The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing Strategy
- The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing Strategy
- A Digital Marketing Strategy That’s Actually Strategic
- How to Measure the Success of your Digital Marketing Strategy
- Tools to Track the ROI of Your Digital Marketing
- Conversion Rate Optimization
- Buyer Personas & Marketing Funnels
- How to Create a Marketing Funnel
- Landing Pages – How to Turn Traffic Into Revenue
- A Beginner’s Guide to Lead Nurturing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Tools for DIY SEO
- Content Marketing vs. Paid Online Ads
Make visitors understand precisely what the topic is about, why you are addressing the issue, and how you will do it. Keep it short and sweet. Digital marketing can make all the difference to your business. With the evolution of marketing technology in the last decade, you have a choice of many tools and platforms to help you stand apart from the competition and get noticed. This article will cover some of the most effective digital marketing techniques and tips on making the most of them.
A Digital Marketing Strategy That’s Actually Strategic
Are you approaching it in a way that’s right for YOUR business?
Identifying buyer personas and creating marketing funnels are crucial aspects of your digital marketing strategy. It’s easy to confuse tactics with strategy. Tactics are the actions you take for a particular end, such as an ad campaign.
A strategy refers to the big picture, an all-encompassing vision for your business. The real point of digital marketing is finding the techniques that allow you to connect better with your customers and prospects.
Set Clear Goals
An effective strategy requires goal-oriented actions. With every campaign, set SMART goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. Keeping this formula in mind helps you stay focused on choosing tactics with specific objectives, such as building your email list, increasing brand awareness, or making sales. Download our free SMART goals template.
Integrate Your Platforms
Your digital marketing should be a well-oiled machine with parts that work in harmony. An omnichannel approach is one aspect of this. Your website, social media marketing, ads, and offline promotions should be seamless. Always maintain brand consistency. Ensure all your channels and offline promotions have the same voice and style.
Never miss an opportunity to link from one channel to another. Link to your website in tweets, Facebook posts, and videos. Remember to link strategically as well. You don’t always have to link to your homepage. Send people to blog posts, web pages, and other content that’s relevant to what they’re looking at.
Segment Your Customers
As mentioned, you may need to create multiple buyer personas. You’ll need distinct marketing funnels for different types of customers. This is part of segmentation, which means separating your customers into the appropriate categories rather than treating them all the same.
Email lists are relatively easy to segment. Create separate lists for subscribers based on purchase history, interests, and demographics. Segmentation, however, applies to all aspects of your marketing. You’ll create different ad campaigns for different types of customers. If you target very different audiences, you might create separate blogs, Facebook pages, or YouTube channels for each.
How to Measure the Success of your Digital Marketing Strategy
If you’re not defining clear KPIs, how will you know what is working?
To know whether or not you’re succeeding, you have to measure as many variables as possible. You can measure almost anything nowadays, but you must ensure your analytics are aligned with your goals. Before starting any campaign, make sure you set a goal. For example, you might plan to get a certain number of new subscribers, Facebook followers, or orders from a specific action.
Focus on Conversions
A conversion occurs when someone takes the desired action, such as filling out your opt-in form, buying a product, or ordering a free sample. We’ve already looked at some ways to improve conversion optimization. You always have to measure your conversions and test variables to improve your conversion rate.
Analyze Website Behavior
While traffic is a vital metric, you must also pay close attention to what your visitors do once they land on your site.
- Time spent on your website. Measuring the time visitors spend on your site lets you know how engaged they are.
- Time spent on specific features. Heat maps can pinpoint precisely what visitors are doing on your site.
- Bounce rate. A high bounce rate indicates visitors aren’t finding much interest or value on the pages they land on.
- Page views per visit. This lets you know which pages your visitors are clicking on.
Tools to Track the ROI of Your Digital Marketing
Before you can increase your ROI, you need to measure it. Here are a few essential tools that help you do this.
- Google Analytics – Besides SEO, you can use GA to get information about website visitors.
- Heat maps – Heat maps are color-coded visual tools that let you track visitor behavior.
- Social Media Analytics – Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, and other tools provided by social media sites let you track your followers.
- Bitly – Known mainly as an URL-shortener, this service also lets you track links and learn when people clicked on your link, where they clicked on it from, and other helpful data.
Conversion Rate Optimization
While many metrics such as traffic, bounce rate, and engagement are essential, what counts is conversions. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is necessary for getting better results from your website and increasing conversions. Here are some guidelines for optimizing your conversion rate.
- Compelling and relevant titles and headlines. People decide whether or not to read a page or post based on the headline. Make sure that you’re using keywords that are compelling for your audience. Additionally, your content must deliver on what your headlines promise.
- User Experience (known as UX). UX is anything that improves visitors’ experience on your website, including easy navigation, fast page-loading speed, and engaging content.
- Mobile-friendly. With so many users on mobile devices, you have to make sure that you use responsive web design so that all of your pages and features are mobile-friendly.
