8 Ways to Win at Digital Marketing
I admit it! I'm a nerd. I endlessly research information to help MultiVu and our clients get exposure and engagement for their brand and products. I’m embarrassed to admit that I have had more than one strange dream about LinkedIn ads and secret meetings with Gary Vaynerchuk. I also spend a lot of time analyzing what digital marketing tactics work and what’s just extremely expensive smoke and mirrors. You see, a large part of my job is helping develop key products in the MultiVu portfolio. So when it's time to launch a campaign, I have the same concerns you do. How do I reach our target market with messaging that resonates? Should I use ads? Which ones work and OMG why are they so expensive!? And perhaps most pressing, how do I get this all done, make it look easy, keep my kids alive and impress my boss?
Deep breaths. You can slay all your marketing “dragons” once you have the info you need to make better choices. Here are some things I've learned over 13 years of devising client strategy, designing content and helping launch multiple product marketing campaigns at MultiVu.
A plan with no clear goal is a gamble. You need to decide what your business needs to accomplish most in the short-term and who you are trying to reach with your message. I see far too many clients select every box on our strategy form when we ask what their most important goal is. They believe they are covering their bases but the truth is, meeting each goal requires a different set of tactics. If you want to run a marathon in 6 months, your plan will look very different from someone who wants to learn a new language in that same timeframe. Lack of clarity around your goal or trying to achieve too many goals at once is a recipe for failure.
5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day1. If you aren’t leveraging video in 2019, you will be left behind. If you are using video but haven't thought about captions or transcription, you are missing a huge opportunity. 85% of people watching video on Facebook do so with no sound, and social videos (videos with text overlays) generate 1200% more shares2. Another reason for content that can be interacted with multiple ways? People with disabilities. Inclusion is not just a nice concept, it’s a must for every aware and responsible brand.
Social Media Retargeting
We have all been retargeted but a lot of people don't realize how it works. Let’s say you visit a website and click around to various things that interest you, but abandon the site before completing a purchase. Later, you are surfing Facebook (on average people search 135 minutes each day) and you see an ad that reminds you about the product or site you left behind. That is retargeting. Ads like these account for a 12% increase in sales across all campaigns3. If your company doesn't have its own proprietary way to track users across their internet travels, the next best way is to use tools from established brands that have a strong foothold with diverse audiences. Cision, Facebook, Google and LinkedIn have tools that can enable you to gain insights about your audience so that you can create precision campaigns that convert.
Maximizing Google Ads
Most people only think of Google Ads (previously known as AdWords) as a tool to drive traffic to the homepage of their corporate website. You will be at a distinct advantage if you use these ads to push traffic to landing pages specifically crafted for your product/service and call-to-action. Think about it, the people clicking on those search ads have intent to buy. Do people even click those ads?! YES. 65% of users click relevant ads when searching online compared to the 35% selecting organic search results4.
To get started, create a page for your product or call-to-action and then create a Google Ad that features precision keywords instead of broad search terms. A test and tweak approach works best here. One caveat, you must create a high-quality page that provides an appropriate solution for search queries which include those chosen keywords. If people quickly abandon your page after clicking, Google will consider that a sign that the quality is low and your Google Ads quality score will reflect that. Higher quality ads lower your cost per conversion because your cost per click (CPC) will go down5.
A static webpage is great, but an interactive experience that provides value to the user AND to the marketer receiving the consumer insights revealed is even better. Data from this can be used to add people to your funnel and re-engage with them again - this time in a more targeted fashion. Don’t be intimidated because it sounds complicated; it really is not hard to get started. You can repurpose your existing content into assessments, quizzes, sales enablement tools etc. Let us help! Our team can take your assets and create interactive experiences that we can host standalone or on an MNR. They could also be embedded on your company's website.
Do you click on display ads or pay attention when a video starts playing without your permission while reading something online? I don't. The hard truth is, display ads have less than a 1% conversion rate across all industries6. Don't get me wrong, they are good for creating brand awareness at the start of a buying cycle, but not so great for when a consumer is ready to take action. Search ads are better for conversion and display ads help boost brand awareness. However, both can be a massive waste of money if you aren't doing your homework before committing. Choose where to spend your marketing dollars by determining your goal and carefully selecting a vendor with a proven track-record in that area. Buyer beware: if you don't understand the difference between CPM, CPC, DSPs or how the ad-buying process works - you and your budget are vulnerable so seek an educated partner to help you navigate.
To be clear, targeted and effective marketing can be pricey but ROI is the number that truly matters here. Well-crafted search ads have a much higher likelihood of conversion because of a user’s intent to buy. These ads also enjoy a clickthrough rate (CTR) of 1.91% across all industries compared to 0.35% for display ads7. You truly do get what you pay for in this arena so if your budget is extremely limited, you may be better off using your dollars elsewhere.
Consistently Create Great Content
Your brand has to be creating and publishing content regularly in order to boost your visibility and maximize reach. Only engaging with people when you want to sell them something does little to develop your brand’s reputation or define you as an authority in your industry. People crave connection. We want to communicate with like-minded individuals. We want to learn new things that make us better at work, at home and in our daily lives. Every interaction your brand has with an audience is a chance to engage with people that share similar experiences or circumstances. These energized audiences are ready to talk about and share things that matter to them.
You should be creating content in many forms and publishing it daily - blog posts, social media updates, tools, whitepapers or infographics are all good choices. Above all, your content should be valuable, relevant and consistent in order to create and retain an audience.
Before your launch any PR/Marketing strategy, you have to determine the data needed to prove the tactics you choose are successful. Do your partners provide this data or will you need to utilize third-party tools to get this done? Next, (and please don’t ignore this step), what will you do with that information once you have it? If you gather data but aren’t clear why or how you will use it, how can you be sure your tactics are working? A great first step is to ask what reporting you can expect from your vendors, at what intervals and how can you use the data to help you improve future campaigns?
Data is not just a trendy buzzword. It's crucial for honing your PR/Marketing strategy and helping guide content creation efforts. Are you a newbie to data analysis? Creating a couple versions of your brand's social posts with different verbiage and visuals to see what generates higher engagement is a simple introduction - also known as A/B testing. Just be sure to identify where success comes from by carefully tracking the source of clicks and conversions.
I hope these tips have shed some light on the complex world of digital marketing and how to improve the quality of your results when leveraging paid, earned, owned and social channels. However, if you feel overwhelmed and need some help talking strategy, creating content or getting earned media coverage - MultiVu’s 50+ industry creatives, strategists and executives are here to help!
ABOUT THE EXPERT: Melissa Elsner
Melissa Elsner is the Director of Online Operations at MultiVu, a Cision company. She began her career as a web designer before moving on to product development and operations management. Melissa and her team of project managers and designers work with clients to create strategic marketing and PR campaigns that attract and engage global audiences. They also created and maintain the MultiVu website.
Melissa is a diehard Giants fan, a busy mom to two teen boys and a full-time business student at Penn State University. She strives to be a leader that empowers and supports her team to reach their highest potential while having fun along the way.
MultiVu, a Cision/PR Newswire division, produces and places compelling content strategically across multiple channels globally to deliver targeted results and drive desired engagement. Created in 2002 from network news veterans and media relations professionals, MultiVu has grown into a content creation and media strategy company, leading in the broadcast communications industry. More information can be found on www.multivu.com.