I’m terrible at golf. A few years back, I bought a set of really nice golf clubs. They’re top of the line, with high-quality craftsmanship and the best materials. I was totally convinced they would enhance my performance. I’m still terrible at golf. Without knowing the proper techniques or how to fine tune my swing, I can’t get the most out of my clubs.
When it comes to digital marketing, you can pay a lot of money for platforms and tools in the hope that you’ll automatically see improved performance on your campaigns and increased engagement among your base. The trouble is, digital marketing is a little bit like my golf game. Having the right tools is a good start. But using proven best practices and fine-tuning your efforts are the only ways to achieve your full potential.
Follow these best practices to execute an effective digital marketing workflow that generates results and strengthens engagement.
What is a workflow?
A workflow is a defined communication strategy based on your goals, your audience’s needs, and the resources you have available for marketing. It’s an automated process defined by if/then statements. Workflows are effective at building engagement because they help you deliver timely, relevant messaging and useful information to build trust with your audience over time. They can include any combination of tools—email automation, digital ads, lead generation forms, landing pages, content, and more.
Best practices for digital ads
Before you ever craft a digital ad, you’ll first need to establish your campaign goals. Do you want to increase event attendance? Find program participants? Boost web traffic or social media interactions? From there, you’ll need to look at your audience. What are their pain points and how will your programs or events solve them? No matter which platform you use—Facebook, LinkedIn, web retargeting, etc.—a good digital ad has an engaging headline and an eye-catching image. Its look and feel match the rest of your branding. It contains a clear, relevant offer and a simple call to action.
Some platforms offer ads with lead generation forms. These are automatically populated with a user’s name and email address. All the user needs to do is click “Submit” to receive your offer and opt-in to your list. To get the most out of your lead gen forms, keep them short and to the point. Don’t use too many form fields—first and last name, email address, and one additional qualifier are enough.
For either type of digital ad, you should determine what a good cost per lead is before you launch. That way, you can gauge performance and make adjustments along the way.
Best practices for landing pages
The number one best practice for landing pages is to use them. Never send traffic from your digital ads to your homepage. Make sure your landing page relates directly to what your ad is promoting. Use the same headline as your ad if possible, to avoid any confusion. The landing page’s look and feel should also match your ad and the rest of your branding. Keep the messaging short and simple, using bullet points to simplify your copy. Include a real testimonial to add authenticity to your offer. Don’t forget a clear call to action so people know what to do.
Best practices for email drip campaigns
Similar to digital ads, you should establish your campaign goals before you begin to craft an email. Keep your message short and simple here as well, and stick to one main idea to avoid confusing your audience. Engagement campaigns should focus on how your audience will benefit from interacting with your organization. Personalize the message using any available data, such as purchase history or past behaviors. Don’t forget to make an offer and include a clear call to action. Take time to craft a specific subject line that piques curiosity, promises a benefit, or excites your audience. Consider A/B testing your subject lines to see what resonates best.
Best practices for digital marketing overall
- Be eye catching.
- Keep your message clear and simple.
- Personalize and humanize your message.
- Include an offer and call to action.
- Align look and feel with the rest of your branding.
- Track performance and make changes if needed.
Case Study: Ending the Silence
The National Alliance on Mental Illness works to end the stigma surrounding mental health conditions. As part of this mission, NAMI created Ending the Silence, a program in which young people share their mental health stories with other youth. NAMI asked us to help find a steady supply of presenters for the program. We created a workflow that included a combination of digital ads, landing pages, and emails to tell human-focused stories and inspire young people to sign up to participate. Our efforts generated 500 leads, exceeding NAMI’s goal of 150.
Free Engagement Workflow
Throwing lots of money at your digital marketing might get you broader reach or access to more tools. But if you don’t follow proven best practices, chances are you’re missing out on leads and conversions. While you’re fine-tuning your digital marketing golf swing, download this free Engagement Workflow Template to get started on the path to better engagement and better ROI.