6 Digital Marketing Tactics & How to Choose the Right Mix for Your B2B Business
Digital marketing has come a long way over the last decade. Particularly over the pandemic and as a lot of transactions shifted to the digital space, digital marketing has become a primary source of marketing for businesses. Not just that, but this shift has occurred quickly, and marketers have had to pivot at a near-rapid pace.
This, of course, leaves a lot of marketers questioning which strategies they should invest their marketing budget in. This is a problem that many companies are looking to solve, but might be struggling to do so on their own.
In this article, we’ll outline the most common types of digital marketing tactics available and how to choose the right mix to achieve your B2B marketing goals.
What is digital marketing?
First of all, what is digital marketing? As mentioned above, marketing has shifted to the digital space quickly, and some marketers who at one point relied on traditional marketing strategies, are now facing solely digital choices.
Simply put, digital marketing is a component of marketing that uses the digital space. It’s based on digital technologies, such as computers, mobile devices, and digital platforms like social media and email marketing.
The primary difference between traditional and digital marketing is the medium through which marketers reach their intended audience. Where once ads were viewed on television, or through news media like papers and magazines, billboards and radio ads, many of these strategies have moved to digital mediums, such as those listed above.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that traditional marketing is dead – quite the opposite. What it does mean however, is that knowing your audience is even more important than ever. Where one demographic commutes to work and is therefore exposed to highway billboards and radio ads, another demographic relies solely on receiving their news and information on their cell phones. And so on.
6 types of digital marketing tactics
A large part of choosing which digital marketing tactic works best for your goals is premised on your intended audience. Each tactic can be catered to a particular demographic, their behaviours, and of course, the goals of your marketing strategy.
Here are 6 types of digital marketing tactics you should consider when approaching your digital campaigns. Naturally, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a great starting point (and for some businesses, it’s all you may need).
1. Email marketing
Despite some popular belief, email marketing is still one of the most effective digital marketing tactics. Even with the rise of social media marketing, a well-placed and strategic email marketing campaign can be more effective than other digital marketing tactics.
Email marketing software offers many different ways to analyze an email campaign. From open rate to click-through rate, to final conversion rate, email marketing can zero in on what is working and what isn’t.
An effective email marketing campaign generally includes the following:
- A personalized element: Subject lines and openings that include the recipient’s name helps give familiarity between the recipient and the brand, and can be a way to increase open rates and improve click-through rates.
- A sense of urgency: Email copy that provides a sense of urgency will make for a more effective email campaign. Emphasize timeframe and benefits to the recipient in the CTA.
- Ability for recipients to set their preferences: This is one of the reasons why email marketing campaigns work so well – recipients have a lot of choice in how they want to hear from you. This can also help you streamline your mailing list, and target certain prospects with unique campaigns.
2. Social media marketing
Social media marketing has been one of the fastest growing marketing tactics, and it’s only increasing. With the upcoming end of third-party cookies, marketers are shifting their focus even more to social media outlets to reach their intended audience.
Social media marketing goes way beyond just posts, reactions, and comments though. Effective social media marketing has to be consistent and targeted, depending on the purpose of the campaign (brand awareness, new product or services launch, sales and deals).
3. Content marketing
Content marketing relies on things like blog posts, videos, podcasts and downloadable resources like white papers and ebooks. Oftentimes marketers will make these resources gated content, meaning visitors need to provide an email address to receive it.
Content marketing works together with other types of digital marketing tactics. For example, an SEO blog piece can work well with social media or email marketing campaigns to help drive brand awareness.
On the other hand, trying different copy messaging in a campaign can help you focus on which messaging resonates better with your target audience (this is called A/B testing). Using different landing pages in conjunction with social media or email marketing can help you zero in on your messaging.
4. Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) will probably never not be a crucial component of an effective digital marketing strategy. Like social media marketing, with the end of third-party cookies, digital marketers need to become savvy SEO experts as well (if they aren’t already are).
The goal of SEO is to rank higher on a search engine results page (SERP), with the intended outcome of increased brand/product visibility and traffic to your website. >
To do this, SEO experts research short-tail keywords and long-tail keyphrases, using them strategically in the copy of their website, headings, meta descriptions, and even URLs. These keywords are unique to prospective customers’ search behaviours. When they enter these keywords into the search engine, Google crawlers will “crawl” the web, and if your website hits on those keywords, there’s a chance it could rank higher over other websites.
Good SEO also involves properly structuring your website, making sure your images are search optimized, and that your backlinking is solid. It’s basically a full-time job. To learn more about how to optimize your website for search, read our full guide here.
5. Search engine marketing (SEM)
Search engine marketing (SEM) is the process of paying to generate traffic to your website through search engines. Our friends over at HubSpot define SEM as: “using paid advertising to ensure that your business’s products or services are visible in search engine results pages (SERPs).”
When a user types in certain keywords, SEM lets your website appear as a result of that search query. Basically, it’s a way to cut the line, although it still takes a lot of savvy and expertise.
As a result, SEM should be an important arm of your digital marketing strategy. It’s typically one of the quickest ways to boost your website traffic (and ideally conversions).
You can also combine it with SEO efforts to get even better results. Check out our blog post called 3 Benefits of Using SEO and SEM Together to learn more about this.
6. Affiliate marketing
Lastly, we come to affiliate marketing. When paired with social media, affiliate marketing can be a marketer’s dream.
Affiliate marketing is when a brand partners with another brand or an influencer to promote a product, service, unique offering, or brand awareness. The benefit for the audience is that through the affiliate, they can receive a particular discount or a perk that is unique to the influencer.
Affiliate marketing can be successful, but only if used properly and with the right influencer. The influencer needs to be aligned with your brand. Using a famous pastry chef with, say, a brand that manufactures high-end faucets would be a tough message to spin (although not impossible). Needless to say, the audience needs to align.
How to decide which digital marketing tactics are best for your business
Now that you have a bit of knowledge of digital marketing tactics, how do you decide which one is best for your goals?
That’s not exactly an easy question, and probably doesn’t have a definitive answer. There are some questions you should ask yourself and your team:
- What’s your budget? First and foremost, you need to work within your budget. If paying for SEM isn’t in your budget, then perhaps focusing on SEO and content marketing might be the key.
- What are your goals? This is also another big question, and for every marketing campaign, something you should be hammering out with your team right away. Each campaign may have different goals: brand awareness, building an email newsletter list, targeted sales or promotion of new products or services, etc. By knowing these goals, you can hone your digital marketing strategy.
- Who is your target audience? Rolling out a digital marketing campaign that uses channels that your target audience never visits is a waste of time, resources and energy. For instance, if one audience might be active on Instagram, while another may hand out on LinkedIn.
Partner with digital marketing experts
Sometimes shouldering all of this within your own team can stretch them too far. That’s why working with digital marketing experts can be the solution.
At Sparked, we work with our clients to develop customized digital marketing strategies, and then support them by producing marketing assets, campaign management, testing, tracking and reporting.