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Rules are necessary. In fact, many people say it’s what separates us from animals (besides the opposable thumbs of course). When it comes to digital marketing, there are numerous rules to abide by that will strengthen your brand in the eyes of your clients and help you stand out from the competition.Top Rank Marketing Blog recently outlined the five digital marketing rules necessary to run successful campaigns. The team at PBJ Marketing doesn't always play by the rules, but we agree wholeheartedly with the following ones:Rule #1 – Understand your clientsThis is a simple concept, if you don’t know your current and prospective customers, how can you successfully market to them? Luckily, there are many ways to find out what clients want: ask them directly, conduct surveys and research reports, and utilize Google Analytics to see heavily viewed and shared content. Rule #2 – Honesty is the best policyConsumers are always speculative of companies, and who can blame them? Some businesses go out of their way to dupe customers – don’t be one of these companies. To gain consumer trust, be as transparent as possible with your marketing programs but providing valuable content and demonstrating thought leadership. Rule #3 – Always innovateDelivering the same cut and dry content day in and day out is the quick way to lose your customer’s attention. Instead, keep them engaged in new and creative ways. Try video blogging, podcasting, and interactive infographics. There is a huge suite of digital marketing content at your fingertips that will keep customers coming back for more. Rule #4 – Be valuable to your companyOne thing that many digital marketing professionals forget is how valuable they are to the sales process. Marketing initiatives play a significant role in pre- and post-sales, and can be as simple as designing a killer site to impress prospective customers or as complicated as a full-blown rebranding initiative. Rule #5 – Be the solutionIf a client has an issue, you want them to feel your business is the answer. An excellent way to ingrain this into their minds is to implement omnichannel marketing. Simply put, you want customers to have the same, seamless experience with your brand through every avenue. This includes your website, mobile site, app, and social media outlets.