Digital Marketing 101 Series: Your Guide to Grow and Scale Your Business Online
Developing a Digital Marketing Strategy
The importance of digital marketing cannot be overstated when it comes to competing in the marketplace. In fact, some level of digital marketing is necessary to grow, scale and compete in today’s markets. You’ll find that most companies are indeed investing in some form of digital marketing. That might be posting on social media, optimizing their website for SEO, or buying ads through Google or on a social media platform. Whatever it be, digital marketing needs to be part of your digital strategy.
Understanding Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is a process of promoting and selling products or services through digital channels. Known as “online marketing,” the use of digital technologies for promotion allows marketers to reach their target audience at all stages of the buying journey through various channels such as search engines, social media, email, and websites. In contrast, traditional marketing focuses on reaching customers “offline” through channels such as print, radio and television.
The goal of digital marketing is to bring an audience to your business or website, convert them into customers, and retain them by providing value. It’s a complex and ever-evolving process that can have a significant impact on the growth and success of your business.
Components of a Digital Marketing Strategy
To be successful in digital marketing, it’s essential to develop a comprehensive strategy that outlines your objectives, target audience, messaging, and tactics. Without a digital marketing strategy, you’re going to wind up looking like the chicks at the top of this page — really cute but milling around aimlessly waiting for someone to notice you and make a sale (or give you some popcorn).
Your digital marketing strategy should always be tailored to your unique business needs. However, successful marketing strategies generally generally include the following five components:
- Well defined goals and objectives: Determine what you want to achieve with your digital marketing efforts. Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive more traffic to your website, or increase sales?
- Identified target audience: Create a detailed profile of your ideal customer and tailor your messaging and tactics to their specific needs and interests.
- Strong key messaging: Determine what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. Your messaging should be consistent across all channels and should focus on the benefits of your products or services.
- A mix of digital marketing tactics: Decide which digital marketing tactics you’re going to use in your digital marketing strategy to achieve your goals. The seven common types of digital marketing, which we’ll explore in more detail below, include:
- Email Marketing: Email sent through an email service provider (ESP) such as MailerLite or MailChimp.
- Content Marketing: Blogs, Articles and other long-form content
- Social Media Marketing (SMM): Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn etc.
- Mobile Marketing: In-app ads and notifications; text messaging
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Website content optimization to organically rank for a given relevant keyword or phrase.
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC): Google Ads, display ads on websites, or paid ads on social media platforms.
- Influencer or Affiliate Marketing: Paying commission to individuals with large or targeted audiences for promoting your products or services through their own digital marketing channels.
- An implementation plan and way(s) to measure results: Implement your tactics and track your results. Continuously measure your success and adjust your strategy as needed.
7 Types of Digital Marketing Tactics
You might be wondering “what digital marketing tactics are right for my company?” The answer to that question is going to vary from company to company, so it will help to first learn the types of digital marketing so you can decide what’s right for your company.
Email Marketing is the process of using email to promote your brand, products, services, or content to your audience. This can be done by sending newsletters, promotional offers, or educational content. Email marketing allows businesses to segment their audiences, create personalized messages, and track their effectiveness. With email marketing, businesses can keep their audience engaged and informed while driving sales.
To start email marketing, you will need to choose an email service provider, or ESP. An ESP allows marketers to send email campaigns to lists of subscribers. Some common ESPs include MailerLite (great for small businesses), MailChimp (includes a marketing suite; consider hiring an expert!), Drip (ideal for simple ecommerce), and Klaviyo (superior for segmentation and funnels).
Content Marketing is a strategic approach to creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. The goal of content marketing is to drive profitable customer action by providing an audience with the information they need to make informed decisions.
Many businesses think this is simply a blog strategy. But content marketing is more than just a blog! It can take many forms other than blogs, including video, infographics, and social media content. Creating valuable and informative content in any format will help your business establish itself as a thought leader in your industry. This is the groundwork for building trust your audience.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Social Media Marketing (SMM) is the process of using social media platforms to promote your brand, increase engagement, drive traffic to your website, and generate leads and sales.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), and LinkedIn offer businesses an opportunity to engage with their audience in a more personalized and meaningful way. Using targeted ads and content creation, businesses can build awareness and loyalty with their customer base as well as test and reach new audiences.
While many companies employ a paid strategy, there are many benefits to showing up on your social media accounts authentically first to see what kind of traction you can get before spending your marketing dollars on social ads.
