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Are you confused by digital marketing strategies?
As a business owner, you likely have heard you need a strong digital marketing strategy so often you’re pretty sure you’re caught in some sort of Groundhog Day type loop.
Business experts emphasize digital marketing strategies because it’s true. Yes, providing your customers with quality services and products is essential, but even if you strive to do so, your business might still fail if you don’t market it properly. Digital marketing will help you do this right. This applies whether you run a large corporation or a small business.
That’s a key word: properly. There’s no single digital marketing strategy that’s right for every business. While there are some general best practices that apply to virtually all businesses regardless of their industry or niche, the specific details of an effective marketing plan can vary on a case-by-case basis.
You need to experiment with different digital marketing strategies to determine which is right for your goals. If you’re not sure how to get started, review the following examples. They describe strategies others have employed that may inspire you when developing your own digital marketing strategy.
Educate or Entertain
Content can be considered its own marketing strategy. In 1996, Bill Gates published the essay “Content is King.” It describes how the Internet has provided nearly all businesses with a platform through which they can provide an audience with content that either educates or entertains. Gates stated that this will be the primary way businesses reach customers in the future.
His prediction was correct. Content marketing is now an essential component of a digital marketing strategy. In fact, content marketing could be the most important of all digital marketing strategies. Whether it’s through blogs, podcasts, videos, ebooks, social media posts, or online courses (although you should ideally be creating content for a variety of media and channels), you can attract new customers and maintain loyalty among existing customers by regularly offering valuable content. Without content marketing, your digital strategy will suffer.
The way in which you implement your marketing strategy will simply depend on the nature of your business and brand. For example, if you run a law firm, you can publish informative blogs and videos with a professional tone that explains various legal topics that may be relevant to your customers. Every organization’s digital marketing strategy will differ, but is founded on the same principles.
However, digital marketing content doesn’t always need to be educational. For some brands, content is more effective when it’s entertaining. That’s right, some businesses base their entire digital marketing strategy in humor and/or satire and it’s an effective marketing strategy.
Consider the example of MoonPie. This century-old snack earned a lot of attention when the powers that be decided to hire someone to post weird, absurdly funny content on the brand’s Twitter account. By simply entertaining customers with short, exceptionally bizarre Tweets, the brand gained much more exposure than it was typically accustomed to. This is a great example of how odd humor can be one of your best digital marketing strategies.
If you’re not sure which digital marketing strategy will work for your brand, connect with a digital marketing agency to work with a pro.
Do you guest blog as part of your digital marketing strategy? A blog can be a very powerful digital marketing tool. Again, it gives you the opportunity to educate your audience, establishing your brand as authoritative in the process.
The problem is, a blog that’s only published on your site has limited potential reach. That’s not ideal when your goal is to grow brand awareness. Digital marketing will help you grow brand awareness fast.
Publishing a blog isn’t a marketing strategy by itself. Guest blogging will help you acquire backlinks to your blog, which will then help you rank better in the search engines.
Along with posting blogs on your own site, reach out to the editors of relatively popular sites and digital publications in your niche. Ask if they accept guest submissions, niche edits or link insertions. Often, they will, allowing you to mention your business or link back to your site in lieu of direct payment.
To get the most out of your digital marketing strategy, you have to think outside the box and be bold. Even if you don’t think a blog will accept your guest post it never hurts to ask. You might even be able to get a backlink to a landing page.
One of the smartest (and easiest) ways to develop an effective marketing strategy is to research consumer attitudes. For example, research shows that sustainability is increasingly important to consumers. Many are eager to support businesses that strive to conserve resources and minimize their carbon footprints. If sustainability isn’t part of your digital marketing efforts, it should be included as soon as possible.
Maintaining a socially responsible image is an effective marketing strategy that has worked well for thousands of brands. Look for ways you can boost sustainability at your business. Make the necessary changes, and promote them via all marketing platforms and channels you currently use, not just digital marketing channels. You can even apply for sustainability certifications to ensure customers aren’t skeptical of your claims.
Digital channels aren’t the only places to market. In a post-Covid world, it’s more important than ever that business owners work hard to keep their properties as safe and germ-free as possible. In fact, emphasizing safety and following through are good marketing strategies to provide reassurance to your customers. Customers aren’t exactly crazy about visiting businesses that look about as clean as a dorm room at the end of the semester.
