There are a number of different ways to market a website online. And that’s where the latest digital marketing strategies come into play.
There are the big guys—like search engine optimization (SEO), online advertising strategies, social media marketing, and the list goes on. Each category represents a specialty of its own along with a unique set of skills and best practices. In other words, what happens in SEO is very different from what happens in digital advertising.
For this reason, it’s no cakewalk to create a digital marketing strategy.
Since every website is different, the best digital marketing strategies are created using a custom-tailored approach.
What is a digital marketing strategy?
It’s helpful to think of your strategy more like a digital marketing roadmap or action plan for expanding your online reach and establishing your place on the internet.
It’s where your customers are buying, engaging, and researching. In fact, 78% of consumers scope out a business’s online presence before ever physically visiting.
The latest digital marketing strategies will help boost your brand awareness and attract customers through the big strategies mentioned above, namely SEO-fueled organic search, paid ads, website design, and social media.
It also bears repeating that every business and website is different. The best digital marketing strategies take this into account and are designed with specific goals in mind that can be accomplished, tracked, and refined using particular tools and channels.
The 6 pillars of your digital marketing strategy
The thing about the internet is that it is always growing, expanding, and changing. While this is exciting, it also means there can be a steeper learning curve that constantly needs updating.
It only makes sense that the world of online marketing grows, expands, and shifts, too. Today there’s clearly more than one way to craft a winning digital marketing strategy that positions your website on the internet to optimize results.
The good news is that though these areas are separate marketing categories and online advertising strategies, they can all work together to achieve your goals and grow your business.
A digital marketing strategy can be categorized into 6 main disciplines:
- Content marketing
- Native advertising
- Pay-per-click management (PPC)
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Digital content marketing strategy
Content marketing, in the context of your digital marketing strategy, is the creation and publication of useful content online. Putting out high value content is a strategy designed to attract, educate, and maintain your target audience. It can also establish you as a thought leader in your industry.
But what is “content,” exactly? And where does it go?
When people think of content, often they think of written content. In content marketing, written content (including SEO content writing) can take the form of:
- Case studies
- Product guides
- Social media posts
- And more
But there are other types of content, too, such as:
- Google ads
- And more
Video content is particularly valuable, and has been designated “the future of content marketing.” For a quick example, 69% of people prefer video over text when learning about a product or service (SmallBizGenius).
As to where your content will go, on your website—mostly. In reality, it will benefit your digital marketing strategy if your content can be shared in multiple locations, across various channels.
Each type of content will be published online, often cross-platform (in multiple locations). For example, your website should have a section for a blog. That’s where you will publish well-written, high-value, SEO-optimized content to establish credibility and boost visibility.
When it comes to video, you might upload your content to YouTube, then embed it in a blog, share it on Twitter, include it in your monthly email newsletter, etc.
Content marketing is a key part of the best digital marketing strategies, no matter your business or agency (LinkedIn).
- Native advertising
Also known as advertorials, sponsored content, or “sponcon,” native advertising is one of the online advertising strategies that uses paid media.
Native advertising is a combination of content and advertising, using sleek and non-intrusive ads that are designed to blend into the website or platform you’re browsing.
It is popular in some of the latest digital marketing strategies because native advertising creates a better, more integrated user experience. Native ads are less disruptive than traditional pop-ups or banners. Instead, they integrate seamlessly into the organic content being perused so that customers are exposed to promotional ads without it being frustrating or clunky.
Native advertising can be broken down into several different forms. Each form can benefit your digital marketing strategy in different ways, depending on your goals.
- In feed/in content. By “feed,” we mean news feeds and social media feeds like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Native ads are interspersed into feeds, articles, blog posts, and more, blending in with the organic content.
- Content recommendations. Suggestions provided at the end (or along the side) of an article or website page, recommending related products, services, content, and more.
- Promoted search listings. Ever notice the listings that appear at the very top of your Google search results? If you look closely, you’ll notice the faint “Ad” label.
- PPC in digital marketing
Pay-per-click advertising is best known as PPC.
PPC in digital marketing can be a great part of your overall strategy and is related to the point about promoted search listings above. PPC advertising involves online ads; advertisers pay each time a user clicks on one.
Basically, if you pay to have your website or offering listed at the top of a search engine results page (most commonly Google, but also Bing, Yahoo, and on social media channels), potential customers will find you when they search relevant keywords. The charge is accrued based on how many people click the ad.
The best digital marketing strategies involve a variety of tactics, and PPC in digital marketing is important to have in your toolbelt.
Some folks tend to shy away from paid online advertising strategies, but when executed effectively, PCC can benefit any business.
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is the practice of improving a website so that it becomes search engine friendly and brings organic traffic to the website. It is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy.
Think about the old saying: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If you have a beautiful website and amazing business offering, but no one knows you exist, does it even matter?
The best digital marketing strategies take return on investment (ROI) into account. If you invest a ton of resources into your website, but it is not being found online, your efforts have a low ROI.
