A majority of consumers are online. About 59 percent of the global population are internet users. Digital marketing is no longer a choice but a must for businesses that need to reach an enormous audience efficiently and cost-effectively. However, running a digital marketing campaign is like navigating through the wilderness. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re definitely going to be risking your life. In this case, “killing” your marketing campaign and your business.
Preparation is key to making sure your marketing efforts pay off.
1) Know your digital marketing campaign’s goals
Do you want to gain more traffic to your website, more sign-ups, more followers, email responses, or to land the #1 spot on Google searches? Digital marketing can help do all those for you, but you have to define your goals first.
If you want to rank high on Google search then search engine optimization is a good strategy. If you’re uncertain which goals to prioritize, the right SEO agency will go through options with you. Maybe you’ll maximize your marketing fund better if you start with digital ads because you need to see immediate results. Organic SEO takes some time to yield a favorable outcome.
When setting goals, follow the SMART goal concept. Make sure you’re setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Specify why you want to run the digital marketing campaign. What do you hope to achieve? Do you want more traffic? More sales? Are you looking for an increase in sign-ups? If so, be specific and set a number. How many sign-ups do you want to achieve by the end of the month or by the end of the year? What are the marketing initiatives that will help you achieve that number?
After you’ve specified your goals and the activities that will help you reach them, make sure they are measurable. What are the deliverables and how can you measure the success of the project? What are the KPIs that need to be tracked?
Make sure the goals are achievable and are relevant to the bigger picture. Don’t get carried away by the project or the idea of it, make sure that it’s necessary for the business.
Finally, always set a deadline. Any successful project has a deadline. Make sure that the entire team knows about what they’re supposed to do and when they should meet the deadline.
2) Profile your target user or customer
Be specific about who you want to target or who the campaign is for. Otherwise, your digital marketing campaigns will be aimless and not deliver the results your business needs.
Don’t just target middle-aged female customers, for example. Instead, target customers who are female working professionals between the ages 25 and 40 who are earning at least $60,000 a year, are health buffs, and are highly active on social media like Instagram and Facebook.
You know who you’re targeting and where they are. Knowing their habits and preferences will also help you craft the right message that will connect with them.
Find your preferred niche by understanding demographics like gender, location, age, salary, and their preferred social network site. You can go as far as digging into their psychographics. This is looking beyond age, gender, employment status, and other demographic factors.
Psychographic factors include looking into your customer’s hobbies, pain points, concerns, and buying habits. This will give you a deeper insight into their buying behavior: how they buy products and what compels them to buy a product.
3) Know your buyer’s journey
The buyer’s journey determines how consumers get from point A to point B. People experience your brand in many ways. It’s important to identify all these potential touchpoints or any time a potential client comes in contact with your business.
Mapping out the customer journey will involve a lot of research, data collection, and analysis. But it’s a necessary step to achieving a successful SEO campaign as well as meeting your revenue target.
When you provide what people need at the time they need it, your success rate for increasing website traffic, email sign-ups or sales will be higher.
4) Know your product well
People respond to enthusiastic sales pitches. When you talk about your product in the most passionate way, going over every tiny detail and describing its merits well, consumers will be assured of their purchase.
So it’s critical to be knowledgeable about what you’re selling; cursory knowledge isn’t going to cut it because you won’t be able to convey the benefits of your product. And when you are the undisputed expert on your product, you’ll know exactly where it fits in the market.
5) Set the budget for your digital marketing campaign
You have to design your marketing strategy around your budget. It’s not practical to run an ad on all the social media platforms you think you have to be on because you could run out of money midway through the campaign.
Do A/B testing to make sure that the channel that you’re pursuing is the right one for your brand. This will also stop you from wasting valuable resources on projects that don’t help you meet business goals.
6) Know your marketing channels
You have SEO, content marketing, paid ads, social media marketing, and email marketing ー just to name a few ー but you can’t use all of them. You can, but that wouldn’t be a strategic and smart move.
The best way to know which strategy suits your brand is to test different marketing channels and see which gives you the best results.
Here are some digital marketing channels to try.
Social Media: Everybody is on social media now. You just have to figure out which social media platform your audience is using and then bring your business there. You can promote your brand on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, and more.
Paid Ads: These could be found on search engines like Google (Google Ads), Bing, and Yahoo. You are charged per click and the cost will depend on how competitive your keywords are.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Unlike paid search or paid ads, SEO relies on organic traffic so it won’t charge you for the clicks. SEO is the process of prepping your website so that it ranks high on search engines.
Email Marketing: This is one of the most effective internet marketing strategies, however, you need to have a list of contact information. Email marketing and SEO work well together in terms of lead generation, nurturing, and customer engagement.
Content Marketing: This tactic involves creating and sharing content online. Some forms of content are blogs, videos, photos, ebooks, and infographics. The point is not to sound salesy but to stimulate curiosity and interest that will lead users to click on your product or service.
Video Marketing: High-quality and engaging visuals are very important in internet marketing, especially if you’re going to focus on social media. You will need to invest in video marketing in order to get the most out of these other channels.
Influencer Marketing: Influencer marketing is a tactic where you collaborate with online celebrities, influencers, or community leaders to promote your products and services. Done right, it’s an effective strategy that yields ROI for social media marketing efforts. But you must find the right influencer or personality for your business.
An aggressive approach to choosing your marketing channel would be to see which ones your direct competitors are on. And then occupy that channel in a way that’s better than the competition. For example, when the competition is coming out with amateurish videos on YouTube, hire a creative team to conceptualize and produce your videos.
7) Know how to track and monitor your digital marketing campaign
One of the factors that make digital marketing such an effective strategy is that you can monitor the performance of digital campaigns accurately.
You can’t improve what you can’t measure; it’s for this reason that you need to determine your goals, their KPIs, and their respective metrics.
Use analytics tools to track your campaign’s progress from start to finish. Try Google Analytics, Search Console, Buzzsumo, and Sprout Social, which are some of the best ones that analyze how your content is performing and how users are interacting with it.
Review and Refine
The digital marketing landscape continues to evolve. No one strategy fits every business, even the tactics that will work for your business today may not work as effectively next year. Every digital marketing tactic will need to be tweaked, but you have to find the right one for you at the moment.
But whatever digital marketing strategy you choose, always make the customer the central concern. Search engines value their experience, using it to determine rankings, and other customers listen to what other customers have to say about businesses.
So focus on your customers’ needs. When you get this part of the strategy right, the online visibility, brand recognition and sales will follow.
Itamar Gero is the founder of SEO Reseller, a global digital marketing solutions provider that empowers agencies and their local clients all over the world. When he isn’t working, he’s traveling the world, meditating, or dreaming (in code).