You may have spent the last quarter doing a SWOT analysis of your marketing efforts and identifying your priorities as you grow your brand. You may even have developed your entire marketing strategy.
It is good to know what your goals are and to have a full understanding of how you will achieve them. After all, there is no point in performing tasks for no reason.
At the same time, implementing your marketing strategy is different from creating that strategy. It is the channels, techniques, and tactics that help make the vision a reality. Additionally, marketing a brand online has become much more nuanced and complex, with many techniques to reach and resonate with audiences.
To help you learn about the most effective marketing techniques available today, we’ve rounded up the best to add to your digital marketing toolbox.
Best Marketing Techniques
- Brand storytelling
- Digital PR
- The surround sound method
- Brand extensions
- Video marketing
- Community house
- Contextual Marketing
- Optimization of the blog title
- The pillar cluster model
- Historical optimization
- The Skyscraper Backlinking Method
- A / B testing for CTAs
- Value-added emails
- Audience segmentation
- Marketing automation
- Lead scoring
Branding and Awareness Techniques
1. Brand storytelling
Purpose: to attract attention
In the field of neuroscience, researchers have proven that storytelling is the best way to grab people’s attention, store information in their memories, and resonate with them emotionally. The human brain is programmed to crave, seek out, and respond to well-crafted narratives – that will never change.
If you have an about page on your website that is just for saying what you’re doing and who you’re doing it for, creating a compelling narrative is a great way to improve that page and resonate with your readers . For maximum effectiveness, you should follow a storytelling framework like Simon Sinek’s Find Your Why method, Donald Miller’s storybrand or the classic Hero’s Journey.
And storytelling doesn’t just have to live on your About page.
Just like your favorite Netflix series, YouTube allows you to create a series to entice your viewers to subscribe to your updates. This can make your audience even more excited about the newest season of your show than they are currently about the newest season of Strange things.
Before you go through the green light for another series of listicles, how-to posts, and ultimate guides, think about how powerful storytelling is and come up with a story full of conflict, surprise, and emotion that will keep your viewers regardless of brand Associate with your brand Channel that you target them to.
2. Digital PR
Purpose: Reach new target groups
the group chat when you get a link in a huge publication pic.twitter.com/jdKVhLdA1C
– Digital PR Memes (@DigitalPRMemes) June 22, 2021
The average time spent on social media was 145 minutes per day in 2020, an increase over the previous year. Needless to say, people are spending more time on social media than ever before. And public relations professionals are aligning their strategy by focusing only on getting their stories in the publications of news agencies in order to focus on driving traffic to their websites and social media profiles.
In order to successfully present your stories to journalists and news outlets these days, you need to consider the content that works well on their social media profiles and publication. So before you present your story, make sure it is relevant and interesting to the news agency’s social audience.
3. The surround sound method
The more often a prospect sees it, the more effective it is. It’s also pretty safe to say that the more it is seen, the more effective it is, the more effective it is.
This is a fact that was alluded to earlier in this post when the word “touchpoints” appears.
The surround sound methodology takes this idea and reinforces it by challenging the notion that your own channels and assets are not enough to create real brand awareness. They should also show up everywhere someone goes to consider products. For example:
- Check websites
- The social timelines of prominent influencers
- In the media they consume (articles, videos, podcasts)
According to Alex Birkett, Senior Growth Marketing Manager at HubSpot, if you can “Get a lot of people to speak positively about you, preferably around the same time, “you can generate quite a bit of brand awareness.
4. Brand extensions
Purpose: Expansion into tangential markets for more attention
Large companies often expand their brands to develop new products in industries where they do not have a market share. These initiatives are known as brand extensions and allow companies to leverage their brand awareness and equity to develop more revenue streams. For example, Reese enters the grain market with its peanut butter and chocolate product “Reese’s Puffs”.
Historically, the most successful brand extensions are those closely tied to the company’s flagship product or core brand, such as Gerber’s baby clothes and Dole’s frozen fruit bars. By entering tangential markets that retain the unique associations and perceived quality of your brand, you can develop new products the benefits of which consumers intuitively understand even though they have never seen them on the shelf.
