Successful digital marketing is multi-faceted and can be potentially overwhelming – especially if you’re unfamiliar with the strategies, platforms and best practices. However, there are some foundational digital marketing secrets that stand the test of time.

These elements are common across most successful campaigns and strategies.

This post reviews those 5 digital marketing secrets and sheds light on how anyone can apply them to their business and marketing plan. 

While specific protocols for these strategies is not included, this article introduces the tactics in a user-friendly format and provides relevant links for further reading.

As with any successful campaign, ensuring first and foremost that your offer is in demand and of high-quality is essential. 

From here, it’s all about understanding the user’s state-of-mind based on the particular platform they’re using, providing value, retargeting, adopting a sales funnel methodology and exploring both free and paid marketing strategies for long-term growth.

So let’s get started and explore these concepts some more!


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Adapting To The User's State-Of-Mind

This first section’s marketing hack may seem obvious, but it’s often forgotten. 

A person’s state-of-mind online changes depending on the platform they’re using.

This truth should guide a marketing strategy. 

In fact, following this structure should clarify your advertising objectives and campaign protocols as it provides a useful framework to stay organized and strategic.

For example, people on Facebook are not in a buyer’s mindset (i.e., they’re less likely to buy something). 

They’re on the platform to engage with family and friends and to be entertained. You should therefore create share-worthy ad campaigns and content that reflects this user mindset.

On the other hand, advertising on Google (via search engine marketing) means you’re reaching customers that are in a buyer’s state of mind (depending on the keyword(s) you’re targeting). 

People use search engines to have questions answered and problems solved.

This is why having content (or ads) that are ranking on page 1 of Google is such a valuable asset. 

In fact, organic ranking on Google or YouTube via SEO (search engine marketing) is my #1 recommended strategy to try first if you’re just starting out with digital marketing.

Although, effective SEO requires a strategic approach, patience and time.

With no other ranking strategies in place (such as backlinking), it can take up to 35 weeks or more to rank as a new website.

However, an effective SEO strategy is a long-term asset that will continue to grow and compound over time.

Furthermore, you can easily recycle the content you create inside your paid ad campaigns as value-adding content to warm up your cold traffic audiences.

As you can see, a comprehensive digital marketing strategy is more like a system of assets that both act independently and synergistically towards a common goal.

And all of this content stems from the user’s state-of-mind based on the platform they’re on and clearly identifying and understanding your sales funnel.

Recommended: Free Lesson On Google SEO

Using A Sales Funnel Model

Good marketing focuses on building a long lasting relationship. And no strong relationships happen overnight.

This means starting with an introduction and building brand awareness by adding value that matches the user’s state-of-mind based on the particular platform you’re marketing on.

Value-adding content is generally something that’s either entertaining/interesting, educational or inspiring (or some combination of those). 

And the most enticing effect of value-based content (at scale) is that it creates brand.

So while places like YouTube, Google and website blogs are suitable for educational content (via SEO and content marketing), other social media platforms – such as Instagram and Facebook – may be better equipped for entertaining, engaging and inspirational content.

Targeting your ideal customers (discussed below) with top-of-the-funnel value-adding content that’s suitable for the platform they’re on is step one to a good sales funnel marketing plan.

Once you’ve warmed up this cold traffic (i.e., they’ll at least recognize you now), you can then push them further down your sales funnel and closer to a conversion objective via retargeting marketing (also discussed more below).

Warmed up traffic are more likely to consume your content, give you their email or make a micro-commitment.

A micro-commitment is not necessarily a sale but rather something smaller but still has a high perceived value. It’s a lower friction conversion event – such as a free gift, training, discount offer or lead magnet.

Here are some ideas for how content and the user’s state-of-mind relate to a sales funnel:

  • Top-Of-The-Funnel Content & Mindset
    • Content: Value adding, non-selling content and offers; free offers; quick actionable “wins” for the customer
    • Target Market’s Mindset: Unaware of your product and brand but could be interested; not ready to buy or commit to you or your brand; they won’t know you and therefore won’t trust you yet
  • Middle-Of-The-Funnel Content & Mindset
    • Content: lead magnets (free trials, discounts, freebies, etc.), webinars and more value-adding content
    • Target Market’s Mindset: Aware of you and your brand, more likely to trust you and consume more (value-adding) content; potentially more curious and interested in your product/offer; not completely ready to buy yet
  • Top-Of-The-Funnel Content & Mindset
    • Content: Conversion campaigns with product/service offers, reviews and campaigns with more commitment
    • Target Market’s Mindset: Ready to buy, searching for reviews, alternatives and product information

After you’ve strengthened this relationship even further, you can go in for the hard sell (with a much higher ROI). 

This is the value of retargeting and creating campaigns that individually target the various stages of a sales funnel.

As mentioned, I’ll discuss the topic of retargeting more below, so let’s explore the concept of value-adding content more.

Recommended Read: 4 Simple Steps To Creating A High-Converting Sales Funnel

Understanding The Value In Giving Value

Long story short, marketing with a take-first mindset is destined to fail. 

If you’re always marketing to your audience with a pitch or a sales mindset, you’ll be weakening relationships and dissolving long-term opportunities.

This may come as no surprise, but people don’t like advertisements. This is why it’s essential to always focus on how you’re adding value to the end consumer.

Of course, making conversions and selling is an important part of business and marketing, but there’s always a right time, place and strategy to do it.

