Using the Eight Pillars of Marketing for an Omnichannel Approach

8 pillars of marketing

As experienced marketers, the teams at Avalaunch Media know that technology and market demands are always changing. That’s why we’re versatile and constantly adapting our strategies, helping clients of all budget sizes elevate their brands for the best value. Selecting the right digital marketing channels for maximum ROI is key in this quest. Our full-service marketing agency offers services in the 8 pillars of digital marketing, everything from SEO optimization to web design, but our campaigns can be summed up by a number of channels that we refer to as the eight pillars of digital marketing.

We consider them the building blocks of any effective digital marketing strategy, and we use them to create a detailed plan of how we can help every new client succeed in their marketing goals. The list of marketing channels is as follows:

8 PILLARS OF DIGITAL MARKETING
  1. Website
  2. PPC
  3. SEO
  4. PR + Outreach
  5. Content
  6. Social media
  7. Branding
  8. Marketing automation

Every client that comes to us is at a different point in their business development, so it’s our job as marketers to help businesses thrive across all eight pillars of digital marketing. 

On your own, it’s not easy to know which marketing channels to focus on that will yield the greatest return. If you’re feeling lost with your digital marketing strategy, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll briefly overview the eight pillars of marketing, general best practices, and how you can leverage each of these to enhance your approach. 

Website

A website works in conjunction with SEO, social media, content, and marketing automation to educate, attract, and entice potential customers. It’s an important component of any marketing campaign, but contrary to popular belief, your website isn’t typically what leads to conversions. In fact, up to 96% of your site visitors won’t be ready to buy yet. Most visit a site to learn, so make your web pages as informative as possible while still calling visitors to action and inviting them to buy. Think of your website as the ultimate resource to learn about your brand, values, products, and services — and double check that it accurately represents each of those things. 

If information isn’t easy to find, or your website isn’t easy to navigate or load, users will bounce. Elements of a strong website that will keep people on your site include: 

  • Strong, eye-catching value propositions
  • Excellent site speed
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Organized, SEO-optimized copy
  • Inquiry/contact forms
  • Helpful, updated, and accurate content
  • Tested headlines and CTAs in obvious places
  • Consistency with branding, tone, design elements, etc.

If you feel overwhelmed by this list, let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture. There are several simple steps you can take today and immediately improve the impact of your site:

  • Run Google Analytics 

Google Analytics reports can give you a better understanding of why you’re losing people at a certain point on your website and what you can do to make it better.

  • Ask for Feedback

If your bounce rate is high, gather volunteers to scan through your site looking for specific elements and see if they can quickly find important information. This will help you find out where your information is lacking and make updates accordingly. 

  • Conduct a Website Audit

There’s usually a simple explanation behind visibility and traffic problems on a website. An online site auditing tool can help you figure out what it is. An audit can show you if the problem is with crawlability, page titles, meta descriptions, or something else. Ahrefs, SEMrush, MySite Auditor, and more are great tools to help with site audits. 

Paid Media

If pay-per-click (PPC) advertising isn’t part of your marketing approach, you’re leaving easy money on the table. PPC is an affordable method of marketing (usually overseen by an agency) that takes whatever budget you have and places ads for your products and services in front of people who are looking for them but may not know your company even exists.

Using strategies including A/B testing, you can find out instantly which ads and keywords perform the best with the right audiences and improve your approach accordingly. 

Facebook, Instagram, and Google are ideal places for paid ads. For instance, if you’ve ever searched a product on Amazon or Google, it’s likely that you later saw that product appear as an ad in your social media feed; some PPC platforms have a demographic targeting feature, which enables marketers to display ads only to a target audience and avoid wasting money showing ads to those who won’t be interested. If you’re new to PPC, learn how to advertise with Google, and find out what makes Facebook ads worth the expense here.

A PPC strategy combined with a well-thought-out content strategy can help you dominate Google by gradually building your brand authority and increasing your ranking over time while your PPC strategy immediately generates leads and increases conversion rates at the same time.

SEO

In today’s world, consumers most often turn to Google when looking for products or services. They are unlikely to engage with you if your offerings aren’t visible on the search engine (how often do you visit the fifth page of search results on Google?). What good does it do to invest lots of time and money into a website that nobody can find? That’s why SEO is a top priority among businesses; they want to be seen on the first results page by as many as possible. You want to make sure everyone interested in your topic or industry is being directed to your site and engaging with it once they get there. 

SEO has three primary goals:

  • Make sure other websites are linking to your website (off-site work)
  • Optimize web pages (titles, tags, content) for target keywords (on-site work)
  • Resolve technical issues such as duplicate content, broken links, slow site speed, keyword placement, image tags, and so on

Keep in mind that search engine optimization (SEO) takes longer than PPC marketing to produce results, but an SEO-optimized website and blog help you rank for keywords related to your business offerings and draw in qualified leads that convert.

PR + Outreach

PR outreach is the process of pitching your company’s products and/or services to those with a platform (ex. Bloggers, influencers, journalists, and so on) to get exposure and press coverage. Media presence is a key piece of any marketing strategy; nearly everyone gets their information from digital media these days, which makes heightened media presence a great indicator of growth. 

