In a world that's ruled by technology, where most of us struggle to stay offline for more than a few hours without developing withdrawal symptoms, digital marketing is king. Every business understands the necessity of marketing, but there's always the question of whether a given strategy is actually yielding results or simply draining valuable resources. Here are seven tried and tested digital marketing strategies that definitely work.
1. Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization or SEO is used to improve your natural or "earned" rank in a search engine. The purpose of search engine optimization is to increase the traffic to your site, specifically traffic from people searching for products or services your company offers. If you already create content for your website, you can incorporate SEO into that content, as well as content on other sites. Aside from increasing traffic and your search engine rank, it also ensures proper indexing of your site so that you show up in relevant searches.If you run a local business, you may want to focus on local SEO.
2. Search Engine Marketing
SEO is often classified as the "organic" version of SEM. Often though, as a new business, or one that's new to digital marketing, it can be difficult to get your natural search engine results off the ground, which is why paid SEM can be effective. Sites like Google sell keywords to the highest bidder, so that their result will come up first when the keyword is searched, and is most often pay per click, which is preferable for any business, particularly startups, as it's far more cost-effective.
3. Content Marketing
Online content is a great form of marketing, and not just because you can incorporate SEO. Creating quality content encourages a positive view of your brand. Interesting, informative content on your own website will keep your customers engaged and keep your brand fresh in their minds. Sponsored content on other websites will increase brand awareness and direct traffic to your website. One of the major advantages of content marketing is its versatility - you can shape your content to suit any audience while keeping it relevant to your brand.
4. Landing Page
A landing page plays a major role in turning potential customers into customers and is an essential part of any digital marketing campaign. A landing page or "lander" is the page users will be directed to when they click a link from another source. Rather than directing them to the home page of your website, they'll arrive at a page directly relevant to the content they were reading or the web search they typed in.
To increase your conversions (the move from potential customer to customer) your landing page should be simple and distraction-free with a clear call to action. Usually, the call to action means filling out a short form or submitting an email address. This is a great way to not only expand your database by gathering contact details of potential clients, but also to gather data about your market demographics.
5. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing via a company page or account is a great way to develop a following and promote your brand, particularly as people set so much store by public opinion. The content you post via social media is what will likely attract your audience and keep them engaged. Because people in general spend so much time on social media, regular posts are a great way to update your audience and keep your brand fresh in their minds. To jumpstart your initial following or to boost your current one, run competitions and promos that incentivize sharing your post and/or following your page.
Paid advertising is your other option when it comes to social media. Social networks generally have a fair amount of information on their members, which you can use to your advantage. Social media advertising allows you to advertise to individuals based on things like age, location, gender, and interests.
6. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the lowest cost forms of digital marketing, if done right. Paying to advertise to someone else's database can be costly, but is also unnecessary. Your email marketing campaign could be a weekly newsletter, regular specials or both. Start gathering subscribers from your existing customer base, your social media following or your landing page. Email marketing will increase repeat traffic to your website, keep your customers engaged, and keep your brand at the forefront of their minds.
The overall effectiveness of pay per click advertising varies greatly depending on the location of the advert. However, pay per click definitely has the upper hand over other forms of side or banner ads. Banner blindness is all too common among modern internet users, meaning it's all too easy for them to ignore your ad, either consciously or subconsciously. This is where pay per click comes in. Though you run the same risk of users simply overlooking your ad, it's not losing you money. Pay per click, as the name suggests, means you're only paying for results, so can advertise on multiple platforms without losing money.
Bonus: Point of Purchase Advertising
Though not strictly speaking a form of digital marketing, though it can be under the right circumstances (electronic billboards, in-store video screen,s and online specials), POP advertising is, undeniably, highly effective. Nearly two-thirds of all consumers making an unplanned purchase will switch brands if offered a deal in-store. Point of purchase also relies on impulse buying, which most people regularly fall prey to.
Of hundreds of different marketing strategies out there, only a handful are truly effective. Others could be equated to pouring money into a black hole. Naturally the effectiveness of different marketing techniques will vary from one industry to another, but the general principles are effective across the board. Depending on your industry and your target market, you could also consider viral campaigns and product placement, though with product placement, budget could be a major factor.