Implementing a digital marketing strategy that builds brand, trust and authority is just as important as revenue generating campaigns. If you’ve read part one and two of my graphic design marketing strategy, then this may sound familiar. 

Luckily, there are many free methods that build brand and customer equity (such as having a consistent and engaging social media content strategy or focusing on SEO and Google ranking).

This post is part 3 of my marketing action plan for graphic designers and I’ll be covering strategic steps and tips on implementing a successful digital marketing strategy that builds brand, longevity and loyal clients.

I also review concepts related to retargeting, testing and followup communication, which – as you may have heard – are a total must for any modern marketing strategy. But no worries, I’ll help you navigate how and when to implement these tactics!

So let’s get started!

Also, feel free to check out or reference part 1 or part 2 of this graphic designer marketing strategy series at any time!

Summary Of Parts 1 & 2

Part 1 reviewed concepts related to choosing your marketing objective(s) and understanding how to research and target your ideal audience. 

The post also examined the importance of choosing the right platform for your objectives and your target customer.

In part 2, we looked at how to choose a marketing strategy that will suit your objectives, preferences and budget. 

I explored both free and paid options across various platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and Google. 

I also talked about the importance of crafting an enticing offer and message for your audience.

These first two parts have served as a suitable foundation for this last installment. 

Now that we have a more confident understanding for who we’re targeting and where and how, we can discuss my preferred digital marketing implementation protocol.

This protocol is split between 5 core stages before moving on to a discussion on retargeting and testing to complete this post series. 

So thanks again for reading and please enjoy!

Step 5: Complete Implementation Strategy For Online Marketing

If you’ve read part 2, then you’ve likely started considering which content strategy, platform and content medium you’d like to implement. 

In this section, I’ll be showing you a process for implementing a truly powerful online framework from which you can build brand, create an engaged following and generate long-term growth and sales.

I’ve organized the steps in a way that I believe is most advantageous as each of the preceding steps build upon, support and optimize the subsequent steps and actions.

That is, by focusing on creating content and familiarity with your social media presence, you’ll essentially be establishing marketing assets that you can repurpose later for digital marketing campaigns while also fine-tuning your brand, messaging and online presence (which will go a long way in digital marketing success).

So let’s jump in and look at my first recommended plan of action: content!

1. Start Creating Value-Adding Content For A Specific Target Market

Content is the seed to future growth and opportunity.

Putting out high volumes of high-quality content consistently is a strategic play that will compound and pay off in dividends over time. 

You’re essentially creating value-adding assets that become passive soldiers for you. They will continually build and strengthen your brand over time, long after the initial upfront work.

Furthermore, an effective digital marketing campaign can leverage that high-quality content, whether that’s through your creatives, landing pages or distributed throughout your sales funnel as a whole.

Creating content means you’re giving first and focusing on adding value (i.e., not selling too much too soon).

This is essential and trying to market an offer with a sell-first mindset (especially to a cold audience) is highly unlikely to garner positive feedback, brand equity or sales.

So by starting with content, you’re focusing on establishing and securing an important level of brand identity, value proposition and authority first, of which you can then use to enhance your advertising efforts.

Remember, content is an asset, likened to an investment.

Here are some quick tips for getting started and getting some ideas flowing:

  • Research questions people are asking and phrases people are searching for using Google
    • Create content for these search phrases through engaging video or long-form written posts
  • Unless your focus is on YouTube, I definitely recommend having a website and a blog and using SEO
    • With a website you can add email opt-ins to start growing an email list as well as a ‘work with me’ page
  • Also implement and create content for a core social media platform, such as Instagram
    • I’ll talk a little more on this in the next section
  • Remember, your focus should be on adding value via content creation
    • Don’t try selling straight away

Recommended Read: Gary Vee’s Content Strategy For Social Media & Brand Building

2. Start Posting Daily & Building Brand On Social Media

There are unique opportunities for leveraging social media as a graphic designer. Think about who you follow and which types of posts you like and engage with.

Now think about how you can recreate those emotions by using your skills as a graphic designer. 

For example, making engaging videos (with dramatic music) of your process to showcase stunning before and afters can be fantastic content ideas.

You can also tell your story through social media. Remember the core function of these platforms – to be social.

