Strategies For Reinforcing Digital Marketing Capabilities For HMV
1. Importance of investing in digital marketing capabilities for HMV
The current report is based on the investigation of few new strategies for strengthening and reinforcing the digital marketing capabilities and expertise in the context of HMV. HMV is an entertainment retailing organisation operating in UK. HMV has nearly 125 stores in the nation and it operates under the name of the Fopp brand (Hmv.com 2018). The main products of the organisation include books, audio, Blu-ray discs, DVDs, CDs, video games along with growing range of television, movie and music. However, it was forced to shut down majority of its stores in Ireland for saving £7.8 million on wage budget.
In order to improve its business stability and diversification programs, the report highlights the significance of investing in digital marketing capabilities for the organisation. In addition, it would cover the ways of improving website visibility with the help of search engine strategies, while keeping in mind the laws and guidelines prevailing in the operating nation. The use of digital marketing tools like e-mail marketing and social media marketing for attracting the attention of the customers have been demonstrated as well (Leeflang et al. 2014). Finally, the report would shed light on the use of website optimisation techniques, analytics and key activities to be considered for designing an effective digital marketing strategy.
There are certain benefits that HMV could obtain by investing in digital marketing capabilities and they are enumerated briefly as follows:
There is absence of any means to identify the number of individuals visiting the billboard or flyer rather than recycling the same (Armstrong et al. 2015). Digital marketing would provide HMC with valuable and reliable reports by depicting the number of individuals opening business website generated e-mail or click the website link.
In the current era, traditional marketing fails to provide customised and personalised customer journey due to its generic nature (Baltes 2015). With the help of digital marketing, HMV would be able to use the preferences and interests of the individuals for tailoring messages and thus, personalisation is ensured as well.
Minimised barriers to entry:
It is often costly for an organisation to use traditional marketing tools, as television commercials, billboards and radio advertisements are not cheap certainly (Benz and Tanner 2017). As digital marketing tools come in scalable sizes, HMV could utilise all these products for reaching its target audiences.
2. Use of search engine tactics to improve website visibility for HMV
2.1 Steps to be undertaken to design and effective PPC, SEO and online display and video advertising campaign
2. Search Engine Marketing tactics to improve website visibility and win more customers
For developing an effective PPC strategy, it is necessary for HMV to carry out the three-step process, which is depicted as follows:
Conducting situational assessment:
In order to carry out the situational assessment, HMV needs to arrange a business download meeting with the main stakeholders to gain an overview of the business and the entertainment retailing industry of UK. The intention would be to examine the existing PPC performance goals regarding whether they are achievable and realistic. After completing such examination, it would be necessary for the organisation to conduct a thorough account audit and gap analysis for ascertaining the underlying performance drivers. In addition, it would help the organisation to determine if the accounting work is in line with the business goals (Bosomworth 2015). As a result, HMV could develop the guiding principle for account management. Finally, competitive evaluation needs to be made for identifying the success of the rivals in terms of bidding, creative messaging and keyword targeting. Accordingly, HMV could modify its account management policies for staying competitive in the market.
Development of account management policy:
After careful assessment of the overall situation, HMV could develop its account management policy, which would be written down for all stakeholders and they need to abide by the same (Leeflang et al. 2014). The policy could look like the following:
- PPC would be used in the form of growth driver, which would help in effective account management.
- Paid search would be considered as the profit driver.
- Paid search would be a touch point resulting in conversions via other channels.
Development of an action plan:
As the PPC account of HMV would be managed for entertainment retailing products, the focus would be to draw maximum number of consumers possible. Depending on this information, the initial challenge would be to find additional potential customers (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick 2016). Hence, the policy for HMV would be to use paid search in the form of lead growth driver. The action plan supporting the policy would focus on remarketing and expansion plan.
