How to Start Your Digital Marketing Campaign(Last Updated On: November 24, 2016)
Have you ever thought about starting your digital marketing campaign? If yes, you’ll be glad because this guide covers much more than you would have expected ever from an article. Your digital marketing campaign belongs directly to you or your brand, so you must be aware of each operation going on in the process.
- 1 What You Will Learn In This Article?
- 2 5 Important Elements of Digital Marketing
- 3 Setting up the Digital Marketing Campaign
- 3.1 Originating the Marketing Plan
- 3.2 Online Advertising
- 3.3 SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- 3.4 Sponsorships
- 3.5 Content Marketing
- 3.6 Email Marketing
- 3.7 Hosting Free Webinars
- 3.8 Target Identification
- 3.9 Audience Engagement
- 3.10 Outreach Mediums
- 3.11 Publishing Platforms
- 3.12 Press Releases
- 3.13 Guest Posting
- 3.14 Performance Tracking
- 3.15 Recommended Readings :
- 3.16 Conclusion
What You Will Learn In This Article?
- Little Introduction on Digital Marketing.
- Factors that play a vital role in Digital Marketing
- 5 Important Elements of Digital Marketing
- Setting up the Digital Marketing Campaign
- How to Increase the Audience Engagement?
- Tools to Analyze the Social Media Campaign Performance
So let’s get back to the topic..
You might have googled questions like:
HOW to start digital marketing?
WHAT to do in digital marketing?
HOW to advertise your business?
WHAT are the strategies required for digital marketing?
I want to start my online marketing campaign?
I’ve got this covered.
This article will answer all those things. But, there you’ll be required to read all the way to the end to make it work. If you didn’t like it, tell in the comments that you didn’t like the guide, but if you like, I promise, your heart will force you to jump to the comments section and say ‘hey buddy, thanks for this article, it really helped me’…
First things first, for those who haven’t been very active in online marketing, they might have a vague idea about digital marketing, so let me explain it for them —
“The digital marketing is a process of utilizing the online mediums to reach, engage, and communicate with the audience in order to distribute information and acquire new customers”…
Before I dig deeper into digital marketing, let’s not forget a few factors that play a vital role in digital marketing:
Target & Identifying your Audience
It involves the identification of the ideal audience.Most of the businesses fails to understand about their real consumer and are targeting wrong people for their products or services. The head-ups must be given to the digital marketing team before the campaign begins. It should include a clear pathway defining ‘WHO TO TARGET’ through online marketing. It may refer to the group of people with suitable demographics, similar interests to the relevant brand. The purpose of discussing the importance of ‘target audience’ is that a digital marketing professional should have a vivid roadmap of the audience to target (for your brand).
Let me tell you that if this is the very important step towards your campaign, if you don’t do it right, the chances of success will be very rare.
One of the essential factors of digital marketing is an inbound marketing strategy in which efforts are made and strategies are defined to bring the customers in through engagement via content creation and web-based funnels.
Hubspot covered 32 Inspiring Inbound Marketing Examples which are a must to see. Different strategies can be done to generate attention via Inbound marketing, for instance, you can do following things :
- Address an Important Issue.
- Hitting the right audience.
- Hiring the Right Brand Ambassadors for your business.
- Taking a stand on a particular subject.
- Incentives, Discounts and Coupons do work too.
If the customer acquisition isn’t the part of the digital marketing strategy, then it won’t be worth it. One of the major factors of digital marketing is customer acquisition. Today the markets are competitive, so in order to survive and stay ahead of the competition, the brands tend to adopt the strategies that keep their existing customers attached and new prospects getting continuously engaged. Renee Warren emphasized on having a customer acquisition plan for brands in her guest post. She shed the light on audience type and customer acquisition funnel in that post.
However the notable thing is to understand the consumer buying cycle and targeting them accordingly, not everyone becomes your customer on your first visit, it takes a reason and sometimes many visits and recommendations.
