Digital marketing is the backbone of every company today. In fact, it’s one of the most powerful and exciting tools that modern marketers can use to support business growth and establish a strong brand presence. To make the most of all that digital marketing has to offer, you need a framework that focuses your efforts and makes use of 7 Cs of digital marketing.
The 7 Cs of digital marketing provide a replicable and scalable modern framework designed to help marketers achieve their goals. It enables them to assess the digital marketing landscape from both an internal and external point of view, so they can better understand the business’s requirements and objectives.
On the one hand, the 7 Cs can be used to review websites as well as a brand’s overall online presence, to ensure that marketing communications are coherent and well-managed. Furthermore, they can be leveraged to keep track of and examine the activities of competitors.
The most important thing to remember is to place the customer in the center and ensure that all the other elements effectively contribute to meeting one´s target audience’s needs.
In this blog post, we will be going over the basics of each 7C individually to help you design a digital marketing strategy worthy of your competitor’s envy.
Why Use the 7 Cs of Digital Marketing?
Thanks to the constant advancement in technology, today’s consumers have much different shopping habits than they used to. According to LyfeMarketing, 82% of buyers research a product online before making a purchase decision, and 79% do part or all of their shopping online. And that’s not all.
The online space has also transformed how people look for, process, and share information. We are witnessing and experiencing the growth of SEO, content marketing, social media, and email marketing, as well as the increase in demand for lead generation, mobile optimization, digital advertising, and more.
All of these terms fall under the umbrella of digital marketing, and if you’re just getting started with your online presence efforts, it can be quite overwhelming to try and implement them all.
So presuming you are looking for hacks to help you fast-track your business to success, here are seven of them.
1. Customer – The Head Honcho of Your Business
Whatever your marketing or business model is, you need to focus on the customer. Digital marketing offers the opportunity to target every campaign, communication, and service to match your audience’s needs to the best of your capabilities. However, to maximize the effectiveness of your efforts you need to get to know your customers really well and plan for the long run.
This process begins with creating detailed marketing personas, followed by accurately mapping out the customer journey. This is an essential step that should be taken early on in your business planning, so that your marketing message will reach the right audience, thus strengthening your brand presence.
Additionally, you need to monitor customer behavior. Today’s consumers place a lot of importance on having authentic, transparent, and personalized communication and brand experiences at every stage of the sales cycle. In fact, according to Salesforce, 66% of buyers require companies to understand their unique needs and expectations.
New behaviors emerge daily, and, as a digital marketer, you have to be able to anticipate them and strive for in-depth knowledge regarding your customer. To be successful at it, you need to collect relevant customer data, and leverage it towards customized content and improving your overall brand’s messaging.
2. Content – The King of SEO Success
Creating high-quality, unique, and expert content is not the only prerequisite for a successful digital marketing strategy. Other relevant factors include being creative with your content format, updating outdated information, as well as following and complying with the latest search engine algorithm updates. All in all, this means that you need to develop the skills for creating great search engine optimized (SEO) content.
SEO content is any content created with the purpose of helping your target audience find your brand through a search that is faster and easier. Essentially, it’s a method of optimizing your content and using the right keywords to help it rank higher in the search result pages (SERPs).
There are various types of SEO content to consider. From blog posts, product and services pages, guides, and ebooks to infographics, videos, slideshows, and so on. But, before you put your creativity to work you need to know how to devise a strong SEO content strategy that you can commit to in the long run.
Here are a few content creation workflow tips to help you out:
- Research your keywords.
- Pick a topic that will spark your audience’s curiosity.
- Research original sources and add your own unique input.
- Organize your ideas and draft them.
- Include relevant internal and external links.
- Optimize your meta descriptions and alt tags.
- Add supporting visuals.
3. Context – The Key to Your Message’s Effectiveness
If you want to get your brand message across effectively, you need to be aware of the wider context of your target audience. This, essentially, means taking into account buyer intent, correlating it to what is currently happening in the world, then producing and promoting content that is truly relevant to your audience’s needs.
According to Rebecca Leib, the context in digital marketing refers to the untapped opportunity to obtain an extremely precise understanding of your customers, anticipate their wants, needs, expectations, and affinities. Once you have those, you should use them to improve your marketing across channels, devices, and localities.
To achieve this, you need to successfully balance between keyword-rich and intent-based content. This way you can enable audiences to easily find your brand online, while also giving them the exact information they are looking for. Done right, this will allow you to provide extremely personalized content that is relevant to the recipient. As a result, you will be able to improve your online presence, authority, and engagement.
