What is Digital Marketing?
It refers to the behind the scenes kind of marketing such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). It’s measured and monitored by analytics and various other metrics, usually by a specialist who is trained to interpret those specific types of data sets.
It combines a variety of approaches that are used to maximise brand exposure and convert generated leads into sales. Some of the channels most commonly utilised in digital marketing activities include: websites, search engines, emails, social media platforms, rich content such as videos, blogs, and banner ads (Pay Per Click).
It’s a rapidly growing area in the field of marketing, especially with the recent explosive uptake of mobile device ownership.
Digital Marketing Strategies
In order to reach a goal, first you need to have a great plan. Successful digital marketing doesn’t just happen by accident, it’s carefully targeted and implemented strategically, according to market needs. It’s essential to conduct extensive market research before starting your plan; understanding your target customers and what they want should always be the starting point. It’s also crucial to have a well defined core purpose with a clear brand message, to ensure your branding remains consistent.
An effective digital marketing plan should cover as many channels as possible, detail how those channels will be utilised, and which metrics will be used to measure the results. Understanding how the different aspects of digital marketing work together will enable you to maximise the effectiveness of your content and grow your brand.
Here’s a brief overview of a basic Digital Marketing Strategy:
One – Web Design
Dress to impress, aim to engage – This is where it all begins: amazing web design. This is the most crucial stage of building a brand exposure marketing strategy for your business. Investing in a high quality, well designed website enables you to put your best face forward. Most of your organic (ie: not paid for) web traffic will arrive via result of a search engine query. Your website is the foundation which the rest of your online presence will build outwards from – so make sure it’s great.
Two – SEO
The quiet achiever – Search Engine Optimisation is a long term strategy to boost your organic search result rankings. It’s crucial to engage SEO practices right from the development stage to ensure your website is positioned to reach its full potential. Organic search is likely to be your biggest traffic source, which means you need effective SEO strategies in place to ensure your visitors are the market you are targeting. This in turn will lead to higher conversion rates. Organic search rank is extremely important, with the first 5 results receiving on average 67.60% of hits. It’s a long term, unpaid growth strategy that will mean your services are seen by the right people at the right time.
Three – Amazing Content:
Engage and build – Getting people to the website is only one part of the process, getting them to stay is just as important. Creating high quality content that interests your market base will assist with building brand loyalty, and improve their overall experience. Creating the type of content that people want to link to will also dramatically improve your SEO. Content is the vehicle that will drive your brand forward.
Four – Email Marketing:
Stay connected – Emailed Direct Marketing (EDM), is an extremely useful marketing tool. Your Digital Marketing strategy should contain a plan to maintain or re-engage leads through creative email content. EDM can be tailored to communicate with specific audiences, depending on which stage of the sales funnel they are in. It’s a proactive and personal approach to lead management, and when well executed can yield impressive results.
Five – Social Media:
The communication King – Social media platforms are an extremely effective medium for generating engagement and brand awareness. Usually it would form a very large portion of the digital marketing strategy. It’s a direct link to customer communication and should be strategised and managed well in order to effective. Two-way public communication can be a double edged sword if handled poorly. Social media is also a great way to promote content and drive web traffic, while strengthening your brand identity.
Six – Pay Per Click:
Fast and effective – PPC Advertising is a great way to direct certain kinds of traffic to your page. It works by displaying a ‘sponsored result’ at the top of a search engine result page in response to specific search terms. In order to be certain you are getting the maximum result for your money, it’s essential to have a good understanding of how search term rankings function and which search terms are going to deliver the best results. This should have been set out in the initial market research phase.
Seven – Analytics and Refinement:
Practice makes perfect – Digital Marketing is a long term, ongoing process. In order to make sure it’s effective, continual reviewing of KPIs and metrics are required. If certain strategies are not performing as expected, refinement and adjustment can be undertaken to shift focus towards better results. Experienced Digital Marketing specialists are familiar with interpreting this unique data, and will be able to redirect tactics as necessary.
An effective Digital Marketing Strategy should at all times remain aligned with the core message of the brand, and the overall goal. Make use of the multiple channels available to ensure that you focus and deliver on your customer’s needs. This will enable you to build a trustworthy brand and a network of satisfied clients. Smart digital marketers will monitor market trends and analytics to maintain an agile response to shifting needs in order to deliver ongoing success.