Marketing has changed a lot in the past decade. With all of the fancy tools and new ways to gain awareness and generate ads and attention, certain basic themes still matter when it comes to helping your business succeed with marketing, especially digital marketing.
At Moon Mission Media we are often asked by business owners, particularly in the well being, technology and fitness arena, what are the things they can do to make the biggest improvements to their digital advertising efforts. This is not always an easy question to answer. People do not know what they do not know and therefore to jump to discussing things like conversion ratios, spend by channel, or vanity metrics can be both confusing for the client and counterproductive unless certain things are already in place. There are so many factors to consider that a definitive answer would be little more than an educated guess. There are however a few basic things that serve as a necessary foundation. We share these with curious colleagues and clients regardless of their level of experience. From digital newbies to seasoned marketing professionals, nothing can replace these basic blocking and tackling components to effective marketing and digital marketing.
Now, I know what you might be thinking. “But I have someone that handles that for me. I don’t have to worry.” While that may be true and you might have the best Facebook marketer on the planet running advertising for your business, it is still helpful to have a foundational understanding of the fundamental aspects of your marketing and advertising efforts.
Here are the top 4 things you need to pay attention to as the fundamentals in making certain your digital marketing and advertising efforts will actually help your business.
1. Define Your Business And Marketing Strategy
What is a strategy? It is a choice, and something few businesses actually understand. In working with clients and just talking with people about their business and marketing efforts you might be really surprised how few actually have a real strategy. Smart Insights recent study showed 46% of brands don’t have a defined digital marketing strategy yet, and 16% have a strategy but they haven’t put it into place. Given this research, it is clear that more than half of the businesses out there do not understand where they are going and why.
When you don’t have a marketing strategy, you run the risk of becoming directionless as a company, wasting money on doing things channels that aren’t bringing you results, and losing out on potential customers to your competitors.
Why is strategy so important in addition to the obvious reasons? Check out this quote from a colleagues' article (read it all here):
“Here is the bottom line: customers are going to experience a surge in alternatives for their health and fitness needs and the health club industry is realigning around this new reality to maintain their relevance in what will be a massive growth opportunity in the coming decade. That is why if you are in the industry space you better start getting very clear about what strategy you should adopt.”
So understanding who you are trying to reach, how, and for what purpose, a choice or a strategy is absolutely the first step. Look for more on this in the coming weeks and months.
2. Define Your Marketing And Advertising Plan
Once you have a strategy now it is time to create a basic plan. As a recent Entrepreneur Magazine article espoused about marketing plans:
“Everyone knows you need a business plan, yet many entrepreneurs don’t realize a marketing plan is just as vital. Unlike a business plan, a marketing plan focuses on winning and keeping customers; it's strategic and includes numbers, facts, and objectives. A good marketing plan spells out all the tools and tactics you’ll use to achieve your sales goals. It’s your plan of action -- what you’ll sell, who'll want to buy it and the tactics you’ll use to generate leads that result in sales. And unless you’re using your marketing plan to help you gain funding, it doesn’t have to be lengthy or beautifully written. Use bulleted sections, and get right to the point.”
This is crucial, and so few organizations have one. This is where we start with all of our clients. It serves a tool that illustrates all the moving pieces of your efforts over a certain time period. Social content, case studies, blog post, newsletters, events, launches and more. All in one place where everyone can see clearly what is going on and understands their role.
Having a plan in the form of a calendar is the difference between acting on a whim or executing a quantitative strategy.
A healthy content mix includes articles, videos, podcasts, presentations each piece tailored to speak to your target audience and how you can add value to their lives. Don’t just talk about features and benefits address the end-users real issues, solve their problems, illustrate your understanding of their pain, their industry, their organization, their needs and how you will benefit their business.
Three things to remember is to reuse content, support your community, and include user-generated content to stay relevant to your fans. Keep informed of current events and trends that affect your audience. Organizations that overlook the dynamic nature of the social digisphere will miss out on new and valuable ways to find and connect with their audience.
To maximize organic exposure share content more than once on multiple social networks to reach new followers and fans in different time zones.
Content curation from fans, vendors, community partners, and affiliated charities, is often overlooked by companies but has become increasingly important to audiences. In fact, 50% of consumers said that user-generated content can increase their chances of purchasing through a brand’s digital media.
In addition to crafting the proper message and offer, running successful ads means actually finding and reaching your intended audience. Once you have identified your personas you can test based on real data showing the history of their interaction with your brand. Social platforms have made this super easy with the Pixel, which is the tiny bit of code that offers big insights. The pixel will track website traffic, app activity, social fan interactions, custom events, and audience insights.
With the ability to target and re-target your ideal audience using based on real data there is a level of precision that has not been possible until now. It will help you to build, measure, and optimize the right audiences for your campaigns.
Separate campaigns by target audiences, calls to action, and/ or goals. Are you targeting prospects to take advantage of a trial offer? Are you upselling existing clients? Isolating sets helps for reporting and optimization and to better oversee spending to align with business goals.
Digital marketing is ever-evolving and has become one of the biggest sources of inspiration for consumer purchases, but it takes time, planning and commitment and there are no shortcuts. Hope is not enough, effective marketers must have a solid understanding of their audiences, where they are, and what they need. Digital marketing isn't cut and dry but by focusing on the timeless principles of marketing and the very human element it can be incredibly powerful.
Brandi J. Bergeron is a Marketing Practitioner, Branding Strategist, Content Creator, and Partner in Moon Mission Media. Her finger firmly on the pulse of digital media’s leading-edge, Brandi and her colleagues have advised some of the top global fitness and wellbeing brands. A graduate of LSU, Brandi has 20+ years of marketing experience and loves to help her clients thrive in both traditional marketing and the constantly changing seas of digital and social media. Brandi’s secret weapon is her knack for combining powerful relationships with strategic expertise that bridges the Wellbeing, Fitness, and Technology industries.