Search engine optimisation (SEO):
The SEO strategy could be developed on the part of HMV by following the six-step strategy elaborated as follows:
Forming keyword list:
HMV needs to compile a list of minimum ten keywords related to its products. These keywords could then be plugged into the keyword tool of Google for determining variations to make business sense. This would enable the organisation to remain in keyword search mode along with keeping the keyword list spreading with search and industrial trends (Confos and Davis 2016).
Building keyword-focused pages:
The keyword list could be used for ascertaining the number of various web pages to be created (Chaffey 2016). The number of web pages created would coincide with the various products, offerings and locations of HMV. As a result, the customers and prospects would find it easier in the search engines irrespective of the keywords used.
3. Email Marketing and Social Media Marketing for engaging new and existing customers
Setting up a blog:
HMV could set up a blog, in which it needs to publish one blog at least once in a week. It needs to write interesting stuffs for its targeted audience along with inclusion of the pertinent keywords where appropriate for better search for the audience (Crittenden and Crittenden 2015).
Creating a link-building plan:
HMV could publish some blog posts, which could be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google +. The other bloggers could be approached for guest blogging opportunities through which HMV could link back its website. Another method of attracting inbound links is using the blog for posting articles associated with current events or news (Charlesworth 2014).
Remaining current on SEO news and practices:
HMV needs to stay updated on SEO news and changes, which might influence its website and SEO strategy. The resources that could be used for staying updated include SEOmoz, SEObook, search engine roundtable and search engine (land De Pelsmacker, Van Tilburg and Holthof 2018).
Measuring and tracking SEO success:
HMV could create a monthly dashboard using the package of web analytics or Excel for monitoring the volume of traffic in the website from organic search (Leeflang et al. 2014).
Video Advertising Campaign
HMV can consider employing effective view of video advertising campaign that includes capitalising on you tube through product demo videos, webinars, company’s event videos and getting started videos (Dhar 2018). The company can also consider pushing out the sponsored video ads within the social platforms along with sending short and personalised videos to the followers.
2.2 Ways of targeting key audience through search engine marketing:
Highly effective search engine marketing strategies can be developed by HMV in order to increase its brand awareness and demand. These strategies involve paid search ads to attain high web traffic by desktop or cell phone web search. SEM strategy of the company can also consider advertising with Bing or Google that also drives search advertising for Yahoo (Heinze et al. 2016). Both the “pay-per-click” and “cost-per-click” can be explained as bidding model, which can charge the company when any individual clicks on the ad. The company can easily target its major audiences through developing a clear design, an innovative headline and a compelling call to action that will be easy to spot and can be optimised (Jackson and Ahuja 2016). Moreover, following certain SEO best practices along with optimising the lead capture form through signing up website review and service woorank form can attain the company with high quality leads and increased responses. Moreover, LinkedIn ads can also offer several targeting options along with cost efficient innovative manners for attaining consumer attention. Along with that the company is recommended to optimise all its website content to attain advantages of increased consumer visibility.
4. Website optimization techniques to improve website performance
2.3 Use of content marketing to attract customers:
Content marketing strategy can be used effectively by HMV Company to attract huge consumer base. To provide tough competition to its major business rival, Amazon, it can develop a simple website having accurate content that is required by its prospects (James, Zhang and Williams 2017). The company must consider employing an excerpt and them associating with the original content. HMV Company can curate blog posts, articles, interviews, and info graphics along with individual perspective of the company (James, Zhang and Williams 2017). To grab consumer attention an innovative content marketing strategy can be implemented by HMV that considers publishing an eBook that provides assistance and advice to the audience the company is trying to reach.
HMV must also attempt to convert new consumers from social media through generating and distributing content which offers proof points to the sale (Järvinen and Karjaluoto 2015). In attaining such objective an extremely effective piece of content can be a demo video or explainer video. A social media tool named “Little Bird” can offer a demo video within the home page that explains the tool in action which can be employed by this company.
