One of the best ways to add people to a sales funnel on your website is through digital media. The digital marketing toolbox contains channels such as search engine marketing (encompasses SEO and paid search), social media marketing, websites, online display advertising, email marketing, and mobile marketing.
Although these might seem like a lot of channels, they are ideally what makes digital media powerful. With digital media, there are multiple touch points for engaging prospects and deepening your relationship with them across the board.
Another reason to love digital media is the fact that it gives the opportunity to understand how the audience responds to your marketing efforts and how it interacts with your brand. Within a few hours of launching a digital marketing campaign, it’s possible to gauge whether it’ working by using analytics tools to analyze the metrics.
With digital marketing campaigns its difficult to find the right setup. John Holahan found the perfect balance between story and website with his latest site design.
The bottom line is that digital media is one of the best things to ever happen to marketing in the last century. This is why it’s important to understand the topic better. In this guide, we’ll discuss the essentials of digital media, to give you a rock-solid foundation on which you can build your next digital marketing campaign.
You’ve probably had a website for some time now. But in 2018, you want to keep it not only responsive and optimized for speed, but also leverage technologies such as Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to keep it optimized for mobile. That’s because over 40% of your website visits are probably going to be from mobile devices.
With mobile optimization, you generally have two options: create a dedicated mobile site or make the existing one responsive. With the first option, it’s better to build the new website to be mobile first, to take advantage of Google’s shift towards mobile-first indexing that’s expected to happen in 2018.
A responsive website ideally uses media queries to determine the screen size of the user’s device and adjusts the content to fit the screen automatically. If you still haven’t updated your site to be mobile friendly, get your web design team started on it immediately. Otherwise, you will be losing out on search rankings and experience more bounce rates.
Search Engine Marketing
As you already know, search engines scour the web to help the user find the information they are looking for. Search engine marketing involves trying to increase the ranking of websites on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
The process is generally made up of two distinct processes: search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search. SEO entails various offsite and onsite strategies to improve the visibility within the SERPs while paid search involves paying a given amount to the search engines for strategic ad slots on the SERPs. Both activities ideally have the same objective: increasing the visibility of your website by having it occupy as high a position as possible.
For your SEO campaign to be effective in 2018, here are a few things to pay attention to:
- Keywords: it’s important to conduct a proper keyword research (including long-tail keywords) to identify the kind of keywords your visitors are entering on the search engines. With tools like Google Trends, Google AdWords Keyword Planner, search recommendations, or Keywordtool.io, it’s quite easy to find the right keywords for your website. You then want to use these keywords all over your site, especially on the blog part.
• Link Building: this is a great way to show search engines that your website is popular. Here, quality is vital; it’s better to have a few high-quality links than a bunch of low-quality ones. Find local business websites and bloggers in your niche who’d be willing to link to your site if you return the favor. You can also write a guest post on a popular local blog. Link Building Guide For 2018
• Local search: a solid local search optimization is one of the most effective marketing strategies for small businesses. It entails optimizing the online listings of a business online so that it shows up in local searches. When done right, it can effectively put your business on the map and make it easy for local customers to find you online. 2018 Local Business Marketing Guide Why Local Searches Matter To A Business
• Optimize the structure for humans and search engines: in 2018, users are impatient; they want instant results. If your website is slow, unattractive, or confusing to use, they’ll leave in an instant and go to your competition. Ensure that there are clear calls-to-action and the site is easy to navigate. Ultimate Guide For Small Business Marketing
It’s highly recommended that you audit and update your SEO once a quarter, because, after all, Google introduces algorithm updates over 500 times a year.
Paid Search (PPC)
To launch a paid search campaign, you’ll only need to use the set of keywords you identified in the SEO campaign. Most of the paid search campaigns usually run on the commercial search engine platforms with the top three as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
The pay-per-click (PPC) model is often used for this, and it involves the advertiser paying only when a user clicks on their ad. The search engines will ideally determine where the ads will be displayed depending on what is paid for when setting up the ad, the relevancy of the landing page, and how many people clicked on the ad.
