Digital marketing is the marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers. Its key objective is to promote brands through various forms of digital media, according to Financial Times Lexicon.
If only practicing digital marketing were that easy...
Both marketers and business owners know that digital marketing is confusing, foreign, and even chaotic. This is probably because of the constantly changing landscape brought by rapid technological growth or the lack of awareness about the ins and outs of digital marketing or both.
Most of us ask: Where do we start?
With users coming in from different cylinders — engaging on your Facebook page, commenting on your blog post, clicking on your display ads, among many others — marketers tend to get dazed and puzzled where to actually start.
If the definition of digital marketing is marketing using digital channels, does everyone have a solid idea of what channel/s to use? If its objective is to promote brands through various forms of digital media, is there a fool-proof way to effectively promote something?
To answer the questions above, we say no. Each business is unique, more so their objectives, their goals, and what’s available to them. That is why it’s futile to glorify one particular way of doing digital marketing.
But we also tell you that there is a guide for you to determine what fits — what works best for your business and what digital marketing strategy will make an impact. Enter Propelrr's Digital Marketing Framework. Its key components are your objectives, branding, content, infrastructure, channels, analytics, strategy plus execution, and customer experience.
Just like any business decision, the first step when engaging in digital marketing is in determining what your objectives are. Is it for brand awareness? Acquiring quality leads? Increasing profitability? All of these questions have to be established as a priority because if it is not, your digital marketing efforts will be aimlessly drifting. Lo and behold, digital marketing then becomes confusing, foreign, and chaotic.
When talking about your objectives for digital marketing, it is best to break them down into smaller chunks: goals and KPIs.
But beyond specifications in objective-setting, the rule should be that of segmenting and having an intended target. This means understanding what to work on. Should you prioritize driving up sales or should you work on brand awareness more? It’s easy to get sidetracked by other objectives.
You need to look at the whole picture and draw the relationships between interconnected objectives.
If we are talking about sustainable growth, you must be able to identify what you have to work on.
Your brand underpins everything you do.
The next key component is your brand. What is your brand’s story? How do you want other people, especially your consumers, to perceive you? Your brand personality, brand positioning, and brand voice can handle that in a snap.
Your brand DNA should be evident from the messaging of your social media posts to the design of your display ads. Having a solid foundation requires a complete understanding how your brand should translate into action. A deliberate attempt to integrate your branding into everything you do will lead to coherent marketing strategies and executions.
Without fully knowing the what, who, and the why of your business, your engagement in digital marketing is bound to fail and will likely be all over the place because you have no brand anchor at all.
Having a solid infrastructure is crucial in any digital marketing initiative because this is the vehicle of your brand online.
You need to assess what you currently have and address your pain points. Can your website handle drastic changes in visitor volume? Can it scale properly? Is it secure from hacks and different breaches? If not, what can you do about it?
Without robust infrastructure, the resources you spend on your digital marketing efforts will be spent inefficiently, or worse, recklessly. No business would want that, right?
In fact, the characteristics of a robust infrastructure, such as page performance and desktop/mobile compatibility, are given more importance today. For an increasingly tech-savvy audience, content from a page that loads faster is preferred. The same goes for content that is both viewable on desktop and mobile.
More than this, infrastructure is not just the technology you have.
Infrastructure also covers your people.
You need to consider the well-being of your content team to produce groundbreaking content. You need to watch over your creatives team for them to create visual masterpieces. You need to care for your web development team so that they can work their coding magic.
If technological infrastructure is the vehicle of your digital marketing efforts, then your people are the creators and drivers.
You need to work on scalability by making sure that your website or mobile app can handle growth and influx of visits. Ensure multi-device compatibility, think about data privacy and General Data Protection Regulation, ascertain that the speed and performance of page load is second to none, and lastly, make sure that your infrastructure is stable being up 99.99% all the time. All these are important concerns when talking about infrastructure.
The beauty of data is that it is a powerful source of information that is already there. You just need to know how to look for it and use it.
One thing you need to remember is that analytics is more than just Google Analytics. You have social media analytics, business analytics, mobile app analytics, CRM analytics, ads analytics, and more. All of these data you can use for your marketing initiatives.
You cannot manage what you cannot measure.
You need to use data to determine what to optimize and maximize. Insights from data analytics are used to improve your content such as going with what sticks and re-angling what does not. Even your product can be improved through the data you get from analytics.
