Throw it at the wall and see what sticks. Some people take this approach to marketing, and there is some validity with learning what works through trial and error. But what if you could spread glue on the wall and stand really close to it? Will that give you a better chance to see what sticks?
It sure does and when it comes to marketing there is no reason to not be more measured and thoughtful with which digital marketing strategies you invest in. There are several digital marketing strategies that can benefit a company. However, the challenge is determining which one is right for you and how to maximize the capabilities the strategy offers you.
In this blog, we will dive into various digital marketing strategies, how they work, different tactics and how to know if it fits your business.
First Things First – Who’s Your Audience?
This is a basic all-encompassing requirement that needs to take place to determine if any of these strategies will work for your company – who wants to buy what you’re offering and where are they going to find you? There are dozens of ways to learn who your audience is. Surveys, search analytics, focus groups, analyze comments and reviews, study your competitor’s audience, etc. are all good ways to learn your audience. We are operating under the assumption that at this point you know your audience. As we said, it’s a requirement to figure out what strategies will work for you. This is the first step to increasing your chances at what sticks.
Digital Marketing Strategies: Organic Social Media Marketing
Organic social media marketing is using the free capabilities of social media to gain an audience and create leads without using any paid tactics. It’s typically a longer process than paid social media. Organic social involves creating valuable content and genuine rapport with your users/followers.
One of the most common mistakes marketers make with social media is they look at it in a one size fits all type of manner. There are many social media platforms and they are all vastly different, so the first thing you’ll need to do is determine which one is right for you.
Step 1 – Find Your Platform
You might be thinking that all social media platforms are pretty similar – you post, like, comment and share on all of them. So, what separates them? The differences lie in the demographics. When you start to dig in the audiences and personalities on each platform, it’ll become more clear on which platform you should use. The numbers tell a story… a story you need to read. Below are three stats that tell a story about each platform.
-75% of women use Facebook vs. only 63% of U.S. men
-75% of U.S. adults making $75,000 or more a year use Facebook
-Facebook is the most popular platform for the 50+ demo
The stats above give you a bit of an idea on where the audience skews, but nearly every demographic group overwhelmingly uses Facebook. It’s pretty much considered the “everyone is on it” platform.
Ideal Buyer Persona: Everyone
-72% of 13-17 year old’s say they use it vs. 51% for Facebook
-52% of women vs. 48% men use it
-U.S. citizens who make $75,000+ is tied with U.S. citizens who make $30,000-$49,999 in terms of active users
Instagram is ideal for a younger audience due to its emphasis on posting personal photos and videos rather than “sharing” content. Gender and income doesn’t really play a factor here, which opens things up.
Ideal Buyer Persona: Young Teens – Mid 20s
-Twitter is most popular with 18-24 year old’s with 44% of US citizens saying they use the platform
-Women make up just 34% of Twitter’s audience compared to the other 66% who are men
-25% of Hispanics use Twitter vs. 21% of whites and 24% of blacks
Here is a rare case where young men dominate the platform. Twitter is a bit more uncensored. It’s also become a common place for users to get their news fix. If you’re targeting young Hispanic men, Twitter could be a great source for your marketing campaigns.
Ideal Buyer Persona: 18 to 24-Year-Old Males
-91% of executives say LinkedIn is their first choice for “professionally relevant content”
-LinkedIn is most popular among 25 to 49-year-olds
-More than 46 million students and recent college graduates use LinkedIn
LinkedIn works well for recruiting talent. It can also work for marketing products/services that help grow your career. LinkedIn is also a common place for B2B marketing due its professionally focused environment.
Ideal Buyer Persona: 25+ Year Old Business Professionals
Sources for stats: Pew Research Center
Step 2 – Determine the Right Content Strategy
Determining the right platform for you is a good start, now it’s time to build your content strategy. Organic social media marketing is all about how and what type of content you deliver. You need to figure out how to capture your audience’s attention.
Facebook is dominated by video, memes, images and sharing. It’s much less of a community environment. When doing organic marketing on Facebook, you want to create content that not only your audience will find valuable, but content that they’d find valuable for other’s. Inspirational plays well on Facebook, as does funny. The key is to engage when using one of these digital marketing strategies.
