In the digital world, it’s nice to be reassured that the marketing best practices are still in fact best practices since the space is constantly changing and evolving. That’s due, in part, to the ever-changing algorithms. But also, the revolutions have to do with how we as humans interact with content on the web. At the 2017 Atlantic City Builders Convention, we were reminded what a successful marketing plan needs to have in place during the “Digital Done Right” Educational Program.
Phil Clouser of WhiteHot Inc. moderated the panel and it featured Holly Kingsley of Pace, a WPP Company, Danny Ortiz of NJ Advance Media, and Stephanie Shaffery of Flair Marketing Group. Together, they helped take us through what type of techniques worked best at specific milestones within the sales funnel.
Digital Marketing Tactics
It all starts with knowing your buyer’s persona. Identifying who your audience is and what they’re looking for will help determine where and how you should try to reach them. Once you know what you want to accomplish, you need set your specific goals. After those are set, you back your strategy into your Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs. It was both shocking but also not surprising to hear that 82% of smartphone owners turn to their devices to make product decisions. That means everything you do needs to be responsive. If you take nothing else away from this recap, it should be that.
That’s an important statistic because it proves how crucial a digital strategy is. There are so many components to drive success digitally. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the “free” way to get traffic. It starts with the on-page content that helps search engines determine if your site or products are the answer to a searcher’s inquiry. It’s important to optimize your website for your users because 81% of consumers conduct research before purchasing.
Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, is the tactic of putting an ad for your company in front of a motivated buyer. Because they’re already looking for your goods or services, you can target specific keywords or searches. Keeping these ads relevant to your buyer’s persona will help keep your Cost per Click (CPC) down. The last thing any business wants to do is waste money.
Display ads are the images and videos placed around the web to visually entice your target demographic into buying. These images help persuade the not-yet-motivated buyer to become motivated. With compelling images, strong calls-to-action, and a responsive design, these ads, paired with a SEM strategy have seen a 30-50% lift in conversions.
Your efforts shouldn’t stop with SEO and paid marketing. It’s been proven that consumers respond more and interact better with content. To be more specific, 70% of people prefer content over ads. Good content should be useful. It should be interesting and engaging. This encourages more interaction with your brand but also it will help increase your overall time on site. In turn, that helps your SEO and therefore your overall rankings within the search engines. A good content marketing plan brings everything full circle.
Another place you need to think about content is on your social media platforms. Yes, you should have social media accounts and you should be posting to them regularly. It’s crucial to have both a social media management plan, which is the content and a social media marketing strategy, which are the ads. Your presence on social media is important because 81% of consumers are influenced by social recommendations. Those recommendations could come from you, your customers who have converted to brand ambassadors, or social influencers.
As the second largest search engine, YouTube shouldn’t be left out of your digital plan. On average, YouTube videos garner a 40% conversion rate. Consumers, especially millennials, prefer to watch videos. The content and quality of your videos are important. That’s because 64% of people are likely to after seeing your product or service in a video.
Reaching your customers directly is easier with an email marketing strategy. Just like the other methods mentioned above, the purpose of emailing your targets is to grow. The content you email should encourage a physical and measurable response. And keep in mind that 51% of people open emails on a mobile device so make sure your emails are responsive.
Your efforts will be fruitless if you’re not measuring the results. Whether you’re running ads or blasting your list with emails, you need to track the returns to see what’s working and what isn’t.
An important way to track your results is adding UTM codes to your ads and links. Formatting is key with this tracking method but luckily you can easily search for a UTM code builder. Once the code is in place, you’ll be able to see the engagement in Google Analytics, or whichever platform you use.
In addition to the UTM codes, you should also be setting goals in Google Analytics. You should be tracking for both macro conversions and micro conversions to gauge your success. A macro conversion is when you make a sale. A micro conversion is an activity a user engages in before purchasing. Both are important indicators of your success.
You can’t forget about assisted conversions either. When closely examining what led a customer to make a purchase, you can’t discount what got them there. You don’t want to make decisions only looking at a portion of the picture. By know where to look to see the bigger picture, you and your marketing team can make informed adjustments moving forward.
To fill the funnel, you need to give your prospects more options. These options should be measurable so that you can make more informed media buys. The purpose of any digital marketing campaign should be to move customers from becoming aware of your company to considering it as a solution to their problems ultimately leading to a conversion.
Every action you make and every action your want your audience to make should be measurable. If you’re not tracking your results closely and comprehensively, you’re going to make decisions that are not as informed as they could be. And everything you do digitally needs to be responsive.
In this digital world, you need to implement many different tactics to be successful on the web. Just like the panelists at the Atlantic Builders Convention, we’re here to help you do digital right!