We use the internet to connect to the world around us in an increasing amount of ways, that keeping up with the evolution of it all can sometimes be overwhelming. Naturally, we’re creatures of habit, and that means we’re now guilty of scrolling unconsciously through social feeds or reaching for our phone when we find ourselves procrastinating. This is just who we are as a modern society – so we may as well embrace it.
The accessibility of the internet is also increasing as time goes on. In fact, usage has increased by approximately 5 per cent among adults alone in the last few years. So it goes without saying that offline modes of advertising aren’t as effective as they once were, as a result.
Marketing has always been a process of engaging with the right audiences. It’s also always been about when and where you do it. But these aspects have ever been more important than they are now in the digital era.
Thankfully, promotional avenues have evolved to meet these shifting demands. Brands that really want to pack a punch in contemporary consumerism need to invest in quality, relevant digital marketing strategies that specifically target their audience.
In this post, we cover the who, what, when, where and how of digital marketing for 2020. Bookmark this one – it’s going to be your new sidekick.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Think of it as an umbrella term with a whole heap of channels and tactics sitting under it. Mostly, it’s any form of advertising your business using the internet. That might be through SEO, social media marketing, Google AdWords, influencer marketing, affiliates or content. Literally any form of targeting your prospective customers with brand-related material falls under this term.
Traditional strategies still exist – think TV, print ads, cold calling, physical presence and mail-outs – and they still have their place, too. But digital marketing can go hand-in-hand with these, or capture an audience you’re otherwise missing out on.
For businesses looking to expose themselves to a wider audience and reap the benefits of increased brand awareness, the first step is actioning a digital strategy that encompasses some of the above factors. Why? Because put simply, consumers look for content to persuade their purchase decisions. When they’re looking for answers to their questions or information around their concerns, brands that can fulfill these needs come off at the top (a.k.a. They get the sale or customer loyalty).
The challenge with digital marketing is that you need to narrow down on outside-the-box thinking and be best buddies with analytics. While your strategies need to be driven by accurate data, your substance and content need to be engaging enough to entice or spark audience action. But that’s the role of the modern marketer – juggling creativity with logic.
When this is done right, the end-result is a healthy boost in ROI. And that’s something that keeps us coming back for more, time and time again.
All The Types Of Digital Marketing
Oh it’s a big, big world out there. And it only continues to grow (that’s half the excitement). What we know one day as a marketer changes from one day to the next (thanks, Google), but it’s ultimately what keeps us on our toes, too.
When you’re examining all the ways you can ramp up your online presence, a handful of the major channels are usually the go-tos. These commonly include:
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Social media marketing (SMM)
- Affiliate marketing
- Content marketing
- Pay-per-click (PPC)
- Email campaigns
The nitty-gritty of these can take a bit of time to get your head around, but to help you get started – and to better understand the opportunities – we’ll quickly run through each of these channels.
Essentially, this is the act of ranking higher in Google search results pages (SERPs) in order to get more clicks through to your website. The aim is to land more conversion – be that a phone call, form filled out by the user or views on a certain page. Your ultimate goal here is to be placed above your competitors for certain ‘trending’ keywords for your niche.
For example, if you’re a gardener in Hervey Bay, some of the most high-volume keywords or suggestions might look something like this:
These words are what users are searching on Google when they need a gardener to head out to their location. An SEO strategy would encompass these search terms – or more suitable ones – to gain clicks from this traffic.
If that’s not enough to sway you, consider the fact that 75 per cent of users don’t scroll past the first page of Google. If you’re not in these top 10 positions, you’ll likely lose the opportunity to receive traffic at all.
Social Media Marketing
This one is simple in nature: it’s the act of promoting your brand on social media channels to increase brand awareness, traffic and lead generation. The most common platforms used for this tactic include:
If you’re new to this field, that’s where the challenge sits. IT can be hard to tap into audiences and communities that know who they want to hear from. ‘Invading’ their personal space here can be controversial, so it’s important to solidify a strategy that does this in the right way.
Ever noticed that the first few search result listings have ‘Ad’ mentioned next to their website details?
This means it was placed there through Google Ads – a channel that lets you nominate a bid price for each click gained via this ad. The brand allocates a budget and only pays for each click that’s received. More immediate than SEO, it’s a quick way to get traffic and conversions. This makes it ideal for running special offers or event-related campaigns that are likely to spark audience attention (think discounts or seasonal calendar dates).
Did you know you can make money by promoting other people’s brands and products on your platform? For example, you can host video ads on your YouTube channel (through their own partner program) and gain a commission for clicks.
Other examples include posting affiliate links in blog content, social media posts or other pieces, with the intention of receiving funds from the brand when they gain a sale through you.
Words have the ability to spark action, drive movements and divide or unite communities. By using this kind of power through your content efforts, you can leverage a huge brand presence online – through virtually any channel.
This field is gaining more and more momentum as time goes on, especially as users continue to generate their own content or look for ‘valuable’ insights from credible sources. Positioning yourself as an authoritative voice is the key here, and that takes a long-term commitment and strategic approach. Once it’s all in full-swing though, it pays off endlessly.
Content marketing vary include aspects like:
- Blog posts and articles (whether on your own website, someone else’s, social media or third-party platforms like Medium)
- eBooks and whitepapers
- Video marketing
- Case studies
- Podcasts and audio pieces
- Transcribed audio
- Forum monitoring – e.g. Reddit/Quora
- Lead magnets
- Emails (see below)
- Slideshare presentations
- Online courses
- Outreach and online PR
- Checklists or listicles
- Sponsored content placements (e.g. on a news site or influencer’s platform)
- Quizzes and surveys
Even social media efforts tie into this too. In a nutshell, your entire marketing campaign should connect and come full circle with content. Nothing should be disjointed – if it seamlessly flows into each other, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
It’s likely your inbox is flooded with ‘SALE’ offers or brand messages. These were sent out by marketers initiating email marketing campaigns to drive conversions or even just user engagement.
This kind of approach can also include things like newsletters – aimed at communicating valuable insights and news through your brand to your key audiences. In some cases, it might also mean promoting your latest blog post, or critical information about a global event (e.g. the latest COVID-19 pandemic).
Email is still one of the biggest ways to communicate with people on the internet. If they’re not always on social media, you can bet they’re probably at least checking their email once a day. Tie this into campaigns like lead magnets and content marketing, and you’re able to grow your database to continuously promote your biggest offers.
Putting Together The Puzzle
We know – there’s a lot of information here to process. But even as full-time experts in this field, there’s never a time where you’ll know absolutely everything about this field. Because of its shifting nature and agile trends, what you know now will be outdated by the end of the week. That’s where the fun is though. We like to learn.
From SEO through to PPC, content marketing or social media – the world of digital marketing is expansive and tough to navigate. If you’re looking to kickstart your efforts in one or more of these channels, get in touch with the friendly team at Edge for a no-obligation discussion around how we can support you.
Call us now on 1300 558 659.