Many digital marketers are feeling lost in the current environment of new tools, services, platforms and ad types. Inboxes are often filled with communication from marketing technologies, media specialists and site developers, so a feeling of “missing out” can really sink in when a business associate discusses a new technology that outperforms your own. Even daily browsing experiences are peppered with behavioral-targeted ads showcasing new opportunities for digital success. The constant influence of fragmented industry change is pushing some once-inspired marketers into paralysis, others to retreat to a single channel of advertising, or some to even make big shifts toward new solutions that often do not deliver. With all the dynamic noise surrounding each new digital marketing opportunity, it’s hard to feel settled in a consistent digital brand strategy.
Simplify Your Marketing Process
However, once marketers identify and manage tangible goals, the journey becomes simple, appearing as a straight line instead of a twisted ride through outer space. Because digital goals can now often be fully aligned with offline business targets, many once unmanageable individual complexities can be solved with advanced tools and management. When understood and integrated quickly, new solutions can help optimize past performance issues, but the patchwork of new technology and tools often distract marketers from focusing on the tangible, often simple business goals that lead to success.
To be impactful, all digital initiatives – from website structure to advertising strategy – must also evolve out of the core business goals. A site must either directly foster final goal completion or be an impactful step in the process by providing a simple, streamlined experience for visitors to confidently engage and purchase. If a direct purchase cannot be completed online, the site must foster other engagements that align with your unique audience journey and help move visitors down the funnel.
Align All Digital Audience Pipelines to True Business Goals
Once the digital store is directly aligned with core goals of the business, “free” digital marketing initiatives can be leveraged to push relevant audiences to the site. From rented brand space on social platforms to an optimized, organic presence on search engines, this layer of “free” digital brand optimization must inform audiences about the unique values and purpose of the brand (why they should interact with the brand). The various rented platforms will grow into valuable high and mid-funnel pipelines for the business if a consistent brand voice is established and, most importantly, aligned with business goals.
Paid media efforts — PPC, paid social, programmatic display, email, etc. — should be the final layer lined up to business goals to drive relevant audiences. Because brands are directly paying for every click of traffic, paid media should one of the final marketing layers used to promote the brand. Paid media should only be utilized after both the website and rented brand spaces (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.) are established and optimized to the right goals. Marketing dollars should not send expensive traffic to a page or properties not fully aligned to business goals. However, when layered correctly and tracking the aligned digital goals, paid media is a powerful tool in a digital marketer’s playbook. Once each paid channel is analyzed regarding how it directly or indirectly contributes to goals, channel budgets should adjust accordingly.
In short, tying all aspects of digital marketing directly to brand goals will cut out much of the industry noise distracting many marketers away from goal-guided marketing efforts. New tools, technologies and ad types are excellent ways to expand communication strategies with your audience, but if there are no tangible goals to support, new tools and technologies become lost distractions. New technologies and ad formats should only be leveraged if they directly support the true goals of the business, otherwise marketers should mute the noise and stay on the straight path toward optimizing media with goal-driven initiatives.