The pandemic forced many marketers to dive deep into digital marketing. As a result, the learning curve for most felt more like a stomach-dropping roller-coaster ride full of unexpected twists and turns. Now that there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon that the New Year will return to all of us a sense of normalcy, it’s time to re-examine our digital strategies. In today’s blog, we’ll look at five ways you can optimize your digital marketing strategy and choose a path that adds to your brand’s value and customer experience (CX).
Step #1 – Get the Team Together for a Year in Review
While it’s true that most of us would like to forget 2020 ever happened, tough times are often our best teachers. For your digital marketing year in review (YIR) meeting, your goal is to invite every last single member of your team to take a fresh and objective look at the digital campaigns you ran and the channels you used. To encourage honesty and objectivity, be sure to reiterate multiple times that you want to take a “no-one’s at fault” look at both the things that worked and the things that didn’t. Ask your marketing ops team to bring data reports for each campaign and channel you plan to review to ensure things stay objective. For each campaign and channel ask the following questions:
- What were our original hopes for this campaign/channel? Were they fulfilled? Why or why not?
- How did we measure the success of each campaign/channel?
- Was the campaign/channel a success or a failure? Why?
- If it was a failure, what did you learn from it?
- Is there anything that could be done differently to make it more successful?
Step #2 — Do the Math, Then the Budget
Now that you have had a serious look into the various digital roads you explored, it’s time to calculate your ROI. Essentially you want to take the money you invested in using a new digital channel (martech purchased, lists bought, etc.) or creating a campaign (content creation, design, etc.) and compare it to the results each channel or campaign generated. Naturally, if you made a significant investment in a piece of martech, you will want to use both percentages and benchmarks to more accurately determine if things are paying off the way you hope. Use a data dashboard to compare campaign performances over time, and to gather benchmarks of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) before you implemented a particular channel and after. Click here to see our handy table of KPIs you should be measuring. Lastly, if the results you are seeing for a particular piece of martech are not lining up with the results that were promised; call your rep and get their insights on tweaks that need to be made in order to achieve the results you desire.
Step #3 — Give Your Team Opportunities to Try New Things
After you work out the ROI on all of your digital marketing investments, you are ready to earmark funds for the types of campaigns and channels that are producing results. You also need to set aside money to try new things. However, make sure the new things you want to try make sense for your brand. If you know that your best customers are on-the-go and rarely in the office; then it makes sense to add SMS or MMS to your marketing mix. Likewise, if you have optimized the performance of your website (SEO) and ensured it looks great on mobile devices, too; then perhaps it’s time to venture into explainer videos or video customer testimonials, etc. Some digital channels and strategies to consider adding to your current mix include (but are not limited to):
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Whether you hire a company to optimize your technical SEO or you take a DIY approach, fine-tuning your customer’s web experience is always a good idea. According to Think With Google, mobile search drives more than 40 percent of revenue in leading B2B organizations.
- Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) — Users that click on ads are 50 percent more likely to make a purchase and Google maintains businesses earn an average of $8 for every $1 they spend on Google Ads.
- Content Marketing — Because more customers are conducting research online, it only makes sense to help them make the leap from browser to buyer by equipping them with compelling blogs, videos, vlogs, infographics, white papers, ebooks, etc. According to WebFX, content marketing generates 54 percent more leads than traditional marketing.
- Video Marketing — When asked how they’d most like to learn about a product or service, 66 percent of people say they prefer to watch a short explainer video. Moreover, 87 percent of marketers found video to be an effective strategy on LinkedIn.
- SMS/MMS — Customers who get SMS marketing messages are 40 percent more likely to convert than those who don’t.
Step #4 — Get a Second Opinion
Before you add a digital channel to your strategy, be sure to seek the input of current customers, as well as the folks on your sales and service teams. Find out what would make your buyer’s journey shorter and easier and pursue those routes with passion and an open mind. As you make a short list of channels and campaigns you want to try, make sure you give each the time and resources necessary to be successful. We recommend adding things one at a time and getting very comfortable with each new channel before adding another.
Step #5 — Double-Check Your Data Situation
You may have the most brilliant digital marketing strategy every developed and a team of highly trained marketing experts committed to its full and swift execution, but neither will stand a snowball’s chance in hell at being successful if your data is not kept clean, complete, standardized and ready-to-go at a moment’s notice. Dirty data is a digital marketing strategy saboteur and you must be ruthless in your refusal to let it steal your thunder. By necessity, every good digital marketer is also a data-driven marketer. To ensure your data is adding to your successes and not detracting, track its health and daily performance via a dashboard. Purchase third-party data as needed, and make sure every database connected to your campaigns and channels shares a single and centralized source of data truth.