10 Steps to Effective Digital Marketing (As Told By A Web Developer)

Thoughtbot published an excellent podcast episode recently called “The Boutique Agency” that featured an interview with Alex Kesler, founder and CEO of inSegment, a full-service digital marketing agency specializing in B2B lead generation and consumer acquisition through search engine optimization and online media campaigns. The host, Ben Orenstein, is a Ruby developer at Thoughtbot which puts him in the unique and interesting position of being a technical person interviewing a marketing specialist, instead of the other way around. This makes for an enlightening interview because Orenstein asks very focused, detail-oriented questions to the founder and is able to get some concentrated, checklist-style pointers.

inSegment handles clients’ pure marketing, content creation, and associated support development work. This is quite familiar to us at SAI Digital; it’s hard to meet marketing needs without content creation and it’s hard to get marketing channels and automation in place without some development work. It represents what you should expect out of a full-service digital marketing agency.

inSegment is split into 3 teams:

  • Client Services Team – Works directly with clients.
  • Paid and Organic Search Team – Generates content and ads and manages 3rd party industry experts helping with content.
  • Design and Development Team – Builds microsites and funnels and launches on time and on budget.

This allows each team to focus on their own tasks while getting the required support from other teams.

inSegment also uses tools like Drupal and services like HubSpot along with a few others to allow them to deploy specialized marketing funnels for their clients and use APIs to allow systems to qualify and manage those leads.

Cutting to the Chase

The best part of the interview is that the marketer and the developer work together to piece together a small, focused set of actionable best practices. Developers like myself have a hard time understanding marketing speak and synthesizing loosely defined or verbose descriptions about a topic into memorable steps. Developers generally think in basic “if/then” logic and strip out nonessential descriptive language that marketers actually prefer.

So here’s the list!

1. Get on the first page of the search results and use search engines to funnel traffic to your site.

  • Organic search – Make sure your website is coded correctly, have strong content with effective inbounding linking, and that you’re keeping up with search algorithm changes.
  • Pay-per-lead partnerships – Partner with industry thought leaders that produce content and help syndicate content for their readership, so you can potentially funnel their users to your site.
  • Paid search – Effectively target pay-per-click ads.

2. Keep your digital marketing leads from going stale.

Nurture leads with email campaigns using marketing automation tools like HubSpot, Marketo, Eloqua.

3. Add more landing pages.

Create and optimize a landing page for every type of search term a customer would use to find you. inSegment calls them landing environments, or microsites and cited a case where they turned their clients existing 2 landing pages into around 50 to achieve the results they needed.

4. Deeply segment your audience.

Conversion Architecture is a system based on creating unique landing environments for different psychological profiles. This matches products and services to use-type profiles by highlighting different benefits or content based on who is interacting with the marketing channel.

5. Land the correct client on the correct landing environment.

Optimize each segment to maximize lead conversion. Do not use catch-all landing pages!Think through the process: If a customer wants THIS product or service, and they are THIS kind of person, let’s target this kind of landing page at them. Engineering-type personalities generally do not believe testimonials and think they are all paid actors; Social-type personalities don’t want to see charts and data, but prefer to see what experiences other people have has with your firm. Align the content in the funnel with the social profile.

6. Pick the correct battles for your SEO optimizations.

If the last entry on a search engine page is to an industry leader, IBM for example, you probably cannot knock them out of that position, so change your optimization strategy.

7. Test and adjust!

Nothing should be considered unchangeable. Looking at your actual data and adjusting strategies is what you you pay marketing partners to do. They are not supposed to get is right the first time with a silver bullet.

8. You pay for what you get.

While you certainly can go at it alone, you don’t have to try to do everything yourself. It’s critical to engage with the right partner at the right time to get the cutting-edge methods and technology that only industry insiders are able to keep up with. That is what you pay for and can maximize your ROI.

9. Engage the reader.

Simply pushing a product can make the Google Search user click the back button. Instead, make your interaction with the visitor more like a conversation. Companies have accepted that it is the norm to only have 1 percent conversion rate. If you are paying money directly or indirectly to get people to your site, a 1 percent conversion rate is nothing to be smiling about. Engage the reader or don’t waste your time!

10. Get the right clients and customers for you.

If your industry has a lot of smaller start-ups and agencies to compete with, they will probably gobble up low-end clients, so don’t waste your search ad budget marketing to those types of clients because you will be undersold.