Aaron Agius is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of the award-winning global marketing agency Louder.Online.
There are thousands of potential digital marketing strategies out there. But in the 11 years I’ve spent running my own marketing agency and consulting for various businesses, I’ve learned that there are really only four key elements that every digital marketing strategy needs.
If your strategy consistently includes these four elements, you already have a leg up on the competition. And if your digital marketing doesn’t include these, you’re likely missing out on new leads, sales and growth.
Let’s start with the first:
1. An Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
Any great digital marketing strategy starts with research about your core prospect to make up your ideal customer profile — your ICP.
At a minimum, this includes:
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• Geographic region
• Core problem they’re facing
Thanks to a wealth of great marketing tools today, you can find this data from existing customers pretty easily. If you don’t have this info already, you can pay for market research services, perform keyword research or even participate in online forums where your customers hang out.
Bottom line: You want to know as much of this demographic data as possible. Knowing this data allows you to envision your prospect vividly as if you’re talking to them one on one.
2. A Clearly Defined Customer Journey
Beware of falling into the trap of creating marketing assets just for the sake of it.
Having run a marketing agency for over a decade, I understand the temptation to “just get it done.” But you need a customer journey roadmap instead of a random approach.
Also known as a sales funnel, your customer journey is a planned series of steps your ideal prospect takes before becoming a customer.
A customer journey has four basic stages:
• Low Awareness: Prospect isn’t aware of their problem or not aware of potential solutions.
• Some Awareness: Prospect understands they have a problem but doesn’t know which solution is best.
• High Awareness: Prospect knows they want to solve their problem with a certain type of solution, but hasn’t chosen the provider/company yet.
• Most Awareness: Prospect has narrowed down their decision to a few products and is ready to make the buying decision.
It’s important to have a clear vision of your customer journey, and then create the right content around each stage, according to their level of awareness.
The Importance of the Right Content at the Right Time
A sales page with pricing and a call to action to buy your product should be reserved for the final stage of your funnel. Otherwise, your prospect simply might not be ready for this step, as they don’t know what makes your product the best choice.
On the other hand, a downloadable PDF with general tips on how to solve your market’s problem would be more appropriate for the first stage of the buyer journey. They’re still learning about their problem and need to learn about their options first.
So by keeping the customer journey in mind, your marketing strategy is mapped to a clear path. It will be easier to create the right messaging at the right time.
This ensures you don’t scare prospects away by introducing “salesy” content too soon. The end result is a gradual, smooth sales funnel with higher conversions.
3. Easy-To-Consume Content
In 2020, the pandemic led even more people to engage with digital content that’s easy to consume.
For instance, podcasts have become more popular. The audio platform Spotify even credited its 24% growth and increased engagement in 2020 to podcasts.
And it makes sense. Now, more than ever, consumers want quick, easy and fast access to everything — right from their phone. But podcasts aren’t the only way to create quick, digestible content that people can consume on the go. You can repurpose long-form blogs into short videos that condense the content’s message and require less time commitment from your customers.
But even if you don’t do that, make sure your blog content is formatted responsively for mobile devices.
The easier you make it to consume your marketing content, the more likely your audience will actually engage with it.
4. Social Proof
Social proof is a powerful tool in psychology and any digital marketing arsenal. These days there are so many businesses making big claims online that customers are understandably skeptical.
Reviews, testimonials and case studies are excellent ways to show social proof. Most customers today will browse reviews before making their purchase decision.
So if you don’t have any of these, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage.
Let’s look at how to incorporate each of these social proof indicators into your digital marketing strategy:
• Reviews: Luckily, getting reviews is pretty easy (assuming you have a great product). Simply reach out to existing customers for their feedback and ask for permission to put it on your website. If they’re willing to provide a headshot photo as well, that’s a big bonus.
• Video Testimonials: These are the “superhero” version of reviews. Instead of just a one-sentence opinion or 5-star rating, you can ask your most passionate customers to record a short video. These testimonials can really capture attention and engage your prospects on an emotional level while boosting their confidence in buying from you.
• Case Studies: Your ideal customers have a problem and they need a solution. Case studies show your market exactly how you’ve helped similar people or companies solve their problems — in great detail. These work particularly well for B2B marketing, where a lot of in-depth analysis will be done before pulling the trigger.
These 4 Key Elements Can Supercharge Your Marketing Campaigns
Marketing is never “easy,” but it can be simple by focusing on these four things. If you create an accurate ICP, understand your buyer’s journey, make content easily consumable and use social proof at every turn, you’re in good shape. Your digital marketing strategy — and your business — can be more profitable than ever.
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Author: Aaron Agius, Forbes Councils Member