These are strange times for anyone working in digital marketing, whether you work in an agency or you're the marketer of your own business. There have never been so many ways to engage with your audience, many of which are now online.
Additionally, we are part of a fast-changing industry powered by technology breakthroughs and creative minds. With a cross-platform audience, chances are you need to be both fluent and confident in content, email, and social media in order to reach your audience effectively.
The marketing channels you choose to use need to help your business achieve its goals, and need to be in the same spaces as your target market. Not surprisingly, they need to be working together in order to best achieve whatever goals you have.
Connecting your marketing channels
From the list below, which channels do you currently use?
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Offline marketing
And which ones are already working together? Not just the channel themselves but also their strategies.
Does your marketing strategy have a section on how these channels can benefit each other and connect for maximum reach?
How about your data? Can you track your marketing channels from start to finish, and identify how each elements contributes to lead generation and customer acquisition?
What we see pretty often is companies with a whole variety of systems - Unbounce for landing pages, Mailchimp for emails, various social channels with their own logins and analytics, PPC accounts on Google and Facebook, and plenty of other systems and processes in place.
Often, this results in disconnected marketing. The social channels don't necessarily follow the same strategy as the emails, content is promoted across various social channels with the same messages, and landing pages have a different agenda again.
On top of all of this, each channel has its own analytics. So you can see traffic or follower increases, open rates and click-throughs, or conversion and form fills... but you can't see them all together, and you can't easily identify how many touches an individual has had before converting.
Connecting your Strategy
Instead of having individual strategies for each channel or platform, it's time to get connected.
Start with your overall business goals. Forget about things like Twitter followers, likes, traffic, and everything we usually look at in marketing. Look at what your business wants to achieve - the bottom line. What are your growth targets?
Then look at your audience. Where are they? Who are they? What matters to them?
These two elements form the core of your strategy. When you start making a plan, every step of it should be checked back against whether it contributes to your goals and whether it appeals to your audience.
Building your Connected Strategy
- Build some content that's designed to attract and engage your audience - base it on what their pain points are, rather than what you're trying to promote.
- Start planning how you'll use that content - for an inbound marketing strategy, you'll want to have high-value content. A pillar piece of content that you can ask for people's email address to access will give you inbound leads that you can nurture. Supplementary content will continue to attract and engage your target audience.
- Create a landing page to host your content offer. Include a form to download the piece.
- Identify your promotion channels. This pillar content, and any supplementary content, needs to be promoted - you can't rely on people finding it organically. The channels you use should be based on your audience research.
- Use email to share the content with your existing database - provided it's of interest to them
- Use the relevant social channels where your audience will be
- Consider paid search or paid social
- Create a follow up campaign
Connecting your Data
When you're running any kind of marketing campaign, you want to know how successful it has been. Which means you need your data to be connected so you can track every action.
At a minimum, if you have multiple disparate systems, you need to bring all of that information into one place so you can assess it. A reporting system like Google Data Studio can draw in data from some of those places, but you need to be collecting more data still.
Spreadsheets are usually the way people try to connect all of this information, but it's time consuming to add everything, and it's still incredible difficult, if not impossible, to attribute the final outcome (customers) to the various actions that contributed to them.
All of this difficulty is why we use HubSpot. Having a system that is not only designed to connect your marketing together but that also integrates all of your data into one place. The HubSpot reporting enables revenue attribution and complete campaign analysis.
For instance, I can see when someone who has received an email clicks on a link, I can see if they download a piece of content or look at various website pages. I can see if they came to our database through social media (including which channel), organic traffic and online signup, or through offline activities. I can even see exactly which forms they've filled out, any times we might have called that person, and any deals they're associated with.
Getting some help
This is a very brief look at the importance of a strong digital marketing strategy, but hopefully, it has shed some light on an ever-changing industry. You can read more on digital marketing in our blog and if you'd like any further information about how to use these channels together, then reach out by calling us on 0117 933 0570 or you can fill in our contact form and we'll get back to you.
And if you have questions about HubSpot - well, check out our HubSpot FAQs post and discover why we love it, if it's a cult, and why they have such a great free offering!