Transforming digital and content marketing for tea and coffee companies

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Marketing Tactics

Strategy Vs. Tactics

The word strategy derives from the ancient Greek word stratēgia, meaning ‘generalship.’ Today, business strategies pay homage to the word's origin; it’s a plan for succeeding over competitors. Strategy is the plan by which you achieve your objective; tactics are a series of actions to achieve your strategy.

“All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.”

Sun Tzu,

General and Author, The Art of War

Strategy is often a single key idea or concept that can be communicated in a couple of sentences; a confusing strategy often indicates a poorly articulated one. The strategy focuses on long-term objectives, while tactics achieve short-term results. Success is a result of strategy and tactics.

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A good strategy provides a clear roadmap. It establishes guiding principles that define people's specific actions and priorities to achieve desired goals.

"To be an enduring, great company, you have to build a mechanism for preventing or solving problems that will long outlast any individual leader."

Howard Schultz,

CEO of Starbucks Coffee

Tactical Alignment





Vision & Incentives

Mission & Goals


Value Network

Developing a strategy first requires clarity on your mission and goals and understanding who you create value for in the market (e.g., suppliers, customers, employees, and investors).

Business plans establish and articulate a business strategy, including strategic planning and the goals and objectives required to achieve the intended success and secure a competitive advantage.

Progress toward such goals is tracked with metrics. Strategy-based metrics fall into two categories: goal-based and policy-based.

  • Goal-based: 50% of your tea companies customers order products from your website more than once every six months.
  • Policy-based: If a customer has not purchased a product on our website within three months, we send them a drip campaign that gives them a 10% off coupon.

Within digital marketing, specific strategies are developed for channels and platforms which support your overall objectives. For example, strategies and tactics may be developed for gaining visibility on search engines (e.g., SEO strategy and a pay per click (PPC) strategy).

What Are Marketing Tactics?

Marketing tactics are the strategic actions that direct the promotion of a product or service to influence specific marketing goals. Your marketing tactics should be an extension of your marketing strategy and, ultimately, your business strategy.

Business Goal

Improve profitability by focusing on customer lifetime value

Business Strategy

Have the best customer insight

Marketing Strategy

Create and leverage customer relationships

Marketing Goal

Engage with customers earlier in the buying cycle

Make customers feel special

Marketing Tactic

Implement display ads using paid advertising

Send birthday emails and discounts using email marketing

Content types (e.g., images, videos, blogs, podcasts, or email newsletters) are not tactics.

For example, your strategic business objective may be to increase customer profitability. This may be broken down into two goals: increase the average customer order value, and reduce customer attrition. To accomplish this goal, you may place a heavy tactical emphasis on email marketing, which relies on newsletters. This may be a key part of your content marketing strategy.

Digital marketers use tactics like banner ads, search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, blogs, and websites to deliver on a digital marketing strategy.

Within digital marketing, the line between strategy vs. tactics is blurred. Specific strategies are developed for channels and platforms which support your overall objectives. For example, strategies and tactics may be developed for gaining visibility on search engines (e.g., SEO strategy and a pay per click (PPC) strategy).

Content types are not limited to a single marketing tactic. For example, if your long-term strategic objective is to gain market share within your market segment, you may focus on gaining visibility in search results for topics of interest to your target audience. Your marketing plan may focus heavily on blog posts.

By contrast, your digital marketing strategy may focus on scaling content marketing by reducing the cost to create content. You may focus on leveraging your existing blog posts to create white papers or ebooks in such a scenario. You then construct marketing campaigns that use these substantial pieces of content for lead generation, and promote these assets with digital PR tactics, like guest posting.

What Are Some Digital Marketing Tactics I Can Implement To Grow My Business?

In some respects, each facet of digital marketing is a tactical execution of your marketing strategy.

Yet each channel, platform, or means of digital marketing is unique; it requires a channel-specific strategy executed through marketing techniques and granular tactics.

Each facet of digital marketing is a tactical execution of your marketing strategy.

"DAVIDs TEA's goal is to solidify our position as a digital-first, industry-leading provider of on-trend, high-quality loose-leaf tea, tea accessories, and gifts."