Every brand wants to get featured in noteworthy publications, but not many know how to get there — and there isn’t a single solution that will help each business achieve its goals. That’s why you need the help of a digital marketing agency. An agency’s team of PR specialists can help you achieve your PR and outreach goals by assisting you with:

  • The creation of a custom brand strategy;
  • The development of your brand image/story;
  • The establishment of media connections; and 
  • The production of content for your target audience. 

Our PR team starts with a PR audit that will show you your strengths and weaknesses and identify holes in your strategy as well as growth opportunities. We’ll work tirelessly to connect you with the publication networks that are most likely to give you features and help you produce content that will get shared in high places. Successful PR campaigns will help you obtain effective backlinks that yield increased organic traffic, which will do wonders for your profits and brand awareness.

As an example, you may remember the Ice Bucket Challenge several years ago on social media started by the ALS Association. This was an excellent PR campaign because it was fun, it got people to engage, it gave us a cause to champion, and it captured the attention of news sources and prominent individuals like the President of the United States.

Content

Content marketing is made up of three essential elements: optimized copy, vivid design, and captivating video. With high-quality, well-researched content, you position yourself as an industry expert while also reaching customers at various stages of the sales funnel and adding SEO value to your website. Marketers have found tremendous value in evergreen content, in particular, which is content that is not linked to any place in time and retains its value throughout many years. Take this content below, for example, which is part of an evergreen page speaking about types of medical malpractice.

Housing this kind of content on your website yields more traffic and helps you build relationships with leads — but not if your content isn’t valuable, quality, or appealing.

While consumers hate being ambushed with lazy, spam-like ads, they appreciate and enjoy interacting with good content marketing. Content that converts must be strategic and offer some sort of value to the consumer. This simply means writing and designing ads and other content on topics that audiences are interested in, infusing it with valuable information, and using CTAs to provoke action, which HVAC.com does nicely in this infographic on preventing household fires: 

HVAC Infographic

Once the content is created, it must then be shared and promoted across social media, email campaigns, and other channels. You can even seek links from other sites that bring traffic to your site. If you don’t promote your own content, who else will?

Social Media

Most of the world is now on social media, seeking out content from popular brands. A report by UPS on the Pulse of the Online Shopper revealed that millennials are some of the world’s largest consumers, and they tend to look at social media before deciding where to buy certain products, making social media a necessary element in any marketing strategy.

The social media channel is unique in that it gives you the chance to establish your niche within a community and humanize your business. You already have a website to cover the informational side of your brand, so use your social platforms to be transparent and showcase your company’s personality and values. Social media isn’t meant to operate on its own; it is closely intertwined with PPC, content marketing, and websites. Use it to showcase relevant content, direct people back to your website, and promote new products through paid ads.

People seek out brands on social platforms to build a relationship, so be sincere in consumer interactions and treat them like people. Be consistent with your brand and identify the right social platforms to use. It’s easier to post consistently only on platforms that will benefit your business than trying to conquer every platform in existence.

A makeup brand, for example, would do better on platforms like Instagram and Twitter than a research lab would — they may be better suited to LinkedIn and Facebook. 

National Geographic has an exemplary social media presence. Their posts consist of inspiring photography, captivating stories, and informative content, which have seen them earn more than 100 million subscribers and high levels of engagement. Rather than simply posting their own content, they also feature photo submissions from skilled photographers around the world, which helps bolster their community engagement.

national geographic

Branding

A well-defined brand strategy showcases everything about a company and makes a huge impact when executed properly — think Nike, Disney, Coca-Cola, Amazon, and Apple. It’s more than just designing a logo or a business card; it’s about defining the tone, visual voice, mission, and company values that your company will embody in everything that it does. 

A strong brand is what gives companies a competitive edge to set them apart from the pack. Branding must be consistent across all marketing channels — including social media, websites, content hubs, and emails — to be impactful. An agency can help you design a plan for consistently telling the story of your brand, making sure your visual voice comes across on all branded company collateral so you can make meaningful impressions on customers.

Marketing Automation

Email marketing, also known as marketing automation, is used to move leads through the sales funnel. Those receiving your emails have accepted the invitation on your website or social media to hear what you have to say, so it’s important to capture the attention with an engaging subject line to ensure the email gets opened and then to deliver succinct, valuable, and personal messages that increase a person’s likelihood of making a purchase. Keep your emails short and never forget to add an urgent call to action. These practices will increase conversions and long-term open rates.

DSW does an excellent job of creating such emails.

DSW Ad
DSW Ad

As you can see, they’ve minimized their email copy while still making it fun and purpose-driven. One of the emails even contains the subscriber’s name, making it more personal and impactful. There are direct and indirect calls to action in both of these emails, and they offer incentives to the customer to make timely purchases.

Build a Custom Omnichannel Marketing Plan

Today, there are more marketing resources at your disposal than there ever have been, which also makes it easier than ever before to increase your brand awareness. Numerous options can also make it feel overwhelming, especially when integrating these channels for a seamless omnichannel marketing plan — but that’s why so many businesses lean on a full-service marketing agency. We’ll help you decide which channels will best benefit your business, increase your ROI, and meet your marketing goals. Contact Avalaunch Media today for a custom proposal.

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