Digital marketing is all about promoting your business online. Since the birth of the internet, digital marketing has existed in parallel. Use of the internet has exploded in the last decade; the popularity of online shopping has grown and Google search is the first port of call to find things out. The Coronavirus pandemic has further accelerated this move online. As the high street dies, so cyber-shops boom.
Digital marketing is an umbrella term that covers a myriad of different disciplines and marketing techniques. Let’s head under that umbrella and take a closer look.
What does digital marketing cover?
Your company website is your most fundamental piece of digital marketing activity. This is your digital shop window, where you can display all your goods and services to potential customers.
But how do you get these potential customers to walk past this digital shop window and come in for a visit? In short, how do people find your website online?
This is where all the different aspects of digital marketing come in. We’ll go through these in more detail now. Depending on what you’re trying to achieve and how quickly you want to achieve it, will determine the best course of action for you and the digital marketing strategy you put in place. And, of course, it very much depends on the size of your digital marketing budget.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to the activity undertaken to optimise the visibility of your website on search engines such as Google and Bing.
Ideally you want your business to appear on the first page of Google (and other search engines) when a potential customer searches for the goods or services that you offer. But to achieve this takes skill, effort and time (and, depending on your approach, money too).
The starting point is to make sure the pages on your website are labelled correctly so that the search engines can find them when they crawl the internet.
It’s then about SEO writing, adding content to your site that’s relevant to your target market. If other websites link to content on your site and you get lots of visitors who spend time on your site, the search engines will deem your website as being relevant for the terms, or key words, that drive traffic to you and will move you up the rankings (which moves you higher up the page).
Essentially another way of describing SEO, this is the term given to the search results delivered on search engines that appear below the paid advert at the top of the page.
A key technique for SEO/organic search, content marketing is all about writing and adding content to websites and social channels to increase website visitors and convert them into paying customers.
Adding regular content to your website means your site is constantly changing, a fact picked up by the search engines when they do their trawls. It’s important to ensure the new content is focused on the key words you want to target to improve your chances of appearing high up in the search results. And it is essential you keep the content relevant to your audience so that they find it useful, informative and hopefully want to share it.
Read our guide on content marketing to find out more.
Blogs and Vlogs
One of the best ways of adding regular new content to your website is through blogs and vlogs (video updates). Blogs are effectively short articles about topics on which you can showcase your experience and expertise. Of course, it’s worth checking out that these are areas of interest for your target customers; if you can find out what they’re searching for (which key words they’re using) and include these in your blogs, even better.
It’s a good idea to host these in a separate blog area on your website. You can also create categories for broad topic areas and then organise your blogs by allocating them to a category area. This makes them more searchable for your website visitors and improves your SEO further.
Your social media channels, such as Linked In, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, are all classed as digital marketing activity. For many businesses, social media activity is unlikely to generate many sales directly. However, it’s a great way of building brand awareness and showing that there are real people at work. Share links to your blog posts as a way of attracting visitors to your website.
Having a social media strategy and posting regularly across your social accounts shows that the “lights are on” and the business is actively trading. This is particularly important if your target market is the millennials and younger. These people are more likely to check out the social media of the companies they’re thinking of buying from.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Pay Per Click (or PPC for short) is the name given to the ads that appear at the top of the page on Google, above the organic search results. These are companies who have paid or “bid” to appear at the top of the page for the search term or key word that has been entered in the search bar.
The cost of PPC ads varies depending on a number of factors, such as the competitiveness of the search term and what others are bidding, time of day/day of week, the average volume of searches for that term and the number of visits that you have had to your site
Digital Display Advertising
Digital Display adverts are the ads that appear on websites that you visit. These ads can appear anywhere on the page – as banners at the top, at the side or even in the middle of the page. If you click on one of these ads it will take you to that company’s website, often a bespoke page that has been created for the ad.
Similar to Digital Display adverts, social adverts are created specifically for social channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked In and will often be ads based on your previous searches or those deemed as relevant to you.
Many businesses encourage their customers to leave them a review online. There are multiple platforms that have emerged specifically to facilitate this, such as Trustpilot and Feefo. And other online giants, such as Google and Facebook also offer review functionality.
If you don’t have a strategy for generating reviews, it’s worth putting one in place. Reviews are a powerful tool for engendering trust and will often make the difference between a customer buying from you or going elsewhere.
Why is digital marketing important to business success?
As you can see, there are lots of different strands to digital marketing. What you choose to do will likely depend on what you’re trying to achieve, what you’re trying to sell, the sector you operate in, your target audience and the budget and resources you have available.
If you rely on your website to generate business, it’s important to implement a digital marketing strategy to improve your site visibility and drive visitors to it.
At ACES Marketing, we’re digital marketing specialists and can help you formulate a strategy to deliver results, however big or small your ambitions. Why not get in touch for a preliminary discussion?