by Donna Howard
March 18, 2018, Marketing is a social process. Although there are all sorts of metrics that can be used, data gathered, and analytics generated, marketing innovation is typically not driven by data. Data drives tactics, experience, practice and intuition drive marketing strategy. It’s not too complicated to employ marketing tactics, but it’s very difficult to master marketing strategy. It requires time, patience, and some critical thinking ability.
Studying digital marketing strategy is as easy as doing a simple Google search. Whatever pops up first within your search parameters is a good example of a search engine optimized website. Whatever shows up hundreds of pages later could be an example of poor search engine optimization. Closely comparing both and seeing where they are similar and where they are different can help you identify what comprises good SEO practices.
Social media provides a unique opportunity as well. You have the ability to connect with influencers as well as study how they interact with the platforms they choose to use. What platforms do they chose to employ? Do they have a substantial following on each of the platforms or are they focused on one? How do they interact with their followers? These are important questions to ask as you learn from big voices on social media.
Content marketing is another important piece of the digital marketing puzzle. As we move away from outbound marketing and traditional ads, we see the importance of creating value from marketing initiatives. Generating content that is authentic, helpful, and informative will help your business grow. Simply advertising may help you get some exposure, but building your brand awareness and your brand image will require genuinely thoughtful content creation.
Consistency is necessary in order for you to communicate with your target audience. There is a certain quality to quantity, as they say. Daily, weekly, and monthly blog articles will help legitimize your company blog and help establish a concrete online presence.
Before venturing into content marketing and other PR initiatives, be sure to get done your company voice. A journalistic tone may be appropriate for most communication, but you won’t be able to stand out as a brand without some type of personality. Brands need the help of graphic designers, copywriters, and social media experts to get this just right. It’s not something company’s can typically accomplish on their own.
If you’re a small business, you may be surprised about what you can afford. Bringing on designers, marketing consultants, and freelance strategists on a part-time basis could be a viable option. If you manage to hire the right people, you could see major returns for your business. Even if you don’t have the funds readily available, you can start crafting your brand image. Test out your own copy and designs with your friends, business connections, and family. You can start with this and tweak your brand with professional marketers later.
The brand of your company should be built around the content you’re creating. This is where your company’s message is really going to be heard. You company message needs to as concentrated and as directed as possible.
A direct, concise company message with a solid content marketing strategy will help your SEO efforts, your PR initiatives, and it will help you gauge how your target market is responding to you. At the end of the day, it’s all about how your customer is responding to your company and your company’s communication. Even the greatest marketing plans can have a lackluster response. This simply means you need to go back and look at the content you’ve created thus far and assess how you could better communicate your company’s message.
Building effective digital marketing strategies is a lengthy but rewarding process. Start employing some simple marketing tactics, researching the digital marketing strategies of competitors, and analyzing what makes strategies succeed. There’s a great deal to learn about marketing online and creating content for your target audience, and most of it is only a Google search and a little bit of elbow grease away.
– Contributor – Donna Howard is a business consultant working with high growth companies for their business development. She has worked with companies in scaling their business operations from Europe, Asia and Africa.