A good rule of thumb is to always come back to the first C of the framework – i.e. always keep the customer at the heart of your digital marketing strategy. This means knowing your audience so well that you can find their pain points before they do and expressing genuine interest in helping them solve their problems.
4. Community – The Heart of Word-of-Mouth Success
Today’s customers have more buying power than ever before and, as such, deeply connecting with them is fundamental to the success of every business. One of the most effective ways to foster customer relationships, build a brand’s trust and loyalty, and attract strong leads is to harness the power of a community.
Community marketing is a great strategy to implement in order to engage your audience in a transparent, non-intrusive, and conversational way. It will help you build long-term healthy relationships with current and prospective customers while bringing them together with topics related to and aligned with your brand.
Building a community as part of your digital marketing strategy will allow you to bridge the gap between the business direction you’re going for and the people who have helped you get there – i.e. your customers. According to Disciple, people are more willing to commit to a product or service if it comes with a strong sense of support, connection, and belonging.
Here are some tips to help you create a strong community around your brand:
- Build a connection within your internal teams.
- Create a value-driven online presence.
- Positively contribute to a social cause.
- Produce expert and educational content.
- Create a dedicated space where your community members can bond.
- Be patient and consistent.
5. Convenience – The Road Towards Customer Loyalty
Convenience is a fundamental characteristic of a brand’s customer experience, and a core customer service principle for any business.
Let’s take the growth of eCommerce, for example. Thanks to the internet and the advancements in technology, people can now shop not only on their computers in the comfort of their own home, but also on their phones and tablets while commuting, sitting at a restaurant, or just killing time before a meeting.
According to TopRank, convenience in digital marketing means delivering the right information, to the right person, at the right time, and on the right platform. This involves enhancing the customer journey to make it easier for prospects to find the information they need to make a purchasing decision, thus creating a better overall experience.
Convenience is not only an important competitive differentiator but also a creative lens that digital marketers can leverage to improve their campaigns. Implemented well, it will help you reduce friction, improve customer service, eliminate stress, increase access and straighten your business’ value proposition.
To make the most of it, you should ensure:
- Quick and easy access to your content.
- Easy recall of previous communication and interactions with your brand.
- A simple acknowledgment of their value as a customer.
- Customization of the service and communication.Read also: 7 Benefits of Using a Chatbot in Your Marketing Strategy
6. Cohesion – The Answer to Omnichannel Marketing
As a marketer, if you want to market any business successfully you ought to create a cohesive digital marketing strategy.
Cohesive marketing refers to delivering the same service, quality of content, and brand values regardless of the channel being used. It’s about bringing every platform that promotes your brand under one main omnichannel marketing strategy. This will keep everything consistent and give you a good return on your investment.
While your website should still be the main source of information about your business, and products, and services, you should consider being present across other channels relevant to your customers. What you offer there has to comply with the same standards and levels every time.
So, from your blog, FAQs page, and contact form to your social media, email, and beyond, everything should be in sync and cohesive. Once you get it right, you can scale quickly and easily, reaching and engaging the right audience at any point of contact they may have with your business.
7. Conversion – The Main Indicator of Digital Marketing Success
Once you have leveraged all your valuable resources to create a strong digital marketing strategy, you need to measure how successful all your efforts are. The best key performance indicator to use here is your conversion rate.
Depending on your campaign, a conversion may be any desired user action that helps your business achieve its goals. This includes not only successful sales, but also anyone who fills out forms, downloads whitepapers, case studies, and ebooks, sends you an email, signs up for your newsletter, and so on.
By using digital marketing tactics to maximize the conversions of your marketing campaigns, you will be able to increase your revenue without spending too many resources. What is more, these can help you predict success (or failure), improve your website performance, and/or generate better insights about your target audience’s preferences.
Done right, tracking conversions may let you know who of your visitors are there to buy and who only fancy browsing; which content pages your target personas are most interested in; and whether any improvements you’ve made in your online strategy yielded the desired results.
The best way to adapt to changes in the online business world and stimulate business growth starts with developing a strong digital marketing strategy. And a great approach to take is to implement the 7 Cs- customer, content, context, community, convenience, cohesion, conversion.
Customers play a key role in the success of your company, and making them the center of your marketing efforts is the number one requisite for the 7 Cs model marketing to work. This means finding the best ways to cancel out the noise, draw them in and create a delightful experience to keep them coming back for more.
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