The verdict - a wood and brass judges gavel resting upright on top of a thick law book in a court

by Jeff Cooper, Founding Partner, Step Change

Digital marketing is an area that seems to change constantly. But as platforms rise and fall and new marketing channels emerge, a few rules never change. Keep these immutable laws in mind, and you will always stay on the right track.

The user’s intention determines their pathway.
This applies to everyone who arrives at your brand. Every interaction needs to have an objective so that you can effectively lead them down the sales funnel. A person who does heavy research should find a series of informative articles, checklists, white papers, or other assets as appropriate to help them form a decision. Someone who comparison-shops would be more easily wooed when they are able to see how your product performs up against your competitors’. And if you don’t create a kind of content and win the customer, your competition will.

Clarity is key.
Clarity in your design creates clarity in the minds of your customers. Make your domain, branding, colours, fonts, and writing style aligned to present a distinct brand that differs from your competitors. You also need to provide clarity of purpose to support wallet share. It’s not enough for your service to be unique; you need to express exactly what the difference is between you and your competition.

Topic leadership is vital.
When people search for information about a product you provide, they need to see you at or near the top. Very few surfers go past the first page of Google results. If they do not see you there, it is as if you do not exist. Search all the terms that are relevant to see where you stand.

Remember the laws of influence.
Exclusivity, authority, reciprocity, and social proof are all vital. Show how your customers get a deal no one else does. Publish content that shows your authority in your area. Give something, such as a free report, to spur people to reciprocate with their business. And never forget that your happy customers are your best ambassadors; they can draw their friends and colleagues to your brand.

What you measure is what you manage.
Without clear analytics, you have no clear idea what is working and what is not. Define and track your key metrics so that you always know where you stand. For instance, metrics can show you if your email open rate is lower than your industry average. By tracking this metric, you can make adjustments and see what helps improve your figures.

Every metric you test should be tested with real-world clients. It costs nothing to test, but your results are worth more if they are based on actual buyer behavior. And always remember your most important metrics. For instance, you should measure your social following in amplification instead of reach. Amplification shows that people are excited about your brand and providing that vital social proof.

By keeping all of these vital laws in mind, you can better adapt as digital marketing continues to expand and change. No matter what system there is, human behavior remains the same. These immutables will allow you to compete and thrive.