The post below is a great example. It’s the old keep your eye on the cup game, which keeps you interested and makes for a perfect “share bait” video. It also makes you think about Oreos. Job well done.
Instagram is highly visual and you’re more likely to obtain a loyal follower base due to the way content is consumed. Instagram is very much a source of niche entertainment while Facebook is sort of random where the most watched content will rise regardless of your interests. You can create an experience for your followers on Instagram using photo, video and posting stories. Hashtags are much more useful on Instagram than Facebook as well.
Twitter is all about community. You want to engage with your followers and other threads. It gives you a chance to communicate your brand on a more personal level through building long-term relationships and offering up the more humanlike personality traits of your brand.
During the Popeyes sandwich craze, a chicken sandwich Twitter beef (or chicken?) broke out between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A. It all started with Chick-fil-A taking a subtle shot at Popeyes, which was followed by a prompt response from Popeyes.
This a brilliant act of using the Twitter community to stir up attention, grow a fan base by offering the allusion to choose a side and above all else driving attention to your product. The Apex Marketing Group estimates that Popeyes earned $23.25 million in free advertising through this Twitter chicken sandwich war.
LinkedIn is all about B2B networking. There are many groups you can join that will allow you to create strategic relationships. It’s also a great place to cultivate a specific type of audience with professionally relevant content. We recommend using your personal profile vs. a faceless company profile on LinkedIn.
Digital Marketing Strategies: SEO
SEO is the act of increasing traffic to your website from search engines by using tactics that influence a search engine’s algorithm. For those who are interested in SEO as one of your digital marketing strategies and wondering if this is the right approach for you, there are a few ways to determine this.
What you need to know about SEO is that it takes patience, commitment and resources. It caters to all industries because of the sheer amount of searches our world does daily. Google alone says that they get 3.5 billion searches a day. 3.5 billion a day! That’s a lot of eyes and there is no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of this free resource.
The only thing not free about SEO is the time and resources spent to make SEO work for you. So you need to decide if you’re willing to play the long game (I’d plan for little return for the first 6 months). You also need a talented team to make SEO work. You need a person or people that know how to research and write on a high level (ideally with some marketing fundamentals) and understand basic SEO tactics.
When looking at SEO tactics, there are three main pillars of successful SEO – links, keywords and quality content. 57% of marketing executives say on-page content development was the most effective SEO tactic while 91% of all pages never get organic traffic from Google, mainly due to that they don’t have backlinks. If these stats say anything, it’s that keywords and links matter.
And if you have any doubts quality content matters, SEMrush has cited website visits, time on site, pages per session and bounce rate as effective ranking factors. Basically, if you don’t have interesting, engaging and relevant content, all of those numbers will be very low. These analytics can help determine if your content is quality.
This brings us back to having a well-educated SEO team. Here are some tips to get you and your team on the right track:
When conducting keyword research, there are many excellent tools out there. Moz is a fantastic do-it-all option. It allows you to look at a number of key analytics from individual keywords. The two most important are monthly search volume and difficulty. Depending on your domain authority, you want high search volume, low difficulty keywords.
Moz will also allow you to review keyword suggestions based on your individual keyword. This gives you ideas to brainstorm new content topics.
You can also pull insights from other websites with Moz. This feature let’s you see what your competition is ranking for. This will allow you to follow another’s successful blueprint.
When looking for links, they’re a few ways to go achieve this. You want to create an ecosystem of links. If you’re using any other communication channels IE social media posts, emails, other blogs, you want to use them to include a link back to your SEO content. You’ll also want to link to other areas on your website and external web pages as well. This is a good start to creating an ecosystem of links.
You want as many backlinks as possible as well. If you have quality and well-promoted content, you’ll find other websites will want to link to you. You can also do a guest post, which we’ve written at length about.
For more on delivering quality content from a writing perspective, see: How to Start Writing Creative Copy That is Engaging and Fresh.
We these tools and strategies, and the right amount of commitment, you’ll find SEO as an effective strategy for your business.
