How to plan the digital engagement of your content marketing strategy
Having well designed content isn’t good enough. You need to have an excellent digital content distribution strategy and your marketing agency has the experts who can help.
A generation ago, digital was a rounding error in marketing budgets, with success measured in hundreds of pageviews rather than millions of customers. Today, it’s the greater part of ad spend worldwide — with global groups like WPP reporting 60% or more of their revenues coming from stuff seen on laptops and phones. And growing.
But just as design isn’t art and content isn’t literature, digital isn’t mass advertising. As a digital agency, what gets us out of bed each day isn’t the lust for awards or the buzz of seeing our work on the silver screen. It’s about numbers. Percentages. Conversion rates. The hard results of pull-through and lead generation.
The great thing about digital is that it lets you collect information about the outcomes of your activity… and put it to good use.
That’s why we’ve kept our digital secrets to our chests for so long. Because it’s not something separate to other channels any more; it’s the core of any successful content marketing strategy. Here are some pointers for getting the most out of your digital partners, even if you’re not into the bits-n’-bytes stuff yourself.
Share your content marketing findings early
The A-frame layout. The A/B Split. AIDA. Time-limited offers. They’re all methods for honing advertising campaigns… methods that go back to the dawn of time. (Or at least to Claude Hopkins in the 1920s.) You’ve probably got insights and findings from offline campaigns going back years. So just like your insights on how your customers respond to different types of design, you need to share what you know.
Your content marketing agency can take these results and run with them. Because the great thing about digital: these tricks are just the start of what you can do online. Not just A/B Splits, but A-Z ones. Not just two or three offers, but offers customized for an individual’s purchasing history. And content written to appeal not to mass segments, but tailored niches.
All inbound campaigns (like the ones we do) are exploratory: they seek to be seen in the places where customers are, leaving content lying in wait for them when they’re ready. And often a few insights from your experienced people make the content more creative and the engagement deeper. So never forget to share your insights.
Let the market tell you what’s working
With that comes a corollary. If an offline campaign (say, a broadcast execution with a huge budget) goes seriously wrong, it’s still been seen by millions of people. Creating a negative impression of you. But if an online/inbound campaign isn’t quite right, the negative impact is minimal. Simply because not many people saw it!
So if you like a campaign’s central idea but are worried it’s too off-the-wall, err on the side of openness. Don’t cut off a promising campaign from its chance of making an impact; that unusual concept or intriguing design may turn out to be insanely great. Let’s face it, it’d be great to have the next “Apple 1984” in your marketing strategy.
Take time to understand the numbers
Online marketing generates a lot of data, and a good marketing agency spends a lot of time behind the scenes collecting and aggregating data to give you meaningful reports on how your campaigns are performing.
These numbers tell you how your hard work translates into success. They’ll give you an idea of audiences you never suspected were out there, sites and areas of content you’ll find fertile recruiting ground, even ideas for messages that take you into new markets. We appreciate it’s less fun than planning campaign concepts and writing marketing messages — but to get the most out of your agency relationship, make sure you’re up to snuff with the analytics.
Share what you’re doing with other agencies
We understand: you have relationships and histories with other agencies. Let us work with them, not in isolation. Our pet hate — because it happens so often — is seeing a brand with a totally different feel between its online and offline creative work. The traits and quirks that make you “you” need to evoke the same responses from readers no matter the media.
Why? Because a joined-up brand, consistent across channels, gets greater share-of-mind in the market and leads to higher engagement. Win-win. We’re perfectly happy to work with your other agencies; let us do what’s best for you.
And always, always bring it back to the objectives!
It sounds obvious, but amid the sound and fury of a campaign in full flight, plenty of people forget why they’re doing it in the first place. Our success as your agency depends entirely on how well we answer your marketing objectives — so no matter what happens on the way, always keep asking yourself, “Is this work doing what it should be doing?”
Digital is a vast and often complex subject. Not a channel, but a universe, each email and landing page a “nanochannel” of its own. And that’s precisely why it has so much potential. With two billion people connecting via phone, tablet, laptop and new devices that look more like glasses and watches, there’s a way to see simplicity in the complexity: remember the customer is the customer, no matter what channel you’re interacting on.
A data-driven approach to working together
We don’t want to go on about delivering a “service”. What we do is much more than that. We’ll change the way your entire organisation approaches marketing. So what you get from your digital marketing manager at Tomorrow People?
- Performance targets and forecasting
- Channel management; paid, earned and owned media
- Integrated campaigns
- Thought leadership management
- Lead nurturing and scoring
- Reporting contribution and attribution
- Marketing automation
- Account-based marketing
- Audience profiling and analysis
- On and offline strategies
- Hubspot, Eloqua, Marketo, and Pardot consultancy, setup and configuration
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Channel identification and optimisation
- Consultation, strategy, and business transformation
- Data and intelligence
- ROI and optimisation
- Ongoing training
The digital marketing dos and dont’s
- Expect to invest in marketing automation tools if you haven’t already
- Expect to invest in data
- Expect to integrate your MA platform with your CRM
- Expect to get your sales team involved
- Expect to continuously refine the process based on the data at hand
- Expect to be asked for feedback — it’s a two way relationship
- Expect a complete transformation overnight — the best things take time
- Expect sales without your involvement — leads don’t close themselves
As your content marketing agency, we can run programs that energize and activate your audience in ways you’ve never seen before, but as always the vital ingredient for realizing the true potential of digital is … you!
So no matter what channel your campaign slots into, share your knowledge and experience with your agency in good time. The outcome will be better as a result.
With that in mind, let’s get serious about some practical stuff. Not only can your digital marketing manager offer some great consultancy, they can also introduce you to some important tools and methods that can accelerate your content marketing strategy.
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