What Every Business Owner Must Know About Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing / Internet Marketing / Online Marketing are one of the most used terms of the industry today. However, it is sadly just a bunch of jargon for most of the people who hear it and use it to convey their mind. What exactly is digital marketing and what part of it is essential for today’s business person? We’re here to break it down for you in the simplest words possible.

Online Marketing is simply marketing of your product or service onto digital platforms so as to hold onto your loyal consumers as well as increase your reach to new potential target audience swiftly.

That is it. That is what Online marketing is. There are some further questions that need attention to solve your confusion; such as:

Is digital marketing the same as social media marketing?

The answer is yes. Digital / Internet marketing is a wider concept as compared to social media marketing in the sense that, all social media platforms are available digitally i.e. via the internet. However, there are other platforms that come under digital marketing other than social media marketing.

What are the concepts and platforms of digital marketing?

The search engines that we use to search our queries and requirements are in themselves a humongous platform for online marketing. This concept is called “Search Engine Marketing” or SEM.

Search Engine Marketing is marketing of your product on search engines such as Google and Bing by Yahoo. This platform is of utmost importance for businesses that are into a B2B industry.

Another concept that comes under the wing of digital marketing is “Search Engine Optimization” or SEO. Search Engine Optimization is a way of developing your website’s content in a way that allows the search engine’s algorithm to crawl and test your website efficiently. It is a way to get higher rankings in the search results on the search engine; helping us to have a better hand at SEM.

SEO is a primary necessity of any and every website owner as it helps you stand out among the sea of websites we see today.

Social Media Marketing is a concept that comprises of campaigns designed to market your product or service on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. SMM is a great tool when it comes to products that have a B2C segment.

There is an interesting concept called Re-marketing in Internet marketing which enables us to reach out to the potential consumer base multiple times. It can be seen as following your consumer on various platforms, websites and showing your personalized ad copy to them so as to keep reminding them about their visit to your website.

This also enables us to work on another factor called Consumer Lifetime Value wherein we can increase our reach to existing customers and improve our ROI from these consumers through various practices such as Email Marketing, Re-marketing, Paid Ad campaigns, RSS Feeds etc.

However, for a great digital / Internet marketing experience, a campaign needs to be developed using all the above mentioned platforms.

How is digital marketing different from traditional marketing?

Digital Marketing is cost effective in terms of better reach and results.

Internet Marketing lets you target specific audience based upon demographics, interest and devices.

Internet Marketing gives us factual data that can be statistically analysed. For instance, if a hoarding is marketing your product, you have no clue how many people saw the hoarding, read the content and actually became customers because of that hoarding. However, in Digital marketing, say we run a campaign marketing the same product, we can analyse the data produced by different marketing platforms that can show us how many people saw the product, how many actually became consumers and which consumers came via which of the used platforms. This allows us to find glitches in our campaign and work on it to make it even more action driven.

But then should traditional marketing be stopped completely?

Of course not! Traditional marketing, in fact, paired with digital marketing can give results superior than just traditional or digital marketing.

However, one thing that people mistake about digital marketing is that it can be done for free. It is true to an extent; however, to get the best results, digital marketing needs to have an independent budget. Money must be set aside to be able to exploit all the opportunities that digital marketing has to offer to your business and its glorious future.

Stop Throwing Your Marketing-Advertising Dollars Away

Two boys went out duck hunting for the first time. They were out in the cold morning for hours, and though ducks were everywhere they hadn’t been able to get even one. Finally, one boy says to the other, “Maybe we ought to give this up.” The other replies, “Naw, let’s give it a while longer.” “C’mon, let’s face it, we just ain’t duck hunters.” “Well, let’s keep trying. Maybe we’re just not throwing the dogs up high enough.

Are you throwing your marketing & selling dollars around and not hitting any customers?

3 Reasons Sellers Advertise:

1. Because their competition is advertising
2. Because the media sales person tells them they should advertise
3. The only real reason to advertise- To make sales.

For most of us, even a lot of the big businesses, the days of marketing / advertising for name recognition are over. Every single cent we spend on marketing / advertising must give us a profitable return.

How do you choose where to spend your marketing / advertising dollars? It’s easy.
Never market / advertise if you can not measure the results. Of course the better you can measure the results of your marketing / advertising the more value you will receive from you marketing / advertising investment.

You can save a lot of your assets, money and time, by simply taking another approach to your marketing / advertising.

In the 1950’s a glass manufacturing company invented their form of shatterproof glass. It was a remarkable product. Good for use in homes and industry. But because of its much higher selling cost the retailers, mom and pop hardware stores, did not feel they could sell it.

