What kind of marketing actually works?

Over the past 25 years, we have seen significant changes in marketing strategies. When I first read Permission Marketing back in 1999 while running my own startup, I recognized the truth in Seth Godin‘s guidance as I had been seeing the shift in real-time from push marketing to permission marketing. Since that time, there has been a massive shift towards digital media, data-driven marketing, social media, personalization, mobile optimization, and customer experience. These trends are likely to continue as technology continues to evolve and consumer behavior continues to change.

Photo by Mailchimp on Unsplash

Photo by Mailchimp on Unsplash

One question I hear all the time is “What marketing methods are the most effective?” There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as the most effective form of digital marketing can vary depending on the industry, target audience, and business goals. However, some common forms of digital marketing that have been proven effective include:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO): SEO involves optimizing a website’s content and structure to improve its ranking on search engine results pages. This can lead to increased website traffic and higher conversion rates.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising: PPC advertising involves paying to place ads on search engine results pages or other websites. These ads are targeted to specific keywords and can be highly effective in driving traffic and conversions.
  • Social media marketing: Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be highly effective for content marketing. By sharing your content on social media and engaging with your audience, you can build brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and foster relationships with potential customers. This can be done through organic content, paid ads, or a combination of both.
  • Content marketing: Content marketing involves creating valuable and informative content, such as blog posts, videos, and infographics, to attract and engage potential customers. This can help establish a business as a thought leader in its industry and build brand loyalty.
  • Email marketing: Email marketing involves sending regular newsletters or other types of content to a list of subscribers. By providing valuable content that is tailored to your audience’s interests and needs, you can build a loyal following and drive traffic to your website.

Ultimately, the most effective form of digital marketing will depend on the specific goals and needs of your business. It’s important to identify the target audience, research competitors, and consider the available budget and resources before selecting a digital marketing strategy. It’s also good to experiment with different methods and track your results to determine what works best for your business.

Here are some best practices to consider:

  1. Define your goals: Before you start experimenting, it’s important to define your goals. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to increase website traffic, generate more leads, or improve brand awareness? By setting clear goals, you can ensure that your experiments are focused and that you can measure your results effectively.
  2. Start small: It’s often best to start with small experiments and build on your successes. This can help you avoid large investments in untested strategies or tools. Start by testing one or two digital marketing tools or strategies, measure your results, and then adjust your approach based on what you learn.
  3. Monitor and measure: It’s essential to track and measure the results of your experiments. This will allow you to determine which strategies are working and which ones are not, and to make adjustments accordingly. Use analytics tools to measure website traffic, conversions, and other key metrics.
  4. Iterate and refine: Based on the results of your experiments, make changes to your approach and refine your strategies. This can help you improve your results over time and identify the strategies that work best for your business.
  5. Stay informed: Digital marketing is a rapidly evolving field, so it’s important to stay informed about new tools, platforms, and trends. Attend conferences, read industry blogs, and network with other marketers to stay up-to-date on the latest developments.

A good place to get started with experimenting with digital marketing is to identify the areas of your marketing mix that could benefit most from optimization. For example, you could experiment with A/B testing different email marketing templates, or testing different calls to action on your website to improve conversions. Another good starting point could be identifying and monitoring your audience on social media to learn what kind of content they engage with and then testing different content formats and topics to see what resonates the most. Whatever the approach, the key is to be methodical and data-driven in your experimentation.

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and M365 Apps & Services MVP, and an award-winning product marketer and technology evangelist, based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He is the Director of North American Partner Management for leading ISV Rencore (https://rencore.com/), leads content strategy for TekkiGurus, and is an advisor for both revealit.TV and WellnessWits. He hosts the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) series.