A detailed guide and Strategy for digital marketing

One study on consumers by ofcom indicates that People spend twice as much time online as they used to 10 years ago. With the introduction of tablets and growing use of mobile phones to surf the net, the face and strategies for result-oriented digital marketing has changed significantly.

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Digital marketing is all about providing value for consumers using an online medium. This also means the offering has to be communicated to the target users or consumers using the right channels. Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time. Today, that means that you need to meet them where they are already spending time: on the internet.

So, essentially, digital marketing is any form of marketing that exists online.

Digital Marketing Explained

Digital marketing is an umbrella term for all of your online marketing efforts to deliver value to your customers. The reward are satisfaction and profits for your organization and business. Businesses leverage digital channels such as Google search, social media, email, and websites to connect with current and prospective customers.

From your website itself to other online branding assets -- digital advertising provide a huge spectrum of tactics and assets for business growth and goal achievement.

Here's a quick rundown of some of the most common assets and tactics:

Assets

  • website
  • Blog posts
  • Ebooks and whitepapers
  • Infographics
  • Interactive tools
  • Social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc
  • Earned online coverage (PR, social media, and reviews)
  • Online brochures and lookbooks
  • Branding assets (logos, fonts, etc.)
  • Tactics

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the process of optimizing your website to increase its visibility or rank in search engine results pages. This is different from paid search or advertising traffic. The overall target for search engine optimization is to increase the amount of organic (or free) traffic that your website receives.

Read more in this article on Content Marketing

Content marketing leverages on the combination of content and media for the purpose of generating brand awareness, traffic growth, lead generation, or customers.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a more holistic approach covering all aspects of attracting converting, closing, and delighting customers using online content. According to Wikipedia, Inbound marketing is the promotion of a company or other organization through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, newsletters, whitepapers, SEO, physical products, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to attract customers through the different stages of the purchase funnel.

Social Media Marketing

The practice of promoting your brand and your content on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads for your business.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based advertising where you receive commission for promoting someone else' content, products or services on your website. Usually, you are provided with an affiliate code which you input into your website and this allows you to display the affiliate product on your site. When visitors click to buy or learn more, you are rewarded for driving traffic to the site or for bringing about a sale.

Native Advertising

Native advertising are primarily content-led and runs alongside other, non-paid content. Sponsored posts are a good example, but many people also consider social media advertising to be native -- for example, Facebook and Instagram advertising.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing efforts. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions like registrations.

Email Marketing

Email marketing had been one of the most commonly used marketing techniques. Companies use email marketing as a way of communicating with their audiences. Email is often used to promote content, discounts and events, as well as to direct people towards the business website.

Email marketing is something that should be conducted ethically to avoid spam penalties. Massive email sending is not acceptable on most web hosting servers including Todhost. Where you have to send mass mail, they must be properly opt-in. A few mailing list programs exist including PHPList. Most content management systems also have capacity to manage mass mails through their news letter programs and using eternal plugins and components. You will need to ensure that you do not land in a Google penalty while using the email marketing strategy.

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Online Public Relations (PR)

Online PR is the practice of securing earned online coverage with digital publications, blogs, and other content-based medium like websites. It's much like traditional PR, but in the online space.

What's Differentiates Digital Marketing from Inbound Marketing?

Both digital and inbound marketing seem similar: Both occur primarily online, and both focus on creating digital content for people to consume. But there are actually some differences. Let's look at them.

The term digital marketing doesn't differentiate between push and pull marketing tactics (or what we might now refer to as inbound and outbound methods). Both can still fall under the umbrella of digital marketing.

Digital outbound tactics aim to put a marketing message directly in front of as many people as possible within the online space -- regardless of whether it is relevant, welcomed or not. For example, the banner ads you see at the top of many websites try to push a product or promotion onto people who aren't necessarily ready to receive it.

On the other hand, marketers who employ digital inbound tactics use online content to attract their target customers to their websites by providing assets that are helpful to them. One of the simplest yet most powerful inbound marketing assets is a blog, which allows your website to capitalize on the terms which your ideal customers are searching for.

