It’s plain to see that the online space is only getting more and more crowded — and attention spans in the digital age are fleeting. This is making for a more complex digital marketing landscape.
That means simply churning out copious amounts of content won’t be enough to reach prospective customers and boost brand awareness. The key to standing out and achieving the best results lies in optimizing your digital marketing strategy. To do this, teams will have to find opportunities to hone in on the value, relevance and impact of their content.
We’re exploring why strategic optimization will be critical to digital marketing success in 2023 and beyond while also delving into the techniques and approaches your organization can introduce to craft more impactful content that:
- Drives engagement.
- Builds brand authority.
- Leads to business growth.
The Challenges Facing Digital Marketers Today
When it comes to your digital strategy, it’s important to recognize that the marketing space today is characterized by evolving technologies, changing consumer behaviors and fierce competition. With all that comes several distinct challenges that digital marketers will need to address to stay ahead in today’s dynamic environment.
1. Understanding and Connecting With Your Audience
You’ve heard the old saying, “know your audience.” This is especially true when it comes to your digital marketing strategy. Why? Because, essentially, targeting the wrong individuals is like talking to a wall. By knowing and understanding who your target market is — including their demographics, interests and pain points — you can tailor your digital marketing efforts to reach and resonate with these individuals.
Conducting thorough market research, analyzing data and gathering insights is an effective way for teams to create a buyer persona that accurately represents an ideal customer. This is important to decipher the motivations, preferences and behaviors of those you’re talking to — before taking on your next marketing campaign.
2. Attracting Quality Leads
A lead is good — but a qualified lead is great. Unfortunately, generating these prospects in the digital age is becoming increasingly challenging for marketers. That’s why teams are looking to create innovative lead-generation strategies that often focus on:
- Building trust.
- Providing value-driven content.
- Leveraging social proof.
- Optimizing the lead capture process.
Emphasizing quality over quantity (i.e., prioritizing and nurturing qualified leads) will be key to attracting and converting high-quality prospects with a genuine interest in your offerings.
3. Creating Compelling Content
We’re in the era of content overload, which means cutting through the noise and creating unique and engaging content is challenging. And, because it’s increasingly difficult to capture and retain the attention of your target audience, it’s crucial to produce premium content that focuses on storytelling.
In fact, research tells us that storytelling can be up to 22 times more memorable than facts. This is likely your best opportunity to evoke emotion and connect with your audience on a deeper level, promoting invaluable long-term loyalty.
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4. Making Websites Accessible
Most digital marketers are recognizing an increased emphasis on inclusivity and accessibility, and your brand’s website and content are no exception.
So, what exactly is accessible marketing? It’s the use of inclusive design practices that make it possible for users of all abilities to fully experience your brand and its communication efforts. While there are web accessibility guidelines that outline what your website should be doing, here are a few best practices for crafting more accessible online marketing:
- Use descriptive alt text for images.
- Implement responsive design for mobile use.
- Provide closed captions or transcripts for video content.
- Choose readable fonts and the appropriate color contrast.
- Enable compatibility with assistive technologies.
What’s more, incorporating search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to improve your brand’s visibility, and therefore accessibility, in search engine results will be a large factor in who your marketing efforts reach. This includes conducting keyword research to optimize your meta tags, headings and content to attract more organic website traffic — ultimately enhancing the user experience and contributing to higher conversions.
Emerging Trends in Digital Marketing
You want your content marketing to stay ahead of the curve, and recognizing rising shifts is crucial to staying relevant and adapting to the ever-changing digital landscape. By keeping an eye on emerging trends, your marketing team is better equipped to identify new marketing channels, technologies and consumer preferences.
Establishing an Omnichannel Presence
The rise of omnichannel marketing (i.e., the seamless integration of branding, messaging and online and offline touchpoints to create a consistent and unified customer experience) has quickly become an essential digital marketing tactic.
And, the 2020 Omnichannel Statistics Report reveals that marketers who utilized at least 3 channels for campaigns enjoyed a 287% increase in sales, compared to teams that only targeted a single channel.
The explosion of social media over the past decade has done a lot to promote the growth of influencer marketing, which involves tapping into a chosen individual’s sway and credibility for the brand’s benefit.
While this is a powerful strategy to reach consumers authentically, it’s imperative that you choose someone who aligns with your unique brand values and target audience — or else this can come across as insincere to consumers and have the opposite effect.
Google Analytics 4
If your team uses Google Analytics, you’ll want to lend an ear: Starting July 1st, 2023, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is set to fully replace Universal Analytics. The most up-to-date version of this popular platform can provide your organization with more advanced insights and measurement capabilities.
Whether you’re making the switch or dipping your toes into the platform for the first time, GA4 supports data-driven decisions and more personalized experiences to help optimize your campaigns.
