A foolproof digital marketing strategy should be the cornerstone of every brand’s online presence. It helps you make the most of every growth opportunity in establishing and promoting your brand online. And yet, many companies don’t have a well thought out digital marketing plan!
Digital marketing is more than creating Facebook and Twitter handles; it’s about understanding your audience and choosing platforms that can make the most impact for your brand. When we create a digital marketing plan for our clients, we must ensure that it is effective, easily implemented, and in-sync with the brand’s ideals and vision for growth.
The 3Cs method helps us do exactly that and it has resulted from a special framework of logic, industry knowledge and experience. And no, the 3Cs don’t stand for Coffee, Chocolate and Cheese (though they very well could).
The three-step process to better digital marketing
This three-step decision framework is a distilled, step-by-step process through which we understand your brand and your audience, identify KPIs, and provide you with a marketing plan that encompasses all important digital touchpoints.
I understand that this explanation begets a very natural question: What is in each of these ‘C’s? So, let’s break it down, shall we?
C1. CHANNEL-WISE STRATEGY
The days when a brand had to have only a Facebook page for social credibility are long past. Today, it is necessary to be present on various social media channels because if you aren’t then your competitor might be. What is important to understand is that you cannot use each channel the same way or put in the same effort across platforms.
The first step in choosing channels should therefore be to create ‘Buyer Personas’ through user interviews and market surveys. This lets you know the social channels on which your target audience is most active and where you should put maximum effort. Once you have chosen the channels, you need to decide how best to use them. Creating a community?
Facebook still sounds like the best bet. Organising an event? Put up behind-the-scenes updates on Instagram and Twitter with amazing pictures and relevant hashtags. Create your digital footprint across relevant channels; just make sure your buyers use the same channel, too.
C2. CONTENT-WISE STRATEGY
After the first step, it becomes easier for us to decide which social sites a brand should be using and why. Now, the next step is to understand what kind of content should be used and promoted on each channel. This might sound easy, but when you go into the specifics it can get intimidating. From the old school blogs, brochures and whitepapers to vines, Instagram boomerangs and Snapchat stories, it’s a whole ocean of possibilities.
A great dictum to remember when creating content buckets is to let the channel dictate the content form. A 20-minute video as part of a YouTube web series may make waves on well, YouTube, but if you use the same on Facebook the metrics will tell a sad story.
Similarly, Snapchat stories which get deleted at the end of the day don’t make much sense on any other platform. You may have a blog for your brand, but if you only write industry-related articles, then you probably will have no readership. However, the same facts-and-figures piece has a greater chance of doing well on a professional platform like LinkedIn.
So, the second step is understanding and shortlisting content types based on the channels where your TG spends a lot of their time. You don’t need to do everything, but what you do should be highly impactful.
C3. CAMPAIGN-WISE STRATEGY
Let’s take a look at some of the best social campaigns that top brands came up with this year.
First, there was Parachute’s #KhulKeKheloHoli campaign which began with a 3-minute video, and used Dubsmash for a Holi contest for users. The campaign was rounded off with a blogging drive featuring user stories about memorable Holi celebrations.
Adidas’ #FeelLoveUseHate campaign featuring Virat Kohli that went live during the IPL also created a huge buzz because of its timing and the well-crafted video that accompanied it.
And then there was Babajob’s ‘A Step By Step Introduction’ campaign which I personally liked for the novel way in which it introduced a new brand. The startup did a great job of leveraging the excitement it created through it’s video by asking users to send across questions on Snapchat which the company then answered with the help of CXOs.
As a brand, you will be using your digital marketing channels to run cross-channel campaigns. The third ‘C’ of our plan is to help you with the planning and execution of these campaigns.
From the examples above it’s mighty clear that a successful campaign does not work on an isolated channel, and its outcome depends on how well you use separate channels to execute a single idea.
The challenge is to identify the content form that works well on each channel and create an integrated campaign strategy using all the important media. A good campaign strategy can be the key to creating brand recall online and our third step helps you in doing just that.
One of the biggest rookie mistake both brands and agencies make is to start creating content without the a basic strategy in place, let alone this cutting-edge strategy. Only once the 3Cs strategy are in place, you can go ahead and create the weekly, monthly and quarterly calendars for you or your clients. Feel free to connect with me on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the strategy or get your digital marketing questions answered!
Mapplinks Academy is India's first agency-integrated live project based growth hacking and new age digital marketing training institute.
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Started by Rishabh Dev, the academy is an initiative to bridge the growth marketing talent gap in the digital ecosystem.