Digital marketing is an essential part of your marketing plan. But today there are so many digital marketing platforms and strategies that it’s hard for business owners and marketing directors to know which to choose, how much to spend, or which ones really work. J. Walker Marketing offers insight, planning, and optimization of digital marketing campaigns that come from decades of experience.
Digital Marketing Insights
Marketing has gotten more challenging to understand because online marketing is complicated. There are many flavors of it, each requires a specialist to plan and place it effectively and the pricing for digital media can be blurry.
Which platforms should I use for my digital marketing plan?
Often social media, Facebook especially, is picked as a primary marketing platform. Business owners seem to believe that "online advertising" means Facebook. Additionally, business owners often invest in social media first, sometimes even hiring a person to develop social media content, even when they don’t have a strategic marketing plan. This is a mistake.
There’s a belief that social media is low-cost marketing. But once you hire someone to do it full time, the business has already invested a great deal in annual costs. Next, Facebook has low reach without paying for advertising there. Some years ago, the platform offered high reach for organic posts, but today that reach has declined significantly as the platform has evolved into a paid advertising business.
Choosing media for your digital marketing plan needs to be part of a thoughtful planning process in which you define marketing goals and then choose strategies that align with those goals. Then you can choose your media from the wide array available online: pay per click advertising, digital display ads, geo-targeted mobile marketing, email, inbound (blog posts, etc.) retargeting, SMS marketing, search engine optimization and more.
To be a smart buyer of digital media, its critical to understand how its priced and there are a variety of ways: Cost-per-thousand impressions for digital display advertising; keyword auctions for Google’s Ad Words; completely arbitrary pricing for ads on some B2B websites; for Facebook and Instagram, a very complicated calculation based on buyer demand, ad location, audience targeting, ad relevance, seasonality, and campaign goals.
Knowing these pricing structures enables you to see if you are getting a fair deal for your money and it enables you to gauge the overall efficiency of your plan by calculating impressions, reach and frequency against what you're spending. If your agency or media seller is not clear about pricing relative to media delivery, that's a problem.
Testing and optimizing your digital marketing campaigns
Digital media is so measurable that it's possible to predict the performance of a digital marketing campaign with pretty high precision. That means that it's not necessary to just run media to see what happens like we used to do. Today the right approach is to design media and marketing tests so that you can test, measure, and evolve your campaigns over time.
For example, you can test different ads to see which get better engagement. You can test multiple subject lines in email to see which get better open rates. You can target different "fences" with geo-targeted ads to see which areas drive more clicks. You can see whether mobile advertising works better than desktop ads. And you can measure campaign performance by time and location to learn what works best.