a huge, slippery, multi-armed beast, with tentacles reaching out in every direction

Saddle up the Digital Marketing Monster

Digital Marketing is a huge, slippery, multi-armed beast, with tentacles reaching out in every direction. But if you can manage to grab hold and hang on, this powerful critter can take you for the ROI ride of a lifetime.

But how do you rope this beast? There’s no place to put a saddle!

Whoa there, cowboy.

First, keep in mind that no one can do it all. You don’t have to tame the Digital Marketing beast all at once.

Sure, it’s nice to leverage your efforts with automation, but at the end of the day, Digital Marketing is still hard work; it takes time, money, skill, and creativity.

It’s also far too easy to get bogged down in tech talk and get distracted by the flavor of the week, so stay smart and focus your efforts. Check out new options and learn what you can, but don’t head off in a fashionable new direction while other aspects of your digital strategy are half-baked.

The following four tips will help you start doing a better job wrangling this beast:

Figure out where you are; prioritize and build from there

Every one of our credit union clients is at a different stage of the digital marketing journey, but no one is starting from zero. Figure out what pieces of the puzzle you already have or can get quickly and build from there.

If you’re still missing some digital marketing basics – MCIF, email addresses, permission, social media monitoring, analytics, etc. – your first goal should be filling in the gaps. You should have emails for almost every member, and you need at least basic analytics installed on your website.

For example, if you’re sending out an email newsletter, make the most of that list by trying different content and campaigns. Run A/B tests to see which one gets more attention. Compare your newsletter data to the available MCIF data, and experiment with segmenting your lists.

If you’re further along, look for gaps in your current tools and strategy. Are there ways to make your life easier, where can you automate more? What campaigns could use better creative? Does your website need an easier-to-use CRM? Budget time and attention, not just money.

Max out the tools and relationships you already have

Review what you have, and compare it to what you actually use.

We’ve worked with clients that were surprised to learn that they already had a CRM on their site, or a lurking MCIF. So if there are services you’re paying for but not using to their potential, dig in and start making better use of them.

To give just one example, if you’re using Mailchimp for email newsletters, did you know they have a pretty spiffy CRM product? You can tag contacts to track, segment and filter as needed. Mailchimp also offers landing pages along with running Google and Facebook ads through their platform. Or if you’re using Constant Contact, they also offer surveys, coupons, and events. Both can be set up with autoresponders, automated drip campaigns, etc., and may just be enough of a CRM to get you started, without breaking your budget.

And review your website to make sure you’re getting the most out of what you have. Are you at least adding and tracking landing pages for every promotion? Is it easy for a member/visitor to contact someone at the CU quickly, via phone, form or chat?

One of the reasons we build credit union websites on the WordPress platform is that just about every service has a plugin, or needs a simple chunk of code added. Most CU websites could do a lot more, so check in with your website vendor if you aren’t sure.

KISS – Keep It Somewhat Simple

When figuring out your Digital Marketing strategy, goals, and mix, stay focused on a few main goals at a time, and make sure they’re measurable, achievable, and relevant.

This also means you should stick to what you can actually do, and do well.

For example, a heavy focus on a complete content marketing strategy takes a ton of quality time to do right. But you can get your feet wet with some basic, achievable SEO goals, track the results over a few months, and use what you learn when building campaigns, blog posts, email marketing, etc.

Leave room to experiment

At the same time, you still have to keep your eye on all that exciting shiny new stuff. One of the great strengths of Digital Marketing is the ability to experiment.

Make sure you and your marketing and website partners are willing and able to experiment, and put some wiggle room in the time and money budgets for the creative variations needed, setting up and managing A/B testing with your website and email vendors, or for vetting and experimenting with CRM plugins.

Pretty soon, you’ll start to figure out the secret of the many-tentacled Digital Marketing Monster – it’s really just a bunch of smaller monsters you can learn to wrangle one at a time!

 


Also published at CUInsight.com