The Three Easy Pieces of Digital Marketing: Part One

With the galaxy of digital channels, platforms, devices and scary-sounding jargon, it no surprise that digital marketing can seem daunting. So many options, with new options added seemingly every day. How does a brand manager make sense of it all? How do you decide what digital elements to include in your marketing plan?

All these options boil down into three elements, and you need at least one of each as part of your marketing plan:

1. The Landing Page: the digital presence where the most robust and deep interactions between the brand and the consumer take place.

2. The Traffic Drivers: the tactics that bring the consumer to the Landing Page.

3. The Results: the measurements and analysis that tells you what happened.

Sounds simple, right? It is! This post and the next two will talk more about the Three Easy Pieces. Let’s start with

The Landing Page

This is the digital “place” to which you are trying to attract your consumers: it could be a web site, the brand’s Facebook wall or a Facebook application, a mobile site, a game, or sponsored content on a third-party web site. The Landing Page is designed for depth of engagement: it is the place where consumers can learn more about a brand or a promotion, view (and perhaps download) audio or video content, redeem an offer, read what other folks are saying and interact with like-minded people, register to win something or to receive future brand communications, play a game. This is the place when the consumer has the chance to really engage with the brand and the message, and the quality of engagement is what counts, not just the number of people who land on the page.

Think about the experience you want your consumer to have on this page, and what the consumer will be expecting when they arrive there. Most consumers will arrive at your page because of a traffic driver, and the messaging delivered by the landing page should be consistent with the tactic that brought them to the page. They should be able to immediately see “the rest of the story” that sparked their interest in the first place. Marketers sometimes want to say everything as soon as they are “introduced”, but it’s better to meet the consumer’s expectations consistently over time, build trust, and then – perhaps – the consumer will be ready to listen to other things you would like to say.

Think about this: Have you ever clicked on a digital ad and then landed on the home page of the brand’s website? How frustrating! You clicked on the ad because you were interested in the offer – and if you just land on the brand’s home page, you will now have to look for the offer. Chances are, you will say “forget it” – and move on to something else. An ad inviting a consumer to register for a contest should land on a registration page. A QR inviting a consumer to get a coupon should land on a digital coupon that is accessible with on a mobile device. A Facebook post inviting folks to view a certain video should link directly to that video, not a gallery of choices. It’s even possible to deliver differing landing pages based on specific key word searches. A brand may need to create multiple landing pages to deliver the best experience to the consumer.

The point of the landing page is to be of service to the consumer: solve their problem, deliver the information they are seeking, give them what they are expecting or looking for. When planning the content of the landing page, put yourself in the consumer’s mindset: what will they have seen before arriving at the page? What will they want to do when they land on the page? Deliver that to them, and they will appreciate the brand that provided them a good experience.

If your brand uses an “always on” marketing strategy, the brand will want to use the same URL over and over. As messaging needs change, the brand will want to change the content that is delivered when the consumer comes to that URL – not create a new URL. The consistent use of  BRANDX.com in all channels of consumer communication will make measurement easier and will improve search engine results for the brand.

Part Two of this series discusses traffic drivers: the wide variety of online and offline tactics that can be used to attract consumers to the brand’s landing page, and Part Three provides an overview of the measurement of the results for both.

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