Adams & Knight Marketing Blog

Reprinted from
Hartford Business Journal

How to maximize marketing effectiveness in the digital age

The term “digital marketing” is redundant these days. Studies show that we now spend more time each day on electronic devices than sleeping. So every organization’s marketing must encompass digital channels.

Consider these facts. American adults are glued to their smart phones about five hours a day. On average, we check our social media channels at least 120 times a week. We watch nearly 30 hours of online video content each month. And around the world, we “Google” something about 40,000 times a second. 

So if you’re responsible for marketing, how do you leverage this obsession with digital communication in the most compelling, cost-effective ways? Start by keeping these three key principles in mind:

No. 1: Offer valuable content, not sales pitches

There’s a mind-numbing amount of information being published online, but that doesn’t mean people are actually reading it, or even more importantly, engaging with it. People don’t want to be sold online, they want to be entertained and educated.

So before you spend a second or dime on social/digital marketing, develop an overall content strategy for your organization — one that is focused on the valuable information you can provide for your customers and prospects.

In one column, list the topics you’re most qualified to talk about. In another column, list what keeps your customers up at night and what makes their day. Now find the magical intersections between what you could say — and what they want to hear. Let that guide what type of content to create for your social channels, your press outreach, your website, your newsletters and more.

And how do you know if people are really interested in the type of content you’re considering? One quick, free way to do just that is to use Google Trends (google.com/trends). Simply enter several topics and compare the relative search volume for those terms to gauge interest.

No. 2: Create meaningful connections in each channel

Once you know what you want to share, map out where — and how — you’re going to share it. Just beware of two common mistakes including sharing the same content in the same way. Many businesses create “a” message, then check off the list that they posted it on their website, shared it on their social channels, etc. But people have different expectations of both the type of content and the tone of the messaging on each digital platform. So carefully consider not only what to share, but how to package it, for each digital channel.

Another common mistake is thinking that the goal of every digital communication is to get people to your website. You need to offer valuable content in whatever channel your prospects and consumers find you. If they engage on your social media channels, deliver the value there. If they read your newsletters, make them actionable. Don’t open one door to greet your prospect, only to send them to another door to get the information they’re actually interested in.

No. 3: Look holistically at all the data

What makes marketing in the digital age so mind-tingling — and so nerve-wracking at the same time — is that many initiatives are more measurable than ever. But just because more data is available, don’t assume those are the only metrics that matter.

Make sure you look holistically at all your measures of marketing success. For example, track your press hits, your advertising reach, your event exposure. You’ll likely see spikes of digital engagement — when prospects are being surrounded by offline as well as online tactics.

Charge someone with an integrated marketing perspective to help you turn all these sources of data into actionable insights you can use to continually hone your 360-degree marketing plan.

The more valuable your content, the more tailored your connections and the more insightful your planning, the more successful your marketing will be in this digital age.

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