7 Actionable Digital Marketing Strategies
Great strategy is derived from research, intuition, testing and sometimes, a little luck. When I started writing this guide, I quickly realized that the amount of data we had access to through the countless campaigns we’ve run for clients had given us a seasoned perspective that many marketers wouldn’t have access to without years of testing & access to a full team of marketing professionals. Which is exactly why I felt I needed to compile an actionable list of strategies that marketers could use to start driving tangible results for their companies. If you need help on building on an initial digital marketing strategy I recommend reading this article to help you get started.
A Balance Between Awareness & Conversion: A big misconception about digital advertising is that brands should dive into strict conversion-based targeting strategies right away. Yes, digital advertising is touted for its trackable results, however, there is a fundamental problem with this: a lack of data. For digital advertising to be truly effective for your brand, you need to have an understanding of users and which targeting parameters work to drive more engaged, paid users to your website. By engaged, I mean the users who are actively looking through products, viewing service blogs and interact with the site. In the first few weeks of your campaign, be sure to include targeting centered around goals like brand awareness and maximum clicks to quickly measure user activity, running smaller conversion-based strategies in the background.
Watch Your Social Insights: One of the top pieces of advice I can offer on growing engagement on your social channels is to stop searching for generic “best practice” social growth guides online and to pay more attention to your own audience data. The truth is, no one has a one-size fits all solution and insights from platforms like Facebook, offer a wealth of information that can help you identify your audience’s behavior, from ideal post times to their likes and dislikes. For instance, want to know if your users prefer Pepsi or Coke, you can find that out. What their favorite food is? Political affiliation? Favorite travel spot? All that information is available. I can go on and on but you get the point. All of this data can improve your targeting strategy by leveraging that user information to come up with new ideas for compelling creative ads. It’s increasingly important that you pay attention to this insight, as Facebook’s 2018 announcement that businesses must pay for their engagement models. Here’s a video guide on how to use insight to identify audiences in facebook.
Organic Engagement Leads To Great Advertising: Traction in organic social posts is a good indicator that it will be a highly effective ad. For that reason, watch out for what creatives perform well during the week and then spin the best post into a boosted post (facebook) or a promoted post (twitter). If the boosted post performs well, consider turning this into a permanent advertising campaign. I find this strategy works best if you already have an active audience and will excel over time as you produce more content. It’s also important to identify trends with higher performing content, so pay attention to video topic, length of the video, the comments people are leaving & of course hashtags.
Reverse Engineer Paid Search Queries: If you start a Pay-Per-Click campaign, don’t just assume conversion data should be the only useful piece of information in your campaigns. Instead, pay attention to your paid search query report. Save this information and you’ll begin to see trends in what users are actually looking for (in relation to the keywords you selected). By reverse engineering searches, you can identify new ideas for blog content and how to revamp landing pages to better fit user queries. Overall if you implement this correctly, you’ll see higher click-through rate, better average rank position and presumably, increased conversions.
Implement Linear Attribution Models: By default, most PPC campaigns deploy a last click attribution model, which gives the ad that was last clicked credit for the conversion. The issue I have with this is that if you have a PPC strategy that covers all steps of the customer funnel, you’ll most likely miss how other ads are impacting the user’s path to conversion. In today’s world, we know that users’ path to conversion is usually extensive, with multiple site visits and investigations before a conversion action is taken. I recommend using linear attribution models that evenly distribute conversion to all ads, giving you a better idea of how campaigns work together to drive ROI for your business.
Be Ready For Scale: Chances are, your team is running many marketing campaigns at once. Measurement of bottom-line results needs to be at the forefront of these efforts and in the craziness of planning, it’s important not to miss out. For that reason, I highly recommend implementing marketing automation/CRM platforms. As a marketer, this will help you stay organized, understanding not just the campaigns that are driving leads, but also the ones that are closing sales and driving the largest revenue. These programs keep campaigns organized (even offline campaigns) and it will allow you to evaluate your efforts from a 50,000 ft view, allowing for more agile decision-making that can help you further impact your marketing efforts in a shorter period of time. I write more about automation in this guide.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Change: As a marketing professional, you need to let go of any fear you may have of losing the progress you’ve made on marketing campaigns. Understand that, although you may have found a winning strategy now, digital is a delicate ecosystem, where new technology and frequent changes are introduced, which can quickly disrupt your strategy. When you find a winning strategy, establish that as your baseline, but always run background tests that experiment with new features, ad formats, and technology that can bring you to an even more successful level as you keep up with the ever-evolving digital world.
Even small pieces of insight can lead to big changes in your strategy, and in marketing, it’s vital to keep your strategy fluid. In fact, if you haven’t made any changes based on data in the last three months, chances are you’re falling behind. Instead, stay ahead of the game, implement some of the strategies you just read about and prove to your organization that in marketing, the details matter.