As the first quarter of 2018 comes to a close, it’s a good time for a pitstop to assess your digital marketing strategy and make tweaks and adjustments for the upcoming months. Based on what we’re seeing in the market and what we’re learning from the campaigns we are running for clients, here are a half dozen top tips for Q2 for a smart and effective digital marketing strategy:
- Strategy Before Tactics. It’s easy to go directly to tactics, especially with all of the new and fun ways to use data to reach target audiences. But without a clear, well-defined strategy of who you want to reach, what you want them to learn, and what action you want them to take, even the best tactics are likely to fall short of expectations. So don’t forget the basics – What do you need to accomplish, what are the options for getting there, what is the rationale for the strategy you’ve selected. These should be among the first questions to ask. Once you’ve answered those, you can turn to tactics.
- Should you Gate Your Premium Content? We’ve always been proponents of leveraging premium content, including white papers, eBooks, and even infographics, as a way of getting leads and tracking the buyer’s journey through the sales funnel. But that doesn’t mean you should always put up the gates. When content is ungated, it can provide for a better SEO return. The challenge is setting the right mix between gaining ground in a crowded space through organic search versus capturing leads, and there are many factors that need to be weighed. HubSpot has moved to an ungated model, hoping to capitalize on a stronger organic presence, but we are not yet recommending that move for all of our clients.
- Marketing Automation is Your Friend. We are a big fan of solid marketing automation software that can take over the management and tracking of your digital marketing campaigns. While we’re partial to Hubspot, we have successfully built campaigns off of virtually every flavor of tools that our clients have invested in. The value is not only in efficiently managing repetitive tasks. More important is the ability to build complicated workflows for campaigns that take every new lead and place it at the right level of the sales funnel at the right time.
- What About Twitter? We’ve moved away from Twitter as a key element in our clients’ social media strategy if they are in the B2B or B2G space. The reason is that for the most part, while Twitter is great for consumer brands as well as for celebrities, sports figures, and politicians, Twitter users aren’t looking for information or insight on the platform for enterprise brands. But the other reason is that Twitter has not invested in its ad platform, instead focusing on user acquisition. If that changes, we will let you know.
- Don’t Stop Testing! If you have the luxury of a large database for your digital marketing campaigns, use the first couple hundred recipients to test subject lines for open rates and headlines for click-throughs before launching to the rest of the list. Don’t dwell on small differences: an open rate of 15.2 percent versus 14.7 isn’t significant for lead generation purposes. But a jump of just three points for a target list of 100,000 names can translate into several thousand new leads.
- Video and Animation can Work Wonders. Adding a little bit of movement to a banner ad can draw people’s attention and get them to click onto to something that they otherwise would have skipped. If you can show off a product, that’s great. But even using the creative process to include a little bit of activity, animation or movement can break through the clutter and get viewers to pay attention.