What Every Business Owner Must Know About Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing / Internet Marketing / Online Marketing are one of the most used terms of the industry today. However, it is sadly just a bunch of jargon for most of the people who hear it and use it to convey their mind. What exactly is digital marketing and what part of it is essential for today’s business person? We’re here to break it down for you in the simplest words possible.

Online Marketing is simply marketing of your product or service onto digital platforms so as to hold onto your loyal consumers as well as increase your reach to new potential target audience swiftly.

That is it. That is what Online marketing is. There are some further questions that need attention to solve your confusion; such as:

Is digital marketing the same as social media marketing?

The answer is yes. Digital / Internet marketing is a wider concept as compared to social media marketing in the sense that, all social media platforms are available digitally i.e. via the internet. However, there are other platforms that come under digital marketing other than social media marketing.

What are the concepts and platforms of digital marketing?

The search engines that we use to search our queries and requirements are in themselves a humongous platform for online marketing. This concept is called “Search Engine Marketing” or SEM.

Search Engine Marketing is marketing of your product on search engines such as Google and Bing by Yahoo. This platform is of utmost importance for businesses that are into a B2B industry.

Another concept that comes under the wing of digital marketing is “Search Engine Optimization” or SEO. Search Engine Optimization is a way of developing your website’s content in a way that allows the search engine’s algorithm to crawl and test your website efficiently. It is a way to get higher rankings in the search results on the search engine; helping us to have a better hand at SEM.

SEO is a primary necessity of any and every website owner as it helps you stand out among the sea of websites we see today.

Social Media Marketing is a concept that comprises of campaigns designed to market your product or service on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. SMM is a great tool when it comes to products that have a B2C segment.

There is an interesting concept called Re-marketing in Internet marketing which enables us to reach out to the potential consumer base multiple times. It can be seen as following your consumer on various platforms, websites and showing your personalized ad copy to them so as to keep reminding them about their visit to your website.

This also enables us to work on another factor called Consumer Lifetime Value wherein we can increase our reach to existing customers and improve our ROI from these consumers through various practices such as Email Marketing, Re-marketing, Paid Ad campaigns, RSS Feeds etc.

However, for a great digital / Internet marketing experience, a campaign needs to be developed using all the above mentioned platforms.

How is digital marketing different from traditional marketing?

Digital Marketing is cost effective in terms of better reach and results.

Internet Marketing lets you target specific audience based upon demographics, interest and devices.

Internet Marketing gives us factual data that can be statistically analysed. For instance, if a hoarding is marketing your product, you have no clue how many people saw the hoarding, read the content and actually became customers because of that hoarding. However, in Digital marketing, say we run a campaign marketing the same product, we can analyse the data produced by different marketing platforms that can show us how many people saw the product, how many actually became consumers and which consumers came via which of the used platforms. This allows us to find glitches in our campaign and work on it to make it even more action driven.

But then should traditional marketing be stopped completely?

Of course not! Traditional marketing, in fact, paired with digital marketing can give results superior than just traditional or digital marketing.

However, one thing that people mistake about digital marketing is that it can be done for free. It is true to an extent; however, to get the best results, digital marketing needs to have an independent budget. Money must be set aside to be able to exploit all the opportunities that digital marketing has to offer to your business and its glorious future.

How To Create A Digital Marketing Strategy

Almost every good business or individual curates a digital marketing strategy at some point. But if this is your first time seeing this term, it’s basically a set of actions that help achieve your vision via digital marketing. As attractively difficult as the term ‘strategy’ is, it doesn’t have to be like that. Almost anyone can come up with it. This strategy, as well as almost all others, is a plan of achieving a certain goal set – if you want 30% more visitors in one month – that’s certainly a goal you can include in your strategy!

The digital world is constantly changing, and with it, the entire process of optimizing your website for search engines, as well as promoting it online through both free and paid channels. Unless you’re experienced with SEO, you’ll have a lot of headaches figuring out where to start – there’s content marketing, setting up analytics properly, getting your website reviewed for errors by online tools, and the list just goes on and on.

