Few online marketing tactics are more effective than digital marketing. In this strategy, you combine quality website content with social media and other methods of drawing in site traffic. It’s an approach that’s effective for almost all organisations that use it, and it’s also both cost-effective and time-efficient. A digital marketing strategy has four distinct stages, each of which is essential for success.

1) Attracting Traffic

The first step, of course, is attracting visitors to your website. And not just any visitors—you want the kind of people who are interested in your products or services. As with any other marketing campaign, therefore, the key with step one is specificity. Who’s your target audience? What do they want from your organisation, and how can you provide it?

With these questions answered, attracting traffic is then about creating quality website content that’s of interest and value to your audience, and then using various methods to encourage people to read it.

  • Blogging: Add regular quality content to establish a reputation as an expert, and draw in traffic as well
  • Social media: Facebook and Twitter are the two platforms most commonly used for this purpose. Publicise blog posts and products, highlight industry news, and add the occasional general interest story
  • Email: Weekly or monthly email updates that share recent blog posts and news, as well as product information, can keep people coming back to your site

2) Converting Visitors

Attracting visitors, of course, is just the first link in the chain: the second part of the equation is converting those visitors into leads. The most effective way of doing this is by offering something of value in return for contact information. An eBook or white paper, a discount coupon, a how-to guide or webinar, for example, can entice visitors into providing that all-important email address.

Make sure that whatever you’re offering is relevant to your audience and your own organisation, and include a call to action that explains exactly what the visitor should do. The call to action doesn’t have to be overly salesy – adding a simple instruction, such as “enter your name and contact information below to receive your free item” can increase your conversion rates dramatically.

3) Closing those Sales

Closing sales is easier when your leads are people who have already expressed interest, and the beauty of digital marketing is that your pool of leads is comprised of exactly those people. The next step is to turn those leads into customers, by showing them the value that they’ll get from your products or services.

One of the most powerful ways of doing this is by using social proof—such as testimonials and case studies—to show potential customers that other people are benefiting from your products. Another powerful motivator is reducing the risk of making a purchase, for example by offering a money-back guarantee or product replacement.

4) Engaging Customers

Finally, you want to turn those new customers into repeat customers who recommend your organisation to others. Again, it’s all about value: continue to provide the kind of value that turned those people into customers in the first place, and keep up with what your audience wants, to continue reaping the rewards.