If you’re new to online marketing or want to refresh your memory, this article is for you. We’ll walk you through the basics so you can get started building your audience.
Digital Marketing: Defining the Basics
While traditional marketing such as print and radio marketing still exist, digital marketing encompasses all forms of marketing activity that take place online. This includes email marketing, social media marketing, and display advertising.
Broadly speaking, digital marketing is aimed at attracting, engaging, and providing value to consumers in exchange for a consideration (e.g., money, action, or access to premium content/products).
Marketing online is different from traditional marketing in several key ways. First, to attract consumers you need to establish a presence on the Internet instead of relying on a passive audience that may or may not be interested in your product or service. Second, your target audience is primarily virtual which means you can market to them across multiple platforms and channels. Third, you need to understand the language and mannerisms of today’s digital consumer.
What this means to you as a marketer is that you need to establish an online brand identity that is unique to you and provides value. To build your audience, you need to take the time to familiarize yourself with the basics of digital marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Building Your Audience Through Ranking
Once you’ve attracted an audience, the next step is to convert that audience into paying customers. There are several ways to do this, but one of the most effective methods is SEO. Search engine optimization is the process of improving a site or blog to increase its visibility in search results for a given (usually commercial) keyword or phrase.
You can use SEO to increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your site. Once they’re on your site, you can implement conversion tactics (e.g., display advertising, email marketing, etc.) to get them to take a specific action (e.g., make a purchase, join your mailing list, etc.).
One of the primary metrics used to determine the effectiveness of SEO is keyword ranking. The higher your site ranks for a given keyword, the more likely it is that someone searching for that term will find your site when they search engines.
If you’re looking to boost your site’s SEO, start by optimizing its content for relevant keywords. If you have a keyword in the domain name, you’ll need to ensure that all your content includes this keyword. For example, if your site’s name is www.Brandsmash.com, you’ll need to ensure that all your content including product descriptions, blog posts, and social media posts include the keyword “brandsmash.” This practice will help Google determine the content’s ‘authority’ and allow you to rank highly for relevant searches.
Besides content, you’ll also want to optimize your site for relevant keywords in order to achieve a high search ranking.
Analytics & Measurement: Identifying & Measuring the Performance of Your Strategy
The fact that you’ve established a solid foundation for your SEO strategy is the first step in the right direction. Now comes the hard part which is measuring its effectiveness. In order to do this, you’ll want to invest in analytics tools.
There are a variety of metrics, or measurements, that you can use to determine the success of your strategy. Some of the more common ones are:
- Unique Visitors
- Conversions (i.e., buying a product or service)
- Prospects (i.e., people who have come to your site but have not converted yet)
- Content views (i.e., the total number of times that a given piece of content was accessed)
- Bounce Rate (i.e., the percentage of visitors to your site who leave without doing anything; often considered a sign of a low-quality site)
- Time on Site (i.e., the amount of time that a person spends on your site; a higher time on site indicates a higher quality site)
You can use these metrics to analyze the performance of your SEO strategy. For example, you can determine the percentage of sessions that result in a conversion by comparing that to the percentage of sessions that result in a pageview. This is known as the conversion rate. You can also use your analytics tool to track the number of new visitors, returning visitors, and total site traffic over time to analyze the growth of your audience.
Social Media Marketing: Building Your Audience Through Relationships
While SEO is great for attracting traffic and converting them into customers, it can be difficult to measure the success of an online marketing strategy that doesn’t translate to actual sales. For this reason, many companies rely on the power of social media to spread the word about their products and attract future customers.
You can use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to grow your audience and ultimately convert them into paying customers. With 500 million active monthly users on Facebook, 500 million monthly active users on Twitter, and 100 million monthly active users on YouTube, you’ll have your pick of the litter when it comes to platforms.
One of the best things about social media is that you can engage with your audience. If you have a Twitter account, you can follow the accounts of people who have a large audience and engage with them to get your own content out there in front of potential customers!
On social media, your content will be broadcasted to your audience which makes it a quick and easy way to reach a large number of people. You can use your social accounts to:
- Inform people about your products and services
- Provide helpful tips and tricks to your audience
- Interact with customers and answer their questions
- Establish your expertise
- And much more…
Email Marketing: Getting New Customers Through Reliable Mailchannels
While social media and website optimization are great for attracting new customers, some people prefer to find out about products and services through email marketing. If your product is something that people are looking for (e.g., a software update that will make their life easier), you can use email marketing to notify them about your product or service and entice them to visit your site or social media pages.
You can segment your email list and send targeted messages to different groups of people based on what they’ve said or done. For example, if you sell skincare products and someone in your email list has purchased a product from you, you can send them an email about the upcoming availability of your next skincare product.
You can also use email marketing to provide useful information to your audience. If you have customers who are already on your site, you can use the email list to send them content that is relevant to what they are reading on your site. The key is to provide value to your audience through content that is custom tailored to them.
Content Marketing: Converting Eye-Catching Content into Attention
So you have a product or service that you think will be a popular choice among your target audience. You want to create and distribute content (e.g., blogs, videos, infographics, etc.) to get people to pay attention to you and your product or service.
The catch is that you don’t have any content to distribute. What you need is content to complement what you’re already doing online. For example, if you’re running an eCommerce store, you could use content to promote your products. Or, if you’re running a blog, you could write about topics that are relevant to your audience in order to attract and engage them.
Once you’ve gathered some content, you can use editorial calendars to plan out what content you’ll distribute and when. Doing this a few weeks in advance will give you enough time to find the right content and plan the release strategy.
Brands & Marketing: Positioning Your Product In A Complex Marketplace
If your product is B2C (i.e., you’re selling to consumers), you’ll have a branding problem since you have two opposing forces at work: what you want to express and what the marketer wants to impress upon you.