In order to compete in today’s digital landscape, digital marketing is a vital component of any effective marketing plan. By leveraging various digital channels such as search engines, email and social media, businesses can connect and engage with current and prospective customers. Not only does this allow your brand to reach a much larger audience more cost effectively than could be accomplished through traditional channels, but it also offers the ability to specifically target those who are most likely to purchase your products and services.
According to a survey of more than 200 global marketing leaders that was conducted by the Digital Marketing Institute, digital marketing strategy and planning was considered to be one of the top four most important skills that businesses should possess. In today’s rapidly evolving digital environment, any business that does not effectively manage and evolve by utilizing digital marketing as part of its overall marketing plan is at risk of being surpassed by competitors and seen as obsolete in the eyes of customers.
Below are five key elements that every business should consider utilizing when developing an effective digital marketing strategy:
- Responsive Website with Engaging Content
As the very first place that prospective customers will go to learn more about your business, your website is the foundational component of any marketing strategy. In order to maximize engagement, your website should follow best practices such as being responsive, mobile friendly and easy to navigate with clear calls-to-action.
In addition, your website should contain a blog that shares engaging, relevant and educational content on a consistent basis. Not only will this help drive more traffic to your website and ultimately convert those leads into customers, but blogging can also position your brand as an industry thought leader, improve search engine optimization (SEO), and even be repurposed across multiple other marketing channels such as social media and email. In fact, a study by HubSpot revealed that businesses with a blog generated 55% more website visitors compared to those without one.
- An SEO Strategy
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of optimizing your website with targeted keywords so that both your site and its web pages rank higher in search results—thereby increasing traffic to your website.
By implementing an SEO strategy that follows best practices, your organization will be more likely to place among the top results based on targeted keywords. This will ultimately improve the visibility of your website and increase the likelihood that a prospective customer will engage with your brand. In addition, SEO can help to boost overall brand awareness for your business, position your brand as a leading authority in your industry and generate more quality leads.
- Email Marketing Campaigns
When it comes to the digital space, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective tactics. Once you’ve built a list of email subscribers, you can regularly engage them by distributing content that shares company news, promotes products and services, or tells the story behind your brand in order to promote your business and increase sales.
A huge benefit of email marketing is that email subscribers are already highly engaged with your brand—making them much more likely to convert into customers. In fact, HubSpot’s 2021 State of Marketing Report revealed that email marketing generates $42 for every $1 spent—an astounding 4,200% return on investment. In addition, email marketing is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than social media.
By leveraging marketing automation platforms like Sharp Spring or other email marketing tools, your business can easily build or customize email templates and set up recurring marketing tasks, such as scheduling email campaigns, scoring leads and tracking the performance of each email campaign.
- Social Media Marketing
At this point, everyone is aware of the positive impact that social media can have for a brand. As consumers have become constantly inundated with content and continue to seek out information on a 24/7 basis, social media is a valuable tool that can be used by brands to build two-way engagement with followers, share timely company news, and promote products and services—ultimately influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions. In fact, 71% of consumers who have a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the brand to others.
An effective social media strategy offers a variety of benefits—from building greater brand awareness, boosting the visibility of your business and driving more traffic back to your website. When planning your strategy, make sure to incorporate social media best practices, such as choosing the appropriate social media channels for your audience, posting at the optimal times for maximum engagement, following a consistent posting frequency and continually adapting your strategy based on performance over time.
- Digital Advertising Campaigns
Digital advertising leverages various digital channels—such as email, search engines and social media—in order to deliver relevant and valuable content to a highly targeted audience. It is a far more cost-effective alternative to traditional advertising that uses consumer data to track your audience in real time, allowing you to learn more about its demographics, interests and habits.
The four main types of digital advertising include search/pay-per-click (PPC), display, social media and retargeting ads. A highly measurable and dynamic tool for any business, digital advertising can be used to build brand awareness, generate high-quality leads and drive product sales—even with a more limited budget.