Let’s face it, digital marketing includes so many different functions that a simple definition doesn’t do it justice. That said, we feel that this explanation is a great place to start.
Digital marketing is the use of technology to reach potential customers by promoting brands through all forms of digital advertising. Among others, digital advertising include websites, search engine optimisation (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), paid advertising (PPC) and social media. It’s often referred to as internet marketing, online marketing or web marketing.
Although these advertising tools are not that difficult to learn, it does take time and effort to implement effectively. It’s almost impossible to have a successful online presence without a good digital marketing strategy. If you’re concerned your business is not achieving the best online results, it may be time to re-examine your digital marketing mix.
Digital Marketing Breakdown
The primary goal of digital marketing is to promote brands, build preferences and improve conversions through various techniques. A good website is, without a doubt, one of the most important marketing tools for any business. It’s all about how digital you can be and quality website content is just the starting point.
Important factors to consider in your digital marketing strategy include web design, SEO, content curation, SEM, paid advertising, social media, blogs, email marketing and data analytics. In this article we’ll focus more on SEO, SEM, PPC and Social Media.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Put simply, SEO attempts to improve and grow a brand’s ranking in organic (non-paid) search engine results. Everyone wants to be on the first page of search engines (SERP’s) which means regularly maintaining and optimising web content. Brands can achieve great success through effective On-page SEO, Off-page SEO and understanding SEO Violations and Ranking Penalties.
On-page SEO refers to things brands have control over such as web content. This includes title tags, sitemaps, keyword-rich content, custom 404 pages, image optimisation and HTML clues to help search engines and people determine relevancy.
Off-page SEO are factors brands don’t have direct control over involving search engine and user perception of a site’s popularity, relevance, trustworthiness and authority. Backlinks are fundamentally important as are non-link related factors which include social media marketing, guest blogging and influencer marketing.
SEO Violations and Ranking Penalties are techniques that search engines see as “spam” or “black hat SEO practices”. These tactics intend to deceive or manipulate search engines in determining the true site relevancy, trust or authority. Brands who implement “black hat SEO” could receive a ranking penalty or get banned from search engines altogether.
Remember, SEO is not just about building a website for search engines, it’s about making it better for people. You should really read this article on how to achieve SEO success.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Paid Advertising
SEM attempts to increase visibility and relevant traffic to a brand’s website primarily through paid advertising (PPC). It goes hand-in-hand with organic SEO and can be extremely effective for increasing website traffic. Display ads involve bidding on keywords or keyword phrases, running campaigns, collecting and analysing vast amounts of data, setting and sticking to a budget and closely monitoring results.
With so many digital marketing solutions, what is the secret to reaching online success? Paid search advertising offers many benefits and gives your business the chance to remain top-of-mind with potential customers. Effective SEM with good PPC campaigns can greatly help your customers find their way to your content.
Digital Marketing and Social Media
Digital marketing would not be possible without social media. It has the power to spread your brand message well beyond your community faster than you may realise. Blogs, social media and videos are all elements of the digital marketing mix aimed at increasing engagement. Effective social media marketing can result in great returns but it doesn’t happen overnight.
The most important thing to implement is a social media strategy and to understand where it fits in with your business goals. Knowing what you want to achieve and how to achieve it will provide you with a valuable sense of direction. Measuring the results will allow you to determine your return on investment and also guide any future social media activities.
It’s vital to know where your customers are and to understand their needs. Identify the right social media channel for your business and direct your content and marketing efforts more effectively. Don’t just post randomly, listen to your customers and identify their needs, challenges and preferences. Provide them with hints, tips, advice and encourage interaction through asking relevant questions about value-adding topics.
Social media is at the heart of digital marketing and research has proven that customers are more loyal to brands with an active social media presence. The primary reason is that socially active brands generally relate better to their customers through constant, personal social media interaction. Social media makes a brand easily accessible, recognisable and contactable for new or existing customers.
Effectively combining all, or some, of the digital marketing techniques will yield good results but you need accuracy and patience. A paid search or Facebook ad campaign needs to be targeted and this is only possible with thorough market research.
Integrating various digital channels, including email marketing, through a social media marketing hub is also of the essence. If you want your readers to engage with you or your business, one-size-fits-all content will not work. Drafting buyer personas will help you identify how diverse your content needs to be.
Many businesses don’t have a clear digital marketing strategy in place which could be detrimental to the budget and lead generation efforts. As a result, companies invest in the wrong tactics meaning competitors could gain the upper hand and possibly your prospects as well.
Get in touch if you would like to review the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy. Among others, we can help identify and implement strategies for SEO, PPC, Social Media and Email marketing.