Note: This is an updated version on how to radically improve your digital marketing efforts. Original post can be found here.
Implementing an effective digital marketing game plan can yield incredible results that will generate more awareness, traffic, leads, and sales.
Making sure your vision of ‘success’ plays through comes down to having a solid strategy in place, followed by a clear roadmap.
The thing about marketing in today’s business environment is that you can push to see how marketing is actually contributing to the overall business objectives. In other words, it has become easier to see which marketing efforts are generating revenue tying back the ROI attribution properly.
There are a ton of moving parts when it comes to digital marketing in general. For this reason, it is so important you have the right people (i.e. experts) in place to execute.
Difficult to even know where to start, right? In today’s post, I chose to revisit and update an older blog post that I wrote five years ago because it’s still so relevant, so let’s dive in.
Know Your Data
From Google Analytics, heat/click maps, and social media Insights, etc. utilizing data to help you see where there are gaps within your campaigns will help you make the necessary improvements.
When diving into your data points, a few key items to look at are:
- Demographic skews. Who’s coming to your website? Who’s engaging the most with your content and brand? What more can you be doing to give these people what they’re looking for?
- Actionable points. From messaging to CTA buttons and design, identify the key elements that are driving the most engagement.
- Popular pages. Look at the most popular pages on your website and make sure there are CTAs on those pages to drive visitors further down your funnel.
As you take a deeper look at your data, make sure that you’re understanding the difference between metrics that are more top of the funnel compared to those that are middle to bottom of the funnel. Doing so will help you figure out which of your initiatives are actually pushing the right target personas to take action.
Learn from Customers
Existing customers are the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to figuring out how you can make improvements to your products/services.
To learn more from your customers, consider sending out surveys to help ensure that you’re delivering per their expectations, they are happy, and you’re getting feedback where needed to make changes.
Understanding more of what your customers want will also help with the following:
- Shape your content strategy to write about the things they care about.
- Add more service and product offerings for upsell opportunities.
- Increase their lifetime value.
- Develop case studies and get testimonials to better position your company.
- Help you discover new ways to upsell and get referrals.
Kill Off Wasteful Spending
Know exactly where you should be spending more of your marketing dollars and where you should stop. The biggest mistake I see a lot of companies make is that they will dedicate money towards specific campaigns, but then fail to properly measure for progress and optimization.
Of course, it is important to test as much as you can so that you can see exactly what it is that is working and what isn’t. However, make sure that as you test, you’re taking on more of a growth hacking approach — meaning quick iterations that aren’t going to be incredibly costly.
Here’s what I recommend you consider:
- Attach KPIs (key performance indicators) to each campaign, down to the tactical execution.
- Be specific on where in the funnel each campaign falls so you have a goal in mind.
- Make sure you’re focused on the right metrics that are truly moving the needle. Examples would be: MQLs, SQLs, opportunities, revenue, CPL, CAC, retention, etc.
- Optimize your initiatives to fit the entire buyer journey.
Optimize the Customer Acquisition Process
Look at the entire funnel and determine where the gaps are. From there, devise a plan to fix what needs better optimization, what’s working, and what isn’t.
Generally, the initiatives I focus on a lot more fall within the middle of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel. It’s in these very stages that you’ll find the buyer journey the most open – meaning, buyers are more willing to give you their information to look at your content and engage with your brand before wanting to be reached out to by sales.
Of course, you shouldn’t ignore the top of the funnel because the metrics you track there can help shape what happens further down the purchase path too. However, keep in mind that much of what happens at the top comes down to awareness and less about conversions.
As you venture further down the funnel, it’s important to make sure that you are steadily ready to do the following:
- Nurture leads that are coming in. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost.
- Have content ready at every single phase of the funnel.
- Segment where you need to so that you understand leads who are ready to talk to a sales rep versus those who are still researching and learning.
Create Meaningful Connections
No one cares about what you do until they see the value in what you can do for them. In other words, it’s about the problems you are solving. More specifically, how are you going to alleviate your target personas pain points? Do you have content that can explain and show this?
Know that as you position yourself to develop more meaningful connections, you have to get out of the ‘sales-only’ mindset. Rather, you’re looking for ways to actually be helpful to your target audience. This can be done within the content you produce but also the communities as well as forums you’re a part of online.
Creating meaningful connections, therefore, comes down to building relationships, having authentic conversations, and helping people without expecting anything in return.
Here’s what I recommend you can start doing:
- Discover existing LinkedIn Groups that are filled with like-minded individuals and join them. From there, contribute to conversations that are taking place by answering questions, posting your own questions, and sharing your knowledge without over-selling yourself.
- Do a simple keyword search on LinkedIn and look at all of the relevant posts that you can contribute your $.02 to. Be a part of the conversation.
- Other places to do the same thing: Reddit, Quora, and blog commenting.
In everything that you do, it only makes sense that every dollar spent is going to drive some sort of result back to your business. This is why collecting data, knowing what you’re measuring for success, optimizing where you need to, testing as much as you can, and paving a clear roadmap will help tremendously.
From there, you can then start tweaking each initiative you execute to acquire new customers for a lower cost, and also figure out where your diminishing point of return is for the successful campaigns.