- 4th May, 2021
Did you know that 90% of searches online lead to sales for a business? most of which is most likely to occur in your area. If you run a business, you could ultimately be missing out. Digital marketing is a great way to attract new business locally, nationally or even internationally these days. If you are not sure how to approach it, this article will hopefully help you out.
What Does Digital Marketing Mean?
In the most basic way of explaining this mystery phrase. Digital Marketing (DM) is a modernised way of saying Internet Marketing. Now, Internet Marketing as a phrase is very broad. It includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media, Content Marketing and Paid Advertising to name a few. While a lot of people turn this into a complex web, you do have the option to keep it simple. We like to look at it like this:
If any aspect of your marketing campaign involves a form of digital communication. It is really Digital Marketing. To keep DM simple, we prefer to break it down into 5 distinct groups.
The 5 Distinct Digital Marketing Groups
The 5 distinct groups are nothing complicated but they each incorporate a series of factors and potential outcomes that will help determine the best course of action for a campaign. The first, and arguably the most important factor is Digital Devices.
Digital Devices are very easy to identify, from a technology standpoint at least. The potential of Digital Devices is another area that is not a huge issue when looking at this group initially. Digital Devices include the following:
- Computers – This includes the run of the mill desktop and laptop computers
- Mobile Devices – Phones, Tablets and Smartwatches. Yes, you read that right. It includes Smartwatches.
- Display Panels – Typically you will just say Smart TVs and Interactive LED Screens
- Gaming Devices/Consoles – X-Box, Playstations etc
Second, on this list is Digital Media. This is very broad in a sense but when you break it down into 4 main groups it becomes easier to understand. The 4 groups we break down Digital Media into include:
- Online Advertising – Paid and Non-Paid Search-Based Services, Forums/Discussion Groups, Directories and Classifieds etc
- Social Media Marketing – Paid and Non-Paid advertising, Social Profile Building, Influencers and user engagement etc
- Text Messaging – Direct Messaging, SMS (yes still important and a thing) etc
- Email Marketing – Mailing Lists/Newsletters/EDM, Customer Re-engagement Emails, Upsells/Cross-Selling Emails.
Digital Platforms is avenues through which content can be pushed. It is also how we can locate/find/target potential customers or existing customers.
- Social Media – Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter etc
- Search Engines – Google, Yahoo, YouTube etc
- Mobile Apps
How can we be expected to collect data about our targetted audiences? It is important to remember that we need to achieve a marketing goal after getting this data. We can get data about target audiences by one of the following methods:
- Contact Forms
- Analytical Data Collection (analytics, server stats etc)
Arguably some of the technologies mentioned are also some of the most controversial topics we have seen over the past couple of decades. They are, however, methods that have real-life applications and add value in the marketplace.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Augmented Reality (AR)
- Virtual Reality (VR)
- Internet of Things (IoT)
What Are The Different Types Of Digital Marketing
Now that we understand a bit more about Digital Marketing. We need to focus a little bit on the broad spectrum of what it covers. There are many individual specializations of which people and agencies offer to businesses. All of them if done right can be game changers to your business.
We can narrow the range of Digital Marketing options to 6 clearly defined groups. This includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing & Mobile Marketing.
Is SEO really a part of Digital Marketing?
Let’s see how SEO fairs as a part of Digital Marketing. SEO is all about getting your website to rank higher in search engine results. The higher you get, the more traffic your website will receive. SEO is a complicated process. It does involve research and development to get results. It also requires you to understand your market. Some of the important SEO factors needed to consider when optimizing your web page includes:
- Keyword Targeting
- Quality over Quantity
- The Level of User Engagement
- Cross-Platform Friendliness (mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop etc)
- The Quality of INBOUND links
- Page Speed
While there are no quantifiable or consistent rules around ranking highly. Search engines are constantly changing their ranking algorithms. This does mean when doing SEO you need to monitor your website pages closely. While monitoring the pages, make adjustments and see how this affects your site’s performance.
SEO also involves promoting your website and building links from external locations back to yours. This in turn does make it a part of Digital Marketing.
How does Pay-Per-Click Help in Digital Marketing?
Pay-Per-Click or PPC as it is often referred to as is where advertisers (your business) pay for each click made by users on an ad for your business. This is a fantastic short term form of digital marketing. The downside is that it is only as good as your bank account or as long as the campaign is active. The second that the ads are not being paid for, they disappear. Typically when people think of PPC they go straight to AdWords as the only PPC method. This is not true. Many other platforms also offer paid ads. This includes YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and a flurry of other social media platforms.
PPC is also budget orientated, this means that if you have a budget of $40 per day for ads, then you can specify that. The costs do vary depending on the industry and the value of the leads. Some companies will have a budget of say $10 per day and that will get them multiple leads. Others require larger budgets, some will go as far as spending thousands per day. There are ways to achieve greater reach with smaller budgets. It all depends on how specific your target market as well.
With Pay Per Click advertising the great news is that for the most part, the results are trackable. Conversions (leads or calls) generated are noted in the respective ad platform and this also helps them gauge as to when who and where are the best place to post your ads. It is designed to be a Win-Win situation. A win for you as you get the leads. It is a win for them as they have you spending with them for longer.
Is Social Media Marketing A Type Of Digital Marketing?
