Back to the Basics of Digital Marketing
If you’ve made it here, my last blog (or someone else) has successfully convinced you that digital marketing may be worth your money. You may be tempted to do some research on your own (and you should) but first, I want to provide you with a few basic concepts that will help you understand the world of digital marketing a little bit better.
HubSpot developed the flywheel, a reinvention of the marketing funnel. Instead of viewing the consumer journey as linear (awareness → consideration → conversion), they remodeled it as a circle that puts your customers at the center. We adapted some of the language for our specific approach to marketing, but the concepts are very similar.
Captivate: This is the necessary first step, especially when marketing in the “digital abyss” (we call it that for a reason). The internet is saturated with content so you have to earn your users’ attention with helpful content and then remove the barriers that may exist so they can learn more about your company.
Engage: Instead of focusing on sales for your company, center your strategy on engagement for your customers. This means opening opportunities for a relationship with your company on their timeline, not yours. While this may be the most challenging part as a business, it leads to a customer who loves your brand for more than your product. Loyalty is everything!
Illuminate: This is the secret sauce to digital marketing. Illuminating your customers means shining the spotlight on them and providing delightful content. Examples include free resources, fun playlists, or any other content that removes sales and focuses on giving your customers what they want (for free!). Many companies skip over this part because it seems optional, but it is essential to continue a customer’s momentum around the wheel. This pushes your customers to move from purchaser to promoter which will help bring in other excited buyers.
Customers: The only way your business can grow is when your customers succeed. Following the flywheel will help guide your marketing strategy so you and your customers can find success!
Because this process is a circle (not a line), it is essential to always be captivating, engaging, and illuminating your customers. Each new campaign or product line has to constantly be spinning the wheel.
Digital Tactics and Platforms
Now that you understand the general strategy, it's time to zoom into specific digital tactics and platforms that you will be utilizing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategy to increase your website’s rank for search results. This increases organic, or unpaid, traffic to your website. Typically, SEO is divided into two categories: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO includes high quality page content, page titles, meta descriptions, mobile responsiveness and site speed. These are all aspects that can be controlled from the backend of a website.
Off-page SEO includes backlinks, brand mentions, influencer marketing, and social media. Perfecting off-page SEO is a bit more difficult, as it involves a third-party.
Platforms: Google, Bing, and other search engines
Social Media Marketing:
Social media marketing is a way to promote your brand and content on social media channels. Because many of these channels are less formal, they give the opportunity for you to show off your unique brand voice and personality.
Organic posts are those that your business posts directly to your account (as opposed to paid posts, explained in the next section). We recommend posting exciting, unique content 2-3 times per week. When combined with paid posts, this tactic can create increased brand awareness and loyalty, higher website traffic, and higher conversions. An effective strategy can go a far way in engaging your customers (remember the flywheel?).
Platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms
Pay Per Click (PPC):
Are you feeling like an overachiever? Then pay per click (PPC) ads might just be for you. Actually, 45% of small businesses use paid ads so you might want to hop on the bandwagon before your business gets left behind.
PPC ads vary depending on the platform, but they are traditionally targeted ads that companies pay the platform to display to users who may be interested in their product. These include search ads, the banner ads on websites, and social media ads. The decision on who the ad is promoted to is a result of 1) the digital strategist choosing effective audiences to target and 2) the algorithms of the platforms that categorize their users’ interests. The goals of PPC include brand awareness, lead generation, offer promotion, sales, and an increase in website traffic.
Platforms: Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms
I’m sure you’re familiar with email marketing because it is likely that your inbox is flooded with examples. Companies use this tactic to promote discounts, events, and content with the overall goal of driving users to their website. While it may seem hopeless to join the sea of email promotions, on average, there is a $38 return on investment for every $1 spent in email marketing. The success requires an active email list, effective strategy, and engaging templates.
At this point, you may be wondering “But how in the world will I have enough content for all of these digital marketing channels?” The answer is content marketing. Content marketing is a strategic plan to create content assets (blogs, infographics, ebooks, etc) that are then promoted using the above channels (we’ve come full circle!). By having content that caters to each stage of the customer decision process - awareness, consideration, and purchase - your overall website traffic and brand awareness will increase.
Platform: your website
Bringing It All Together
You made it. I know that was a lot but it is so important to understand before you begin investing in your business’s digital marketing. If you’re thinking to yourself “Wow, digital marketing is so cool. How can I start?” leave us a note and we will set-up a consultation to best determine your digital marketing needs. Meridiem Marketing offers a variety of services (check out our work samples!). We pride ourselves in our partnership approach with our clients, competitive pricing, and effective results.