A large-scale digital marketing strategy is a complex undertaking, which is why before you know it – and even though you have the best of intentions – things can get messy. Too much of this tactic, not enough of that one; a dash short on cohesion, a lack of collaboration. One tiny misstep can often send an entire digital marketing strategy careening off track. However, when the perfect mix of digital marketing solutions comes together, success flows like the magical elixir of a Disney fairy tale.
With that in mind, we wanted to share the 6 Essential Elements For A Successful Digital Marketing Strategy. With the amount of confusion, noise and sheer choice available in the digital marketing space, it’s become increasingly difficult for marketers and businesses to figure out where and how to focus their energy. Below, outline the components that will help your digital strategy cut through the crowd and deliver success.
1. An Engaging, Responsive Website
With more and more people interacting with brands via their smartphones and tablets, it’s necessary to ensure you’re delivering a consistent and responsive experience across all devices. It should be just as easy for a user to engage with or complete an action on your website, content and social media with their phones as it is their laptop. And oh yeah,the wearable market is promising, the number of connected wearable devices worldwide is expected to grow to over 1.1 billion in 2022 so that might be important. Don’t sleep on anything related to mobile technology – we promise you’ll regret it.
2. Measured Search Campaigns
Is SEO dead? HA, good joke, we really had ourselves going there for a second. SEO is alive and well, friends, but perhaps a bit more difficult than in the past due to an increased number of requirements and that pesky algorithm over at Google that keeps getting better and better. Then again, search marketing isn’t just about SEO, so don’t forget about the incredible effectiveness of pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. The key, whether you’re doing PPC or SEO, is to track and measure your results so you can maximize the value of your marketing budget.
3. Email Marketing
It’s amazing how overlooked and underused email marketing is, even this day in age. Sending email to your target audience is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic, engagement and conversion. You’re missing a huge opportunity, not to mention an integral part of a successful digital marketing strategy, if you haven’t implemented email marketing.
4. Add Social to the Mix
Over the last year, we’ve talked a lot about how vital customer service is to the core of a company or brand. And in our opinion, social media is a space where you can delight your customers with unexpectedly exceptional customer service. Increased social activity also gives a boost to your brand’s awareness, and adds credibility and thought leadership to your industry voice. Even though many businesses had a difficult time discerning the utility of social media, they’re starting to figure out it isn’t just a fad.
5. Join The Dots With Content Marketing
Ah, content marketing – the darling of the digital space for many years. With more companies heavily investing in content, there’s an increased pressure to plan, organize and deliver magical, unicorn-like content that wins the heart of anybody who reads it. Yeah, that’s not reality, at least not the unicorn part. But seriously, content is becoming so huge that you really do need to seamlessly plan, collaborate and organize your content marketing agenda to achieve success.
6. Measure, Tweak, Improve
Everything in digital marketing boils down to value. Most companies and brands have tight budgets but expect huge results, and the only way to do that is to always, always, always measure, tweak and improve upon whatever it is you’re doing in order to extract maximum value.
Need help to get these digital marketing elements into your strategy? Contact us for more information.
A painful reality for today’s business owners is that average, run-of-the-mill digital marketing won’t cut it. Today’s strategies need to outperform your competition and resonate with customers. Unfortunately, these strategies are fairly complex and in a state of constant change.
A large part of our work at WSI is geared towards helping business owners navigate the digital space. So even though we’re a full-service marketing agency, our educational and training programs are near and dear to each of our Consultants. After all, learning from and sharing knowledge with other like-minded businesses is what our network was built on.
WSI Digital Minds: A Strategic Approach to Connecting and Engaging With Your Customers Online That said, I am very happy to announce the release of our latest in WSI’s best-selling Digital Minds book series! Our third publication in this series is entitled “Digital Minds: A Strategic Approach to Connecting and Engaging with Your Customers Online.”
