What's the most effective digital marketing strategy?
Chances are, if you're reading this then you want to learn more about digital marketing or you're considering ways to grow your business online. Perhaps, you are looking for the most effective digital marketing strategy that will get you the most bang for your buck.
Well, you've come to the right place because today we will explore the various forms of digital marketing strategies used, the pros and cons and the return on investment of each to uncover the most effective digital marketing strategy for your business.
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Digital Marketing Strategies Review
When we say digital marketing, we are generally referring to marketing that are not delivered via traditional channels such as TV, radio and print. Digital marketing or online marketing includes all marketing strategies that are delivered online through search engines, websites, social media and email.
While this article covers all aspects of digital marketing to find the most effective digital marketing strategy, you will find that it focuses heavily on SEO or Search Engine Optimisation.
This is because SEO is the backbone of which all other digital marketing (with the exception of paid search) are based on.
Search engines are now fast becoming an indispensable part of our lives. SEO is what gets you found when a customer search for you on search engines such as Google and Bing.
The most effective digital marketing strategy revolves around SEO.
Digital marketing vs Traditional marketing
Traditional marketing such as broadcast, magazines, newspapers and direct mail while proving effective in the past are fast becoming obsolete.
The main drawbacks of traditional marketing are:
Little to no interaction with audience
Traditional marketing provides a one way communication to clients with little to no interaction. Digital marketing on the other hand allows users to easily communicate with each other and your business through forums, social media, and comments section on your blog etc…
Most traditional marketing have an expiry date such that newspaper, broadcast, and radio ads only shows for period of time. It's a right place at the right time strategy and if your client missed it then you're short on luck and have to run another campaign.
'Traditional marketing is a right place at the right time strategy '
Digital marketing on the other hand tend to be more proactive and long lasting. Your website is there 24/7, your PPC campaign only incur a cost once your clients clicks on your ad and your content will always be at the forefront when your customer searches for your services provided you have good SEO.
Difficult to track
Can you tell if your customer opens a mail or hears your ad on the radio or watches your commercial on TV? Traditional marketing is difficult to track and without tracking data, how can you measure the results and improve on it?
Digital marketing on the other hand provides numerous tracking stats that can provide the upperhand on how to promote to your customers.
For instance, through Google Ads you can see how many people clicks on your ad, the time, location, gender and age of the person who clicked on your ad. These are vital information for your company to know because the more you learn about your customers, the easier it is to target them for awareness or sales campaigns.
As you can see, digital marketing have many advantages over traditional marketing. However, traditional marketing can still provide good results and brand awareness in many scenarios such as for local businesses servicing a certain geographical area.
SEO is one of the key strategies if you want organic or non-paid traffic to your website. It is the glue that gels together digital marketing activities such as website optimisation, content marketing and email marketing.
Bare in mind that SEO is a form of website marketing in that the chief aim of the campaign is to direct your potential customers to your website.
Essentially, SEO is utilising techniques that rank your website higher than your competitor when you clients search for your services or products on a search engine.
Needless to say, SEO plays a integral part of all your digital marketing efforts as it's a direct, non-invasive form of marketing where your customers come to you for your products and services.
The advantage of SEO is the constant stream of prequalified clients that comes through your website without having to pay for it.
SEO is what is considered a semi-permanent marketing strategy because the amount of time your website stay on the top of the search rankings often do not drastically change unless it's due to blackhat SEO.
The downside also is that it can take some time depending on your competitors and the industry you're in to rank on the first page for the search terms you desire.
Your clients come to your for your services and products
You don't have to pay for traffic to your website
Higher conversion rate due to pre-qualified leads
Long term benefits
Establishes authority as you show up on the first page search results
The most effective digital marketing strategy revolves around SEO
May take some time to see results from a few months to a year depending on level of competition
Having a website nowadays is a no brainer. What many business don't realise is that having a website is just the beginning. Unless you're an established brick and mortar business, having a brand new website is unlikely to bring in a lot of traffic.
To bring in traffic you will need your website optimised.
Website Design and Optimisation play a vital part in improving your website's ranking on search engines.
A good website will provide its visitors with the ultimate user experience. It will be clean and fast to load on all devices and it will contain useful information good enough to be shared.
Website optimisation can be classified as on-page and off-page. On-page optimisation deals with technical optimisation such as loading speed, keywords and meta tags etc… Off-page is getting backlinks from highly relevant industry related outlets.
Content and inbound links are two of the most important factors for search engine ranking success.
An ideal website provides the destination in which all other marketing efforts should be funneled through. This is because a website provides many flexible ways to convert a client whether it is through an awareness, research or sales program that other channels may not be able to.
The most effective digital marketing strategy will be involve an SEO optimised website.
You have absolute control over your own website.
Per Per Click Advertising Review
PPC or Pay Per Click advertising also known as Search Engine Marketing is paying every time someone clicks on your ad and for your ad to appear on the top of search results.
PPC is ideal if you want immediate results because your campaign can be up and running within a couple of hours.
