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Reaching Your Profitable Destination
Marketing a digital agency takes time, and you could actually fill a textbook as thick as your arm with the proper steps to take, and information necessary to properly take those steps. This is no textbook, but is rather a “menu”, if you will, describing a number of dishes which precede, sustain, and follow a meal.
Content marketing will be explored specifically in this writing, as it has a very high level of ROI—though it’s worth noting that the same general precepts apply to other avenues of marketing. For example, content marketing requires a certain level of original content to be created and disseminated for proper effect. In the same way, using a billboard would require a certain level of time left standing to reach the requisite number of potential clients and have any real impact. It’s the same thing, just in a different medium. Accordingly, variables change.
You’d need to cover them all in detail to be comprehensive; but if you understand where those variables are, and that marketing essentially reflects the same kind of practice in different ways, then you can take a general article like this one and apply it to a broad level of outbound marketing strategies.
So following we’ll look at the “meal”, beginning, middle, and end, which most generally characterizes the most popular and, as some would consider them, successful means of digital agency marketing today.
1: The Appetizer, Marketing Built Around User Experience
A good way to get around all of these is to focus your marketing campaign around fulfilling the needs which have resulted in a certain kind of user experience. Say, for example, that your digital agency develops apps for smartphones, and is specifically designing one that is used in dating.
You’d want to collect as much information as you could pertaining to other dating apps, and that which is both lauded and despised in their regard. You’d then want to compile that information and associate it with your new app. In terms of marketing, you would want to focus on how what your app does is better than the competition in one area, and fixes problems of the competition in another. You’re focusing on singing your app’s praises, and fixing problems that similar apps have that monitors and showcases problems for developers.
User experience is a great way to reap this information, and you can find it for free all across the web—all you need to do is research appropriately. When you have that research, both the quality of your digital agency’s products or services, and the quality of marketing surrounding them, will be more effective. Additionally, this “appetizer” sets you up for the main course: developing actionable content that is likable, sharable, interesting, and valuable to target markets.
2: The Entrée, Continuously Produced And Creative Content
There’s a process here that looks like this:
- Research is conducted pertaining to the market your digital agency serves
- Ideas are generated for content addressing that market
- Varying online markets sympathetic to your agency are identified
- Content is created that is informed by all these facts
- Content is published
- Content is promoted
Here’s an infographic from Moz.com which really illustrates these points:
There are a few things to add to that, like recirculation and guest-blogging. Both would technically fall under what’s known as promotion. Basically, you want to get your content—written or otherwise—featured on guest sites that serve markets which either correspond or are adjacent to your target market.
Adjacent markets can bring crossover clientele and expand your market reach. Target markets are more likely to have those in a demographic sympathetic to your products or services, and apt to convert. Again, these principles generally apply across all kinds of outbound marketing. Research, creation, and dissemination of advertisement materials follows an essentially uniform process.
Where your digital agency really differs has to do with specific online means of presentation. Not only do you want to have this content available in visual, video, blog form and other video streaming sites on your company’s website; you want to utilize things like social media to get the word out. This step is, appropriately, the “dessert” of the whole enterprise and one which will provide you with a clear understanding of how whitehat works.
3. The Dessert, Maximizing Social Media Platforms
Check out this infographic from DailyInfographic.com showcasing twelve steps worth considering for social media marketing success:
That says it all in a nutshell. Again, you can see how the principles outlined in the creation of general content above have some parallel qualities to those explored in this process. Researching what you’re going to write, and where it’s going to go, creating the content, promoting it—all are very similar to conventional content creation and dissemination which exists regardless of dedicatedly social platforms that constitute the bulk of today’s media.
Where you’re going to find some differences between the conventional process, and social media marketing, is in terms of data examination and re-examination. Social media has an amorphous quality that is constantly shifting. Where in terms of conventional blog-related content marketing, you’re looking at broad trends designed for ROI in a year or two’s time, with social media you can catch a “wave” and ride it in to viral success very quickly if you’re wise about how you conduct your campaign.
In the process outlined in the infographic, you’ll find a section pertaining to KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators. Now these are going to be different for different social media platforms, and there are a lot of social media platforms out there. Snapchat, Facebook, LinkedIn, Minds, Twitter, YouTube, Gab, Reddit, the list goes on. Each has enough KPIs to write an article as lengthy as this one. You need to determine which platforms are in greatest alignment to your target market, and which KPIs to focus on branching off from there.
At that point, you want to get all the team-members who’ll be involved in the social media campaign “on the same page” regarding KPIs and the like which you plan to focus on. Only then do you start producing the content which will eventually be disseminated across the social media platforms which align to your operation.
Scrum at the start of each week in order to establish weekly social media goals, and review your progress at close of business on Friday to see what was accomplished and what still needs work the following week. Part of that scrum should involve planning out content campaigns. Think of it like the release schedule for Marvel’s recent proliferation of superhero films. Disney execs got together and ironed out a schedule of release, making a sort of tree on a whiteboard that helped them organize based in terms of plot, budget, marketing, etc. You need to do the same with your social media marketing team.
It also makes sense to utilize more than one social media channel if at all possible, and treat each of those channels idiosyncratically. You need individuals dedicated to answering prospect responses both positive and negative, and you need to review the campaign every month to see what needs improved, what isn’t working, and which forward steps make the most sense.
A Fine Marketing Meal
With an appetizer of market research pertaining to user experience, you can establish what kind of content to produce such that it most appropriately meets the needs of your target demographic. When you design that content, you’ll have a research and development process unique to each marketing campaign, but which will most likely take a year or more to reach maturity.
Your content should be disseminated across a variety of blogs you run, and guest blogs you’re able to post on, as well as social media. If you can design visual and video content, do so.
Social media is a means of advancing your primary content, which is why it is listed in this writing as a “dessert” of sorts. While it is an end in and of itself, you’ll need to design content for it specifically; so it makes sense to use what you’re already spreading through other digital avenues, as such crossover minimizes marketing cost over time.
That said, there are quite a few different ways to go about marketing, and as has been pointed out, there is enough information out there to write many books about. Which is most pertinent to you will depend on your business. That being said, the primary thrust of your marketing campaign for your digital agency will involve research of the market, creation of content, and dissemination of that content in a managed way that adapts as necessary.
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This is blog post number 470.