This weeks instalment of our series of blogs on Digital Marketing is a look at something known as the Marketing Stack.
Last time, we kicked off with a look at the very first step in putting together our digital marketing strategy when we looked at the difference between an objective, a strategy and a tactic and how they will all form part of the picture over the coming weeks.
Hopefully from here we have now got a clearer picture of what our overall business objectives are and what our strategy might be to help us achieve that strategy – but before we start hustling on a whole range of twittering or blog posting, its very important that we tool ourself up for the job at hand, with something called our Marketing Stack.
Our marketing stack is a generic term that refers to a range of tools and resources at our disposal as marketeers when working in the digital realm. These might include an analytics platform or an email marketing package for example but could incorporate anything from Slack for internal communications to an e-commerce solution.
Its important to note right from the off that every businesses marketing stack will look slightly different, as everyone has a different set of requirements and will likely make use of a wide range of different tools to achieve the same result. Google “website analytics software” to get an idea of what we mean!
With so many options at hand, our clients will often ask us what they should be doing across the spectrum and generally we tend to make the following recommendations
- Website: A central hub for all online activity with an easily memorable URL. This could be anything from a WordPress site, a squarespace shop or a bespoke site developed from scratch.
- Blog: A source of great shareable content. This is not to be confused with a website. In the past people might have kept a blog and referred to it as a website, but in this context, a blog is going to refer to a specific section of our main website. While its important to have this content within our main website, it can also be delivered out to people via social media including Linkedin, Medium, Facebook, Tumblr and many other platforms.
- Social media: Used for outreach, customer service, generating leads etc – social media is a large playing field with any number of options open to businesses. While the three big players of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are priorities for most businesses, there will also be niche platforms with a hyper relevant audience that you can make use of to find the right people for your business.
- Email marketing: Still a reliable source of traffic and leads – even in the age of social media – email marketing can be a crucial part of your marketing stack. Many options are available for beginners and people looking to make a start with email marketing – Constant Contact and MailChimp are two that are very popular for a reason – they offer a lot of bang for their buck, right out of the gate.
- Analytics & Intelligence; Regular analysis and refinement of activity is crucial to the success of any digital marketing campaign and so ensuring you have robust intelligence in place is an important step in the process and one we will cover in detail later in this series of blogs.
- PPC Advertising; There are numerous options available to businesses and marketeers including Mobile, social ads, re-targetting, video pre-roll ads on Youtube. While requiring cash to deliver these campaigns is often off-putting, this activity can help – when administered correctly – to deliver high-quality leads and sales to your business.
- Influencer / outreach: Very popular in social media circles, tapping into these influencer networks and social influencers to help spread brand awareness is a great way of pushing your brand into the social feeds of your (presumably!) relevant audience. While its not always apparent how effective this can be, its an area that is certainly growing and one worth careful consideration
- PR and backlinks: Again these kind of online shout outs not only help to lend extra credibility to your brand online but also help to divert traffic through to the site and help to improve SEO. On the subject of which…
- SEO: Monitoring and proactively improving your sites SEO profile will play a large part in helping to improve your search engine results. While its possible to pay a lot of money for SEO specialists to come in, there are also lots of very simple ways we can help to improve our SEO profile (using appropriately named image files for instance) at no cost at all.
To put that into some kind of content here is an example marketing stack from the team at AdRoll that demonstrates the scale that these stacks can quickly take up – especially in a larger company.
While all of this looks intimidating at first, the technology is oftentimes all developed to be integrated with other platforms and work seamlessly and so often managing this work can be more time-friendly than you might imagine. We will cover some particular tools and strategy for making workflows more efficient later in this series.
Over the next few instalments we are going to focus on each part of the marketing stack we outlined above in detail, and talk a little more about the options open to businesses.
Until next time though – to talk to us more about your digital marketing requirements, please do get in touch!