Setting the right expectations for digital marketing strategies

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At ReputationDefender we understand that as of the emergence of the digital world and the plethora of different ways to reach out to new customers through digital marketing strategies, many businesses have rushed into the topic in hopes of not lagging behind their competitors; however, something that has hindered many of their strategies was a total lack of previous planning and, perhaps more importantly, a total misconception regarding the expectations for such strategies.

Setting the proper expectations at the beginning of any endeavor can greatly affect both perception and future performance — in other words, the success of every digital marketing campaign is not measured exclusively by objective criterion and standards. Attaining the 4th place at a competition can indeed be considered a success if the goal was to get up into the top 10; and it can be a tremendous bummer and failure if the initial goal was to get the gold medal.

In marketing, things work similarly: achieving a four to one return on a investment might in fact be totally acceptable, unless the expectations were set up for a ten to one return. Expectations can be interpreted in several ways, but if setting the right expectations prior to launching a campaign plays a vital role, how can companies and businesses in general know what expectations they ought to set? In order to provide an insight on such interrogative, we at ReputationDefender have compiled several major digital marketing strategies along with the expectations companies and businesses in general should have for each one of them:

This strategy pays off almost immediately (within days). Companies will receive traffic as soon as they launch the campaign, which is why paid search stands out as one of the most efficient strategies amongst the others. In fact, few other forms of digital marketing strategies pay off from day one; however, as it name indicates, its success relies on the fact that it is paid, otherwise, companies will see an obvious decline in traffic the day they spot paying: their ads will fade away as quickly as they showed up.

Compared with paid search — which pays off within days as mentioned above — , the rest of strategies can indeed be improved and enhanced in order to produce a much better return; however, it is not recommendable to set expectations too high. In fact, the expectations for those campaigns that are commonly optimized over time ought to be rather moderate: marketers, despite of being in the game for long time, ought to be cautions regarding what to expect and how to measure the success of a particular campaign. Additionally, unlike other strategies, campaigns that are improved over time will come to a point where the return will max out if the business is not willing to spend more money and resources on additional clicks.

This strategy is somewhat uncanny: while it can definitely pay off as of the first day a company sends its first e-Mail, there are cases where the expected payoff takes longer. Such premises suggest that the expectations regarding the payoff ought to be moderate too. Businesses that have been around for quite some time have managed to collect data from their customers and oftentimes they already have a very interesting compilation of customer e-Mail addresses. Such landscape is what makes e-Mail marketing effective: unless a company has a very respectable list of customers, e-Mail marketing is not perhaps the most suitable campaign; otherwise, it is in fact a viable strategy.

Search engine optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, is perhaps the most renowned and used strategy nowadays. In fact, SEO is a compilation of different strategies; however, when conceived as a whole, due to its variegated nature, the expected payoff may take quite some time, ranging from months to years, which is why the expectations ought to be set accordingly. Most SEO projects take up to six months before performance can be accurately assessed: Google uses a myriad of different factors and elements to determine a site’s ranking based on content, links, originality, authority, etc., and normally, such ranking is not determined overnight. Truth is, a site’s ranking is also determined combining the aforementioned elements with the site’s age and activity — Google actually assesses the site’s content before rewarding it with a high position.

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Just like with SEO, social media strategies and campaigns take more than expected: engaging with customers is something done on a daily basis; nevertheless, obtaining their trust and building solid relationships takes more than one night of arduous work. In fact, this strategy, alongside the aforementioned ones, require a lot of work and effort so that they can produce the expected result; however, given the nature of social media, the perceived input v.s outcome ratio is most of the time misinterpreted: the goal is most of the time clear, yet people ignore that achieving it is a daunting task.



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