Despite the prolific growth of mobile marketing and social media/ social networking – many businesses are still building their digital strategy with the website at its centre. Is this the right approach? Often the strategy and tactical online marketing plan will look something like this (which I stole from Tri Synergy Marketing in the UK).
An example of an industry who do not use their website as the centre of their digital strategy
In 2011/12 we are seeing entertainment brands use social networking websites as the core of their digital strategy. Often a new movie release will launch their promotional campaign using Facebook as the call to action and primary destination – rather than a website address. That’s not to say that they don’t have a website, it’s just not where they are sending people who have responded to the advertising.
The decision to use Facebook as the online call to action for promotional materials is based around the data. Facebook tells us that they are available in more than 70 languages and had 845 million monthly active users at the end of December 2011, of which 425 million used Facebook on mobile.
The key objectives of most digital strategies are a) to drive large amounts of people to a destination (usually a website) and b) convert those people into customers, sales or users – depending on the business model. In an effort to get the largest amount of traffic and to give users the best possible user experience, brands choose to direct their audience to where they already are, Facebook. From here brands focus on engaging the user enough to make them want to click through for more information, to their website, or make the decision to see the film.
I’ve been struggling to find an Australia movie trailer TV commercial on YouTube. Most of them are trailers and not the TV commercial. I know I’ve seen dozens of movies that advertise facebook, but all the official trailers, which are usually over 2 minutes and not shown on TV, still show the website. So I’m going to prove my point by directing you to The Hunger Games facebook page which has over 4 million LIKES, many videos and still images from the movie but also a very clear link in the top left of the fan page directing users to their website.
I recommend not using your website as the centre of your digital strategy and instead focusing on the user and how they like to interact – as the entertainment industry are doing. If you build your digital strategy around the end user’s need or want and create content that delivers to that need, you should see an increase in traffic as well as engagement. Often this kind of digital content strategy is driven through customer first marketing strategies, rather than business goals first. By investing in content and engagement, you can be rewarded with high awareness and sharing through social media.