Building upon our previous two publications (released in 2013 and 2015), our new book is co-authored by some of the leading experts within our own team. We walk through proven marketing tactics on digital advertising, chatbot technologies, video marketing, SEO, social, lead nurturing and more. Readers will explore the 12 key components of a powerful digital strategy that makes sense for your business. Here are quick links below to get your copy today.
Digital Minds Sneak Peek Chapter 1:“Analyzing Your Market, Your Products or Services, And Your Competition” – By Francois Muscat The first chapter is all about analyzing the big picture. Business owners and marketers are challenged with assessing competitors’ as well as their own strengths and weaknesses through process driven audits for content, websites, SEO, social and more.
Chapter 2:“Defining Your Ideal Customers” – By Cormac Farrelly Learn how defining buyer personas improves prospecting and ultimately helps drive revenue. Readers will also explore key components of ‘empathy maps’ as an essential persona-defining tool.
Chapter 3:“Planning Your Digital Strategy” – By Carlos Guzman Your digital strategy is all about piecing together learnings from your business audits and persona defining sessions. In this chapter, get a comprehensive digital strategy checklist covering everything from your elevator pitch to your core message, marketing channels and database management.
Chapter 4:“Generating Demand for Your Products and Services” – By Gabor Markus Discover customer targeting strategies used by leaders in the marketing industry. Whether targeting customers by their intent, location, interests or search history, we explore actionable tactics for several key channels.
Chapter 5:“Implementing Inbound Marketing Best Practices” – By Marco Marmo This chapter focuses on mastering the stages of inbound marketing: attracting, engaging and delighting customers. Access a content planning model to help you hit all stages of the buyer’s journey.
Chapter 6:“Converting Your Website Visitors Into Leads” – By Chuck Bankoff Deep dive into your website visitors’ user experience. No stones are left un-turned in this chapter and readers will examine everything from your site architecture, design elements, videos, lead generating components, forms, chatbots and more.
Chapter 7:“Shortening the Sales Cycle with Conversational Marketing” – By Eric Cook Discover how artificial intelligence and neuro-linguistic programming are undoubtedly impacting your brand’s marketing strategies as well as your customers’ communication preferences. Find out how adapting to consumer trends boosts your conversions and lowers operational costs.
Chapter 8:“Keeping the Conversation Going with Video Marketing” – By Ryan Kelly With more than one billion hours of YouTube watched daily, you’ll need this chapter to discover which kinds of video content make sense for your brand mission and your ROI potential. To help video marketing rookies get started, we even provide a simple 5-step recipe for your first on-camera production.
Chapter 9:“Rethinking the Role of SEO and Social Media in Your Search Strategy” – By Mark Jamieson With Google’s constant algorithm updates, this chapter is essential to everyone. Explore the newest strategies for capitalizing on voice search, website FAQs, online directories, influencer marketing strategies and more.
Chapter 10:“Managing and Nurturing Your Database” – By Alison Lindemann Marketing automation software and CRM systems are absolutely essential to daily business efficiencies, lead nurturing strategies and data security. If your business hasn’t made the leap yet, consider this chapter your playbook on selecting the right software for your unique business objectives.
Chapter 11:“Establishing a Customer Loyalty Strategy” – By Jason McCoy Learn how to leverage the customer experience methodology effectively. This chapter sets you on a path to building positive customer perception, refining your offerings, and cultivating a popular brand that your customers advocate for.
Chapter 12:“Tracking Insights and Matter” – By Andreas Mueller-Schubert Connecting business goals to definitive data points is a common challenge for many teams. In this chapter, readers examine how to identify, track and analyze meaningful data as well as the best tools used by industry leaders.
We realize that keeping up with the latest in digital marketing is one the most common challenges business owners and marketers face. Helping you adapt to evolving technologies and consumer trends is at the center of each of our Digital Minds books.
Get in touch to add this edition to your business arsenal.
