Integration of a digital marketing strategy into a communication plan has been crucial to the success of marketing efforts of organizations for years now, and yet many still consider it an “add-on” or “nice to have if….” option.
A digital marketing strategy is most successful when it is fully integrated into a fulsome communications plan that utilizes the right mediums and tools to create maximum effect.
Millions of words have been written on this subject that outline the technical how-to’s of digital marketing, but the goal of this blog is to get you to think about whether you have a digital marketing strategy that is tactically integrated into your communications plan.
Have you created a well-orchestrated symphony that is heard?
Right message at the right time.
Often the first problem with many digital marketing strategies is the assumption that your audience is all in the same place and state of mind. People are individuals, not just an aggregate of demographics. Tactical digital marketers will segment audiences as they progress through the story you are cultivating.
Map out your customer’s buying journey or in the case of advocacy or political campaigns, map out how someone might move through your campaign from an outsider to supporter. If you were to have a conversation with a person who had no knowledge of your organization how would you tell your story? You would probably start by introducing yourself, telling them about how you are different, what attributes you have or the goals you want to achieve and how they can buy your product or sign-up as a supporter to your campaign. You definitely wouldn’t start with asking them if they want to buy your product or join your campaign. So why do the same with your digital marketing?
Focus your communications strategy on the individual journey and deliver the right message at the right time for that person.
Know how to use your tools.
Building a house requires a variety of tools that are necessary depending on what you are crafting. A saw cuts wood, a hammer drives nails and neither does the others job well.
The same principle applies to your digital marketing strategy. There are thousands of digital tools available that will make you more efficient and help you make tactical decisions. Use them to your advantage.
Call your audience back.
Speaking of tools, are you leveraging tools such as the Facebook Pixel or Google Remarketing to engage those who have interacted with digital platforms, like your website? Did you know you can retarget people who have visited a specific webpage on your site, develop ‘look-a-like audiences’ or send follow up ads to a person who left your site before converting?
Here is an example of why you need to be using remarketing tactics.
You own a bike store and a potential customer calls you to inquire about mountain bikes. They aren’t ready to buy just yet but are seeking more information. You ask for their phone number as you have more inventory arriving next week they might be interested in. Would you never call them back? Of course not! So why aren’t you leveraging this same principle with your digital marketing? Use remarketing tools and call your audience back.
Use data to fail fast.
Data is your most valuable ally. It can be challenging to test messaging in more traditional forms of media, but with digital marketing you can easily A/B test your messages based on the variables you want to test, such as a call to action.
While you should spend time to determine what your voice and brand represents, don’t waste time debating which headline or call to action is the best; test it.
Simply pick the best ideas and test them with a small but relevant data set. Make sure to set metrics before testing that determine what success looks like. This could be widgets sold, email signups, website clicks, etc. You can’t determine what success is without defining what it looks like.
From the outside, success looks like a flash of genius, when in reality it is the culmination of many small failures. Digital marketing data allows you to fail fast, then move on to a message or tactic that will work.
Start getting better now.
There are many more tactics, tools and strategies you can employ that will dramatically boost the impact of your communication efforts that could be discussed here, but hopefully this blog has started to get you to think about how you can do more.
Be tactical, integrated and efficient in your approach and it will pay off. Your message is too important for it not too be heard.