Foundations First Marketing for B2B

3 Digital Marketing Tactics You Must Use

Not on the digital marketing bus yet? Think you can grow your business without digital marketing? Think again. Or, maybe you’re on the digital bus, but you’ve loaded it with every digital tactic out there? And you’re still not clear where you’re going and wasting money on the way? If you’re not on the bus–load up. If you’re in the latter category, it’s time to focus. Although your particular business may not need to use each and every digital tactic out there, Search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and tracking and analytics are 3 digital marketing tactics you must use. These are fundamental pieces of today’s marketing, and you can bet your ass your competitors are using them. The key is to use them better than your competitors.

Don’t get overwhelmed with digital tactics.

For those of who aren’t “digital natives”—that is, people who have grown up in the digital age, today’s marketing demands can be overwhelming. I get it. I worked on traditional marketing campaigns for a major telecommunications company for 15 years. When digital marketing started to become popular, I, too, resisted. I wondered how a social media post could possibly rival the blood, sweat and tears (not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars) poured into TV, radio, print, and direct mail. Let’s just say I quickly saw the digital marketing light, and I’ve been encouraging my clients to do the same ever since.

Maybe you’re hiding from the world of keywords, clicks, and likes because you don’t feel confident in your digital skillset. Or, perhaps you’re skeptical that this stuff actually works. On the other hand, you may have adopted a ton of digital marketing tactics, but it’s scattered and out of control.

Whatever the case may be, the good news is you don’t have to incorporate every digital tactic out there to move your marketing dial. At Foundations First™, we help clients get their basics down. In terms of digital marketing, start small. If you’re a digital newbie, we suggest you get started with just 3 essential digital marketing tactics. These will deliver your target audience to your website, expand your audience and message, and provide you the data necessary to tell if your marketing is working. If you’re swamped by your digital marketing tactics, it might be time to more focus on the basics and make sure your SEO, social media, and tracking and analytics are up to snuff.

You need these digital marketing tactics because the purpose of websites has changed.

There was a time back in the early days of the internet when you built a website and that was it. Set it and forget it. Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case. Google anything—seriously, anything—and your search will return thousands of hits. The website is no longer simply an online “storefront,” but rather, a motor to compete for visibility. In order to compete for that visibility, at a minimum you need to use these digital marketing tactics.

1. SEO Delivers Your Target Audience to Your Website

If you haven’t touched your website in 10 years, 5 years, or even 1 year, it’s being outperformed by your competitors who are actively investing in search engine optimization (SEO) services to drive people to their websites. In other words, if you’re not doing what you can to deliver your website to your target audience, those potential customers will land and shop elsewhere. Websites now need constant updating to keep up with Google’s algorithms for delivering search results.

SEO is an especially terrifying term for a traditional marketing person. Even so, the best way to think of this digital marketing tactic is that you’re helping search engines (namely Google) help customers find you. This starts with building a strategy around common keywords that people type into the search bar when they’re looking for your products or services and continues with positioning your website so that its content caters to those specific terms. SEO also entails making your site more trusted and user-friendly.

2. Social Media Expands Your Audience and Message

Another commonly misunderstood digital marketing tactic is social media. Traditional marketers tend to categorize social media as a PR and communications tool. You use it to “get the word out.” It’s common to use social media to communicate to your employees, current customers, friends, and family. That’s how we use our personal social media, right? But for businesses, social media offers an opportunity to expand your message to a larger and more diverse audience. I realized very quickly that when I took my clients’ traditional campaign messages to social media, they saw significant improvements in website traffic.

Start with a Social Media Strategy

To begin with, a social media strategy needs support your larger vision and goals. Those goals need to be SMART–specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time specific. I talk more about this in “How to Realign Goals & Tactics,” and I advise you check that out. At its core, a true social media strategy

  1. identifies which social networks make the most sense for your business to be active on, so you no longer need to waste time trying to be on every single platform.
  2. brings people closer to your brand (both literally and figuratively) with thoughtful, useful content. By linking your social media photo posts, useful blogs, or videos to your website or landing page, you can pull in more visitors. Once they’re there, you can encourage the most serious to call you or fill out a form. By doing so, social media becomes less of an outlet from your website and more of a tributary to your website. And voila! That helps you grow your business.

3. Tracking and Analytics Tell You if Your Marketing is Working

It’s always challenging to quantify the success of a billboard, TV commercial, radio spot, direct mailer, or any traditional advertising medium. The beauty in digital marketing is that the unknowns quickly become known. The actionable data that digital marketers have access to is phenomenal and will make you wonder how you ever lived without it.

For example, you can “boost” or “promote” a Facebook post for a nominal ad spend. You can target your audience down to location and profession. Then, you can see who interacted with clicks, likes, or comments. Once you have that information down, you can then “retarget” those interactions by running follow-up ads that take them to your website. That’s a far cry from, say, placing a print ad in a trade publication and hanging your hat on their “circulation.”

If tracking and analytics make your eyes glaze over, my co-founding Foundations First partner, Michelle Tresemer, breaks it down to bite-size chunks. I advise you start with her blog “Confounded by Tracking and Analytics?”

We can help you get control of your marketing.

If you’re new to digital marketing, there is no reason why you should have to choose between traditional and digital marketing. Instead of pitting the two against each other, consider testing the online waters. Move a portion of your marketing budget to the digital side and see how it goes. The numbers are going to show whether or not it’s working. If not, adjust accordingly. Then, when you’re ready to take some further steps, give us a call.

If you’re up to your ears in scattered digital marketing tactics, we can help you figure out what tactics to keep and what to dump. Plus, we’ll help you uncover rich marketing opportunities. Check out our 15-day Foundations First audit and tactical marketing plan. Schedule a consult today.