Partnering with a third party vendor is an essential business need for many organizations. But this also exposes them to unnecessary risks which can have a catastrophic effect. The latest WSI client provides Vendor Risk Management Solutions to help businesses with assessing and managing their third party vendor risks, thereby mitigating damages and losses.
The company provides a flexible and easy-to-use vendor management system, which can help businesses identify and mitigate their vendor risks on an ongoing basis. Today, more than 15 leading Life Sciences Organisations, Health plans, Financial Firms and other leading industry customers rely on their managed services and solutions. However, despite demonstrated success in their field, the company was not successful in tapping the internet for acquiring new customers. Their internet presence needed work and they lacked a well-defined strategy to reach their target audience online. Partnering with WSI has been one of the prime decisions taken by them to meet this challenge head on and emerge as a proven leader of their industry in the digital world as well.
WSI has been brought in to create an implement a digital marketing strategy for them, and help them generate online leads from their web presence. The process started an IBA to establish goals, challenges and expectations based on which the strategy was created. After careful selection of just the right keywords related to their services, high quality optimized content was created for the web pages. This was followed by other website on page and off page optimizations and site analysis and improvements.
The website has been optimised for the following keywords-
The off-page strategy also includes creating and posting content on the company’s blog and a few external platforms including Blogger, Weebly and WordPress.com.
Besides, providing the high quality blog content, WSI is also starting with publication of the video content on the company’s YouTube Channel.
Along with a strong SEO strategy, WSI is committed to efficiently monitoring and tracking results and making adjustments and improvements in the tactics as needed. Early results of this campaign are showing all the positive signs of success, we cannot wait to get them new leads using the digital strategy!
Cascade Mountain Tech, a high quality outdoor gear manufacturer, has teamed up with WSI to initiate a world class SEO campaign for their ecommerce site, CascadeMountainTech.com.
Cascade Mountain Tech was founded with one goal in mind, exploration belongs to everyone! As a result, they aim to make quality outdoor products accessible and affordable to everyone. So, everyone can get high quality trekking poles, sleeping bags, camping cots camping chairs, super coolers and much more at affordable prices.
All of their products go through intense audits and they ensure that industry standards are not just met but exceeded. Additionally, they provide replacement parts at affordable prices so that you can repair equipment without the need to completely replace. Why, because in the wild stuff happens!!
Cascade Mountain Tech products can be found on Amazon, at Costco and of course on their website at CascadeMountainTech.com
Initial on page SEO for Cascade Mountain Tech is complete and you can see examples of their optimized pages here:
The off-page optimization for Cascade Mountain Tech is ongoing. In addition to registering the company in various business directories, we also do on page blogging, 3rd Party blogging, as well as blogs posted on Blogger, WordPress, Weebly, Squarespace, and Tumblr. These blog posts will have topics ranging from Camping with kids, Hiking and Trekking Pole tips and advice to Tips on Selecting and Preparing a Roto Molded Cooler.
These combined on-page and off-page optimization efforts should drive their website up in Google rankings. Monthly reporting will be conducted with key leadership to keep them informed of the progress we are making.
It’s a sad tale we’ve heard time and time again in this industry: “my ad gets hundreds of clicks, but almost no conversions.” After triple-checking for broken links or faulty submission buttons and re-analyzing your target audience, you’re left wondering why your visitors still aren’t converting.
Something must have happened while these visitors were on your landing page. Maybe they each experienced web outages at the exact moment they were submitting your form. Perhaps Chrome, Safari and FireFox web browsers everywhere crashed and prevented anyone from completing the form. (It could happen, right?!)
As convenient as those scenarios would be, unfortunately, the more plausible answer is that – (bear with me here) – you are sabotaging your own landing page.
Don’t worry. It happens to the best of us. And as luck would have it, the self-sabotage is typically pretty easy to identify. If you’re finding yourself in this my-landing-page-isn’t-converting rut, let’s talk about a few of the most common mistakes we’ve seen plenty of businesses make.
