Digital marketing strategies and tactics seem to be changing weekly – or so it feels. And for marketers trying to stay up to date with technology it can be time consuming and confusing.
SEO has traditionally been an important strategy for marketers to drive more traffic to their website. Tactics associated with SEO are largely driven by Google’s algorithm. And as Google releases changes to their algorithm marketers are quick to respond by changing tactics. What may work one year, will not necessary work the following year, as people try to trick search engines, and Google gets smarter at penalizing them.
Then, along comes social media, and while social media has been around for quite some time, its just now marketers are taking it seriously and integrating social media into their marketing efforts. Then there’s the confusion of knowing which platforms to choose. Where there used to be three major players Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – there's now more with Google Plus, Instagram and Pinterest - with more and more popping up each week. Where will Tumblr be a year from now?
So what should a marketer do?
While its necessary to stay up to date with the latest, effective tactics for digital marketing; SEO, social, blogging etc. Marketers need a philosophy, something that drives, and integrates their marketing efforts, even though tactics may change.
What we do know is that the digital era has changed buyer behavior and expectations. Whether customers buy online or offline – they are more likely to conduct pre-purchase research online. They go searching online for educational information to help them make an informed buying decision, and they keep searching until they find what they’re looking for. They don’t just settle on one search query or one website – they keep searching until they’re satisfied. And unless they’re ready to buy, they don’t want to be sold to.
A successful marketer in the digital age – must understand their buyers. Your marketing philosophy should be focused on your buyers, providing the content they want and creating the experience for which they are looking.
That is why I love the Inbound Marketing philosophy by Hubspot: “Creating marketing your audience will love.” This challenges marketers to consider their approach to marketing based on what their buyer is looking for, rather than the individual tactic – because as we can see tactics will always change.
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