To survive in the modern world, a brand needs more than just a great product or service. It is highly likely that almost all of a brand’s customers will have access to the internet and so utilizing the web can be an amazing way of generating both revenue and brand awareness. The problem, however, is that the popularity of the internet also means that all of a brand’s competitors are online too!
This often means that a brand’s success, or failure, hinges on their digital marketing strategy. The big issue today is that, according to Managing Digital Marketing research in 2015 by Smart Insights, up to half of companies running today completely lack a strategy for their digital marketing!
With this in mind, here’s the very best marketing strategies to help make your brand a digital success. Whether you’re a complete newcomer to digitally marketing your brand or you’re an experienced brand-building guru, these top techniques will grow your understanding and benefit your business!
Digital Marketing Strategies 101!
SMART Goals Garner Success
The only way of knowing whether something works is to analyze the information you have available and to form a conclusion from that. Thus, setting goals and targets is vital in all walks of life, but especially in digital marketing.
The acronym SMART will ensure that the goals that you set are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound. Hubspot has an excellent resource for creating SMART goals for your digital marketing - use this as a starting point and you’ll soon see results.
If you can set yourself goals or targets in your marketing strategy then you will be able to see what is working and probably deduce why. The benefits of having the ability to do this are near endless, The Happy Manager has the key points covered.
Brands That Rank Well, Perform Well
It is no mystery that a brand cannot succeed if nobody knows about it.
If your own digital marketing strategy doesn’t include plans to improve your brand’s search rankings, you should start over. For every place below number one on Google’s first page, the amount of attention and clicks you will receive falls.
The first three unpaid results on Google search get over 50% of the total clicks according to Optify research. With that said, a brand in the second or third positions shouldn’t rest - moving into first position could triple the amount of visits they receive!
Optimizing for Search is Optimizing for Success
Topping search results isn’t an exact science. Search engines keep their cards close to their chests, revealing little about their algorithms to prevent them from being gamed. Regular updates also mean constant changes in the SEO world.
Despite this, careful testing from experts within the search engine optimization field has gained a good idea of what works - and what doesn’t.
In times gone by, blackhat techniques such as keyword stuffing, backlink farming and cheat Meta tags worked. Thanks to refined algorithm updates, search engines have moved into a more user-friendly space where to rank, a page needs to provide high-quality content and valuable information to its readers.
Climbing the Search Engine Results Pages
Getting to the top is difficult, but well worth the effort.
Modern SEO-minded folk should have one primary focus when creating web pages: content is king. By only uploading the very best content which provides true value, businesses can improve their ranking.
However, on-page efforts only go so far. Further to great content, web pages require high-quality backlinks, image alt attributes, excellent title tags and so much more to compete in the search engine results.
Fortunately the internet has a wealth of information on ranking factors, such as this breakdown by Moz that will improve your understanding. If you’d rather get straight to improving your own ranking, then Backlinko’s infographic on simple, actionable changes is exactly what you need.
Funnels to a Successful Brand
Getting your sales funnel - the journey of potential customers, from them first hearing about your brand to your after-sales care - as close to perfection as possible is imperative in ensuring that your digital marketing is a success.
Thus, the funnel bears great influence over your brand’s overall success.
Single Grain have given one of the most concise explanations about exactly what a marketing funnel is. A quick glance will clarify the intricacies of funnels in marketing to even the most inexperienced of salespeople - so take a look!
Implementing a Marketing Funnel
Creating a successful sales funnel is essential for any brand’s survival.
The first step in creating a funnel for your digital marketing strategy is to understand exactly what’s going through the head of potential customers or, as B2B Marketing put it, the “buying process”.
The funnel is broken down into four stages in its simplest form: awareness, interest, consideration and action. Codeless Interactive’s example of the four steps is very easy to digest and well worth a read.
The initial, and perhaps most important, stage of your funnel is awareness. After all, a customer cannot buy a product that they do not know about. So get your brand in front of its customers through organic and paid advertising campaigns, traditional advertising or lead generation. Forbes‘ excellent article with tips for improving brand awareness will assist greatly in getting the first phase of your marketing funnel right.
If your awareness campaigns have worked as they should have, the second stage should already be fulfilled: interest. The potential buyer is now interested in the product that you are selling and, if your marketing has been a success, your brand itself.
The third part of the funnel is quite possibly the truest test of your whole business, but especially your marketing. If the lead is actively thinking about, or desiring, your product and brand, half of the battle is won.
If your marketing has been slick and your sales processes are high-quality, then by the fourth step, you’ll have given your potential customers every reason to take action.
Times Change, so Can Marketing Funnels
The funnel has existed in marketing and sales since the end of the 19th century. It’s been a helpful servant over the decades but the modern consumer is a little more well-informed than those of old.
Some companies, like MailChimp, have begun to flip their funnels - sometimes, quite literally - to provide a better service for their customers. Those among you who are more interested in numbers than customer care may sigh but up to 70% of purchasing experience is based on how buyers feel they’ve been treated.
Whatever orientation your funnel, getting it right is key!
Embrace Social Media
We Are Social’s 2015 statistics show that there’s over 2 billion active users across all social media platforms - that’s over two thirds of active internet users - and that figure is only set to grow.
With so many users worldwide, it stands to reason that most companies can benefit from adding a social channel in their marketing strategy. With the likes of Facebook and Twitter becoming ubiquitous, brands who use social media properly can raise awareness and help cement their success.
If you’ve been ambling along with the standard Facebook posts and Tweets and would like some fresh ideas, Entrepreneur has some interesting ideas that might help you to shake up your social media strategy.
The Holy Grail: Going Viral
Viral marketing is customer-focused. By understanding your target demographic and creating content which is likely to garner attention from them, brands can spread their image like wildfire.
By being specific to their target audience, viral marketers put themselves into a position where the content that they produce gets shared via email, social media and the like. The effect that this has on brand awareness has the potential to be massive. Since many users’ social networks will have like-minded people, even the process of being shared is likely to put your brand and product in front of a targeted audience.
Marketing Schools provides one of the most complete overviews of viral marketing on the web today and by following their advice, you can rest assured that your viral marketing campaigns succeed.
Develop a Strong Call to Action
Whatever your business and marketing strategy, a call to action is your final attempt at converting a potential customer. This importance of an effective call to action cannot be understated, however, they needn’t be too complicated.
As Kathryn Aragon of Crazy Egg mentions, almost every single call to action has three key points: an offer that presents a risk-free benefit, such as a free trial; a message of urgency to convert now, rather than later; and concise instructions on what to do next.
A call to action that converts well is invaluable for making your brand a success. Take a quick look at Versio2’s recent post if you’d like to learn more about the marketing wonder of calls to action.
Brand Success Is Earned, Not Given
In order to secure the success of your brand for years to come, your digital marketing strategy must be top-notch. You may have the best product in the world and still not secure your brand’s future by failing to keep up with the competition’s marketing team.
Whether you’re completely new to marketing or you’re a hardened veteran, if you’re within the 50% that are lacking a clear, planned digital marketing strategy then it is time you put one together.
Failing digitally market your products to the correct audience may well be the one thing that prevents your brand's success in the future!