your investment. Your conversion rate should be from 3% to 10%, depending on your industry.
4. Maximize your results. The beauty of digital marketing is that you don’t have to wait a year to see if your campaign is working. You can see if you’re getting clicks and customers the first day. Once you’re achieving results like this, your marketing team will help you amplify them, using best practices from your industry. If you’re not hitting your benchmarks, there’s no reason to live with a campaign that’s not working. The best pros will help you diagnose what’s wrong and help you fix it — because they will genuinely care about your success.