People in Italy and other parts of Europe consume content and engage with businesses online in a way very different from people in the United States. Research shows that 47% of consumers in Italy use online marketplaces to research products before buying them, compared to only 19% of U.S. consumers. In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, people in Italy visit online marketplaces more than any other country in Europe. Additionally, 35% of Italian consumers have bought something after viewing an online commercial, while only 23% of U.S. consumers have done the same.
Marketing and communications specialists in Italy, Germany and other European countries should approach online marketing as a partnership with marketing communications and social media agencies, rather than as a task they must accomplish themselves. To develop and maintain a successful online marketing program, you need to approach it innovatively, using digital technologies such as SEO, paid media and content marketing. You must also understand the unique cultural and commercial context of each country you serve.
Here we will explore three areas of online marketing that you should understand:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the ranking of a website or app in search results for relevant keywords. When a potential customer types in those keywords into the search bar of a search engine (e.g., Google), the website or app with the highest ranking will show up on the search engine’s results page. SEO can be performed on a standalone basis or in conjunction with a web designer or developer.
The most effective SEO strategies take into consideration not only the words used in the search bar, but also the words used in the content of the website or app. It is widely believed that doing so will increase a website’s or app’s conversion rate – the percentage of people who take a desired action (e.g., make a purchase) after viewing an online commercial or marketing piece, among other things.
SEO can be quite complicated, with lots of nuances and factors to consider. To learn more, we recommend you read the Google SEO Blog or visit a trusted SEO professional.
Paid & Organic Marketing
Paid and organic marketing are two distinct but complementary concepts. Paid marketing is when you pay money to have your website or app appear in search results for relevant keywords. Organic marketing is when you rely on unpaid keywords and natural, authoritative links to have your website or app appear in relevant search results. The advantage of organic marketing is that you don’t have to spend money to see results – you are simply rewarding the algorithms that order search results for your keywords.
While there is no clear-cut line between paid and organic marketing, experts generally recommend that you choose one or the other – either pay for marketing or rely on organic strategies.
If you decide to go the paid route, you have a number of options. You can either use PPC (pay per click) services, which cost you money when someone clicks on an ad or link to your website or app; or you can use display advertising, which costs you money when someone visits your site or app. Ultimately, it is a matter of trial and error to see how effective each of these strategies is for your own business.
Generating and distributing content to online audiences is an essential element of any marketing or communications strategy. As noted by HubSpot Blogs, content marketing can be defined as “the act of creating and distributing high-quality content to attract, acquire, and engage customers,” and is something that even traditional marketers are getting on board with.
It is clear that digital marketing and communications specialists in Italy, Germany and other European countries who take into consideration the unique commercial and cultural context of their target audience, will be best positioned to produce engaging content that will attract, retain and motivate customers to take action.