Digital Marketing in the modern, online age, is one of the most important tools at the disposal of any business owner looking to boost sales and take their business to the next level.
As a matter of fact, in Financial Times lexicon it’s defined as: The marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers. The key objective is to promote brands through various forms of digital media.
Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and their websites to connect with current and prospective customers.
In this post, we are going to examine Digital Marketing, looking at what it usually involves, why it is so important and how your business can benefit from it.
In recent years the internet has become much more accessible to users around the world. In fact, the amount of internet usage has grown by 5% in the last three years alone. This, combined with the Social Media revolution of the last decade, has drastically changed the way in which internet users interact with advertisements and it has created a veritable gold mine for business owners.
Due to the amount of data available from Social Media sites and from the host of analytical tools for monitoring internet traffic, businesses are able to gear their marketing efforts towards those internet users that are most likely to be interested in their products.
To go one step further, Digital Marketing is basically required for businesses now. Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time. Today, that means you need to meet them where they are already spending time: on the internet.
The rise of Digital Marketing as a requirement for businesses has led to the rise of Digital Marketing Agencies who provide all the services that a growing business needs in order to benefit from the world of the internet.
These companies have the experience needed to ensure that their clients are getting the most out of digital marketing, from improving Search Engine Optimization (SEO), to ensuring that your Social Media Advertising is of the highest standard.
For many small to medium businesses, these are the best option, as they can save money when compared to hiring an in-house team, yet they also provide the expertise needed to ensure that your marketing efforts are successful.
So, what actually is Digital Marketing then?
In practice, digital marketing includes managing different forms of online company presence and presences such as company websites, mobile apps, and social media company pages.
This is in conjunction with online communications techniques including the likes of search engine marketing, social media marketing, online advertising, e-mail marketing and partnership arrangements with other websites.
These techniques are used to support the objectives of acquiring new customers and providing services to existing customers that help develop the customer relationship through E-CRM and marketing automation.
It encompasses a variety of interconnected fields, notably including SEO, Social Media Advertising and Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC). To describe what Digital Marketing consists of, let’s look in depth at each of these fields, showing what they involve, and how they can benefit your business.
Let’s first look at Search Engine Optimisation.
SEO is the process of improving your website’s organic search ranking, i.e. its position within the unpaid results of a commercial search engine. SEO can almost be viewed as a set of best practices for good digital marketing.
It enforces the need for a well-constructed and easy-to-use website, valuable and engaging content, and the credibility for other websites and individuals to recommend you by linking to your site or mentioning it in social media posts.
The majority of web traffic is driven by the major commercial search engines, Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. Although social media and other types of traffic can generate visits to your website, search engines are the primary method of navigation for most Internet users. This is true whether your site provides content, services, products, information, or just about anything else.
Search engines are unique in that they provide you with a targeted audience—people looking for what you offer. Search engines are the roadways that make this happen. If search engines cannot find your site or add your content to their databases, you miss out on incredible opportunities to drive traffic to your site.
Search queries, the words that users type into the search box, carry extraordinary value. Experience has shown that search engine traffic can make (or break) an organization’s success. Targeted traffic to a website can provide publicity, revenue, and exposure like no other channel of marketing. Investing in SEO can have an exceptional rate of return compared to other types of marketing and promotion.
Search engines are smart, but they still need help in order to best optimize results for users. The major engines are always working to improve their technology to crawl the web more deeply and return better results to users. However, there is a limit to how search engines can operate. Whereas the right SEO can net you thousands of visitors and increased attention, the wrong moves can hide or bury your site deep in the search results where visibility is minimal.
In addition to making content available to search engines, SEO also helps boost rankings so that content will be placed where searchers will more readily find it. The Internet is becoming increasingly competitive, and those companies who perform SEO will have a decided advantage in visitors and customers.
When it comes to Search Engine Optimisation, a Digital Marketing Agency can provide the best option for your business. SEO is something which needs to be done well as when it comes to search engine rankings, your website needs to be at the forefront to make an impact.
Furthermore, the rules of SEO are constantly changing, meaning that you need a dedicated team to ensure that your website stays up to date with the latest trends.
