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Digital Marketing Strategy Fundamentals You Shouldn’t Overlook
- 18 Sep 2023 13 min read
In a digital marketing strategy, empty promises and vanity metrics aren’t enough. Your brand needs data-driven solutions that yield results. This is part and parcel of the fundamentals of digital marketing.
In this article, we’re going to outline exactly how different online channels help with your strategy. Based on different brand goals you may have, we’re going to provide suggestions driven by real data from brands with similar target markets and goals.
Setting goals for your digital marketing strategy
Different digital strategy frameworks highlight different points that can or cannot fit your business goals. Using an otherwise valid digital marketing strategy without it matching the brand’s specific concerns may run counter to reaching your objectives.
Goals, after all, test (and testify to) the importance of digital marketing. Without them, how would you evaluate the performance of campaigns and the effectiveness of optimizations?
Later, we’ll run you through the goal-specific and data-driven merits of the different online platforms. But first and without further ado, let’s review the fundamentals of digital marketing strategy.
How to build your own digital marketing strategy
Let’s rundown fundamental steps you can take to build your marketing strategy featured in Propelrr’s very own digital marketing framework.
Set your brand goals
Identify what you want to accomplish based on past performance. All the succeeding steps hinge on this foundation. Before you figure out what marketing tactics to implement, before you set your KPIs to measure their success, you need clear goals. Whether you craft your strategy yourself or outsource it to a digital marketing agency, there needs to be set goals.
Without identifying goals such as increased social following, inquiries, or sales, pursuing engagement becomes a pursuit of vanity metrics for its own sake.
Set the right Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
The KPIs measure how close you are to meeting your goals, and how you might go about meeting them. When setting KPIs, ensure that they are:
- Serving your goals, instead of being conflated with them
- Calibrated to the right industry, company, and seasonal baselines
Guard against vanity metrics. For example, a viral post may have high social engagement, but if that engagement does not carry over to other posts, it is only an outlier and may include extraneous audiences not part of your target market. Examine whether the KPIs you set do help with the goals you set.
Craft, implement, test, and evaluate
In short, experiment. Craft and execute your strategy and campaigns. But also, test them. Note that even though deriving insights comes after crafting and execution, analytics tools may need to be set up in advance.
For example, while Facebook Pages automatically gather data because it’s something the platform does, you might need to opt in to analytics tools ahead of time for your website.
RECOMMENDATION: Here’s a guide on the different aspects of your digital strategy you can test, with suggested conversion rate optimization tools.
Collect and store important business data
Maintain as much data as you can, and establish a list of the benchmarks you believe are crucial to monitor in order to achieve your objectives. This is important as it will become part of your company baseline when you repeat the steps in crafting your digital marketing strategy.
When in doubt, remember that once you lose data, you may not get it back. As the foundation of strategy, you want the data to be available as a record of how you’ve fared in past contexts that may have factors outside of your control and ability to replicate.
Growth vs. Comparison to Others
While referring to data from other brands and the industry trends is helpful in setting targets for your brand goals, you should not rely solely on them to measure your growth. As other brands may have a different context from your own brand, closely comparing your progress with theirs does not accurately measure growth.
You can use data from other brands and the industry as a guide in the absence of baseline data from your own brand. Always remember to analyze them according to your brand’s long-term goals.
Identify milestones, then repeat all over again
The steps above help segregate external factors such as seasonal variables and competitor benchmarks from your strategy and campaigns. What this means for crafting a digital marketing strategy is that tips and tricks can be gleaned as either helpful or unhelpful to your brand, rather than followed blindly and taken at face value.
Going through the steps outlined, the different online channels could be effectively leveraged in your smart and sound digital marketing strategy!
How to Use Different Online Channels to Meet Your Brand Goals
Similar to trends, different marketing channels have different advantages and require an approach that has consistent branding yet platform-specific execution. You can even drive traffic through social media by leveraging strengths endemic to the platform.
As you work with an experienced social media marketing agency, they’ll help you choose the right digital channels to leverage that platform’s features, subculture, and user base. We’ve outlined how each digital channel can work for your brand below:
Targeted Advertising with Facebook
Facebook makes it easy to identify and set the target audience for your campaigns. It has tools that allow you to define your target audience’s locations, ages, genders, and interests.
