In this second post of our ongoing logistics marketing series of creating a sound digital marketing strategy from our Marketing Manager, Adam Robinson, we will discuss what is Digital Activation and what are digital assets, social media platforms, and online communities. Understanding this information will then allow you to determine which are the best digital platforms for you to use in order to achieve your business goals. Remember, digital and social media marketing are simply an extension of your business and overall marketing goals. After a strategy is put in place, the next step is to physically establish each digital and social media platform. In the next post we will cover how you choose which platforms to activate and 5 tactical best practices when setting up each platform.

What is Digital Activation?

Simply put, digital activation is determining the best digital assets, social media platforms, and online communities you should either create, set up, or join with your overall marketing strategy and business goals as your guide. Furthermore, activation includes the physical creation, establishment, and optimization of each platform. Lastly, activation extends to making these newly created assets and platforms aware to the constituencies you have determined you are wanting to reach through your marketing efforts. These constituencies include your desired target audiences, vendors, partners, employees, and top personas around your industry who have influence over your target audience, i.e., non-competitive industry magazines (such as Inbound Logistics), power bloggers (such as AJ Sweatt), and those with large communities/followings made up of your target audience (like Manufacturing Executive, National Association of Manufacturers, and The Alliance for American Manufacturing on Twitter).

Understanding Digital Assets, Social Media Platforms, and Online Communities

When you go through the digital activation phase of your digital marketing strategy, you must first understand the difference between digital assets (which are created from scratch by YOU), social media platforms (these are often pages you set up through an established social network), and online communities (typically groups you join within major social media platforms or simply an established online community such as a forum or question and answer site). Here is a handy guide for your understanding:

Digital Assets

logistics-marketing-blogDigital assets are online environments you create from scratch. Digital assets are often created using a technology framework, a hierarchy of navigation, your company logo and custom graphics, and professional copy writing. The following are the major digital assets you should consider when getting ready to activate your digital strategy:

Social Media Platforms

In general, most social media platforms you set up require you to amass a following in order to be effective. There are some platforms where the entire reason you establish it in the first place is to build followers, and then add value in the way of posts or messages or use to distribute your original content in order to lead back your desired target audience to your digital assets in order to gain awareness and inbound leads. The following are the major social media platforms, what they are, and what they may be used for:

Online Communities

Finally, we come to online communities. Unlike digital assets and social media platforms, online communities allow you to tap into your target audience and not be at the mercy of having to amass followers or attract visitors to your brand. I am not saying you should not try and attract members of the community to your company, but you can think of online communities where you can use content of relevancy as bait to reel them back into your own controlled environments and established pages in order to support your overall marketing and business goals as laid out in your digital marketing plan. The following are the main online communities which give you broad reach:

Which Digital and Social Media Platforms Should I Choose and How? It all comes down to STRATEGY!

Ah, the $64,000 question! How do you know which social media platforms, digital assets and online communities you should you choose? This is actually a lot easier than it sounds, but many try to complicate it and make it very difficult to be successful long term, often due to a lack of results from the effort exerted, or simply, what I think is the number one reason most fail in digital and social media marketing, they give up. Why do they give up? They end up trying to be on EVERY platform, they post to every platform and after awhile, many get fatigued with the constant daily grind of effective social media marketing. Social and Digital marketing is much like the Pareto Principle: Focus on the platforms and entities which yield the highest results, don’t just do something or be somewhere to do it! It all comes down to strategy! Now, if you have the resources to be on every social media platform, you should, but only if you do it well! We will go into the exact details on what are the best digital assets, social media platforms, and social communities you should set up and a few tactical best practices to get them all established in the next post.

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