Bill Grunau

5 Key Elements to Develop a Balanced Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital marketing has literally exploded over the last few years! Today, there are so many elements to online marketing, it’s tough to know where to start, what to focus on, and how to allocate your budget for time and money. Some say a great website with responsive design is vital and all that you need, while others believe it’s all about SEO. Of course there are the PPC (Pay Per Click or paid advertising), social media and email marketing camps as well. The truth is that they are all somewhat right and completely wrong at the same time.

There is no silver bullet or magic wand that will deliver great marketing results with a single shot or wave of the hand. In fact, an effective marketing campaign will use all of these elements, leveraging each media type to compliment the others. It’s much like the line up for a sports team, each player has their role and specialty, and if you are missing one player or have a weak player in a key position, you have a weak team overall. It’s the same for marketing campaigns. A marketing campaign focused exclusively or primarily on one element, say SEO or PPC, is missing other key positions such as social media, perhaps website design, and email marketing. The end result from a poor digital marketing line up is poor results.

For great results you need a balanced approach with appropriate time and money spent on each of the key areas. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions about implementing a new digital marketing campaign, revamping or fixing an existing campaign or for any questions on SEO, PPC, social media and of course website design.

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5 Key Elements to a Great Digital Marketing Campaign

  1. Have a GREAT website: your website is the foundation of your digital marketing campaign. Today it’s vital for your website to work well on mobile and with social media. If it is poorly designed, doesn’t work well on mobile, or has weak or little content, your campaign is severely handicapped. When we speak of poorly designed, we don’t mean just the graphics or the look. While the look is important and tends to get almost all of the attention, or criticism, it is equally important for the website to be built correctly and have great content. Your website doesn’t need a redesign every year, but right now, if it is not responsive and working great on mobile devices it is time for a refresh or new website regardless.
  2. Paid Advertising (PPC and RTB): As little as two years ago we recommended very little PPC; and RTB (real time bidding) was just entering the market. Today we consider paid internet advertising to be a vital player in a successful and balanced campaign. PPC is great for ramping up traffic on a new campaign and for targeting specific keywords where you want additional traffic or even targeting competitors.
    We recommend both a Google PPC (Adwords) and RTB (banner ad and re-targeting) campaign even if the budget is limited. You can use our PPC budget calculator to work up a budget based on how many clicks you want and your available budget. Use the paid advertising to target keywords that are vital and phrases where you are ranking as well as you would like to supplement your organic traffic.
  3. SEO: Search Engine Optimization has been at the forefront of almost every digital marketing campaign, everyone wants to rank #1 or at least be on page one. The fact is not everyone can be; and for highly competitive keywords and topics it is tough to get there.  Should you do SEO? Absolutely, yes! Good SEO is is not easy or cheap, it requires creating excellent content and lots of it and optimizing the site structure.
  4. Social Media: After being dismissed early on, social media has become the darling of the news media and business. Today social media has everyone’s attention, and at the same time most campaigns have lots of room for improvement. Social media will not improve your search rankings, but it does drive traffic to your website and is great for brand building as well as it is vital for reputation management. Some of our clients generate 20% to 30% of their traffic from social media.
  5. Email Marketing: this has been a favorite for many companies, but few do it well or consistently. Your email marketing campaign is a great supplement and complement to your social media and content development campaigns. Not everyone will find their way to your blog and likewise, many will miss your tweets or Facebook posts. By proactively reaching out to your customers and email list with a timely newsletter you can keep them up to date and bring them back to your site to look at the latest news. The critical word here is “news”. Your email marketing campaign absolutely must deliver something worth their while and interesting. Spammy or salesy newsletters just get deleted or worse, reported as Spam and unsubscribed. With a little work you can create a great monthly newsletter even in the most boring industry.

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What do we recommend for budget and time allocation? It depends on both the type and size of your company as well as your current situation. SEO and PPC will consume the majority of the budget typically 30% to 40% each, followed by Social Media and email marketing. In our campaigns we now consider content creation as part of on-site SEO and include content in that budget.