When you first set up your account, your business profile may lack insights. Eventually, the more you create content that your audience interacts with, however, the more Facebook will eventually provide data and analytics on how well your audience is receiving your content. With this information, you can further refine your next steps and start advertising by setting your ad audience to “people who like your page and people similar to them”.
Facebook’s tools simplifies the process of identifying physical hangouts, online groups, and insider slang to attract your target audience. Since location, age, gender, and interests are set by your prospects themselves, consumer research is easier through digital tools than with only traditional ones.
Having Facebook as one of your marketing channels serves as a prime example of high-impact social media management strategies that chase less clout, more conversion, less vanity metrics, and more data-driven outcomes. You don’t just want prospects to know your name, you want them to transact with your brand.
How is Facebook helpful for advertisers? It can infer and record user interests based on what posts those users like and interact with, which is data provided by the users themselves.
Bandwagon Campaigns with TikTok
Short-form video content is one of the top social media trends in 2023. TikTok users make full use of the platform to stay updated on trends. With this, you can trendjack with content to boost brand awareness, so long as it still resonates with your user base.
TikTok videos are known to be short, making it perfect for catchy campaigns. Repetition and infectiousness win the game here, so for as long as you’re creative and have a target audience on the platform, it supports your awareness campaign.
Having a regular amount of user-generated content on TikTok lends your campaign an image of authenticity, especially if they’re closely aligned with your brand design. This is largely why Gen Z uses TikTok as a search engine when looking for places to eat or recommended products from content creators. That’s the power of authenticity.
Automated Native Linking with Instagram
Instagram has a great track record for benefiting brands, big or small. In 2014, it allowed watch brand Daniel Wellington to make $200 million in revenue despite not being a luxury brand.
Businesses can sell on the platform, or on their own website while utilizing the platform feature of inserting links to Instagram bio, stories, and reels. It makes Instagram provide some benefit in search engine optimization.
Here are some more success stories from different brands on the platform:
- Qatar Airways’ increased brand awareness bags its spot as official airline for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
- Displate underwent as 66% return on ad spend after utilizing Facebook and Instagram reels for advertisement.
- Taco Bell had a 29% higher engagement rate and 400 million Instagram story views in one year.
A relatively new underutilized feature of Instagram unique to the platform, however, is its capacity to allow users to remix your content with theirs with an automatically generated link to your Instagram profile. This makes bandwagon campaigns easier to participate in. Used in tandem with the rest of Instagram, it makes for a robust tool for boosting your brand.
Interactive Ads with Snapchat
Snapchat popularized augmented reality (AR), which Instagram is trying to emulate with its filters. Through Snap AR shopping, you would be able to publish ads your prospects can interact with.
This gives your audience a chance to virtually try on your products’ color variations, scale their sizes, and see them at use in contexts such as the home or in transit can all boost sales.
As per a field study conducted by Harvard Business Review, Augmented Reality reduces buyer hesitancy in lesser-known brands; the decrease in performance uncertainty manifested in longer product sampling time, higher average number of sampled products, and even a 19.8% increase in the likelihood of purchasing products compared to buyers who did not use AR.
Professional Networking on LinkedIn
At the end of the last quarter of 2021, the average duration of LinkedIn sessions lengthened by 30% while the number of users reached 774 million. Further, revenue has surpassed $10 billion, tripling in growth since LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft. These numbers testify the continued relevance of LinkedIn as a platform for networking with professionals and specialists within and beyond your industry.
To appeal to your target audience on the platform, you may publish the following types of content:
- Timely posts on emerging industry topics
- Case studies
- Product and feature launches
- Short videos
- Live events via LinkedIn Events
- Insightful snippets from interviews with experts
- Company milestones and employee highlights
- End-of-year recaps
- Start-of-year forecasts
- Catchy or thought-provoking one-liners
Remember that you can repurpose the content over time, and place text into attention-grabbing images.
Timely Conversations with X
Early X subsisted thanks to users utilizing the platform to maintain personal connections, follow celebrities and news sources, and pursue topics of interest that lent more anonymity than the other social media platforms at the time. As X grew in user base, however, it presented ripe opportunities for brands to reach more audiences.
