With so much talk of the ‘new’ web 2.0 and social media, it’s easy to forget about the very basics. That is, email marketing and online marketing as a whole. Some might describe the shift to be away from traditional marketing methods and toward more interactivity and engagement. Yet, even among the digital landscape, there are still fundamental differences between web 2.0 marketing and online marketing. So how does one go about accomplishing marketing tasks online? What are the best tools, strategies, and practices?
Here, we will discuss some of the distinctions between the two, along with providing you with the information you need to know to effectively market your products or service online.
Dry vs. Wet
The first and most fundamental difference between web 2.0 and online marketing is the use of either water or oil when performing any task online (excluding search engines). That is, if you want to add color to an image or create a design, you either use a tool like Microsoft Paint or you use a website like Canva that provides you with dozens of stock images you can use as a base for your design.
When working with a tool like Paint, you’re dealing with water. You might not always want to use water when designing a layout, so you would choose oil as an alternative. You choose oil because you want the design to look like it was done by hand. While you’re able to find the perfect shade of oil when you’re designing by hand, when you’re using a tool like Paint, you’re stuck with whatever color the software provides. So if you want to create a dark brown layout, you have to use the built-in brown color, which might not be the exact color you had in mind.
On the other hand, when you use a tool like Canva or Squarespace, you’re dealing with oil. You always want to use oil when working with a tool like this, as it provides a much better experience than water. You also have the option of choosing a color that matches your brand or business. So instead of using the brown color like you might with Paint, you could use red oil to portray your product or service as passionate and energetic.
Traditional vs. Digital
Amongst the most recognizable and influential figures in web 2.0 and digital marketing are people like Guy Kawasaki and Kim Kardashian. These individuals made significant impacts in their industries through digital marketing and social media. That is, they used digital channels to create awareness and drive purchasing decisions. In most cases, they used websites, social media, and email marketing. While these methods have been around for a long time, the way we communicate and share information has shifted dramatically in the last ten years. That being said, the methods these marketing pioneers used are still at the core of most digital marketing and web 2.0 practices today.
As businesses continue to evolve and adopt technologies that enhance productivity, marketers have had to shift toward more efficient marketing methods. That being said, marketers are still seeking out ways to stay relevant in an ever-changing world. One of the best ways to do this is by continuing to learn and adopt new technologies and methods. That is why it’s important to understand the distinctions between traditional and digital marketing.
Search Engine Optimization vs. PPC
While SEO and PPC are often used interchangeably, they are, in fact, two different animals. Short for Search Engine Optimization, SEO is the process of optimizing your website or blog to rank higher in search results for a relevant keywords or phrases. This, in turn, can lead to more traffic and, ultimately, sales.
PPC, or Pay Per Click, is where you pay for each click on your ad. So if you’re paying each time someone clicks on your ad, you’ll have to take into account how much you’re spending vs. how much you’re making per click. With PPC, you can adjust your ad’s bid price to try and maximize your ROI (return on investment). Still, that requires a significant investment of both time and money, which is why many marketers turn to SEO first and then, if they want to generate more leads, move onto to PPC.
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of SEO. What you need to know.
On-site optimization, or SEO optimization for short, is focused on making your website or blog easy to find and accessible by search engines. This is usually done by creating quality content that is valuable to your target audience and by ensuring that your website is mobile friendly and has the optimally set-up codes.
Many businesses believe that creating a quality product is the best approach to attaining success in any industry. So, if you want to optimize your website for organic search results, you are essentially trying to create content that is valuable and useful to your target audience. The better your product, the better your SEO.
In addition to creating quality content, you also want to ensure that the content is available on all platforms. That is, not only does your web content need to be accessible on mobile devices, it also needs to be viewable on desktop computers. If your content is only available on mobile devices, you’re limiting yourself to a specific audience and missing out on the potential to increase traffic from non-mobile users. Creating high-quality content across all platforms ensures that your target audience has every opportunity to find and access your content whenever they want it. This in turn, may lead to more sales.
Off-site optimization, or SEO off-site for short, is focused on making your website or blog’s popularity and credibility greater in the eyes of search engines. This is usually done through inbound marketing methods, such as content creation, social media, and SEO blogging. You can utilize various tools and platforms to aid you in your SEO efforts, including social media, content creation, and blogs.
While you are trying to position yourself as an authority in your industry, you also want to establish a sense of trust and credibility amongst your prospective customers. One of the best ways to do this is through effective off-site SEO. That is, by creating high-quality content that is well-written and provides valuable information to your target audience, you show the search engines that you are a reliable and trusted source of information. This, in turn, can lead to more organic search results and, ultimately, more sales.
As previously mentioned, establishing a quality product is crucial to succeeding in any industry. The better your product, the better your SEO. Similarly, establishing yourself as an expert or a thought leader in your industry is a great way to gain credibility with your target audience and to position yourself as a trusted source of information. Having a large social media following can also boost your SEO significantly. If you want to learn more, check out the SEO guide by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4 A’s).
The key takeaway from this section is to focus on creating quality content that is both useful and authoritative. Doing this will not only make your content easier for the search engines to find, it will also make your content more attractive to potential customers.
Pay Per Click Advertising
With the above in mind, let’s discuss PPC. As your business continues to evolve and expand, so does your digital marketing strategy. That is, you will want to stay abreast of the latest trends and technologies so that you can effectively market your business.
PPC, or Pay Per Click, is, in essence, exactly what it sounds like: paying for each click on your ad. You might run an advertisement in hopes of generating a lead, or you might use PPC to gain immediate awareness and drive purchasing decisions. In either case, you are paying each time someone clicks on your ad.