The trick to making your mark in the digital world — at least when it comes to building brand exposure and boosting your returns — is having a planned, well-constructed digital campaign. By not incorporating a defined and reliable marketing strategy, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
As Smart Insights made clear in a recent report, 46% of brands lack a defined digital marketing strategy, while a further 16% haven’t integrated one into their marketing activity at all.
So, the trick is coming up with the “ultimate” digital campaign that can be used to gather the kind of results and insights you need. How can you be sure your marketing push has a direct influence on your bottom line that helps your brand? Here are four ideas.
1. Watch Your Competition
The great Sun Tzu once said if you know your enemy as much as you know yourself, you shall win thousands of battles. In marketing, we call this competitive analysis. It’s the act or idea of following what your competitors and rivals are doing, so you can stay on an even keel — or better yet, surpass them entirely. It’s crucial to understand what your competitors are doing and how it’s affecting their bottom line.
More specifically, what does their digital campaign look like? What kind of content or media are they delivering to their customers and audience? Where have they found the most significant success or failure? What social networks, app networks, and communities are they targeting?
The idea is not necessarily to steal everything from your competitors — in fact, it’s often better to avoid copying them entirely. But by studying their successes and failures, you can build some great benchmarks for your efforts.
Here are some examples of how you can achieve this:
- Use Alexa toolbar to view traffic ratings and compare them to yours
- HubSpot’s Marketing Grader is a useful way to gauge the playing field
- Check and review your competitor’s blog or news channels
- Watch follower and fan counts, as well as engagement levels — don’t forget social media
To keep up with their competition — Amazon spent a lot of time constructing and developing technologies that no other organization had used or deployed in the past. This is a perfect example of how they analyzed the current state of the market, then put that information to use.
2. Use All Tools at Your Disposal
For some of us, many of our daily tasks have become a bit monotonous. We spend time focusing on the basics and fundamental elements and forget everything else.
In web design, you may spend so much time focused on the tried and true elements and content. This would be headers and footers to sidebars to sitemaps. This can cause you to forget about the extraneous items that can add a nice touch, offer more filler and provide engagement. A website is more about the total experience, or the customer journey you present, as is the case with any other products and services you have to offer. Use any tools and opportunities you have at your disposal by incorporating them where applicable and in the most innovative of ways.
LAI Video did just that by including video, graphics, social media content, and much more all to promote a single, seamless campaign. Rather than stick with a single channel, they utilized an omnichannel approach to reach broader audiences and cross boundaries. What makes their campaign particularly interesting is that they meshed other marketing content with their main website in a way that’s captivating.
3. Set Some Goals
When it comes to your digital strategy, it’s important to set goals and milestones for yourself and your team to give you a mission. A clear plan lets everyone know what to strive for and better discern what it’s going to take to get there. More importantly, you can measure your progress along the way, making optimizations to improve future digital campaigns and strategies.
One study found there’s a 33% increase in goal completion among those who wrote their achievements down, created an action plan and shared it with others. Also, those polled achieved 76% of their goals by having and honoring a planned strategy.
When you achieve or reach your goal, choose a new one to strive for. This also keeps your head out of the clouds, provided you aren’t setting incredibly lofty or exaggerated goals. Do this by adhering to SMART goal standards.
Nike set a goal to provide customers with “real value,” which eventually led to their incredibly successful marketing efforts including the “Just Do It” campaign. This initially started via a campaign in the mid-1970s and evolved into what it is today.
4. Remember the Funnel, Honor Value
An inbound marketing campaign helps generate potential leads, usually through the promotion of free content, items or even services. Regardless, it follows an incredibly fine-tuned funnel that pushes customers or potential clients further down the chain. The funnel starts with the brand discovery and exposure and closes long after a sale — sometimes even incorporating customer loyalty systems.
Everything you do for your digital marketing strategy or digital campaign should ultimately be to further that funnel or improve its efficiency. How can you capture the attention of new audiences? Are you getting enough business from said funnel, or is it driving opportunities away?
Remember: Your ultimate goal is to get your customers to do something. Whether that’s purchasing a product or service, signing up for an email newsletter or sharing your content on social media. Take that purpose and build a tunnel that encourages your audience the entire way through. Keep them moving and coming back by exuding value.
Crazy Egg, an analytics and marketing optimization firm, does this best. Their blog delivers high-quality, engaging content to get interested parties hooked. From a site-based heat map to a pricing page where you can choose a payment plan with a free trial period, the customer is led through the entire site. If they leave, they’re delivered further engagement through lead nurturing emails, useful content and more.