Digital Marketing 101 for Any Size Business
by Matt D’Rion, Founder and CEO
I realize that not everyone is savvy on the basics of digital marketing. For that reason, I thought it might help to cover some of the basic terms of this field. We love to work side by side with our clients when we launch their digital marketing campaign; teaching them these basics is often the first step.
What Is Digital Marketing?
According to HubSpot, digital marketing is “Any form of marketing that exists online.” That would cover search engine optimization (SEO) including your website, pay-per-click advertising and social media marketing.
Why Is Digital Marketing so Useful?
Digital marketing can reach a large audience and one that is already focused on the types of products or services you offer. Additionally, you can target the exact demographics you want; results are both fast and measurable.
What Are the Top Components of a Digital Marketing Plan?
You would start with an SEO-friendly website. Next would be pay-per-click advertising, then email marketing, ongoing SEO and, of course, social media marketing.
Let’s look at each of these a little more closely:
SEO-friendly Website: Your website is the digital equivalent of your brick and mortar company, so it’s really got to be good. And by “good,” I mean it has to convert a site visitor to a prospect. Otherwise, it’s little more than an information center.
Simply building a great looking site isn’t enough. It also has to be visible to online searchers. To gain search engine traction, then, your site should be built on a solid foundation of SEO research. That means before there is a single keystroke to start building the site or writing content, you’ll need to know exactly which search terms your prospects would use to find your products or services. These terms, and other relevant content, would then be incorporated into the structure of the site and any information provided to visitors. We even go so far as to decide what pages the website will have in its menu only after the SEO research is done—it informs everything.
In addition to being structured for SEO, your website needs to contain plenty of helpful and educational content that engages the interest of prospects and customers. The design should be pleasing to the eye and the text easy to read. The pages and images need to load quickly and, very important, the site should display correctly on any and all devices.
When your SEO research is sound and you’ve provided plenty of useful, relevant information, your website should rank well on Google, Yahoo and other search engine results pages. That’s because the site is optimized for the rules set by search engines.
Since SEO rules change along with search terms used by your prospects, SEO research should be done on a continuing basis and your website tweaked accordingly.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising: This term refers to any online advertising where a person clicks on an ad and arrives at an advertiser’s website or a page devoted to selling a particular product or service. The advertiser pays for each click. Examples are Google Ads and Facebook or Instagram ads.
PPC ads can be highly targeted to specific demographics, interests or search terms, for example: gender, age, income, education, purchasing habits and much more. Well-planned PPC ads can be very effective in driving traffic to specific pages that motivate further action such as inquiries or sales.
Email Marketing Automation: Email marketing is pretty much what it sounds like, promoting your products and services through emails to specific lists. Once little more than cheesy sales pitches, email marketing has since evolved into a sophisticated, highly automated body of technology. With email marketing automation, you can strategically plan and prepare a series of emails for each of your target audiences to guide them through your sales funnel. For example, you can configure your system to trigger a series of emails to anyone submitting a Contact Us form. Or, you can send out an email series with specified blog articles to further enlighten prospects on the value of your products and services. And you can do this all automatically.
Social Media Marketing: This type of marketing utilizes the placement of engaging content on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. By posting interesting content and interacting with others on that platform, you can popularize your brand and motivate people to purchase or visit your website. A company deciding to do social media marketing usually focuses on the platforms that most closely parallel their target audience.
A business starting social media marketing should first build a Facebook Page for their business. They need to also learn how people interact on whichever platform they’ve chosen, what kind of communication is acceptable and what isn’t. Each platform has its own culture and processes. Good social media marketing fits into this culture and takes advantage of it.
When we carry out social media marketing to generate organic traffic for a client, we partner with 100th Monkey on lead generation and sales. 100th Monkey also provides brand management on social media with posts and customer service for a wide array of clients.
Does this sound like a huge subject? That’s because it is. Digital marketing is a big and complex topic that gets bigger every year. The popularity of social media platforms is constantly shifting; a social network that’s hot today may be dead next year. PPC ad rules are frequently modified as are SEO guidelines. If you’re going to make the plunge into digital marketing, choose a reputable professional to help you get started. It will save you plenty of time and money.
If you’d like us to take a look at how digital marketing could work for your business, just fill in this form. We’ll contact you shortly.