Is your business one in which customers may visit brick-and-mortar locations? If so, make a sincere effort to promote their health and safety while on the premises. Just as you advertise your sustainability efforts with digital marketing, advertise this aspect of your business as well.
Create Video Content
Media is a huge part of every successful digital marketing strategy. There’s always room for blogs, podcasts, and other forms of content that are relatively easy to produce. However, even though producing quality videos can be somewhat costly (in regard to both time and money), if you can justify creating video content regularly, you should. Video marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies around. Video is the key to getting conversions with your digital marketing efforts. For instance, if you have an underperforming landing page, video content will help your conversions.
Of all your digital channels, videos provide the most power to your marketing strategies and are part of a solid content marketing plan. Surveys and studies consistently indicate that user interest in video content is on the rise. In fact, by the end of next year, video content could potentially account for as much as two-thirds of all online traffic. Before long, every business will need to include video in their digital marketing strategy to rank in the SERPs and stay relevant.
Video content is an excellent way to make your online marketing efforts easier. Video only needs to be created once and it can be reused over and over again, basically forever. It’s a huge asset once created and can generate a massive return over time.
If you’re looking for effective digital marketing tactics, consider ramping up your video production efforts.
Create video content relevant to your brand
Just remember, as with any other form of content, you need to consider the nature of your brand and products or services when determining what types of videos to produce. Digital marketing specifics will be different for every niche. For example, if you’re selling a kitchen gadget, you could produce videos showing how to use the gadget to make various meals. If you own an auto mechanic shop, your videos could demonstrate how to address certain basic car issues. If your brand targets Gen Z, you might focus on promoting your brand’s content via funny sketch videos. These are all different ways of executing the basics of a digital marketing strategy.
Consider hiring professionals to help you produce your videos if you don’t have much experience in this area. If your videos are low-quality, they could actually negatively impact your brand. Who’s going to hire a lawyer or mechanic who doesn’t even know how to properly set up a tripod? There’s nothing wrong with hiring others to help with digital marketing when you know you’re beyond your area of expertise.
Videos generate more ROI for less effort
The right videos can become a valuable part of your digital marketing strategy. You only have to create your videos once and you can use them to generate leads, sales, and signups infinitely. As long as you reach your target audience, that is.
Videos also help with search engine optimization. You can’t do digital marketing without SEO. When you publish videos on your website, search engines will list them in the SERPs under the ‘video’ tab. Sometimes people want to search specifically for videos, and they’ll go straight to the video results tab and click through to your site. Many people find video marketing to produce the most effective digital marketing results.
Videos are critical for content marketing
Last, but not least, videos play a critical role in content marketing, especially social media marketing. Depending on where you’re publishing your articles, if you can embed one of your videos instead of a plain link to your site, you’ll get more engagement and traffic. When posting to social media, your videos can go viral fast. Viral content can quickly become a valuable digital marketing tool.
Don’t forget to include video content in your social media marketing efforts. People consume media more than plain text, so publish videos whenever you can. You’ll be glad you made video one of your primary digital marketing strategies.
Livestreaming is a digital marketing strategy that typically involves posting live videos on platforms such as Facebook, your own website, and others. Going live for your fans is a marketing strategy that will help build your brand reputation and trust. People like knowing the businesses they support are run by real people and not robots.
If you haven’t considered adding livestreaming to your digital marketing campaign, now is the time. However, be careful not to overdo it. This is one of the digital marketing strategies you want to use sparingly.
Livestreaming should be reserved for instances when it makes sense to “go live.” For example, a fitness instructor might promote their services by livestreaming a workout session that viewers can follow along to. Another business owner might livestream a Q & A session in which users can submit questions via Twitter or Facebook, with the business owner responding to them in real-time.
Before going live, tell your fans and followers. Make your announcements part of your social media marketing strategy and create a consistent time for your livestreams.
If you need more listeners, run a PPC ad campaign directing traffic to a landing page for your livestreams. Be sure to streamline your efforts through your marketing strategies across various channels.
