A marketing strategy that utilizes tactics available through online communication channels.
Traditional Vs. Digital Marketing
Where is Your Audience?
It’s important to keep up with where your audience is communicating and consuming information. When we think about traditional vs. digital marketing, we like to believe that digital marketing is a groundbreaking new concept. It’s not. Consumer behavior doesn’t change; the channels that consumers use for communication do.
Enter the internet. The internet has opened the door to numerous exciting new ways that humans communicate with one another. These new channels of communication make it possible to employ new marketing tactics and more easily reach and connect with the right people.
The number of internet users worldwide has tripled since 2005. It’s where people are going to find what we need.
We use the internet to connect, share, shop, navigate, entertain ourselves, and research. When you break it down, the way people use the internet is split into two behaviors: browse and search.
Browse vs. search.
When people are spending time on the internet without any specific goals, they’re browsing. We’ve all been down this rabbit hole. You log into Facebook, scroll through your newsfeed, click on a political article someone shared, and then the next thing you know, you’re watching funny cat videos.
When people search, they’re looking for something specific. They go to a search engine, type in a query related to what they’re out to find, and then click on the results that are relevant to their search.
These two behaviors characterize the tactics involved in digital marketing. Advertising and marketing tactics that include searching are considered inbound. Advertising and marketing tactics that generate brand awareness by pushing your brand in front of browsers is considered outbound.
Digital marketing is about knowing which tactics are right for your goals and building a strategy that involves the right combination of those tactics.
Digital Marketing Tactics
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is a digital marketing tactic that takes your web pages and makes them easier for search engines to understand. This results in higher rankings in search results when people enter search queries relevant to the content of your website. It’s important to include keywords that might match what people type into the search box.
Learn about our holistic approach to SEO.
This digital marketing tactic focuses on delivering valuable and relevant information to potential customers to build brand awareness and leads. When people are in need of something, they gather as much information as they can about what they may be interested in. If your brand can be present throughout that process, they’ll be more likely to come to you when they’re ready to make a decision.
Social media is a great way to share your content and boost brand awareness. When it comes to reaching people with your content, social media is probably the most active space for engagement. Different social media platforms attract different audiences, and it’s about knowing which is right for your content.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a digital marketing tactic that places ads based on relevance. The best part about PPC advertising is that you’re only charged when someone clicks on your advertisement. The cost-per-click is usually pretty low, and you can set your budget on a daily basis so you never spend more than you intend.
Affiliate marketing is a digital tactic by which you pay a third party to generate referrals for your business. This is accomplished by providing partners with discount links to promote your products or services, which will also help with SEO efforts.
Isolated from the living chaos that is social media, email inboxes remain a place of trust. Your inbox is not a news feed where anything and everything gets posted; it’s a place where personal messages are delivered specifically to you. With that in mind, email can be a great place to share valuable and relevant content with potential customers.
What does the internet say about you? Appearing on other websites, guest posting, and press releases are all beneficial to your public appearance. The more your brand is shared, the more people become aware of it.
Inbound marketing is a strategy focused on drawing potential customers to you through relevant content and search. People often mistake inbound marketing for digital marketing. The reality is, digital marketing isn’t limited to inbound marketing. Most inbound marketing tactics are digital, but a generic banner ad displayed on a website is outbound marketing; it pushes your brand out in front of the eyes of the viewer.
What digital marketing tactic is right for you?
Well, the answer is… probably all of them. Let’s examine traditional marketing for a moment. Traditional marketing included things like advertising, personal selling, sales promotions, direct outreach, and publicity.
The perfect traditional marketing strategy has a mix of all of these things. It was advertising on a billboard, directly mailing promotional materials, and making cold calls to get a sale. It’s about making your brand known on multiple communication channels. If your audience responds more to television ads vs. mailing, you may invest more money in television to increase your marketing ROI.
So why would we approach marketing any different in a digital world? We have our list of tactics based on these new communication channels; now it’s just a matter of figuring out what resonates with your audience and what gives you the highest return on your investment. A great digital marketing strategy takes into account the benefits of each tactic and utilizes them to reach your target audience.