Just as with most digital advertising channels, PPC campaigns can be optimized depending on how the users are interacting with the ads. It’s also possible to use the search engine data to discover a lot of information about your audiences, such as their gender, location, and the time of the day they search for your product or service.
By now, you should already have profiles on a number of social media platforms. Over the last few years, the social media platforms have increasingly evolved into highly robust digital marketing platforms. They ideally allow advertisers to run highly targeted campaigns on their platforms to make sure that no advertising dollar is wasted.
Some of the most popular networks for organic and paid digital marketing are Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Be sure to find out what platforms your users are on so that you can target your posts to the ideal times.
Furthermore, in 2018 and beyond, you need to engage with your audience on social media by responding to their praises and grievances and igniting great conversations. Keep in mind that a huge percentage of consumers turn to social media for customer service inquiries. You should make the effort to be part of that narrative and direct it to a positive outcome.
The most popular forms of video used in digital marketing can be found on platforms like YouTube and DailyMotion. Before a video the user intends to watch begins, a video ad plays in the first few seconds. These have remained to be quite effective in digital advertising. However, they aren’t the only ones.
Live streaming can be a great way to incorporate a human component in a small business’ marketing strategy. This allows you to connect with your audience in a more personal way. For instance, you can opt to give them a behind-the-scenes look at how you develop your products or show off your business premises, new products, promotions, or services. Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebooks will give your followers a notification as soon as you go live so that they can watch your live stream before it ends.
You can also add video to your Google My Business listing. This ideally places your videos along with the images of your Google listing. This gives you an opportunity to share a lot of details at once and gives you more control over what your audience can see your business before making a decision.
Although some marketers might downplay the importance of email marketing in 2018, it’s actually more central to digital marketing today than ever. That’s because email is one of the most personal ways that brands can communicate with their customers. Plus, it costs nearly nothing to execute, which makes it an indispensable item in your digital media toolkit.
Since 2014, email open rates have increased by over 180 percent, and most smartphone users access their email on the phone rather than a desktop. Email essentially works better than other forms of notifications like text because along with costing nothing, it can be accessed on multiple devices and has more space to deliver a message more effectively. Emails can help you keep your customers engaged across different platforms, keeping your products and services top of mind.
Additionally, email marketing can be targeted to the prospects based on their position in your sales funnel. For example, prospects at the top of the sales funnel will get different messages than those in the middle, who will also get different messages than those at the bottom.
In many ways, online display advertising is a throwback to the traditional forms of marketing. Previously, display ads were run on magazines and newspapers to offer information about a product or service. Today, unlike the traditional advertising, display advertising comes in the form of video ads, banner ads, rich media ads, and interactive ads.
Display advertising allows digital marketers to target audiences based on the type of device, website content, and the location. Further, tech advances in the display ad buying process now enable the marketer to define their target audience based on psychographics (attitudes, tastes, aspirations, etc.) and demographics. As a bonus, you can also target prospects as they as they switch devices.
A number of digital media resources for engaging your audience such as podcasts, webinars, etc. can be used for digital marketing and online promotion of live events. You can streamline the process of even promotion through a third party to make the process seamless.
You can also leverage platforms such as Meetup and Eventbrite, which help businesses to not only create and promote an event but also promote ticket sales and manage the audience. Getting external help with the details will allow you to focus on the bigger picture and develop an engaging experience for your customers; one that they will remember long after it’s over.
The best way to understand digital media and digital marketing is to dive right in. the next time you come across a video ad, display ad, or a mobile ad, click through it and see how the experience is like. Did you get a better impression of the business? Be sure to track your results and create a list of what you liked and didn’t like about every experience. Use these results to come up with your digital marketing campaign.
Since you can track the results of each of your campaigns, keep making the necessary adjustments to optimize the campaign moving forward. With time, you will see great results and hopefully generate a robust ROI exponentially.