Marketing is at the heart of every business success. It is the process of profitably influencing buyers through awareness, and persuasion. Unfortunately, digital marketing – Also known as internet marketing, web marketing, and online marketing – can be overwhelming at times. According to a Smart Insight report, only 35% of businesses have a clearly defined digital marketing strategy. This is mainly due to the fact that it has many moving parts and can make the field confusing.
The purpose of this article is to give you a brief summary – kind of a digital marketing strategy template if you will – of the most important disciplines that make up a digital marketing strategist’s toolkit, how to launch digital marketing campaigns, and how you can strategically use them in your business. You will also learn why digital marketing is important.
TYPES OF DIGITAL MARKETING:
- SEO (SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION): The purpose of SEO or Search Engine Optimization is to make your website more visible to the search engines. The goal is to rank you for specific keywords high in the SERPs. SEO is also known as “organic search.” In search results, Google displays links to pages it considers relevant and authoritative. Authority is mostly measured by analyzing the quality and number of links from other websites. In very simple terms your web pages have the potential to rank in Google so long as other web pages link to them. Understanding how search engines rank, how Google rates websites, and how you can improve your website is a valuable skill for your organization.
- SOCIAL MEDIA: Social media is the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration. Different social media networks serve different purpose and audiences. Platforms and applications dedicated to forums, micro-blogging, social networking, social bookmarking, social curation, and wikis are among the different types of social media. Understanding social media marketing enables you to market to these different groups of people by influencing them with your message. It is important that you understand the strengths and weaknesses of each social network to successfully expand your business reach.
- CONTENT MARKETING: Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable and, relevant assets – such as eBooks, articles, podcasts or videos – to attract and retain a clearly-defined profitable audience. The ultimate goal of content marketing is to create shareable and valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers and customers into repeat buyers. In other words, your goal is to give value in advance to build credibility for your company. In return, people will trust you and hopefully buy from you. Content marketing uses the value you created by providing information that is important and interesting to exchange for another value, such as an email address, a sale, or a lead to name a few.
- EMAIL MARKETING: eMail marketing is considered permission based marketing. In other words, you have the privilege (not the right) of delivering relevant and desirable messages to people who actually want to get them. Email marketing provides the highest ROI per $1 dollar spent, making it the most effective and least expensive marketing method. This does not imply you can abuse your audience. Building a list of leads or customers and building a relationship with them should be your most important priority.
Email has evolved as one of the primary methods to communicate with your customers on a personal, relevant, and timely basis. This means you should tread carefully not to simply spam them with newsletters or too many offers. Always keep in mind the rule, “treat others like you want to be treated.” Remember that eMail is used to grow new customers, develop leads for business to business sales, and to develop and grow existing customers. It will also become your primary tool for retaining and building loyalty among your current customers and contacts.
- MOBILE MARKETING: Mobile marketing is probably the fastest growing discipline of digital marketing. Mobile marketing allows marketers to send advertisements straight to phones in the form of a text message or ads appearing on an individual’s mobile device. Realistically speaking, it is an extension of email marketing, in the sense that it is also permission based because, in order to actively market to a mobile device, a company must first obtain the user’s phone number. They also have the option to opt-out from receiving future messages. Some way to use this type of marketing is to send coupons, engage with your audience, notify them of upcoming events, or even upcoming deals. Just like email marketing, treat your customers with respect and do not spam them.
- PPC (PAY PER CLICK): SEM – Search Engine Marketing or Search Engine Advertising (also known as “paid search”) is the process of gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines. PPC gives results faster than Search Engine Optimization but it can also get costly since you will be paying for those ads. The great news is that you get an immense amount of data which helps you optimize your campaigns quite fast and efficiently. If you are going to use PPC marketing in your business, it is important that you understand bidding strategies, messaging and conversions.
- WEB ANALYTICS & CONVERSION OPTIMIZATION: Web analytics is the process of tracking user behavior. On the other hand, conversion optimization is using the data you collected (such as where your audience came from, what they wanted and how they reacted to your website) to optimize your marketing campaigns. Using this data properly can turn small changes into big wins. In other words, it is using data to get people to do what you want them to do when visiting your website. By using analytics to test, adjust, and most importantly implement changes to maximize your efforts you will be able to improve the quality of your marketing campaigns.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SALES FUNNELS
All of the types of digital marketing described above are imperative to drive traffic to your site or app. The secret to maximizing your income though, is to build sales funnels. In other words, you drive traffic to your site or app using the techniques described above and then you maximize your retention and profit by driving customers through a sales funnel.
What is a Digital Marketing Sales Funnel?
It is simply a range of products based around a specific topic that solves a specific problem. The offers are then set up in a specific sequence. The goal if for each product to increase the value for the customer and for you (more revenue.)
DIGITAL MARKETING CONCLUSION:
Each of these digital marketing disciplines have strengths and weaknesses and contribute one way or another to moving customers through different stages of the marketing and sales journey. You can learn skills in one area, and apply them to many others. Therefore, developing skills in all areas fundamentally provides you with an extensive toolset of knowledge, skills, and competence.