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3 Steps to a Foolproof Digital Marketing Strategy

Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, and Content are the three kings of modern digital marketing.

Optimising content to cater to the audience that you wish to target, requires a test, learn and scale philosophy. The continuously changing landscape of the web demands digital continual improvement; integrating SEO, social media and content strategy. If you want to be discovered by consumers easily, you definitely need to get the basics right. Effective methodology ensures intended and expected performance. Hence, it is vital to follow the right strategy for a foolproof and failsafe digital marketing stint.

Here are three main stages and the methods you must follow in each in order to get ahead in digital marketing-

  1. Planning-

“He who fails to plan, plans to fail”.

There’s nothing static or stable, about marketing on the internet and digital platforms, but the one constant that can be counted on is the persistent and relentless effort by search engines to improve search quality and user experience. These continuous and ceaseless improvements, including the Google Search, plus Your World implementation in late 2011, have greatly affected the way search engines interact with content ranging from discovery, indexation, sorting in search results, to what external signals are considered to determine authority. That is why, it is extremely important to plan your digital marketing, and anticipating to some extent, how the market is likely to change over the course of the near and distant future. This ofcourse, does not involve looking into a crystal ball and making predictions out of nowhere. It involves calculated and concerted efforts in making reasonable assumptions regarding the likely course of events, logically factoring in the market, audience, and relevance. For instance, if it is Christmas time, or if summer is nearing, there is a higher probability of your consumers looking for products and services in relation to the needs and requisites of that particular time.

Content marketing mainly brings in a sequence, including discovery, consumption, and engagement with your target audience. Creating experiences that are easily discoverable through an online search or social media and continuously evaluating and re-examining the working aspects and disuse, fuel the most crucial and critical aspects of an effective editorial, optimization, and social media marketing effort. The potential influence of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, along with Google, Bing, and Yahoo! as search engines and online link sources, has changed the meaning of building links for SEO and the perception of a webpage’s ranking. Organising information and making it accessible and useful remains, and will always remain, one of the primary goals of a search. This is where the planning comes in handy.

Structured data in the form of markup, microformats, and rich snippets, as well as feeds and sitemaps, are playing an increasingly important role in helping Google achieve the goal of making the searches more user-friendly. Understanding data sources and file types that can be included in search results is another important aspect to consider. By understanding these opportunities, search marketers can take inventory of their digital assets and deploy a better, and more holistic SEO strategy that realizes the benefit of inclusion and visibility exactly where customers are looking.

The best SEO keyword optimisation technique is to use the words that are of substance, and matter or appeal the most to your customers, something that they would easily relate to, in titles, links, and body of the text, so as to inform and inspire, and urge them to take action accordingly.

Holistic content marketing and editorial planning assist in making better use of tactics that transcend the relationship timeline, such as SEO and social media.

Using a social strategy, firstly, optimise for your customers, secondly, optimise for the experience.

Such planning is a prerequisite for a successful digital marketing strategy:

  • Think about your current content, optimization, and social media marketing efforts, and how you could start integrating those programs.
  • Consider what areas of your content marketing could you start optimizing related to content discovery, consumption, and sharing
  • Critically examine whether your content optimization is more focused on keywords or customers, and ponder over how you could begin to evaluate customer needs and incorporate them as inspiration for keyword research and content.
  • Look at your current social media content, and assess where might you begin to optimize to have better social engagement and customer experience.
  • Identify the spectrum of content types used from the top of the buying cycle, right down to customer support. Consider how it is possible to optimize and socialize content more holistically.
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  1. Implementation-

“If you want to unlock your potential, implementation is key.”

Making and planning a strategy is one thing. Implementing it, is another. It is not possible even for the best of plans, to account for everything, and there are always ways in which improvement falls short of, or exceeds the plan.

Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, once said, “Every two days we now create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003.” That is a phenomenal amount of content, representing the overload of information many online citizens and consumers experience between social networks, online news, e-mail, and entertainment. But content is the main point, online, so much that 53 percent of time spent on the internet is directly attributable to content consumption alone. This is what makes content curation extremely vital. Content curation, which can be defined as a highly proactive and selective approach to finding, collecting, presenting, and displaying digital content around predefined sets of criteria and subject matter, has become essential to marketing, branding, journalism, reporting, and social media, often, to mashups of all these different and disparate channels.

With so much competition, so many companies and individuals engaged in publishing content online, it is necessary to analyse how you stand out, and how you can build thought leadership in your industry with prospects and the media. Gaining SEO benefits efficiently, creating and fitting new content, along with curation of useful resources, in your online marketing mix to inspire customers to buy, are main criteria for ensuring successful implementation of digital marketing and SEO.

The following actions would get you thinking about an effective implementation:

  • Analyse what are your most important objectives related to content marketing, and what role content creation or curation could play in your content marketing strategy to achieve your goals.
  • Ruminate on which goals you will curate content for, and which will require original content.
  • Identify the sources of content for curation. Start tracking relevant and exciting topics for your target audience and develop a method or process for identifying key topics for curation.
  • Set up Google Alerts or get a special monitoring profile or system using your social media monitoring tool for topics relevant that are considered pertinent by your audience and the business content marketing strategy.
  • Make use of your current content assets, and identify SEO and social media audit opportunities for each type and category of content.
  • Map your target keywords to the existing website and social media content for optimization.
  1. Scale-

“Everyone makes mistakes. The only difference is that ordinary people make the same mistake over and over, while geniuses make all new ones.”

The setbacks and flaws of the implementation and the constant need for change and upgradation require that the improvements be made at par and simultaneously, in sync with the cycle of digital marketing. The process of discovery, of the challenges, the current situation, the competitive environment, and the available resources; assessment, by reviewing the currently adopted approach, the process, SEO, social media readiness, evaluation of content marketing efforts, and identification of areas with prospects; and recommendation, providing the best practices that social media, SEO, and content marketing processes and tools can provide.

The following will help you effectively scale your digital marketing strategy:

  • Identify potential threats and opportunities for your goal, take benchmark measurements, and implement social media and SEO tactics with corresponding content.
  • Using social media monitoring and web analytics tools, assess content performance, and reoptimize or scale accordingly.
  • Compare your target keyword lists to the content and digital assets you have. Identify the gaps as opportunities for new content and media creation.
  • Review your content plan and identify which content types and digital assets you’ll need to optimize for specific keywords on a go forward.

For a digital marketing strategy to be effective, not only is it necessary to have technical know-how, but it is also important to be intent and keen on following a particular strategy so that the goals are met.

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