Here are some platform features that brands can leverage for effective social media marketing strategies:
- X Spaces. Host live events on X Spaces through an ephemeral content, audio chat room. You can start a live Q&A session for client concerns, discuss trending topics, or conduct a survey. Your brand can also use X Spaces to collaborate, give voice to your brand, and even provide limited-time offers exclusive to viewers. A study on the impact of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) on brand loyalty shows that providing audiences engaging ephemeral content can build brand loyalty with your shared audience..
- X Trends. This tab features trending topics and hashtags on X. Brands can refer to this to create relevant tweets that resonate with (or even be controversial towards) the pulse of their target audience in real time.
- X Circle. Publish tweets to a select or limited audience without making your brand’s account private. Currently, X users can only have one Circle. With this feature, you can connect with your most-involved fans and test out campaigns and content at a smaller scale before releasing it to your selected audience. Your X Circle members can experience a similar
- X Communities. Similar to a X Circle, a X Community creates an exclusive group for your most engaged followers. This feature is the equivalent of Facebook Groups and Discord Servers. Its access may be set to public, which your followers can opt to join, or private, where you invite your brand’s most valued audience for early access to latest updates or exclusive rewards. Brands can create more than one X Community, and tweets in Communities set to public may be seen than anyone on X.
- X Lists. Create a curated feed of tweets from accounts of your choosing. This is helpful for following industry experts, but the option to make your lists private is especially useful for monitoring the competition’s performance without having to be seen as following them.
Additionally for longer content, X Blue subscribers now have an expanded character limit of 4,000 characters per tweet, which you can use for searchable content such as going into detail about promo mechanics.
Video Content with YouTube
Video content is one of the most-used content types to increase audience engagement. YouTube allows for both short-form vertical videos in the form of YouTube Shorts and longer videos in the standard landscape format. These videos may be pre-recorded or broadcasted in real time over YouTube Live.
Launched in 2005, it has a great advantage over newer competitors Twitch, TikTok, and Instagram, due to its established audience and comprehensive content library. Before marketers and content marketers could monetize the platform, users would upload their own videos that eventually developed into the better known formats we know. This comprised tutorials, reviews, playthroughs, or down-to-earth vlogs.
Videos are entertaining and more accessible to most audiences, which makes it an effective tool to introduce a brand, product or service to an audience. In YouTube’s case, the AIDA framework (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action) can also be incorporated into a brand’s video content, strategically planning your calendar to feature products and services. Plan content to move your audiences through the marketing funnel. These longer videos may include:
- Speaker interviews
- Customer testimonials
- Event replays
- Explainer videos
- Q&A videos answering user-submitted questions solicited in a previous video
Of course, YouTube also works for low-involvement videos as well. For less informative and more engaging content, you may publish:
- Office tours
- Unboxing videos
- Hauls and shopping sprees
- Videos with raffle mechanics
- Listicle videos
These may be published by your brand, or in collaboration with a qualified influencer whose target audience aligns with yours.
YouTube is good platform to increase brand awareness and search engine optimization, so provide links to your website in your video description and info cards. You can post the videos on your website’s blog first, or provide site-exclusive videos to incentivize your YouTube subscribers to visit your site.
Best practices in optimizing your digital marketing strategy
So, what ties the different digital platforms together, something to keep in mind when crafting your collaterals? New features and developments get added to platforms over time. How do you stay on top of it? What are the fundamentals of digital marketing whose applications span across different channels?
Aim for an accessible digital experience
Accessibility means reducing the number of obstacles for users. In your brand’s case, making an accessible platform means your prospects can easily find and reach you.
As one of the elements to designing a good user experience, accessibility for your website plays a big part in how your customers and prospects perceive your brand. By providing a great user experience, customers can trust that you are truly the brand of inclusivity, luxury, relaxation, convenience, or excellence you present your brand to be.
Make accessibility part of your digital experience strategy to ensure your prospect is comfortable when engaging with your brand, and help you stand out from the competition.
Accessibility features can boost your website’s search ranking and performance, as it affects the following factors that play into higher search engine position:
- A well-designed website is an optimized website – which contributes to quick page-loading and overall response time.
- Clear and concise titles, meta descriptions, and snippets that effectively describe the content that search users can find within the page, while also making it easy for Google’s web crawlers to determine how valuable your content is.