5 Important Elements of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is a vast space. There are a number of valuable elements which are required to be covered in order to understand the whole process:
In digital marketing, a brand gets familiar among the target audience, which is why it is necessary to develop such a campaign that makes the brand stand out of the crowd. Each and every thing such as name, logo, slogan (optional), color scheme, and company’s theme must be unique from the competitors.
PR & Networking
A well-crafted digital marketing strategy highly focuses on PR & Networking. Without building the connections and growing the communication with the audience, the digital marketing campaign turns out to be useless. From social media to email marketing, online advertising to content marketing, everything contributes to the PR & Networking.
Without a proper directive on the territory, a digital marketer won’t be able to reach the target audience of the brand. Every brand knows (or should know) the exact territories to reach out and build an audience. The territorial distribution could be based on the cities, states, or countries based on the type and nature of the brand.
Setting Your UPS
Having a Unique Selling Proposition is as important as Google is to Internet. You can’t survive a market full of competition, people becoming more aware and choosy to their product selection. You need to stand out in the crowd if you want to sell effectively so your UPS plays a strong role here.
A part from pricing, Brands now focuses on several things to build their competitive edge like having awesome customer support, money back guarantee’s, brand endorsements, gifts, bundles so much. So you really need to go out of the box to come up with such a UPS which stands you from the crowd! A marketing agency can help you in that, so that I can.
Analyzing Your Competitors and Understanding Your Market.
Every market is different, even the same customer thinks differently in each market, let’s say a person who is going to buy a Mobile and when he is going to buy grocery, his mindset will be totally different in these conditions. The main thing i want to highlight here is that each market works differently and we have to see how the dynamics of each market works, after analyzing that your second step would be to understand your competitor’s strategy. They are successful for a reason, Figure out whats make them successful, whats their UPS, whats their pricing, how to do they deal, what makes them stand out, why customers prefers them? This should be your home work before stepping into the next part. SEMRush is one of the best tools I recommend for online spying. If you haven’t checked my review on it, do check.
Setting up the Digital Marketing Campaign
Now we have understand the market, we have researched our UPS and have done our competitive intelligence. Now have a look on the steps involved in launching a successful digital marketing campaign:
Originating the Marketing Plan
The first and foremost step of starting a digital marketing campaign is creating a marketing plan. It’s the selection of tools and mediums to use in online marketing. The plan must consist each and every possible way of reaching out to the audience and delivering the message to them. The essence of digital marketing is the communication of brands with the target audience through online mediums. Although, it depends on the brand’s type and its product nature to adopt the type of marketing strategy. Here are a few major strategies to be adopted in the marketing plan:
The online advertising refers to every type of advertising which is being done online via website or the internet is considered online advertising. Usually, the ad networks whether PPC, CPM, or CPA were considered the online advertising mediums, but it doesn’t necessarily means a few types of ad networks. In digital marketing, the online advertising covers any type of advertising that is being done online whether it’s Facebook Ads, Google Adwords, Twitter Ads, Video Ads, or Direct (banner) Ads.
Recommended Readings : How to Make a Successful PPC Campaign?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is a process through which you can rank your website on any particular query searched on search engines like Google.com, Yahoo.com etc. SEO is a lengthy process and their are many factors to determine the rankings, so its better to work with an SEO Professional or an agency to take the most out of it.
SEO is also considered one of the important part of online customer and traffic acquisition. Google.com is the No.1 most visited website in the world, according to Alexa. More and more brands are now utilizing this and cashing it by ranking well specially in local search. Just like any other traffic aquisition channel, SEO has it’s own place and importance.
If you are starting out with SEO, then take a look at my Keyword Research Guide or have a look at 8 Ways to Build Authority for your website or 8 SEO Mistakes that you need to avoid at all cost!
When brands want to build their brand identity, they pursue different identity building strategies such as online advertising and sponsorships. In sponsorships, brands sponsor different products and services to get the accessibility to the greater audience and develop their brand’s position in the prospects’ mind. Sports teams sponsorship, TV commercials, and podcast sponsorships are the perfect examples where interested brands pay the amount to the producer/maker of the product to get their names along with the product in order to get popular and make brand’s positioning.
