Digital marketing is a complex beast. To the outsider, it can seem as though much of your work as a marketer is all about advertising and outreach. However, if you’ve already got experience in this field, you’ll know this is rarely the case!
You should also know that good digital marketing isn’t ever black-and-white. It’s flexible, it’s scalable, and there are no two definite ways for you to guarantee leads.
Therefore, you need to think about consistency. There is a framework you can use to help you achieve digital marketing success; however, you’re going to need to keep an open mind.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at ten great tips all digital marketers should put to use when setting up new campaigns. As with all lead generation strategies, context and specific audiences might change your chances of success.
However, use the following tips and ideas in a flexible fashion, and you’ll soon find you have a digital marketing campaign that really drives results.
What’s Your Purpose?
Believe it or not, not all CEOs know why they do what they do. It’s good to have a how and a when, but without a why, you’re going to find results-driven marketing pretty tricky.
That’s why you’ll probably find some of the most successful marketing campaigns are those which are so laser-focused on ethos and branding. Your branding needs to have a mission, and not only that, it needs to be clear.
Failure to understand what your purpose actually is, as a brand, is going to lead to serious problems further down the line when it comes to creating messages for your target audiences.
This is often why marketing campaigns which have a human goal and purpose seem to do better than your average lead generation campaigns. Modern consumers have a knack of knowing when your sole purpose is to make money, rather than to try and change people’s lives.
If your brand’s purpose is to make money, that’s fine. However, if you really want to engage with people, you need to dig much deeper into why you do what you’re doing. Otherwise, you’re going to drift along aimlessly into campaign after campaign without much in the way of bites back.
What are Your Aims?
Ok – if the above points covers the ‘story’ side of your business, then you’re going to now need to think about your long-term plan.
The idea of a long-term plan is pretty old hat. Just about everyone in business has had to think about this type of template at one time or another.
However, you need to be explicitly clear, behind the scenes, as to what your goals actually are. That doesn’t just mean saying to yourself ‘I want to be a millionaire by X date’.
It means setting yourself specific, measurable targets. Choose to set yourself a turnover target that you’ll reach by a specific date. Make these goals attainable, and beneficial. You need to find that balance so you are pushing yourself, while at the same time, not making things so impossible or fantastical that you have absolutely zero chance of getting the results you demand.
Create reasonable goals and targets that are hyper-specific, so that you can easily measure for them on your journey.
Who’s Your Audience?
Again, for the average digital marketer, this is a painfully obvious point to make. However, the fact is, if you don’t know who your audience is, you may as well be throwing your advertising and marketing out into the great, wide void.
You need to establish different characteristics in the people who are likely to want to buy from you. Do they share any hobbies, or personality traits? Do they have similar jobs, home lives and/or aspirations?
You may wish to focus on people earning a specific amount of money, or who may be in pursuit of a specific lifestyle. Yes, the aim is to generate revenue – but it is better for you, and your audience, to home in on a niche without completely cutting yourself out of the market.
Defining markets and audiences may be as simple as creating a quick brainstorm. It might be a case of opening up market research, or simply setting out plans with your wider team. In any case, if you don’t have a handle on who you want to appeal to, then you are going to miss them completely.
Do You Have Avatars?
Continuing from the above, the idea of a ‘customer avatar’ or ‘persona’ is a great way to really shape your marketing campaign.
It’s a fairly modern twist on advertising and outreach in general, and much of it revolves around creating a story.
However, before you can get creative, you need to get genuine data. Unfortunately, while it might be tempting to just create an audience character from scratch, you’re going to need to make sure that your avatar or persona is rooted in fact.
This means, again, taking up market research. You will need to consider areas and parameters such as what people’s interests are, what they earn, their age, their living situation – these are all different things you can ask about while still allowing survey respondents to maintain a level of privacy.
Persona and avatar building is the backbone of modern market research, and if you are not already taking steps to create these profiles, you may already be losing sight of the audiences who could seriously benefit from your products and services.
What’s Your Budget?
Naturally – money is always going to be a big factor in digital marketing, and if you are not already clear on where you stand financially before you set a plan up, you are going to have a bad time.
The biggest tip we can really stress to you here is that you must be realistic. Yes, it is tempting to try and reduce costs as much as possible. However, if you start out by cutting yourself short, or counting the pennies right down to the decimal point, you’re going to likely end up paying out more than you expect.
Yes, digital marketing can be more affordable than your average print campaigns. However, there are still a lot of things you need to keep in mind when it comes to getting your digital lead generation balanced and correct.
It means drilling down deep into the different areas of your marketing campaign. Consider the areas where you are most likely to invest in labour and time. This is where the money lies. Err on the side of caution. That is, you should always over-budget, and never, under any circumstances, cut yourself short for the sake of numbers looking good on the spreadsheet.
It’s time to be realistic. Tying in with our points above, make sure that you have an idea of what your goals are. Set yourself revenue and turnover goals you can feasibly reach and calculate how much you are going to need to make to be able to generate a profit.
Breaking even in digital marketing is a good place to start, but it’s not sustainable. Treat your budget with respect and an open mind.
Choosing the Best Channels
This point ties in nicely with our message regarding audiences and customer avatars. Think carefully about the assets and channels you intend to use for your campaigns.
Think about where you are most likely going to come across your audience. Will they be browsing social media? Will they be likely to come across PPC ads and click through?
