The first quarter has just come to a close, so perhaps now is a good time to examine your digital marketing strategy. Is the plan you created at the beginning of the year working? If not, it might be time for you and your marketing team to go back to the drawing board.
After all, considering Pew Research’s finding that 9 out of 10 American adults used the internet in 2018, a solid digital marketing strategy is critical for your brand’s success.
High-quality content and relevant brand interactions are key to a successful targeted internet marketing campaign. But generating highly effective online campaigns takes more than a good hashtag. According to a recent CMI report, fewer than half of B2B marketers have a written content marketing strategy.
Don’t be in that disorganized majority: Create a plan that is a living document. Writing down concrete, measurable marketing strategies make it easier to analyze your results over time. This living document will allow you to note which parts were and weren’t successful and will help you map out any changes you need to make down the road.
Now that you’ve got a plan for documenting your strategy, here are five areas you should focus on for a successful digital marketing campaign moving forward:
1. Optimize your SEO.
The importance of search engine optimization is no secret, but maintaining effective practices takes work. Google makes updates to its algorithms hundreds of times each year, and keeping your strategy up-to-date isn’t exactly a cakewalk. Keeping your website optimized for search engines, especially Google, means generating unique content that’s relevant to your audience and acquiring natural, relevant backlinks.
SEO can have a huge financial impact if it keeps your business on the first few spots of page one. WordStream found that 72% of customers who conducted a local online search ultimately chose to visit a store within a 5-mile radius, and Google research shows that 28% of searches for products, stores, or services nearby led to a purchase.
2. Consider paid social media marketing.
Brands with customers who are heavy social media users benefit most from paid social media marketing. Utilizing sponsored posts allows your brand to reach people who might not follow your social media accounts but who are interested in products or services like yours. The audience for a post is targeted by demographic, which increases your ROI. This can work well to introduce social media users to brands around their launches.
Customers are likely to engage with brands relying on social media, too. Lyfe Marketing found that 59% of U.S. consumers think social media has improved customer service, while a study by Sprout Social revealed that 86% of consumers prefer brands with genuine personalities on social media.
3. Look into paid search opportunities.
This strategy helps when you’re trying to distinguish your page from others with similar content. You can pay a premium to have your site results promoted on Google, Bing and Yahoo when users search for relevant keywords or to have an ad placement appear as a sponsored link on the main search results page. And don’t be afraid that people won’t click on your ad if it’s labeled as such, because 40% of all clicks on Google go to those ads, according to PPC Resellers.
For example, users searching “dentist in Denver” might see dozens of similar pages, but with a paid search strategy, a dentist could appear at the top of the list, receiving a higher click-through rate. With Google Ads serving as one of the internet’s biggest advertisers, paid search campaigns can have a big reach.
4. Try reaping the benefits of voice search.
Devices like Amazon’s Alexa are forcing traditional internet marketing to change, as 40% of adult consumers use some form of voice search daily, according to Location World. Keep local SEO in mind, along with keywords common in voice searches, to help propel your brand’s content to the top of a voice search results queue.
Voice searches are usually phrased as questions that fall into one of four categories: general information, personal assistant, local information and fun and entertainment. Your site’s content should be able to match a question a user asks as well as a string of words someone might type. If someone in Denver breaks a crown while at dinner, he might ask Alexa to “find an emergency dentist to fix a crown.” If the Denver dentist has detailed, original content on her website, she’s more likely to be suggested first.
5. Prioritize conversion rate.
Once you have all these customers in the proverbial door, you need them to make a purchase – and prioritizing a conversion rate optimization strategy can help do just that. First, conduct research about your audience to find out how and why they might purchase your products. Then, tailor your website and e-commerce experience to meet those needs.
A CRO strategy can be as simple as placing an image of a person smiling next to your call to action or as complex as redesigning full portions of your website. Don’t underestimate the importance of marketing research, for once you conduct your research, you can identify website pain points, create a testing strategy, roll out adjustments, and evaluate their effects. Remember that your CRO strategy should be continuous, not a one-time thing.
Internet use is firmly entrenched in modern life, from shopping to social media to research, so a solid digital marketing strategy is critical. In addition to the strategies above, research influencers in your industry and keep abreast of relevant search terms and hashtags to keep your website visible. Use simple CTAs and offer actionable advice in all of your content. And take time once a month to analyze the ROI from your marketing streams.
Regularly creating high-quality content that’s consistent with your brand is the most important aspect of a successful internet marketing campaign. You can’t leave a campaign hanging if you run out of steam. If you’re able to maintain a successful dynamic, you’ll be able to gain an edge over your competition and grow your business at the same time.
I originally wrote this post for business.com.