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TODD SMITH — 7 habits of highly effective digital marketers

TODD SMITH

TODD SMITH

To be effective at digital and online marketing, you must find others who are successful at it and observe the strategic thought that is working.

The practice doesn’t always mirror specific tactics. But character traits and habits that lead to the discovery and implementation of successful plans will always be beneficial to your brand!

Here are seven habits of highly effective online marketers, according to Entrepreneur:

1. They think strategically.

Successful digital marketing goes way beyond asking yourself: “What can I do to improve conversions for this particular ad?” Instead, a successful marketer takes a long-term view of brand promotion online.

So, if you haven’t already done so, organize a breakout session and develop an overall digital strategy designed to reach people in your target market. From that strategy, produce several action-oriented tactics (search engine marketing, PPC advertising, content marketing, etc.) that will boost brand awareness and generate conversions.

2. They’re thick-skinned.

When you’re a leader and/or a success in any capacity, you’re going to deal with a fair share of haters. That’s just par for the course.

When you suggest a new idea or challenge an outdated marketing concept that’s presented at a meeting, expect some unprofessional pushback. When that happens, remain professional and avoid stooping to their level. Also, keep in mind that haters can teach you some valuable lessons.

3. They’re always learning.

You might think that you’ve “arrived” when it comes to digital marketing and that you know everything there is to know. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Online marketing is based on technology, and technology is always changing. You need to keep learning to adapt to those changes.

In fact, it’s a good idea to always be learning in general. Marketing is certainly no exception to that rule.

4. They’re writers.

Marketing is all about communication. The most successful marketers have learned how to communicate using the written word in addition to using images and video.

Remember: Advertising copy is offered in words. Effective marketers can create outstanding ad copy because they’ve “exercised” their brains with writing challenges. They’ve pushed themselves to find just the right word to put into a sentence. They’ve thought for long periods of time about the perfect adjective to describe something. All of that effort leads a marketer to become more effective in the discipline.

5. They use data to make decisions.

By now, the whole world knows what Benny Hill said about people who assume they know how people think: “They make an ASS out of U and ME.” Marketers should take that advice to heart.

An effective digital marketer never assumes that a particular call to action text or ad copy is best. Instead, he or she tests it over time against a reasonable alternative. The option that offers the best conversion rate is the winner.

6. They specialize.

Digital marketing is multi-faceted. There are too many moving parts for even the best digital marketer to keep track of them all.

That’s why it’s a good idea to specialize. Instead of trying to be all things to all people, an effective marketer is one who’s expert at PPC, at content marketing, at e-mail marketing or some other specialized digital tactic.

7. They’re detail-oriented.

Effective digital marketers pay attention to details. That’s necessary because there are so many data points to track in an effective campaign: the demographics of the people targeted, their interests, the time of day the campaign runs, the channels it runs on, the conversion rate of each channel and so on.

Effective digital marketers pore over all of those details in their analysis so that they make an informed decision about what works and what doesn’t.

Wrapping it up

To be an effective digital marketer, act like an effective digital marketer. Develop these highly effective habits, and you’ll eventually boost your brand awareness online and see your conversion rate climb.

Facebook Aims To Score With Live Sports Feed

Facebook Inc. has called an audible inside the social network for sports fans to congregate and follow contests together in real time.

The launch is timed to a peak sports moment of the year: the thick of the National Football League playoffs and just as college basketball’s conference matchups get into full swing.

Facebook has already put a sports stamp in people’s news feeds. Those who indicate their fandom to Facebook, perhaps by liking a team’s page, probably have noticed the social network nudging them to post they are watching a particular contest.

The new feature, called The Facebook Sports Stadium, will let people follow a chronological stream of posts and comments from friends, alongside those from the teams, journalists and other public figures.

The move shows the fight for control of the second-screen experience is alive and well.

Facebook and Twitter are competing to be the go-to “town hall” for people sharing in an experience. Live events on TV – a truly live political debate or the wonderfully serendipitous discovery of a “Sharknado” in real time – have proven particularly effective. Twitter often includes such events alongside breaking news in its new Moments feature as a way to help people stay plugged in together.

The companies’ motives aren’t a mystery: more engagement and a chance to put advertisements in front of those engaged users.

Sports are the perfect battleground – live events with a devoted base of followers who undoubtedly have something to say. Facebook and Twitter dipped its toes in years ago during soccer’s World Cup, with dedicated arenas to follow the games and colorful flag emoji popping up in timelines. Last year, Facebook created a hub around the Super Bowl. People who aren’t into sports groan when their feeds overflow with emotional posts from fans.

Facebook believes it is building on an experience that exists already in its feeds. In a blog post, it said fans already “turn to Facebook to celebrate, commiserate, and talk trash with their friends and other fans.”

More intriguing, Facebook is again bumping up against traditional media such as Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN by offering real-time scores and play-by-play, a big draw for people who want to follow a game but can’t watch on TV or listen on the radio. Facebook is licensing data for the real-time scores and play-by-play from Sportradar AG, a Switzerland-based company that counts the NFL and other leagues among its partners, and already was working with the social network.

Facebook said people can find games through search, and that it is looking for other ways to showcase games, which probably means the status update nudge or a plug atop people’s news feeds.

It has kicked-off for NFL games, with more sports coming soon. For now, it’s available on iPhones in the U.S with a bigger rollout in the coming weeks.

Poisoned Mic | Flint, Mich. Water Crisis, Gov. Rick Snyder Take Putrid Prize

The Flint, Mich. water crisis continues its murky, filthy downhill slide, and the handling of this crisis by Gov. Rick Snyder, and the local, state and federal government – including the Environmental Protection Agency – has put a whole region at risk.

The EPA has now ruled that authorities in Michigan failed to properly respond to an ongoing crisis involving lead-poisoned water, saying it would begin testing the city’s water and ordering an independent review of what happened. In addition, the EPA announced that Susan Hedman, the agency’s administrator who oversees Michigan, had resigned in the wake of the crisis.

Outrage has mounted in recent weeks in Flint over lead that seeped into the city’s water supply, an issue that has sparked heated criticism and questions about why it took so long for local concerns about the water to be heeded. Residents are now calling for Snyder’s resignation, and an entire city is at risk of serious health issues from the public water supply.

This is inexcusable, and the Flint water epidemic has not only poisoned a population, but has poisoned the public trust. This is the worst crisis communications situation The Spin Cycle has seen in some time – and Gov. Snyder and the other cronies with their hand on the water spigot take the Poisoned Mic!

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.

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