Getting the most value from a digital marketing strategy comes down to understanding the tools available to you, and using them in the right combination to meet the needs of your business.
Earlier, we established an understanding of the tools available in digital marketing by going into detail about the major digital marketing channels available to marketers.
Now that you have an understanding of the tools available, and why they work, it’s time to turn your attention to the task of optimising your selection of channels to meet your unique marketing objectives.
Optimizing Channel Selection For Your Needs
Every business has distinct needs, goals, and circumstances. Every digital marketing channel has unique strengths and weaknesses.
Getting the best results from your digital marketing strategy is a matter of identifying the strengths you need to achieve your goals, and understanding how to mitigate weaknesses to optimise your efforts.
Of course, what has value to you is a matter of your circumstances, so this article cannot do the work of defining your marketing strategy for you.
What it will do is provide a thorough understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of every digital marketing channel we discussed earlier, and demonstrate how combining them in different ways can better meet particular goals than approaching them directly.
So let’s get started:
Benefits and Challenges For Each Channel:
1) Content Marketing
- Improves SEO: by providing consistent site updates, consistent link cultivation, and an ever-growing keyword/LSI profile.
- Great for social: A solid content strategy includes a channel plan; producing engagements, likes, and shares from content shared across social media.
- Lead generation benefits: Targeted content generates 3X the leads of traditional outbound marketing, for 62% of the cost.
- Creates conversions: Content Marketing converts at a rate generally 6X higher than alternative methods.
- Takes a lot of work: Companies that blog 11+ times a month generate 4 times the leads. 60% of marketers create at least once piece of content a day!
- Requires significant planning: Without clearly defined goals, audiences, and objectives; content production generates significantly less return. Only 32% of marketers say they have a documented content marketing strategy, despite research showing that those who document their strategy are more effective in nearly all areas of content marketing. (Content Marketing Institute)
- Quality content marketing is not cheap: The most effective marketers allocate 42% of their total marketing budget to content.
2) Social Media Marketing
- Inexpensive, scalable pricing: Almost all social media platforms are completely free to use, offering optional paid options to those who want to take their efforts to a higher level. The industry average for high-level Social Media Marketing is $4000-7000 a month, but getting started is free!
- Valuable today: Almost half of all Canadians use social media to discover or decide which products to buy. To not using social media is to miss out on a critical opportunity to influence the purchase decisions of your market that will only grow in importance.
- More valuable tomorrow: 95% of young adults (13-35) use social media, and show no sign of stopping by the time they’re 40. Using SMM to establish brand loyalty with wide audiences while young allows businesses and consumers alike to enjoy lucrative, long-lasting relationships.
- Time Intensive: 58% of marketers use Social Media for more than 11 hours a week in order to quickly and consistently interact with potential customers.
- Tough To Measure Success: 60% of marketers claim that ‘measuring ROI’ is one of the most prominent challenges to SMM, with 46% saying they are unsure if social channels have generated value for their business, despite consumers reporting that social plays as big a role in their purchasing decisions as TV.
- Mistakes Can Damage Your Brand: Insensitive comments, inappropriate replies, and sometimes even simple misunderstandings can quickly escalate to major crises on social media.
3) Email Marketing
- Fast and easy to produce: With the extensive range of email automation software available for email marketing, developing and dispatching targeted content takes mere minutes. Responding to competitors marketing tactics, or taking advantage of opportunities as they reveal themselves, takes very little time or work.
- Immediate feedback: Incorporating powerful analytics engines, automation software will provide you instantaneous data on the performance of your campaigns that you can use to target audiences and inform future content production.
- Highly cost-effective: Email marketing can be done successfully with very little investment, especially if you’re writing them yourself. Thousands of emails can be produced with only a few hundred dollars, easily returning several times more than that when done well!
- Most won’t read your email: The average ‘open rate’ for email marketing 24.79%. That means that a well-crafted email is likely to be opened only 1 in every 4 times. ‘Sales-y’ subject lines and content, spam filters, and sometimes plain negligence are all variables that keep emails unread.
