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 developing key products in the MultiVu portfolio. So when it's time 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 insights I’ve gleaned from 13 years of experience 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 matters most in the short-term to your business 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. Each goal requires time and very different 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 = poor results.
5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day1 and no, that’s not just our kids watching other people play Fortnite. If you aren’t leveraging video in 2019, you will be left behind. If you are using video but don't have captions telling the story along with it, you are missing a huge opportunity. 85% of people watching video on Facebook do so with no sound, and social videos 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 you don’t have your own in-house way to track users, the next best way is to use tools from established brands that have a strong foothold with diverse audience. Facebook, Google and LinkedIn can target well because so many people already use their platforms. Therefore, they already have inroads to tracking engagement across domains.
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. Think people don’t click those ads? Think again. 65% of users click relevant ads when searching online compared to the 35% selecting organic search results4.
To get started, create a page that closely matches the keywords for your specific messaging and product. 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 by it 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, solutions finders, sales enablement tools etc. Pro tip: MultiVu can partner with you to create interactive experiences that can be hosted solo or embedded on your own web properties.
Do you click on display ads or pay attention when a video starts playing without your permission while reading something? Me neither. The hard truth is, display ads have less than a 1% conversion rate across all industries6. They are good for creating demand and brand awareness at the start of a buying cycle, but not so great for when a consumer is ready to take action. If you take away nothing else from this post, try to remember that search ads are better for conversion and display ads boost brand awareness. So many clients misunderstand the difference between ad types and get frustrated by what they consider to be lack of results.
Yes, search ads cost more but you aren’t always comparing apples to apples when choosing between ad campaigns. You have a much higher likelihood of conversion with search ads because of a user’s intent to buy. Search ads enjoy a clickthrough rate (CTR) of 1.91% across all industries compared to .35% for display ads7. Your budget should be based around the goal you are trying to achieve rather than the lowest price-point.
Content Marketing, Always
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 something does nothing to develop your brand’s presence online or define you as an authority in your industry. People crave connection. We want to communicate with people who think like we do. 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 interested audience is a chance to engage and unite people with similar experiences or circumstances and talk about the things that that directly impact 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 your audience.
Before your launch your PR/Marketing strategy, you have to create a plan and figure out the data you need to track to prove the tactics used were successful. Next, (and please don’t ignore this), 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, you should seek an expert’s help. Additionally, if you are utilizing a paid strategy, find out what reporting you can expect to receive upon completion of the campaign and recognize that the work to uncover the deeper insights behind that data will often be your own.
Data is necessary so you can continually hone your PR/Marketing strategy and make even more effective content in the future. Unfamiliar with analyzing digital marketing success? A simple introduction can be as simple as creating multiple versions of social posts or landing pages with separate distribution plans to see which one performs better - 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 tricky 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 here 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.