The content marketing is a process of creating the content such as articles, videos, audio, graphics, templates, and PDFs to engage, educate, and convert the prospects into the paying customers. In content marketing, brands usually use different forms of content or a single one to market their products through delivering value to the audience. In 2015, content marketing has been an emerging trend, and it is predicted that the total expenditure on content marketing will exceed in 2016. According to this survey report, the average spending on Content Marketing in 2015 was 28% of the overall marketing budget. Whereas 55% organizations said their budget of content marketing will increase in 2016.
Recommend Readings : How to Start Digital Marketing with your Blog?
If you haven’t started building an email list, then you probably don’t know that email list building converts better than any other medium online. The reason behind the high conversion rate of the email list is that you send an email to people who already want to listen from you. They opted to receive emails from you. It means they trust you and they will believe when you say something. The chances are when you send them an offer to avail, some of them will definitely take the action. Now there are certain factors of email list success such as the list’s age, engagement, communication type, and trust level.
A marketing plan might be the backbone of your whole digital marketing strategy, but other steps are valuable and worth considering too. The selection of marketing strategies depends on the brand type and market circumstances.
A digital marketing plan shouldn’t be limited to the certain formats. In fact, the beauty of digital age is that you can adopt the basic circumstances to achieve extraordinary engagements.
For instance, SumoMe does this amazingly. They use EMAIL MARKETING + STATS REPORTING for customer acquisition. They send reports to their free users on the weekly basis providing them with their reports along with the offer to go for paid membership.
Recommended Readings :
Hosting Free Webinars
Hosting Free Webinars is a great way of indirect marketing, a customer who is not usually interested in your services at first is most likely your eventual customer after seeing your webinar. In my 6 ways to acquire customers post. I have highlighted the importance of webinars and give you the example of Kimra Luna who know’s the importance of free webinars and makes the most out of it. Like being said, most customers don’t convert on your first visit, webinars are a great way to tell them about your brands/services and grabbing their email addresses to convince them to buy your product, later.
Linking with Offline Marketing.
If your brand has a physical presence then you can multiple your benefit by linking your online marketing strategy with your offline marketing strategy. Like majority of the time no one grabs your attention after your first ad, it takes multiple times for them to notice and take an action. But when a customer see’s an online ad and then he suddenly see’s a billboard, newspaper ad or something and he immediately remind himself that he has seen this ad before, that’s the success for you, because now the customer have thought seriously about you and he is looking to know more about what do you offer?
The selection of target audience is one of the success secrets of a whole digital marketing campaign. You can’t achieve success in terms of reaching out to the relevant audience, offering them the value, and converting them to paying customer —All these efforts could go useless if the chosen target audience is wrong in the first place.
Find the answers of the following question might help you in identifying your target audience:
WHO needs your product?
WHY should they buy your product?
WHAT is the best thing about your product?
WHAT makes your product better than the competition?
WHERE does your customer exist? (Territories)
WHAT demographics are you looking at?
For instance, Addthis knows this exactly. They know that people (who are website and blog owners) will be landing on their sites through various means to get social sharing buttons for their sites, so they create such messages on their site that engage and help the audience:
There are other tools too but i just wanted to show The point of target identification which is pretty clear in this example. Addthis would have done this wrong if they would be talking about customer acquisition and A/B testing at this point which is their website face.
This is how target identification helps you build the righteous strategies for engaging the audience that converts well.
Re-marketing is basically a process of targeting those users who have seen your website or your landing page before. Once you find your audience type, you can do re-marketing to buy your product or service. There are many variables which can assist you in improving the performance of your re-targeting campaign such as you can put barriers, like you only want to target those users who have visited your website in the last 30 days or so, spent more then xx minutes, came from this this devices, visited shopping cart or something but didn’t convert. More companies now dedicate half of their budget to re-targeting. Amazon for instance, is spending huge amount of money on re-targeting. If you visit Amazon.com and visit the page of any particular product, after that, all you can see is ads from relevant products from Amazon over Internet.
