Five Key Elements for a Strong Digital Communications Strategy
By Cara Sloman, executive vice president, Nadel Phelan, Inc.
As the digital communications landscape continues to expand, your PR and marketing efforts need to cover a lot of ground without feeling disjointed. We recommend these five elements for creating a successful strategy that showcases your brand in a holistic way.
1. Content marketing: Content marketing yields similar or better results than traditional marketing methods. If you focus on customer journeys, execute well and diversify content formats, prospects are more likely to look to your company and its leaders as trusted sources of information.
By developing and building campaigns around industry reports, white papers, blog posts and case studies that address customer pain points, we’ve helped clients grow engaged audiences, acquire new customers and strengthen relationships and sales with existing clientele.
2. Search Engine Optimization: Any SEO effort can have a lasting impact on your business’s online presence. That’s because its benefits are long-lasting compared to other digital channels. SEO is relatively cost-effective, too.
The trick is to pay attention to the ever-changing SEO landscape. Make sure to review and optimize your online content frequently according to the latest rules and practices. Key word usage, link building and content duplicated across the internet are all variables that affect page rank – and the odds that audiences find and engage with your content.
3. Work with influencers: When it comes to visibility and validation, it’s hard to beat the effectiveness of influencer marketing. That’s why working with bloggers, authoritative voices and social media figures has become an impactful method to raise awareness and generate leads. In fact, for a few of our most memorable campaigns we’ve teamed up with these influencers for podcasts, webinars and speaking panels.
To start your influencer program, find the people who show up in keyword searches and have a healthy following within your target segment. Then, determine how effectively they inspire action. Finally, approach your shortlist to find common ground and begin to establish a symbiotic relationship.
4. Amplify your content: Create a plan to amplify your content using paid, owned and earned media channels to maximize exposure and engage target customers as they move through the sales funnel. Using your key customer personas, assess the media channels and strategies that will yield the highest ROI. For instance, once a new piece goes live, post its corresponding social media and notify sales teams to maximize visibility. Consider sponsored posts, as well.
5. Crunch the numbers: With the wealth of channels available today, it is critical to use data-driven metrics to assess and fine-tune strategies. These figures will enable you to measure engagement, identify strengths and weaknesses.
We have found Google Analytics to be a must-have tool for analyzing our clients’ PR and marketing efforts. It provides website analytics on session behavior, traffic sources, total referral traffic, goal conversions and more. These metrics will give you greater insight into where customers encounter you, which external channels are driving traffic and the content that is the most meaningful to your target audiences.
Get noticed: The digital world has had a democratizing effect. With the exception of paid media, your competitors can all make use of the same free or low-cost platforms and tools as you. In this landscape, your digital communications strategy is your differentiator. The five elements above will help you develop a plan that engages your target audiences to help meet business objectives.
Need support executing a robust digital communications strategy that will drive valuable results? Contact us to learn more.