Digital marketers are responsible for ensuring the consistent performance and improvement of online marketing endeavours.
There are many channels and methods they can use to enrich the overall strategy by paying close attention to digital metrics and working in unity with the entire marketing team.
In this article, we'll take a look at some proven practices and point out how they contribute to achieving marketing targets.
A Day in the Life?
Because the world of digital marketing changes so rapidly, it's hard to define what marketers do on a day-to-day basis. So instead of taking you through a timeline of what they might do — aside from checking emails, campaigns and keeping close tabs on clients and accounts, there's always something new — we'll discuss practical concepts, and some best practises within the industry.
"Digital marketing is more than knowing how to run a Facebook ad campaign or conduct SEO research.
It's a set of skills and a way of thinking that, when taken holistically, can add incredible – even business-changing – insight to an organisation, no matter how small."
— Karutis, 2018
Proficient digital marketers need to possess a varied skill set and comprehensive understanding of how their target market behaves, which channels are most effective, and how to interpret digital metrics that offer valuable insights into how to tailor marketing efforts.
Remember that the scope of work is mostly dependent on the scale of the business they work for, as well as their current career level, whether they work in the B2B or B2C realm, and if they specialise in certain areas.
For example, an SEO expert would focus on driving organic traffic through keyword research and website optimisation, while a social media marketer would need to have a fluid understanding of how to engage with audiences across different platforms effectively.
Regardless of the focus of their work, any digital marketing professional needs to be able to:
Understand the opportunities presented by different channels and devices
Maintain a competitive edge by staying up to date with ever-evolving trends, tools and behaviours
Know how to decipher "big data" strategically and capitalise on insights
Gauge why consumers use different channels and devices and for what purpose
Manage dynamic customer relationships to create meaningful interactions
Digital Marketing Professional Must-dos
It can be a tall order to master all of these decisively, but like the industry, the role of a marketer should consist of always being capable of adapting and growing.
Let's take a look at some examples of habits and activities that digital marketing pros should always engage in to guarantee positive results for the business.
1. Utilise analytics to prioritise and optimise marketing efforts.
Data is king in digital marketing. It's how marketers can assess which path to take with their campaigns. The level of data collection has become so sophisticated that the insights offered are lightyears ahead of conventional methods. Tracking key performance indicators — measures of success in online marketing — is a much easier task with precise data at your disposal.
"[Digital marketing is] different than traditional marketing because its channels and methods enable real-time analysis of marketing campaigns.
This translates as the ability to see and understand what is and isn't working."
Some primary examples of valuable data would include traffic volume, source by region and conversion rate.
To take it a step further, marketers can even analyse where visitors are spending most of their time and what is making the most significant impression, even down to the time spent per session.
Anyone considering a career in digital marketing should look no further than Google's free Analytics Academy. These courses are a priceless introduction to how to collect and process digital metrics.
2. Diligently monitor SEO reports and conduct keyword research
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) relates to content marketing. This is such a fantastic way to drive consistent, relevant and organic traffic to your site, and best of all, it's typically the lowest-cost form of online marketing.
A savvy marketer needs to research what their target is searching for. They can follow a basic process for this:
Find out what their target market is searching for using industry-relevant keywords. Tools like the Google Keyword Planner can help with this.
Summarise the findings into a chart containing keywords and phrases with monthly search volumes for each.
Make a content plan that emphasises the keywords with the most significant search yield. Use blog posts, social media ads, YouTube videos, and anything else while maintaining quality and relevancy.
Produce the content. Voila! Great content will persist as a beacon for your target market to discover organically and on an ongoing basis. High-quality content will stay relevant for a very long time - we call this evergreen content.
3. Diversify channels
Exercising every channel available is key to increasing the breadth of your marketing efforts. This will ensure you reach the maximum number of people, capture the largest amount of leads, and convert as many customers as possible. The primary channels that marketers should focus on include:
Pay-per-click Advertising (PPC)
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Most importantly, marketing should be cohesive. This means that a consistent message and strategy should be applied to all channels.
4. Leverage Strategic Content Partnerships
Another great way to reach audiences that might not have been in previous consideration.
Collaborating with agencies and companies that are outside of your immediate sphere can be mutually beneficial by allowing penetration into new regions and markets while lending credibility and awareness to your brand.
The learning opportunities from working with other professionals can also prove invaluable.
5. Work Closely with Design and Copywriters to Maximise Campaign Efficiency
There is no such thing as a super-marketer. No marketer is an island.
It's essential to lean on teammates with different skill sets to instil the highest quality in what is produced. Make sure your strategy is clearly conveyed, and work collaboratively. If done well and often, this can lead to some unique and powerful results once the team's goals and skills are aligned and unified.
6. Use A/B Testing
It's nigh impossible to get everything right the first time, so it's excellent practise to segment your audience, then create multiple campaigns to identify which produces better results.
"A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a marketing experiment wherein you "split" your audience to test several variations of a campaign and determine which performs better.
In other words, you can show version A of a piece of marketing content to one half of your audience, and version B to another."
— Kolowich, 2018
7. Subscribe to Industry-relevant Newsletters
This might seem obvious, but the biggest weapon a marketer can have is staying ahead of the game regarding industry trends and information.
Proactively doing research is a great habit, but there are some high-quality sites producing great, relevant content. Most of these offer a free newsletter through an email subscription. It's best to sign up for several of them in order to mix it up.
Some great examples are HubSpot, Search Engine Land, Marketo, DigitalMarketer, and Social Media Examiner.