Documenting your journey, using your unique story or showing and teaching your process can all establish an engaging aspect of your brand for your audience.

You could also target a specific market – such as personal fitness coaches – and create daily tutorials and content that are customized for this audience and show them how to improve their visuals and design layout to better captivate their customers.

Whatever content strategy you decide on, remember to identify how it is helping establish your brand image and what value it’s adding to the end-user.

And as with many of the free strategies, remain consistent, be patient and don’t be afraid to test multiple content ideas or to pivot if something isn’t working out. Growth is not overnight, so be sure to enjoy the process yourself!

3. Rinse & Repeat

I’ve added this as a whole section to really make sure that consistency, patience and adaptation really sinks in.

You’re building an audience, a captivating portfolio, brand equity, awareness, value, trust, authority and loyalty. 

So naturally, these things will take time, persistence and a lot of top-of-the-funnel, value-first content.

So is there a way to speed this process up and start generating traffic, data and potential leads or conversions?

Luckily there is! One obvious technique is through paid ads and digital marketing your product, brand or content. 

However, there’s also one more strategy that’s worth exploring before paying for ads: Pinterest.

4. Explore & Test Pinterest

I’ve added Pinterest in this post due to its powerful ability to generate high volumes of traffic quickly – provided your audience is actually on the platform and that your offer or content resonates with them.

Pinterest is actually more of a search engine than a social media channel and people use it for inspiration, shopping and to have problems solved and questions answered. 

It’s a highly visual platform covering a wide variety of industries (i.e., not just DIY, food, travel and fashion).

And since visual creatives is at the core of a graphic designer’s value proposition, this can be a great opportunity to showcase your work organically while generating interest and free traffic to your website.

And as you know, traffic and attention makes selling and monetization much easier.

I should note also that since Pinterest users tend to spend more and be more engaged shoppers, selling strategies can be more effective compared to other platforms.

To implement an effective Pinterest strategy, you’ll first want to spend some time on the platform and research potential industries and/or target audiences you could reach. 

You want to find a niche where you could provide value for people using your graphic designs skills and the content you created from step 1.

For example, you could research design elements that generate high conversions, then create your own branded custom templates that are beautiful and specifically created for Pinterest business users.

You can then niche down and target bloggers, website owners, marketers or any other active pinners that use the platform for business and/or traffic purposes.

Customization would be an important element here. For example, creating beautifully designed pin templates for bloggers that create content about vegan food.

You could also create pins that link to tutorial-based content on your website (or YouTube) that teaches a particular niche how to create pin designs that stand out and generate higher click-through rates or how to better brand a small business’ website page or social media creatives.

Again (and the same goes for creating content for Google users), you want to find a way to transform your skills and abilities as a graphic designer into an enticing offer that solves a real problem or provides a real solution for your target audience.

From here, if you think you’ve found an opportunity or audience you’d like to target, you’ll first need to sign up for a Pinterest Business account (don’t worry, it’s completely free).

Among other things, this will allow you to manage your account more strategically while providing you with useful analytics and data.

Since I’m not going into a full tutorial on Pinterest marketing and SEO (for obvious length reasons), I’ll link out (below) for further reading if you’d like to learn more about this strategy. 

But here are a few pointers to keep in mind to get started:

  • Optimize Your Profile For Pinterest Search Results
    • Use keywords related to your target niche and audience within your profile name and description
    • Optimize your boards by naming and describing them with relevant keywords
      • i.e., don’t get creative and make clever names that no one else is searching for like you would with a personal profile
  • Make Your Pin Titles & Descriptions Keyword Optimized
  • Use 3-5 Relevant Hashtags With Your Pin Descriptions
    • Hashtags don’t work anywhere else
  • Use Visually Appealing Images
    • Maybe this one is obvious, but as a graphic designer this should be the fun part!
    • Search the pins that perform well for your target niche for inspiration and to see what’s working
  • Post Frequently
    • 10-15+ pins per day at least
  • Post A Combination of Your Own Pins & Other People’s Pins
    • Your profile will actually perform better if you’re posting more of other people’s content
    • Pinterest wants it’s users to be both content creators as well as content curators

Recommended Read: Pinterest Traffic For Bloggers & Website Owners

5. Leverage Your Content & Socials For Digital Marketing Campaigns

Driving awareness, building and strengthening relationships and funneling conversions are some of the primary objectives with social media marketing and digital advertising.