#1: Loading Time Lag
Sometimes I can’t believe how often I still see this problem affecting landing pages. Your time, effort and money will be wasted if your visitor leaves before your landing page finishes loading. As the digital space evolves, user expectations on load times becomes much more demanding. According to Google, 53% of users will leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. The same research shows that the average site takes 15 seconds to load.
Do not let speed be your landing page killer. A few factors that might be affecting this include:
A slow hosting provider
Poor image optimization
Unclean web code
Too many server requests
Gigantic web files
Speed test your load times regularly and aim for the 2-3 second sweet spot.
#2: A Disconnect From Your Ad Design
When you’re attracting hundreds of clicks with your ad, but converting next to no one on your landing page, the disconnect is sometimes in the design. For example, we’ve seen eye-catching, beautifully designed ads which lead to a landing page with an entirely different look and feel. While both might look great and follow all the best practices of designing for conversions, the graphic disconnect is enough to confuse an already aloof web user.
Let’s take a look at this example below from an old Wealthfront campaign. (source)
Their Facebook ad featured an illustrative element which didn’t carry over into their landing page at all. By merely scanning the two mediums (and let’s keep in mind that users often only scan online!), it doesn’t even appear that they’re a part of the same campaign.
#3: Giving Your Visitor Too Many Options
Chances are your audience is a part of the general, working public who are balancing responsibilities, family time, finances, deadlines…the list goes on. Your landing page should be a simple, stress-free zone, offering clarity and a single purpose.
I’d bet a bottle of wine that we’ve all come across countless landing pages with far too many call-to-actions and options to choose from. For marketers and businesses, this is conversion leakage; for visitors, it’s a potentially confusing experience – one that could dissuade them from continuing on.
Don’t underestimate the value of giving your visitor less choices on a landing page. Take Geico, for instance. There is zero confusion whatsoever on what a visitor should do on this landing page. One choice is an easy conversion.
Another simple example is this Neil Patel creation for Crazy Egg. One call-to-action; one field to complete; one conversion point. Straight to the point and no conflicting noise on the page.
#4: Thinking A Mobile Responsive Design Will Cut It
Chances are many of your ads are running on social ad networks. Most of this audience, if not all, will likely be engaging through their mobile phone. And if there’s one thing about consumer behavior I want all businesses to understand, it’s this: your mobile visitors behave differently from your desktop visitors!
Mobile audiences have much higher distraction levels to compete against; their intent is different. To trust that your landing page’s desktop design will captivate a mobile audience is sabotage with a capital ‘S.’
What’s valid for desktop design will not always be valid for mobile design. Don’t leave the work to your responsive template and hope for the best.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that your form is too long. That’s really up to each team to decide what customer data you need to gather. So – while shorter is typically better – if you can’t compromise on the number of fields, it’s your job to do everything in your power to make it easier for a visitor to complete your landing page form. Allowing for autocomplete is a great way to make the customer experience painless and quick.
Both Chrome and Safari (provided that the user enables the features) will support the autocomplete feature. And it’s a matter of utilizing the appropriate HTML attributes. For instance, to allow autocomplete for an email field, your HTML code would be “<input type=”email” name=”customerEmail” autocomplete=”email”/>”. (Learn more about form control here).
Additional autocomplete features can be leveraged through the users’ device features like voice, GPS and their Contacts. Put yourself in the shoes of a visitor who only has 30 seconds to spare and investigate different, creative ways you can eliminate form friction.
The best way to identify which parts of your landing page might be turning off your audience is through research. Dive deep into your data to discover their intent and what kind of friction you’re inadvertently causing. Start with one key element and tweak from there.
About the Author
Cheryl Baldwin WSI, Director of Marketing & Communications
Marketing Executive with substantial expertise and knowledge of the digital marketing landscape. Experience in inbound marketing, content marketing, social media, website management, communications, and digital advertising.
Summary: The rise in usage of ad blockers means that digital marketers and their clients have to address users’ concerns when it comes to tracking and ads.
