In this digital age, it is essential to be able to harness the power of the internet to promote your business and gain traction online. However, if you are completely unaware of how the internet functions, how you can optimize your online presence, or how to use social media effectively, you are bound to fail.
That is why we here at A Weblog that Gets You Visible set out to redefine digital marketing and show you how to harness the potential of the internet to grow your business.
The Basics of Online Marketing
To understand what is entailed by ‘digital marketing’, it is important to establish the difference between traditional and digital marketing. While the two are often confused, they are in fact quite different. Where traditional marketing is about advertising and creating awareness for a product or service, digital marketing is an umbrella term that incorporates all the various techniques used to gain online traction.
Traditionally, marketing has been focused on attracting new customers to a brand or business. To do this, marketers would typically use advertising, public relations, and social media to gain support for a brand or product. In contrast, digital marketing involves the use of digital tools to strengthen an existing relationship with a consumer or audience.
To put it simply, digital marketing is the use of online tools (such as SEO, social media, and email marketing) to gain visibility and traction on the web. When done well, these online tools can help businesses gain a good measure of success and revenue from a smaller base of customers compared to businesses that rely on more traditional marketing methods.
Now that you have a rough idea of what digital marketing is, let’s dive into some of the basic terminology that you will need to know to fully utilize this powerful tool.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO, short for search engine optimization, literally means the practice of enhancing your website content in such a way that it will appear in the top of a search engine’s results for a specific keyphrase or keyword. In other words, SEO is the process of optimizing your content to increase your website’s chances of appearing in the organic (i.e., unpaid and unsponsored) results of a search engine.
SEO is a critical element of a successful digital marketing strategy. Without it, you cannot expect to gain much traction online as you will simply be drowned out by the competition. To optimize your site for maximum effectiveness, you will need to perform keyword research, analysis, and testing to determine the right mix of keywords and the placement of these keywords in your content.
If you are not already active on social media, you should be. In today’s digital world, people generally agree that social media is where you can find the bulk of your prospective customers. To attract and retain customers on social media, you must be prepared to provide valuable content, engage with your audience, and respond promptly to comments and questions.
Additionally, you can use social media to gain valuable insight into your target audience’s needs and wishes. Through social media, you can also discover your competition’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as identify the key points of interest amongst your target audience. Furthermore, you can use social media to build your business’s reputation by publicly ‘vouching’ for your product or service. Doing so allows you to display the quality of your service or product, while also demonstrating your connection and trust with your audience. Essentially, you are able to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. When others are searching for answers, they are likely to come across your content, leading them to either buy from you or learn more about you and your business. Using social media to promote your business is called ‘social media marketing’.
As you can see, there are many benefits to having a strong social media presence. If you are unfamiliar, you can use free tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to easily build and maintain a social media presence. To succeed on social media, you must understand how to engage with your audience and what will make you stand out amongst your competitors. Additionally, you must have a plan for continually growing your presence on social media.
Like SEO, email marketing is another important element of a successful digital marketing strategy. Unlike SEO, however, email marketing is focused on individual customers and potential customers and its objective is to generate revenue. To do this, you will need to develop and maintain a good email marketing list. Additionally, you will need to engage with your subscribers regularly by sending them news, information, and special deals.
Email marketing is the process of getting mail messages (i.e., newsletters, e-books, and other similar content) into the inboxes of your customers. To do this, you can either use a tool like Mailchimp or subscribe to a popular email newsletter that focuses on your industry. Remember: you can use email marketing to send bulk emails to your subscribers or target audiences, using automation tools like autoresponders or email marketing software (such as HubSpot). In fact, many large businesses, such as Amazon, use automated emails to follow up with potential customers, encouraging them to make a purchase or continue browsing their website.
Like SEO and social media, email marketing is a powerful tool that can be used to grow your business. However, unlike those two elements, email marketing is much easier to implement. You do not need to be technologically savvy in order to use email marketing. Simply take your time to build and maintain a reliable email list.
Content Marketing & Blogging
Now that you have some experience using SEO, social media, and email marketing, you are ready to broaden your horizons and learn more about content marketing and blogging. As the name suggests, content marketing is focused on creating and publishing quality content for the purpose of attracting, engaging, and retaining an audience. Additionally, a well-established blog can act as a source of valuable, unique content for your website, social media, and email marketing campaigns.
A blog is a type of content portal that allows you to share your thoughts and ideas with the world. As a business owner or marketing professional, you can use a tool like WordPress to quickly and easily set up a blog for your company. When done well, a blog can provide you with a steady stream of unique content that you can use to build your business.
Along with content marketing, blogging is another effective way of developing and promoting a business online. When done well, a blog can become a source of traffic and leads to your website. Additionally, you can use a tool like Google Analytics to track the origin of your website traffic and the subsequent leads generated by your blog. More importantly, you can use a tool like WordPress to easily set up a blog for your company. With a blog, you can take advantage of the wealth of free resources, knowledge, and support available online.
As you can see, there are numerous benefits to blogging. To succeed as a business owner or marketing professional, you must be able to implement a blogging strategy and actively promote your blog on social media channels.
Measuring the Success of Your Digital Marketing Strategy
To determine the success of your digital marketing strategy, you should be tracking multiple metrics. When it comes to SEO, you will need to measure the amount of organic (i.e., unpaid and unsponsored) traffic directed to your site, the conversion rate of this traffic, and the amount of pages and posts that display up to date, compelling content. For social media, you will need to measure the amount of engagement and online activity generated by your content, the number of leads and sales that you are generating through social media, and the amount of positive publicity that your business has received from influential bloggers and journalists. For email marketing, you will need to measure the growth of your email list, the quality and quantity of leads and customers that you are generating, and the amount of sales and conversions generated by email marketing.
To measure the success of your content marketing and blogging strategy, you can use several tools. For example, you can use Google Analytics to track the origin of your website traffic, as well as the performance of each individual blog post on your site. Additionally, you can use a tool like HubSpot to track the performance of your email marketing campaigns and identify the content that is driving success.
Hopefully, this article was able to give you a good idea of what SEO, social media, and email marketing are and how they can be used to grow a business. To ensure your success in today’s digital landscape, it is important to have the foundation of knowledge and understanding of how these tools and platforms work. Additionally, it is equally important to have the tools and platforms to effectively administer and track the performance of your online marketing campaigns.