Don’t spread yourself too thin, is the point we’re making here. It is really tempting to just use every digital channel and avenue under the sun.
However, if your audience is the type to never browse YouTube, let alone look into digital streaming at all, then why set up a channel? Why set up a LinkedIn page and publish posts there if your audience is most likely browsing TikTok? It makes sense to choose the right channels and assets for your avatars as early as you possibly can.
Are You Social?
Ok, so we’ve covered some of the social aspects in the above point, but this is all about consistency and management. It is all good to have a Facebook page and an Instagram feed, but if you’re not consistent with them, or are simply leaving them to work on their own, then you’re going to lose out on serious growth.
Social media really changed the game for businesses and entrepreneurs. It means that everyday customers now have a direct, public channel through which they can interact with and leave feedback for their favourite brands and companies.
When it comes to reputation, this means companies need to be on top of how they manage their profiles and pages. If a Facebook page goes unattended for weeks at a time, it is not a good look.
If messages and questions go unanswered at all, then you are going to be at risk of showing your audience that you’re not responsive to their requests, and this is going to have a big knock-on effect for lead generation.
Therefore, if you are serious about making the most of social media for your business, it’s imperative you actually manage it – and regularly.
Mapping Out Content
You shouldn’t even think about starting your website without some form of long-term content plan in mind. After all, if you want people to continue to click on you and to buy from you, you have to show them you are passionate about what you do.
SEO (search engine optimisation) has roots in regular, engaging content. Google is highlighting and ranking the sites that people find through their search engine by usefulness and relevance, not just keyword strategies and the like.
Therefore, you must make sure you’re committed to developing regular, insightful, and actually actionable content.
Quality content is well researched and directly interests the people you want to reach. Of course, we can tie this back in with our points about customer avatars. What’s more, you must do plenty of research into the competition, as well. What is it that your rivals are doing to appeal to the same audiences you’re interested in?
How are they keeping their audience of visitors happy and engaged? Consider putting yourself in your customers’ shoes. You’re going to need to identify what’s become known as ‘pain points’. This is where you will clearly acknowledge a visitor or customer concern, and propose direct, actionable solutions that you can support.
This should be the lifeblood of your content strategy. What is it that people want to read when they visit you? How can you bets establish yourself as an authority in your field.
We’re not going to travel too deep into SEO on this point, as this is a different topic – but consistency, relevance and genuine engagement in your content plan will help you go a long, long way.
Are You Mobile-Friendly?
The world’s browsing and brand engagement habits are changing. Believe it or not, they are evolving before our very eyes. The fact is, more and more people are ‘going mobile’, which means that if neither or content nor your marketing strategies are pinpointing handheld customers, you are going to be missing out on a huge slice of your potential lead generation.
Google, again, holds the keys here. The fact is, Google has been pushing for ‘mobile first’ for some time, which means that they are more likely to rank mobile-friendly sites and content than that which purely works for desktop users.
Statistics show more people are starting their buying journeys on their phones. It’s quick, it’s convenient, it’s available. They no longer have to load up the PC or laptop just to browse Amazon or to do grocery shopping.
Therefore, you absolutely have to make your marketing strategies mobile-focused, too. This might involve setting up a website that’s mobile responsive, so that the HTML morphs to different device sizes, and it might also entail you setting up an app or two.
App development is easier to get into now than ever before. Not only is it easy for you to invest in an online course to learn the skills you need to develop apps for phones and tablets, it’s really easy to reach out to a freelancer or expert who can take on the technical side for you.
App engagement is a fantastic place to really tap into wider markets, especially when so many of us are using our mobiles to browse and shop! Think about your own usage and browsing behaviours, and what you might want to look for.
Keep Refining and Adjusting
Ultimately, digital marketing isn’t a race. You are not going to get the best campaign results in a month, or even in a quarter. You’re going to need to keep at it, to keep researching, keep reaching out to your prospective buyers, and to keep an eye on how the industry around you is evolving.
Consider, too, how the web is changing. Make sure to keep in touch with leading names in online marketing and to follow industry and specialist news. If you don’t, you may start finding that the strategies you use go out of style or sync very quickly in need.
The best thing you can do when it comes to digital marketing is to treat it like a slow burn. There’s no sprinting involved. Anyone with even a little bit of SEO experience will happily tell you that you need to focus on the long term rather than on the quick wins.
Your audience’s tastes may change as time goes on. So might their lifestyles. Keep in mind that what worked for your audience in 2016 certainly doesn’t work in 2021. People get older, buy new devices, make more money, start families, change careers – the works.
Therefore, keeping up to speed by continuing to adjust and fine-tune your marketing is the absolute best place to be. If you rest on your marketing laurels, you are going to find that your audience, and the rest of your industry, speeds up and leaves you behind.
As mentioned at the start of this guide, there are many different parameters and tons of different variables which will, inevitably, change the way that you manage and monitor your marketing campaigns. This isn’t a guide on how to perfect your digital marketing, but it is certainly a blueprint for making sure you know where you are heading if you are driving for results.
Take our tips above and see how you can apply them to a fresh marketing campaign. If things really aren’t working out for you with current strategies, take a step back and try to start again – one of the best things you can do is step out of the bigger picture and to rebuild from scratch. Trust us – an open minded, scalable digital marketing plan will work wonders for you.