2.4 Laws and guidelines to be considered for search engine marketing:
Certain SEO quality guidelines must be followed by the company that has basic principles to support the steer site owners attain the suitable path (Kannan 2017). The laws and guidelines that can be considered for the search engine marketing by the HMV Company are explained below:
- Webmaster guidelines developed by Google can serve as an effective source for the company for the reason that it clearly explains the aspects that are easily acceptable to the search engine optimization.
- Hidden texts and links must be avoided by HMV and to ensure the same, the company must check whether the font colour is different enough from the background (Karjaluoto and Ulkuniemi 2015).
- Use of cloaking or sneaky redirects must be avoided by the company as cloaking takes place at the time distinct URLs or content are presented to all its visitors. Moreover. Sneaky redirect must also be avoided to attract more consumer base as this practice is deceptive as it displays distinct content to its users.
- HMV must be careful regarding loading of pages with certain irrelevant keywords. It does not matter how many searches a keyword attains within a month if it does not properly indicate the contents of the company’s page (Kaufman and Horton 2014). The content posted within the website must be effective and the flow of such content must be natural for the readers.
- Another guideline that must be followed by HMV to increase consumer traffic in the website is through avoiding doorway pages generated just for search engines. Cookie cutter strategy like affiliate programs with no or little original content must be avoided by this company (Larson and Draper 2015). In case the site of the company participates within an affiliate program that makes sure the site of the company adds enough value. Offering exceptional and important content that offers users with a reason to visit the site first.
3.1. E-mail Marketing for Retaining and Engaging New and Existing Consumers for HMV
Consumer retention needs complex understanding regarding the ways in which HMV can use e-mail marketing for increasing consumer retention leading to direct increase in amount of money attained from consumers (James, Zhang and Williams 2017). There are certain e-mail marketing strategies that can retain all its target consumers and can increase their engagement with the company’s brands. These are explained under:
- Installing drop box with its activation email can serve as an effective e-mail marketing strategy for HMV Company. The company can send an activation email to its consumers in case they have not accepted its core activation action. HMV needs to find its core activation metric (James, Zhang and Williams 2017). For the company it is getting consumers to send their first e-mail and in case they are not signing up for the company’s business within three days then e-mail can be sent to them.
- Weekly webinars can also serve as an effective e-mail marketing strategy for HMV Company as this tool can facilitate the company in automating its support through making their knowledge base highly effective (Karjaluoto and Ulkuniemi 2015). Emil can be employed by the company in order to send number of emails to free trail users of the company’s product but the most effective email.
- Review email must be considered by HMV Company as an effective email marketing strategy. The company also spends a great amount of time in optimising user flows along with retaining consumers back to the business. Attaining consumers back within the site can serve as a golden opportunity in order them to interact with innovative features or acquire products (Karjaluoto and Ulkuniemi 2015). This strategy can be implemented by the company through targeting consumers those have purchased from its business before and ask them to provide recommendation or review.
- E-mail marketing strategy of the company can also include inviting consumers to attend a weekly webinar that can facilitate them in realising the ways in which the companies and incentive to make a drastic come back.
3.2. Social Media Marketing for Retaining and Engaging New and Existing Consumers for HMV
The most effective way to retain consumers is by means of social media (James, Zhang and Williams 2017). This is for the reason that social media serves as personal platform which offers deep insights within consumer preferences and behaviour. The manners in which social media can be used in consumer retention are explained below:
- Getting to know the consumers of HMV Company as individuals through learning the aspects those are important to them. This is for the reason that the more one gets to know about the target consumers as a community, the simpler it will be to estimate the needs of the consumers. Moreover, suitable solutions can also be offered based on the challenges faced by HMV Company.
- People enrichment services can facilitate HMV Company in filing gaps in knowledge regarding its consumers along with CRM solution. For instance, Clear bit for sales force can effectively scour social media services along with certain other data sources for insights. This is used to deliver a complete profile of all the members of audiences along with equipping sales team with personalised sales pitches that is directly aligned with real needs of consumers.
