Part 3 of this month’s Halloween-inspired blog series focuses on fear — specifically, the fear of digital marketing. A few tips and tricks from Mark Pedersen, PCI’s new Director of Marketing Strategy.
Digital marketing may seem a little scary. Maybe downright terrifying. There are dozens of tools and a seemingly infinite number of tactics. On top of that, trends can change daily, or even hourly in some cases. But rest assured; digital marketing is not a thing of nightmares. In an increasingly digital-first world, it’s absolutely necessary.
With that in mind, here are a few tricks to try and some common pitfalls to avoid for your next big initiative.
SEO and SEM
Search engines are crafty creatures, and there isn’t a magic concoction to boost page rankings. But, there are some key ingredients. Gone are the days of cramming keywords into your content to achieve high rankings. Now, it is about value. Longer, more comprehensive and useful content is what matters. For instance, this article would theoretically rank much higher than a simple list of digital marketing tactics, without much else. Use of meta descriptions give you control over how your results display. H1 tags that accurately describe content will boost rankings as well.
Furthermore, better SEO directly equates to better SEM. When running a CPC campaign, the major search engines assign a Quality Score for your site. The Quality Score directly affects both the rank and cost of CPC campaigns. This ensures that ads are not only relevant, but also valuable to end users. Boost your Quality Score with solid SEO and by making sure the ad copy is relevant to the landing page content.
Lastly, if your site is not responsive, be very afraid. Mobile-friendliness is a significant ranking factor. Other ranking killers include dead links and slow load times.
We’ve all seen it. The digital boogeyman that follows us around the web with ads for sites we visited or products we viewed. While it might be a little creepy, that boogeyman is simply there to create a more relevant and tailored web experience. For digital marketers, retargeting is an extremely effective tool to boost conversions. It’s also cost-effective since you’re only targeting users who have visited your site. Get the most from ad retargeting with audience segmentation and customized creative.
Display ad networks are your digital spider web, and give you the opportunity to capture users with strategic placements in high traffic areas. Understanding your audience will be the key to success. Contextual, demographic, and geographic targeting are just a few ways to spin your web in the right place. In many cases, this is your chance to make the right first impression. Creativity matters.
Perhaps the most mysterious medium of all digital marketing is social. We like to think of social in terms of “sharable.” Share content on social pages (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) that your audience will find interesting or useful and will likely to share with their own networks. Encourage others to share content from your website (blog posts are particularly easy to get people to share). Create hashtags so that others can share in the same conversation. Finding the right mix of platforms depends largely on campaign goals and target audience, but it always comes back to sharing.
Your inbox fills up fast, and all of those emails compete for your attention. Remember the person who didn’t dress up for the Halloween party last year? Me either. Remember the T-Rex riding rodeo clown? That was awesome. And that is email marketing. Awesome subject lines cut through the noise and get clicks. Avoid the outrageous, but subject lines do need to be creative and engaging, if not a tad quirky. Still scared? Do some A/B testing and look at the open rates of the versions with a little more creativity. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
The Final Destination
And last, but certainly not least...your website. A digital strategy is only as strong as the destination, yet often times the landing page is the weakest link. Users need a seamless and cohesive digital experience that lands them exactly where they expect to be, and tells them exactly what you want them to do.