If you are going to go Digital Marketing, you need to think long and hard about these seven core activities, which usually go hand-in-hand across the most effective digital marketing strategies. You don’t always need to do all of them, or all of them at once, but you definitely need to be across the majority of them, or else you are not maximising effort and returns.
1. Understanding Your Target Market
If you don’t understand your target market, then are you even marketing?
Find who they are, what they want, where they hang out, why they want your product, what problems it solves for them, when they realise they want / need your product, what triggers them to take action, what keeps them as customers and why they should choose you.
In other words, get to know your target market, in many cases better than your partner, better than your friends, better than your dog. Once you’ve done that, you can set yourself some sensible goals for your activities.
2. Social Media Marketing
This is where your customers hang out, where they chat about things and where they interact with brands on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. In this day and age, even when social media’s star is slightly tarnished, it’s still the main traffic driver of today’s web experience.
People go to social media to talk about their lives, talk about things that bother them, or live their lives vicariously. They rarely go to social media to be bombarded by dull brand ads, or dull brand content, like Terry from Accounts getting his Employee of the Month award (yay Terry though).
Engage with customers, talk to them like humans, create a community, actually be social.
3. Paid Ads
Paid ads are your chance to interrupt users in what they were doing and broadcast your message to them. Use your channels wisely, and devise appropriate outcomes from each one. There is no point going for signup conversions through channels where users barely click (like a lot of programmatic, display channels), or they may not even be aware they have an issue: stick to brand awareness or low-level interactions. Similarly in highly competitive buying channels (like search, and social in some cases), go for sign-up / purchase conversions as users have already expressed an interest or have visited/followed competitors already.
Once you have your channels sorted, you also need to make sure your messaging aligns to your target market, either identifying core reasons to buy or problems to solve. Spell it out to them, there’s very little point in being cute or mysterious.
Talking of spelling it out to them – do that with your conversion straplines. Tell the user what you want them to do: be blunt and direct.
4. Video Marketing
Let’s face it. Most of the people’s time online these days is spent watching or “consuming” videos.
There are a few forms this can take. Create your own videos and use them as marketing tools on the core platforms and social. Make them good enough to enjoy and good enough that people might subscribe or follow off the back of them.
Or advertise in videos using banner ads, pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll. Interrupt the user and be prepared to lose people after the Skip Ad button becomes active.
Or finally, advertise through the video creators themselves. Get them to plug your product, use it, review it, and talk about it. Of course, users are somewhat inured to it, but it’s unskippable and it’s “native” content.
5. Blog / Website and SEO
That old thing? SEO is dead, didn’t you know? Aside from the fact that Google still sends around 50-60% of referral traffic on the internet, or that 95% of consumer journeys begin with a search.
So, search and SEO is still alive and kicking. In this day and age, it’s a little more than pumping out a few doorway pages and optimising a bit of content.
If you want to succeed in SEO you need to pay attention to three areas equally: Technical SEO – getting your website right from a technical point of view: can it be crawled? Can it be indexed? Can Google parse and interpret your pages correctly? Is it as slow as me after a big night out?
Content: you need a solid content plan, and the content you create needs to be high quality, trustworthy and eminently linkable. You also need to be creating it fairly frequently.
Authority / Links: this comes from having people linking to your website, often the homepage, but hopefully deeper pages as well, and you creating proper links between your pages.
6. Content Marketing
Of course, once you have created all that social media, blog & website content, not to mention video, you need to do some content marketing to go with it!
This might take the form of using it to drive clicks and indirect leads from social channels, or using paid ads on channels to get the content seen by the right audience, or it might even be approaching high-traffic / niche-relevant websites and offering them them the content, or a form of the content in exchange for traffic, exposure, or a link of some sort. (NB – this kind of link should be nofollowed, but isn’t always).
Whichever way you choose, you are using your content to reach your target audience and either create awareness of your brand, product, or service, or you may even be using it to drive a direct response such as an email sign-up, or other content download (and email capture).
7. Analysing Your Marketing Strategy
Once you’ve set this marketing mean machine in motion, there is no point in just pressing the Big Green Button and walking away. The best-conceived, thought-out and executed strategies all need revisiting and adjusting, some more than others.
Providing you have set yourself sensible goals (see point 1), you have something to measure against. You need to then check that against performance. It might be post views, follows, website traffic, referrals, sign-ups, or sales, but whatever metrics you are valuing your activities against, you need to track and measure.
If something works, do it again, harder. If something doesn’t quite work, or is too much effort for the return, adjust it and go again. If something completely flops, then understand why and either rejig it to relaunch, or stop doing it.
There are many more strands to an effective digital marketing strategy, but these seven are core to most of them. As I say in the intro, you don’t have to do all of them at once, but a mix of at least 3-4 will maximise your effort and produce decent returns.
If you need some help with all or any of these seven Digital Marketing Strategies, feel free to CONTACT ME.