We believe in ongoing education and training. It’s especially critical with digital marketing strategies, because algorithms and landscapes change frequently. We sent six EAGers to Digital Summit Kansas City to stay on top of our game. Here are their key takeaways:
Audrey Gardner, account manager – Email platforms are starting to come along, but they’re still at the mercy of the platforms customers are using. Microsoft Outlook just doesn’t have the same great features Gmail users have. Understand your analytics to know where to put your time and attention so you’re designing for your audience and not designing to the lowest common denominator.
Brenda Heffron, content director – Brands get in their own way by complicating things. Yes, we want things to measure. We need to build email lists but when we let those pressures get in the way of keeping messages simple, we add complexity. Humans are not wired for complexity. We want simple. Asking for an email address before visitors can view your great content is a great way to harvest email (fake and junk email addresses that is), but it gets in the way of communication. Users want to learn and shop. They’ll give you an email address when they check out. Communicate first to build relationships, measure later.
Wynn Shepard, digital product manager – We already see evidence of voice search in our clients’ search analytics. As we move forward, devices will get smarter and anticipate user intent to recommend purchases. For routine purchases, voice purchase is critical to establish now. For more complex purchases, it can be an entry point so brand marketing should be a priority. Voice search focuses on search engine optimization (SEO) now, but paid voice advertising is likely coming.
Erin Dechman, digital account manager – Keep it simple. In the digital marketing strategies world, we tend to look for the latest and greatest thing. And we should certainly experiment. But sometimes it makes more sense to look at what is working for you and do more of that, better. Expand on that. Fine tune that. And always keep focused on what makes sense for the end user. We don’t always need to think outside the box if it is more effective to optimize within the box to convert more sales.
Jeff Randolph, VP/director of client services – Your landing pages have two jobs: First, they need to fulfill the promise that brought the customer to the page. Headlines should match and it shouldn’t feel like a bait and switch. Second, they need to convert. Anything that gets in the way of providing just enough information needed to convert can disappear. Optimizing for conversions is a science. Let the data tell you what to do. Listen to the ads that are getting the highest click traffic, and use that language everywhere.
Gina Madison, consulting digital strategist – We never do digital marketing in a vacuum. Each paid and organic campaign is viewed as a holistic digital campaign. We then determine which channel assisted in the conversion to provide full value to each channel. In other words, someone may come to discover your brand from a paid search campaign, then move along without converting. Later, when they have time and likely on a different device, they come back through direct or organic (non-paid) search. If you don’t give credit where credit is due by tracking it, you could accidentally shut down an important channel.
At the end of the day, creating content for digital marketing strategies is creating good content by writing for humans. Content that engages, tells a story and establishes an emotional connection is always the right content to build a brand. As we start to layer the digital world on top, we strategically plan for search engine optimization (SEO) to capture relevant search traffic. We incorporate pay per click (PPC) advertising to know what the content on the page needs to do to satisfy a new audience. But without the compelling human element, you’ll never keep a new visitor engaged. Never. Ever.