- Build trust. People want to feel secure before shopping or sharing personal information on a website. Trust badges such as VeriSign and an URL that begins with HTTPS make your visitors feel confident on your site.
- Social Proof. Testimonials and reviews on your website provide social proof and make it easier for people to trust you.
- Clear Call-to-Action (CTA). Place CTA buttons and links on every page of your website and emails.
Buyer Personas & Marketing Funnels
Identify your ideal buyer to make sure your marketing message is not only consistent but contextual
Before you think about advertising, content, marketing automation, and other digital marketing strategies, you need to identify your target audience. Creating an accurate buyer persona is the first step. What’s interesting about buyer personas is that they’re imaginary yet still provide you with lots of helpful information.
For example, if your buyer persona is a 35-year-old IT professional with a college degree who lives in the suburbs, this won’t describe all your customers perfectly. Yet it gives you a good general idea of your target audience.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Buyer Personas
- Research your products and industry. Find out who buys what you’re selling based on demographics such as geography, age, gender, income, and lifestyle.
- Engage with your customers. Ask questions on your website and social media pages. Conduct polls and surveys.
- Focus on the correct details. You don’t need to know everything about your typical customer. But do focus on the needs or problems related to your products and services.
- Create distinct buyer personas. Most businesses will have more than one type of customer. For example, if you sell pet supplies, you may cater to both dog and cat owners. If you own a gym, your clients may want to lose weight or build muscle.
- Name your persona. Once you’ve identified one or more buyer personas, you can visualize them as people. Give them a name and maybe even find a stock photo to represent them.
- Learn their language. Think of the best ways to engage with them. What kind of tone, style, and images do they prefer? Keep all this in mind when you create content, whether it be emails, ads, blog posts, or videos.
Don’t take buyer personas too literally, as they only represent an average. Also, keep in mind that they may change over time. That’s why it’s important to continually engage with your customers consistently. Once you have at least one buyer persona, you can create a marketing funnel.
How to Create a Marketing Funnel
A digital marketing funnel usually starts with an opt-in page and offer. However, anything that lures prospects into finding out more about your business is part of your funnel, whether a paid ad, social media post, video, webinar, or another type of content or platform.
Marketing funnels can be divided into three main parts: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion. These correspond to the phases of the buyer’s journey. For all stages, make sure you’re addressing your buyer persona. Think of a pressing problem that he or she is eager to solve.
- Awareness: Top of the funnel. This is where you get the prospect’s attention. This is also known as the Awareness phase. You might raise awareness with an ad, a blog post, or a video. Lead magnets, gifts in exchange for an email address, are a common way to get people into your funnel.
- Consideration: Middle of the funnel. At this point, the prospect is aware of you but is still considering multiple options. Your job is to woo people with helpful information. You might do this with an email sequence, a webinar, an e-book, or a free trial of your product (or trial membership, as with Amazon Prime).
- Conversion: Bottom of the funnel. This is the stage when you want to convert prospects into customers. A clear call to action is essential. You can make your offer more compelling with discounts and time or product scarcity reminders.
In practice, of course, the stages may overlap. In a sense, consideration begins the moment someone learns about your business. Some people may buy immediately. Others won’t be ready, even at the bottom of your funnel.
While modern technology, in some ways, makes getting customers into your funnel easier, specific tech challenges make it more difficult. For example, some visitors may use apps or secure browsers that let them visit your site anonymously without cookies. That’s why it’s more important than ever to create effective marketing funnels that motivate people to engage with you.
Landing Pages – How to Turn Traffic Into Revenue
These are the entry into your marketing funnel, so don’t neglect them.
Landing pages are essential for your marketing funnel and digital marketing strategy. As part of the top of your funnel, they’re often the first interaction your customers have with your business. You must put much thought into making your landing pages exceptional.
Landing pages are laser-focused pages designed to get visitors to take a particular action. Make sure there’s a prominent button to click on. Don’t divert people with any other links.
If your landing page doesn’t load quickly, you’ll lose traffic. Make sure your page isn’t weighed down by large images or other elements that slow it down.
Today’s customers will likely arrive at your landing page from a mobile device. Make sure all features are easy to access on smartphones and tablets.
Since a landing page contains a CTA, it’s an excellent place to include social proof such as testimonials and reviews. These have a powerful effect on visitors.
Landing pages are among the most essential items to continually test. Remember that when you test ads such as AdWords or Facebook ads, you must also test the landing pages these ads point to. By split-testing each element, such as headlines, CTA buttons, layout, or the offer itself, you can improve your results.
A Beginner’s Guide to Lead Nurturing
Turn leads into customers with multiple touch points.
Every business needs a steady supply of leads. However, even the best leads need nurturing. We looked at marketing funnels and landing pages, which are part of the lead nurturing process. Now let’s take a more comprehensive view of making the most of your leads.
Not all leads are equal. Their quality varies widely in terms of your ROI. Lead scoring is a process that lets you rate prospects on a scale, helping you to decide which are most likely to become customers. You can use advanced software and services such as HubSpot for lead scoring, or you can come up with your methodology. However you do it, ensure you learn how to assess your leads to know which are worth investing in.
