The 9 topics and concepts within digital marketing strategy that are important to remember can be divided in to three areas as I mentioned a few days ago.
- Overarching concepts
- Strategic analysis
- Tactical things to do
1. Search Engine Optimization
A key concept is search engine optimization (SEO). Understanding how SEO is actually measured will help you understand how to use your company website, blogs, posts, and social media to increase your reach to potential customers. The data available on how to be successful in SEO supports how often to post to the website blog and social media links. The power of marketing through the various SEO optimization strategies has increased our website traffic dramatically.
2. Website Usability, Especially Landing Page Relevance, Will Drive Bounce Rate
The second key concept was the importance of website usability. In order for SEO to be successful, the website must be a usable, easy-to-navigate, clear site. The landing pages for any link sent out to the public must answer the question that was posed in the original reader’s thought or in the advertisement email or post. If the landing page is confusing, messy, or simply not useful, no matter how many postings are done, the hit rate of a website will not increase.
3. Importance of Big Dat
Given the importance of Big Data in digital marketing, don’t overlook the enormous amounts of data created by online analytics that have so many different applications and methods for its use. Over the next few years, the ability of companies to track customers at an even higher micro level is going to continue to advance. Many companies will have to strip some of the big data they collect because it would be impossible to analyze all of it. Companies hire programmers and statistics experts who will probably be doing most of the analysis and sell it to you. Bottom line: Understand how to use the collected data and its purpose to determine the utility of its analysis.
4. Multi-Screen Usage by Customers is Growing
The number people using more than one screen at a time, especially while watching TV, is eye-opening. Understanding how to take advantage of that for B2C products can make the difference between brands. For example, during the Super Bowl blackout, Oreo’s real time tweet “You can still dunk in the dark” was a brilliant usage of multiple screens. This was an ad that could never have been put on during the game since that ad time was reserved months and years in advance. But Twitter is a live feed, so the fast response time netted Oreo a huge bump in influence based on the re-Tweets and comments to the post. Understanding that people are routinely using multiple screens is key for marketers to be aware of as they decide how much authority to give to various levels of staff within the marketing function. If the Oreo Twitter post had taken many approvals to post, it likely would never have been done in time to have the effect it produced. But because the person who is responsible for the twitter feed had the authority to post it quickly, Oreo was able to brilliantly take advantage of a real-time event.
DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY
5. Use Analytics
Having a website is not enough. We must understand the analysis of the traffic that flows through it. The level of detail available is enormous; website analytics, Google-based or otherwise, help us understand the who, when, and how of our site visitors. Analytics allow us to understand what is working and what isn’t. For example, our site has the most hits on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with many fewer on the weekends. Understanding the detailed level of analysis on site visitors, marketers can plan, execute, and analyze campaigns.
6. Create a Media Strategy
Once you understand the power of analytics, the importance of a clear media strategy becomes apparent. But while analytics convey detailed information, they but alone don’t tell us whether we did anything useful with the online media content we created. Marketing teams can post a variety of information (through blogs and other media), but until there is a result to measure against, the usefulness of campaign won’t be clear or understandable. So to develop measurements for online media, the marketing team must understand the purpose of each content item created. Understanding the purpose of content is not as easy as it might seem. Another example: For our website, we had not yet set any goals so even as our hits increased and our bounce rate remained low, we had no metric to measure against. Therefore, we couldn’t say whether we had successfully achieved a marketing goal.
7. Don’t Forget About Traditional Marketing Tools
As digital media and digital marketing are relatively new for so many people, focusing on online media and marketing can make some marketers forget about all the traditional marketing tools. The great news is that analytical tools can help tease out some of the key demographic, psychographic and other distinctions between customers that wouldn’t normally be available to a marketer in traditional marketing. Understanding customer preferences online is as important as in traditional marketing. Posting a tweet that is aimed at men or women 60+ is not likely to have an effect as Twitter is generally used by a younger audience. Facebook is also used by a younger audience, and Twitter is now seen as an up-to-date news source. Successful marketing campaigns not only create useful relevent content, but also use the correct media platform for the targeted consumers.
8. Write Curated Blogs
Using content curation methods, the posts created for our website have had a much wider reach. Commenting on articles and other posts makes our website and social media sites seem more involved in the community. Since I started commenting on Twitter feeds, people now re-tweet what I write and respond to my comments. Our blog content is making our company more visible more quickly, and curated aspect of the blog has people talking about us. The links within the blog are important and not only make us seem like part of the discussion, but give credit to other sites, which in them want to refer to our own site as well.
9. Mobile Marketing is Big and Getting Bigger
Today, mobile marketing is exploding as more and more people do much of their online searching, buying, and browsing on mobile platforms. Understanding how to make traditional marketing, as well as digital media, translatable into a mobile platform is a key success factor for brand websites. For me, learning the importance of any website to be platform independent so that it shows up well on any size screen and any platform (i.e., desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device) was critical. The issue of re-sizing is particularly important for the mobile platform as the screens are much smaller than on other devices. This means that all websites today must be set up so that they are legible and understandable, but most importantly, easy to navigate, regardless of the screen size. Overall the importance of the mobile platform will only continue to grow.
Digital marketing continues to change marketers’ behaviors as it grows up and becomes an integral part of any marketing campaign. Stay tuned as I focus in on each of these topics in future posts.