Are You Making the Most of Digital Marketing?
12.10.2015 by Jon
Looking back on it, marketing and advertising used to be pretty straightforward: If you wanted to raise awareness of your business or promote your services, you’d engage your customers through traditional media – things like newspapers, magazines, billboards, direct mail, door drops, radio and TV.
But digital technology has transformed the way we consume information, with the result that virtually any business looking to market itself today must consider using digital marketing channels alongside the more conventional options.
Why is digital marketing important?
At home, at work and at play we’re surrounded by digital media. It’s increasingly how many of us interact socially, get our news, our entertainment, and how we get information on products and brands before making a purchase decision. In the digital world, we want to engage with brands that we feel understand us, and can demonstrate this through personalised, timely and relevant communications.
What exactly is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is the process of using one or more digital channels to promote a brand, product or service. It’s not just about marketing via the internet, and it also includes non-Internet channels that provide digital media – such as mobile messaging, electronic games and eBooks.
Examples of some key digital marketing channels include:
Having a social media presence is essential for any business today. It’s highly likely to be the way many of your customers will check you out. There’s so much out there it can be baffling, but don’t make the mistake of using every channel – just focus on those (it might even just be one) where your customers will find you.
The technique of getting search engines to generate traffic to your website through both paid-for and unpaid means.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Ensuring the search engines rank your site at or close to the top of the results when a search is made is crucial. Google’s algorithms are always shifting, but right now it’s all about having fresh, relevant content on your site. Blogging is a great way to boost your SEO.
Your own database of customers and prospects is one of your most valuable assets, and email communications should form part of any digital marketing strategy.
Product Listing Adverts (PLAs)
Used in ecommerce, PLAs are useful if you have specific products that are likely to be searched for. They can include images, price information and other details.
Typically, people need to see a product a number of times before they make a purchase decision. By accepting ‘cookies’ when they visit your site, a prospective customer will then see your advert whenever they browse the web – increasing the possibility they’ll buy from you.
Why is digital marketing different to traditional marketing?
While traditional marketing tends to be a blend of art, science and calculated guesswork, digital marketing is more targeted and measurable. The channels and methods used allow in-depth analysis of activity, so ROI can be determined with accuracy.
The other key differentiator is that digital marketing allows for interactivity, and for a brand to engage in a two-way dialogue with its customers. A successful digital marketing campaign will require the recipient to take some action – perhaps for example, to exchange their details in return for instantly receiving valuable information like a ‘hints and tips’ or ‘how to’ download.
Why you can’t afford to ignore it
Digital communication channels are expanding, and the technology we use to send and receive information is getting smarter and less expensive all the time. Generation Y was ‘born digital’, and it won’t be too long before all consumers are ‘digital natives’. All businesses – large and small, need to embrace the concept of digital marketing.
Digital marketing is not without challenges. The fact that it’s relatively inexpensive in comparison to other media means it is highly competitive; the proliferation of channels and communication techniques can make keeping pace with developments difficult, and the huge volumes of data generated can be hard to manage. But there’s no doubt that done properly, digital marketing can bring real results.
In our next blog, we’ll be looking at some simple steps that any business can take to set up a basic digital marketing strategy. In the meanwhile, if you need any help with digital marketing, give us a call now!