Follow Up Consistently
When prospects express interest in your business, it’s crucial to follow up promptly and multiple times. Most people don’t buy right away. They need to interact with your business at multiple touch points. Marketing automation tools such as autoresponders and social media tools can help you do this. When appropriate, don’t overlook personalized follow-ups (phone calls, personal emails, in-person meetings).
There’s a close relationship between lead nurturing and content marketing. Targeted content helps you attract prospects’ attention in the first place (i.e., get them into your funnel); it’s also powerful for nurturing leads.
To convince your audience that you have the best solutions for them, you need to establish your credibility, trust, and expertise. There’s no better way to do this than to produce strong content such as long-form articles, videos, webinars, e-books, white papers, and other materials. To nurture leads, you must target your buyer personas, addressing their specific needs.
Engage at Multiple Touchpoints
It’s safe to assume that your prospects are active on many devices and platforms. You can’t expect good conversion rates if you’re only engaged on a single touchpoint such as email or Facebook. While an email list is an essential marketing tool, open rates for email messages are often low, often between 20 and 30%. Click-throughs, of course, are considerably lower, usually below 5%. This doesn’t mean you should neglect email marketing. The point is you can’t rely on a single touchpoint.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Most buyer’s journeys start with Google. Make sure you’re found.
Your website is only a valuable asset if your customers can find it. While you can get targeted traffic with paid ads, optimizing your site for search engines is also necessary. SEO is one of the most effective inbound marketing strategies.
There are a lot of great resources out there to help you understand more about SEO and to help you get familiar with SEO terminology.
Tools for DIY SEO
If you want to improve your search engine rankings on your own, there are quite a few SEO tools to help you.
- Google Search Console – Formerly called Webmaster Tools, this is another essential free SEO tool from Google. Some of the data overlap with Google Analytics, but many people find GWT easier to use.
- Yoast – Anyone who uses WordPress should install this free SEO plugin.
- Bing Webmaster Tools – Google offers many of the best free SEO tools. Since it’s the world’s #1 search engine, it makes sense to use the company’s tools to help you rank. However, it’s a mistake to ignore Bing, as many businesses do. BWT helps you rank on the #2 search engine, which gives you an edge over those who only focus on Google.
- Screaming Frog – This imaginatively-named site is great for web-crawling your own (and your competitors’) web pages. There are both free and paid versions. The free version lets you crawl up to 500 web pages.
Top 10 Tools for Keyword Research: The Key to Unlocking Better SEO
Identifying the most profitable keywords is a fundamental aspect of SEO. The above SEO tools are related to keywords, but the following ones are specifically for keyword research.
- Keyword Planner -Another Google tool created for AdWords but also very useful for SEO.
- Wordtracker Scout – A browser extension that helps you find keywords.
- Soovle – A creative keyword tool that collects autocomplete suggestions from Google and many other sources.
- KWFinder – Specifically designed to find long tail keywords.
- Ahref’s Keyword Explorer – Includes information on ranking difficulty. They offer a free 7-day trial. You must sign up for paid plans to continue using them.
- Ubersuggest – Created by SEO guru Neil Patel, this often brings up keywords not found by Google.
- Wordstream – A popular and well-regarded keyword tool that’s free for the first 30 searches.
- Keyword Explorer – A creation of Moz, which also offers a host of other SEO tools and services.
- Keyword Magic Tool – From SEMRush, a leading SEO service. You can try the tool for free but must sign up with SEMRush to continue using it.
- Longtail Pro – Another helpful tool for finding long tail keywords.
Both work well in their own way. One of the most fundamental distinctions in digital marketing is between content and paid marketing. There are pros and cons to each.
Includes articles, blogging, videos, social media, and publishing/posting/broadcasting on other platforms such as podcasts and webinars. Content marketing is one of the best low-budget inbound marketing strategies.
- Builds trust and authority. As you post authoritative content, you brand yourself as an expert in your industry.
- Good for SEO. The more content you publish, the more chances you have to rank in the search engines.
- Labor intensive. You need to create content or outsource it.
- Takes time to see results.
Includes PPC (pay-per-click) ads such as AdWords, social media advertising such as Facebook and Twitter, display ads, banner ads, video ads, and retargeted ads (targeting customers who’ve already visited your website).
- Fast way to generate targeted traffic.
- An effective way to get new prospects into your sales funnel.
- Requires a financial investment.
- Requires careful testing. This is also true of content marketing, but you’re spending money in this case, so it’s even more crucial.
Tips to Get the Most Out of Both Content Marketing and Paid Advertising
Don’t think you have to choose between them as you’ll get the best possible results by using both.
- Use paid ads to send traffic to quality organic content. This is great for brand building and introducing people to your business.
- Native advertising and sponsored content are a hybrid between content marketing and advertising. You are paying to get more traffic to your content.
- Focus on content marketing when your budget is limited.
- Try different types of ads such as Facebook, Google, and others to determine the best way to reach your audience