“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves”- Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple
Every business will be following certain online marketing strategies to reach their targeted audience and thus achieve better business growth. In the case of medical SEO, healthcare providers mostly rely on experienced agencies to stay up to date with the changing digital marketing trends and strategies. Smart Insights, a publisher and learning platform that helps marketers and businesses to get more leads and sales from integrated digital marketing has introduced the RACE planning system – a practical framework to improve businesses’ digital marketing efforts.
RACE method refers to four online marketing activities – Reach, Act, Convert, and Engage – that are designed to help businesses engage their customers throughout their customer lifecycle. Once you plan to create a digital marketing strategy, make sure to review your site’s current performance and customer approach and implement strategies accordingly.
This step aims at building awareness of your brand and services or products through diverse sources – websites, social media, printed media, Email lists and other offline options. In this awareness stage of branding, you need to focus on activities that will drive reach to your target audience online and therefore traffic to your various website portals.
During this step, companies should define key brand messages for their targeted audience, choose applicable targeting approaches, develop a content marketing approach and create media plan and justify media mix investment. Inbound marketing tactics that can be used here include:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Social media marketing (SMM)
- Online advertising
- Press releases
- Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns on Google Adwords, Facebook, LinkedIn
As REACH measures how many visits your site is getting, your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be: Unique visits to your website, Audience share, Social media followers, Organic SEO, Email subscribers, Reviews on OTA sites, Publicity via PR (digital & print) and Revenue or goal value per visit.
After providing awareness of your business, the next step is to pay close attention to your website or social media visitor’s actions such as reading company description, viewing photos of your office or even subscribing to email lists. You should focus on reducing conversion rates and ensure the reader’s attention by providing engaging content, and designing a user-friendly, responsive website with better navigation. Google analytics can help you check viewer activities and collect data about the visitors to your website. This tool comes with four key reporting areas – Audience (who are visiting your site), Acquisition (how they are getting to your site), Behavior (what they are doing on your site) and Conversions (have they completed what you wanted them to).
To engage audience in your website or other online presence, consider strategies such as:
- Smart forms
- CRM optimization
- Sales process refinement
- Sales funnel optimization
- Drip marketing
- Email marketing
- Live sales calls
As this step focuses on leading prospects to take the next step on your web pages and social profiles, KPIs should be – keeping bounce rate below 50%, engaging number of clients with your social content, number of comments or social shares your blog post gets, pages per visit, new subscribers to your newsletter and product page conversion.
A key step in the RACE digital marketing strategy, here conversion will be taken into sale. Success lies in making the customers take the final step of making payment, either via online Ecommerce transactions or through offline channels. During this step, you can focus on engaging customers through content marketing to build customer loyalty and improve public relations. Strategies that help to capture attention and build more powerful interactions and have a dramatic effect on conversion rates include:
- A/B testing
- Conversion rate optimization (CRO)
- Lead gathering
- Website audits
As CONVERT is where your prospects become leads or customers, your KPIs could be – online bookings or reservations direct from your website, how many new email subscribers to your list, and average order value and venue capacity %.
Here, the focus is on developing a long-term relationship with first-time buyers to build customer loyalty. Such a relation will encourage repeat visits and sales. Evaluate the percentage of active customers and customer satisfaction levels. Powerful interactions with clients can be planned with relevant content marketing strategies including:
- Blog marketing
- Video marketing
- White papers
- Story-telling web copy
As this ENGAGE step is where you keep your customers interacting with your ongoing content marketing efforts, your KPIs here could be number of shares, social referrals and taking up on special offers.
Remember that an effective R.A.C.E. marketing strategy can provide diverse benefits and thus help you meet your SEO goals. For businesses too busy with their core jobs, an ideal option is to hire a professional SEO company to do this task for you.