I’ve thought a lot recently about what it means to have a truly comprehensive, integrated digital marketing strategy. Does it mean investing in a few powerful channels and ignoring the rest? Does it mean investing in all channels equally, regardless of your industry, and how your customers consume information? Of course not. It means having the right mix of channels and tactics for your business while being careful not to outright discount any of them.
While I’d consider myself an athlete, I am in no way a gym enthusiast. However, I do know that if you consistently only work out the big muscle groups, you’re making a big mistake. To get your body in shape, you must pay attention to the health of the smaller muscle groups—many of which you didn’t even know about. (Ever heard of the popliteus? Me neither but it’s really important.) Of course, you need to focus on the muscles that you plan to use more than others, but if you don’t pay attention to your body as a complete system, you’re bound to get injured. The same goes for digital marketing for your business.
When most businesses need digital marketing services, they’re normally looking for those big muscle groups – SEO, PPC, or content strategy. They’re easy to understand, and it’s very apparent when one of those is not working. If your site isn’t getting enough organic visitors or your competitors are ranked higher in search engines, you need SEO. If you need quick promotion and want to try digital advertising, PPC is your thing. If your site is confusing and you’re not sure how to talk about your product or service in the right way, you need to focus on content strategy. These are all components of a solid digital marketing strategy. But there are some less-obvious yet just as critical digital marketing services that are equally essential. And just like that popliteus, you should know about them.
Here are the top five digital marketing service that you should really pay attention to:
Okay, this one isn’t tiny, and yes, many people are aware they should pay attention to it. But surprisingly, it is one of the most neglected services. I can’t tell you how many times we’ll get a client that hasn’t claimed analytics as a service they need, only to open the hood of their current digital marketing efforts and see a seemingly impossible mess of data.
The reason why analytics makes the top of the list is that it’s perhaps the single most important digital marketing service. If you can’t read your data correctly, then at best you’re flying blind. At worst, you’re reading the map upside down and going further away from your goal instead of closer. In the Portent Marketing Stack, it’s listed as both a 5/5 for longevity and risk. It’s how you measure effectiveness for all digital marketing services.
2. Conversion Rate Optimization
CRO strategists are miracle workers. They come in, diagnose why customers aren’t flowing through your site and converting, and then poof, they disappear. Well, they don’t usually leave; they diagnose new issues and keep chipping away until your marketing funnel is smooth and clutter-free. Imagine a 14% increase in conversion with a simple test. Even a 3% supercharge could be game-changing.
3. Influencer Marketing
Endorsements are nothing new, especially in traditional media. However, as new technology media open up, the breadth of influencers is growing exponentially. The upside is that there are thousands of influencers over dozens of platforms to choose from. The downside is that there are thousands of influencers over dozens of platforms to choose from. There is quality out there that will work for your business, but you need to know where to look.
At Portent, we’ve been particularly interested in YouTube and podcast influencers. We’ve found that targeting quality influencers doesn’t need to be expensive. You don’t need to find the biggest star on the block, just one who’s channel matches your product or service and can be authentic and passionate. Results can be mind-blowing. Not only will you see a major channel for referral traffic, but there is a powerful halo effect that impacts organic traffic as well.
However, it’s tricky to find the right influencers. But once you do, it’ll be a huge compliment to your marketing strategy.
4. Outreach (Digital PR)
Much like “traditional” SEO, outreach is all about the long game. The goal for outreach is to get quality backlinks and increase the organic visibility (and therefore the domain authority) of your site. Links built take an average of six to twelve weeks, sometimes longer, to impact your site (hence the “long game”). There are a handful of tactics that outreach strategists use, but the bread and butter is content promotion, which is widely promoting quality, newsworthy, often data-driven content to relevant media outlets and publications across the internet. A skilled outreach strategist can get links back to your site from extremely relevant online publications which can greatly impact your rankings.
Another approach they might use is HARO (Help a Reporter Out) requests. They’ll find opportunities for your subject-matter experts to answer questions that a reporter can use as a quote. Hopefully it comes with a link and voila, another tick towards a higher domain authority.
Guest posting, utility link building, and link reclamation are other tactics that outreach strategists are using to build authority, and while they are valuable in their own right, they should mainly be used as a support to your main outreach strategies like content promotion and HAROs.
5. Video Marketing
It’s true, there is a lot of video on the internet, but a lot of it is pretty poor. It just takes a little bit of effort and a good video marketing strategy to rise above the clutter. Video marketing pretty much ends up on the “top five digital trends” list every year and has for the last five years. That won’t stop anytime soon.
There are so many ways to use video on or off your site. There are instructional videos, video white papers, and customer testimonials, among tons of other uses. There’s also live video for webinars, product releases, and other events. According to Cisco, by 2021, 80% of traffic will be video related. It’s easily shareable, suited for almost every device, and makes information much easier to consume. The Digital Marketing Institute has a fantastic article that explains why video is only getting hotter.
I get it, every service you add to the mix is another piece of the budget and another channel (and perhaps agency) that you need to manage. But the five services I’ve listed above are essential components to a healthy digital marketing strategy. Find an agency that can work these into your marketing mix, and good things will come.