At step 3, we have to analyze the audience engagement. The main difference between offline marketing and online marketing is that, it’s a TWO way communication. In online marketing, not only brands can talk, but their customers can too. Once a brand advertises online, gets a bunch of visitors on the website, begins to get social traction, the next part comes in this scenario is the audience engagement.
The digital marketing campaign doesn’t revolve around the getting people onto your website and nothing else. In fact, it’s opposite to that. A digital marketing expert should create a funnel of engagement that not just bring the prospects (visitors who might be interested), but also to convert them into paying customers.
This process isn’t that simple. It involves many factors that ensure the successful engagement of visitors and, later on, their conversion into paying customers. Following are the necessary elements that play a big role in audience engagement:
Web design – If the web design attracts the visitors, they tend to explore it more than usual time spend. Normally websites are designed in PHP, Html, or any CMS like WordPress. In fact, online website builders like WebsiteBuilder, WIX, and Weebly are pretty much popular with their web design templates.
Do you know that following this guide, you can have your business website in just 1 day?
Landing Pages – The landing pages often used for prospect engagement to engage the first timers coming through different referral sources. Use tools like LeadPages, Unbounce, and Optimizely for landing pages.
User Friendly – I call visitors as lazy, and i say they are the most laziest person on the earth. The more complicated your website or landing page is, the sales and conversions are likely going to drop. I feel you should make things easy for them, give them what they want and that too without scrolling even. I know most business owners prefers to have good design, beautiful logo, animated graphics but too much of that is going to cause distraction and user is not going to focus on what we want him to focus.
Squeeze pages – Squeeze pages help the brands or entrepreneurs to offer the visitors who get interested in the offer and opt-in to get any downloadable product or PDF checklist that is being offered.
Opt-in forms – Opt-in forms are the forms that initiate the engagement process. This is the form which takes a prospect into the engagement funnel.
Opt-in bribe – This is the bribe (which could be any downloadable product, ebook, PDF checklist, spreadsheet, or template) which brands use to get more email subscribers and offer in exchange of subscribers email addresses.
Chat tools – One of the most popular tools of prospect engagement is the chat tools. These tools connect website visitors (prospects) to the brands via online chat in order to get them into the process of engagement.Most of the user’s have pre sales questions or hesitations before ordering and thats where you convince and cash them.
User Reviews/Case Studies - Do you have some successful stories to show? How Your company has made a difference in other’s business or life? How customer’s got benefited after using your service/product? – Write case studies, reviews or even tutorials on how customers took benefit from your pr0duct or service and present it online! This works, not only it generates audience interest which leads to audience engagement but it also helps in improving sales for your business.
At step 4, we have to see the outreach mediums. An outreach medium refers to the place which is used to distribute information, value, and content. It also provides access to the audience. Not only does it provide access of prospective customers to the brands, but it also helps the audience to get access to the quality products, information, and knowledge.
Some of the outreach mediums are:
A blog is a self-managed online platform which works like a website. The difference between a blog and a website is that blog provides you an easy-to-use interface to publish content without any kind of web design knowledge and expertise. The blog is mainly used for publishing content. Brands and organizations use blogs for updating the prospects and customers, engaging the audience, and spreading the information. There are many platforms for blogging but however. WordPress self-hosted platform is by far the most popular platform to launch a blog. Building a Blog is easy and it just takes 15 minutes of your work to do it.
Social media is a strategy of choosing the certain social interaction platform, start engaging the audience, sharing the value, and building the follower-ship. The digital market strategy can’t proceed without a proper definition of social media influence. One can’t target all the social media sites. It depends on the brand type, audience nature, and demographics of the target audience to choose the right platform. A company which produces graphics and illustrations might be interested in Pinterest as their main social media hub whereas they should focus on Instagram too. Whereas an app development company might need to focus on Twitter and Facebook because people are more active on these platforms through their cell phones than desktop computers.
