What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is an all-inclusive term that represents any form of marketing across a digital device. Some may envision digital marketing only being available online. This is not the case since digital can be seen in both online and offline activities. Both are equally important.
Online Digital Activities:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
It is common for an individual to say they need SEO to grow their website traffic or they need to improve their PPC advertising. The important piece that is most commonly missed is the digital strategy. A digital strategy involves multiple channels working together to accomplish the marketing goal. The marketing goal is simply defined by the owner of the business.
Offline Digital Activities:
- Interactive offline marketing
- Phone marketing
- Radio advertising
- Television marketing
Offline activities are useful when one is looking to compliment other marketing efforts. Using these items in conjunction will help expand the reach of your overall digital marketing strategy. Think of the (in our opinion) soon to be outdated QR codes you see plastered on websites, vehicles or in retail stores.
You take you your smart phone, download a scanner app and when you scan the code it will direct you to a webpage, map or something similar that gives you more information.
Components of Digital Marketing Explained:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the act of attracting website visitors organically using search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. There is a large list of techniques that can be used to draw in site traffic. The techniques can be as simple as making sure your website copy, title tags and meta description are optimized. The more technical side of SEO will include optimizing for voice (artificial intelligence) search, Schema markup, https and implementing Google’s AMP project for your website. AMP is a newer development and may not make sense for your website.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) involves running paid search ads on Google, Bing or Yahoo!. This channel generally produces a 2.7% conversion rate on search and 0.89% on the display network. Read the full Adwords industry benchmarks study here.
When you marketing your business on the web using these ads you have a variety of options available to you for targeting. Targeting can include geographic area, keywords, device, language and audience targeting.
For bidding options, you can choose CPC (Cost per click) or CPM (Cost per measure). Depending on your goals will determine what method you will use. If you are optimizing your campaigns for conversion, then the CPC model is most appropriate. However, if you are looking to increase your exposure and perhaps work on branding then CPM may make more sense.
Regardless of which platform you are advertising on you will want to make sure you groom your keyword list. Relevance is key, anything keywords found not relevant then you can add to a negative keyword list. Always remember the more completion for the key phrase then the higher the cost you will pay.
Email Marketing is one of the highest converting marketing channels. On average for every $100 you spend you can expect $4,225 in return which yields a 44.25% ROI!
Email marketing can be carried out through a variety of senders like MailChimp, Constant Contact and Send In Blue. There are more companies than what we have listed here as each has their own pricing and customization options. When growing your email list be sure you follow the federal rules set by the Can-SPAM act and you have the proper authorization to email your lists.
Content Marketing entails the distribution of your content across various mediums. These mediums can be through your blog, website, social media, email marketing, LinkedIn Pulse and many other channels. Content marketing is used to provide value to your audience but also can help you build links to your website.
Link building is labeled to be in the top 3 ranking search factors for Google. When someone writes good content then your audience is more likely to share and link back to it. In the end it becomes a win-win.
Affiliate Marketing entails placing ads or links on your site that link to specific products for sale. When someone clicks one of your product links and make a purchase you then earn a commission. This is a great stream of income if you have a following and are generating traffic on your website or social channels.
Social Media Marketing can be very powerful when used correctly. Organic reach on social is had to come by so more than likely you will need an ad budget to reach more of your audience. Social media is also a great channel to use for handling customer relations. Most people will research your business before making a purchase. They will check reviews, ratings and seeing what people are saying about you. When a customer sees you are active on social it sends a signal that you are active within your business.
Pay Per Click Advertising is the quickest way to jumpstart your new business venture or even a new website! Fighting for organic traffic is getting tougher and that is where this form of advertising comes in. It has been said, if you are running paid ads on Google or Bing then your organic listing for your business gets a higher click through rate. With pay per click bidding you set your budget and per click amounts to essentially bid your way to the top.
Interactive Offline Marketing occurs with the use of a medium that requires an action. We mentioned this above in the QR code example. Since the QR code’s inception there have been other various technologies come out as the platform is shaped.
Phone Marketing is most commonly seen in cold calling tactics. During this phone call the potential customer may be asked for an email or given a website to visit to learn more about what is being offered.
Radio Advertising tends to be quite crowded but may still be highly effective in various markets. During the advertising it is most common to hear the phone number repeated twice or the naming of the website to visit. When the name of the website is announced the advertiser often will spell the website out to ensure you get the correct spelling so there is no confusion.
Television Marketing is very expensive but proven to be highly effective. One of the most genius campaigns was done by TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor is a review website for travelers and in the commercial it taught consumers how to search on search engines which ultimately brought them to the TripAdvisor website. Once they were on the site the guest was able to purchase a hotel, flight and other various travel packages. Check out one of the commercials here.
Developing An Effective Digital Marketing Strategy
When deciding on what digital strategy is best for you it is best to consider multiple channels so you are not placing all of your eggs in one basket. Also known as your channel mix. You need to understand where to find your clientele and who they are. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Where can I find my prospects?
- Is my business B2B or B2C?
- What is my target market?
- Does my product require an explanation?
There are many more questions that could be asked but you get the idea. You need to understand who
you are marketing to. This will determine which social channels you need to be active on, will help you decide what type of website design to go with, which digital channel services you should be utilizing and what type of content your readers will be interested in.
To maintain a successful digital marketing strategy will require research and a sound understanding of who you are trying to reach. You may be asking yourself, what type of content should I be producing and what should I display? Best advice we can give is find out where your audience “hangs” out online and find out what they are actively participating in. Always remember; don’t just be the content producer but join in on the conversation! Good ole fashion word of mouth advertising works great too!