- Ensuring that the business of HMV Company is easily found on social media can be effective in retaining its new as well as existing consumer’s attention. The company must recognise the social media platforms in which they are active such as LinkedIn and Facebook. This is to make sure that active profiles with new offers and product launch contents are maintained on these platforms.
3.3. Most Suitable Marketing Channel
5. Measuring the success of HMV’s digital strategy using analytics
HMV Company can easily attain benefits through employing either or both of e-mail and social media marketing in retaining its new and existing consumer base (James, Zhang and Williams 2017). However, as the company needs to retain its consumers in highly effective and competitive manner because of its strong rival Amazon, e-mail marketing strategy is deemed to be best. This is for the reason that, it has been observed that one among five marketing emails gets opened having a click through rate of 3.57%. On the other hand, on Facebook this rate comes down to nearly 0.07% (James, Zhang and Williams 2017). As the company is trying to market its products in the most effective manner e-mail marketing is suitable. It has also been observed in an emarketer study that returns on investment for e-mail is 122% whereas, social media has this rate of about 28%. For this reason, e-mail marketing can turn out to be effective for HMV Company for people tend to check email frequently in comparison to social media. With e-mail the company can segment its list in several ways as it desires to target specific demographics (James, Zhang and Williams 2017).
There are certain website optimization techniques that can be employed by the HMV Company for enhancing the performance of its website. The most effective web performance optimization techniques are explained (Leeflang et al. 2014). This includes file compression, code modification, image optimization, vector graphics optimization, glossy compression, web catching optimization and reduction of HTTP requests. In addition, the more HTTP requests attained by the web page, the slower it will be loaded. Site speed can be decreased and performance can have increased through the following web optimization techniques:
- Decreasing the HTTP request for the reason that numbers on the page components like images, script, style sheets are more it takes enough time for rendering such aspects (Leite and Azevedo 2017). Certain strategies that can be implemented by HMV Company includes simplifying designs, decreasing number of aspects within a page and avoiding more images with using CSS.
- Selecting better hosting service can also be considered by HMV as it is very important in enhancing website performance. It might consider comparing the configuration associated with distinct platform and this can be done through choosing a hosting service that fits better with the needs (Levy and Gvili 2015).
- HMV must consider browser catching as once a company enters the website; the aspects within the place are stored in a temporary storage. Enabling catching for the company’s website can increase its speed considerably. There are numerous ways that enables website catching relied on the platform that is used for word press that can be installed by the company through following plug-in such as W3 Total Catche and W3 Super Catche (Royle and Laing 2014).
Use of analytics for measuring the success of HMV’s digital marketing tools and strategy can be considered for an effective monitoring process and for attaining competitive edge over its business rivals such as Amazon (Leeflang et al. 2014). These monitoring analytics are described under:
- Hub spot can serve as all in one solution for the company’s digital marketing plans (Ryan 2014). This is for the reason that it offers a packed all in one approach within inbound marketing along with automation which employs a logical technique to take the company through running campaigns. This also supports in monitoring and tracking the overall digital marketing process of the company.
- Google analytics acts as an effective analytical tool in monitoring the metrics closely. This monitoring tool serves as the most powerful measure for the web analytics over internet with a better objective. This can be properly implemented by HMV for the reason that the basic version of Google analytics is free to use and its 360 degree analytics is a premium paid service (Ryan 2016). This can also be employed by the company as it needs a bit more out of the web analytics.
- Hoot suite that is a major part of social media monitoring tool. This can be employed by HMV in monitoring several social media channels used by the company. This tool can keep all the social media channels used by the company such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to keep in one place as constantly switching applications results in forgetting of passwords. Hoot suite can offer the company with insights on which distinct market segments are discussing the brand and whether they are positive, negative or neutral (Stephen 2016). Such information on social sentiment might serve as a key at the time the measure of success is highly focused on brand engagement and awareness than enhancing download and sales of a particular item.