You’ll also have to figure out which of those free or paid channels will influence the way your business works. That’s why the digital marketing strategy is useful. Providing efficiency along with a clear path which you should follow, this might well be your key to meeting each and every one of your main objectives.

As difficult as it might be for an individual to create a marketing strategy, we suggest reading through the short list of steps down below that will help you in your journey towards the most effective marketing strategies you will ever come up with.

1) Know your target audience

There is a massive load of Internet articles telling you how you can come up with the perfect buyer personas, but we’ll sum up the most basic thing you should follow right here. No matter whether you do your business on or off the Internet, you need to know your audience. We’re talking about the customers you actually want to sell to, and you can create your target audience via research.

Don’t be afraid to interview people you might think will make the perfect target audience. Now that you know who you should interview, it’s time to think about the type of information you should gather. Here are some of the most common points to watch out for:

— Demographic information

You want to focus on the location, age, income, and job of each individual. The best tool to help you sort out the location is by far Google Analytics, as it can easily identify what country your visitors are coming from. As far as the age goes, it can be both relevant and irrelevant. This data is mostly gathered via a customer database. The best way to gather job titles is to compare them with your own business and then find a good middle point.

The income is something we don’t recommend focusing on, because it’s sensitive information.

— Psychographic information

This is where you set up your goals, challenges, hobbies, and interests. The best technique of accumulating all this data is by speaking directly to customers and salespeople. This task will get you the list of all the problems people are currently facing. You’ll also get an insight into where you can step in and make things better.

2) Make an estimate of your digital marketing channels
This is when you first consider what needs to be avoided, and what needs to be embraced in order to not get overwhelmed. You need to make the difference between the media you own (the website and social media pages) and the ones you don’t – the earned (PR) and the paid media (Google AdWords). Gather all of this to have a clear picture of the things you can work with. The best practise is to mix up all three types.

3) Bring it all together.
After the planning and the research, you finally have a vision of where to go and what to do. Now is the perfect time to create a solid document with your entire digital marketing strategy. Make sure to map out every action you wish to take, and you’ll be on your way to making profit with your business!

Digital Marketing Planning Process For Beginners

This article centres around formulating a digital marketing strategy and implementing a digital marketing plan for a business.

In this digital age, businesses cannot afford not to have a digital marketing plan has technology is increasingly influencing our business and social lives. As a matter of fact, a business without a digital marketing plan is a business planning to fail.

Quite frankly, some business owners are still struggling to understand the need to have a digital marketing plan for their business. Though, the case is quite different for other business owners who already have a digital marketing strategy, but are unhappy and frustrated with the results, of which fall far short of their expectations.

Digital Marketing Planning Process

Whether you have developed a digital marketing plan that is currently active or you have developed a digital marketing plan that is not yet active or you are in the process of developing a digital marketing plan for your business, Follow the process outlined below to help your business grow and succeed online. This process has proven very successful for so many businesses. Having said that, it is very important that the process is followed judiciously in other to get positive results.

You are just a sentence away from growing your business successfully online.

Establish A Web presence

Having a website, a blog or social media page, or listing your business on local business directory websites are some of the ways you can establish a web presence. These days businesses take advantage of these channels to boost their web presence. Without a doubt, it is highly recommended having these digital marketing assets in your arsenal to increase your search visibility. You want to make sure that you utilise every channel possible to boost your online presence. The more your business is established online, the better.

Domain name registration

When choosing a domain name for your business, you want to make sure that your domain name contains keywords relevant to your niche and city, not just your business name. For example, you offer plumbing services in Toronto, the ideal domain name should be abcplumbingservicestoronto.com.

Content Creation

After choosing your domain name, the next step is to develop great contents for your website, contents that would attract qualified leads (prospects that would end up converting), the ideal thing to do in other to develop great contents is to first conduct a research on niche keywords and include these keywords throughout your text, especially in the headings/subheadings, title and meta description on your web pages. Also, it’s a good practice to add the location of your business in the areas mentioned above. Bear in mind, it takes quite some time to rank for your niche keywords – It not as simple as ABC. It’s a clever idea to hire a content developer if you don’t have the technical expertise to create engaging contents –

Content is king!

