digital marketing, content marketing, mobile, loni kao stark
Are you a marketer learning to juggle the many balls that comprise a digital marketing strategy? Adobe's Loni Kao Stark has a few tips you should consider.

It's not easy being a digital marketer today, there's a lot you need to understand, and it almost feels like the rules are changing weekly. From a series of conversations with Kao Stark, we have pulled together a few tips that you should keep in mind.

Design Useful Experiences

Mobile first design is much more prevalent thanks to the increase in mobile device uses. The stats prove that easily. In the case of responsive design, people think they can take an existing website and convert it.

Although it's technically possible, Kao Stark points out that responsive design works the best when you think about the mobile experience right from the start, not as an add-on. So whether it's a mobile app, a mobile website, or a responsive design approach, mobile first is the right place to start.

That being said, what you really should start with is the user experience. Simplicity is seeded in the idea that you want to create something that is relevant to the audience you are trying to support/reach. That you want to elevate the things people need to see or the tasks they need to perform. So focus on personas, target segments and customer journey and provide what's relevant to the right person in the right context.

Balance the Message and Medium

Mobile ads don't really work that well. They are good for awareness, but not for engagement and conversion. Marketers are looking for more creative ways to do things. Real estate is prime on a mobile device and having things like banner ads could harm a brand because they take up too much space. 

This, Kao Stark said, is where the idea of content marketing and social engagement come into play. Social is an engaging path, and when combined with mobile gives marketers a better way to connect.

Content marketing on mobile is focused on summarizing, shorter comments/formats, tweets. Video is also becoming very popular and technology is evolving to support this growing form of engagement.

But recognize that content marketing is hard. It's hard because marketers still struggle to understand how to do it without sounding like you are pitching your brand/product. It's hard to do because consumers are suspicious of anything and everything.

If you ask Kao Stark her opinion on this idea of "brands as publishers," she'll tell you it's both a technical challenge and an organizational challenge -- it's a strategy and skillset problem.

It's A Push Me Pull Me Kind of Situation

Content Marketing requires deeper levels of engagement, says Kao Stark. You have to find different ways to get information out and then bring it back home. Which means you aren't just pushing out information, but inviting interaction.

She also said that for content marketing to really work there's a large element of trust at play and you don't want to lose the trust of your audience. One thing that you need to do with much of your content marketing is to take the brand out of the picture.

This is not about promoting your brand and/or what you think as a brand, it's about the problems your audience are trying to solve and how you can help them do that. Think about giving advice to a friend. How would you approach and respond then?

Ultimately, as a marketer you need to understand that the common thread in all your digital marketing activities is the ability to put yourself in the customer's shoes right from the beginning, and then have the right technology to deliver.

You can read more of Loni Kao Stark's great advice in her CMSWire column.

Image courtesy of Viorel Sima (Shutterstock)