- Emails must be responsive: Just like it is almost impossible to succeed in 2017 without a mobile-responsive website, email content that cannot be easily consumed on mobile devices cannot be expected to generate a return.
- Targeting is difficult but crucial: Emails tailored to the specific needs, wants, and expectations of highly targeted audiences perform far better than generalised blasts. While this work is difficult and sometimes time-consuming, it is critical to getting the most out of email marketing efforts.
- Massive traffic: Enjoying a position on the first page of search results exposes you to exponentially more traffic than the second page. Being at the top of the first page provides several times more than that!
- Long-term value: Organic rankings are comparatively stable. If you have a prominent ranking, so long as you continue to perform SEO ‘maintenance’, you can expect to enjoy the traffic it sends your way long into the future.
- SERP traffic converts better: When a person heads to Google, they’re looking for a solution to a problem. When Google sends them to you, your products and services are being presented as a solution to this problem. Other channels can produce traffic, but only SERPS can consistently produce traffic of such high quality.
- Improving organic SEO is slow: One of the most critical measurements Google uses to rank your website in 2017 is link consistency over time. It takes consistent investment over time to slowly climb rankings and access the benefits of organic SEO.
- PPC can get expensive: PPC provides marketers with the opportunity to access the benefits of a high ranking for a cost, but the most lucrative keywords are highly sought-after, and therefore more expensive. Managing PPC campaigns to produce a return is far from impossible, but takes investment and consistent refinement.
- Change cannot be predicted: Google is constantly updating the algorithms it uses to organise search results. Major ones can sometimes cause a site’s ranking to crumble overnight without warning or explanation.
Accessing Benefits, Address Challenges: Your Marketing Mix
For each one of these channels, there is a long list of available techniques to approach generating value them. Combining different techniques from different channels forms a digital marketing strategy, and there are as many possible combinations as there are businesses that could benefit from them.
It’s simply not possible to list every possible strategy, so what we’ll do is present a few situations, and show how mixing different digital marketing strategies serves to address the needs of businesses in each:
‘I want the advantages of organic SEO traffic, but I can’t afford to wait years to access them!’
With a solid content marketing plan, you can generate value for your business while you climb SERP rankings. Ensure that your content production consistently includes search terms and LSI keywords in articles, as well as plenty of links, and you can expect your ranking to not only take care of itself but pay for itself as your content generates value over time.
‘I am interested in the benefits of content marketing, but concerned about the cost required to generate return’
Return-on-investment is always one of the forefront concerns for those approaching the task of digital marketing. Fortunately, for content marketing especially, there are options available to mitigate (and often outright eliminate) risk.
You can maximise the value your content marketing efforts produce by ensuring that you distribute your content across as many channels as possible. Incorporating your content marketing into your social media marketing by posting articles and videos across social media is an obvious first step.
Without much additional work, you can take things further by combining your content production and E-mail marketing strategy. Not only will that help spread your content far and wide, but it will also equip your content producers with valuable, real-time data on content performance across target segments.
‘I want to cultivate customer relationships with SMM, but I can’t afford to spend all day on Social Media!’
When it comes to social media marketing, a little is better than none at all! While the best SMM campaigns have managers consistently observing accounts and participating in conversation online, simply using yours as a mouthpiece to spread and share your content can still cultivate customer relationships. While these results might not be optimal, they will still be results!
‘None of these situations work for me. I’d like to find out which blend of channels and techniques is best for my marketing objectives!’
Obviously, it would be impossible to describe every possible digital marketing mix, so we can understand why the above hypotheticals might not meet your unique needs.
Fortunately, WebMarketers is capable of providing far more than merely hypothetical descriptions of how mixing digital marketing techniques and channels can generate value for your business.
To find out exactly how a tailored approach to digital marketing strategy can realise the marketing objectives of your business, all it takes is a conversation with the WebMarketers.
Allow us to learn your business, it’s needs, and it’s goals; and we’ll demonstrate how a custom-made digital marketing strategy is guaranteed to produce value for it.