There are loads of digital marketing tools and tactics out there – some that are bright and flashy, others that are the “new shiny object” that quickly lose their luster, and yet others that continue to prove their value by contributing actual revenue to the company’s bottom line.
So which ones should you ditch and which should you make sure are an integral part of your marketing plan? While digital marketing can be exciting and we can all get caught up in fads, the most important question to be asking yourself is, “Am I reaching my target audience?” After all, if you miss your mark, you may be the proud owner of some fun digital marketing software but you may end up watching your prospects and customers head to the competition.
Let’ take a look at some of the best digital marketing strategies that are producing results.
StrongView Systems published survey results asking marketers about the techniques where they plan to increase spend. An overwhelming majority planned to increase spend in digital channels, with plans to decrease spend in more traditional, mass-advertising techniques.
The top 3 digital channels included:
- Email Marketing – 61%
- Social Media – 48%
- Mobile Marketing – 40%
While the StrongView Survey didn’t specifically address content marketing, many research studies also indicate that marketers plan to increase spend in content marketing.
Digital Marketing Success – Bring Your Data
At the forefront of digital marketing success is data -data about your customers and prospects, their likes and dislikes, preferences, channel behaviors, and purchase history. Email marketing for example can drive huge ROI – but if you don’t take time to analyze your data and instead just fire off mass email messages, your customers and prospects will start to unsubscribe in droves. Likewise, when data drives your content marketing and social media efforts, you can ensure that you are delivering the right message, the right offers, and ultimately, driving more conversions.
Despite its lack of being the “next big thing on the block”, email marketing is still hugely successful. But only if you use data to create personalized and segmented campaigns. Your customers and prospects don’t want to receive every email you have to offer, only those that are most relevant to their wants, needs, and preferences.
BlueKai surveyed marketing professionals worldwide and found that email as the marketing area most influenced by data collection; 72% of respondents said data and audience information influences email delivery.
In another recent study, Forrester found that marketers who leverage customer behavioral data in their email marketing campaigns experienced a higher return on marketing investment and higher revenues. Yet behavioral data is the “greatest untapped marketing asset,” according to Forrester, with only about 45% of the study respondents efficiently capturing behavioral data from multiple channels. Marketers have access to the data – they’re simply not using it.
When marketers DO use data for targeted email marketing messages, the average ROI for every dollar spent is $40 (The Direct Marketing Association).
Social Media Marketing
At this point in the game, most marketers have established some sort of social presence – they are sharing content, having conversations, and perhaps responding to customer service requests. But you need to know WHO you are talking to and what they are seeking to really engage followers and encourage them to become brand advocates.
By creating buyer personas with the data you have at hand, you can understand your customers better and deliver more targeted communications. Buyer personas are representations of people who are buying, or might buy your products.
Begin by using your customer data (hopefully it is sitting in a marketing database for easy analytics), and consider adding other social forms of data, such as Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, LinkedIn groups, and other social tools.
Once you have created content that appeals to specific personas and to different stages of the buying journey, consider sharing across different channels based on your particular business. While channels such as Facebook, YouTube, and Google+ are the top social platforms, if you are a B2B marketer, LinkedIn is a great channel to engage with prospects. Likewise, if you are a furniture retailer for example, showcasing your products on Pinterest is a great way to engage with followers.
Mobile internet usage has now surpassed PC usage. With mobile marketing on the rise, the savviest marketers are investing more in building out dedicated mobile marketing teams. They are evaluating the way they communicate with customers across digital channels on phone, tablets, as well as desktops.
According to a report by US Consumer Device Preference, more than half of email is opened on a mobile device – a full 65%. With the influx of marketing messages today, your email will quickly get deleted if it is nmobilot fully optimized for mobile. Messages must also be personalized according to a user’s preferences – use your data to greet by first name and send offers based on past purchase or browsing history.
It is now essential to pay attention to the devices people use to research your products and services, read emails, or visit your website.
Digital media influences every aspect of our daily lives. Consumers have more access to more information on numerous channels – and they are more likely to pay attention to the messages that are most relevant to them. By utilizing the data and customer insights you have at hand, you can ensure that you have the best possible digital strategy to continually drive conversions and ROI.
For more tips on driving ROI with data-driven marketing, download this free eBook.