Not sure what to take and what to throw away when it comes to digital marketing? It will take more than a lifetime to test out all the different digital marketing trends out there, so you have to pick and choose and hope for the best – at least to some degree. As we move into 2015 and are greeted with more concepts and ideas, it will be even more important to take charge of your digital marketing strategy. Luckily, there are a few digital marketing strategies that will benefit just about every business – including yours.

Geofencing and Mobile Platforms

When companies first started using the Internet to market their products and services, many threw out generic campaigns and hoped for the best. Today, marketers are much more in tune to the importance of targeting. Nothing is wrong with trying to reach a wider audience, but it’s also important to give equal attention to what’s right outside your door: your local customers.

With the growth and intuitiveness of smartphones, it’s not surprising that more people are using mobile devices to find nearby retail stores, restaurants, etc. One of the fastest growing ways to reach a local audience is by using geofencing features combined with mobile platforms. For example, your small business could send an SMS text to customers within a certain zip code and alert them of a one-day sale.

All location-based marketing should be done responsibly, meaning that you should obtain your customers’ contact information using opt-in lists.

Email Marketing

Email marketing may sound traditional and boring, but it’s far from that. The key is understanding your audience and what messages to deliver. If you craft your emails accordingly using catchy headlines and the right content, you will see a high return on investment. Plus, email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with customers and maintain your relationships.

The best advice for effective email marketing is to deliver messages that are timely, relevant, and personal. To make your emails more personal, segment your various target audiences. If you’re running a promotion, you can target customers who buy regularly, have only bought once or have yet to make a purchase.

You should also pay attention to where you are sending users. A new product or promotion should lead to a unique landing page; you may end up losing visitors if you send them to your home page. Don’t forget mobile as well. Nearly half of emails are opened on mobile devices, which means they should be optimized for these devices.

Retargeting and Pretargeting

Retargeting involves cookie-based technology that follows users around the Web. Sure, it can feel a little creepy and stalkerish at times, but retargeting has value. Say you’re searching for a new pair of winter boots. The websites you visit may use cookies to follow you around the Internet and show you ads as you go about your journey. The purpose is to keep that brand front and center so that the next time you need winter boots, you already have a company to turn to.

The only catch with retargeting is that it’s largely based on after-the-fact data. If you’ve already purchased winter boots for the season, you probably won’t need another pair. For this reason, pretargeting is gaining traction. Pretargeting is based on the future; i.e., what will the customer’s needs be? What will be their motivation for buying? Pretargeting, however, relies on accurate, insightful data that can be hard to gather.

As we move into 2015, watch for a blend of both retargeting and pretargeting to be effective marketing measures for various stages of the customer buying journey.

Paid Promotions

No matter how much you love inbound marketing, some outbound marketing is needed to balance out a healthy digital marketing strategy. Luckily, it’s not hard to find paid promotions that work for your business such as paid ads on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Google AdWords also makes it possible to create highly targeted ads that are easily to track and measure.

Targeting – that’s the important part. You can target ads based on the location, age, gender, interests, buying habits, etc. of the audience you’re trying to reach. This means more ads are seen by the right people, saving money and increasing ROI.

Digital marketing is expansive, and we’ve just begun to cover some of the best ideas to embrace in 2015. As you expand your strategy, you’ll learn what hits home for your audience.