A search could lead someone to your website, where they may read your educational blog post. They could see your ad on Facebook. Then, maybe they browse your business’s google reviews and dig deeper into the content of your website. Finally, only when they’re ready to make a purchasing decision, they might come back to acquire your products or services due to the positive psychological impact of your brand.
How Much Does Digital Marketing Cost?
Can we all agree that marketing is necessary? Without marketing in some way shape or form, you can’t get new business and grow. So, it’s not a matter of do I, or do I not, need this… You do need this. You need a budget for marketing. If you’re in an established business, you probably have a budget for marketing. The question is, where’s the best place to put that budget?
Here’s a breakdown of some of the cost comparisons between traditional marketing forms and digital. The cost for 1000 people to see your Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. ad is typically going to be less than $4. In most cases significantly less.
In a lot of ways, marketing is about getting attention. How many people can you get to engage with your brand? Today, our digital marketing platforms are cheap real estate. It’s the cheapest form of attention you can buy.
Just to clarify, these prices are ad-spend (the cost to show advertisements). On top of that, you’re going to have expenses for ad content creation i.e. photography, video production, writing, etc.
How Long Does it Take To See Results?
Digital marketing is really easy to track! By looking at website analytical data, we can see what pages people are viewing, where they’re coming from, and how much time they’re spending on those pages. It’s powerful information, and over time, it helps us show precisely how different marketing tactics are working.
When you track conversions with online advertising, you’re able to see exactly how much you’re putting in and exactly how much profit it’s giving you. The more information you collect, the better you can predict the return of your ad-spend. Read more about tracking your website analytics.
You can see the results of online advertising as soon as you launch a campaign. Once a paid ad is being shown to people, it will theoretically bring in conversions.
Return time on search engine optimization practices vary. Optimizing your web pages will bring people to your website, but it will only bring a good return if the content of your web pages is relevant and informative.
Then, when you start talking about content marketing, the time it takes to see a return on your investment increases dramatically, but so does the return. You typically start seeing the impact of content marketing anywhere from 3-6 months out. Content marketing is like building an investment portfolio, it takes a lot of time and hard work to build up the first $100,000, but the more you add to it, the faster it grows.
A Comprehensive Strategy
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
When you’re planting a garden, numerous factors play part in developing healthy, fruitful plants. The fertility of the soil, depth of the seed, and access to sunlight and water all play a role in whether those seeds will become anything or not.
Just like a seed, your business’s web presence can’t grow and prosper without the proper care. It’s not a once-and-done thing. You can’t just launch a great website and “let it do its thing;” nothing will happen.
If you’re not actively working to build your web presence in 2018, it could be the reason that you don’t see much activity on your website.
Most planting failure comes from lack of germination due to poor soil and incorrect planting depth. If you don’t put in the work to properly plan your digital marketing, you might end up failing before you ever see the light of day.
Let’s talk about the importance of developing a focused strategy for establishing a successful web presence, and then how to take your online business to the next level with sustainable digital marketing solutions.
It all starts with a website.
A website isn’t just a digital business card; it’s there to do business.
Your website is the foundation of your digital marketing strategy; it’s effectively your digital storefront. This is your home base where you can direct people to, and it should be ready to do business with visitors. If you want to drive a whole bunch of people to the pages of your site, you’re going to want to make sure the structure and content is ready to do business.
Is your website Mobile Friendly?
If your website isn’t mobile friendly in 2018, you’re not reaching the majority of internet users. We now use our phones to find places, research, and buy things! If your website experience doesn’t work on mobile, you’re going to miss out on a lot of business opportunities.
Build that strategy
Yes. The very first thing you need to do is sit down with pen and paper and brainstorm. Don’t rush past this step; it might just be the most important one in this list!
What is it that you want to focus on? What products or services are the most important? Who are you trying to reach? Who is your ideal customer? Define that person as much as you can so you can imagine that they’re sitting across the table from you while you’re thinking about their user needs on your website.
The answers to all of these questions are critical to know up front. They inform the web design process, the content creation process, and the sharing process. If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you’re going to fail before you ever get started.
Think you know what the answers to those questions are? Write them out. Define that person that you’re targeting, and explain the services you’re offering to them. Not only will this help you realize that you might not have entirely known the answers as much as you thought, but it will serve as a reference moving forward. The answers to these questions will come in handy again later on.
