Top 10 Digital Marketing Strategy Principles
The Internet is an evolving communication medium. Its dynamic and organic nature brings exciting opportunities to build brand, engage consumers and drive business. Over the past dozen years, I have found the following principles helpful to produce efficient and cost-effective business strategies.
- Content Is King. Content is everything to your customers; it’s the reason they choose to interact with you. Content also needs to be relevant and of the highest and best value. If the content you produce is weak—perceived to be of little or no value—it dilutes your brand. As a result, your relationship with your customer suffers.
- Keep It Simple. Advertisers have long known that a simple message is the best message. Writing for the Web requires communicators to be succinct. The digital space is increasingly crowded, and customers will grant you only limited opportunity to connect with them. Use words, images and technology effectively.
- Know Your Customer. The digital space allows us to target specific groups of customers, or “schools of fish.” Is your digital presence targeted to your precise audience? Do your images, words, tone and layout speak directly to your audience?
- Give Customers What They Want. Over half of visitors to your website are looking for basic information about your business: phone number, location map, street address. Do you make it easy for them to find this info? Is your website’s navigation simple and effective? Is it easy for customers to do business with you?
- Find Strength in Partnerships. It is called the World Wide Web for a reason. Just as the web of a spider is strengthened by what it connects, the connections, relationships and alliances made online not only support your digital brand, but are also a reflection of it.
- Video Tells Your Story. Video has become the leading channel to inform, educate and entice targeted audiences to take action. Video lets potential customers see your product and service, meet your people, learn from your customers, and hear your philosophy and approach to business.
- Media Drives Brand. Don’t focus solely on the “social.” All media—including online and off-line communications, including print, digital, press, broadcast, and yes, “social media”—drive the growth of your online brand and reputation with consumers.
- Establish a Strong Foundation. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. From one-page websites to multilingual, international sites, always put your best face forward. All content should be of the highest quality, from imagery and words to navigation and page design.
- Aim for Consistency. Being consistent with your audience ensures
continued online growth. The online medium is not a one-way street; it is a relationship. If you want to improve and build your relationship with your audience, you must be consistent in what you do.
- Stay Young. As the digital space continues to evolve, dedicate 5 to 10% of your time to research. Observing and responding to small changes today will benefit your business in the future. Ten years ago we didn’t have Google, five years ago we didn’t have Facebook, and three years ago we didn’t have Twitter. Don’t wait for your competitors. Be open to new ideas and challenge your present-day thinking.
~ Craig Oliver is a Vancouver-based digital marketing strategist with over 12 years’ experience in the online medium.