Sarah Segal,


Yet each channel, platform, or means of digital marketing is unique; it requires a channel-specific strategy, executed through various marketing techniques and granular tactics.

We're going to discuss each major online marketing tactic within the context of four categories:

  1. Owned media
  2. Shared media
  3. Paid media
  4. Earned media

Effective marketing leverages each method of marketing to promote and sell products or services.

“Integrated marketing offers opportunities to break through to consumers in new markets."

Betsy Holden,

Senior Advisor at McKinsey & Co.

Owned Media

What Is Owned Media?

Owned media are online assets that belong to, and are controlled by, a brand. Examples of owned media include a website, email list, or content (e.g., blogs). The more owned media a business has, the greater its explicit control in reaching and influencing customers and followers.


Your website, a set of related web pages located under a single domain name, is a powerful owned media asset. By developing content and improving web pages, you can increase your revenue by helping searchers find your products and services.

Tactics to improve websites often include creating blog posts, engaging about pages, or compelling product pages. Your website is the distribution channel for your content marketing efforts.

The website efficacy can be improved with other marketing tactics, such as using search engine optimization (an earned media tactic) or email marketing (an owned media tactic).

When assessing the tactical success of your website, consider revenue-driving conversions (e.g., sales, call bookings), engagement metrics (e.g., dwell time, bounce rate), and traffic.

"Websites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that."

Paul Cookson,

CEO and Founder of Ad Army Group
Marketing Services

Email List

An email list is an example of an owned asset; it belongs to your company. Email marketing requires an email service provider (ESP) to deliver marketing messages to your email list. Email marketing, sending commercial messages using email, lets your business connect with its target audience directly.

“Email has the unique ability to create valuable, personal touches at scale.”

Mackenzie Bailey,

Founder of Steeped Content

It’s effective at turning prospects into customers and can be among the most profitable channels for business.

Email marketing newsletters can be categorized into three foundational groupings.

  1. Nurture sequences
  2. Engagement sequences
  3. Sales sequences

However, other email marketing campaigns (e.g., abandoned cart sequences, winback campaigns) are often built to better achieve a brand's marketing goals. Implementing these types of email sequences requires monitoring metrics, some of which are open rates, click through rates, and unsubscribe rates.

When assisting your email list’s tactical performance, consider growth and decay metrics (e.g., growth rate, unsubscribes), revenue-driving conversions (e.g., sales), and engagement (e.g., open rate, conversion rate).

“Focus on growing your list all of the time as newer subscribers are more engaged, adding to healthier open rates and ROI.”

Karl Murray,

CEO of Hustle & Praise


Content is the foundation of an owned media strategy. The key to successfully leveraging content is creating engaging, relevant, and valuable content. A targeted, well-produced piece of content (e.g., blog post) can bring in many leads. When possible, brands should personalize the user's experience of consuming content.

Content marketing is the creation and sharing of online material that does not explicitly promote a brand but stimulates interest in the brand's products or services. It uses owned media assets (e.g., blogs, videos, images, newsletters, or podcasts) to connect with the brand’s target audience.

“Content marketing is the creation and sharing of online material that does not explicitly promote a brand but stimulates interest in the brand's products or services. It uses owned media assets (e.g., blogs, videos, images, newsletters, or podcasts) to connect with the brand's target audience.”

David Meerman Scott,

Bestselling Author

  • Blogs are the most common form of content marketing and they reside on a company's website, within complete control of the brand.
  • Videos are owned media assets, but they are often published on other platforms (e.g., YouTube). As such, brands may not always have complete control over the video (e.g., YouTube may remove your video).
  • Images are owned assets that companies can develop. Other people or brands may attempt to use these owned assets without permission, but tools exist to help you identify unauthorized usage of your images (e.g., TinEye). In such cases, brands can require attribution, payment, or removal of the picture. They may take legal action in some cases.
  • Newsletters are a form of marketing message that you send to those on your email list.
  • Podcasts are owned audio media distributed on other platforms (e.g., Podbean) and can be embedded in your website.

When assessing how your content is performing, consider reach metrics (e.g., traffic, impressions, shares), engagement metrics (e.g., dwell time, views, comments). Consider assessing how media connects to valuable business conversions (e.g., email list growth, sales).

