Marketing is about connecting with your audience to promote a product or service. Traditionally, this includes print ads, television commercials, or other offline forms of communication. Digital marketing encompasses any online marketing. This includes search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, pay per click (PPC) and a host of others.
Through the variety of different marketing options, businesses target their ads at specific demographics and target markets, ushering in a new age of advanced marketing techniques.
If you’re not already using them, get started with these seven digital marketing channels today to help grow your business.
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing involves the use of various platforms to promote your brand. In addition, it helps increase traffic to your site, and drive new business through your doors (physically or digitally). Examples of platforms include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.
To be successful with social media marketing, generate posts that will engage your audience, rather than just a standard ad. Every day, people view massive amounts of content online. So it’s easy for them to scroll past dozens of ads without even taking a second look.
By making creative posts, you’re more likely to have the consumer engage with your post, view your page, or have a positive reaction to your product.
So how do you know what posts will create engagement with consumers? That depends on your target demographic. Use the social media platforms’ built-in analytics to get some insight into the demographics of your audience. Then alter your marketing strategy accordingly.
Content marketing includes the use of content like eBooks, blogs, infographics, whitepapers, and others to draw customers to your company. By publishing industry-related blogs or infographics to your website, you establish your business as an expert in the field. These types of posts will help drive organic traffic to your website. Even better? It doesn’t cost you a cent.
The long-form posting of eBooks or whitepapers provides you an opportunity to ask for reader’s emails or other basic information.
For example, lets say you post a free 20-page eBook to your site about relevant industry information. And then readers see a prompt to input their email before being allowed to download the book. Since it’s an exchange of content for email, most consumers will be more than happy to oblige. This allows your business to start accumulating an email list, very useful for email marketing.
The number of email leads generated or increased traffic to your site will give you a good indication of whether or not your content marketing has been effective, or if something needs to be changed.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization involves optimizing certain aspects of your website to rank higher in search engine results for certain keywords related to your product or business. This helps increase organic traffic to your site and build your online presence.
There are a few different ways to improve your website’s SEO. By creating content with certain high ranking keywords, your site will start ranking higher on search results pages for searches containing those keywords. Begin by researching the search volume of certain keywords to do with your industry. Next, create content for your site based on those keywords.
Another way to increase your SEO and traffic to your site involves inbound links. In short, how many other sites have links back to your website? The more sites that link back to yours, the higher Google and other search engines rank your authority for specific industries and keywords. To have more sites link back to yours, try writing guest posts for other blogs or websites, including backlinks to yours.
There are a few different ways to analyze the performance of your SEO. The Yoast plug-in on WordPress sites will analyze your SEO and give you tips on how to improve it for on-page and in post. Google Analytics also has features that will help you analyze your SEO. Whatever platform you’re using, make sure you keep an eye on any changes to your SEO ranking.
One of the original digital marketing channels, email marketing surprisingly still ranks as one of the most effective online marketing tools. However, email marketing doesn’t mean spam emails that fill up your junk folder daily. An effective email marketing campaign will be targeted towards your potential customers, with information about new content, upcoming events, releases or discounts.
To build your email list, use other forms of digital marketing. For example, asking for emails when visitors to your site want to read free eBooks or whitepapers. Also, include an area of your site where people can sign up for a monthly newsletter by inputting their email. Get creative with it and find ways to build your email list. The more emails on your list, the larger your marketing reach and impact.
To analyze the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign, use an email analytics tracker like Mailchimp to see the open rate on your emails. Another way to track the effectiveness of emails is to include a discount code in specific emails. Analyze how many codes were used from each email campaign to see how successful they were.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
PPC is an ad-based method of driving traffic to your site and/or product. Essentially, every time a user clicks your ad, you pay the publisher or ad company a small fee. You’ll find PPC ads everywhere on the internet, the most common being Google Ads. When you search specific keywords or terms, you will see results at the top of the results page, with an “Ad” tag under the title. These are an example of PPC’s.
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have PPC ad’s as well. LinkedIn has a feature that allows you to pay for targeted messages directly to users matching your target market. Facebook and Twitter ads operate differently, publishing your ad in the news feeds of specific audiences that you would like to target.
It’s important to closely track the analytics of your PPC campaign to ensure you’re maximizing your return on investment (ROI). No matter which PPC platform you use, there will be a lot of analytics on your campaign available to you. Set some benchmark targets for your campaign on specific KPI’s like your click-through-rate, Cost Per Conversion and Conversion Rate. Monitor your results against targets and adjust your campaign accordingly to always ensure you’re seeing a positive ROI.
Digital in Marketing Automation
Marketing automation refers to different software and platforms available to help automate basic and tedious tasks related to your digital marketing. Some of the services available will automate your email newsletters, social media posts and campaign tracking, reporting, and analytics. Automating your email newsletters will save you a lot of headaches. Especially when your email list has thousands of subscribers to reach all at once. And don’t forget, Mailchimp offers many tools for email marketing automation.
Automating social media posts lets you to post across all of your social media accounts at once. And it also allows you to set posts to be published at future dates and times. This gives you the ability to load up your social media posts beforehand, and not worry about posting every day manually on all your platforms.
Before picking a marketing automation software, make sure it includes all of the features you want for your digital marketing. Also, keep in mind that some email automation software offers more capabilities than others, but they may cost more – (I’m looking at you, ConvertKit). So do a bit of research about the different options before settling on one.
The term inbound marketing was coined in 2006 by Hubspot. It refers to “an approach focused on attracting customers through content and interactions that are helpful and relevant”. Instead of using outbound marketing methods to attract people to your site, inbound marketing attracts people to your site for useful information, and content they want to see.
Wondering how to create an inbound marketing strategy? First of all, develop content like a blog, videos, or other useful posts that will attract people to your site.
By creating content people want to engage with, they find value in visiting your site. And they begin to trust and recognize your brand. Many of the marketing tactics mentioned in this article will be useful in developing an inbound marketing strategy and help you drive continuous organic traffic.
Digital marketing includes a wide variety of strategies, tools and analytics in the online world. Some digital marketing strategies will cost money. And others rely on how much effort you put into them.
If you’re a small business owner, many of these options will save you a lot of time and headaches. Finding the most effective digital marketing strategy for your business depends on the product or service you’re offering. And to decide which ones to use, dive a little deeper into the ones that make the most sense for you. Then get started growing your online presence right away.
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