On the face of it, a digital marketing strategy can often be seen as a complex and multi-layered process. You’ve got all these different shaped pieces, which to those unfamiliar or new to the digital marketing jigsaw, can seem impossible to piece together and complete. Just a quick journey around digital marketing will lead you to talk of content marketing, social media management, automation, email marketing, search engine optimisation, keyword research, Google Analytics and so much more besides.
But how do all these techniques come together to grow your brand’s reach, drive leads and deliver real results that impact your bottom line? Let’s take a look.
Know what you want.
First things first, before we even begin to talk about social media channels and digital marketing techniques, it’s crucial you know exactly what you want from your new strategy and efforts. This of course should be aligned to your wider business and marketing objectives. It could be anything from generating leads from email marketing, building followers and a social media presence, or boosting brand loyalty and trust. Whatever you decide, give it some clear thought and time to consider.
As well as targets and objectives, it’s also important to know your audience groups and potential prospects – in the digital world these are often referred to as ‘personas’. Just as is the case in the offline world, you need to target or at least be aware of who you want to receive your intended message and when. And much more than that, in the competitive online marketplace you need to understand their needs and requirements, what they like and don’t like, and what retains attention and what doesn’t – we’ll touch on this a bit later with keywords and analytics.
Like peas in a pod.
While there’s been many changes in digital marketing in its relatively short life span, there’s one thing that’s played a vital role throughout, and it’s sure to be around for years to come – quality, original and engaging content. This should be at the heart of any marketing strategy. New and engaging content can be anything from knowledge based blog posts and news features to landing pages and useful resources. This should then be combined with your social media and email marketing strategies, pushing out new, engaging and interesting content to your group of followers and potential leads.
These strategies really do go hand in hand (particularly content and social) and without a strong bridge between them, they can struggle to deliver noteworthy impact.
Let’s see how this works.
As well as impacting on bottom line through sales, content marketing coupled with social media and email marketing can provide invaluable non-tangible rewards, such as raising brand awareness, building trust and boosting loyalty.
So sit back and watch your website’s visitors, followers and engagement go through the roof! But if only it was that easy – there’s so much more to talk about with regards to these three techniques (content marketing, social media and email marketing) but the above is designed to simply give you an overview of the cycle and the route potential leads can take.
For a start you need to plan your content around schedules and keywords (we’ll talk about this a bit later), you then need to think about social strategies and followers, and lastly you’ve got to consider turning cold leads into hot leads through email marketing. We’re always on hand to talk about this should you want to delve a little deeper.
Making sure you’re talking sense and not just to yourself!
So you’ve got to grips with the first cycle of digital marketing and you’ve started to understand how content marketing links and entwines with social media and email marketing. Now it’s time to look at the engine room of digital marketing – we’re talking behind the scenes, the things that followers and potential leads don’t see – that’s SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), keyword research, link building and analytics.
A bit of research goes a long way.
To start, we’ll look at SEO and keyword research. SEO is basically making sure your pages and subsequently your site is as highly organically ranked by search engines as possible. To boost this, there’s a number of pieces of research and techniques you’ll have to undertake. First up is keyword research.
This part of SEO provides a crucial opportunity to understand what words you should be targeting and focussing blogs, landing pages and titles around. So here we go, linking back to content marketing and what you should and shouldn’t be covering!
For example, once you’ve compiled your main keywords (through what you know about your business and research conducted with the help of some useful tools), you can then write a blog post around those words.
Take a furniture retailer for example. Their keywords are likely to be words like ‘beds’, ‘wardrobes’ and ‘sofas’. So you could then write a blog post around ‘picking the right bed for you’, or ‘what features to look for in a wardrobe’. Okay, this might be slightly too general for such a large market but you get the gist. Think about it, not only are you creating great, original and engaging content that’s useful for your followers (and of course potential leads), you’re also ticking a lot of boxes around keywords and SEO. Perfect!
The timing of publishing your content is also important. Think seasons, events and schedules, all of which will impact on what people will be searching for, what is likely to be relevant and what will drive genuine leads and interest to your business. Bear in mind too, that content can often be time sensitive, especially around news and developments.
Being seen where it matters.
In today’s digital marketing world, the importance of building high-quality links is just as important as a good social presence and a solid content strategy. Link building is another limb of the SEO body, and it’s basically the process of having your site linked to, from other websites. This can be done through many routes and avenues, such as review sites, industry associations, genuine business directories and many, many more.
But it’s important to remember the golden rule – quality over quantity.
Links provide a way for users to navigate between pages on the internet. At the same time, search engines also use links to crawl the web, that includes crawling the links between the individual pages on your website and the links between entirely separate websites.
This essentially helps search engines determine how well a page should rank, how trustworthy it is and how useful is the content.
As with many of the techniques we’ve covered, we’ve only just scratched the surface with this – we’ve tried to give you an overview of why this is important and how it works, but rest assured we can go into much more detail if you’d like to know more.
Jumping into the shoes of your site’s visitors.
Google Analytics allows you to see who visits your website, see what avenues they go down to get there and what content they like and don’t like. This is vital to learning what content works, who you should be targeting and when you should be posting. By looking at the demographics of your audience (age, where they’re from etc), you’ll be able to create content that you know will resonate and be of interest to them.
This allows you to develop a tailored and user-friendly experience for your visitors, something which is absolutely crucial (who doesn’t like feeling valued and wanted?!). But it’s not just one way traffic, there’s also a significant benefit for your business – these visitors are now likely to have a genuine interest in your brand, business and product, and are therefore more likely to buy into what you’re offering. These leads are warming up nicely now!
By analysing this data from Google Analytics, you’ll be able to gain further understanding of who your audience is, what they want, and how they find you. So here we go again! Intertwining nicely with content marketing, social media and link building!
When you start monitoring your referral traffic, you’ll start to see which blogs, landing pages and other content is being viewed and for how long. This will help you save time by focusing on specific content and writing styles that provide genuine results. Delving further into your web referrals and you’ll be able to see which external sites and internal pages are linking most successfully.
Similarly, by taking a closer look at your social referrals, you’ll be armed with data to decide exactly which social media channels are working and which require some extra leg work or a different technique.
The bigger picture.
On top of the subjects we’ve covered above, there’s a whole host of other techniques that directly and indirectly affect digital marketing. However, we’ve tried to provide you with the basics of what we offer, how these work in a business sense, and how more often than not they all closely rely and impact on each other. It’s important to see digital marketing as one slick, well oiled machine with varying functions that work together to deliver one or a number of objectives.
But bear in mind, this is merely a blueprint – each business and website is different and every campaign must be uniquely designed to deliver specific messages to your target audience.