That’s right, every interaction is an opportunity. Nothing is sacred from the clutches of commoditization. But no matter what form your digital marketing takes, there are some guidelines to follow to get the most from your efforts. Here are HubSpot’s four digital marketing tips and a quick example for each.

Number one, define your audience.

Everybody is online. 93% of Americans to be exact. No idea who that final 7% is, could be literally anyone, probably Ja Rule. But you can’t effectively market to everyone at once. So it’s important to identify who your marketing is supposed to appeal to.

And this can be accomplished through buyer personas. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer that is based on market research and data about your existing customers. If your product is B2B, your buyer persona will probably focus on info like: the buyer’s company, their role in the organization, the size of the organization, their challenges, and so on. B2C businesses tend to focus more on buyers demographics, like: age, education and personal interests. A good example of this is the personal finance app Mint.

All adults need financial tools but mint focuses specifically on the young professional demographic. You can see immediately when you go to the MintLife Blog from the photos of young adults that they use, to headlines like, “Can I Afford to Have a Hot Girl Summer?” I’ve been asking myself that question for months now, no leads. But no matter how hot my summer is, it’s unmistakable who Mint defines as its audience.

Tip number two for all digital marketing is: be present where your audience is.

People are online all the time, an average of nearly seven hours a day by some estimates. But that doesn’t mean they’re all in the same place. That would be ridiculous and also impossible. By defining your audience in step one, you can now determine their habits and figure out what the best place is to reach them. This can be accomplished in part by ad-targeting tools that all the major digital platforms offer, but ads only go so far in the digital marketing economy.

So smart marketers go deeper, integrating their messaging into demo specific content.

And I’m sure you’re gonna ask me now, “well, Jamal, let’s hear about an example.” All right. For example, TurboTax. Sure you heard of them.

They wanted to engage with a Latino audience and they did this by activating an integrated marketing campaign that created online tools, content and activation specifically for that demographic. The company then formed strategic media and community partnerships with groups like the Hispanic Heritage Fund and We All Grow Latina Network to leverage those organizations ability to communicate with that demographic. Remember digital marketing is social marketing. So socializing with your audience through participation in their communities is (Jamal imitating chef’s kiss) there’s nothing better than that..

Tip number three for effective digital marketing is: build an effective funnel.

Getting your messages to your audience is one thing, but getting them to act is another. For digital marketing, the steps for converting a stranger into a customer is usually defined in discrete steps shaped like a funnel.

So this can include things like attracting visitors through messaging at the top of the funnel, turning those visitors into qualified leads by offering deals or content that they sign up for in the middle of the funnel. Then closing the deal through smart engagement. You’re sitting here again, going, “oh, Jamal I wanna hear about an example of this.” Well, Audible.

Sure you heard of those guys.

Well, they ended up building a very effective online sales funnel, which builds awareness for the audio books and podcasts on its platform by working with creators to promote via social media. Potential subscribers are then offered 30 days of Audible for free, so they can listen to the content that first interests them and they become customers once billing starts when the free trial is over. Even if your business doesn’t use a subscription model, you still wanna offer incentives to get potential customers to engage with your brand.

This brings us to our fourth and final digital marketing tip: monitor and report.

Marketing pioneer, John Wanamaker, famously said, “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.

” John you and I have the same problem, but my money stopped being spent on advertising, you know what I’m saying. (Jamal laughing) I’m broke! The great thing about digital marketing is now you can tell which half of your marketing is working and which half is wasted.

This is done by first using analytics to determine if the audience is finding your messaging by tracking impressions and views. Next, you wanna track how well your audience responds to your messaging by looking at things like click-through, signup, scrolling, and ultimately sales.

HubSpot offers a full suite of marketing analytics and a dashboard software to help you be a smarter data-driven marketer. Companies also need to monitor what people are saying about them online in order to influence perception and heaven forbid, quickly address bad PR. And at this point you’re thinking, “this guy’s out of examples.” Once again, you are incorrect. Gatorade.

They run a full 24/7 mission control center in Chicago. That mission is to amplify positive sentiment and address any negative comments as quickly as possible before they have time to spread. You might not be ready to staff a full-time social media monitoring team, but you do need to take time to engage with your online audience in real time.

That’s because digital marketing, when done right, is a two way conversation. To upgrade your own digital marketing performance, you already know what to do.

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