Livestreaming videos are an effective part of your digital marketing strategy because they don’t take nearly as much time to produce as other types of marketing videos. Additionally, audiences seem to be more forgiving when livestreaming videos aren’t of amazing quality. Research also indicates that livestreaming videos yield fairly high levels of engagement.
Try supplementing your digital marketing campaigns with livestreamed content
You can also use livestreams as part of your content marketing efforts. When you get articles published on various blogs, let people know you have a livestream. Content marketing doesn’t have to be limited to inbound links to your website. Depending on the publisher, you can promote your livestreams and link to them to get exposure.
Work With Influencers
Working with influencers is a critical part of your digital marketing efforts. Influencers are people with large social media followings. They often partner with brands to promote their products and services. In exchange, influencers may receive free products or another form of payment. Leveraging influencers is an important part of an effective content strategy
Getting influencers to promote your brand on social media can help you reach a large audience that you might otherwise not have access to. As always, though, you need to work with the right influencers.
The “right” influencers don’t merely have a large number of followers. They have a large number of followers who may share key similarities with your target customers. Influencers are essentially the “secret weapon” of all marketing strategies. They do all the hard work for you.
For example, if you’re promoting a gaming app, you don’t want to partner with an influencer who mainly promotes beauty products. Their audience may have little interest in your app. You need to spend some time finding influencers who can help you reach people who may actually be interested in what you have to offer. Digital marketing campaigns that don’t involve influencers can still be successful, but you’ll miss out on the power of word-of-mouth.
Influencers support social media marketing
Social media influencers can also help you with social media marketing. As a marketing strategy, you want them to talk about your brand and products anywhere they’re active on social media. When you post content to platforms like Facebook or Twitter, your influencers will jump into the conversation in full support of your brand. They might even answer important questions for people before you get the chance.
Social media marketing without influencers is still effective, but it’s much better when people see others supporting your brand on their own accord. If brand recognition is part of your digital marketing plan, you’ll find working with influencers to be helpful.
It’s possible that some of your influencers might also become brand ambassadors, and they might even help promote your brand through content marketing. Getting brand ambassadors is one of the most worthwhile marketing strategies.
If you don’t have influencers yet, a digital marketing agency can help you get the influencers you need.
Like video, a podcast is another form of digital marketing content that gives you the chance to educate and entertain your audience. Podcasts are a brilliant marketing strategy because people love them and will subscribe to get regular access to superb content.
You can get started by creating your own podcast. However, this might not be ideal for everyone. Maybe you don’t have the necessary equipment to put together a strong podcast and can’t justify purchasing it right now. Or, you might simply be worried that you’ll struggle to grow an audience for your podcast.
If so, podcasting can still be a useful way of marketing your business. Instead of starting your own podcast, look for podcasts whose hosts interview business owners in your industry. Contact them offering to be a guest on their shows.
Not everyone will necessarily take you up on this offer. If your business is new and small, those who run popular podcasts might feel your brand isn’t big enough to justify representing it on their platform just yet.
However, you may be surprised to discover how many other podcasters will enthusiastically invite you to appear on their shows. It may even help them with digital marketing, too. After all, they also need to consistently generate new episodes and content. They rely on new guests to help them do so.
Make podcasting an effective digital marketing strategy
Podcasts can also help you with content marketing. For example, you can discuss the content of your podcasts in articles you use to generate inbound links. You can even link to your podcast instead of your website to promote your podcast directly through content marketing.
Take Advantage of Innovative Tech
Technology is a critical part of an effective digital marketing strategy. However, tech isn’t a digital marketing strategy that all businesses will be able to employ. It requires a certain financial investment that may be outside the budget of many.
However, if you can afford it, strongly consider hiring developers to create apps and digital experiences/content for your brand. You should also consider working with them to create digital content that uses innovative tech to make a stronger impression on customers and users.
For example, brands like Home Depot, Ikea, Sephora, and numerous others have worked with developers to release apps and products that use augmented reality, a tech that involves inserting virtual elements into the “real world” as seen through the screen of a smartphone, tablet, or AR glasses.
Ikea’s AR product allows users to visualize how items they’re looking at when shopping online would look in their own homes or offices. Similarly, Home Depot’s app lets users check how paint colors might appear on their walls.