On the other hand, a company can also take advantage of its brand and in turn damage it. If they develop a product in a market that is not closely related to their flagship product or core brand, audiences can create unwanted associations with a brand, weaken their existing associations, and degrade the perceived quality of their established products.
Audience retention techniques
Purpose: Use audio content and reach new target groups
Technically, audio is more of a media type or channel than a technology, but according to a content format study by Edison Research and Triton Digital, people ages 12 and older hear unprecedented levels of online audio content. On average, people spend 17 hours a week listening to their favorite podcasts, online radio shows, and audiobooks.
Needless to say, the demand for audio content has skyrocketed, but that doesn’t mean people are listening to your branded podcast just because it’s a podcast. In reality, they will only hear it if it can grab their attention and ultimately entertain them.
This is where the technical part comes in: Many podcasts rely on a host / guest model. This model is extremely successful because hosts can tap into the audience that the guest brings and vice versa. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement as long as both sides advertise effectively. Because of this, it’s important to choose guests wisely and make it easy for them to promote the show and episode they are appearing on.
With every guest that comes, the podcast audience grows and so does the engagement.
6. Video Marketing
Purpose: Use video content and reach new target groups
Video has replaced blogs and infographics as the number one media form in content strategy (HubSpot). There are a couple of reasons for this:
- It’s flexible. You can create videos for YouTube, embed them on your blog, share them on social media, and more.
- It’s a different kind of organic game. Google shows videos in the SERPs (search engine results pages). YouTube is also its own search engine and the second most visited page after Google itself (Alexa).
- The commitment is worth it. Video consumption continues to rise, surpass television and is more effective at conveying information (biteable).
So consumers aren’t just looking for audio content; they are also looking for video content. And savvy marketers get ROI in the form of engagement and reusability.
7. Community building
Purpose: To improve long-term engagement and build authority
Speaking of engagement, the last thing you want to do is create content and then hear a cricket when you promote it. One of the best ways to increase engagement and brand awareness is to build relationships with prospects, users, customers, and others in the industry.
Many brands create digital communities on social media, online boards, and their own hosted networks / forums. With Community Management you build relationships, give something back and establish yourself as an authority in the industry. It can be as simple as answering questions on Quora or maintaining a hashtag on Twitter, or it can be as complex as building an entire support network for your product.
In any case, you improve the affinity of your prospects and customers for your brand.
When done right, your community can even go beyond your brand and become a useful resource for everyone in it. For example, Women in Tech SEO, founded by Areej AbuAli, is a community focused on accelerating women’s careers in the SEO industry. The organization has a network with a discussion component, ongoing meetings, a newsletter and more.
8. Contextual Marketing
Purpose: Improve website engagement with personalized content
Contextual marketing is the practice of providing visitors with personalized website content based on their stage of the buyer journey. The idea is that if you cut out the noise and provide your website visitors with the content that matters most to them, you will be much more successful at getting their attention.
We all agree that improving the experience for prospects can lead to greater effectiveness, but what does contextual marketing look like in practice?
For example, you can use dynamic CTAs that only show them offers that are relevant to them. This reduces the amount of useless information they put on your website and reduces banner blindness … in part because the banners they see are helpful and relevant.
It can also mean using smart forms so that you don’t keep asking for the same information from website visitors who have a reason to fill out multiple forms on your website.
You can then segment your database so that your leads receive email campaigns tailored directly to their needs based on content they have already consumed on your website.
All of this results in a personalized, bespoke trip without the pressure of going to a seller for it.
Traffic control techniques
9. Optimization of the blog title
Purpose: To increase traffic to existing assets by improving the click rate
When you’re writing a blog post, do you use the first title you came up with, or do you write a few?
People don’t get to the rest of your content until they click the heading. This is why it’s so important to have engaging titles that will resonate with your audience and make them click.
By increasing the effectiveness of your titles, you can increase the click-through rate (and therefore also the traffic). One way to do this is to use tools like this headline analyzer to see what you can do to improve your headline.
Better still, you can always analyze your existing blog posts to see which headlines are not weighing enough. By improving the click-through rate, you can get more traffic to this asset without much editorial effort.
