Check out a recap of the How Digital Marketing Built These Brands panel discussion – the latest in BrainStation’s Digital Leadership Event Series.
When it comes to marketing your brand online, being digitally savvy is a must.
So you’ve got the strategy down – you’ve developed your brand’s voice, its target audience, your social media ad spend, your e-mail marketing campaigns…but how do you implement them? Here are 5 skills to add to your marketing expertise to make your digital efforts take off.
LEARN BASIC HTML & CSS
There are three major components to digital marketing that require a basic knowledge of code: Working in custom e-mail templates, editing website copy, and formatting blog posts. Learning the basic building blocks of code – how to insert a link, bold a headline, create a button, add in text to a webpage, putting in Google or Facebook tracking pixels – will save any marketer hours of their time, not to mention make them stand out in this competitive industry. Us marketers are hyper-conscious of detail, and knowing how to make small yet effective adjustments to your website content, blog styling or e-mail format is a huge win.
MANAGING PAID SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS
There’s no denying that the social media landscape is changing when it comes to creating effective content. The truth is, if you really want to engage an audience and bring in new customers or users, you need to take the paid content route. Organic content is necessary to build out profiles and represent your brand’s personality, but it must be supplemented with paid ads in order to be successful on social media. Crafting these ads on Facebook and Twitter is a skill that goes beyond effective copy and CTAs; there are technical aspects that are crucial to implement.
For example, in order to track ad conversions in Twitter and Facebook, you need to create a tracking pixel, which is a snippet of code placed in a website page header. Want to track how many products were sold from a campaign promoting a Black Friday sale? Place a pixel on the transaction page of your website, and Facebook or Twitter will track which users clicked on the ad and reached that pixel. Another thing to think about is remarketing techniques and lookalike audiences – this also involves adding pixels to your website and uploading .csv files of your exported database of users.
Finally, how are you going to produce creative for your ad? For most, Photoshop is the way to go. Simple additions like a logo or text overlay can take your ad from good to great. Rather than shipping off assets to a designer, marketers should learn how to navigate design tools to whip up custom ads – once you’ve made yourself a .psd template, you can go in and regularly update for fresh ad content.
SEO AND ANALYTICS
People often turn to paid efforts (AdWords, social media ads) to build brand awareness online, however it’s equally important to incorporate an SEO strategy into your digital marketing campaigns. The more time you put into building effective SEO, the better your online presence will be (when done the right way!) This includes ensuring your website boasts copy that contains important keywords related to your product or service, and that inbound content contains URLs that link back to your brand. For example – anytime your brand gets published online, be sure to check in with the publisher that the right keywords are hyperlinked to the right website – or even better – use custom UTM codes and provide them with a unique URL to track which website visits came specifically from that post or article in Google Analytics.
Data doesn’t lie, which is why Google Analytics is a marketer’s best friend. With advanced tracking abilities, your dashboard, when used effectively, reflects all of your digital marketing efforts’ success. Look at stats like how many website visits came from social, from sponsored content, Google AdWords etc. to get a sense of what resonates with your customer or user. Effective GA tracking requires a site-wide pixel (just like social media ads), which brings us back to the need to understand HTML & CSS to maximize your digital marketing efforts.
So now that you know – what are you waiting for? We offer a Digital Marketing part-time course that kicks off the week of January 11, 2016. Take steps to build your digital marketing skills and bring your strategy to life online.
This article originally appeared in Marketing Magazine.