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A lot goes into creating an effective marketing strategy. Whether you work in-house or hire an outside firm, companies need to hire specialists to conduct research, profile customers, set goals, create content, and analyze data — all in the hopes that they will be able to generate leads and, ultimately, increase sales.
According to a recent study, companies invest between 10–14 percent of their total annual budget in marketing alone, so it’s important that their marketing campaigns are effective.
Engagement is a useful metric for companies looking to ensure that their strategy aligns with their audience’s interest.
On top of that, engagement is related to profitability. It helps companies broaden their audience, build trust and loyalty, inspire action, increase brand awareness, and stay in touch with customers.
Low engagement could be a sign that you need to improve your digital marketing strategy. If you’re worried about it, here are a few things you could be missing from your marketing campaign:
- Attention-Grabbing Content
- Easy-to-Share Features
- Targeted Audiences
- A Well-Designed Website
1. Attention-Grabbing Content
It’s undeniable — quality content can have a huge impact on your business because it increases brand awareness, boosts site traffic, drives engagement, grows leads, and ultimately, helps you make sales.
However, it can be very difficult to create content that your audience wants to engage with.
As companies continue to turn out massive amounts of content every day, it’s easy for your work to get lost in the fold. On top of that, most people spend less than 15 seconds on a given web page.
For your content to really make a difference in your campaign, it needs to stand out from your competitors and be compelling enough that your audience will want to like and share it.
The first step in creating engaging and sticky content is coming up with topics that your audience would be interested in. Above all, your content needs to be newsworthy.
You can grab your audience’s attention by covering trending topics, which you can find on Twitter, Google Trends, and Exploding Topics. As your brainstorm ideas, you need to focus on creating content that:
- Tells a story
- Appeals to your audience’s values and interests
- Is useful
- Is relatable
- Is Inspiring
As you release new marketing content, you need to analyze the results to determine what works. From there, you can make adjustments to the marketing campaign to ensure that each ad, post, and article aligns with campaign goals.
2. Easy-to-Share Features
Finding an interesting topic is only half the battle. Keep in mind that you want to continue to grow, and for that to happen, you need people to engage with your content by liking and sharing it.
While likes show what your audience is interested in, shares can help your company broaden its reach.
People tend to spend more time thinking about the content they’re sharing, making a share a stronger and more valuable endorsement than a like.
In fact, according to The New York Times study on the psychology of content sharing, 49 percent of people say that sharing allows them to inform others of things they care about and potentially change opinions or encourage action.
On top of that, consumers are more likely to take product and service recommendations from friends and family, making shares even more valuable. It’s estimated that reviews from trusted sources are 12.85 times more influential in establishing your reputation than advertising.
People are more likely to share visual content, so you can boost engagement by including original videos, pictures, and infographics in your campaign. Buffer reported that Tweets with images earn 150 percent more retweets than those without.
You can also make your content easier to share by adding social share buttons to all your pages. You should include call to actions throughout your website to encourage them to spread the word.
This site chose to include their share buttons on the left-hand side of the page so readers can easily click on the platform they want to share their content on. As readers scroll down the page, the social share buttons remain in the same spot, so they’re easy to access.
3. Targeted Audiences
You might think that by casting a broad net, you’ll catch the most fish — or in this case, customers. The truth is that this method means you’ll attract some attention and brand awareness, but your conversion rate is likely very low.
Rather than prioritizing reach, you can reduce your cost per acquisition by targeting the right people. To do so, you need to create buyer personas.
To create profiles that accurately reflect your customer base, you need to analyze past interactions to determine what compels your customers to buy your products or service.
Here are a few methods that can help you gather data on your customers:
- Interview old buyers and current clients
- Analyze buyer data
- Study social media engagement
- Conduct a market survey
As you go through all the information, consider repeat buyers, people who left positive reviews, and even customer complaints. If your company is B2B, you can track similarities between your top 10 partners— are they in the same industry? How does their spending compare to the rest of your clients?
As you go through the data, you might start to recognize patterns about your customer demographics. From there, you can start to group your audience into segments based on age, gender, occupation, income, etc.
As you create your descriptions, consider these questions:
- Who is likely to use your services or buy your products?
- What defines them?
- What interests them about your products/services?
- Why do they work with you?
- Where do they live and work?
- How did they find you?
By identifying various types of customers, you’ll be able to create targeted content and messaging. Once you determine what content will engage each group, you need to figure out how to reach them.
For example, an online retail store can target young moms by creating copy that highlights the practicality of their clothing and delivery options and advertising on Instagram. However, if they wanted to reach teenagers, a TikTok ad might be the way to go.
Small adjustments like when your ads are posted and what platforms they’re posted on can make a big difference.
Consumers engage the most with topical, trending, and relevant content, which is why timing is everything.
Many companies choose to market year-round and stick to their predetermined editorial calendar, and as a result, lose out on increased engagement, leads, and sales.
However, there are plenty of opportunities to make your content more relevant, like seasonal holidays, industry-specific events, and even pop culture moments. For example, ad campaigns for the next up and coming toy do better right before Christmas, compared to other times of year.
Marketers can take advantage of these moments by creating a content calendar that gives them a broad overview of what’s coming up and can help them plan ahead.
Source: Amy Wright Content Marketing
This template includes the date the content will be published, when the content should be completed, the topic that will be covered, and even the keywords they plan to target. This can also encourage team-wide communication and prevent similar content from being released at the same time.
While planning ahead can ensure that you take advantage of yearly milestones, content teams need to stay flexible in case something comes up that could spike your audience’s interest.
A year ago, who would have predicted that we would be in a global pandemic?
As we went into lockdown worldwide, marketers, advertisers, and content creators needed to come up with new content that reflected what we were all searching:
Advertising teams had to think quickly to ensure their content reflected the unique time we’re in. While a pandemic is a unique situation, trends continue to change, so it’s important to always make adjustments when needed.
5. A Well-Designed Website
All digital marketing traffic leads back to your website, so it’s extremely important that you provide the best user experience.
Slow loading speeds, outdated pages, and convoluted interfaces will increase your bounce rate and lower your conversion rate. All the marketing in the world is going to be ineffective if your site is difficult to use or is unappealing.
To improve your digital marketing campaign’s success, you should invest in creating intuitive landing pages that will engage leads.
You can drastically improve your site’s UX with a quick redesign that:
- Is mobile-friendly
- Highlights images
- Uses appealing CTAs
- Optimizes page speed
- Uses white space
- Is consistent
Companies can also grow their subscriber list by featuring pop-ups, scroll boxes, and embedded forms.
Grow Engagement with Your Digital Marketing Campaign
Your audience is more likely to engage with content that grabs their attention — and holds it. As you brainstorm ideas, you need to come up with concepts that appeal to readers, tell a story, and are inspiring.
Of course, the same content won’t work every time. Your audience might have different views or be interested in different things, depending on what’s going on in the world. So it’s important that you target different segments by creating unique and timely content and posting it on platforms where they’ll be likely to find it.
If you do that, your audience will be more likely to share and like your content, which will help you reach a larger audience. You can boost the chances that they will share it by including pictures, videos, infographics, or even share buttons. You can also include these features on your website to improve UI/UX.
If you apply these tactics to your marketing strategy, you’ll increase engagement, boost sales, and lower your cost per acquisition.
Hannah Hicklen is a content writer & editor for Clutch — an Inc 1000 company that provides B2B research, ratings, and reviews.