The way consumers buy product and services has changed over the past couple of years. According to Forbes, 78% of consumers say companies’ social media posts impact their purchases. Consumers are starting and (most times) ending their purchasing cycle online.
This means that businesses have to be online and visible.
Digital marketing is the process of using digital channels to promote products, services and brands online. There are various strategies companies can deploy to pass across their marketing messages to their potential customers and audience.
We are going to explore some of the elements of digital marketing and explain how these elements can work for your business
Website Conversion Architecture
Your website is central to your digital marketing strategy, most times; it is where your customers would first interact with your brand, it gives them the initial impression of what your brands stand for, it is where your leads are converted and nurtured over time to become repeat buyers.
It is important when building content for your website that the information matches the needs of the customers. It must anticipate the result that your customers want from your products and services. A report by Adobe CMO showed that 74% of online consumers get frustrated with websites that offer content which doesn’t directly relate to their needs and interests.
Building a site with proper conversion architecture also entails making sure that the site’s load speed is fast enough, clear call to actions and guidance for the next step. Easy navigations and optimized for mobile visits as well.
Search Engine Optimization
Attraction is the first stage of the digital marketing funnel. Before we start building landing pages and nurturing email lists, we first need to understand how to get people to our website to view our offers and promotions.
One of the ways we attract our audience to our website is search engine optimization (SEO). Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing the content of your website to ensure that it ranks on search engines. It consists mainly of three parts;
- Creating a website with a strong technical structure
- On-optimization – optimizing internal contents for search engine
- Off-page optimization – Distribution, promotion of content and building backlinks to the website.
According to research by Forrester, 71 per cent of consumers start their journeys by using a search engine to discover new products and services and 74 per cent reported using a search engine for consideration and purchasing.
The main objective is to ensure that your website ranks on search engine result pages (SERP), once you have a high ranking your website will begin to get a high amount of traffic and leads.
There is no doubt that the leads that result from SEO are high quality because these people were searching for terms that you are ranking for, they have a need for your product, it’s like low hanging fruit waiting to be grabbed.
It is important to rank your website for keywords that people are searching for, the higher the search volume of the keyword the greater the traffic possibility of such terms.
But in most cases, higher search term volumes are more difficult to rank for, so a great strategy is to rank for lots of long-tailed keywords that may not be as voluminous on its own, but when aggregated together, it brings in significant traffic to your website.
This is the process of creating content, promoting content and distribution of content to attract your audience and engage them to take the right action. These content assets are built to ensure that the marketing objectives of your company can be achieved; either it is brand awareness, lead conversion or sales.
In every stage of the purchase cycle, your customers are asking different questions, your content should answer these questions and leave less doubt in their minds. Content could be as little as a testimonial video page and it could also be an 8-week autoresponder series.
Let’s look at some examples of content assets that you can create to engage your audience:
- Email newsletters
- Whitepapers and Reports
- Sales letters
Content assets that have the most engagement are those that are able to respond to the deep questions your customers have about your product, brand and industry.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing involves the usage of the social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and so much more to connect and engage with your audience, while promoting your brand.
Creating content that can be promoted specifically on social media is a great way to tap into the amount of traffic coming in through these social channels. In order to do this, you have to understand what people respond to on the different social media channels, someone on YouTube will respond differently to content than on Facebook, there are expectations to the kind of media format, quality and length to contents posted for each social channels audience.
Social media marketing on its own is a powerful resource, but it can also be ancillary to your other digital marketing objectives, for example, your downloadable whitepaper posted on your website can be shared on LinkedIn groups to drive more traffic back to your website for more downloads. This content can also be distributed on slide-share to garner more downloads.
Social media channels are also a great place to build your content assets because it’s easier to tap into the traffic coming into these channels.
Vlogs do extremely well with this, most vlogs are hosted on YouTube where the audience is tuned into video content, and these vlogs make sure to produce content that is appealing to the audience, as well as focus on building metrics such as growing subscribers’ base, increasing video views, and getting more engagement on videos.
Even if your website is getting a significant amount of traffic, sometimes it is better to build these content assets on a social channel where the audience is more tuned into that kind of content.
Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
Just as the name implies, it is the form of traffic generation and advertising, where a brand pays an ad publisher every time a lead clicks on an advert.
Most popular kind of PPC ads are Google AdWords, clients pay to appear on top of the search engines for keywords. These ads appear just above the organic results and are differentiated with a yellow ad sign by the side.
PPC Ads is important because it can take quite a long time to rank your website using SEO especially if your keywords are very competitive. PPC Ads enable you to get traffic coming in for these search terms and gets your site on top of Search Engine Result Pages (SERP).
The leads that are coming in from PPC Ads have qualified leads because they are searching for answers that your product/service provides. They clicked on your ad because they might have seen a possible solution; it’s clear that they are more interested in your brand and easier to convert into paying customers; it’s just like low hanging fruit.
PPC Ads can also be used to test out a new product or an idea to gauge the demand without spending too much. So you have a great new idea and before you invest thousands of dollars into SEO, graphics, content assets production, etc. you would like to know if this is an idea that would succeed in the marketplace, you can run a small PPC Ad campaign to test out this idea and view just how demanding such product or service can be.
Email marketing is used mostly in the latter stage of the conversion funnel, for nurturing of leads into paying customers. The kind of content that is created in email marketing depends on the marketing objectives of the campaign. An offer campaign might involve sending promotional discounts and coupon offers to the customer’s inbox to alert them of a special offer.
Apart from lead nurturing, email marketing is also used to drive customer retention and reduce customer churning. According to eMarketer, 80% of retailers say that email marketing is one of the best tools to increase customer retention.
Email marketing can be used to nurture leads and drive customer retention, but that’s not all, it can also be used as an ancillary to your other digital marketing campaigns, for example, if you are running a contest giveaway social media campaign on Facebook, you can send an email to your subscriber lists alerting them about the campaign benefits and directing them to your social media channels for them to participate and win.
Any of these digital marketing tactics can help you grow your business and produce incredible results, but for even better results, you can have an integrated marketing approach where you combine each marketing channels tactics to create a seamless experience for your audience.
It all begins with the marketing objectives that your brand wants to achieve online; this would determine which of the tactics that should be employed to achieve set objectives. Marketing messages have to be consistent across all platforms and channels to ensure unity of the brand, remember, it’s all about creating a seamless experience for your audience.