Data is the new oil, and you should not be missing out if you want to run successful digital marketing campaigns.
What you can do here is to go back to your objectives, goals, and KPIs to map out the metrics that act as a barometer for business and marketing performances. Dimensions and metrics go beyond what your web analytics can track depending on your KPIs and what your analytics trackers can collect.
Slice and dice your data until it delivers all the insights you need to calibrate and to validate your existing executions and current strategies.
The saying “content is king” remains true for marketing campaigns done digitally. But a common misconception about content is what it is used for.
Content is more than a tool to use so that people can visualize your campaign. It is not just the texts they read from your blog or social media posts. It goes beyond the story that ties your content together. Even if your content is of superior quality, it should still have this important ingredient: action.
Content should invite action.
Be it making a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter, or even following a page, your content should have the desired user action in mind. You need to boost the quality of your work with consistent content of varying types relevant to your market. It’s not enough that you have shareable content. Frequency and timing must be considered, too.
Better content ideation, keyword research, content audit and research, content amplification, 10x content production, video, and clustered topical content creation are needed to impact organic growth and encourage loyalty.
Care to use Google’s 3H content strategy approach? The Hero, Hub, and Hygiene content strategy framework has always been useful!
Google 3H Content Creation Strategy Approach:
Hygiene content: What is your audience actively searching for regarding your brand or your industry? What can serve as your 365-day-relevant, always-on, pull content programming? Examples include product tutorials, how-to content, customer service, etc.
Hub content: The content you develop on a regular basis to give fresh perspective on your target market’s interests. (like verticalized content about a product line.) This is often staggered throughout the year.
Hero content: What content do you want to push to a big, broad audience? What would be your Super Bowl moment? A brand may only have a few hero moments in a year, such as product launch events or time-sensitive campaigns, but this type of content is the one that wows your audience.
There are four channels through which you can launch your digital campaigns: earned media, paid media, owned media, and rented media. Earned media examples are reviews, virality, and word-of-mouth. For paid media, there’s Adwords, digital PR, social media ads, and sponsored content. For owned, you have your blogs, websites, email newsletters, and mobile sites. For rented media, there are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Slideshare.
The importance of identifying what channel to use for your digital marketing campaign is that you assure the potency and effectivity of your campaign. This is where you ask: where is my market most engaged in? Where are they converting from? Which channel is assisting my conversions? Which channel gives better impact in terms of my growth strategy? Which channel needs better optimization or maximization? Which channel do I need to stop using?
Make no mistake, however, of investing in just one channel.
Strategy + Execution
We have to clarify: there is a world of difference between strategy and execution.
According to the book "Playing to Win", strategy is an integrated cascade of choices that uniquely positions a player in its market to create sustainable advantage and superior value relative to the competition. Execution refers to the techniques and tactics needed to implement the strategy.
In any successful digital marketing campaign, both strategy and execution go hand-in-hand.
A common pitfall in most digital marketing campaigns is investing more in one aspect and neglecting the other. You may have well-executed tactics, but these have zero impact on your business objectives because you lack strategy and alignment. It is also possible that you have a rockstar strategy but have no results to show because you had poor execution.
This leads to an unfair judgment of both strategies and executions in digital marketing.
Making sure that your customers experience the best when doing business with you results in incredible wins.
What ties all of these together is customer experience.
All other factors are watered down if they do not go hand-in-hand with delivering excellent customer experience.
The better customer experience (CX) you deliver, the more your consumers would want to transact with you. The greatness of customer experience also determines how loyal your consumers are.
One way of making sure you deliver on the CX front is by integrating it in all levels of your strategy-building. Making the customer experience the core of any digital marketing campaign results to successful initiatives.
Digital marketing is effective when done right, and doing it right requires a working framework. If there’s anything you have to remember about transforming digital marketing into a framework that works, it is these five things:
- Customer experience is the key driver behind digital transformation.
- Always use a framework for your digital marketing initiatives.
- Digital marketing is not a standalone discipline. It should be a part of your marketing mix.
- Be mindful of those teeny weeny analytics trackers. They can make or break your campaigns. Think data by design.
- Digital marketing is effective only when all the elements of the framework are present.
Digital marketing is only confusing if you go with it head on without much thought. Mapping out everything requires thoughtful planning and deliberate strategy, which you can maximize through a framework. Hopefully, Propelrr’s battle-tested framework can do wonders for your business as it has for Autodeal and all other brands that we are handling.