Now more than ever, digital marketing and all its subcategories are more critical to the success and growth of a business than ever before. Everything from SEO, social media, content creation, email and loads more are as important to everyday business as coffee is needed in the morning.
Internet users are growing by one million new users every single day; with over four billion people on the internet and more than 3.4 billion active social media users, it’s clear that digital marketing is vital for reaching larger audiences compared to traditional methods alone.
It’s proven that digital marketing helps you to better engage prospects, turn prospects into leads, and ultimately convert leads into loyal, delighted customers.
All that being said, if you’re a start-up or a smaller business with a limited online presence, all of this can be quite overwhelming and sometimes particularly frustrating. Embarking on a digital marketing journey is an adventure in itself, but it’s worthwhile in the end.
So, to help inspire your marketing team (and inspire us!) HubSpot cultivated a comprehensive list of digital marketing tips from the best marketing group out there… themselves! Scroll down to read 12 tips HubSpot needs you to know before you implement your own digital strategy.
- Know your customer.
- Match your content to every stage of a buyer’s journey.
- Don’t just write about your products or services.
- Focus on the long-term.
- Incorporate SEO into your overall content strategy.
- Understand the big picture when analysing an advertisement’s performance.
- Remain flexible as audience preferences shift.
- Remain consistent in design when launching a campaign.
- Become a growth leader for your company.
- Personalise your content.
- Try new things.
- Don’t underestimate backlinks.
1. Know your customer.
If you have a sales team, be sure to schedule some time with them. They’re the person between you and your customers, and they probably know them better than anyone else. By setting aside time to work with your sales team and listening to what they have to say about your customers, you’ll find inspiration for content will come easily.
“A good approach to take when you see bad ads is to understand the big picture. What is the overall journey someone is taking to get to the point where they see your ad?”
– Cathleen Smith, HubSpot CSM
2. Match your content to every stage of a buyer’s journey.
When talking about ads strategy, you need to match your content offer to a moment in a buyer’s journey. It doesn’t make sense to target an ad for a sales demo at someone in the awareness stage. It also doesn’t make sense to target an awareness stage offer, like a recommended blog post, at someone who isn’t ready to buy. Know your buyer’s journey and be sure to tailor your content for each stage.
3. Don’t just write about your products or services.
No-one likes it when you talk about how great you are, even if you are pretty darn great. By continuously talking about your products and services, you run the risk of alienating people that aren’t in the ‘purchasing’ stage of the buyer journey. Instead, invest time in learning about what your target audience is interested in, and develop content that aligns these interests with what your brand can offer.
4. Focus on the long-term.
Focus on delight, not short-sighted acquisition. There is a lot of pressure as a marketer to deliver leads to sales each month. But employing short-sighted tactics that generate some attention may result in a momentary spike ultimately won’t set you, or your customers, up for success in the long-term. As marketers, we should focus on generating demand through helpful and customer-centric campaigns.
“Today, in a world where customer experience has to come first, marketers have an opportunity to architect the path to growth through sales and services, as well.”
– Jeff Vocell, HubSpot Product Marketer
5. Incorporate SEO into your overall content strategy.
While positioning a blog as pure thought leadership publication has its merits, incorporating an SEO strategy into your topic selection and blog writing is the best way for long-term traffic growth. Use sites like SEMRush to find out what people in your industry are searching for and talking about as first step to maximising your blog’s potential.
6. Understand the bigger picture.
A good approach to take when you see bad ads is to understand the bigger picture. What is the overall journey someone is taking to get to the point where they see your ad? For Google ads, someone has to search for a keyword you chose, see your ad, have it resonate with them, click on the ad directly, and then have the landing page feel relevant and easily digestible. If your ads aren’t performing particularly well, don’t just look at the messaging itself, but see if there’s a mismatch between what someone is searching for, the messaging you’re showing them, and the landing page on which they end up. With that bigger picture in mind, when you see a ‘bad’ ad, look at all the different pieces of your campaign to determine what needs optimisation.
7. Remain flexible as audience preferences shift.
The world of digital marketing is ever changing; businesses constantly need to ensure their digital strategy remains relevant to their target audience. For instance, if you’re targeting a group who’s primarily active on Instagram, focus on that platform and consider using your resources to create engaging Instagram Stories, instead of spending too much time making YouTube videos. However, pay attention to if, and when, your audiences’ preferences shift.
“Invest time in learning about what your target audience is interested in, and develop content that aligns these interests with what your brand can offer.”
– Karla Cook, Senior Manager of the HubSpot Blog Team
8. Remain consistent in design when launching a campaign.
When launching an integrated campaign on multiple channels, make sure you tie together your creative design and messaging so there is a red thread throughout the campaign. Consistency is the key to successful branding. And consistency goes beyond the product itself. The brand promise must be clear with every interaction each stakeholder experiences. That means every part of the organisation has a role to play in branding from research and development to finance to talent development.
9. Become a growth leader for your company.
Marketers have never had a better opportunity to be growth leaders. Marketing has historically been responsible for attracting new leads and then passing them onto Sales. Today, in a world where customer experience has to come first, marketers have an opportunity to architect the path to growth through sales and services as well.
Instead of solely thinking about how you can bring in new customers, ask yourself, and your colleagues around you, what happens when this lead is passed over to sales? And what happens when Sales pass them to services as a customer? It’s likely you’ll find opportunities for advocacy and marketing embedded in those moments that will help you grow better.
10. Personalise your content.
Personalise your content to differentiate your business from competitors and create a unique customer experience. More than 40% of customers switch brands due to poor online personalisation.
“While positioning a blog as a pure thought leadership publication has its merits, incorporating an SEO strategy into your topic selection and blog writing is the best way for long-term traffic growth”
– AJ Beltis, HubSpot Content Optimisation Specialist.
11. Try new things.
If you see that something could be working better, go back to the drawing board and try something new. This can apply to internal processes within your team or with your digital marketing efforts. For example, if you’re experiencing low engagement with your marketing emails, test out creative subject lines to boost your open rates. Or release a series of themed content that keeps your audience coming back for more. Small changes can have big results.
12. Don’t underestimate backlinks.
Marketers are increasingly shifting their SEO strategies from keywords to topics. In other words, the more keywords you target that all belong to a similar topic, the more expertise you’ll demonstrate, and the better you can perform for each individual keyword. But expertise and organic traffic don’t happen at the same time.
While topics are important to building your reputation, you still need the backlinks – a major ranking factor for Google – to back it up. While you can create content on each topic, share this content in as many ways as you can. By networking with people in your industry and tracking how many other publishers are linking back to your content, you can get a better sense of how quickly your content will perform the way you want it to.