The 7 foundational digital marketing elements you need to know
Everywhere digital marketers go online, they’re inundated with algorithm tips and tricks to grow a social media presence or boost website traffic. However, it’s easy to get stuck in a metaphorical hamster wheel, chasing down the latest updates or fixes to these recommendations to keep the success flowing.
Rather than constantly commit to short-sighted techniques, invest in foundational elements of digital marketing that will yield better, less time-consuming results.
As a web-only agency that’s been around for over 20 years, we’ve seen and heard all the tips and tricks of digital marketing. We’ve sifted through the years of recommendations to share our top 7 time-withstanding foundational digital marketing elements to create a successful, long-term digital marketing strategy.
Use a responsive, branded website
For starters, the main goals of your website should be to attract and convert customers, give value to those who visit, and be easily accessible. Google recommends responsive design when presenting website results for mobile searches – something a drag-and-drop website builder can’t easily offer.
Working with a website development agency like ours allows you to have a built website seamlessly optimized for mobile and desktop experiences. While drag-and-drop template layouts that website builders provide are appealing, a branded approach allows for better control over the look and feel of your website on different devices. It ensures your website looks and functions optimally across various platforms.
Branded, responsive websites are designed specifically for your brand and needs – the design can accentuate calls to action that drive conversions. With seamless web forms, sign-up and call-back pop-ups, subscription forms, and more, your chances for conversion increase compared to a prohibitive block layout of a template website.
Develop an SEO strategy
SEO (search engine optimization) is more than just optimizing your website content for search engines. Instead, you should primarily focus on structuring your content so that users can easily and quickly find relevant content that provides the answers they seek – which drives the search engine’s algorithm.
Think about the terms, words, phrases, and questions that your target audience will use to search for answers and solutions and use that as fuel for your content — just like the weather, your audience changes, and so should your SEO strategy. Keep track of these changes through analytics and modify your strategy to stay relevant. Utilizing this strategy allows you to expand your brand prowess and organically improve your SERP ranking over time.
Besides providing long-term equity to your business, another key benefit of SEO is that it’s an inbound marketing strategy that cultivates qualified leads. It’s already likely a user is already considering doing business with you or a competitor. Yet, you’re connecting before the competition at a critical moment in the buyer’s journey.
Engage with email marketing
While email marketing has been around for nearly 40 years, it remains a big player in digital marketing. Not only can you reach and connect with your target audience in a personalized way, but you can also quickly increase sales. Whereas you can only connect with your audience on their terms through social media, you can reach your audience in real-time with emails, especially considering 47% of emails are viewed on a mobile device and most people carry around a cellphone.
This is significant and should be considered when planning your digital marketing strategy. It can become a lengthy process to guide your audience off social media platforms to your website to convert, leading your audience to drop off along the way. Instead, utilize email marketing campaigns to put products or services directly in front of customers, encouraging them to purchase and offering instant gratification with a simplified journey.
Another benefit of email marketing is you own your contact list. With social platforms, your followers and even the content you post are out of your control once you click post and are owned by the platform. If you are locked out of your social accounts or the platform disappears, you will lose access to all your followers and content. With your email contacts, you never have to worry about suddenly losing touch with your audience.
Participate in social media marketing
Social media marketing is an easy, low-cost way to increase visibility and brand awareness. Unlike traditional marketing strategies, you can engage with your target audience in a way you never could. Social media is a two-way street, allowing you and your audience to interact in real-time. Because of this, you help with customer service issues or even inspire your audience to take immediate action. Not only can you deepen the relationship with your audience, but your brand’s interactions are publicly available for other prospective audience members to see and become invested in.
On top of reaching audiences in a new way, you also have access to more information about your target audience than ever before. This can help tailor your marketing messaging to connect to your audience and earmark your competition. Besides a real-time look into their lives and interactions, you’re also provided an in-depth look at your audience’s demographic information. Keeping a virtual ear available for social listening lets you stay on top of upcoming industry changes, trends, and opportunities that can positively impact your business.
Take control of reputation management
When people trust your brand, they are likelier to recommend it to friends, repeat business, and overlook bad press. This means you must stay aware and maintain your online reputation. Your customers are already talking to you on social media, in the news, and giving feedback to you. This also means they’re talking about you. Monitoring social posts, reviews, and news about your brand is critical when highlighting positive feedback and addressing the negative before it becomes problematic. This also includes dispersing press releases and appropriately addressing negative feedback.
Public interactions – the good and the bad – influence how people think about the brand. Good reputation management can easily help a business gain trust and even leverage criticism to its advantage by improving a product or service or illuminating or apologizing for a situation. Consumers are inspired to act in response to the readily available information influenced by a brand’s reputation. Based on the information your audience will see online, ensuring a good and accurate reputation is essential to your business’s success.
Invest in paid advertising
In recent years, organic reach on social networks has begun to fall. This has been a wake-up call for brands to keep their minds open to digital marketing strategies like paid advertising to be seen and heard by their audience.
Investing in paid advertising enables businesses to target specific demographics and geographic locations to reach their desired audience. Directly appealing to an audience interested in your product or service results in higher engagement, website traffic, and conversions than anyone interacting with your brand. Even with the strongest organic marketing strategies, your audience may not see your content due to algorithm constraints or be considered qualified leads if they do see your content.
Paid ads get you closer to your audience by specifically showing your content to users based on their interests and habits you choose to target. Not only can you reach your target audience more easily, but you are also in control of your reach. Platforms and social channels allow you to upload a list of contacts to simultaneously target your current audience or create a lookalike audience to engage with an expanded audience.
Paid advertising allows brands to amplify their reach by expanding audience targeting to drive greater conversions without the uncertainty of organic measures.
Leverage the power of analytics
Analytics are more than just numbers – they can help you develop a deep understanding of your prospects and leads. By knowing who your audience is, what they need, and what evokes actions, creating messaging that resonates with them will become easier. Another way to leverage this newfound information is through optimization.
Not only can you better connect with your audience, but you can also more efficiently and quickly make operational decisions based on this data. Suppose you discover unexpected or less-than-desirable results from your marketing campaigns. This becomes an opportunity to change keywords, target a different audience segment, strengthen your CTA, or readjust a landing page based on your gathered information.
Google Analytics 4 is one of the most popular analytics tracking tools. With features such as source tracking, browsing behavior, and engagement, you can see how users are coming to your website, their journey, and their experience on the website.
Are you ready to strengthen your digital marketing strategy?
Our agency offers consulting, training, and in-house digital marketing services to help you and your business reach its goals. Our experienced marketing team can maintain your digital marketing initiatives, leaving you more time to focus on other aspects of your business.
Contact us today to discuss your goals and how we can work together to strengthen your digital marketing strategy!