What is Digital Marketing?
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is a catch-all phrase that encompasses marketing efforts that use the internet or an electronic device. Businesses use various digital marketing channels such as social media, email, their websites, or search engines to connect with both current and prospective customers. Digital marketing isn’t just for internet-based businesses, it’s essential for all businesses that want to attract new customers, grow, and thrive in today’s market.
Here’s six elements that we believe are essential for a successful digital marketing program.
Digital planning & strategy
You can’t find the buried treasure without a map! The same could be said for digital marketing. You need a well-defined, long-term plan that gives you an outline of exactly how you’re going to achieve your goals, whether it’s generating a certain number of monthly leads or raising awareness of your company’s products or services in the marketplace. There needs to be a strategy; a reasoning behind each step taken in your digital marketing plan. “Going in blind” is a good way to spend money in the wrong places, and ruin your digital marketing ROI. We encourage the use of SMART goalsetting within your digital strategy. Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Search-engine optimization refers to strategies and tactics that are used to increase the number of visitors to your website by achieving a high-ranking placement in search engine results. Writing content for your website with SEO at top-of-mind means that every word counts for profit. Copywriting experts that understand SEO will make subtle changes to the headers, language, and formatting to increase traffic to your website. You want to rank as high as possible on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and SEO-based copywriting is one component that will help improve your rank.
Social media marketing
You may not be a big fan of Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We get it! However, the chances are good that at least some of your potential customers are using these platforms. By ignoring them, you’re missing out on an opportunity to not only recruit new customers, but stay engaged with current ones. Consumers expect to be able to connect with their favorite companies and brands on social media. Don’t deny them that opportunity! Social media marketing also allows you to add a more personal face to your brand or company, posting a regular stream of content that add to your brand’s ever-evolving story.
PPC & Media Buying
Digital display ads and ad campaigns on Google, Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms can be incredibly powerful. Before the internet became ubiquitous, advertisers only dreamed of the kind of hypertargeting tools that are now available. You can show your message to the exact demographic you want, at the correct point in a buyer’s journey, and carefully track the results. You can quickly see what’s working and what isn’t, and then refine your strategy affordably, before committing large sums of money to marketing that isn’t providing a suitable ROI. Whenever the marketplace adjusts or new competitors go on the attack, you can quickly pivot your PPC strategy appropriately. Not only that, but PPC advertising (Pay Per Click) means that you are only paying when action is taken on your ad. This is in stark contrast to more traditional advertising like TV ads or billboards. If you run a TV ad, you are paying for it, regardless of whether it works or not!
If you operate a location-specific business, or a business that only provides services in a certain geographic area, then why would you waste time or marketing dollars outside your operational range? You don’t have to! There’s no point in being the Number 1 laundromat nation-wide (for example) when only folks in Seattle can use your services. That’s why Search Engine Optimization that has a location-based focus should be considered when constructing a digital marketing plan. You want to build links and maintain authority on search engines when people are searching in your geographic area. Additionally, you want to offer promotions and loyalty programs to customers that have a reasonable chance at continuing to use your services after the promotion is over, like those customers that live close to your business.
Design and content marketing
Studies show that 70-80% of people research a business online before visiting a small business or making a purchase with them. That means that your website is usually the first impression potential customers get of your business. So, what does it tell them if you have a poorly-designed and poorly functioning website? Your website is the hub of your digital marketing efforts. You’re going to be driving traffic there from elsewhere on the internet. It should be thoughtfully and intentionally designed, and present your business appropriately. There needs to be a blog that is regularly updated with valuable content, and the content doesn’t stop there! Press releases, video, and social media posts all need to be part of your content marketing efforts. This is not something you can “set and forget.” You need to be creating and releasing a steady stream of content on an on-going basis, and it needs to be relevant to your business or services.
For your business to thrive in today’s marketplace, digital marketing is a must. Some business owners choose to try to tackle a digital marketing program on their own. However, we advocate leaving it to the professionals. I have developed tried and tested techniques generated from years of experience in the digital marketing world. And we’re never done; we are constantly searching for new ways to make our partners even more successful. You should focus on what you know: your business! And let me handle what I know: digital marketing!