The next area that I’m going to look at is Social Media Advertising.
Social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and customers. Your customers are already interacting with brands through social media, and if you’re not speaking directly to your audience through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, you’re missing out!
Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, creating devoted brand advocates and even driving leads and sales.
Social media marketing, or SMM, is a form of internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve your marketing and branding goals. Social media marketing includes activities like posting text and image updates, videos, and other content that drives audience engagement, as well as paid social media advertising.
Never forget that SMM is incredibly powerful due to the fact that a massive percentage of internet users have an account on at least one social media platform. On these platforms, they build profiles describing themselves and interacting with businesses in a very unique way. By building a strong social media presence, your business can reach thousands of more consumers, as they can easily view and interact with your products and services. Paid social media advertising is also incredibly powerful, as social media users’ profiles contain all the data required to build a targeted audience for your marketing efforts, and you can gear your campaigns and resources towards those who are most likely purchase from you. This ensures that you get the maximum value for money possible. Once again using a Digital Marketing agency can really help here, as they have the experience to know that a good social media campaign is about more than just an eye-catching advertisement, it is about creating a relationship with your customers and building a community around your product.
PPC is the last part of Digital Marketing that we will examine in detail.
PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.
Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically. Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC. It allows advertisers to bid for ad placement in a search engine’s sponsored links when someone searches on a keyword that is related to their business offering. For example, if you bid on the keyword “PPC software,” your ad might show up in the very top spot on the Google results page.
Every time your ad is clicked, sending a visitor to your website, you have to pay the search engine a small fee. When PPC is working correctly, the fee is trivial, because the visit is worth more than what you pay for it. In other words, if you pay £2 for a click, but the click results in a £100 sale, then you have made a sizeable profit.
Google AdWords is the single most popular PPC advertising system in the world. The AdWords platform enables businesses to create ads that appear on Google’s search engine and other Google properties.
AdWords operates on a pay-per-click model, in which users bid on keywords and pay for each click on their advertisements. Every time a search is initiated, Google digs into the pool of AdWords advertisers and chooses a set of winners to appear in the valuable ad space on its search results page. The “winners” are chosen based on a combination of factors, including the quality and relevance of their keywords and ad campaigns, as well as the size of their keyword bids.
More specifically, who gets to appear on the page is based on an advertiser’s Ad Rank, a metric calculated by multiplying two key factors – CPC Bid (the highest amount an advertiser is willing to spend) and Quality Score (a value that takes into account your click-through rate, relevance, and landing page quality). This system allows winning advertisers to reach potential customers at a cost that fits their budget. It’s essentially a kind of auction.
A lot goes into building a winning PPC campaign: from researching and selecting the right keywords, to organizing those keywords into well-organized campaigns and ad groups, to setting up PPC landing pages that are optimized for conversions. Search engines reward advertisers who can create relevant, intelligently targeted pay-per-click campaigns by charging them less for ad clicks. If your ads and landing pages are useful and satisfying to users, Google charges you less per click, leading to higher profits for your business. This is how a Digital Marketing Agency can come in handy here. As they have done many PPC campaigns before, they know how to make them as efficient as possible.
The best way to integrate Digital Marketing into your website is to start working on it in the web development phase. By laying the groundwork for Google AdWords management and SEO you can save a lot of time in the future and furthermore allow for your website to hit the ground running. A Digital Marketing agency can also be of use here. They can help you not only to create a beautiful website but one that is rigorous about the vitally important factors of SEO and advertising. Having this groundwork in place makes improving search in the future much more straightforward.
Digital Marketing is an incredibly powerful tool that is shaping the online world today. It allows for small and medium businesses to compete with larger companies that have much greater budgets. It has allowed for those business owners that are diligent enough, to push their websites up to the top of the Google rankings, making the standard user much more likely to enter into it.
It has also led to the phenomenon of creating communities around products on social media, allowing for these businesses to grow their brand recognition astronomically. In the modern day, it is a tool that every business owner needs to be willing to invest in, as it is the most powerful form of marketing available.
With Digital Marketing at your disposal, there are no limits to how far your business can go.
Frustrated? Not sure where to begin…? We can help.