How to Transform Your Digital Marketing Strategy
The digital landscape is constantly changing. Think of new technologies that influence our digital experiences and communication tools that are enabling us to extend our messages to an expanding global audience. Digital channels connect our businesses with a more extensive customer base, enable us to nurture relationships with existing customers, and help us provide our customers with more valuable, targeted offerings.
The Social Media Marketer’s Testing Guide
Today we hosted a webinar, How to Transform Your Digital Marketing Strategy, in response to the changing digital landscape. We were joined by two very special guest speakers, Miri Rodriguez and Katelyn Brower. Miri is a Storyteller at Microsoft Corporation and Katelyn is the Digital Marketing Manager for Dun & Bradstreet’s Global Social Media program.
In this webinar, Katelyn and Miri discussed notable changes to the digital landscape and what those changes mean for marketers. Together they stressed the importance of cross-departmental collaboration in order to achieve maximum success, listed out the four major digital marketing channels, and provided actionable steps on how to best utilize these channels in our digital marketing strategies for a complete, digital transformation.
The Changing Digital Landscape
When Miri and Katelyn talked about the changing digital landscape, they provided some insight into both the good and the not-so-good impact on our marketing efforts.
- Digital marketing is the powerhouse in marketing, driving massive amounts of pipeline and revenue.
- New technology is also making it much easier for marketers to tailor content and strategies to hyper-target audiences based on their interests, location, behaviors, and engagement on social networks.
- The amount of data available makes marketing more powerful than ever—which allows marketers to do more, be more creative, and interact with audiences in new and exciting ways.
The not-so good…
- The digital world is very user-driven. Increasingly, people are gaining the ability to control their own digital experiences by “opting in” and “opting out”; they can choose their own ad experiences, scroll through, swipe left, block, and unsubscribe. This puts tremendous pressure on marketers to create highly engaging content.
- The digital world is highly saturated, and digital content is all around us, all the time. The challenge for marketers is to somehow break through all of the noise and gain attention for their brand.
There are opportunities presented to us to transform our digital strategies and reach our target audiences at the right time, through the right channels. In order for marketers to make a splash in the digital ocean, there are some steps we can take.
Step 1: Integrate Data into All Marketing Decisions
Marketing is now more data-driven than ever before. If data is not integrated into our marketing strategies, they are likely to flop and our content will not perform well.
Step 2: Focus on SEO
While SEO isn’t a new concept by any means, it is a critical component of an effective digital marketing strategy. Since the digital space is so highly saturated with content and brand messaging, even the most insightful, visually appealing, meaningful piece of content could easily go unnoticed.
Step 3: Personalize Customer Experiences
People have grown accustomed to hyper-personalization. If something doesn’t exactly “fit in” with our interests, lifestyle, or isn’t specifically made for us, we quickly turn away. Marketers need to be highly intuitive and proactive at connecting their audiences with content they desire.
After these three steps have been considered, marketers can begin shifting their efforts to the transformation of the four major digital marketing channels: website, email, blog, and social.
Transform Your Website
Your website is the hub of all information regarding your business or brand. It is often the first place people will turn to learn more about what you do and what you have to offer. If customers can’t find what they’re looking for easily, they will leave your site and take their business elsewhere. In a study done by the Nielsen Norman Group, most users stuck around on websites for less than 59 seconds, meaning that even your homepage must be cleverly designed and provide valuable information about your business.
To transform your website:
- Be sure to make information and content as accessible as possible
- Limit your text, use visuals, and have a strong and obvious call-to-action
- Your navigation bar should also be intuitive and easy to understand
- Make it easy for visitors to connect with you on social
JOHO’s Bean has created a successful website that perfectly mixes beautiful imagery, interactivity, storytelling, and visual design. These elements create a compelling, emotional, and engaging site that tells the story of a coffee bean’s journey. Notice their call to action right at the top of the page to “Order Now,” which links directly to their product pages.
Transform Your Email Campaigns
Email is not a new marketing strategy, but tactics have definitely changed since email became a staple in digital outreach. Everything from the subject line, the format of the email, its design, and its content are all equally important factors for successful email campaigns.
To transform your email campaigns:
- Provide value to your audience right away
- Be concise and get right to the point; keep copy simple
- Your CTA should be obvious and create a sense of urgency
- Include UTMs to measure the success of your emails
Postmates delivered an effective email that used a GIF as the header image, making it visually appealing and enticing the customer with images of delicious food. The copy was also cleanly formatted and simple, and it included a clear CTA to “Get It Now,” which directed the customer straight to their website to begin their delivery order.
