Refine your digital strategies

For many businesses the most effective to way to reach new and existing customers is through digital channels. Tim Luckhurst, Business Director at global media agency Mindshare, sets out some key questions you need to take into account as you plot out an effective digital marketing strategy. 

What do you want to achieve?

Through digital marketing, you can achieve a range of different outcomes, so from the outset, it's vital to have a clear picture of your ultimate objectives. You're likely to be looking at a mix of platforms, from social channels to search engines. If your principle aim is driving traffic to your website, then search is usually the most cost-effective solution. However, if you want to get people to talk about your brand or share your content then social media is going to be the best way. Also, within the channels, it's really important to be focused on what you want people to do. For example, if you want to generate phone calls then make sure that your number is clearly visible as your call-to-action, whereas if you want people to watch a video about your product or company, then make sure the video is easily accessible and suitable to be watched on a mobile device.


Are you using all the tools at your disposal?

Smaller businesses are more likely have particular target audiences who they want to reach. A key strength of digital marketing is that you can be very specific about who you actually target with your activity. There are a range of tools available to help you ensure that your targeting is as accurate as possible. Google Trends, for example, allows you to see what people are searching for in your area of business. Meanwhile, Google's Keyword Planner will tell you how many searches there are on particular terms. Using these tools effectively allows you to target your ads to the things that people are searching for and can also help you to write the content for your site in such a way that you can drive your search engine rankings and be really competitive online. In terms of social channels such as Facebook and Twitter, there are multiple options to help you target your audience. You can specify who you display your ads to based on age, region, gender, or interests for example, allowing you to very accurately target the delivery of your content.


How do you measure your activity?

As with any business activity, you need to have a clear view of how you are measuring the effectiveness of your digital marketing. Whenever we work with a client, at the outset of a campaign we will work out the KPIs for the activity - that might be the number of direct enquiries to your website or simply the number of shares you achieve for a piece of content on Twitter. Knowing what those KPIs are allows you to monitor your activity as it is running and tweak things as you go along to improve performance. One of the great advantages of digital is that you can adapt your campaigns as you go along in order to deliver the best performance, so you should always closely monitor performance and look for ways to improve it.


Where is your content being viewed?

Increasingly we see that digital activity, be that web browsing, social or even buying products, is predominantly done on a mobile phone. If you want to get people to your website, you need to make sure it is optimised to work on mobile platforms and delivers your message clearly. It's amazing how many sites aren't properly formatted for mobile, so you may be trying to buy something on a website on your phone and the forms don't work properly for example. People also often browse cross devices, so they may research on their phone and then purchase on their desktop for example. You need to be able to deliver the right experience no matter the device people are using.

Thought leadership from HSBC

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