Some components of SEO include:
- Meta tags
- Social media
- Product images
When businesses think about how to create a digital marketing strategy, often the SEO component can seem daunting. What are the local SEO ranking factors? Which algorithm changes do I need to care about? Which keywords will help my audience find me? SEO can be one of the toughest parts of your digital marketing strategy, that’s for sure.
Fortunately, there are many resources we use, that can boost your SEO.
- Social media marketing
Social media marketing for a digital marketing strategy is the practice of promoting a product or service on social media platforms, and sharing content that builds brand awareness and trust. All the best social media blogs and sites will tell you that this is typically done through a social media management platform. Key social media platforms included in many of latest digital marketing strategies:
An effective social media marketing strategy not only helps promote or advertise. It can be a purposeful tool that allows brands to communicate directly with customers and prospects to establish credibility, create an affinity, and nurture brand loyalty.
Dispel the notion that social media is just for “fun.” It can be a powerful ally in monitoring your clients’ online reputations, driving traffic to their websites, communicating directly with customers, and generating new leads—all essential to components to a digital marketing strategy.
- Email marketing
Email marketing is an approach that uses email as a way of marketing to and nurturing potential and existing clients.
But first you must build your email marketing list so that you have people to send your emails to in the first place. One way to gather new email addresses and expand your reach? Place calls to action (CTAs) on the website and blog encouraging people to sign up for your promotions or newsletters.
Other ways to build a list to make it a more valuable aspect of your digital marketing strategy include offering an incentive and using social media to prompt people to share their emails.
In addition to keeping customers and prospects abreast of new product offerings, discounts, campaigns, and other services, a “softer sell” approach can play a powerful role in email marketing. One of the most effective and often underestimated online advertising strategies is the act of educating, engaging, and providing value to an audience.
How to create a digital marketing strategy
From personas to the right tools, there are plenty of things that can help or hinder the success of your digital marketing strategy. Here’s the foundational work you need to make sure your strategy works well, including our favorite tools and software.
Step 1: Create a customer persona
Previously, digital marketers collected qualitative and quantitative information about the target audience that included age, gender, occupation, interests, and location. The definition of the potential customer has been taken to another level recently, with buyer personas taking over. Buyer personas are a term used to describe the ideal customer that can be defined by surveying and contacting the pre-defined target group. The latest digital marketing strategies begin with defining your own unique buyer personas.
Step 2: Identify your goals and tools
Every professional marketer knows how important this stage is. Without goals, a digital marketing strategy simply will not work, so defining them is your main task. Make sure that the goals you developed are suitable, and make them measurable.
Step 3: Focus on blogging
Blogging performs some critical functions, including bringing more traffic to your website, reinforcing social media presence, positioning against other companies, and ranking all those long-tail search queries and keywords.
If you have a regularly updated blog that the visitors find useful, it means that your website will be easily found through the search engines and can be used as a platform for your online advertising strategies and marketing campaigns.
Step 4: Evaluate existing digital marketing channels
Analyze the digital assets and channels that you are already using, including website, blog content, social media account, word-of-mouth, native advertising, Google Adwords, paid advertising, and so on. Ask yourself: how effective were they and how can they be used next year? Which online advertising strategies can be refined or dropped?
It is okay if your future digital marketing strategy process does not incorporate all of these elements, but it sure should use those that were the most effective in the previous year.
Step 5: Automate marketing
Marketing automation is huge, and it’s only getting better with the new technology and software being incorporated into the latest digital marketing strategies.
Today’s leading marketing automation instruments can do wonders for your digital marketing strategy, making it easy for you to automate activities such as content marketing, email marketing, lead generation, and more.
If your company is still not on board with automated lead generation, give us a call.
Step 6: Nail mobile optimization
It’s a mobile era, and there’s no excuse for not improving your site for a wonderful mobile experience.
Mobile optimization includes page speed, site design, and various other search engine optimization practices to ensure that people who come to your site using a mobile device have a good experience.
Review your mobile responsive design and email templates to ensure that you are using the latest methods and provide only relevant and latest data.
Step 7: Make it easy for customers to reach you
Online business is all about connecting with potential customers, so traffic on your website should be high to ensure positive outcomes. Your digital marketing strategy therefore should ensure that your leads and visitors are not exerting unnecessary effort to connect with you. Engaging with your customers is invaluable for your business.
Step 8: Use the right technology
A marketing effort is wasted if an ineffective or inappropriate technology is used.
The best digital marketing strategies include tools such as marketing automation software as well as sales intelligence tools. There are tools that can help you during every stage of your strategic process, including ones that help you identify your goals and help you track where your visitors are coming from.
Step 9: Confirm your differentiators
If your company is not different from your competitors, you should not expect high profits. Make sure you change (or reinforce) your difference from the others by talking to your customers and asking them why they selected your company.
Step 10: Track your process
Constant monitoring should be provided to ensure that your digital marketing strategy is working effectively. Remember to learn from the mistakes and always find improvement opportunities!
TRI Fusion Marketing specializes in digital products and services for small and medium businesses. We use the software and tools that help identify and create the best digital marketing strategies that deliver results.