Transform Your Blog
Your blog won’t do much for your business if you don’t dedicate time to your SEO. The first step in transforming your blog is to make it as “findable” as possible. Luckily, there are resources to help boost your SEO, like Yoast, which is a great plug-in that gives very concise suggestions to make your content rank higher on search engines.
To transform your blog:
- Your blog must be user-friendly and easy to navigate
- Add a comment section to spark engagement
Add in social share buttons to further expose your content
- Use “Tweet This” buttons within blog posts (can be quotes, stats, etc.). Also make sure to Hyperlink text to other spots on your website to boost traffic
- Include external resources (with links) to boost SEO
Consider using video (vlogs) or podcasts to provide your audience with different content formats. Video content is favored by many search engines now, meaning that if you are looking for a quick way to boost your blog’s SEO, video and audio content could be an easy fix.
Blendtec has created a fun vlog called “Will It Blend” where they test the strength of their blenders against random objects, from golf balls to iPhones. They creatively demo their product and showcase how powerful the Blendtec blenders really are, while touching on people’s natural curiosity.
The Moz blog has a ton of content regarding SEO, blogging, social, and analytics. Each article within the homepage of the blog has a social share button, making it easy to extend the reach of your content. The feature images for each blog post are similar in style and design, which speaks directly to the attempts made by Moz to keep branding consistent.
Social is no longer just a place for friends to connect — for businesses it is customer service, PR, content, product, sales, and events. Not only can social media increase brand awareness, but it can also serve as a platform to address customer concerns, share special offers, establish brand authority, and allow your audience to complete purchases. Social media enables businesses to reach customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey, and the information shared must meet the needs of customers based on where they are in their journeys.
The Social Metrics Map lists the steps of the buyer’s journey and the metrics you should look at to determine the success of your social content at each stage. Whether your audience is at the awareness, consideration, decision, adoption, or advocacy stage, the content you give them, and the KPIs you measure, will ultimately transform your social media strategy. Let’s walk through each stage of the buyer’s journey and explore strategies that your team can implement to align content with the different stages.
During the awareness stage, your audience might be learning about your business for the first time. Use social media to showcase company values and answer the following questions:
- What is my business about?
- What do we do?
- Who needs our products?
During the consideration phase, your buyers are seeking more information specifically about your brand. One of the best types of content to share during this stage is branded video. Video is an effective method to share product overviews and demos, which are both vital during the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey as means to answer customers’ questions about your brand and its offerings.
The decision phase is where your buyer is on the brink of making a purchasing decision. Either they buy from you, or they move on. This is your opportunity to capture as many leads as possible by creating personalized, special offers or linking your audience to some of your gated content where users must fill out a webform. These assets will drive leads and allow your team to nurture those leads, leading to sales. Popular gated assets are eBooks, whitepapers, reports, and free trials.
Engagement with your customers does not end after you’ve made the sale. During the adoption stage, your goal is to continue engagement and delight your customers and hopefully turn them into repeat buyers. Customer service is crucial during the adoption stage, and as soon as you spot a problem, you must engage. Joe Martin, Head of Social Insights at Adobe, recently wrote about customer service through social media. Martin surveyed his Twitter audience, and 49% of respondents said they receive responses from brands on social within the day. Even just acknowledging your customers’ pain allows them to feel taken care of, or simply heard.
Customers, prospects, and virtually any of your followers can be turned into advocates by sharing compelling content, engaging with those who engage with your brand, and showing gratitude. Thank your audience for sharing your content, for following your brand, or for contacting you on social. Leverage these engagements to build social rapport and humanize your brand. Showing gratitude is not hard, but many brands forget to do this at times.
Your goal during the advocacy phase is to continue to extend the reach of your content by leveraging your audience and their own networks. Make sure that your content is easy to share. Have your team create a refer-a-friend program, or give your audience the option to socially share their purchase.
To keep up with industry trends and make your digital strategies as effective as possible, consider the continuously changing digital landscape and how the social networks are evolving. Think of ways your strategies can put the customer first and provide value to their lives. Analyze your major digital marketing channels and the resources you need to utilize each channel to the best of their ability.
Below you will find the recording of How to Transform Your Digital Marketing Strategy, along with the slides. For more information on ways you can transform your marketing strategies, download our guide below, called The 30-Day Content Marketing Transformation Plan.
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Bryan is the Content Marketing Manager at Simply Measured. He spoils his dog, is a fitness fanatic, and loves research and writing.