- Adding closed captions and transcripts to your videos or image descriptions can improve searchability by allowing them to be indexed by search engines as text. This allows specific details in the video or image content body to be searchable. More importantly, closed captions and transcripts aid those with hearing impairments.
Action step: Analyze your brand’s platform and gauge how accessible it may or may not be. List down any features to improve for accessibility.
Utilize optimization tools
Speaking of optimization tools, how exactly do they make digital marketing more effective? To enhance your workflow, identify hurdles and issues that are hindering content productivity and establish steps to improve the process moving forward.
Using optimization tools can help your team find any problem areas faster. Here’s a quick list of processes to optimize, and recommended tools so your team can automate:
- Plugins for content auditing, like Yoast SEO and WP Checker integrate directly into WordPress and make it easy to evaluate and format your SEO content, saving your team time and energy to process it manually. Google Analytics provides you with an accurate picture of how users are finding your website, along with it most and least interactive elements.
- Tools to optimize video content, such as Ahrefs, Google Trends, NoxInfluencer, RapidTags, vidIQ, and YouTube Analytics inform your team on points to improve crucial details that boost engagement. These help you gain further visibility on YouTube and other video sharing platforms to amp up your video marketing.
- Ecommerce reporting tools. Use Matomo, Kissmetrics, and Heap to gain real data-driven insight on what works and what could be improved on in your business to improve customer user experience and boost sales.
- Conversion optimization tools. Of course, not all conversion is about sales. Through conversion rate optimization tools, you may not only get more sales, but also more subscribers or more event registrants.
- Other types of website applications. There are all sorts of optimization tools that cater to different aspects of digital marketing. The takeaway here is that if there’s something you need to do in digital marketing, there might be a tool for it; you only need to evaluate which ones fit your business goals.
Action step: Conduct regular audit on your written content, video content, and if applicable, ecommerce copy. Review your brand’s performance using available tools every quarter to ensure your collaterals continue to target the goals your brand is targeting. Remember to recalibrate your metrics with industry standards and changes.
When following trends, examine what audiences, products, services, platforms, seasons they’re effective in.
Metrics should serve your digital marketing goals. Trends should be relevant to your audience and offers. You identify whether metrics and trends are helpful by looking at data.
Action step: As previously highlighted in the section entitled, “5 Steps on Building Your Digital Marketing Strategy,” implement a data-driven strategy by identifying your brand goals, aligning key performance indicators, and tracking performance. Use a customer relationship management (CRM) software to help your team not only handle communications with your customers, but track these conversations for evaluation against the set KPI.
Begin with content marketing
Quality web content benefits both your SEO and email marketing. It allows you to optimize for search engines on-page and could provide you with value-adding content your newsletter subscribers would love.
Action step: Keep abreast of content marketing best practices and update or repurpose old content to get more mileage for roughly the same time investment in content production.
Familiarize yourself with industry changes.
As long as you keep in mind the scope and limitations of industry changes, they will serve your strategy. The key to benefitting from industry changes is identifying four things:
- How they work
- Why they work
- Which audiences they’re effective at enticing
- Which products and services they’re effective at promoting
Important: Augmented reality (AR) is an industry change. Does it benefit furniture, fashion, and cosmetics businesses? It allows customers to visualize the physical product from their phones. But would AR be a cost-efficient tool in promoting virtual goods? Not as likely. As such, industry changes aren’t a one-size-fits-all.
By remembering the four factors that make industry changes beneficial, you won’t have wasted time adapting industry changes unhelpful to your goals.
Action step: Choose an industry change. Identify seven brands that leverage it. Do they have anything in common? Think about the industries they’re in, target audiences, platforms they use.
In this article, we’ve outlined and described the fundamentals in building your digital marketing strategy, and more. You have access to different action steps as well as the knowledge that:
- Different social media channels offer your brand benefits endemic to the platform, which means you can handpick only the ones that data shows have a foreseeable return on your marketing efforts.
- Optimization tools allow you to enhance your content and ecommerce performance in a time-efficient way, removing time constraints that work against executing your digital marketing strategy.
- There are several fundamentals of digital marketing, find out what works best for you. They apply cross-platform, making them worth learning once for multiple applications.
Whether you want to enhance your social media presence, boost your search engine optimization, ramp up your content, improve your CRO, provide useful analytics beyond Facebook, or develop your site, we offer quality digital marketing services for you.
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