First of all – you’re an idiot. That’s right, I said it. However, I wouldn’t be worried – most of us have our idiot moments. You’re forgiven.
Allow me to explain the reason for hurling insults at you:
You are actually considering conducting a full scale digital marketing campaign in house
Digital marketing used to mean building a website (that wouldn’t see a single change for a decade) and then sending out an email once a quarter. Times have changed. However, much like the poor frog in the pot of lukewarm water, since the temperature has been increasing slowly over time, you haven’t noticed.
Online marketing used to be an initiative that could be accomplished by a single person spending a few hours a month as an afterthought. But it began to grow. Slowly but ever so surely it continued to expand its needs and requirements based upon the expectations of the masses and over time became a massive, looming, monster of task fully capable of swallowing unsuspecting marketing managers and business owners whole if they’re not careful. From simple website maintenance we have now added dynamic email marketing, video creation, blogging, infographics creation, metrics analysis, white hat search engine optimization, database aggregation, social media management and lead conversion.
The interesting thing about this change is that organizations are still attempting to “fit it in”. Digital marketing is no longer a task to be attended to once the business of the day has been addressed – it is the business of the day and can very easily be your single largest lead source with the ability to qualify and nurture leads more effectively than any other platform in the history of history. Is it possible to execute an effective digital marketing strategy using in-house resources? Possible? Absolutely. Cost effective? Efficient? Scalable? Ha! Lets talk…
I’m going to bypass the “‘getting started” argument that highlights the fact that every industry has a unique set of best practices, insider information, tips, tricks, hints and other little knick knacks that you only learn after years of toiling within that specific industry. This argument (the one I’m bypassing) would go on to question your ability to effectively key in to this industry knowledge often and deep enough to execute a strategy as effectively as a full time digital marketing agency. I’m bypassing this argument because, really, does it even need to be made?
Lets talk talent – you’re not the biggest company on the planet but you’re sizeable enough to be able to spread this work around without killing the time clock. Here’s who you’re going to need:
Your website is the hub, the mother ship, the proverbial death star to your Lord Vader. This is where it all happens (or at least, it should): updates, news, events, product information, service offerings, portfolios, galleries, before & after, case studies, new Client acquisitions, etc. etc. etc. Your website is the world’s window into your business – presently what do they see?
With commonly used CMSs (content management system) like Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, etc. it’s safe to say that you don’t need a full blown developer to take on this position, just someone of moderate intelligence, above average attention to detail and a sustainable ability to perform monotonous tasks at tedium in perpetuity.
Not daunted yet? Nor should you be. Let’s continue.
* Email Marketer
Your website should be aggregating a database of interested prospects, leads, potential Clients, etc. (What do you mean it isn’t?! Shocking to hear, keep reading…) this information should be stored in a CRM of sorts (we like Salesforce, there are a billion options available) and then utilized in your ongoing marketing efforts. The person involved in this initiative should be strategic enough to determine, based upon the information provided upon opt in and the user’s behavior on your website (What do you mean you’re not tracking user behavior?! Shocking to hear, keep reading…) what marketing information to use when sending emails to each user or user group as well as the frequency and unique calls to action.
Basically it’s no longer as easy as sending an email. We now have to communicate to users based upon their unique and specific needs in order to effectively convert a user into a Client. This seems a little more difficult doesn’t it? But probably still nothing one of your best and brightest couldn’t handle. The question now becomes – how much time will they need to do this effectively and what are the opportunity costs involved? I shall let you decide that for yourself. Moving on.
Have you ever blogged? If the answer is “yes” then you already understand the difficulty in content creation and can move on to the next point. If the answer is “no”…well…give it a try. Task yourself with creating a piece of content once every other day (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) for a month. After two days if you haven’t thrown yourself out of a window, a moving vehicle or (at the very least) had a severe psychological and emotional breakdown then you’re obviously not doing it right. Creating content is hard. Creating content that is high value, share worthy and optimizable on an ongoing basis is one of the most challenging feats known to mankind. This is typically where the buck stops, you give in and give me a call and we take over your digital marketing. But, since I’m trying to make a point, lets go further down the rabbit hole shall we?
Do you like videos? Doesn’t matter – your users do. Video conversion is exponentially higher than text or image conversion on nearly every single platform. Videos are more engaging, more likely to be shared and have a lower bounce rate than any other single piece of media online. Want proof? Check out this study from Rossiter and Co about video marketing and its importance. So just whip out your iPhone, stick it in the first Sales guy’s face to walk by your desk and get some golden moments to throw up on the website right? Yes! Unless of course your user base is the stuck up sort that prefers to see high value, high resolution, audible and clearly decipherable videos in which case maybe that’s a bad idea.
Your content is a reflection on your organization which means the quality of the videos you produce is a direct reflection on what your organization is capable of. So it’s important that you tell the full time, professional videographer / editor that you currently have on staff to make sure they only make videos of extremely high quality. Wait, what? What do you mean you don’t have a full time videographer on staff? Oh…
Here’s the take home message. You have way too much to worry about running your business and doing what it is you do best. Even if you’re the Director of Marketing for your organization, you shouldn’t be bothered with the tedious day to day monotony that digital marketing forces upon you. Find a digital marketing firm (a good one) and let them do what they do best! Its exponentially more cost effective than doing it in house and the ROI is undeniable once you’re committed.
Author Bio: Kasim Aslam is a digital marketer and a principal of Solutions8, one of the leading Phoenix website design and digital marketing firms that provides a relative one stop shop for all of your internet marketing needs. Solutions 8 specializes in strategic, high level SEO, video production, social media and content creation. You can also follow Kasim through Sol8 blog.
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