Foundations for creating a digital marketing strategy | Hummingbirds

Foundations for creating a digital marketing strategy | Hummingbirds

Foundations for creating a digital marketing strategy Key takeaways: Almost all modern marketing is digital marketing. Digital marketing channels can be used independently, but drive the best results when used together. Paid advertising channels are unnecessary for creating a successful marketing strategy, but they can help drive awareness and sales. In the modern world, nearly all marketing is digital marketing. It’s defined as the use of digital means to promote and sell products and services, and consists of organic, paid, and owned marketing channels. This includes many social media, email marketing, video marketing, website marketing, and more. Creating a foundation that utilizes many of these tactics is key to developing and implementing a winning digital marketing strategy. Let’s examine eight digital marketing tactics and how they can be used independently and together. Social media marketing According to Hootsuite, 82% of the total US population, ages 12+, uses social media. That’s topped only by email at 90%. The special thing about social media is that it allows for real-time conversation between people and the brands they follow. When brands send a marketing email or post a banner on their website, it’s meant to tell their audience something. But when a brand posts on social media, they’re telling something and opening up a space for follow-up questions, feedback, and dialogue that you can’t get elsewhere. In order to have a successful social media strategy, it must incorporate plans on how and when to interact with customers and prospects. This should include reacting to and commenting on posts they tag your brand in, re-sharing stories you’re tagged in, sending them direct messages thanking them for visiting or making a purchase, etc. Email marketing This is a fabulous digital marketing tactic that any business can and should take advantage of. It can be as sophisticated as using an email CRM with automated drip workflows, or it can be as easy as sending a single email out before selling goods at a local market. Either way, email marketing is a great way to stay top-of-mind with your customers! Email marketing also allows you to communicate with prospects who are interested in your brand. By placing a form on your website, you can capture email addresses for people who might not be ready to buy yet. Keep them engaged by sending emails about the founding story of your business, the value props of your offering, discount codes, and news about upcoming events. The most important requirement of email marketing is only sending emails to those who give you permission. Oftentimes, brands ask permission to send marketing emails at the point of purchase, when prospects enter an email to get gated content, etc. With the new Google and Yahoo email protections, it’s more important than ever Video marketing Do you remember Vimeo? It was the first widely used, high-definition video sharing platform that still has plenty of active users today. However, YouTube joined the scene roughly a year later and quickly became the largest video sharing platform. Today, it still holds that title with roughly 77.7% of the US population accessing the platform on a monthly basis! YouTube’s popularity is impressive, especially considering video sharing is everywhere from Instagram reels to TikTok videos! Most marketers know that engagement on video posts is significantly higher than engagement on static posts. If you haven’t invested resources into creating video content, now is the time! If you need help, consider activating local influencers to generate authentic UGC that your brand can share. Content marketing Content marketing is an inbound marketing tactic that attracts, engages and retains customers through relevant and engaging content. This content is often the fuel for the other marketing channels we already discussed – social media, email, and video – as well as blogs, podcasts, influencer marketing and more! Great content marketing is one of the best ways to attract new customers because it feels organic and natural to them, rather than forced and flashy like paid ads. Website marketing (SEO/SEM) Some might say that website marketing is more important than social media marketing, but that actually depends on the type of business. There are plenty of successful small businesses that only have social media pages and not websites. While we don’t recommend doing that because of the great benefits a website brings, it is a feasible option, especially for a company strapped on time and resources. If you do have a website, make sure it’s optimized so it’s actually helping your business attract new customers and provide value for them. Check out this intro to local seo marketing and download this checklist to help you get started. 3 forms of paid digital advertising Paid digital advertising is one component of digital marketing. It’s not necessary to launch ads to promote your company’s offering, but it can help drive awareness and sales through the use of affiliate links, PPC, and native advertising. These tactics work because they appear on the channels your audience already hangs out in. However, some consumers turn away from paid ads because they are less authentic than other forms of marketing. Affiliate marketing This is a commission-based form of marketing where the advertiser earns money when their audience clicks on or purchases another company’s product or service. Affiliate links are commonly used in (Youtube) videos, social media posts, on blogs, etc. When a creator is being paid via affiliate links, they’re required to disclose the relationship across most marketing channels and blogs. PPC Pay Per Click (PPC) is a type of advertisement where companies pay each time their ad is clicked on. You’ll see PPC ads at the top of Google Search results, while scrolling through Facebook or LinkedIn, and while reading your favorite blogs. For Google, the most popular PPC channel, ads compete against each other to display when a specific search term is entered, and the highest bid wins the placement. This can get complicated and time-consuming, so there are positions and agencies that specialize in PPC advertising. Native advertising The last form of paid advertising we’ll look at today is Native advertising, which is where an ad looks natural or ‘native’ to the platform they’re displayed on. You’ve likely seen native advertisements in newsletters you subscribed to on a magazine’s website. While they look natural, they’re required to visibly disclose that they’re paid advertisements somewhere on the ad. Prices for a native ad can vary wildly depending on the popularity of the channel the ad will be published on, and the results can vary, too. Some brands have found great success introducing their product to a new, engaged audience, while others have been out thousands of dollars with nothing to show for it. Consider asking to run a small test with the advertiser of your choice before investing large amounts of money into native advertising. Next steps for creating a digital marketing strategy You do not need to implement every channel to create a successful digital marketing strategy. Select a few that you know you can dedicate time to and execute on well. Now that younger consumers are using social media to search rather than Google, we absolutely recommend integrating social media into your strategy. Being active on social media also allows you to collaborate with local influencers and interact with your customers.

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