Digital marketing is nothing if not complex. It’s a constant interplay between strategy and execution, and that execution can range from on-page SEO to multi-layered paid digital campaigns across any of 10+ channels.

In other words, it’s easy to get confused. The reality, though, is that this complexity is intentional. If you’re able to master it, especially as a small to mid-size business, chances are you’re able to vault above your competition. That’s digital marketing expertise as a competitive advantage for you.

Of course, it’s not just about spreading yourself thin, trying to focus on as many traffic and lead-generation tactics as possible. It’s about finding just the right mix of strategy and execution, and just the right channel mix, to maximize your marketing spend and optimize your efforts for business growth.

It’s what we like to call “efficient complexity”.

As we move deeper into 2022, it might be time to rethink your digital marketing efforts. If you follow a model of efficient complexity, you’re on the right path. This short and simple guide will help you get started.

Always Start With Your Ideal Customer

Generating traffic, leads, and customers, all comes down to two things: you have to reach the right people at the right time. So let’s start with who those right people actually are.

In other words, who is your ideal customer? Who would you be over the moon if they signed up and became a customer? Some of that answer is likely to be subjective. But it also pays to analyze what you would currently consider your best customers for commonalities in anything from demographics to behaviors, preferences, and pain points. The more comprehensive, the better.

This step will influence every decision you make in your marketing strategy and execution. The more exact you can be in narrowing down your buyer personas, the better.

How a Content Focus Elevates Your Digital Marketing

Once you know who you’re targeting, the focus becomes creating enough attention-getting and valuable content in your marketing to make them pay attention. There’s a reason for that content focus: whether you’re targeting business customers or consumers, the ROI can be immense. Audiences respond much more to content that focuses on their needs and answers their pain points than typical, old-fashioned, promotional messages.

Focusing on content means taking the next step from truly understanding your ideal customer. Once you understand what makes them tick, a content marketing strategy can help you satisfy those needs.

Establishing Your Website as a Marketing and Lead-Generation Hub

Let’s talk about where that content we just discussed will actually live. Here, consider following a hub-and-spoke type model in which your website hosts all the relevant content, while other marketing channels link to it. Generally speaking, there will be three types of content on your website:

  1. Basic and promotional information about your business, brand, and product/service.
  2. Value-added content that addresses your audience’s needs without being overly promotional, typically on your blog.
  3. Highly valuable content that users can’t find anywhere else. This “gated” content is free but hidden behind a sign-up page.

Gated content can be a research report, whitepaper, webinar, or another form of long-form content. The examples range widely. The goal here is to turn your content into a lead-generating machine by making it valuable enough that your audience actively wants to give you their contact info.

How SEO Can Drive High-Quality, Organic Traffic, and Leads

Let’s take a second to talk about search engine optimization, short SEO. In a world of complexity, this is probably the most complex digital marketing tactic. Done right, it’s also the best.

If you want to make sure that users find you when looking for industry and brand-relevant terms on Google, your entire website needs to be organized for the right keywords. SEO tools for keyword research, web performance, and competitive research enter the equation.

Find out what keywords your audience searches for when their needs for a product or service like yours are highest. Then, optimize your entire website and content strategy around those keywords, adding the value your audience looks for at the time they’re looking for it.

Owning Your Social Media Channels

We could write articles upon articles about social media marketing in 2022. It’s a complex topic, but one with a few core truths. Keep these in mind, and you’re on the path to success.

First, choose your channels wisely. It’s much more important to be on the same channels as your audience as it is to be on as many networks as possible. Second, engagement matters most. Organic posts will only appear in news feeds if your audience likes, comments, and shares them. Plan your social media efforts accordingly.

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of a conversation. Answer questions, comments, and even complaints fast and honestly. Social media is at its best when it’s a two-way street, causing your audience to feel more closely connected to your brand.

Online Directories as Important Earned Media

Speaking of conversations: many of us now browse the web with a certain amount of cynicism, looking for independent information rather than blindly trusting brands. Enter online directories, which are tailor-made to compare businesses in a certain industry or niche. Yelp, Angie’s List, WebMD, and Capterra are just a few of the many directories out there.

Owning your presence on these directories is the absolute key to online success. Make sure you know what’s being said about your business and products, and how you can react. Complaints need to be addressed, while praise might need to be amplified. Check directories in your industry at least monthly to stay up to date.

How Does Email Marketing Fit Into the Digital Marketing Equation?

Through all the channels above, leads begin to trickle and flow into your database. That’s when it’s email marketing’s time to shine.

Long hailed as the digital marketing channel with the best ROI, it remains one of the most reliable ways to reach potential customers. Once they enter your lead database, your emails can slowly nurture potential customers towards that final, revenue-growing conversion point.

To get there, your emails should not be overly pushy, and reach your audience at days, times, and frequencies that make sense for them. It also helps to automate your lead nurturing flow, building a natural sequence that begins with a welcome email, adds value by highlighting some of your best and most relevant content, and ends with a gentle nudge towards the sale.

Leveraging Data to Optimize Your Digital Marketing Over Time

Finally, let’s talk about data. Every single marketing tactic you leverage online, from your website to social media and email, comes with analytics that can tell you how successful your efforts are. Marketers who can use that data will gain a crucial leg up on others that play in the same space.

Through your analytics, you can determine which of your channels perform the best, and push more money into them. You can analyze which content generates the most leads, or which products tend to result in the most positive results. You can even A/B test your creative to see which visuals and text most closely match audience expectations.

Over time, that data helps you optimize your digital marketing efforts, building a strategy that keeps self-improving to continue driving more leads and revenue.

Ready for a Chat?

From establishing your ideal customer to using your data for ongoing and strategic improvement, you can effectively improve your efficiency over time. But yes, that process is still complex. Fortunately, you’re not on your own. Contact AdEdge to learn more about how we can help you improve your digital marketing and improve the return on your digital marketing investment in 2022 and beyond.