Is Your Marketing Stack Ready for the Digital First Revolution?
Posted by Mabh Savage on October 13, 2023
"Digital First" is more than just a catchy phrase thrown around in corporate boardrooms. It's a mentality and way of working that allows businesses and nonprofits to future-proof how they engage with their customers and clients.
It involves adopting new tools, new metrics, and new processes. Is your marketing stack ready?
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Digital First for Effective Marketing
Global spending on business digital transformation increased by 10% in 2020. As consumers find more and more innovative ways to engage with companies, businesses need to be one step ahead by making sure their marketing campaigns are already in all the right places for those consumers to find and interact with organically.
Digital First is the theory that you should be investing in future-proofing your business by embracing the newer technologies and platforms rather than relying on traditional media and methods. Of course, there are traditional methods that can still be very effective. And, as we move into an age of digital transformation, traditional takes on a new meaning. An email newsletter might seem archaic to many members of “Gen Z,” but it is still a useful communication and engagement tool for those that don’t rely solely on social media.
That’s why it’s so important to have a “stack” of technologies at your disposal that can ensure your content reaches consumers on a variety of channels. Even more importantly, you want that stack to be versatile, scalable, and ready to grow as quickly as your business does.
What's in Your Marketing Stack Now?
No doubt you already have some tools working for you in terms of marketing. The most obvious of these is the company blog or website. Blogs are great because they’re a way to keep consumers engaged with something beyond sales or blatant campaigning. Becoming a trusted source of information or even being considered an industry expert is a powerful advantage.
But of course, consumers need to be able to easily find your compelling content, and that means having a stack of technology tools that allows you to work across a range of platforms and channels.
Tools you may already use to make marketing more manageable might include:
- Tools for automation
- Various software as a service (SaaS) platforms
- A customer relationship management system (CRM)
- Data analytics
- A content management system (CMS)
Automation could be as simple as setting your emails to go to your customers or clients at regular intervals or via a drip-feed campaign. But good marketing tools go beyond this, allowing marketing teams to stay updated with automated notifications or task creation based on customer interaction.
Your CRM is usually a platform that collects data on customer or client behavior and transforms that into useful analytics that helps you make better marketing decisions and create effective campaigns.
Your content management system is often the core of your marketing technology stack, creating a link between you and your content consumers, and letting you extend your brand image and values across a range of channels.
True Omnichannel Marketing
To really take advantage of the Digital First theory, your marketing content should be able to reach any number of channels at once. Customers and clients like to choose how they engage with organizations. They don’t want to be told they have to go to Facebook to enter a competition, or that they must check their email to access certain types of content. They want to engage with their favorite organizations now on whatever platform they happen to be using.
That means successful marketing campaigns need to think about including:
- Messaging services
- Digital marketplaces
- Your blog
- Your central website or partner websites, where applicable
- Micro video services such as TikTok
- Bespoke engagement platforms that may be industry-specific
Of course, not all these engagement points may be relevant to you as a business. But operating across multiple channels opens up more opportunities to connect with clients, consumers, and those that will share your stories.
62% of the most successful B2B organizations have a definitive content marketing strategy in place, so it seems that creating a true omnichannel network has never been more crucial. For example, 3.6 billion people around the world use social media. That's a lot of opportunities to engage with prospective fans of your products or services beyond your website.
Advantages of a Headless CMS in Your Marketing Stack
A headless content management system (CMS) helps with this type of omnichannel strategy by removing the requirement for marketers or content creators to constantly duplicate content. Effective APIs connect services without having to manually intervene every time you realize you need to share your latest campaign on a different platform. In theory, an effective CMS could serve unlimited channels, leaving you the time and energy to focus on creating compelling content.
No-Code or Low-Code Marketing Environment
Another persuasive advantage of the headless CMS is that it allows your developer or DevOps team to create something that's unique to your organization. Once the initial configuration is done, the low-code environment supports content creators of all abilities to update as often as they like - just like a traditional CMS. And there's always the option for a developer to get back into the guts of your CMS and really tweak things to more specific or exacting standards.
A great CMS allows bespoke tailoring and responds positively to the experienced coder without them feeling frustrated by limitations.
A vital addition to your marketing stack is a CMS that understands search engine optimization (SEO) and helps you optimize all your content accordingly. SEO isn't just about stuffing in the right keywords - and hasn't been for some time, despite marketers that persist in this method. Effective SEO tools help you manage the aspects of your content that really help you rank on the world's top search engines. That includes effective titling, metadata, and simple ways to update your content in line with SEO advancements.
You should also be able to review what the content experience is for your users. This helps you get a full picture of engagement: How long did they spend on each page? Which aspects did they interact with the most? Understanding your audience and how they interact with you is becoming more and more important to modern SEO.
A headless CMS empowers you to go beyond any rigid templates set by most SEO tools, configuring information and fields to suit you and your brand - allowing you to truly stand out.
Embracing a Digital First Strategy
Even as the post-pandemic world settles into a "new normal," consumers and clients will want to carry on engaging with organizations in ways that have become convenient and productive for them. As a modern business, you know that means you’re going to be dealing with more digital channels, more data, and having to work smarter to produce and market effective content. Take a look at these ButterCMS clients and how an effective, headless CMS helped them take their marketing stack and content strategy to the next level.
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