Mobile Marketing is the process of reaching customers through their mobile phone. There are two primary methods for mobile marketing: SMS (text messages), and through an app (via ads or push notifications). The benefits of ads or push notifications withing an app are that you’re reaching an already engaged audience – and you’re keeping them engaged with additional content, actions or notifications. SMS can be used to send customers targeted coupons and offers that they can click to right from their text messages.
Think about it – how much more engaged are you with your text messages than with your email marketing? Most people subscribe to email before they subscribe to texts so an SMS campaign can be much more effective than traditional email marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in relevant search engine results pages (SERPs). In simple terms, this means tailoring the content of your webpages so that Google recognizes the content as relevant and displays a link to that page of your website when someone searches for what you offer or are writing about. The goal of SEO is to drive targeted traffic to your website and increase visibility.
There are several factors that contribute to SEO, including content optimization, keyword research, backlinks, and website structure. To use an analogy, SEO is more like farming than fishing. SEO takes planning, time and effort and the payoff to planting the seeds of SEO gives you a significant advantage.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) is a form of online advertising where you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. To keep with our fishing analogy from the SEO explanation, when you’re hungry it’s a lot easier to head down to the stream with your fishing pole than plant some seeds. This is where Pay Per Click, or PPC, comes in. PPC ads are typically displayed at the top or bottom of search engine results pages, and they can be highly targeted to specific audiences.
PPC campaigns can be costly, but they can also provide an excellent ROI if implemented correctly. With proper keyword research, ad creation, and targeting, PPC can be an effective part of your digital marketing strategy and help you drive high-quality traffic to your website, convert more customers, and get more sales.
Influencer marketing and affiliate marketing both involve working with an individual who has high visibility to a certain demographic or a generally large audience and allowing them to use and promote your products or services to their audience. Both practices can help increase your audience reach by engaging with their existing audience. An effective affiliate or influencer strategy should focus on working with an individual who is well-known and respected within your industry. Good candidates will create their own content to promote your products or services and share links to your website. Every time a sale is completed, or a link is clicked, you will pay the influencer or affiliate a commission on the sale. It’s best practice to create UTM links so sales can be tracked and attributed to the proper individual. There are platforms such as Mavrck or Upfluence that help you set up and manage your affiliate programs and campaigns as part of your digital marketing strategy.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
This is all great, but what’s the point of digital marketing? Why should you even have a digital marketing strategy? Well, digital marketing has numerous benefits that can help grow your business. These benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Increased brand awareness: Digital marketing can help you reach a wider audience and increase brand recognition.
- Cost-effectiveness: Digital marketing is often more affordable than traditional marketing methods, and can give you an overall higher return on investment (ROI), given you have a solid digital marketing strategy to draft from.
- Targeted audience: With digital marketing, you can target specific segments of your audience with personalized messages that are more likely to convert them into customers.
- Measurable results: Digital marketing provides you with data that allows you to track and measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. This can help you optimize your marketing efforts and improve results.
- Increased engagement: Thanks to personalization and targeting, digital marketing can help you engage with your audience in a more intentional way. When consumers feel your message is tailored directly to them, they’re more likely to engage.
- Competitive advantage: By staying current with the latest digital marketing trends and technologies, your business can have a competitive advantage over others in your industry.
Tools and Resources to Support Your Digital Marketing Strategy
The world of digital marketing is constantly changing, and it can be challenging to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies. Fortunately, there are numerous digital marketing tools and resources available to businesses of all sizes. Below are some of the tools and resources companies are using to complement, amplify and manage their digital marketing campaigns:
- Google Analytics: A free web analytics service that helps businesses track and analyze website traffic.
- Moz: A digital marketing tool that provides businesses with data on their website’s SEO and PPC performance, as well as insights into their competition.
- A digital marketing strategy can benefit your business in numerous ways, including increased brand awareness, targeted audience, and measurable results.
- The most common types of digital marketing include SEO, PPC, SMM, email marketing, and content marketing.
- A comprehensive digital marketing strategy should include defined goals, a targeted audience, consistent messaging, tailored tactics, and ongoing measurement and adjustment.
- There are many tools and resources available to help businesses stay up-to-date on the latest digital marketing trends and technologies.
By incorporating these key takeaways into your digital marketing strategy you can develop a strategy that aligns with your business goals and provides your audience with valuable solutions and content. With the right tactics, messaging, and measurement, digital marketing can be a powerful tool in driving business growth and success.
If you are looking for help developing a digital marketing strategy, schedule a free discovery call today! Together we’ll determine what types of digital marketing you need to do, where you need to show up and play, and how to talk so your audience will listen. When you feel confident with your marketing strategy and implementation plan, you will be free to do what you need to run and grow your business. Let’s start!