Digital marketing never sleeps, and a busy Q1 is just around the corner. It’s important to assess the goals you made at the beginning of the year (New Year’s resolutions… what are those?), evaluate your progress, and make changes where necessary. These tips from Hawke’s content marketing and social media experts will help keep your marketing efforts on track for the rest of the year—and into the new one. Keep an eye out for a deeper dive into each of these tips over the coming months!
1 – Start with the basics
While digital marketing is a valuable tool that can help grow businesses from the ground up, it only works if you have a solid foundation to start with. It’s important to kick things off from the very beginning using social media and content marketing, SEO optimization and influencer partnerships all as a way to contribute to your overall brand story and online persona.
– Sara Ehlers, Social Media Manager
2 – Do the research
It’s crucial that every digital marketing strategy begins with a research and discovery phase. You’ll want to audit your previous digital marketing efforts to find both your strengths and weaknesses — this will inform your overall strategy moving forward. It’s also essential to research industry trends and incorporate useful tactics in a unique way.
– Molly Lindheimer, Social Media Manager
3 – Respect the data
Never underestimate the importance of data when it comes to marketing campaigns. You need to get close to your brands’ key marketing metrics and make sure you know your audience – who they are, where they are, what they do and what content they tend to engage with most. Benchmark your current performance in order to track the success of any campaigns you launch. Seems like basic stuff, but you’d be amazed at how often data is overlooked or incorrectly measured by some businesses!
– Christopher Liu, Social Media Manager
4 – Take an omnichannel approach
Information overload is real and it’s harder than ever for brands to capture the attention of their audiences. Incorporate omnichannel marketing to create more touchpoints with consumers thereby increasing brand recognition and customer loyalty. Craft customized content for each channel, but make sure messaging is consistent.
– Emma Paye, Manager, Social Media Marketing
5 – Integrate your marketing channels
A holistic marketing strategy requires interaction and communication between channels to provide insights and feedback to one another. The keyword research in the SEO channel can generate ideas for your next product innovation. Your event sponsorships and PR efforts can boost your ranking position in organic search. Social media data can provide insights for your next pop-up store location. With seamless communication among all marketing channels, you can maximize the opportunity in the market and engage your customers better.
– Citta Paramita, SEO Specialist
6 – Keep an eye on your competitors
One of your biggest SEO opportunities may come from somewhere you may not expect: your competitors. Competitive analysis is a critical part of website SEO strategy because it allows you to identify which of your competitors’ tactics are working, which ones aren’t and what tactics and resources it will require to outperform them.
-Andrew Chacon, SEO Specialist
7 – Create good content
Keeping your audience engaged by pumping out fresh, exciting, quality content is important for maintaining your audience as well as attracting new members. Create content that addresses your audience’s needs to provide valuable information at the exact moment they’re looking for it. Balance that with content your audience wants to connect on a more emotional level.
The balance of content you produce that addresses needs and wants is up to you, but remember: consistency is key!
– Lindsey Englander, Content Project Manager
8 – Think like a magazine editor
Print may be dead, but storytelling is not. Complement content designed to drive organic search traffic with high-concept, personality-filled and beautifully designed pieces that will establish your brand as a forward-thinking leader in your industry. By showing you aren’t afraid to push the envelope, you can disrupt your audience’s point of view—converting readers to happy customers in the process.
-Phoebe Neuman, Content Editor
9 – Get personal
Instead of trying to sell to a group, you should be aiming to sell your products on an individual level. Competitors can copy your value props, undercut your price or a thousand other things to try to beat you, but your customers will remain loyal if you’re able to create and maintain a personal relationship with them. This means delivering consistent value to your audience through content that educates, entertains or inspires.
– David Chon, Director of Influencer Marketing
10 – Plan for major changes
Platforms and algorithms can change with little to no notice, throwing brands and followers into a frenzy. In these situations, it’s important to focus on communicating with your audience. Diversify the platforms you use so you can have multiple channels for communication. Always make sure your followers are on your owned email lists so you can communicate with them no matter what.
– Tyler Grove, Social Media Manager
11 – Plan for mistakes
Mistakes happen! Whether small (like speling erors) or large (like unintentionally offending part of your audience), they’re bound to attract internet trolls. Be prepared to apologize accordingly for serious mistakes or take an opportunity to relate to your audience with humor for those that are less serious.
– Jenna Hughes, Social Media Manager
12 – Plan for emergencies
Crashes, hacks and other digital ‘power outages’ may not happen often, but it’s critical that your business has a game plan in the case of an emergency. Whether you’re having issues with Facebook or your CMS, you need to have both proactive and reactive strategies in place. Proactively, you’ll want to nurture a robust media mix that doesn’t depend completely on one platform. Change passwords often to prevent a data breach and keep evergreen content (and some cash) in the bank as back-up. Reactively, you’ll want to monitor the situation closely by setting up alerts and keeping in close touch with your platform or agency representatives. The bottom line for your bottom line? Have a Plan B and cross-train your team so everybody’s ready.
– James Han, Content Editor
No matter your digital marketing goals, it’s important to have a plan in place to make sure your efforts run smoothly in the new year. Constantly check how your strategies are performing against benchmarks and KPIs and adjust your campaigns accordingly!
If you need additional help planning your marketing strategy into Q1 and beyond, our digital whizzes at Hawke Media are here to help. Just fill out the free consultation form below.
Digital Marketing Strategy 101: The Basics