What is digital marketing?
The ultimate guide to digital marketing success
What is digital marketing and why is it important for your business? Every business faces different challenges when it comes to digital marketing. Promoting your business online has drastically changed from 10 years ago, and as a website owner, you are facing an approach that can be full of challenges. By using the right techniques and tools you can come up with a digital marketing strategy that will result to better engagement, growth and ultimately, sales. In fact, 80% of decision makers say that they prefer to get the information in a series of articles rather than an ad (ExactTarget.com).
5 benefits of getting your digital marketing plan right
The following are some of the reasons why having a solid digital marketing plan can help your business stand out:
• Your business ambitions are clearer and more focused.
• You get a good idea of who your target demographic should be.
• It shows that you are an authority in your market niche, which makes your brand stand out.
• You get to reach out and communicate with your ideal customer. This leads to better engagement and in a higher conversion rate.
• You stand stronger against your competitors.
What is digital marketing? It’s time to get your online marketing spot on
Now let’s get started with how your business can get to know the importance of digital marketing to help your business grow and thrive. A digital marketing strategy becomes your marketing journey or map that’s focussed towards a single goal, which is the success of your business online. It can seem daunting, but this guide will help break down the stages that make up the full digital marketing plan.
Know your ideal customer
“The most important activity of any entrepreneur is to clearly identify the very best customers for your product or service, and then focus all marketing, advertising and sales efforts on this particular type of customer.” Entrepreuer.com
This is the most important question to answer before mapping out your digital marketing strategy. Knowing your ideal customer is going to be the most important factor of all your marketing efforts, since your entire marketing plan is going to be centred around this answer. Most businesses fail to understand this and end up targeting the wrong people for their products or services. This results in a loss of budget, no leads and no sales.
So, what does your ideal customer look like?
Your ideal customer will be those that have a need for your product or service. They have a problem and you as a company can help them solve this problem. The following are some questions you can answer to get a better idea of the customers you need to target.
• What is your target demographic? Do they comprise of more males or females? • What are their proportion when it comes to their age, interests, location, search and buying habits?
• What is the market size of your ideal customer?
Once you have answered these questions, you will be well on your way to answering your question ‘what is digital marketing’? and designing a digital marketing campaign that serves that purpose, and more importantly, helps your brand get the ambition it needs in order to succeed.
Why you Should love a customer journey map – and so should your customer
By mapping out a customer journey of your website, you can plan and design your website to fulfil the needs of your customer. Each point needs to satisfy a need or question. Your customer will be searching for answers around your product or service. Nail this and you will have a long term, loyal customer.
No two customer journey maps are alike, so don’t be tempted to copy one from another similar website, regardless of how closely it matches what it is you offer.
In this way, customer journey mapping looks to map out the complete customer experience throughout all of the main touch points between the customer and the website, from the initial contact, through to the selecting and purchasing process, to the after sales and possibly a repurchase. Customer journey mapping allows you to get a better understanding about the following:
• Improving the usability of a website.
• Getting a better understanding of how different customers use your site. • Remove any inconsistencies that hinder the buying process.
• Improve the overall customer experience.
• A better understanding of why someone exits your website at the buying stage.
Fact, being on the top position of Google can increase traffic by 33% (searchenginewatch.com)
Keywords optimisation or search engine optimisation is the process through which you can help your website rank higher for particular queries searched on search engines such as Google, Yahoo , Bing and so on. There are plenty of tools online, including Google Analytics that can help you get your feet off the ground when it comes to keyword optimisation.
Create multiple landing pages
A landing page is the page that your visitor will arrive at after clicking on either an organic search, display ad or a Google text ad. Landing pages that have great content and engages with the customer have a higher conversion rate as compared to those that are cluttered with bad information. The more tailored your content is the better your conversion rate will be. That is why it is important to have a unique landing page for each key phrase.
Offer a killer call-to-action
A good digital marketing campaign compels people to buy your product or service. This is where your call to action comes in. “find out more” “visit us” and “call us today” are just some of the examples of a call-to-action. But, there is no limit to the creativity you can use to convert your audience. Keep it simple and easy to buy.
Brand – tell a story
We all love to read a story. Even better, if the story is true, and is about you, then you have built a relationship with your customer. What happens when you create a story? You create empathy. The result is a loyal long-term customer, because your customers are able to create a connection between their basic need and your commitment to providing a solution for the need.
Website site speed
We live in a fast paced world. People just don’t have the time to wait around for your website to load. Most consumers expect a website to load within two seconds or less. So, it’s your job to make that happen. Do away with the extra images, or useless GIFs, and anything that can slow down the load time of your website. Also, since your audience will probably be viewing your website on multiple devices, it is critical that your website can be viewed cross platform, as in, loads fast regardless of it being viewed on a smartphone, tablet or laptop. To test your site speed by Google, click here https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/
Driving traffic using SEO – some common mistakes
We’ve touched on the importance of SEO above, so here we are going to name common mistakes that businesses make when it comes to their SEO strategy.
• Focusing only on the search engine. Instead, write content that is people-friendly, not bot-friendly.
• Bulking on the backlinks is not a good idea. In fact, too much of anything can be bad for you, and that goes for backlinks too. Building too many bad links in a short space of time can result in a penalty from Google so only stick to good quality content links.
• Not focusing on authoritative links. Don’t waste your time linking to sites that have little relevance to your industry.
• Blogging – a great way to boost your traffic. Search engines love content and so do users. A blog is going to give you the opportunity to create unique and informative content which is relevant to your target audience. You can use a blogs as a marketing tactic to drive more traffic towards your website.
Advertising gives you instant results
Digital marketing includes organic (or free) optimisation along with paid ad placements. As SEO can be a long-term goal, spending a small portion of your budget on PPC can give your great short-term results. But having an ad campaign still won’t guarantee you great results. You should ensure that you have great landing pages that have all of these important elements discussed in this article.
Simply put, social media marketing helps you to get your content seen. Marketers today call this strategy “top of mind.” The better you promote your content across multiple marketing channels, the more your content and your brand is going to be seen.
Build an audience
Marketing is expensive, and unfortunately, the “if you build it they will come” strategy doesn’t apply to online marketing. That’s why there are actual steps that can be taken which will help you build a loyal audience. So, maximise your success by building an audience of prospective buyers. Capture names and email addresses. Set up a CRM campaign to communicate to on a regular basis. And finally, always focus on quality rather than quantity, and always track your metrics.
There are many reasons why email marketing is considered to be extremely important for any digital marketing campaign. First off, it’s cost effective, easily measured and enables you to reach out to more customers. Yet, email marketing can be costly and time consuming. Using the right software can set your email campaigns on automation so that you are left with valuable time running your business. Email programmes also let you segment your data allowing you to trigger emails at the right time with the right message.
I hope this article has answered your question of “what is digital marketing?” While a digital marketing strategy can be beneficial to the success of your business, the selection of marketing techniques that you use will mainly depend on the brand type as well as the market circumstances. When it comes to digital marketing the deeper your insights into customer behaviour and preferences are the better your campaign will be. At the end of the day, the success of your digital marketing campaign will also depend on how you manage the various components that are part of your digital marketing strategy.