This goes back to the previous section on adapting a sales funnel model for your marketing plan.

Essentially, you should focus first on adding value, consistently.

Then you want to save all of your conversion marketing goals and offers for bottom-of-the-funnel content and campaigns (i.e., to your most warmed up traffic, existing customers and people who now know you and trust you).

In this way, not only will your marketing be way more strategic and way more likely to be profitable, but you’ll also be building brand equity that will go much further than any temporary paid advertising campaign.

I mentioned above what value-adding content encompasses, but here are some ideas again:

  • Educational Content
  • Entertaining Or Interesting Content
  • Inspiring Content
  • Engaging Or Share-Worthy Content

Strategic Retargeting

Having your audience targeting dialed in is of course essential. But conversions most often happen in your retargeting campaigns.

This is why it’s critical to first understand the sales funnel model and how and when to retarget the right customers with the right message at the right time.

Using digital marketing and Facebook custom audiences, we can run personalized retargeting campaigns based around a variety of parameters:

  • Retargeting Website Visitors
  • Retargeting People Who Visited Specific Pages
    • A specific product page
    • People who visited a sales landing page but never took any action, such as putting in their email for some free offer
      • This would be a perfect middle-of-the-funnel retargeting campaign to try to get them to convert the second time around
    • A checkout page (but never reach the thank you page, meaning they never completed the purchase)
      • Also referred to as Cart Abandoners, these tend to be high ROI campaigns
  • Retargeting People Who Viewed A Certain Percentage Of A Video Ad/Post
    • Using Facebook ad video view retargeting, we can retarget people who watched 3 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 25%, 50%, 75% or 95% of a particular video with a customized followup ad
      • This is a very powerful marketing strategy
    • Check out the recommended read below for more on this!
  • People Who Engaged With A Previous Ad Or Post
  • People Who Engaged With Your Facebook Page
  • Email List Subscribers

As you can see, there are numerous ways to retarget prospects and customers. 

Choosing the offer, messaging and creative that best resonates with these audiences can be better understood by testing and data analysis. 

While retargeting is a critical part of a sales funnel and successful digital marketing campaign, it’s important to remember other powerful online marketing strategies.

For example, email marketing, Google ads and search engine marketing, YouTube ads, Pinterest ads, LinkedIn advertising and messenger ads can all be incredibly useful and customized to your specific audience and objectives.

I’d like to make special mention of messenger marketing. This type of marketing incredibly useful and something every business should explore and text. 

ExpressText (2020) talks about some of the powerful benefits of SMS marketing, which include high open rates, increased engagement and interaction and affordability.

Either way, retargeting your prospects and gently nudging people further through your sales funnel is a tried-and-true method for conversions, growth and marketing success.

Recommended Read 1: Creative Marketing – How To Do Video View Retargeting

Recommended Read 2: A Simple & Foolproof Guide To Facebook Ad Retargeting

Testing & Reading The Data

Have an idea for an ad campaign? Want to know if a particular target market is an opportunity for your business? 

Well the easiest and most effective way to answer those questions is by testing.

Luckily, with social media marketing and digital advertising, testing audiences, offers and any combination of variables is an affordable, simple and efficient solution for fully understanding your market, industry and the opportunities available.

Let’s consider Facebook advertising as an example.

Testing different combinations of audiences, messaging and creatives with a $5 or $10 per day ad spend budget is an incredibly effective way to do market research while optimizing your marketing and then scaling only the best performing ads and ad set combinations.

Optimization and scaling requires careful attention to the data and extrapolating the most useful information and KPIs (key performance indicators).

Briefly however, a few key metrics to keep in mind are: 

  • Engagement Metrics
    • Via likes, comments and video views
  • CTR
    • Click-through rate
  • ROI and ROAS
    • Return on investment & return on ad spend, respectively
  • CPC
    • Cost per click
  • CPA
    • Cost per acquisition
  • CPL
    • Cost per lead
  • CPM
    • Cost per thousand impressions
  • Conversion Tracking Data
    • Such as add-to-carts, sales or leads generated).

While the exact mechanics of testing, scaling and market research via Facebook ads is beyond the scope of this article, I hope this section has articulated the practicality and opportunity clear enough.

If you’d like to learn more about data analytics, check out this post here from Lyfe Marketing. Or feel free to leave a comment below with any questions and I’ll be more than happy to respond!


This post has reviewed 5 key elements of a successful advertising strategy. 

These concepts are presented as digital marketing secrets since they are often overlooked by small businesses and beginner marketers.

Perhaps the most important is providing value through content creation, understanding your sales funnel, creating based on the user’s state-of-mind and retargeting.

These core concepts, coupled with testing and data analytics, will help to guide most online marketing campaigns towards a positive ROI and sustainable, brand-building growth.

Perhaps most exciting about implementing a value-first, content-based digital marketing strategy is the residual benefit of building brand. 

Brand equity is one of the most powerful differentiators for a modern business online.

Competition is dense in most corners of the market and one of the most effective ways to stand out is through brand. 

However, building brand is a long-term strategy, best achieved through value-adding content creation at scale.

Although this requires patience and strategy (via SEO), it’s the hallmark of an established business and the cornerstone to a brand building strategy.

Well that’s all I’ve got for you today – thanks for stopping by and reading!

Let me know in the comments: Which of the above concepts do you think is most important for a successful digital marketing strategy?

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