If you are thinking in terms of digital marketing vs social media marketing. Social Media Marketing is a component of Digital Marketing. It will help bring some important aspects to your marketing campaign. This can include market reach and penetration, right through to user engagement. Stretching a little further past that, Social Media will help you create brand awareness and bring the potential for discussions. From the use of Social Media Marketing in your campaign, you could very well see a new marketplace open up that you didn’t realise existed.
Keep in mind, Social Media Marketing will be a very cost-effective way of marketing, the key is that you need to be patient and look long term. Going to Social Media Marketing as a short term goal hoping for great returns just won’t work in your favour. In an ideal world, you would add Social Media to be a part of your Digital Marketing Strategy.
Why Is Content An Integral Part Of A Digital Marketing Campaign?
Content creation and marketing is how you get your message across. It also is the cornerstone of turning readers into customers. Creating such content will increase brand awareness, search engine visibility and generating that valuable audience you are after. Content marketing will help nurture potential customers, and with a bit of effort, they will become customers. Attracting customers with content marketing can be done by reviewing analytics, completing keyword research and targetting audiences that are attracted to the content.
Ultimately, website visitors need to lead to an outcome for a campaign to be successful. Successful campaigns are typically determined by sales achieved by the campaign. There are however other goals your company could set. Setting goals like newsletter signups, mailing lists, asking for a quote or even joining exclusive groups you have created could be the end goal.
Content Marketing is different to other forms of digital marketing. We know that some customers prefer to research and develop a better understanding of the product or service they are after. Often this is well before making that leap to purchase.
What is Email Marketing and why is it seen as Digital Marketing?
Email Marketing is the most basic terms is the same as the traditional Direct Marketing methods used by many companies. It enables you to directly promote your business’s products and services to potential customers.
Email Marketing and its very concept is easy to understand. It is a matter of creating a great promotion, include a call to action and hope that your prospect clicks on it. While it sounds simple, it isn’t as easy as you may think. You need to make the content in the email invite. It needs to look like it is for the targetted recipient, while clearly outlining why the offer or deal is so great.
Some of the smarter operators will create a stronger Email Marketing campaign by adding so much value to their emails. The email content contains so much value for its readers that after the 5th or 6th email out they will want to buy. Some people say it is a cheeky and very sneaky way to suck cash from people. The customers though totally disagree. They feel that the content is authoritative and compelling enough to buy. It is marketing so the goal has been reached as a result of the purchase.
Key things to include in an email marketing campaign that will make a difference include; Creating a sense of urgency, Personalize the email everywhere you can. Also, let the recipients create their own boundaries and preferences around the emails they receive. This will make for a much better result. It will also mean that your customers won’t feel any pressure to commit to your business.
The Benefits Of Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing without a doubt is one of the best marketing solutions out there. It is seen as cost-effective by many. More importantly in today’s world, it has a higher conversion rate and greater reach. It has become one of the most valuable methods because of its reach. Other benefits make it appealing. This includes global reach, lower costs, measurable results that are finite just to name a few.
Digital marketing is also personable. It allows you to market to a very specific individual without a huge amount of effort. In fact, the use of AI technology allows you to target someone within a couple of km radius, who has a special interest in the product or service you are promoting. You can even pick on people using a particular brand of device. Social media coupled with great content marketing will allow your potential customers to see your business and what you have to say while on the move.
Once you have educated and made your potential customers aware of your business. They need a simple to use and follow website to take you up on your offer. People are lazy and like to keep things simple. Having a website that is well designed ensures your customers can do just that. Finally including live chat facilities will put that cherry on the top of your site. Customers can quickly and easily get a hold of you or your team. This is important to them and will help create that connection that they love.
How Do I Choose A Digital Marketing Agency?
Hiring the best digital marketing agency for your business is not hard to do. You should however choose based on your businesses individual needs and what style of business can cater for your needs. Some things you should do to help narrow the list includes; outlining your goals, compiling a list of services you are interested in and determining your budget. Generate a list of agencies you like the looks of (our’s is always a great one to add to the list), read the reviews and finally, organise a chat with the respective agencies you prefer out of your list.
Once you have spoken with each one have a think about which one met your needs the best. Do not be afraid to ask them for another conversation or follow up meeting. It can help you build a stronger relationship and set some more realistic expectations for both of you. Make sure that your analytical data is yours and something they are willing to give you without question, even if you do leave. More times than not they won’t do this and it will cause you no ends of grief in the long run. The grief is that every time you find a new vendor you essentially have to start from the beginning.
The values of which you should look for includes the likes of transparency, trust, reliability, being client-focused and knowledgeable. These values will help your campaign be more successful. Transparency enables you to understand what they are doing and the results they are getting. Regular reporting will ensure you are getting the important information you will need going forward.
How Much Does Digital Marketing Cost?
Pricing for digital marketing services will vary from agency to agency. Agencies tend to market their pricing randomly. The good ones will charge fairly well, but more so they will charge on experience and ability to deliver. The others that are not so great will either be extremely cheap or extremely expensive. The more expensive ones will tend to be resting on their brand value rather than real-world results that they can deliver.
Neil McNulty is the founder and owner of Suncoast Web Solutions. He has over 20 years of experience working with business owners and organizations of various sizes. The areas of Neils experience and expertise include Internet Marketing, Website Development, Website Design, and Website Hosting.
WE ARE YOUR ONE-STOP INTERNET MARKETING SOLUTION ON THE SUNSHINE COAST!