After a year heavy, very expensive marketing and advertising which only produced lack luster sales the company decided they needed to do something different, needed to take another approach in selling the shatterproof glass. They stopped all their traditional marketing / advertising and called all their salesmen in and presented them with their new sales program. First they gave them all new marketing materials, flyers, fact sheets, and a piece of shatterproof glass. And then they introduced the first ever for the company sales contest. The salesman who sold the most shatterproof glass in the next six months would win a trip for him and his wife to the Bahamas. All the salesmen left the meeting with renewed enthusiasm.

At the end of the six months they gathered and announced Jim had won the trip. He had sold more safety glass than all the other salesmen combined. Astonished, the owners asked Jim how he did it. Jim said, “I knew I had to take another approach than everyone else to win the trip. So instead of just showing the customers the glass and reading the flyers I went back to the hammer section of their store. I picked up a hammer and took it to the counter where I had placed the demo piece of safety glass. I raised the hammer and with all my strength I hit the glass with the hammer. When it did not shatter they were amazed and said things like, “That is fantastic, and I can do that and sell the safety glass!”

The company was so impressed with Jim’s sales they decided to have another contest. Another trip to the Bahamas for the salesman who sold the most safety glass in the next six months. They once again gave every salesman a piece of safety glass, flyers, fact sheets and now added a hammer.

Six months later they all gathered, and to everyone’s surprise Jim had outsold them all again. They asked, “Jim how did you outsell everyone again, after we gave everyone a hammer?” Jim told them, “I knew everyone was going to use the hammer in their demonstration, I knew I would no longer be making my sales presentation different than anyone else, so I had to take another approach. This time I put the hammer in the customer’s hand.”

As the company continued to find different ways to market / advertise their products and different ways to motivate their sales staff their sales and profits grew, while their marketing / advertising budget shrank

How to Find the Best Digital Marketing Agency

In order to find the best digital marketing agency, first, we need to understand “what is digital marketing”, “will digital marketing benefit your business” and answer the question “how do I get more leads for my business?” – which should be the purpose of any marketing.

What is a Digital Marketing Agency?
The dictionary definition of Digital marketing is the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium. So simple to summarise in one sentence, yet it can be a complicated process to get right and to ensure that all of your digital marketing is working together, not as silo activities. This is where the expertise and experience of the best digital marketing agencies can be hugely beneficial.

Traditional advertising, newspapers and paper directories, such as Yellow Pages, are increasingly less effective for businesses. Whilst a few years ago people would go to a computer to search for a product or service, nowadays people are connected to the internet all day, every day and “live online”. Looking for information, a product or service is as quick and simple as searching on a laptop or computer at work or picking up their mobile telephone or tablet. Digital marketing focuses on getting your information, products and services in front of people when they are looking online. The best digital agencies understand the buying process of your products and services and ensure that your information is prominent to the potential customer at the appropriate time. In the digital marketing world, the various stages of the buying process i.e. research, consideration and purchase are called “micro-moments” and the very best digital marketing agency will present the relevant information, service or product at the targeted time in the buying process.

Whilst some digital marketing agencies will also create and manage traditional advertising or business marketing, such as newspaper advertising, specialist digital marketing agencies will concentrate on online marketing as opposed to “marketing companies” who commonly concentrate on TV, radio and print marketing.

Regardless if your business is business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C), digital marketing can be a fast, often instant, and reliable way of getting leads into your business and driving up revenue. The very best digital marketing agencies will manage all of the digital advertising based on return on investment (ROI) ensuring the leads generated are at a cost that makes business sense and increases profit levels. Digital marketing will benefit your business and answers the question “how do I get more leads for my business”?

Digital marketing, sometimes referred to as website marketing, can be broken down into a number of important features and services:

SEO Services
Search engine optimisation, most commonly abbreviated to “SEO”, is the process of getting your website found on search engines like Google when people make a search relevant to your business, services or products.

Regardless if your website is e-Commerce or selling services it will drive leads and sales into your business if it is found for the search terms people use (often referred to as “keywords”) to look for them in Google.

SEO requires experience and understanding of how Google reads your website. What messages and information you want Google to read for a webpage or website and knowing where to place that information so search engines can find it. A good SEO company will have a proven track record of ranking websites high in the search results.

SEO works best when the proven methods of obtaining rankings are applied in conjunction with latest trends that are driving traffic. An example of this is the “near me” phenomenon, which has seen a 150% growth in the last 12 months, where mobile phone users are adding “near me” to their search query i.e. “SEO Company near me”. These customers are looking to buy and buy from a local service or product supplier.