These products offer genuinely helpful solutions to customers. However, because they make a lasting impression and often attract the attention of bloggers and journalists, they also qualify as forms of marketing content and can quickly become an integral digital marketing tool.
Virtual reality is another tech you might consider when deciding what type of digital product to release. With VR, you can truly immerse your customers in a branded experience, forging a connection with them in a unique and potentially lasting way.
Don’t Overlook Local SEO
Optimizing your local SEO involves a range of steps. However, one of the best ways to take advantage of local SEO is simply to optimize your Google My Business page.
Some business owners don’t make a point of optimizing local SEO because they may serve customers from all over the country or planet. They don’t believe there’s any value in spending time optimizing local SEO when they aren’t running a strictly local businesses. To these business owners, SEO seems like the one digital marketing component they should skip.
However, research has shown that optimizing local SEO can help a business show up more often in relevant Google searches in general. Thus, by improving your Google My Business listing, you could grow brand awareness even among potential customers who live far away.
Advertise on Social Media
It’s important to not forget about the basics when developing an online marketing strategy. While producing video content, experimenting with new tech, and showing up on podcasts are digital marketing tactics that can help your business grow, it’s still a good idea to also advertise on social media.
Advertising on social media is a marketing strategy that gives you the chance to reach literally millions of users. Perhaps more importantly, social media platforms generally allow marketers to exercise a significant degree of control over the types of users who see their ads.
For example, when you set up a campaign on Facebook, you can choose to target users based on age range, location, interests, and numerous other factors. This can help you optimize your budget by limiting the chances of your digital marketing content being seen by those with no interest in your products or services.
Along with advertising directly through social media, it’s also smart to maintain an active social media presence. Social media plays a major role in digital marketing. Your social media ads can simply serve as, well, ads. The content you post via your own social media accounts, however, should be more human. Along with promoting your business, share valuable content that others have published, engage in conversations, answer questions, and generally make an attempt to avoid being too promotional or “salesy.” In this way, social media isn’t like other digital marketing techniques, but is more lowkey and personal.
(Also, don’t get into social media wars unless it’s clear you’re doing so as a joke. Too many business owners have lost customers because they couldn’t stop themselves from tearing into their critics. Trust us, it’s not worth it.)
Create authoritative content
Authoritative content is a digital marketing strategy that not only helps with search engine optimization, but it demonstrates subject matter expertise to your visitors and offers depth to your target market.
When users are searching for answers or information, authoritative content will capture their attention more than thin, general content. Many visitors want depth, especially when they’re looking for answers to complex questions or problems. This content is an excellent addition to your search engine optimization efforts because quality content is king. If you’re not using content marketing in your digital marketing campaign, it’s time to start.
Authoritative content is also the foundation for a strong content marketing campaign. If you’re going to generate quality backlinks that stick, your content needs to be excellent.
What makes content authoritative?
Authoritative content takes on many forms, but it’s essentially content that educates or inspires people on a deep level. It’s not surface-level information. Authoritative content dives deep into various subject matters and provides extensive value to visitors. Some examples include:
- Written tutorials and instructional videos that help people troubleshoot specific problems (like how to transfer files from an Android smartphone to a desktop Mac) or complete a specific task.
- Long-form blog articles that educate visitors about a subject in-depth or seek to cover every aspect of a given topic.
- Guides that help your target audience make purchase decisions.
- Product demo videos that show a product in use.
- Content that addresses issues your competitors aren’t addressing.
Any content you write is a valuable part of your digital marketing strategy, but authoritative content will generate the highest ROI.
4 benefits of publishing authoritative content
It’s good to have some general content on your site, but it’s best supplemented with more in-depth content. If you haven’t gone in-depth yet, here are 4 reasons to make authoritative content part of your digital marketing strategy.
- You’ll get quality traffic and maintain your rank
Traffic is an important part of your marketing strategy. When your site generates quality traffic, search engines notice and it sends the signal that your site is relevant. Traffic isn’t a ranking factor and thus won’t necessarily increase your web page ranking in the SERPs, but getting high-quality, targeted traffic can help you maintain your rankings indirectly. If you’re not targeting your traffic, this should be prioritized in your digital marketing pursuits.
