In our digital age, digital marketing has become the bread and butter of brand survival.
The brand that stays ahead of the technology curve is the brand that thrives. Gone are the days when marketing was exclusively focused on offline channels.
Over the last decade, the proliferation of online channels, the rise of social media, and increasing global Internet accessibility have conspired to make digital marketing inevitable for brands.
In this context, the following seven digital marketing tactics are essential ingredients for every savvy digital marketer.
1. Paid ads
Paid ads give your brand messaging that extra visibility leg-up that’s needed in today’s digital marketplace. And the best part – your advertising spend needn’t be huge for the benefits to be immediately felt.
With some social media sites boasting enormous worldwide reach and millions of daily active users, it makes sense to advertise on these platforms with targeted campaigns. Most of these platforms now offer advertising capability, allowing marketers to reach a significant pool of targeted consumers.
Google Ads is no longer the king pin of online advertising. Social media sites have emerged as strong competitors in terms of ad spends for companies. The online advertising and digital marketing pie is now divided up between Facebook ads, Twitter ads, advertisements on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and other prominent social networks.
2. Email marketing
Who doesn’t love a personalised message containing special gifts and invitations? One thing’s certain, your customers do. Don’t use email marketing to ram messaging down the collective throat of your brand community. Use it sparingly to entice members with exclusive offers and entitlements. Make recipients feel special, not harassed.
Specialised tools, such as Mail Chimp and Campaign Monitor, can help you orchestrate effective email marketing campaigns. Whether you want to create email lists, personalise messages for your audience, or even track conversions from every link in the email, these easy-to-use digital tools make the job simple.
From the smallest business to the biggest corporation, contemporary email marketing platforms give you a complete solution for your communications needs.
3. Social media
At this point any brand that isn’t adopting social into their digital marketing repertoire is simply missing the boat. Today’s consumers are more likely to be found inhabiting social media platforms than they are say watching TV ads, scanning the yellow pages, or reading the classifieds. On mainstream social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you have a captive audience, just waiting to meet your brand and learn to love you.
4. Community management
The desire to interact with other people and share our views, thoughts and overall experiences is a universal human tendency. That’s why communities have traditionally formed, and have since moved online from the offline world.
With the rise of online communities of interest, many companies encourage their most dedicated fans to help them promote their products and services through online channels, to achieve more visibility. That’s when community management tools can help marketers to reach out and communicate with these individuals, perhaps incentivising the engagement with contests and prizes. Tools like Google+ communities, Google groups and even individually hosted community management tools, like chaordix, can facilitate these interactions.
5. Online forums
Since the rise of Web 2.0, interactivity has become a cornerstone of life on the Internet. Today’s online forums are a digital equivalent of the town squares of yesteryear, where townsfolk would once gather to talk and debate. Leverage those online spaces to insert your brand into the public conversation. Don’t shy away from difficult conversations that are relevant to your brand. Join in on the conversation and position your brand as a thought-leader and influencer in the space.
6. The all-important follow up
There’s an ever-present danger in the age of strategic Hootsuite scheduling and automated responses that customer communication loses its spontaneity and, quite frankly, its humanity. Don’t just leave it to your digital systems to handle customer relations. Follow up personally on the engagement that starts online.
Did you know that one out of three leads are never even called? We live in a busy time filled with distractions and obligations. Leads don’t always convert without a little encouragement. Follow up with customers to remind them about your brand and make them feel personally welcome within your brand community.
With a CRM like Salesforce, you can track every interaction you have with a customer. When they make a purchase or become a lead, follow up with them immediately – don’t hesitate. Let the customer know that you appreciate their business.
7. Guest posts
Talking about yourself, on your own platform is fine. But self-promotion can only get you so far in the digital world. If you want to command full authority and respect from your target online community, you need endorsements from others in the online space.
One easy way to achieve those endorsements and word-of-mouth promotion is to secure guest posts on other brands’ online real estate. Become an authoritative voice in your field by demonstrating that your peers acknowledge and respect your insights and ideas.
More than ever, digital marketing works hand in hand with traditional marketing tactics to deliver beneficial brand outcomes. The tactics outlined above are merely a starting point from which you can flesh out a more comprehensive and customised digital marketing strategy for your brand.
Nital Shah is the founding director at Octos Digital Marketing Agency. He has served big corporate brands of Australia and has more than 10 years of experience under his belt with a profound level of expertise in search strategies, planning and management.