- Mix panel facilitates in understanding mobile devices. Despite web users highly approaching in the direction of tablets and smart phones devoid of PC, digital marketing is observed to catch-up with mobile (James, Zhang and Williams 2017). Mix panel serves as an effective tool for mobile that facilitates in measuring the manner in which people are employing application or site of the company. This tool also tests whether these people are coming back and employing them repetitively after their first visits. It can also test the functions that tend to give up that can potentially lose the company’s consumer base (Stone and Woodcock 2014).
- Megalytic digital marketing strategy evaluation tool is deemed to be effective enough in pulling everything together. There are few among the massive reporting amount, insight along with analytics tools which can be employed to monitor the digital marketing campaigns. This tool helps in case there is a shift in more than one service to pull together reports and there is observed to be a drastic hassle (Taiminen and Karjaluoto 2015). Megalytic tool can facilitate the company in gathering data directly from several different sources like Ad words and Google Analytics. In case these are not compatible enough a platform employed by HMV Company then it can upload a CSV spreadsheet data file from the platform in order to view the same along with other things.
- Sales force can also serve as a vital digital marketing strategy monitoring tool as it facilitates in incorporating sales for an integrated initiative (Tiago and Veríssimo 2014). Sales force acts as Consumer Relationship Management tool that gathers all information related with consumers in a single place. This facilitates both the teams to optimise and plan the consumer journeys and observe the ROI associated with marketing activities. This platform features analytical tools known as Wave Analytics which can facilitate in developing a clear picture regarding the marketing activity and its impact on sales. This tool can also facilitate HMV Company in attaining better leads or closing high deals. This can provide with custom dashboards in order to give an instant look to any specific metrics along with KPIs which determine the success of a specific campaign (Vien 2015).
- Base camp digital marketing monitoring strategy can also make sure that everything works as per the plan. This is for the reason that a poorly managed project might impact the goals HMV Company is attempting to meet in consideration to an increase in some revenue or metrics. This can also have huge effects on the morale of the company’s staff along with team effectiveness. Base camp can serve as an effective project management tool which if applied by HMV Company can include a to-do list, file sharing, and a calendar, messaging along with loading effective tools (Yadav, Joshi and Rahman 2015). This analytical tool can make sure that projects developed by the company runs smoothly and attain all the objectives that it has set out to meet.
Certain vital activities can be incorporated within HMV Company for making its digital marketing strategy effective enough to provide tough competition to Amazon. These strategies are explained under:
- Google ad words strategy that can include PPC search ads that is category based text ads, display that has offer pr product based ad images and Gmail that has topic or content based text ads (Yasmin, Tasneem and Fatema 2015).
- Social media strategy can be effectively implemented by HMV Company through developing efficient and creative visuals. Interacting with Twitter influencers along with developing social buzz around a specific marketing campaign can ensure success of its digital marketing campaign. Real time consumer service through dealing with consumer concerns publically will make sure that overall consumer satisfaction (Leeflang et al.2014).
In order to improve its business stability and diversification programs, the report explained the significance of investing in digital marketing capabilities for the organisation. In addition, it also explained the ways of improving website visibility with the help of search engine strategies, while keeping in mind the laws and guidelines prevailing in the operating nation. It was gathered from the paper that there is absence of any means to identify the number of individuals visiting the billboard or flyer rather than recycling the same. Digital marketing would provide HMC with valuable and reliable reports by depicting the number of individuals opening business website generated e-mail or click the website link. Considering the situation of HMV Company, use of analytics for measuring the success of HMV’s digital marketing tools and strategy can be considered for an effective monitoring process and for attaining competitive edge over its business rivals such as Amazon. Content marketing strategy can be used effectively by HMV Company to attract huge consumer base. To provide tough competition to its major business rival, Amazon, it can develop a simple website having accurate content that is required by its prospects. Accordingly, HMV could modify its account management policies for staying competitive in the market.
6. Key tasks and activities for an effective digital marketing strategy for HMV
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