Getting started with digital marketing can be overwhelming. This article takes an in-depth look at all aspects of digital marketing you need to know before you create your digital marketing strategy.
In this article, you’ll learn:
Let’s get started by finding out what digital marketing is.
Digital marketing is any marketing that involves electronic devices.
It makes sense that businesses use digital channels for digital marketing. This means things like email, social media, search engines, and other digital means to connect with potential and current customers.
So, how is that different from just plain old marketing?
Well, it’s not.
Marketing is marketing. Digital marketing just uses the tools and devices that are available to reach prospects and leads where they are these days: online.
Instead of direct mail, digital marketers send email, for example. Or they run YouTube ads instead of putting up billboards.
Online marketing has opened up an entire world of digital tools and techniques that digital marketers leverage to do the business of marketing: attracting potential customers, nurturing leads, making offers, and closing sales.
Let’s take a closer look at how it works.
As we mentioned, digital marketing is just marketing using digital channels. And, just as in typical marketing, your business has to figure out how to build relationships with the people you want to buy your products and services.
Think of digital marketing as the next evolution of marketing.
This evolution, this shift in marketing tactics, happened thanks to the internet.
While buying decisions are still based largely on the same things—reviews, opinions of friends and family, and research about pricing, features, and solutions—most purchasing now begins online.
That means, at minimum, your company has to have some kind of online presence. Preferably, you’ll have a presence wherever your ideal customers go online, filled with information about your business, your product, and how you can meet the needs of your customers.
Digital marketing involves several tactics and strategies:
Yes, it’s a lot to consider.
And, while you can do it alone (or with an in-house marketing team), there are digital marketing agencies staffed with experts who are skilled at digital marketing for your industry that can do it faster (and for less money, in the long run).
We’ll talk a bit more about the benefits of hiring a digital marketing agency later in this article.
For now, let’s turn to the benefits of digital marketing.
A strong digital marketing strategy can help your business in a number of ways.
For starters, let’s take a look at the benefits of digital marketing over traditional marketing.
Digital marketing is flexible. You can tweak your ads quickly and easily over time to respond to the performance you’re getting.
That’s not the case with traditional marketing where once you send out a direct mail piece or run an ad, it’s done.
Along with the flexibility of digital marketing comes a granular level of control over who sees your marketing message and when.
Traditional marketing (like billboards, for example) reaches a lot of people but isn’t super targeted. Sure, you can buy mailing lists populated with people who fit your target audience, but who knows the last time those lists were actually updated?
With digital marketing, you can target 20-year-olds who live within a 2-mile radius of a Dunkin’ Donuts, if you want to.
This may mean that fewer people see your marketing, but it also means that the people who do see your marketing are the people you want to reach, anyway.
Finally, digital marketing is measurable and scalable. Most digital marketing platforms offer robust reporting and analytics that can not only measure impressions, clicks, traffic, and sales but can also help you understand how each customer touchpoint contributed to sales.
Comparisons to traditional marketing aside, digital marketing offers other benefits to your brand.
With digital marketing, creating buzz about your brand is easy. You can build brand awareness and engagement throughout the sales process.
Plus, digital marketing lets you stay in near-constant contact with your customers, making it easier to turn customers into brand advocates.
As you can see, digital marketing offers many benefits over traditional marketing.
But, what goes into digital marketing? Let’s look at some digital marketing strategies that you should be familiar with before creating a digital marketing strategy for your business.
Digital marketing has a lot of moving pieces, it’s true. In this section, we’ll cover the different digital marketing strategies and tactics you need to add to your digital marketing strategy.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing your site to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This typically results in an increase in the amount of organic traffic your site gets.
Why does organic traffic matter? It’s free!
SEO involves a few different tactics you’ll need to pay attention to in order to keep your site optimized.
On-page SEO is what happens on your site and the posts and pages included in it.
When we talk about keyword research, searcher intent, and search volumes, we’re talking about on-page SEO.
On-page SEO is anything that happens on your site’s pages to rank on search engines.
Off-page SEO, then, is what happens outside of your website that might impact your ranking.
This would be something like inbound links (backlinks).
Backlinks can be really good for your brand. If you’re getting links back to your site from other sites that are respected (“high authority”), your site will also be seen as a respected site and your brand soon viewed as a thought leader.
Technical SEO is all about what happens behind the scenes on your site. This could be anything from your site’s architecture and URL structure to your website’s loading speed.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is the process of buying traffic through paid search listings.
