In 2021, the marketing budget as a percentage of the company’s revenue decreased from 11% to 6.4%. This is the lowest percentage allocated to marketing in Gartner’s history. Annual CMO Spending Survey.

For SEO professionals and marketing organization leaders looking to fund growth and recovery by doing more with less, rethink budgets and available resources for 2022 is essential.

It’s always good practice to allocate part of your budget to innovating and testing new ideas. But that portion of the budget is likely to shrink as marketers look for proven digital his marketing strategies and tactics to maximize performance this year.

In this column, I’ll cover 10 fundamental areas of digital marketing knowledge and the opportunities you might want to take advantage of (as you plan for the months and years ahead).

1. Understanding Your Digital Presence – All of It

Sure, you’re doing a good job with the media you own. After all, these are pieces of self-created content, lists and profiles, websites, and other assets.

And you should know when and where your brand appears online in paid placements.

But earned media can be tricky. Do you really have a clear view of your entire web presence if you aren’t actively monitoring brand mentions, relevant social content, online reviews, and inbound links?

“Earned” isn’t just what you actively try to build. Social listening, search insights, and reputation monitoring help you inventory and monitor your entire web presence.

2. Fundamentals of how search engines work

SEO has evolved from a single digital marketing channel to the center of an organization’s business intelligence.

A solid understanding of how search engines work not only helps you optimize your content for discovery, but also helps you better understand how people search, learn, and consume content.

Understanding the intricacies of search engine crawling and indexing can help you structure your website and pages for maximum visibility.

Understanding how search algorithms rank content, and what they can’t do, can help you better optimize your content and more quickly diagnose problems that your analysis points out.

Remember, too, that Google is not the only search engine game.

3. Digital User Experience and Customer Journey

“Build it and they will come” may have worked for Field of Dreams, but not for digital marketing.

To be successful in engaging your audience, you need a deep and meaningful understanding of who those people are and what problems you solve for them.

Google knows it too. Its algorithm updates are increasingly focused on improving the experiences people have online and removing friction from each customer on his journey.

Consumers today understand that the privacy sacrifice inherent in online tracking is a value trade-off. They expect a personalized experience in return.

Customers expect seamless interactions and experiences from start to finish, regardless of device, session, or platform.

This holistic view across the customer lifecycle will be a key factor going forward.

4. Basics of Competitor Analysis

The art and science of competitive analysis is evolving. In the online space, your competition may not be what you think it is.

Yes, we compete for “air time” with other companies that sell products and services like yours.

But today, businesses are competing with media publications, social networks and forums, business listings in map packs, video and photo assets, and more, with increasingly rich and varied search results.

Potential touchpoints for competitors are also increasing, including podcasts and video ads, push notifications from geofencing, influencer marketing, and augmented reality in physical space.

Having a clear picture of who is in front of the customer and how is essential. It’s not like their efforts can be replicated – it’s not a noticeable way.

Competitor analysis informs content types, ad networks, and budget allocations for campaigns to keep your brand in mind and stay ahead in every possible channel.

5. Content and Digital Marketing

Content is essential to marketing success, so we are now seeing marketing agencies and brands buying their own content studios.

Two recent examples of this trend are MSQ’s acquisition of creative production studio Brave Spark and WPP’s acquisition of Made Thought.

You may not be in a position to build or buy an entire in-house studio. The size of your organization and the range of content needs will determine the best production strategy.

For some, this means bringing writers, editors, videographers, photographers, and other creatives in-house.

They may also choose to augment their in-house marketing team with agency or freelance creatives, or even outsource production entirely to external contractors.

What matters most is not how it is put together, but equipping brands with the people, processes, and tools to create and promote optimized content at the scale that audience demand requires. That’s it.

6. Online advertising

Hard-earned long-term organic search results are valuable, but most digital marketing strategies also have a paid promotional component.

From display and SEM to native advertising, social media advertising, out-of-home (OOH) and digital out-of-home (DOOH), there is no shortage of paid options.

