Digital marketing can be overwhelming because of the myriad options one has access to when it comes to promoting a product or service. Furthermore, it can often be paralyzing if you don’t have a background in online marketing or have trusted resources when making a decision. There are so many questions you have! What is SEO and what do I do? How do I get my ads on Google? Should I use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+…or all of them? How do I post a video to YouTube? How do I manage all these channels?!
There’s no silver bullet or formula that will bring you digital marketing success, but there are steps you need to take in order to achieve that success. What works for one business won’t necessarily work for yours.
What that said, let’s get to work!
- Understand Who Your Audience Is
Its important to know your audience (demographics, psychographics) and how best to communicate with them. If you have existing customers, talk to them and find out how they found you and what online channels they use (e.g. Facebook, Google, Twitter, email, etc.) most. If you’re a startup, do some research and develop audience profiles that will serve as guides for strategy develop.
- Pick Your Channels and Develop a Plan
Now that you know whom your audience is and how to communicate with them, pick your channels and develop a plan to actively, efficiently and effectively manage each one. When you develop your plan you will need to set objectives and develop strategies that achieve those objectives. This is your road map for success so refer to it frequently. Its important to understand how each channel works and how people use them because how you communicate on Facebook is different than how you communicate via email or paid search, etc. Don’t be afraid to start small because if you take on too much you’ll fail.
- Be Consistent
You’re promoting your brand and how you do that is impressed upon your audience. It’s important to be consistent across all channels and by that I mean making sure your visual assets (e.g. logo, photos, colors, etc.), blog posts, videos, emails, etc. look like they’re coming from the same company. It’s hard to trust a person or brand that isn’t consistent at each audience touchpoint. Always keep in mind that our world is more connected than before and connectivity is only increasing.
- Internal Communication is Vital
Frequently I’ve seen so much hard work put into creating awesome marketing strategies, but ultimately fall apart because no one in the organization knows what’s going on. Take the time to inform your team of the plan, what to expect, when to expect it and how they are involved in achieving objectives. When teams are vested in business success they will work smarter (I personally don’t buy completely into working “hard”), more cohesively and elevate the business to new levels of success.
- Track and Adjust
One of the beauties of digital marketing is the ability you have to track performance, measure ROI and make adjustments (in real-time in most cases). One of the most popular (and easy to use) website analytics tools on the market is Google Analytics (its free too!). Having data is useless unless you do something with it so take the time to learn how to read and interpret that data or have someone help you. This is a whole other discussion point so I’m keeping it high level here, but if you can act upon what the data tells you the more effective and efficient your campaigns will be. For example, because you’re analyzing campaign performance you know that your AdWords campaign’s PHRASE X hasn’t converted a single click, however, PHRASE Y converts like a champ. So, you’ll know not to waste another dollar on PHRASE X and to allocate more ad dollars to PHRASE Y.
You would be amazed at how many larger brands in your space are ineffective marketers despite perception to the contrary. If you take these simple, but important steps to heart you will give those larger brands a run for their money. This will eventually lead to more sophistication through the growth of your own skill sets, addition of team members or bringing on an agency.
I’d love to hear what you think in the comment section below and I will respond!
Julian Barkat, Sr.
Julian is co-founder of Egg to Apples (“e2a”), a digital agency based in Wayne, PA (an awesome suburb of Philadelphia). e2a focuses on delivering online business success for clients of all sizes across the globe. Julian’s experience includes managing online businesses and marketing campaigns for brands such as iRobot, PBS, Rescue Spa, HBO, MTV, Di Bruno Bros and more. Reach out to Julian and the e2a team on Twitter (@eggtoapples) with any questions you may have.