Naturally, Google Ads is the most prominent platform for PPC due to the huge market share of Google. For new PPC customers, we recommend that you skip Google Adwords Express and instead use traditional Google Ads (previously known as Google Adwords) as this allows better targeting options. Beware though, that if you're relatively new to Google Ads, it can run through your budget very quickly. So it's ideal to to learn the mistakes you're making on Google Ads as to get the most return for your ad spending.
For long term sustainability, it is a good strategy to incorporate both SEO and PPC. One for long term growth and the other for immediate leads to fill your pipeline. For that, PPC would be one of if not the most effective digital marketing strategy for immediate results.
Almost immediate results
Reach a large number of people quickly
Re-marketing can cross promote products and services to existing clients
Can waste a lot of money if you don't know what you're doing
Having to pay to stay on stop
People are more likely to click on organic results than PPC ads
Content marketing is using content through blog or articles to promote brand awareness for your business.
As awareness is at the top of the sales funnel, content marketing should focus on providing in-depth content that helps a visitor make a decision or learn more about a subject. It is used as lead generation and rarely to sell a product or service.
Due to Google penalising thin content, an article or blog should be well written, easy to read and provide in-depth content.
Articles that are ranked on the first page of search engines are typically over 1500 words long. However, it is important to note that the length of an article is not what gets you ranked. It is how well written your article is and if it answers the searchers query.
Promotion of content marketing will be the most effective where your ideal customers hang out be it social media, email or through public forums or third party blogs.
Good way to raise awareness and generate leads
Easier to target long-tailed keywords
Good way to showcase know your business or personal style
Provide authority on a subject matter
Can take time for it to be effective
Writing in-depth content that is SEO optimised will require help from a good copywriter
Email marketing allows you to keep in touch with your users every time you have something to say. Be it a weekly newsletter or special promotion, email marketing gets your message out there to people who are already interested in your services or products.
Email marketing is a direct, one on one approach and provides one of the highest engagement rates out there and also one of the highest return on investments for your marketing dollar. For that, email marketing is one most effective digital marketing strategy if you want a low cost marketing solution.
For email marketing to work, you have to send relevant information to our clients. Information that they cannot ignore otherwise you're just one of the many email spammers out there with little or no value to give to your clients.
'Send emails that your clients cannot ignore '
Two of the best ways to encourage subscribers to your email marketing list is to give exclusive discounts or freebies to new users. This can be a 20% one time code or a free ebook with some nice tips and tricks.
Always have a link back to your website for email marketing campaigns. This give your website a boost in traffic every time you do an email blast and is good for SEO.
One of the highest ROIs for your budgeting dollar
Reach your customers directly
Need to build up your email database which can take time for new businesses
Need a consistent approach
Will require consistently good content otherwise you risk getting your emails flagged as spam
Social Media Marketing
With so many social media channels available today, you have to really think about where your ideal customers hang out. For sexy and glamorous products, Instagram is a good platform. For selling to businesses, LinkedIn may be a better option.
Social media marketing works best as a tool for sharing information and as a customer service hub.
It is important to note that most people visit social media sites to be entertained so keep your content light and entertaining. Align yourself with partners who share your believes, values and company image. It is not a place to constantly flog your products or services.
Social media marketing provides social proof but it can also backfire on you if you do not look after it daily.
It is better to focus on one or two social media platforms than be on all of them but not engaging your clients.
Can be used as customer service tools
Can be easily shared
Great content can go viral
Large user base
Are good for products and services with lots of great photos
Not as trackable
More followers do not necessarily translate to more sales
Is time consuming
Can be easily ignored
Can backfire if not looked after properly
What's the most effective digital marketing strategy for your business
While there are no one size fits all approach in digital marketing strategies there are some that work better than others depending on the industry your business is in.
As highlighted above, all digital marketing strategies have different advantages and disadvantages.
For instance, businesses that sell 'sexy' products such as hotel destinations, fashion or photography services, social media marketing and display search marketing can work to your favour as they are more visual.
For traditional products, businesses that sell to other businesses or one that solves a problem then content marketing and SEO can be used effectively to target what your customers are searching for online.
The below chart shows the general ROI for various marketing activities ( and therefore should be used as a guideline only) (source: nielsen report https://www.nielsen.com/ )
As can be seen, digital marketing generally have a higher return on investment than traditional marketing. Out of all digital marketing channels, the highest average ROI are from email marketing, SEO, content marketing and paid ads as seen below (Source: Econsultancy: Email Marketing census, 2015). On paper email marketing is the most effective digital marketing strategy.
After all this, what exactly is the most effective digital strategy of all? If we had to choose one, it would be email marketing due to its low cost, high return on investment nature but email marketing by itself is not enough.
In a perfect world, one digital marketing strategy will work flawlessly across all businesses and industries, but in reality there is no one size fits all approach.
The most effective digital marketing strategy will often depend on the industry and the stage of the buyer’s journey.
Due to this and digital marketing strategies getting more complex over time, you will often find that an integrated approach works best.
Be where your clients like to hang out and providing them with the best possible service and support is how you can raise awareness and increase sales.