Conversion Rate Optimization
CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) is the process of improving the user experience to get more leads, calls, chats, sales, or other conversions from the traffic your site already gets.
Content marketing is a broad term that involves the creation and promotion of content to boost brand awareness, increase traffic, get more lead, and make more sales.
There are several different types of content, but the most common are blog posts, whitepapers and ebooks, and infographics.
Blog posts are a great way to show off your expertise and bring in organic traffic for your business. You’ll use SEO in your blog posts to increase ranking and get your content found.
Whitepapers & eBooks
Long-form content like whitepapers and ebooks are great for educating your target audience. Many businesses use this type of content as lead magnets to get interested readers’ contact information in exchange for the content (so you can market to them later).
Infographics are visual content that make it really easy for visitors to understand whatever you’re telling them.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing involves promoting your business and content on different social media platforms. This helps you drive traffic, generate leads, and boost brand awareness.
Some of the most popular social media platforms are:
Of course, you don’t need to tackle every social media platform. Just focus on the platforms your ideal customer uses.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising is the process of driving website traffic through ads. With PPC advertising, you pay a publisher every time your ad is clicked.
Google Ads is the most common PPC advertising platform, but social media platforms also offer PPC advertising options.
Native advertising is typically content that’s featured alongside other, non-paid content. LinkedIn and Facebook “Sponsored Posts” are an example of native advertising that show up within the feeds of users on those platforms.
Email marketing is a great way to communicate with your target audience, nurture leads, and promote content and sales.
There are several different types of email marketing
Affiliate marketing involves promoting other brands’ products in exchange for commissions.
With so many strategies involved in effective digital marketing, it makes sense to use a digital marketing agency with proven success.
So, do you need a digital marketing agency?
One of the biggest benefits of hiring a digital marketing agency is that you can focus on running your business instead of learning how to optimize a blog post or run a Facebook ad.
Plus, you won’t need to hire, train, and maintain a marketing team.
Wondering how the costs measure up? Let’s take a look!
First, let’s assume that you only need a digital marketing manager, an SEO specialist, and a social media specialist. Here’s the average pay for those positions (from Glassdoor):
For a marketing team of three people, salary alone could cost you $167,643 every year. And that doesn’t include benefits and taxes.
What about hiring a digital marketing agency?
Average digital marketing agency prices for 2020 range from $2,500 to $12,000 per month, so $30,000 to $144,000 per year.
If you’re following the math, that’s a savings of anywhere from $30,000 to $137,643 every year.
What could you do with an extra $137,643 every year?
Of course, there’s more than just money to think about. Hiring a digital marketing agency offers other benefits, too.
Skills & Tools
Your business is unique. As such, your digital marketing requirements are unique.
This can make staffing an in-house marketing team tricky.
Finding the right people who have the skills you need can be difficult or cost-prohibitive. And, if you only need certain aspects of digital marketing sporadically, it just doesn’t make sense to bring someone in-house.
Hiring a digital marketing agency gets you access to the skills and tools you need when you need them.
You have a business to run. You can’t worry about the next big digital marketing strategy and search engine algorithm updates that may put you in a mad dash to update your content.
A digital marketing agency is laser-focused on all things digital marketing. This means that your business can stay on top of the latest trends and stay relevant to your audience.
We’ve already talked about the savings you’ll see from hiring a digital marketing agency compared to taking on marketing staff.
But, did you know that your digital marketing agency will also track your ad spend across platforms and manage your overall digital marketing budget for you?
This makes it a lot easier to budget your digital marketing spend.
Your marketing strategy is going to change over time, either in response to business changes, market changes, or changing trends. This can mean expanding your in-house team to meet your changing needs.
But, then, what if things change again and you find you don’t need the additional staff?
With a digital marketing agency, the services can scale up or down based on your needs, without requiring you to hire (or fire!) staff.
A digital marketing agency can greatly improve your ROI.
When you hire a digital marketing agency, they will identify and track the metrics that matter across different marketing platforms and regularly adjust their strategy to ensure your business is getting the best return.
Hiring a digital marketing agencies lets you hit the ground running with a digital marketing strategy that drives traffic, increases brand awareness, and boosts sales. You won’t need to worry about learning and staying on top of all the digital marketing trends and changes, and you won’t need to staff an in-house team.
The right digital marketing agency will work with you to create a digital marketing strategy that helps you stay true to your brand while growing your business.
So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch today for a free quote!