Strategizing Mobile First
More and more sales are coming from mobile shoppers: Statistics from Zippia report that, as of 2023, 79% of smartphone users have used their mobile devices to make a purchase. Ensuring your website, emails and content are optimized for mobile devices will be critical to tap into the expanding mobile market and drive conversions.
Short-Form Video Content
Popularized by platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, short-form video content has gained traction among digital marketers as a way to engage consumers with decreasing attention spans. These bite-sized videos are easily consumable, shareable and have the potential to go viral — which, as we’ve seen, can change the trajectory of your business overnight.
There’s a good chance that not every digital marketing trend will fit into your organization’s unique strategy or technology stack. But, ignoring these developments can lead to missed opportunities or hinder your ability to connect with potential customers.
5 Ways To Optimize Your Digital Marketing Strategy
1. Establish Brand Authority and Ensure Consistency
When it comes to your digital marketing strategy, you’re looking to build brand authority and trust at the end of the day. And, consistency is key to doing this. Make sure that regardless of the digital marketing tools or channels you utilize, you’re using them to develop a strong identity with:
- Consistent messaging, visual elements and brand voice.
- Clearly established brand guidelines and style guides.
- Regular brand audits to continuously update marketing materials.
2. Harness the Power of Automation
It feels like automation tools and technologies are everywhere these days, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Introducing marketing automation to take care of repetitive tasks like email campaigns, social media scheduling and lead nurturing can help your team save huge chunks of time and effort that can be better spent elsewhere, all while improving efficiency and consistency across marketing channels.
Take ZURB, a product design company, for example. Email marketing is an important part of their business strategy to deliver subscribers valuable and educational content surrounding their expertise — design. By simply implementing automated welcome emails to those who signed up for the newsletter, the team now sees upwards of 70-75% open rates and 40-45% click-through rates, according to Campaign Monitor.
3. Maximize Social Media’s Potential
Research from BusinessDIT reveals that a whopping 93.79% of businesses use some form of social media for marketing, engagement and customer service purposes. With practically every marketing team hopping on this trend, it’s no secret that social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok and Instagram hold immense potential for brands — when it’s done right.
Just with every other part of your marketing strategy, it’s essential to identify the relevant social media channels and content that aligns with your audience if you plan to reach the right people, drive website traffic and build meaningful relationships.
A brand that’s done a great job of this in recent years is Duolingo. This language-learning app has made a big splash on channels like TikTok by hopping on trends. So, if the platform is educational in nature, why does this somewhat silly approach to social media actually work? Because the brand aims to come across as friendly and approachable, where learning a language isn’t as daunting as you might assume.
4. Cultivate Thought Leadership
A leader always stands out in a group, and the same can be said for brands that create content to position themselves as thought leaders in the industry. This involves consistently crafting high-quality and informative resources that address your unique audience’s pain points.
And, when done well, this is an effective way to gain credibility, attract a loyal following and differentiate your team from others. Consider the following marketing tools to nurture leadership status:
- Publish insightful blog posts and articles.
- Speak at industry conferences and events.
- Participate in panel discussions and webinars.
- Create and share original research or studies.
- Develop educational resources such as e-books or whitepapers.
- Host thought leadership podcasts or video series.
For example, Zendesk has done this successfully by building a library of informational content. You’re probably thinking, “Well, most brands have blogs these days … so, what exactly makes Zendesk any different?”
Great question! This brand stands out because they’ve covered a wide range of topics that all aim to help the reader get something out of it, even if they don’t intend on making a purchase — and it’s evident in the quality of what they produce.
5. Employ Optimized Landing Pages
It’s critical to optimize your landing pages to generate the best-performing digital marketing content. This will be a linchpin in maximizing conversions and ensuring a seamless user experience because so much of customer retention starts from their very first click on your website.
Creating polished landing pages can increase lead generation, improve conversion rates and drive business growth in the long run. Here are some tips to help you do this successfully:
- Ensure content is relevant to your target audience.
- Include targeted keywords for SEO purposes.
- Write clear and concise headlines.
- Use attention-grabbing visuals within a well-designed layout.
- Employ strong call-to-action buttons.
- Utilize A/B testing for continuous optimization.
We’ve decided to take a page out of our own book on this one: Here at Brafton, we take our SEO just as seriously as creating compelling content for our audience. To make sure all of our site visitors can find the information they need at a glance, all of our landing pages follow optimization best practices. And, with a team of writers who specialize in writing this copy, we’re constantly making updates and improvements wherever we can.
Remember, optimizing your digital marketing strategy will be crucial to setting your brand apart in crowded online environments. And, as you continue to evaluate and refine your approaches, you’ll be better equipped to reach and engage your audience in a meaningful way.