It’s that time of year again – when everyone vows to get to the gym, pay for the coffee of the next person in line at Starbucks, and finally get digital marketing administration under control. Errr, maybe that last one only applies to those of us who work in digital marketing…. If you want to make a fresh start this year with your digital marketing strategy, keep in mind that it’s a challenge much easier tackled with the right tools. To help you stick to your resolution long past the time when the January gym-goers have returned to their couches, keep these guidelines in mind:
Commit to a single tool (but make sure it’s the right one)
If you’re maintaining multiple systems for content management and marketing automation, it’s probably costing a fortune and sucking up a ton of time. This year, let’s look for something better. The ideal solution empowers marketers to make changes and requires little hands-on involvement from IT. From a content perspective, that means paring down to one content base that publishes into carefully defined styling templates, with formatting and style guidelines built in. For our friends on the sales team, a good solution provides two-way integration with CRM, creating a single universal view of the customer for both sales and marketing. A truly complete solution will also include email campaign management, social tools, and user tracking.
Make data-driven decisions
Analytics tools are great, but if you’re tracking data across websites, or different aspects of a single site’s performance from multiple sources, it’s hard to aggregate information and put together a cohesive picture. If you feel like you’re making decisions in the dark, it might be time to upgrade to a solution that provides a more comprehensive view of your data. The right solution can create a closed feedback loop, allowing you to test options, track results against pre-defined goals, draw insights, and even make predictive changes based on real-time information.
New year, fresh content
Was it Ben Franklin or my dad who came up with the axiom “measure twice, cut once”? In marketing, it’s more like write once, use as many times as you can. How do you strike a balance between keeping content fresh and intelligently repurposing existing materials? Consider delving into the more advanced features of your CMS or marketing automation tool. For example, you might create personalization rules that let you share the right content with the right person at just the right time, or configure guidelines that automatically publish and expire “seasonal” content on a predetermined schedule.
Don’t forget, it’s all about the user
The key to customer engagement is showing the user exactly what he or she needs at a given moment. So how can you evolve your digital strategy to better engage visitors, prospects, and clients – and improve conversions? If a particular content offering is downloaded many times, look at the traits of the users who download it, and identify ways to offer similarly targeted content to other user personas – especially in areas of your site that are not receiving the traffic you expect.
Automate wherever possible
When I close my eyes, I imagine a world in which I never have to worry about image editing, web development, and raw analytics data sets to effectively do my job as a digital marketer. We spend a lot of time on administrative tasks, from resizing images and font sizes for a vast array of web devices, to compiling analytics reports for different audiences across the organization. Imagine what you could do with those extra hours in the day – not only in terms of time, but in making room for creativity. Consider making 2016 the year you resolve to turn some of those daily to-dos into automated tasks – and use the time saved to take your digital marketing efforts to a new level.