personal touchWhile it’s important for digital marketers to keep an eye on the emerging trends and tools, it’s just as important to make the most of the older, tried-and-true techniques. To that end, Digiday‘s Giselle Abramovich asked the opinion of several top digital marketers on which tactics deserve to be used more often.

Here are a few of their answers:

1. Email. It often takes “the back seat to newer, sexier tactics like social media,” says Bob Arnold, associate director of global digital strategy at Kellogg. However, he says, “from a pure cost-effectiveness standpoint, it’s hard to beat email. It’s relatively cheap, consumers opt-in, so they are very receptive to the marketing message, and it’s fairly easy to measure success.”

2. Search-engine marketing. It is “now taken for granted,” says Brian Maynard, Jenn-Air director of marketing at Whirlpool, “but it is an important tactic as it is specifically targeted at people who have taken the time to search on a specific topic, and presumably they are a shorter distance to the register than many.”

3. Optimization. “It’s not that it’s ignored, but it’s not fully understood by many webmasters as to how to optimize,” notes Erich Marx, director of interactive and social media marketing at Nissan.

4. Humanizing your brand’s voice. Orion Brown, senior associate brand manager of Capri Sun at Kraft Foods, says:

Digital is such a different medium than print or TV, and consumers want to engage with a brand the same way they engage digitally with other human beings. There is nothing funnier, more interesting, or more engaging than the unique perspectives, insights, and commentary that others post online. When we approach digital with a ‘corporate’ voice, it falls flat and even feels a bit like a violation to consumers.

Linda Boff, executive director of global digital marketing at General Electric, echoes Brown’s opinion by suggesting that “brands need to behave, sound and act like human beings on social media.” “Figure out what’s most relevant and essential about your brand,” she says, “and then relentlessly express it in a tone that is natural and consistent.”

In her “4 Dos and Don’ts for Smart Content Marketers” article for Business2Community, Nicole Beckett elaborates further that not only it’s a good idea to sound human in your content marketing efforts, but it’s also okay to “inject your own personality inject your personality into every piece of content that you publish.”

Customers are people, she writes, and people like to do business with people, not corporate entities, so it’s wise to make your business approachable by inserting some human touches like humor and emotion. When it’s not overdone, it still makes you appear professional, but also relatable. And, Beckett notes, when customers can relate to you, they’re obviously more likely to buy from you, not your competition.

According to Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, the most underused content distribution tool is SlideShare. Pulizzi also offers some good advice in his short answers to “24 Top Content Marketing Questions.” You don’t necessarily need to create more content, he writes. Sometimes it’s enough just to reorganize your existing content and assets:

You most likely have enough content. First look at stopping some things that aren’t working and reallocating those resources to quality content initiatives.

And, along the lines of humanizing your voice, mentioned above, Pulizzi suggests to whip your content into “story-ready” form. He writes:

[M]ost companies have content assets, but they aren’t in a compelling form. Hire or contract out a journalist, editor, or natural storyteller to help get those assets into shape. […]

Make sure EVERY one of [your content creators] has a copy of your content marketing mission statement. In most brands, content creators never know what the true reader or company content mission really is.

There you have it: To successfully pull off your content marketing efforts, make the best use of your existing assets and resources but look at what needs to be reorganized (and don’t hesitate to outsource content creation if need be), and personalize/humanize your brand’s voice to make it relatable and interesting.

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