Optimising your Website

As soon as you have your content ready, the next thing you want to do is hire a professional website developer who is also skilled in (on-page and off-page search engine optimisation SEO), to develop a user and mobile friendly high converting website for your business. Notice how I laid emphasis on “user” and mobile friendly” – You want to make sure that your website has a good user experience, it is said that humans have a short attention span of about seven seconds, in other words you have seven seconds to grab the attention of your website visitors. That being said, It is cheaper to hire a professional website developer with SEO skills than separately hiring a website developer and SEO specialist. If you want to rank on search engine result pages (SERPs), then ensure that your website is fully optimised (on-page and off-page) for search engines A fully optimised website has a 90% possibility of showing up on SERPs.

What is on page and off page SEO? In a lay man’s terminology, on-page SEO is when a website understands and speaks the language of search algorithm and off page SEO Is when other websites send signals (by a way of votes) to search engines that your website has credibility. As soon as your other websites starts sending positive signals to search engines about your website, Chances are your website will show up on SERPs.

Check the performance of your website online and your website SEO when your website is ready to go live, there are free tools online you can use to check the performance of your website as well as SEO. Ensure that you follow up and resolve any issues with your website, especially issues like: loading time of your landing pages, browser caching issues, heading, alt-tags etc. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of having your website fully optimised for search engines.

Link Building

You have chosen a proper domain, created a highly converting website with great contents and your website is fully optimised, at this point, you should start building links. Link building is a technique used in (off page SEO). It is a process whereby you get external web pages with authority, link to your webpages. The following are some of the ways you can build links: submit your website to business directory websites (citations), create social media accounts and distributing content across social media platforms and other across other websites with high authority, optimise press releases, social bookmarking etc. These efforts are geared towards acquiring “link juice”, which increases your website authority (assuming the links are quality backlinks). Outreach (link building) is quite a daunting task. You are better off assigning the task to your website developer, except you are comfortable doing it yourself. Furthermore, list your business on Google my business and Bing places for business and ensure it is optimised.

Search Engine and Social Media Marketing

At this stage, creating a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign on Google AdWords and Facebook is certainly a clever way to strengthen your online marketing campaigns. It is essential to explore means to drive quality traffic to your website, this would help to improve your ranking on search engines (if done properly). You can start with as little as $50 advertising budget per month if you are on a tight budget. Trust me, it worth your every penny, because as you drive quality traffic to your website for your “focus keywords”, your keywords quality score improves, and if done consistently, chances are your webpages will rank high on search engines. Anyway, creating an ad is one aspect of it, optimising the ad copy is another aspect which is very crucial. You want to make sure that your focus keywords are relevant to their target webpages. If your focus keywords are not relevant to the target webpages, search engines i.e. Google would dock your website as a result. Simply put, avoid attracting visitors that would end up bouncing from your website, hence why it is necessary to create relevant ads. I can’t stress enough the importance of creating relevant ads. Furthermore, utilise social media platforms to promote your business. Create an ad on Facebook to promote your business webpages. The amount of time people spend on social media platforms these days is overwhelming, hence why you need to utilise this medium as an opportunity to grow your business.

Google Search Console

Sign in to Google search console and get familiar with the basics. Follow the instruction on how to improve your search presence. If this is too technical for you, ask your website developer or digital marketing specialist to assist you in setting it up. This tool will not only give you insights in regards to your site’s performance, but will also guide you through on how to resolve any issue that would affect the performance of your website.

Google Analytics

Sign in to Google analytics and follow the set-up process. This tool would help you track important metrics such as conversion, customer engagement, page views etc. You can monitor the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns, contents on your websites and user experience with this tool. Basically, you want to know which areas you need to improve on, once you identify the areas, you can apply a solution.

Closing Thoughts

Don’t be overwhelmed by the process outlined above, remember Rome was not built in a day. Begin now, apply this result-driven digital marketing plan to your business, be consistent and follow the process judiciously – I guarantee your business will grow and succeed online.

All the best!