A great digital marketing campaign requires four elements, Data, Communication, Content, and Planning, to deliver maximum impact
Contributed by Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant & Freelance Writer You’re ready to go, you have a great idea for your digital marketing campaign, and you know how to make it happen – but how do you get the word out? Whether you’re trying to raise the profile of an existing business or get on the map as a brand new venture, it’s no secret that digital marketing is the key to success. The modern consumer can be reached via myriad platforms and across numerous forms of media, meaning there are countless ways to get your message across. In October 2016, digital consumers used on average 2.8 devices each to access online content. And, to complicate things, multiple users may also access content from the same device. With this in mind, the true challenge lies in delivering your message to the right people, at the right time, in the manner that is most likely to win them over. This is where the art of digital marketing becomes apparent. Rather than bombarding every channel with a generic advert and hoping for the best, your digital marketing campaign should be carefully planned, thoroughly researched, and delivered with precision and coherence for maximum impact.
Dissecting the Dream Digital Marketing Campaign
There’s no question that a well-structured marketing strategy is the best way to get results, but what exactly are the components of a good digital marketing campaign, and how do you put them together? At its core, this is simpler than it might seem. The purpose of marketing is to raise awareness of an idea, product, or service, and to do so in a manner that not only drives sales but causes others to want to share your message. The trick to this is understanding your target audience, then using this knowledge to sell your idea to them in the way they will find most appealing. This requires four essential things:
- Data – the more you know about your audience and how they interact with your content, the better you can tailor your campaign to their interests
- Communication – this is everything from building relationships with industry contacts to engaging with consumers, and even internal communication between members of your team
- Content – whether you are working with a full content marketing team or just one or two people, it is important that they are committed to distributing your brand’s message with enthusiasm, and in accordance with your marketing goals. This means delivering high-quality content across a range of platforms, and engaging positively with your target audience
- Planning – digital marketing works best when it is carefully organized and delivered according to a coherent plan. This is where the data comes in, as these details allow you to determine the best way to structure your marketing campaign
Part One: Data
To correctly tailor your advertising, you need to identify your target audience. Are they based within a certain locality? Do they fall within specific age ranges? What else connects them that may help you to reach them? There is a good chance that there may be several demographics within your potential consumer base, so the more accurately you can identify them, the better. Customer segmentation enables you to adjust the fine points of your advertisements and outreach emails to the interests of their intended demographic. Of course, to do this effectively, you need an idea of which platforms each group uses to consume content, when they do so, and what sort of content they prefer. For example, you may determine that university students consume content on mobile devices while traveling around campus, but if you deliver a series of infographics when they are primarily interested in video content, they may not stop to look. Yet, the same group might have entirely different preferences while accessing content from a computer. In short, you should gather data continuously throughout your campaign, primarily because your audience is not static. As time passes and trends change, formerly popular marketing strategies can suddenly become stale and uninteresting. Ongoing analysis of your consumer base and how they engage with your brand enables you to identify which digital marketing tactics are working for you and determine how to improve on those that aren’t.
Part Two: Communication
The real strength of digital content marketing is its ability to self-propagate. In our fast-paced, highly connected modern world, sharing digital content has become second nature. If you can create content that grabs the attention of your audience, you’re halfway there. However, if you want people to feel compelled to share your content, it needs to have some value to them. Such content may be informative, humorous, or simply notify consumers of a sale or discount code. The key is that it has to offer something to the individual that they deem beneficial, and that they think may also benefit those with whom it is shared. Crucially, this content must also ultimately guide its audience back to your website. At the end of the day, the purpose of all this marketing is to guide people to your product or service, while continuously building their interest and familiarity with your brand along the way. Your digital marketing team will need to reach out to other organizations, engage directly with consumers, and distribute well-timed, precisely targeted content with a coherent, consistent voice. To do this, good communication is essential. Ensure that everyone involved with your digital marketing strategy has a clear picture of your marketing goals, your brand image, and the identity of your intended audience.
Part Three: Content
Once you’ve determined who your target audience is, and how you reach them, you need to get that message out there, highlighting the product or service you want to sell, while engaging with individuals on a personal level. This can be as simple as using personalized emails and landing pages, which greet the user by name, or as sophisticated as predicting when they may be running out of something they regularly order. However, while personalized content is a great way to build trust with consumers, it is also vital to delivering a coherent message. This means using consistent style and branding, so all of your content is recognizable as being part of the same campaign. As your audience is likely to consume content across a variety of platforms, this also enables you to build a more complex narrative spread across your advertisements. Embracing nonlinear marketing as a core strategy for your campaign encourages your audience to engage in dialogue with your brand, and even to actively seek out your content in order to complete the narrative.
Part Four: The Plan
Your digital marketing plan will underpin the entire campaign, so it will need to grow and change accordingly. It can be all too easy to forget to refer back to your initial strategy once everything begins to come together. However, it is vital not to lose sight of your original goals, even if you ultimately surpass them. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks. Simply use them to steer your campaign in a better direction. After all, every good plan has a contingency, and changing one aspect of your strategy does not mean the whole thing will collapse. Schedule regular reviews of your campaign’s progress, so you can verify that you are meeting your targets, and highlight any areas that may need more attention. This includes adjusting future goals, acting on feedback from your team and your consumer base, and even reworking aspects of your plan in accordance with what you have learnt along the way.
The Right Tools for the Job
Gathering all that data and turning it into a cohesive plan may seem like an overwhelming task, but fortunately, there are numerous tools available that make things significantly easier. Intelligent algorithms can be used to track user preferences and deliver a tailored UX, while tools such as Google Analytics enable you to view and interpret extensive data on consumer interactions with your content. To bring your website in line with your brand image and the narrative of your digital marketing campaign, you can take advantage of the extensive toolkit of an e-commerce CMS, such as WooCommerce or Shopify. This will facilitate management of your sales, and even help you optimize product pages to boost SEO and improve your website’s overall aesthetic. In the end, though, your most useful resources will be your colleagues and your consumers. Their feedback and suggestions will give you the most relevant information on the impact your marketing campaign is having. Do not be afraid to branch out, try new things, and make full use of every piece of data, content management solution, and a time-saving device that might benefit you. Try this useful tool to help align your global marketing efforts.
No Guts, No Glory
“Fortune favors the brave”, or so it’s said, and this could certainly be true when it comes to digital marketing. Having the courage to try something innovative and avant-garde is the foundation of any truly great marketing campaign. Yet it is having the mettle to admit when something hasn’t gone according to plan that will ultimately determine whether your campaign will be a success. It is the passion you put into your digital marketing that enables your message to engage its intended audience. Enthusiasm is infectious, so the more involved and onboard you and your team appear, the greater the impact you will have on your customers. Digital marketing, like so many things, is easy to learn, but tough to master. Trends are constantly changing, and it can be tricky to keep up. Nevertheless, if you remain proactive, and combine your vision with the research, strategy, and consumer engagement described above, the results will speak for themselves. All you need to do then is start working on the next great idea. Thanks Victoria Greene, Brand Marketing Consultant & Freelance Writer, for contributing this article! She works with e-commerce businesses and entrepreneurs on digital campaigns that span content marketing, programmatic, and email. Connet with her via @vickyecommerce