In a world where you need 5-years’ experience and a Master’s Degree for an entry-level job, I think it’s safe to say sometimes we expect too much of people.
As a marketer, sometimes I get so caught up in the intricacies of my profession, I forget that a lot of my clients have no clue about what I’m talking about. Like, I have a client who’s a realtor, and if he started spewing about property values and diversified properties, I’d either fall asleep or slap him silly.
The issue lies with the fact that people like myself, who make a living doing digital marketing, forget that the people we’re supposed to help may not know (or care) about digital marketing as much as we do.
I’m guilty. My team here at Lexco is guilty. Pretty much every marketer out there is guilty. We get so entrenched in our world of PPC and CRO and CTA and SEO, that we forget that no one outside of the marketing community cares.
As a business owner, the only thing you care about when it comes to marketing is making money and growing your business. Chances are you probably don’t care if we optimize the title tags and meta descriptions on your website, or if we train a pigeon to fly door-to-door with a shirt that has your logo on it; you just want the job done.
I’ve been involved with Digital Marketing for as long as I can remember. Before starting Lexco, my partner and I were running digital marketing campaigns for Paint Nite, the second-fastest growing private company in the U.S., according to the Inc 5000. Before that, I used digital marketing tactics to help grow my business as a small business sales manager.
Digital marketing has largely become the standard for commercial marketing efforts. Whereas people used to invest in print ads, newspapers, commercials, radio, etc., they are now turning to their computers and tablets in order to find their ideal customers. After all, when TV commercials come on, what do people typically do? They bury their faces in their social media news feeds.
Are offline marketing efforts dead? Absolutely not? In fact, now that many more businesses are investing their marketing efforts online, competition for offline ads is weaker than ever before.
I decided to write this post for the non-marketing guru; the guy who says “JUST MAKE ME MORE MONEY!” but isn’t sure the best way to go about doing so. The guy who owns a computer, but doesn’t know what a URL is. The guy who logged into Facebook once, and posted a selfie because all the kids are doing it.
Here’s to you, non-marketing guy; let’s teach you a bit about digital marketing and how it can help your business.
Digital Marketing Defined
Digital marketing. Simply put, is any form of marketing done online. Customers are spending more time online than ever before, so businesses are starting to invest heavily in order to follow-suit. Digital marketing is a term that represents many different tactics, which we will get into below.
As a business, your online presence has many different assets that allow you to market to buyers online, including your website, blog, e-books and courses, social media channels, brochures, etc. An effective digital marketing plan will decide where your target audience spends their time online, and using industry- and business-appropriate assets, will advertise in order to entice this target audience to buy from you.
Not all digital marketing is about trying to sell, however; many digital marketing tactics are executed in order to build an online audience or attract more customers to a website.
Types of Internet Marketing Tactics
Here is a short list of some of the most popular digital marketing tactics. This list is not exhaustive, but is good insight into what many businesses are focusing their marketing efforts on in 2016.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC):PPC is the act of paying a host or publisher a specified amount every time your ad, on their site, is clicked. This tactic is often used to get a short-term boost in leads and/or exposure. The most popular types of PPC are Google Adwords and Facebook.
Social Media Marketing: Social media marketing occurs when a business (or person) pay a social media platform to place ads on a targeted audience’s feed. The goal is to target a specific audience based on many factors, such as purchasing behavior, and drive website traffic and brand awareness. Facebook marketing is one of the most popular forms of digital advertising in the world, due to it’s targeting capabilities and relatively inexpensive cost.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO is the act of optimizing your website in order to rank high with search engines such as Google and Bing. SEO is typically a long-term process, with the goal of obtaining organic (non-paid) traffic to your website. Using valuable content and targeting keywords, SEO is the marathon to PPC’s sprint. It takes time and consistency to see results, but the advantage that SEO offers is long-term, free traffic from prospects who are actively searching for your product/service.
Content Marketing:Content marketing is the act of creating, curating and promoting content in order to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, and provide value to customers. Content marketingbuilds trust and credibility, which is hard to come by in the digital world. Content marketing is a strong component of SEO, PPC, and social media marketing, among other types of digital marketing.
Influencer Marketing:Becoming increasingly more and more popuar, influencer marketing> is the act of paying an online “influencer” (typically someone with a large online following) to promote your product/service. Social media is a huge platform for influencer marketing, where brands pay influencers to post content about their product or service. This type of marketing isn’t for every business, but it can be very effective for the right brand and audience.
Inbound Marketing:Inbound marketing refers to tactics such as SEO, content, social media, and email marketing to attract, convert, close, and delight consumers. Unlike traditional ‘outbound marketing’, inbound marketing attracts your audience with valuable content and typically sends them through a funnel in hopes of them purchasing from you. While outbound marketing is largely an uninvited interruption of a prospects online browsing session, inbound marketing invites the prospect into the funnel with their permission.
Email Marketing: Email marketing is an effective way for businesses to communicate with their audience while promoting new content or product offerings. Companies capture emails on their websites, then use their email list to blast newsletters, new blog posts, or awareness surrounding current promotions or new product/service offerings.
Why Should My Business Go Digital?
Increased web presence- As stated above, it seems as though EVERYONE is on the internet these days. In fact, 40% of the entire world actively uses the internet.This means that no matter your industry, at least some of your customers are online. Without an effective web presence, consumer trust is likely to fall (or be nonexistent) for your brand. Investing in digital marketing will ensure that you are able to connect with your target consumer, making it easier for them to buy from you, and increasing the likelihood that they’ll buy from you again.
Increased customer engagement-Both social media and the internet afford businesses an unprecedented ability to interact with customers. This allows businesses and brands to show their customers that they aren’t just this big, faceless corporation. Businesses can directly impact customer relationships while learning about their audiences likes and dislikes. This is a MAJOR advantage that allows businesses to streamline customer service disputes, as well as cater content and product offerings to their audience’s preferences.
Significant ROI-The ability of businesses to target a specified audience makes it a very economical choice for marketing efforts. Offline marketing such as print advertising or TV/radio commercials can be expensive due to the lack of control over who is viewing your ad. With intricate measurement of an audience’s preferences, their internet behavior, and their likes/dislikes, businesses no longer need to guess what their customers want. This allows targeted marketing efforts that make your marketing dollars go further. Also, there are many digital marketing tactics that can cost very little in terms of dollars (SEO, blogging and content creation, etc.), but yield high-dollar potential.
Insight and Analysis- To retouch on some of the above points, there has never been such transparency available for a business to learn about their audience. Almost every type of digital marketing allows you to see where your leads are coming from, how well they convert, where website clicks come from, how many people viewed your content, or even who took action on your call-to-action. There is no limit to how much of your digital marketing efforts can be measured.
As a digital marketing consultant, one thing I’ve learned is that digital marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all discipline. Whether or not it is successful for you depends on your industry, your target audience and your product/service offering, among other variables. The only way to truly gauge it’s effectiveness is to test it out. Try out different social platforms, create different types of content, try paid ads on search engines, then try them on social. The marketing world is your oyster, and a little trial-and-error can go a long way towards helping you find a long-term marketing win.
If all else fails, consult professionals like us here at Lexco 😉 We’ll be sure to point you in the right direction.