“One of the best ways to sabotage your content is to not tie it to your goals. Know why you're creating content.”

Ellen Gomes,

Senior Content Marketing Manager at Marketo

Shared Media

Shared media is content created and engaged with on third party platforms, such as social media. Shared media is engaged with by multiple owners, for example, people liking, commenting on, or sharing someone's content. It includes posts on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Brands invest in shared media platforms (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn) because it can: build brand awareness, support digital PR, and generate leads, sales, and advocacy behaviors.


Reviews are user-generated content on social media or review sites, and while they are created by those external to your organization, they can be used in your marketing. Brands can build trust and improve customer acquisition by sharing positive reviews.

Reviews left on external platforms (e.g., Google, Yelp, Facebook) can provide social proof that inspires potential customers to act. They can also allow you to deepen your relationship with existing customers.

Research shows 92% of people use reviews to inform their purchase decisions; reviews are often more effective than promotional content. As such, social reviews are one part of an effective reputation management strategy.

To evaluate how well you’re using reviews as marketing content, consider monitoring the conversion rate (e.g., how many people left a review out of those you asked) and conducting sentiment analysis (e.g., is the attitude toward your brand positive or negative).

User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is any content (e.g., text, videos, images) created by people, not brands. Brands often showcase UGC within their marketing channels (e.g., social media accounts, website) because it’s characterized by authenticity, influence, and the ability to drive conversions.

To evaluate your tactical use of user generated content, consider the conversion rate in various contexts. For example, consider evaluating how many of those asked provided user generated content or if the inclusion of user generated content on a product page increased sales.

“The thing that actually breaks through all the noise is when you see real users sharing real content on social media.”

Dom Garrett,

Marketer at BTC Revolutions

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing leverages the influencer's audience and persuasive clout to promote a product or service.

Instagram is the platform of choice for social influencers, although TikTok is gaining ground.

Influencer marketing is a promotion tactic that leverages a combination of reviews (i.e., caption) and user generated content (e.g., image, video). It leverages the influencer's audience to create reach and sales for the brand.

To assess how successfully your brand uses influencer marketing as a marketing tactic, consider metrics such as impressions, followers, traffic, likes, clicks, shares, and comments.

“Research shows that real-life influencers who are passionate about what they are recommending have significantly more buying conversions, and consumers are more likely to act on their recommendations.”

Brad Fay,

President of Stepping Stone Strategies

Brand Ambassadors

A brand ambassador is a person who represents a brand positively, and by doing so, helps increase your brand's awareness and sales. Brand ambassadors are often paid; occasionally, they may be unpaid.

Brand ambassadors can make a highly effective way to spread your organization’s message. They are effectively a human representation of the brand. To perform correctly, they must know the brand and its products well. They should have a total understanding of the brand’s voice and personality.

A brand ambassador is a personification of a brand and should align with the brand's personality, attitude, and values.

Ambassador marketing (like influencer marketing) wins over paid advertising because of its authenticity.

The success of relying on brand ambassadors as a marketing tactic can be measured by metrics such as content reach, engagement, traffic, sales, and customer lifetime value.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is an arrangement whereby an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales created from its referrals. In such cases, a formal partnership exists between a brand and its "affiliates.”

Affiliates are usually those who have their own audience (e.g., YouTubers, bloggers, influencers). They promote a brand in return for a commission on sales made due to somebody buying the product because of their promotion.

As such, you can assess the success of your tactical use of affiliate marketing with metrics like traffic from affiliates, lifetime value of referred customers, percentage of active affiliates, incremental revenue from affiliates, and contribution margin.

“Affiliate marketing has made businesses millions and ordinary people millionaires.”

Bo Bennett,


Content Curation

Curated content is content created by others which you share with your audience. It’s an opportunity to provide extra value to your audience while highlighting your value and expertise.

The success of using content curation as a marketing tactic can be evaluated based on engagement (e.g., likes) and relationships built (e.g., follows from the original creator).

Earned Media

Earned media, or earned content, is material about you or your business that you haven't created or paid for.

Earned media always involves a third party distributing the content (e.g., newspaper, search engine), and it increases a brand’s potential reach to customers and followers.

