Do you need to increase your digital marketing budget?
You're doing okay, but is that good enough? It could be time to invest in marketing.
11 May 2016
A recent survey of digital marketing managers identified a significant gap in spending on digital marketing, with one of the reasons cited being the lack of buy-in from senior management.
Nearly 40% of the respondents felt that there was a lack of understanding from leadership teams, which was holding them back from committing to expanding online marketing activity.
It’s essential to keep abreast of all the latest techniques to drive marketing strategies forward and staying one step ahead of the competition, but how can this be achieved when the investment just isn’t there?
It's all the more important when you consider that 46% of all adult media consumption is carried out via digital channels. Due to the growth of tablets and smartphones, UK consumers are spending twice as much time online as they were 10 years ago.
Digital marketing is accountable and, as such, can be the most cost effective form. By its nature, it can be continuously improved to get the best possible return on investment. But therein lies the rub - how does one make a qualified decision if one feels uninformed and ill-equipped?
You may have come across some of the reservations below when talking about the digital side of your marketing plan. Well, we have put together some considerations to help to support your case for future investment.
“We’ve got a website, why do we need a “responsive” one?”
In 2014, mobile exceeded desktop computer when it came to browsing the internet and was deemed "the biggest shift in internet history". It’s become second nature to pick up a mobile device to have a quick scan of our favourite sites and social media platforms - we do it habitually alongside other every day activities. On average, adults spends 2.8 hours a day on their mobile device.
As a result, our consumption of media and expectations have changed. Technical advances of smartphones make using the internet easy. We can zoom, pan and scroll on web pages, but we’d prefer not to. When using our mobiles, we want to view content which has been specifically created with this type of device browsing in mind.
Many web agencies will develop new websites with RWD (Responsive Web Design) as standard. RWD is the means of crafting a site to make it as easy to use as possible with a minimum amount of resizing, panning and scrolling for mobile users
This is something that Google has acknowledged: their algorithms will identify if a site is mobile friendly, and it will favour RWD over a mobile equivalent of a site (having to crawl a site just once is much more preferable). So, as you can imagine, a RWD website will have an impact on the overall ranking on the search engines.
Old news? Well, it’s amazing how many websites are still not yet responsive. A survey carried out mid-2015 revealed that just 56% of small business owners were considering a responsive website.
“But we’re B2B, and our Analytics says that 80% of our traffic is from desktop users.”
There is complacency in the B2B sector, with the feeling that there is no need to invest in mobile friendly technology as their target audience predominantly use desktop devices. However, over 40% of smartphone and tablet owners search for B2B products. And if your website isn't mobile-friendly, it can affect your search results, regardless of the device used for the search. In a recent survey, it was found that 42% of researchers use a mobile device at some stage during their B2B purchasing process.
Mobile is the fastest growing digital marketing channel, and on average will garner about 10% of a total digital marketing budget. So if you're not considering this as an important part of your strategy over the next 12 months, you could be on the back foot.
“We used an SEO Expert and optimised our website when we launched it three years ago.”
The majority of traffic driven to a website, especially for those within the B2B sector, derives from search engines. This has been the case for many years, and if the senior management are going to buy in to any type of digital marketing activity, SEO is usually the first thing on the list.
However, the definition of SEO is becoming more ambiguous. Yes, there is still a means of making a website more visible to search engines, but there has become a fine line between optimising a website and creating something which is over-stuffed with keywords in a bid to try and get exposure.
Why has it changed? Well, Google likes to think it’s in tune with the search habits of its users. Its algorithms are identifying RWD websites because they are more user friendly on mobile devices, and it’s a similar case with site content.
Once upon a time, it would use algorithms to look for keywords to gauge the relevance to a user's search. Nowadays, users are more savvy in the way they use the web, tending to search more for phrases than just keywords, so themes and subjects on sites are becoming more important.
You may have heard people talk about the "conversational search". The phrase has been coined, not only by the way in which users type search queries into their search engines, but also because of the introduction of Siri and Cortana - intelligent personal assistants that use voice recognition to answer your search queries.
This has resulted in a change in the way in which Google indexes a website. In recent months, Google have nailed down some of the algorithmic changes we saw in their Hummingbird and Panda updates as part of a Core Update, this was a strong signal that told us they were committed to ranking websites in accordance with users’ search habits.
Optimising a website is vastly different now to three years ago, so if the performance of your website on the search engines and the number of visitors from organic traffic is a priority, then it’s worth having a complete review of your website’s SEO strategy.
“But traffic to the website has grown 30% year-on-year, there's surely no need to invest more?”
If you've seen growth in your website traffic over the past 12 months, can you categorically say that they are the right type of visitors for your business?
Many people are happy to look at the top line figures and not really scrutinise their website users’ behaviour. 45% of all internet users will spend less than 15 seconds on a page before moving onto another, so while you may have experienced a growth in traffic, can you guarantee these visitors are finding the information they need?
Sometimes having a little more insight can be the game changer, simply seeing the website through a user's eyes can unearth little idiosyncrasies which, if dealt with, can affect the way the site is used and result in more business for your company.
From heatmaps alone, one can understand more about where visitors look and where to place content and images effectively in order to encourage them to follow a journey. By using heatmaps, one company were able to successfully identify areas of the site that were preventing visitors from completing the desired actions. After removing these, conversions increased by 51%.
The cost of testing your current website is far outweighed by the cost of losing potential visitors by not offering them the best online experience. You can almost guarantee, if your website isn’t engaging with the user within the first 15 seconds, your competitors will be…
"This is all fine, but we do not have the resources to invest…"
You will hear more about marketing automation as an emerging marketing strategy in 2016/17.
This refers to technologies like HubSpot or Marketo that will help you to manage all of your digital marketing channels such as email, social media and website content.
In addition, these platforms have the intelligence to monitor the activity of users and react accordingly. So, for example, it will track the user's interaction from attraction to conversion, ensuring you continuously engage with them all throughout their buyer's journey, delivering targeted content that will capture their interest.
Merging this form of technology with your existing CRM can take a lot of the legwork out of campaign management, and become a very cost effective investment for your digital marketing. A recent survey carried out by Spear Marketing Group in September 2015, found that 58% of respondents said that Marketing automation was most likely to deliver on ROI.
In 2016, an MIT Sloan MBA student completed a research study on the ROI of using HubSpot's marketing software. It concluded that not only did it increase visitors and leads, 72% of customers saw an increase in sales revenue within one year.
This is really just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to talk more about digital marketing and where to invest, simply drop us a line!
Digital Marketing Census 2016 - Marin Software
3 Reasons B2B Marketers Must Embrace Mobile… Now - Search Engine Land
Mobile Marketing Statistics compilation - Smart Insight
Only 56 Percent Of Webs Sites Apply Responsive Web Design - International Business Times