What is Digital Marketing and how can digital marketing help my business?
Digital Marketing is any form of marketing that exists online. It encompasses all marketing activities that use an electronic device or the internet as a source of communicating a brand or sales promotional message.
While traditional marketing occupies print ads, TV, radio, posters, telephone communication, door drops and exhibitions, etc., digital marketing only occurs electronically. This means you and your business have endless touchpoints when your brand can be seen and heard by your customers. These include blogs, podcasts, email, video, social media, search and website-based marketing opportunities.
Your business can leverage paid and organic digital channels such as search engines, social media news feed and stories, email newsletters and third-party website links to connect with your current and prospective customers.
Your marketing tactics can be vast or micromanaged because digital marketing has so many options and strategies associated with it. You can test a variety of digital marketing channels on a small budget and there’s the added benefit of being able to constantly update and refresh content with no print costs. With digital marketing, everything is accountable, using tools like analytics dashboards to monitor the success and marketing return on investment (MROI) of your campaigns, it’s easy to analyse what’s working and what’s not, more than you can with traditional promotional content such as a billboard poster or print ad.
I’d like to share some of the digital marketing channels I manage for my clients and the tactics involved in each one.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
This is the process of optimizing your website to "rank" higher in search engine results pages, thereby increasing the amount of organic (or free) traffic your website receives. The channels that benefit from SEO include websites, blogs, and infographics. I highly recommend all businesses that need a constant pipeline of daily enquiries invest in SEO in order to capitalise on this free publicity of appearing on the first page of search results for your key business terms.
What is Content Marketing?
This term refers to the creation and promotion of written content and or visual assets for the purpose of generating brand awareness, traffic growth, lead generation, and customers. The channels that can play a part in your content marketing strategy include social media, a website with blog posts like this one, infographics and much more.
What is Social Media Marketing?
This marketing tactic promotes your brand and your content on social media channels to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads for your business. The channels you can use in social media marketing include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and specialist sites like Houzz.
What is Pay Per Click (PPC)?
PPC is a method of driving traffic to your website by paying a publisher such as Google’s ad words every time your ad or listing is clicked. PPC through Google Ads is an easy way to get you brand in front of what I call existing ‘hand-raisers’. These are potential customers who are actively searching for the keywords that you are bidding on. You can pay to appear in the top slots on Google's search engine results pages while you are working on your organic SEO. Prices vary with popular terms commanding a higher price "per click". Like all digital channels, results are measurable, so the day of the week, time of day, geography, negative keywords and long-tail search terms are just some of the strategies you should introduce to make your bids more competitive and increase your ROI.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
This is a commission payment-based partnership with a third-party product or service. Also known as performance-based advertising, you receive a commission for promoting someone else's products or services on your website. Affiliate marketing channels include: Hosting video ads through the YouTube Partner Program and posting affiliate links from your social media accounts. An example would be a web developer promoting a 3rd party’s hosting services to their clients or an interior designer providing links on their social media to buy the products seen in their photographs.
What is Native Advertising?
Advertising that matches the form and function of the platform upon which it appears is called Native Advertising. In most cases it acts like an advertorial, it could be a video, article or editorial. The word "native" refers to its close alignment in style and presentation to the content that appears on the rest of the platform.
Native ads reduce a consumers' ad recognition by pretending the ad content is part of the unsponsored platform, the native ad will have a subtle tag like "sponsored" or "branded" content. They can be difficult to properly identify due to their ambiguous nature.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation refers to the software that serves to automate your basic marketing functions. Many marketers can automate repetitive tasks they would otherwise do manually, such as: sending e-mail newsletters, social media post scheduling, lead nurturing tactics including taking a consumer through a sales funnel, reporting and analysis.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a way of communicating with customers who have shared their email address and opted into some level of communication. Email is often used to promote content, discounts and events, as well as to direct people toward your website. The types of emails you might send in an email marketing campaign include: Blog subscription, newsletters, follow-up emails to website visitors who downloaded something, welcome emails, product or service related promotions and loyalty programs, guides, tips or similar series emails for customer nurturing.
What is Online PR?
Online PR focuses on securing earned online coverage with digital publications, blogs, and other content-based websites. It's much like traditional PR but in the online space. The channels you can use to maximize your PR efforts include social media, online reviews, receiving comments on your own website or blog, commenting on business groups, getting featured in online magazines, etc.
Like all the best marketing strategies, no one channel works effectively in isolation, so it is important to use a balanced mix of digital channels to develop your optimum online marketing campaign. Digital marketing can be turned on and off depending on the needs of a business however in order to gain momentum and make the best use of the many algorithmic optimisation tools at play it is best to tune your strategy rather than close your options down.
If you’d like to discuss your own digital marketing needs, please get in touch.