It can be difficult to know where to start in digital marketing, where the landscape always seems to be shifting. Here are twelve solid rules that I’ll go out on a limb and say will always be true.
1 – Be original
There’s nothing worse than recycled content. Resist the urge to post old memes and out of date gifs, you’ll just look lazy and uninspired. If you’re not a creative mind yourself, work with a marketing agency or influencer who can collaborate with you to create great original content for your brand.
2 – Consider your audience
Ok, this one seems obvious. And, yeah, considering your audience is the cornerstone of all marketing and always has been. But in the world of digital, you not only have to consider your audience, but you also need to keep on top of where your audience is. For example, did you know, today the average age of a Facebook user is 40. Compare that to five years ago and the picture is radically different. In 2012 the average age was 25. Meanwhile, Snapchat users today are between 18 – 24, with less than 2% of users being over 35. And these stats themselves will change as audiences evolve and platforms develop.
3 – Put quality above quantity
Gone are the days when you have to post three times, every day, regardless of whether you have anything to say. It’s better to curate excellent quality content that will go far on the merits of its originality and relevance than to spam people with uninteresting content all day long.
4 – Have fun
Create the kind of content that you’d be interested in yourself. If you’re bored reading one of your e-newsletters, chances are your audience will be too. Show the human side of your company with behind the scenes videos and staff bios – let people know who you are and what you’re all about.
5 – Network, network, network some more
Meet people who might want to share your content and talk about what you do. Which brings us on to…
6 – Collaborate
Guest blogs are a great way to improve your visibility online, especially if you’re working within a specific consumer niche. If you’re competing in a larger market, influencer marketing can be a great way to reach new audiences, especially notoriously difficult to engage youth audiences. Influencer campaigns work best when the influencer is given creative freedom to speak to their audience in their own way, giving genuine endorsement of your product.
7 – Learn from your mistakes
Mistakes can be great as long as you learn from them. Get to grips with reporting tools such as Google Analytics for user behaviour on your website and something like Sprout Social to learn more about interactions through social.
8 – Check out what’s out there
It’s a big world out there. Keep up to date with current trend leaders in marketing and attend industry events. Check out London based Carl Silverstone’s Alpine Marketing Studios, a hot marketing studio executing hugely ambitious marketing campaigns on a grand scale. For industry events, talks, and great networking, take a look at General Assembly who run regular events and workshops out of their East London HQ.
9 – Stand up for what you believe
Don’t compromise on quality and definitely don’t compromise on originality. It can be tempting to go with safe (and therefor ordinary) marketing ideas. Don’t do this. Give people a reason to remember you.
10 – Brag about it
Had a great success? Cool, so tell people! Enter annual competitions like The Drum’s Social Buzz Awards. Got to 10,000 followers? Post it on your channels. Modesty never got anybody anywhere in this game.
Do not go for easy fixes. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. There are plenty of digital marketers out there who will offer you huge increases in your followings fast, with very little input from you. Be wary of this. A good marketing professional should take the time to get to know you and your brand and find out what you’re about, who your audience is, and where to find them.
And finally, don’t be afraid to try something new. Albert Einstein famously said the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results, but you’d be amazed how many companies fall into the trap of doing just that. If something isn’t working, try to find out why. A good marketing professional will be able to identify faults in your business and suggest great new ideas that you might never have considered.