The power of digital marketing is immense if harnessed correctly. But since best practices for promoting businesses and brands are always evolving, it’s also a challenge to keep pace with the rate of change.
Luckily there are lots of ways to get a handle on the latest and greatest digital marketing strategies, so here’s an overview of what you should be doing to achieve this.
Build and maintain a network of industry contacts
Word-of-mouth recommendations for managing digital marketing campaigns are often the best way to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.
As such you need to be committed to growing your professional network, which also means maintaining the relationships you’ve established with other marketing pros over the years.
There are a few ways to go about this, and it’s useful to attend in-person industry events as well as use social media sites like LinkedIn to connect with new contacts and touch base with existing ones.
Take a digital marketing course
There are all sorts of digital marketing courses available, and participating in regular training sessions will help you to brush up on your skills and more importantly find out about new techniques that are changing the game at the moment.
Your employer may be willing to pay for you to take a course since this will be an investment in its own marketing efforts. If you’re a freelance marketer or a consultant, you’ll need to cover the costs yourself, but again you’ll reap the rewards in the long run because of the boost your career will receive.
Consume digital marketing content from reputable sources
There are lots of marketing blogs out there, including our own, which provide up-to-the-minute coverage of the industry and will let you stay abreast of the latest developments in online marketing which are shaping best practices as we speak.
You can also find digital marketing content on a range of other platforms, so it makes sense to follow influential commentators and specialists in this field on social media.
Of course, it’s also important to appreciate that not every trend that arises will stick around forever or actually deliver the positive results you’re looking for. It’s only with experience that you’ll be able to tell the difference between flash-in-the-pan fads and truly transformative digital marketing movements.
Seek feedback from clients and study campaign performance data
If you provide digital marketing services to third parties, you can better understand the impact that your work has if you are proactive in getting input from clients and gaining their perspectives in the process.
You might find out about previously unnoticed pain points which can be addressed in strategic changes. You could learn of untapped opportunities which have recently arisen and which you can assist them in harnessing.
Even if your digital marketing work is mostly internal in nature, you have a responsibility to delve into the data and see how campaign performance metrics will influence the decisions you make in the future.
There’s no point following so-called best practices if they aren’t having the desired effect, whether that’s because they are unsuited to your market niche or target audience, or because you aren’t implementing them in the right way.
Unless you look at the figures and crunch the numbers, you won’t know what’s going wrong or understand why your successes in certain areas came about.
Learn from mistakes made by other brands
It’s not just your own missteps that are valuable when it comes to overhauling your digital marketing tactics. By looking at campaigns run by competitors, you can take lessons on what works and also identify mistakes that you should avoid.
While you might not have access to the same level of detail in terms of the data that’s available, you can get a sense of the relative success of digital marketing campaigns based on things like search rank.
This is an especially useful way to sniff out trends that are past their prime or best practices that don’t gel with your market niche. And best of all, you don’t need to be the one putting your brand reputation on the line by experimenting.
Don’t dismiss tried and tested digital marketing strategies
While the latest and greatest movements in this space might sound alluring, it’s important to remember that as well as jumping on bandwagons that have gained momentum, you should also retain a core set of proven strategies.
That way you’ve got a baseline for performance against which you can measure any fresh initiatives you pursue.
See what customers have to say
Another excellent use of social media from a digital marketing perspective is as a means of gauging the conversations that are being had by customers of your company or the target audience of your industry regarding the tactics that are being used to woo them.
Don’t just consider the direct engagement you receive from followers when running a campaign, but also be on the lookout for indirect brand mentions.
Reputation management is not something to take lightly or brush over. Rather it should be part and parcel of your digital marketing playbook and be handled proactively rather than passively.
Final Things to Consider
If you aren’t working on refreshing, reviewing, and revising your digital marketing best practices on a regular basis, then they’ll stagnate, and you’ll start to lose ground while competitors are gaining traction.
Digital marketing best practices should be refreshed, reviewed, and revised on a regular basis to stay competitive and maintain momentum. Here are some key pieces of advice for achieving success with digital marketing:
- Learn from the mistakes of others and identify trends and best practices that fit your market niche.
- Incorporate both new and tried-and-true strategies into your digital marketing playbook.
- Take note of customer conversations about your campaigns, and proactively manage your online reputation.
- Invest in marketing courses to stay up to date with the latest trends.
- Utilize marketing automation to free up time for more creative ideas.
In all of this, recognizing your own limits and appreciating the advantages of learning and improving day by day will put you in the strongest position.
Taking marketing courses to breathe new life into your campaigns is perhaps the best piece of advice to follow, as it means that you don’t need to constantly be juggling the other aspects discussed above.
Embracing marketing automation is also useful in this context. The less attention you need to give to time-consuming, mind-numbing tasks, the more focus you can turn to conjure up compelling new strategies.