With digital natives growing older and having more control over their digital experience, we’re seeing a strong correlation with the increase in the use of ad blockers. This is nothing new – the advertising industry has seen a steady increase in the adoption of ad blockers, rising from approximately 21M users in 2010 to more than 180M users worldwide in 2019. In fact, in the US alone they’re seeing over 75M users using ad blockers on their browsers.
And it makes sense – digital natives are comfortable with technology and used to making it work to their ends. But what does that mean for digital advertisers and their clients?
What Are Ad Blockers?
Ad blockers – also known as content blockers – are simple software programs that prevent ads from being shown on websites. They are typically browser add-ons that you can add to Chrome, Firefox or Safari. And even through there are dozens of alternatives, the most popular ad blocker add-on in the market is AdBlock Plus.
By removing ads from webpages, page loads time can improve considerably and can also reduce data usage – something that is good news for people with limited data plans or who live in areas with slower networks.
Another benefit of ad blockers is that they can block the tracking and behavioral monitoring technology that profiles user behavior. So if you’re someone who doesn’t want their online browsing monitored or their browsing preferences sold to advertisers, ad blockers can be an attractive way to guard your privacy.
Who are Digital Natives?
The term Digital Native describes a person who grew up in the digital age. These are children, now young adults, who rather than having to learn about technology as adults, grew up with it from childhood. This exposure to technology in their formative years means that digital natives have a greater familiarity and understanding of technology than the generation that came before them.
So Why is this Important?
Taking the micro-view of the situation, it doesn’t seem like that big a deal. So what if users are blocking ads on their browsers? Shouldn’t users have a choice as to what they want to ingest on the internet?
And the answer is yes, of course. But if you take a step back and look at the macro-view, you start to see the long-term impact that the adoption of ad blockers can have.
The reality is that the majority of websites on the internet exist thanks to online advertising. Everything from blogs about labradoodles to sites like the New York Times depend on online advertising revenues. That money helps pay for the writers that produce the content, the hosting costs, the maintenance of the site – everything.
This simple idea is what originally made Google billions and billions of dollars – people visit a site they like. They see an ad for a product they find interesting and they click on that ad – the site owner gets a bit of money from that purchase, the product seller is able to sell their product and the user is able to buy what they like. Everyone is happy.
Ad blockers disrupt all of this. A person with an ad blocker add-on installed on their browser could visit whatever site they like and never see an ad. If they never see the ad, they can’t click on it nor can they buy what the ad is selling – that means that the site owner doesn’t get their money and the product seller can’t sell their product.
This little extension added to your browser is having an impact on the keystone piece of the whole modern internet experience.
What Can Advertisers and Business Owners Do?
While the situation can seem dire for advertisers and their clients everywhere, there are some good news:
Users have spoken loud and clear as to what kind of ads and site activity they find intrusive – if your strategy is too aggressive in following users across multiple devices, if your ads are annoying or irrelevant, you’re going to get blocked.
Users are taking their data management more seriously and expect the sites they visit to be trustworthy.
Users are willing to undo ad blocking on sites that are giving them content they want.
This information can be used by responsible advertisers to ensure that their advertising strategy employs tactics that won’t chase away their visitors and potential customers. That means:
Committing to creating ads that aren’t disruptive. That means no pop-ups, no auto-playing video ads with sound, no large sticky ads and no prestitial ads with a countdown.
Having a website data policy and being clear as to what your visitors can expect when it comes to tracking cookies, data storage, etc.
Creating excellent content that makes visitors want to support your site and prompting them to turn-off their ad blockers to read further.
So What’s Next?
Digital Natives are going to continue to make up a bigger part of the digital population. And that means addressing their concerns when it comes to their privacy and their digital experience is going to become more important.
Business that work with their digital marketing consultants to ensure that their online presence doesn’t cause friction with their visitors and potential customers are going to be better able to navigate the changing demographics. And business that are unwilling to recognize this new reality will see the impact to their bottom line, sooner or later.