An Executive Brief
If you have a business that exists (partially or wholly) online then you’ve heard the term “digital marketing.”
But with an endless amount of information floating around on the internet, it can be difficult to cut through the noise to get to the heart of what you need to know. Not to mention that fact that most of it is explained in terms that frankly, if you understood, you wouldn’t be looking for in the first place. Or the information is so detailed it requires you to read a book-length document and you don’t have time for that.
Well you’re in luck because today we’re going to QUICKLY break down what digital marketing means to us at Interrupt Media, a digital marketing agency. We’re going to tell you what you need to know, minus the fluff, in a concise, easy-to-digest format that will take less time to read than drinking a cup of coffee.
Let’s jump right in.
What is Digital Marketing
and why does it matter?
First, the term “digital marketing” is very broad ranging. Essentially, anything you do to promote your products or services online is considered digital marketing.
It involves connecting with your ideal customer by marketing valuable content to them that will get them engaged with your brand, educated on your offering, and buying from you. Sounds easy right?
In essence it is, but over the couple of decades that the internet has been around, us digital marketers have really perfected this strategy for gaining customers and distilled it into a more detailed methodology. That’s why every time you try to search for this stuff you get 10 page (or longer) documents on the subject.
Why should you care about digital marketing? Two reasons:
- The world is becoming increasingly digitized. There are currently 4,208,571,287 internet users according to Internet World Stats. Ignoring that will significantly inhibit your organizations growth potential.
- 80% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience according to Fundera. This tells me customers don’t just want to be sold to, they want to be engaged. Digital marketing enables you to produce a consistent stream of communication with your customer base.
The Elements of Digital Marketing
So now that you know, in essence, what digital marketing is and why it’s important for your business, let’s review some of the key elements of digital marketing, from our perspective, and how they connect you with your audience, promote your business, and gain you new customers.
I. Marketing & Sales Operations (The Mechanics)
Later on in this brief, you’re going to hear us refer to content development as the most important part of your digital marketing strategy. And while it is true that you need something to market in the first place, it is equally important to have a way to measure and optimize the effectiveness of your content.
Think of the content as your sports car dejour, the marketing and sales ops as the smooth mechanics that make her purr, and demand generation as a road map to get where you’re going.
List Development & Segmentation
Having a list of leads interested in your content is fantastic, but as your content evolves and grows in number, it’s important to know which customers are interested in which topics in order to keep them fully engaged and converting in the long run.
Here’s how you do it.
Marketing Automation and Sales Enablement Tools
The best way to manage your leads and deliver the right content to them consistently and effectively is through marketing automation tools. Marketing automation tools include things like Pardot, Hubspot, Marketo, Eloqua, Sharpspring, Sense, MailChimp, Constant Contact, and many many many more.
These tools will not only house much of your deliverable content- which can be automatically sent based on lead behavior triggers (like filling out an interest form)- but it can also provide you a way to manage, grade, and segment your leads properly so that you can determine which leads are primed for sale.
A good sales tool, like Salesforce, is a critical integration at this juncture because it will help you start to turn these nurtured leads into converted customers. It will also incorporate methods for tracking metrics on your initiatives through special reporting capabilities.
As a leader in your organization, surely you understand the importance of metrics and why we repeat phrases like ROI and KPI ad nauseum. If there is no way to track the effectiveness of a campaign element, then you’re just spinning your wheels.
Knowing what’s working and what’s not can enable you to double down on your effective strategies and revisit those that aren’t working well.
II. Demand Generation (The Road Map)
Customers don’t know what they don’t know. They need to be educated, both about your product or service, and also why they need it. Demand generation does this with targeted marketing campaigns that drive the initial awareness and interest in your offering.
However, it doesn’t stop there. A comprehensive demand generation program will continue to nurture the customer through each stage of the life cycle and retain them afterward.
In digital marketing, you can’t just shoot from the hip, you must have a plan in place. This plan will take into account who your ideal client is, what type of content they want, how they’re going to consume, and from which channel.
It includes a strategy that follows the lead all the way from first point of contact all the way to closed sale (aka the marketing funnel). An effective campaign will utilize pipeline planning (or how many customers you plan to gain in a specified amount of time), modeling, market research, and reporting of KPIs in order to continually adjust for effectiveness.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to your website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
To do this, content is optimized both on your site (on page SEO) as well as other sites that link to you (off page SEO) to ensure you’re ranking high on search engines. A good SEO strategy also takes into account the functionality of your site to make sure users have a good experience and can access your site effectively on any device.
Lead Generation & Event/Webinar Promotion
Demand gen starts with gaining leads through the advertising of gated content that captures their email address. From there, we have an established means to deliver more, personalized content and promote events that will ultimately convert these leads to sales.
This might look like a series of emails that educates the customer and eventually leads them to a free webinar that will ask them to buy. Or, it may lead them to another type of event.
Ad Buying and Paid Search / Social
With a strong SEO strategy in place, paid media can be an effective way to reach your ideal audience in mass quantities. Paid Media through social – However, budgets and monitoring methods for conversions need to be in place before any paid media campaign begins. Otherwise, you can really waste a lot of time and money this way.
III. Content Development (Your Sports Car)
While we may have saved it for last, content is the most important piece to your digital marketing strategy. Why? If you have no content to market, why the heck would anyone go to your site or buy from you? How are you different from any of your competitors?
Website Development, Design & UX
As a digital marketer, I’m always thinking with the end goal in mind. For you, the client, the end result is getting customers to your site to meet with you or buy from you.
So naturally, the first step in your content strategy is to have a well designed, high functioning website. If people have nowhere to go to buy from you, or your website is a nightmare to navigate, you aren’t going to get anywhere fast.
Some of the more intricate concepts of web dev involve UI/UX which tailors your site for a positive user experience. As well as coding, system application (WordPress, Shopify, etc), and mobile responsiveness.
It also involves a branding aspect which allows your business to have a cohesive look and feel that matches your identity and personality.
Content Strategy & Design
While your website, the home for your content, must be in order- it’s just an empty shell until it’s filled with all the valuable content that you will use to bring clients to your site. Forms of content include: videos, podcasts, webinars, ebooks, white papers, blogs, guides, emails, etc.
Through the use of SEO, market research, and subject matter experts, content can be written or recorded that will bring awareness to your offering, help you gain authority in your industry, and persuade consumers to buy from you or become your client.
A strong content strategy also has a method in place for repurposing and syndicating content for maximum effectiveness.
Now you have a clear idea of what digital marketing is and why it’s critical to your business if you hope to operate online successfully. Still, you may be thinking you have neither the bandwidth nor the resources to allocate for this type of initiative. We can help.
Interrupt Media is a digital marketing agency focused on helping marketing teams generate more pipeline with stronger marketing automation, content marketing and demand generation programs. We can work with you to get you quick, short term gains while strategizing on long term plans for the future.
Reach out today and we’ll set up a time to chat to see if we’re a good fit to create a road map for your digital marketing success.
Topics: Digital marketing