Recommended Readings : A Beginners Guide to Social Media Campaign
The content publication doesn’t revolve around posting content on the official blog. Take the advantage of publishing platforms such as LinkedIn Pulse, Medium, and WordPress.com. These platforms help you build a greater audience when you content meets the new faces.
Years ago, Press Releases had a great impact on your SERP’s and online business impression, things have changed now but still if press releases are done fairly, they are going to give you a positive improvement in your brand image as well SERP’s for your business. Press Releases are shared by 100’s of other vendors online, so it improves and generates more publicity as well.
Guest Posting, now a days is a hot trend. Everyone is doing it, it generates more attention, trust, branding and more visitors for your website. Bloggers where the guest post is being published,also get’s benefit by serving new content to their readers, so it’s a win win situation for both of them. Matthew wrote a guide on White Hat Guest Blogging, it’s a must read. Jon Cooper did a case study on How writing a Guest Post at SEOMoz helped his website and brand, do check it out too.
Now we are At the last stage, once you’ve adopted a few strategies and opted the tools to drive your digital marketing strategy after some time you have to analyze the performance of your strategies. It’s called Performance tracking. Although, most of the brands do their performance tracking with their conversion rate, lead generation, and prospect engagement, but always remember social media is an engagement strategy, not a sheer selling system. Influencers build relationships on social media and brands develop their brand identity, so make your social media strategy off the hook if you don’t see an increase in your conversion rate through social media and digital marketing strategy. Give it a consistent 6 months or 1-year time span to make it work.
Do not forget to do following things:
Proper Analytics – Any marketing campaign will be a complete failure without proper tracking and analytics. At the beginning, there are several metrics to find out how we are performing, such as Bounce rate, does he come back again after 30 days? no. of pages viewed, what products he clicked on? how much time did he spent on your website? this week vs last week visitors comparison? traffic acquisition channels etc, I recommend Google Analytics to start with.
A/B Testing – It’s a comparison between two models of the same such as case A and case B or design A and design B.
Followers Engagement – The way you get involved with social media fans and email subscribers. Adopt the strategies to make them feel that you’re there for them.
Consistent Communication – A regular format of communication or schedule of communication helps the brands to build a stronger relationship with their audience.
The digital marketing strategy doesn’t end on creating useful content and running Facebook ads — From identifying the audience to creating the content for them to building the relationship to analyzing the performance —- It’s a process. A long and continuous process of taking a brand from zero to the profitable stage. Moreover, the digital marketing challenges keep on changing, so do the strategies.
Use the following tools to analyze social media performance:
Followerwonk – It’s a twitter analytics tools which helps you understand your twitter followers. Furthermore, it helps you to track, understand, and optimize your brand’s twitter existence.
CircleCount – This tool helps you to find the statistics about your Google+ followers.
SimplyMeasured – SimplyMeasured is a unique tool which provides you an in-depth reporting on the various social media accounts which helps you understand the kind of following you have.
Topsy – Topsy is a popular twitter analytics tool which helps you find the people who have shared your content on the Twitter.
Recommended Readings :
- If you are a female and other, then you need to follow A Complete Digital Marketing Guide For Mompreneurs.
The digital marketing campaign is a vast term to explain with a few steps or procedures. All in all, it’s a strategy of taking a brand online to develop an identity using various forms of content such as articles, video, audio, graphics and distributing the content through various channels such as email marketing and social media to DELIVER THE VALUE and get the impact going.
We at AliRaza.co & Aarswebs.com try to help brands various forms. We develop high-quality and useful content about Blogging, SEO, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Online Advertising, and Email Marketing to spread the word about different aspects of digital marketing. You can reach me for more details on it.
The brands have finally started embracing the importance of DIGITAL AGE. What’s your take on it? Have you started it yet?
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