Consider this approach to planning your digital strategy.
Launching a marketing campaign online isn't difficult. There is a wealth of options open to business owners who want to attract attention in Asia and beyond. But it can be a little more challenging to make use of these online channels in the most effective way.
Don't be surprised if at first you feel overwhelmed when faced with so many choices for getting your message out in digital media. When planning your digital strategy it's worth taking a little extra time for research.
In this category we have digital advertising, paid for by the business owner and published via the advertising network's own channels.
Pay-per-click (PPC) lets you get your message out through these channels, but you only need pay for actual clicks on your ad from potential customers. This is an attractive option for many businesses since it's budget-friendly.
Similar to this is pay-per-impression, where your advertisement is published on a high-traffic site or social network, usually as a banner ad. This makes it a good choice when you want to make a splash with your campaign and generate interest around it.
When Asian markets are your priority it makes sense to go with the most popular ad networks in this part of the world. For example, in South Korea you are likely to want to target Naver for search marketing. Now that Naver has split from Overture Korea, you'll need to use its own NHN Business platform to appear in shopping links and keyword-related ads.
The ability to create mobile PPC campaigns will be another important element in choosing your paid media channels. Google AdWords still dominates here. Mobile technology is a way of life in Asia, so do give this some attention. 2012 statistics from mobiThinking state that China and India alone make up 30 percent of the world's mobile users.
Owned media is the category over which business owners have the most control. In many respects that makes it the most powerful. It includes your website, blog, plus branded social media pages such as your company's Facebook page or YouTube channel.
Here you decide how to showcase your brand. Make the most of this by researching the best ways to reach your Asian markets. You can then build a presence in the places your customers use to socialize and connect online.
Despite competition from regional alternatives, Facebook and Twitter continue to gain ground across Asia. Also take a look at Google+. We know Google loves to deliver local results. But by creating a Local Google+ page, you also get to connect your online and physical business presence.
Paying attention to localization and using the relevant top-level domains for each market can also boost your reputation as a trusted national or Asian business.
The category of earned media refers to what others say about you. While every business wants positive reviews and recommendations, it's the area where we have the least control. Good online reputation management and an active social media presence can help here. And make it easy for customers to leave reviews and testimonials on your own website.
Another aspect of earned media is the ranking that search engines give your business. They use their own algorithms to judge how relevant and worthy your website is, before recommending it to search traffic. Increase your chances of being seen as a top match for keyword queries with good search engine optimization. This includes not just relevant, high-search keywords but also delivering quality content that attracts backlinks from respected sites.
Attention to localization will increase your chances of ranking well in the all-important local search engine results. Finally, don't forget mobile SEO to deliver your message to all those smartphone and tablet users.
When you look back over past online campaigns, you might find you've been dividing up digital marketing channels, treating them as separate strategies. Of course, each can be a valuable way to reach your markets. But by making a distinction between media we own, paid-for advertising, and earned recommendations, we risk having our message pulled in separate directions. Worse, some useful media channels can end up overlooked while others are favored.
Linking up your marketing channels and delivering a joined-up message can give your online business image that professional touch. With a converged media strategy, everything works together to make your brand look reputable and to boost its visibility.
Naturally, managing a successful converged media campaign requires careful planning and sustained effort. You will need to consider the different resources that can help you, from freelance staff to software tools. However, once up and running, your converged media strategy will make your marketing efforts more polished. That could give you the edge you need in a competitive marketplace.
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