Expanding your knowledge of online advertising fundamentals means understanding:

  • Paid media pricing models such as CPM and CPC.
  • Advertising platforms and tactics available for your space.
  • Different types of ad creatives such as text, video, and images.
  • Advances in advertising technology such as smart bidding.
  • Privacy issues and their impact on the quantity and quality of data available.
  • Changing consumer behavior and its impact on what your ad copy sounds like.

Staying abreast of the evolving paid media landscape is essential for all digital marketers, not just those directly responsible for campaign management.

For SEO professionals, email marketers, content marketers, and CMOs driving strategy, a deeper understanding of paid media means better use of paid media to complement and enhance campaigns of all kinds. help you to

7. Social Media

Social media is still a great channel for finding and engaging potential customers.

Business capabilities vary by platform, but at a minimum, brands should request all available profiles and listings. If you have channels that are less active, use descriptions or attributes to entice prospective customers to connect with more active channels.

Some people forget that Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other networks each have their own search features that consumers can use to find relevant businesses.

On social, consumers expect brands to be authentic and responsive. They may read reviews on Facebook or other niche social networks before they convert, so it’s important to monitor and respond to new reviews.

We put workflows and permissions in place to engage front-line social marketers, but also protect your brand. Clearly define your customer service and issue escalation processes to ensure each interaction is as positive and helpful as possible.

8. Basis of Analysis

The coronavirus pandemic has taught many marketing teams the risks of relying solely on historical data to guide future performance.

Having access to real-time (or as close to real-time as possible) analytics is essential in a world where technological innovation, financial and socio-economic factors, and more can change the business landscape in the blink of an eye.

Again, this may not be something you’re completely adept at, but that’s okay. You don’t need to learn anything to use Google Analytics 4 for your organization.

Rather, it requires a basic understanding of the analytical platforms available, the types of data that provide the most valuable insights, and the types of experts who can best drive the analytical process.

This awareness will help you build your team and choose the tools you use to drive the next fundamental area of ​​digital marketing on your list: business intelligence.

9. Activate data as business intelligence

As the volume and frequency of consumer touchpoints increases, marketing leaders are realizing that disconnected point solutions just can’t keep up.

Having access to descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analytics within a single, user-friendly dashboard drives truly breakthrough insights and optimization.

Organizations must be able to look beyond themselves to identify emerging opportunities and stranded funds. Customer behavior, competitive analysis, real-time search insights and macroeconomic trends. all drive business decisions.

And in today’s environment, analyzing that data at any scale (let alone enabling data through analytics) is nearly impossible.

Now let’s move on to the final point, intelligent automation.

10. Programs, machine learning and automation

Automated media buying is nothing new, but it is growing rapidly, with programmatic ad spend expected to exceed $100 billion by 2022.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are making organic media even more exciting as we move beyond predictive analytics and recommended optimization to technologies that actually help personalize content in real time.

AR/VR is creating a deeper connection between customers and brands, providing a more seamless and immersive experience.

In fact, we’re on the cusp of a broader stream of adoption for the Metaverse, an untapped virtual universe that can bring in elements of the physical world. .

Whether you’re using intelligent automation in your business processes, improving your ad targeting and ROI with programmatic, or trying to create an entirely new virtual world for your customers, stay up to date on new digital marketing technologies. It is helpful to keep track of .

SEO as a Leader in Digital Transformation in 2022

As the bridge between IT, marketing, and sales, and the arbiter of all data, SEO professionals are well-positioned to lead organizations through their digital transformation in 2022.

A holistic view of all digital marketing channels and tactics, whether focused on technical SEO, content optimization, link building, local or for organizations of all sizes, from small businesses to large corporations Understanding can help you take control of the future.

If you’re still looking for opportunities to expand your knowledge, check out these digital marketing courses and this list of digital marketing certification programs to get started.

Other resources:

Featured image: WHYFRAME/Shutterstock

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