For instance, sites with authoritative content tend to have a lower bounce rate because the content is more specific to what users are searching. On the other hand, if you’re generating low-quality traffic, your bounce rate is likely to be high, which tells Google visitors don’t really like your site and the algorithm might push your rankings down.
- You’ll generate more returning visitors
Generating returning visitors is a vital part of your digital marketing strategy. It costs far less to generate sales from existing customers than it does to acquire new customers all the time. Granted, you still want to be generating new customers on a regular basis, but repeat customers are more cost-effective. This is where email marketing comes into play.
Email marketing is the ideal digital marketing strategy to nurture existing customers to make additional purchases. It’s a long-term strategy and requires precise market segmentation, but once you have a good email sequence set up it will run on auto pilot.
Email marketing is the ideal way to get repeat customers and long term loyal business. How many people you get to sign up will depend on how well you advertise your business online and the strategies you use to generate leads. If you’re already running a paid advertising campaign, you’re probably generating leads, but are you reaching your digital marketing goals? You’ll get better results once you start collecting emails. All of the highly successful digital marketers use email marketing and you should, too.
Lead generation isn’t hard, but it does require knowing your target audience and providing a good incentive to sign up. Most businesses use lead magnets like white papers and free guides in exchange for email addresses.
- You’ll strengthen your brand image
Brands that are seen as authorities tend to dominate their industries more easily because they’ve earned their position. As you publish more authoritative content, you’ll earn your place in your industry as an expert, which will strengthen your brand image.
You’ll also earn trust from the general public as well as your customers the more you’re seen as an authority in your industry.
- You’ll generate more sales
Publishing authoritative content is a marketing strategy that can influence sales. For example, product demo videos have been shown to increase sales, with 84% of people saying a video has convinced them to make a purchase.
Product demo videos are authoritative when they’re comprehensive, useful, and address all of your market’s questions and concerns. This means acknowledging what your products can’t do as well as sharing the benefits. Product demonstrations and truth will make excellent persuasion tactics in your digital marketing plan. You can even combine this with email marketing by sending your leads directly to your demo videos.
Fill in your competitors’ gaps
Finally, in your digital marketing pursuits, publish content that fills in the gaps your competitors don’t cover. You’ll more easily your place as an authority by publishing content that your competitors ignore.
Research your competitors in-depth to see what they’ve published and make notes about anything they’ve missed. For example, they might not address an important issue in your industry, but if that happens to be a subject of interest, you’ll generate more traffic by covering that subject in-depth. Naturally, when you dive deeper than your competitors, your target market will start favoring your brand over the others.
Do some keyword research to find out what your market might be looking for, but can’t find. If you can, talk to people directly and ask them what their frustrations are and then make it a point to resolve those issues.
If you’re not the expert, hire one
Sometimes people go into business without being a true expert in their industry. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it makes it hard to create your own content. If this applies to you, don’t pretend to be the expert – seek out a true digital marketing expert and consult with them on producing authoritative content. Their expertise will be apparent in your content and it will make your brand look good. If you still want to run your own campaign you can at least hire an expert to create your digital marketing strategy framework.
Use email marketing
Email marketing is a powerful digital marketing strategy that works long-term by drip-feeding your contacts information over time. By capturing emails from your target audience, you can market to them on a regular basis and nurture them until they become a paying customer. A good email marketing campaign that utilizes marketing automation has the potential to generate an impressive ROI.
Speaking of leads, lead generation is an important digital strategy and social media is one of the best online channels for generating leads. In fact, using social media marketing to generate leads on various social media platforms is smart. You’ll get more leads than direct sales from social media posts and they’ll be more of your target market.
Social media channels are easy to use and marketing there can greatly increase your digital marketing performance and help you reach your business goals faster. It’s one of many digital marketing strategies all the successful marketers use.
You’ll need to experiment with your company’s digital marketing strategy to find the right digital strategy that supports your brand and goals. Again, perhaps the main point to take away from this is that marketing strategies are wide-ranging. You may not know which strategy is best for your brand just yet. However, by experimenting with the ideas here, you’ll eventually learn what does and doesn’t work.
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