10. The pillar cluster model
Purpose: To increase traffic by establishing a topic authority
With people today relying heavily on Google to provide accurate and relevant answers to most of their questions, Google needs to understand the intent and context of every single search.
To do this, Google has evolved to identify thematic connections between users’ searches, trace back similar searches that users have searched for in the past, and display the content that best answers them. As a result, Google delivers content that they consider most relevant to the topic.
Consider implementing the pillar cluster model on your blog so that Google recognizes your content as a trusted authority on marketing, sales, and customer service topics.
In essence, the pillar cluster model is a topic-based content strategy. That means that you generate and organize ideas for your blog by topic.
By creating a single pillar page (such as an Ultimate Guide) that provides a high level overview of a topic and hyperlinks to cluster pages (subtopic blog posts) that deal with the subtopic of the topic, you can google signal that your pillar page is an authority on the matter.
Linking all cluster pages to the pillar page also distributes domain authority over the cluster, so your cluster pages get an organic boost when your pillar page ranks higher, and your cluster pages can even help your pillar page rank higher when they start ranking the specific keywords they are targeting.
11. Historical optimization
Purpose: To increase traffic by improving existing assets
The market for specialized services for updating / optimizing old content has a massive void.
We’ve all been creating content for years.
The greater opportunity and faster time to value for agencies / contractors is in updating … not creating.
– John Bonini (@ Bonini84) September 4, 2020
In 2015, HubSpot made a revolutionary discovery about our organic monthly blog traffic – the vast majority of it came from posts published before that month. In fact, 76% of monthly blog views came from these old posts.
Today, the groundbreaking reveal is louder than ever – 89% of our monthly blog views are currently from posts published at least six months ago, and we’ve developed an entire strategy dedicated to refreshing and republishing this historic content.
These types of blog posts are known as “updates” and make up 35-40% of HubSpot’s editorial calendar. By refreshing posts with new information and effectively republishing them as new blog posts, HubSpot can build on its existing organic value that those posts have amassed through backlinks and user interaction, doubling or even tripling their traffic. This process also helps HubSpot optimize our blog for efficiency by reducing the amount of new content we need to create while increasing our organic traffic and conversions.
Purpose: regaining lost traffic
Many content marketing techniques are about attracting new audiences rather than improving the effectiveness of those already acquired. Because of this, retargeting deserves a spot on this list as a far from being used tactic.
I explain retargeting with a scenario: A potential customer comes to an e-commerce site and looks at a product. They decide the time to buy something and they leave. Retargeting allows you to remind them of their original interest by showing them advertisements for the product on other websites (e.g. banner ads or Facebook ads). In fact, your ads will follow them around the web and make them more likely to come back for that purchase.
13. The Skyscraper Backlinking Method
Purpose: Get links for more traffic and improved SEO signals
Earning high quality inbound links from websites and pages with high authority scores is critical to increasing your domain authority. But unfortunately, “When you write it, they’ll link to it” is not a viable SEO technique.
One way to get high quality links is by emailing you to ask other websites with the same or a higher domain or page authority rating than you to link to your top content. You should also ensure that your content is relevant to the content of the referring website.
More specifically, you can use Backlinko’s Skyscraper method. The Skyscraper Method is an SEO strategy that involves finding content that ranks well for the keywords you want to rank for, and then creating content that is better than the high ranking posts. Then use SEO tools to find all the websites linked to your competitor’s content and ask the most relevant websites to replace your competitor’s link with a link to your enhanced content.
Conversion and grooming techniques
14. A / B testing for CTAs
Purpose: To improve the conversion rate of existing assets by testing variables
Since opt-ins are key to growing your email subscriber list, you should closely monitor the performance of your CTAs (buttons that direct people to your forms) and improve those that don’t work.
Every company has different customers, so there is no one-size-fits-all formula for designing the most optimal CTAs. To find out which CTA design or copy will produce the best results for your business, you need to experiment.
With A / B testing, you can do this experimentation between two CTAs in sync, eliminate variables, and give you the best insight into which version performs better.