“Free publicity and word of mouth is probably the best and cheapest form of advertising. Learn to use it to your advantage.”

Richard Branson,

Founder of Vergin

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) improves the quality and quantity of traffic to a website or a web page from search engines.

SEO is earned media because your content must satisfy the 200+ ranking factors of search engines like Google, and meet searchers’ intent, needs, and preferences. When businesses invest in SEO, they are helping search engines understand and present their content.

SEO primarily focuses on organic traffic (rather than direct or paid traffic sources. Organic traffic and page authority is generated on a page-by-page basis, making each an important metric to monitor. However, in aggregate, your website’s domain authority and expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) reflect the strength and credibility of your site. As such, these broader metrics merit some consideration.

When measuring how effectively you're implementing search engine optimization (SEO) tactics consider these four indicators:

  1. Traffic,
  2. Engagement metrics (e.g., dwell time, pages per session, bounce rates),
  3. Rankings (e.g., keyword ranking, search engine results page (SERP) performance), and
  4. Authority (e.g., page authority, domain authority).

“If you are trying to grow your qualified search traffic, you have to combine your content marketing with your SEO efforts.”

Neil Patel,

Co-Founder at Neil Patel Digital

Link Building

Link building acquires hyperlinks from other websites to your own; a hyperlink, usually just called a link, is how users navigate between pages on the Internet. It’s a key element of SEO.

Link building is earned media because those websites that link to your content must see value and relevance in it. Your content must meet the quality standards of other parties (e.g., press, niche leaders, general public) to receive a link. Link building is notoriously tricky, and digital marketers have devised many link building tactics to achieve this end (e.g. infographic link bait, research, ego bait articles).

Assess your tactical use of link building by considering metrics that reflect opportunity (e.g., the number of new link opportunities), execution (e.g., number of outreach emails sent, response rate), and outcome (e.g., new links).

Word of Mouth (WOM)

Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is the most valuable form of marketing; it creates high levels of trust and action. It is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions (McKinsey, 2010).

Word of mouth endorsements are traditionally spoken but may be delivered digitally (e.g., reviews) as word of mouth.

To position your brand well in word of mouth marketing you must offer means (e.g, storytelling), motive (e.g., a great customer experience), and opportunity (e.g., social media, reviews).

Word of mouth marketing is challenging to master; only 6% of marketing executives believe they have mastered it (Whitler, 2021). However, you can track metrics that indicate if and how word of mouth is driving your business. For example, consider tracking brand mentions (e.g., brand mention reporting) and direct traffic.

“Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 percent to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions.”

Jonah Berger,

Author and professor at Wharton

Organic Media Coverage

Media coverage refers to all content (e.g., blog articles, podcasts, videos, RSS feeds) where your brand, or goods or services, are discussed or shown. Such coverage is produced by individuals or organizations other than yours. Brands often seek to influence their organic media coverage by incorporating it into their digital PR strategy.

Organic media coverage refers to the coverage given to your brand by large publishers (e.g., Huffington Post) and small niche publishers (e.g., tea bloggers, coffee bloggers). Brands and business owners can use organic media coverage to confer legitimacy and attention to their business.

You can gauge how effectively your marketing tactics are generating organic media coverage through monitoring (e.g., brand mention reporting, reviewing backlinks for notable publisher names).

Organic media coverage also includes organic social media, which refers to the free content (e.g., posts, photos, video, memes, stories) that users share on their feeds. It’s a means by which you can nurture connections with your customers at scale. You can assess how effectively your tactical actions contribute to organic social media coverage by monitoring visibility metrics (e.g., reach, impressions and shares).

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Do you want to sell more coffee and tea?

Hi, I'm Mackenzie Bailey. I help tea and coffee businesses grow. My only question is will it be yours?

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About Mackenzie Bailey

She is the founder of Steeped Content. She's the go-to marketing expert in the tea and coffee sector. Industry veterans call Mackenzie "a fresh source of new ideas," and clients say she goes "above and beyond." 

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Do you want to sell more coffee and tea?

Hi, I'm Mackenzie Bailey. I help tea and coffee businesses grow. My only question is will it be yours?

View Services

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