Stop getting sidetracked by shiny new technologies that promise the world, and start channelling your energy into those tried and tested tactics you know work so well.

When you’re marketing a product, service or business it’s easy to get carried away by all the new technology, targeting and functionality on offer. With an eye on the future of digital marketing, everybody wants to integrate big data across various networks and strategies with lookalike targeting and all that jazz. And with good reason – these are brilliant parts of a digital marketing plan.

But it’s important that businesses don’t step away from tried and tested strategies – the ‘old-school demand generation’ approaches that continue to do a valuable job. Here are my top six.

1. Website analytics

Web analytics is easy to implement  and incredibly important. It gives you insights into what your customers are viewing on your site, how long they are looking at your content and if they are converting (filling in a form or buying your product). It is also a simple way to measure the success of all of your online marketing campaigns at the same time as gaining valuable insights into onsite customer experience and behaviour. Free Google Analytics is a good place to start, then a more powerful, paid tracking tool might be in order.

2. Lead capture

You have something of value to your audience, and gating it is a great way to generate leads.

You’ve probably submitted your contact details dozens of times in return for something: a regular newsletter, an eBook, a video, a free trial, an online quote. We’ve seen a restaurant offering a mini cookbook containing five free recipes, in return for the visitor’s name, phone number and email – a great idea.

Just as what you offer will depend on what your customers want, the information you ask the visitor to supply will vary according to your needs. An insurance broker will want different information to an online shoe store, for example.

When you build your form, don’t go overboard with the number of fields (or you’ll drive people away), but a healthy database is a powerful business tool, so be sure to get what you need.

3. Paid search traffic

Set up campaigns on Google AdWords and Bing Ads to drive quality traffic to your site by serving ads to people who are already searching for your product on Google. This method is as old as Google itself (well … almost) – it still exists because it still works. You’ll pay each time a person clicks on your listing. Whether you’re able to convert them once they click depends on the landing page experience and what you have to offer on the site.

4. Strong calls to action

It’s very important that you tell the user what to do and how to do it. The call to action may be obvious to you – of course they are supposed to contact us to find out more / read the next article / make a booking! – but to a visitor who is in a hurry and probably distracted, it is not.

So if you want them to fill in a quote form or a ‘contact us’ form – or take any action apart from closing the tab – then you need to have a strong call to action either across the site or on a landing page. And don’t forget to include what they will gain by taking the action – ‘click here’ just won’t cut it.

When a customer visits a website where navigation is poor, it’s like getting into a car without knowing where they’re going, but a strong call to action is a ringing ‘turn left now’ in their ear.

5. Offer a phone contact

This may seem obvious, but it’s amazing the number of sites that make it difficult for you to get in touch. Offer a phone number on your site so customers can easily get in contact. It's incredibly frustrating to deal with a business that doesn’t welcome customer contact, and most often you’ll give up and move on to a business that does.

6. Track those phone calls

Speaking of phone calls, it’s useful to know where they have come from and why. A call-tracking piece of code on your site that tells you which campaign attracted people is extremely valuable if you’re running different campaigns on different channels. Not only will you be able to measure each campaign’s success, you’ll gain insight into what your customers want.

Old-school methods will always have a place, but if you want to amp up your marketing, it’s time to get out the big guns. Start by downloading our free eBook, ‘5 quick ways to clean up your sales and marketing pipeline’.