For example, you can run an experiment to test a variable such as color. Let’s say you have a red CTA and a blue CTA. A / B testing can help you determine which one gives better results.
To take an A / B test, you can use the HubSpot A / B test kit. This kit gives you guidelines for A / B testing, tells you which variables to test, and gives you access to a simple significance calculator to keep track of your results.
However, A / B testing should not be confused with multivariate tests, which allow you to test many variables at once.
15. Value added emails
Purpose: Increase engagement and gain goodwill during the nursing process
Email is more of a channel than a tactic, but let’s start with why the channel is so important. Did you know Americans spend up to five hours reading their email and the channel is by far their preferred method for getting updates from brands?
At the same time, it is forecast that 319.6 billion emails will be sent and received in 2021. This means that if you want to cut through the noise while sending an email, there isn’t much room for error.
Since it takes multiple touch points to grab potential customers’ attention, you can generate more leads and revenue for your business by persuading people to subscribe to your email and consume your content constantly.
This is where the tactical part comes in. The last thing you want to do is clutter your inbox with another sales email. Instead, consider emails that actually add value on their way to purchase.
Take the above email from HubSpot agency partner Yokel Local, for example. It does not matter whether the recipient of the email is actively considering the services of Yokel Local; They still offer value that drives their subscribers to open emails.
Building an engaged, loyal subscriber base also speaks volumes about the quality of your content and its emotional response. If your prospects are actively engaging with your email content, it is a clear sign that they actually appreciate it. This contributes to the impression of your brand and serves as a touchpoint on the way to the purchase.
16. Audience segmentation
Purpose: To create a more personalized experience to improve care
In a world awash with digital noise, creating irrelevant or unjustified content won’t get anyone’s attention.
To email the right person the right content at the right time, consider audience segmentation, which divides your subscriber database into specific, accessible groups of people based on personal attributes such as demographic, psychographic, and behavioral information.
This technique allows you to add value to your emails (see the technique above) by making sure they are more relevant to your subscribers. In other words, instead of creating messages that appeal to everyone, you can get a lot more specific with your messages because you have a closer audience.
To properly implement audience segmentation techniques into your email marketing strategy, you need a CRM and marketing platform. With HubSpot, for example, you can collect information about your customers and divide contacts into lists based on that information. This makes it easy to target the right customers in your database with messages specifically tailored to them.
17. Marketing automation
Purpose: To increase the efficiency of email campaigns
Automation is the process of using technology to eliminate manual actions and automatically trigger repetitive or programmable functions. Marketing Automation applies this principle to your CRM and email marketing activities so that you can buy time and get your message out there on a large scale.
Instead of sending one-off emails, you can use marketing automation to initiate a sequence of emails and actions without hitting the send button. Best of all, you can apply it to any of the following (and more):
- Lead nurturing campaigns
- Autoresponder sequences
- Re-engagement campaigns
- Appointment reminders
- Client onboarding sequences
- Up-selling campaigns
This way, you can increase your company’s touchpoints with a lead without affecting your productivity. To do this, you must first invest in marketing automation software.
18. Lead scoring
Lead scoring is an automation-based technique that rates (or “rates”) your leads based on certain attributes. The idea behind this is that you can better identify leads that are closer to a buying decision so that you can prioritize those leads for your marketing and sales efforts.
Some marketing automation software can do lead scoring using AI machine learning, but many allow you to manually set the attributes that make up a marketing or sales-qualified lead. As soon as a lead meets the criteria, it receives a higher score (and therefore a higher priority for more direct marketing and sales calls).
Additionally, defining the criteria for lead scoring can lead to a better relationship between your marketing and sales teams. With a clear definition, your marketing team will be better able to focus on generating leads that meet these criteria, and your sales team will appreciate more qualified leads.
Innovation is the key
Whether you’re developing a new marketing plan or improving an old one, it’s important to consider new marketing techniques.
Even if your marketing strategy is solid, it may not be enough to rely on past best practices. Over time, old techniques lose competitive advantage and become table stakes. New methods help you to implement your strategic goals in new, exciting ways.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been updated for completeness.