Digital Marketing Strategies: Influencer Marketing
Social influencers are online personalities who own and operate profiles/accounts that have a large reach and influence. It’s a growing trend to utilize social influencers within your marketing efforts.
A Few Key Stats on Why Social Influencers Matter
- 70% of Teens Trust Influencers More than Traditional Celebrities
- 49% of Consumers Depend on Influencer Recommendations
Source: Digital Marketing Institute
The reason social influencers work is due to the audience they’ve built. They give straight value and ask for nothing in return from their audience except for a follow or subscribe (which cost nothing). This exercise has created an aura around a person’s favorite influencer – they see them as trustworthy and not an advertisement.
Influencer Marketing Content Strategy
Due to this level of trust, you can take advantage of this from a marketing perspective. Here is how we recommend you layer your strategy:
- Choose an influencer that has an audience that overlaps with your audience. If you sell hunting products and there is an influencer that covers outdoors hobbies, that’s a good match. If you can find an influencer that strictly covers hunting topics, that’s a perfect match.
- Build a communication plan that will allow you to organically incorporate the marketing of your product. You don’t want the influencer’s recommendation to come off as forced or unnatural. Work your product information into an existing segment or episode theme to make it feel more organic.
Below is a great example of how to use a social influencer within your digital marketing strategies. Leyla Rose is a social influencer that covers makeup and fashion. In the video referenced below, she goes through a routine makeup tutorial while casually showcasing and namedropping specific products.
To determine if influencer marketing is right for you, you should also look at your budget. Here is a pricing chart provided by WebFX. It’s important to keep in mind that these are rough estimates and influencers can base their payments on other analytics, such as reach, clicks, overall views, etc. However, this does give you a look at how the prices can skyrocket for some of the high-end influencers.
Digital Marketing Strategies: Email
People use their email a lot. Like 270 billion emails being sent and received each day a lot. With all this use, why not market through email. It’s obviously a great idea to add email to your digital marketing strategies, but unfortunately you won’t be the first person to do this (shocker), and users are prone to getting bombarded with emails trying to get them to buy something.
So, how to you give yourself a puncher’s chance in the very tricky world of email marketing? It’s about building a relevant email base (not buying a random group of unknown email addresses), devising a strategy and executing with thoughtful content.
Building Your Email Base
If you don’t have any emails to send something to, you got no email marketing. There are plenty of ways to collect relevant emails. We’ve laid a few our below:
- Capture emails when you make a transaction – whether that is online or giving customers the option to have their receipt emailed to them after an in-store transaction.
- Offer valuable content in exchange for emails. This could a webinar, white paper, eBook, etc.
- Collect signups or business cards at a trade show. I’ve used the tactic of having a photo booth at a trade show and if you wanted your photos, you had to provide an email address so we can send them to you.
- Create a “subscribe to us” section on your blog.
- Promote a contest on social media where users must provide an email address to enter.
Devising a Strategy
Once you have the emails, it’s important to segment your list. Segmenting your email list is the action of putting your emails into smaller groups, and the smaller groups are typically defined by a characteristic. This allows you to personalize your messaging based on the segmented group. You can segment your emails based on age, location, purchase history, etc.
According to MailChimp, opens and clicks rise while bounces, abuse reports and unsubs drop when using segmented emails vs. non-segmented campaigns.
Another effective way to segment your email list is based on where the potential customer stands in the buying cycle. They could be:
- A cold lead that is new to your product
- A hot lead who has shown interest in your product
- Someone who has purchased before and you are remarketing to them
You should have a different content strategy for each stage of the buying cycle:
- Cold Lead – You can provide value content IE blogs, white papers, etc. that will build trust and a relationship.
- Hot Lead – At this point, it is a good idea to send educational information on your product since the user is closer to a purchase.
- Remarketing Lead – At this stage, you can send discounts or new updates about your product since they already engaged and purchased before.
How Do I Know If It’s Right For My Business?
You know email is right for your business if you have a viable way to build an email list and the resources to invest in long-term email management and content production.
We hope these insights and suggestions on digital marketing strategies were helpful. There is endless opportunity out there and multiple ways to achieve success, the direction lies in what resources you have available and which strategy best fits your brand and product.