• Joanna Pelletier

How to Build a Winning Digital Marketing Strategy: Taking it to the Next Level (Part 2 of 2)

You’ve done your research. You know your audience. Now it’s time to start building your marketing plan.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to use thoughtfully crafted, targeted website and social media messaging that connects your audience to your brand.

With the right copy and the right mixture of systems and tactics, you can start your path toward bringing in more revenue and standing as a leader in your industry.

Optimize Your Website

For most medium-sized businesses, the perfect website doesn’t have to be flashy or cost as much as a down payment on a 4-bedroom condo in Lincoln Park.

Instead, the perfect website is one that clearly establishes your brand and provides your customers with the best experience possible.

It should be welcoming, fast, easy to navigate, and include keywords and content that help your customers solve their everyday problems and questions.

Your website should also be lightweight and technically sound. By "lightweight and technically sound," we're talking about the performance and speed of your website.

Things like large images, extra code, and excessive 301 redirects can make your site difficult for people to use and for search engines to navigate, which in turn can make it difficult to rank in Google or other search engines.

Removing these issues from your site enhances its performance and its likelihood of ranking for a particular topic.

To learn more about optimizing your website, check out our handy On-Site SEO guide or contact us to set up a free consultation.

Leverage Paid Search & Social Media Ads

Ten years into the social media game, paid advertising is now driving brand engagement and exposure on major social media networks like Facebook and Instagram. Simply using an organic strategy and avoiding paid social isn't going to cut it anymore.

When it comes to running social media ads, you need to choose you social network carefully. Instagram, Snapchat and Tik Tok, for example, are perfect platforms for targeting younger audiences.

Leveraging the right demographics, behaviors, and interests also has greater advantages over any general campaign.

The more dialed in you can be with your targeting, the better your results you will bring.

If you don't have that information, plan to set enough budget aside to experiment and understand what works and what doesn't work.

The results won't always come immediately, but they will come with time, patience, and observation.

Search engine ads, on the other hand, are great for advertising to people who are looking for something specific or are looking to solve a specific problem.

By targeting keywords that are related to your products and customer pain points, you can increase the likelihood of being found by people who need what you have to offer.

Combined, social and paid ads are powerful tools that can supercharge any marketing initiatives and help you gain exposure at a faster rate.

Hyper Targeted Hashtags

Hashtags are an absolute must if you're using Instagram. They always increase exposure and engagement, meaning more people are going to see your content.

Knowing how to wield hashtags can provide you with a fast, free marketing tool.

For maximum exposure, you need to combine hashtags from four broad categories:

  1. Generic popular hashtags

  2. Localized popular hashtags

  3. Niche-specific hashtags

  4. Branded hashtags

For any popular hashtag, you want to make sure you’re using keywords or phrases with 100,000+ followers/hits.

For niche hashtags, look for phrases or keywords that are specific to your industry.

Of course, you want to make sure you have your own branded hashtags as well.

Brand and campaign-centric hashtags will direct consumers to you without worrying about your competitors.

They’ll also give your audience a chance to interact with you!

They can share their own content with those hashtags so make sure you’ve got something unique that people will remember.

Don’t be afraid to play with a few phrases to see what catches on.

Not sure where to find the best hashtags? Check out Keyhole for great real-time hashtag analytics.

Facebook/Instagram Stories

Facebook and Instagram Stories are literally a click away for the audience once they load their app or your profile, and are a great way to quickly share content with your audience.

Ephemeral, fun, and short, stories can be a great way for testing testing out bigger marketing campaigns or smaller ideas.

Stories should always be genuine and an expression of creativity. While it's good to have some polish, they don't have to have the same level of polish as a United Airlines Billboard.

On social media, consumers don't care about polish. In fact, too much polish on social media is suspicious at best. Repeat after me: you don't have to spend hours crafting the perfect story.

What really matters is engagement and creativity. Use music, fun text, stickers, or eye-catching brand-related images that are sure to captivate someone's interest.

Post about company news, new product launches, events, fun facts about your brand, polls, current projects, or a glimpse behind scenes to generate buzz around your products and services. You can also answer questions, ask questions, or just share silly (and relevant) memes or graphics.

Be sure to also add links to your profile and website so people can find you and follow you easily.

Super Remarketing

Whatever you want to call it, remarketing/retargeting is essential for any paid social or paid search campaign.

Through retargeting, you get a second chance to remind users of products or pages they recently viewed; it delivers a “targeted” ad to users who visited your website and didn’t make a purchase after they leave your site and are looking elsewhere on the internet.

It’s a really cost-effective tool that can works especially well when you link it to social media platforms.

The more exposure a consumer has to your brand, the more likely they are to think of you when they decide to make a purchase.

If a customer looks at your product (e.g., a pair of shoes) and then doesn’t buy them that day, remarketing gives you the chance to put the same pair of shoes in front of them again (usually as an ad on Facebook or Instagram). It reminds them that the shoes are still there waiting for them!

These are usually done in an organic, seamless way. For example, the sidebar on Facebook generally cycles through a number of these remarketed ads that are pretty user specific.

It’s connecting with the people who have shown interest in your brand in the first place. And now it’s just giving them more exposure to something they were already lookiing for.

Publishing During Peak Times

When it comes to organic social, you need to post at the time of day when your content will be most visible to the maximum number of potential customers.

Peak times vary from platform to platform. Twitter users and Facebook users aren’t always active at the same time.

The best way to sort out peak times is to leverage an AI like Crowdfire or Zoho. Through these platforms, you can plan ahead and manage your social media posts across platforms with ease.

It's important to know that peak posting times aren’t necessarily static, either. User preferences change, and, depending on your customer demographic, it may be hyper specific in a way that doesn’t match up with the current trends.

With these tools, you can launch your own social media marketing campaign with confidence and success.

Remember – you want to create an authentic, organic experience for your audience. After all, isn't that the point of social media?

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