Although SEO can be a stand-alone service, it is most effective when combined with PPC, social media and reputation marketing. SEO is also the cornerstone of effective PPC, social media and reputation management campaigns.

Pay Per Click
Pay Per Click (PPC) often referred to as “Google Advertising” or “online advertising” is where you position adverts at the top of the search results for specific search terms. These search terms can be the words people use when in the “research” phase of making a purchase or targeted at the “buying keywords” when potential customers are looking to buy.

Although your advert, depending on your budget, can be shown every time a search is made, you only pay when an internet user clicks on your advert and is taken to your website or calls you direct from the search results page meaning you only pay when you get a click from a potential customer hence the name for this form of marketing of Pay Per Click (often abbreviated to PPC).

How much you pay for each click is determined by a few factors. The “cost per click” (abbreviated to CPC) is determined by the quality and relevancy of the advert to the search term being used and the relevancy of the page on your website that the potential customer land on. These factors contribute to your overall “quality score”. The higher your quality score, the less you pay per click and less you pay per lead into your business.

In the UK, Google has the vast majority of search traffic and most of your budget should be placed their, however, you will not want to miss the smaller, yet still considerable potential for customers from search engines like Microsoft’s Bing platform, and a small part of the budget should be allocated to other search engines. Also, the very best PPC management companies will also discuss spreading your PPC budget over a number of campaigns aimed at different parts of the customer journey. A small part of the budget should be allocated to the research stage of the buying process when people are using broad search terms to find information, a small part of the budget when people are searching for yours, your competitors or market leaders company name. The majority of the budget when potential customers are using search terms directly related to making a purchase and lastly, a small part of the budget to re-market (show your advertising to people who have shown an interest in your services or products by visiting your website) to capture and drive up conversions from the customers previously advertised too.

The best PPC Agency will be a Google Premier Partner. A Google Premier Partner status indicates that the company has a proven track record in delivering high-quality campaigns, which generate good competitive/low CPC’s and deliver high and positive ROI’s. The very best PPC agency will have a robust PPC management process in place to quickly react and capitalise on changes in the PPC campaigns of your competitors.

Unlike SEO, that can take some time to be fully effective, Pay Per Click is instant in the fact that as soon as your campaigns are live they can be generating leads for your business.

PPC is highly effective when carried out in unison with SEO. A well-optimised website will improve the quality score of your Google advertising campaigns resulting in a reduced “cost per click” meaning you get more leads for your budget.

Social Media Marketing
Social Media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are now legitimate places for a business to attract leads. Facebook has over 38 MILLION active and regular users in the UK and the number is anticipated to rise to over 42 MILLION by 2020. Regardless if your business sells to consumers or other businesses, your potential customers are on Facebook and using it often.

Facebook is excellent at raising awareness during the customers “research” stage, reminding them of your services or products during the “consideration” stage and putting your specific products in front of potential customers at the “buying” stage. With such a large audience and the flexibility to target customers throughout the buying process, Facebook can be a good avenue to generate leads and sales and to deliver a great return on investment.

A good digital marketing agency will have a proven track record in delivering highly effective Facebook advertising campaigns. The very best digital marketing agencies will be able to demonstrate the conversion rate and cost per lead of your social media marketing.

Again, social media marketing and specifically Facebook marketing can be carried out as a stand-alone activity however it works so much better when combined with SEO and/or PPC. When a potential customer visits your website their computer is marked as having visited. This then allows you to target the user of that computer, who has shown an interest in your products or services.

Reputation Management
When considering making a purchase, a potential customer will scour the internet to find feedback and reviews from previous customers. Your online marketing and sales can live or die by the reviews for your business, services or products. Ensuring that positive reviews are easy to find and that any negative feedback is managed well, can be a huge benefit to your conversion rate.

Digital marketing companies call this “reputation management” or “online reputation management” however, in reality, it is creating systems to generate customer reviews and customer feedback ensuing positive customer satisfaction is captured and easy to find for potential customers.

Many businesses are concerned with allowing the public the ability to openly provide feedback. You cannot please all of the people all of the time, and companies worry that a bad review will have a negative impact on their business. Firstly, if someone is determined to leave a bad review for your business they will find a platform to do so and there are 1000’s of platforms to choose from. It is better to have control of where customers are encouraged to leave a review. Secondly, a poor or bad review, if managed well, can be a positive for your business. Engaging with a bad review highlights that you care about feedback and subsequently, you care about your customers. One well managed bad review can be as good for your business ten good reviews.

A good digital marketing company will use one of the handful of recognised review platform and provide the tools and means of allowing you to capture, manage and respond to customer reviews.