There are so many exciting options when it comes to digital marketing. It is so much more than just “doing Facebook”. Posting on your social media pages once in a while does not mean you’ve got a handle on digital marketing. There’s also more to a successful digital marketing strategy than paying for a few Google Ads or sponsored social media posts.
Spending money on digital marketing without a clear strategy or understanding your options is just a recipe for burning cash. We’ve worked with clients who, before finding us, had literally spent tens of thousands of dollars on Google Ads for zero results. Don’t do this!
Not all aspects of digital marketing are stand-alone components. Search engine optimised articles improve your results in paid searches, automation makes email newsletters simpler, and social media impacts readership and page ranking. In fact, the different strategies of digital marketing that we’ll discuss here work best when smoothly integrated together.
There’s one thing that you can’t get around; the success of a digital marketing campaign largely hinges on having great content to promote. The most viewed article in the world won’t help increase business if it’s a poor quality piece of work.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s involved in digital marketing.
1. Paid searches and pay-per-click results
Google Ads, which until recently were called Google AdWords, allow you to bid on certain search terms with the goal of scoring your website a sponsored listing at the top of a search engine results page (SERP). You also have the option to target your audience based on their characteristics and attributes and can display your ad on websites your targeted audience visits.
You’re usually charged either per click or per impression of your ads. Paying for impressions in particular can become quite expensive if your ad is being shown to a disinterested audience. That’s why it’s so important to carefully manage your targeted audience traits and monitor your results.
There’s a time and place to use search engine marketing (SEM). It can be a valuable way of applying influence in the decision-making process as you can get your product or service in front of people when they are actively looking to buy.
Another form of pay-per-impression marketing is sponsored posts on social media. Almost all platforms offer some sort of paid targeted marketing, where you can push your ad to be seen by certain people.
2. Email marketing
When done well, email marketing can be a great way to market to potential clients, but it is so much more than buying an email list and sending endless promotional material.
Effective email marketing involves sending regular useful updates to an interested list of subscribers and nurturing them along the track to become customers. When you provide value through your emails you build trust with your audience. Email marketing is often powered by automation.
Digital marketers think that robots should do more of the heavy lifting for us, which is why they turn to automation. Automation is a huge topic, but it essentially includes any repetitive task that can be performed by software rather than a human being.
Ever visited a website where a pop-up asks for your email address? Once you enter your details you often receive weekly or monthly emails from that company until you opt-out. If you answered yes, then you have been part of email marketing automation.
This is called “drip marketing” and is a common form of marketing automation used to generate leads. Customers/prospects are sent along a “nurture track” where they receive periodic emails that push them towards a sale. This means that when the sales team get in contact with the customer/prospect, the email recipient is more familiar with the brand and their offerings, making them a “warmer” lead.
Automation sounds like it should be simple, but the reality is far from this. Connecting two pieces of software written by two different developers, often in different programming languages, can be a great challenge. However, over time, automation software has become more accessible to those of us without comprehensive knowledge of coding. This means even a digital marketing novice can establish basic automations that can save a lot of time.
You have a lot of options when it comes to automation, and things seem to be getting easier all around. Automation used to require endless lines of custom code. However, integration software such as Zapier and Automate.io have made life for us digital marketers much easier. Both Zapier and Automate.io have the capability to make previously disconnected software communicate with one another. We’ve successfully automated large parts of our sales funnel and saved ourselves countless hours of admin work in the process. This has allowed us to shift our focus to the tasks that maximise results.
4. Search engine optimisation (SEO)
SEO is all about making sure your site is optimised to appear in search results. This includes making sure the content includes the key words it needs; the technical setup of your site makes sense when search engines scan your site; and your images aren’t too slow to load.
Optimising your site is a huge topic, and in many ways the goal posts are constantly moving. You can read more about the latest algorithm trends and Google behaviours here.
5. Social media
These days social media plays a big part in digital marketing, but it is something that should be integrated within a wider digital strategy. Social media platforms are great for sharing content, engaging with your audience and building a following, but some thought needs to be put into what content you post.
Sharing content created by others will help people get to know your brand values and beliefs, but sharing your own original content helps stamp you as an authority in the market.
Bonus: Content marketing
The driving force behind all of this is content. While not all content marketing is digital – you can of course have content marketing in print, radio and television – the keystone of all digital marketing is quality content.
Content marketing involves producing valuable articles that your audience find useful. Great content helps to build brand recognition and trust with your audience and increases the likelihood of them becoming your customer when they’re ready to buy.
Content marketing can include a wide range of articles such as ultimate guides, how-to posts, infographics and customer stories. Some people see traditional advertising as telling people what you can do, while content marketing makes an effort to show them.
For a digital marketing campaign to be successful, for the SEO to matter, for your emails to be opened and for your social media posts to be shared, you need great content.
The value of quality content cannot be understated. It’s far more important than great SEO and slick automation because the benefit to your business comes not simply when people view your website or articles, but when these things work to build a relationship between you and the reader. This is what turns their views and clicks into an actual business transaction over time.
Want a more in-depth understanding of content marketing?
Download our ebook, Content Marketing: The Key To Business Growth, and learn the fundamental concepts of content marketing and the ways it can be used to accelerate your business’s growth.