Design and Develop
While you’re probably not going to design and develop your website, there are some things that you should be aware of and look for when planning your site with a developer.
Your web developer should design based on your needs. No matter what platform they’re using, you need to make sure it’s going to serve your intended purpose. Ask about their website development process. Sometimes builders like Squarespace will work, but they lack customization and functionality for companies with diverse needs. WordPress and ExpressionEngine allow developers to build more flexible, personalized web solutions that expand web functionality.
Make sure your website is fast, simple, mobile-friendly, and easy to use.
Fill Its Pages with Amazing Content
What good would a beautiful house be if it was full of trash on the inside? The content of your web pages is the meat that drives and guides people through your site. It needs to be well written, compelling, and relevant to the reader.
Ultimately, the content of your web pages needs to be written and created to convert the user. With the power to guide a reader from one page to the next, you need to make sure they’re being guided to a place where they’re able to make a purchase or fill out a form with ease.
A great website isn’t complete until it’s got great content within its pages, and great content doesn’t do much good in a poorly designed website. The two go together like coffee and mornings; you can have a morning without coffee, but it just might not be so productive…
Content marketing is a practice that involves constantly adding fresh, relevant materials to your website to increase search engine presence and build a relationship with your users.
Building a Web Presence
Bring people to your website
You have your website; let’s turn that into a web presence. Luckily, since we focused on a lot of this strategy upfront, we already know who our target audience is and what products and services we’re promoting. At this point our home base is constructed, we’ve got a centralized, branded location to funnel people to, and we know it’s created with conversion in mind. Now it’s time to reach out to people!
A tree can only grow as tall as its roots can support. If your website isn’t strong, you’re not going to be able to successfully move on to this part of the strategy.
Every cent you spend on ads and promotion is worth more when your website is optimized for conversion. Don’t waste money paying for people to come to your website if that traffic isn’t bringing you business.
You know who your target audience is, but where do they like to go on the internet? What channels do they use to consume information? This will inform your content creation decisions. For example, data shows that CEOs spend most of their time on LinkedIn and checking emails. If you were targeting CEOs, your time would be wasted if you were putting a lot of effort into building an Instagram account.
This is where you’re going to want to think about those tactics listed above. Which are you going to focus on? How are you going to weave different tactics together? The digital marketing tactics you use are directly related to your marketing goals.
If you’re trying to increase brand awareness, you’re going to want to push display ads that show your brand to as many people as possible for as little cost as possible. If you’re advertising a sales promotion, you’re probably going to want to start with your email list and social media groups to build those audiences.
If you’re building on the content of your website, you need to establish a content marketing strategy to define the purpose of your content.
The Importance of Collaboration
Collaboration drives the most successful digital marketing campaigns. Digital marketing experts know the tools and tactics, but you’re the expert in your business or organization. Perfecting that marketing message involves a little bit of input from everyone involved.
A lot of digital marketers will make promises to take the burden of marketing off the business. They might be able to accomplish some things this way, but without the input and collaboration of the people directly involved in that business, that marketing effort will never reach its full potential.
Dedicated Team – Personalized Service.
Here at Immerge, our team of developers, designers, creators, and storytellers are all dedicated to your success. By partnering with us, you’re not just getting a website and advertising service; you’re getting a focused strategy and the skills and resources to execute it.
A comprehensive digital marketing campaign is greater than the sum of its parts. A great website by itself isn’t as effective as a great website that regularly publishes fresh, brand building content shared on the appropriate media outlets.
When you build your website with one business, have your content written by another, and then get your ads managed by someone else, you might end up with a lot of high-quality pieces that don’t fit together.
By going to a single team for your needs, you can rest assured that all of the working components of your web presence will speak the same unified language and drive people to one conversion point.
“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett
That to say, trees don’t grow overnight, and neither do online businesses. Sometimes it can be tempting to try and make a quick buck online, but there’s only one way I know of that will guarantee online marketing success. A focused, well-documented strategy executed with quality and discipline in mind. This will bring sustained business growth over time.
Grow With Us
Immerge is a full-service digital marketing firm ready to be your partner in success. Our dedicated team of designers, developers, and creative storytellers is here to ensure that your website doesn’t fall into the background. Together, we can work to sustainably grow your business online.