Inbound marketing is a methodology that uses digital marketing assets to attract, convert, close, and delight customers online. Digital marketing, on the other hand, is simply an umbrella term to describe online marketing tactics of any kind, regardless of whether they're considered inbound or outbound.

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Does Digital Marketing Work for All Businesses?

Digital marketing can work for any business in any industry. Regardless of what your company sells, digital marketing still involves building out buyer personas to identify your audience's needs, and creating valuable online content. However, that's not to say that all businesses should implement a digital marketing strategy in the same way.

For B2B

If your company is B2B, your digital marketing efforts are likely to be channeled towards lead generation for your salespeople to talk to your prospects. Your marketing strategy is to attract and convert the highest quality leads for your salespeople via your website and supporting digital channels.

Beyond your website, you'll probably choose to focus your efforts on business-focused channels like LinkedIn where your demographic is spending their time online.

For B2C

B2C companies target people that can be converted into customers. depending on the price point of the products, it's likely that the goal of your digital marketing efforts will be to attract people to your website and have them become customers without ever needing to speak to a salesperson.

For that reason, B2C companies use more call-to-action, focus more on leads; in their traditional sense and more likely to focus on guiding prospects to a sale/purchase. This will often mean greater focus on product features and call-to-action.

For B2C companies, channels like Instagram and Pinterest can often be more valuable than business-focused platforms.

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What Kind of Content Should I Be Creating?

The kind of content you create will depend on the needs of your target audience at different stages. You should start by creating buyer personas to identify what your audience's goals and challenges are in relation to your business. On a basic level, your online content should aim to help them meet these goals, and overcome their challenges.

Then, you'll need to consider when they're most likely to consume this content in relation to what stage they're at in their buyer's journey. We call this content mapping.

With content mapping, the goal is to target content according to:

The characteristics of the person who will be consuming it (that's where buyer personas come in).
How close that person is to making a purchase (i.e., their life cycle stage).;

The content mapping guide provided below will be helpful in doing this.

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Awareness Stage

Blog posts. Great for increasing your organic traffic when paired with a strong SEO and keyword strategy.
Infographics. Very shareable, meaning they increase your chances of being found via social media when others share your content.
Short videos. These are very shareable and can help your brand get found by new audiences by hosting them on platforms like YouTube.

Consideration Stage

Ebooks. Great for lead generation as they're generally more comprehensive than a blog post or infographic, meaning someone is more likely to exchange their contact information to receive it.
Research reports. Again, this is a high value content piece which is great for lead generation. Research reports and new data for your industry can also work for the awareness stage though, as they're often picked-up by the media or industry press.
Webinars. As they're a more detailed, interactive form of video content, webinars are an effective consideration stage content format as they offer more comprehensive content than a blog post or short video.

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Decision Stage

Case studies. Having detailed case studies on your website can be an effective form of content for those who are ready to make a purchasing decision, as it helps you positively influence their decision.

Testimonials. If case studies aren't a good fit for your business, having short testimonials around your website is a good alternative. For B2C brands, think of testimonials a little more loosely.

Budgeting for Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a component of the marketing communication programme. That means it can be planned and implemented with a budget. Depending on what elements of digital marketing you're looking to add to your strategy, budgeting is necessary to stay within manageable funding limits.

Presuming you already have a website, if you're focusing on inbound techniques like SEO, social media, and content creation then the good news is you don't need very huge budget at all. With inbound marketing, the main focus is on creating high quality content that your audience will want to consume, which unless you're planning to outsource the work, the only investment you'll need is your time.

With outbound techniques like online advertising and purchasing email lists, there is undoubtedly some expense. What it costs comes down to what kind of visibility you want to receive as a result of the advertising.

For example, in implementing a PPC using Google AdWords, you'll bid against other companies in your industry to appear at the top of Google's search results for keywords associated with your business. The bigger your budget, the more results you will get. This again will depend on the competitiveness of the keyword, this can be reasonably affordable, or extremely expensive, which is why it’s a good idea to focus building your organic reach, too.

You have or think of anything missing? Let's have your input in the comment box.

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