The impressive degree of targeting, retargeting and customization with digital marketing allows businesses and entrepreneurs of any size or budget to scale their brand, generate qualified leads and increase sales quickly and easily (compared to more traditional marketing paradigms).

However, while it’s easy to set up and reach your target market with a simple ad campaign, many new marketers fall short on strategy and implementation.

It’s essential to fully understand the sales funnel model, the customer journey, retargeting and how to craft campaigns that best resonate with a particular customer or prospect based on the particular platform they’re on and their subsequent consumption intent.

This concept echoes what I’ve said throughout this post series, but here it is again:

  • When digital marketing, our messaging, offers and creatives need to match our customer’s state-of-mind based on the particular platform they’re on as well as the particular stage they’re on in the customer journey (i.e., the sales funnel)

These are some of the most important takeaways that are often overlooked by beginners when implementing a digital marketing campaign.

Other campaign elements, technical mechanics and strategic points are of course also important, but staying grounded with these fundamental concepts is like having a compass for navigating online marketing.

So if you’re using existing content for digital marketing, analyze it to establish which type of customer it’s best suited for. 

That is, would the content be better for building awareness to cold traffic prospects or is it more sales-focused and better for an already warmed up audience or your existing leads?

Of course, either campaign is powerful for growing your business online, but be sure that each campaign you create remains focused and on message with its one established objective (i.e., drive traffic, build awareness, generate leads, make sales or conversions, etc.).

Recommended Read: How To Make A High-Converting Sales Funnel In 4 Steps

Step 6: Retargeting, Testing & Followup

I’ve briefly mentioned the importance of retargeting for a truly complete digital marketing strategy. 

It’s the glue to your sales funnel and is, well simply put, essential to your online marketing success.

As discussed by Salesforce, it takes on average up to 7 points of contact (i.e., touch points) before a new prospect becomes a viable lead or converts into a customer.

So adapting a retargeting framework for your online marketing is instrumental for increasing those customer touch points. 

And you can offset those marketing costs by combining your retargeting with email automation and followup.

Finally, I want to mention the importance of testing. 

Testing allows you to make more informed decisions about what’s working (and what’s not).

Testing allows us to properly optimize our campaigns, content, sales funnels, landing pages and targeting to increase conversions and ROI while improving the user experience as a whole.

I begin testing at the very beginning of my campaigns by first duplicating my ad sets (for Facebook or Instagram ads) and changing out the audience to test a different customer segment.

Then, I like to duplicate the actual ads themselves to test different creatives (i.e., sending out a video ad, an image ad and maybe a graphic, animation or an interactive quiz-style ad).

Then, whichever combination of ad creatives and audiences perform best, you scale them with a higher daily ad spend budget.

Finally, we can retarget different audiences from a variety of different sources.

For example, you can retarget website visitors (which would require having the Facebook pixel installed), people who engaged with a previous ad or post of yours, your email list or people who watched a certain percentage of a previous video ad (via video view retargeting).

So as you can see, retargeting and testing are expansive topics and definitely worth exploring more deeply in order to truly optimize your marketing and boost your conversions!

For a full review on ad retargeting, check out the link below!

Recommended Read: Simple & Foolproof Guide To Facebook Ad Retargeting

Conclusion

This post has been part 3 of the digital marketing for graphic designers series. 

I’ve presented you with a formula moving forward that focuses on building brand equity, content assets and long-term growth by establishing trust, value and brand identity.

Digital marketing affords numerous opportunities. However, navigating the maze ethically and profitably requires patience, a focus on adding value first, consistency and strategic implementation.

This post has provided a strategic plan for implementing the concepts discussed in both part 1 and part 2

At the core of this methodology are a content-first approach, value adding actions, consistency and patience and using the most appropriate places to market your objectives based on how your customer’s mindsets vary across different platforms.

Ultimately, you want to establish brand, trust and authority with your target audience.

Selling too quickly erodes long-term growth. 

But adding massive amounts of value first will serve as a sturdy and dynamic foundation that will grow with you and support future marketing objectives over time.

Let me know in the comments if you agree with the implementation formula in this post! What parts do you think are most important for building brand in marketing?

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