I’m often asked by clients to review their digital media and social marketing programs to uncover opportunities to improve reach, engagement and ROI. I’ve spent the past 17 years answering this question as an Online Marketing Strategist for clients big and small.

Now, I spearhead the digital practice at rbb and the online audit service that we offer, which is specifically designed to discover opportunities for clients based on their online presence. (See video.)

What I’ve consistently found is that most brands don’t really have a truly integrated strategy, and that their social media is more about broadcasting brand messages rather than providing valuable content or truly connecting with the intended audience.

Without strategy driving your digital marketing campaign, you run the risk of wasting time and money, damaging your reputation, or worse. You wouldn’t attempt to drive cross-country without a GPS, so why would you launch a digital or social campaign without a solid strategy to lead the way?

In a presentation I gave for Social Media Day 2014, I shared the secret sauce that goes into creating a highly effective digital marketing strategy. Hold tight now, it may be too simple to comprehend. Are you ready?

The foundation needed to support an effective digital/social media campaign is…”SKILLFUL LISTENING.”

Listening for and reliably delivering what’s important for the intended audience is the key to uncovering what type of content marketing to create, what social media platforms to use and how to identify targeted audiences and influencers to engage with.

Now more than ever, you have access to data from multifarious touch points. By collecting, analyzing and integrating meaningful data into the creative process, you provide value and increase conversion for your digital campaign.

There are a variety of tools that you can use to facilitate this process, from Salesforce to Radian6 and Sysomos. My personal favorite is Netbase because of its use of sophisticated NLP technology. All have unique features, and you’ll determine which one is the best match for you based on your use cases. At rbb, we utilize a proprietary mix of listening tools to combine insights and paint a complete picture.

All the aforementioned tools are paid applications, but have no fear, there are also FREE listening tools like Socialmention, Klout, Twazzup, Tweet Reach, and HowSociable. I prefer Hootsuite, because it provides valuable information for small business marketing and has a user-friendly interface.

At the end of the day, selecting the right tool is only half the battle. You must also practice the skill needed to use the listening tools and derive the insights that uncover the opportunities that distinguish you from your competitors.

That’s where we come in.

rbb’s Digital Park provides a comprehensive digital audit to uncover what’s missing from your current program that would make a difference. We then work closely with you to create a highly effective integrated communications plan based on best practices, to fill in the gaps and provide valuable insights that when used properly increase reach, cultivate lasting relationships, and generate leads.

Find the answers to all this and more with a complete digital or social audit from rbb’s Digital Park. Contact us now at digitalpark@rbbpr.com or call at 305-448-7450.

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