Gone are the days when a business could side-step having digital marketing in its marketing plan. While the term digital marketing was first used in the 1990s, when the digital age took off, businesses continue to be hesitant to dive into the digital marketing arena 30 years later.
Although I’m a digital marketer, I can understand why you’d feel overwhelmed by digital marketing. As a start, it’s filled with techy jargon and acronyms like SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (pay per click), KPI (key performance indicator), SEM (search engine marketing), CTR (click through rate) and CPC (cost per click), to name a few. Also, digital marketing employs the internet and other online digital technologies to promote products or services, which is an area that most businesses don’t have the internal expertise
Digital marketing defined
Digital marketing is an overarching term that encompasses all types of online marketing. It consists of video marketing, email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, SEO, PPC, display advertising and mobile marketing, among others.
Since digital marketing usually is happening in real time, you’re able to continually analyze the strategy, content and campaigns. By doing this, you can recognize what’s working and what isn’t. Then quickly make changes, to get you on the right track.
Benefits of digital marketing
These are just some of the many digital marketing benefits:
Constant online presence
Provides instant and highly measurable results
Delivers an excellent return on investment (ROI)
Provides a straight communication route between you and your customer
Reaches potential customers during the early stages of the buyer’s journey
Can interact with targeted audiences in real time
Offers personalization capabilities
Has a global reach
Considerations when determining the most effective digital marketing channels for your business
Every business is different. Therefore, before you can determine the most effective digital marketing channels for your business, here are some key factors to consider:
What is your brand?
What are your business goals?
What are your marketing goals?
Where is your target audience?
What is your budget?
5 most effective digital marketing channels
All digital marketing channels play a role in the solution for a business and harmoniously play off one another. Although the most effective digital marketing channels for your business will depend on the considerations I outlined, here are the 5 most effective digital marketing channels that are trending and have been shown to generate considerable results.
One of the most dominant digital marketing trends today and likely for the next 5-10 years is video marketing.
These statistics illustrate the importance of incorporating video, into your digital marketing strategy:
70 percent of consumers say that they have shared a brand’s video
72 percent of businesses say that video has improved their conversion rate
52 percent of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions
65 percent of executives visit the marketer’s website and 39 percent call a vendor after viewing a video
Video marketing not only has been proven to build brand awareness, but it’s also extremely effective in boosting your traffic and conversions. Create video blogs (vlogs), based on your blog content. Smartly embed that video in blog posts, as part of your content marketing strategy. This will attract readership and conversion, plus get more mileage out of your content.
To achieve a broader reach and increase your chances of showing up in search engines, distribute your videos on sites like YouTube and Vimeo. Users view more than one billion hours of video each day on YouTube.
Promote your video on your own social media platforms, to increase social sharing. Presenting key information will help you hook and quickly draw in the user. Social videos that tend to get the most engagement and shares are short, to the point, provide great content and entertain in a way that’s easy to digest.
Another way to effectively use video and increase conversions is to have it on your website. The reason why video is so valuable on your website is because it enables you to convey your personality. It also leverages influence and persuasion, to a greater capacity than just the written word.
Email marketing is one of the most important digital marketing channels because it has the highest ROI of any marketing tactic, according to LYFE Marketing. It can get as much as a 3800 percent return. That’s $38 in revenue for every $1 you spend. About 20 percent of companies are seeing an ROI of $70 to $1 spent.
Email marketing delivers highly relevant content to a subscriber’s inbox in a non-invasive way. Email campaigns are an excellent way to increase your customers and sales. Also, it empowers you to get in touch and stay in touch with your customers, by informing them of upcoming events, other services or new product offerings. Be sure to have an updated email list, personalize the emails and incorporate a clear call to action to improve click through rates.
One of the top ways to engage a customer or potential customer and increase traffic to your website, is through an email newsletter. You can maintain engagement through ongoing email newsletter communications, either weekly or monthly, and offer valuable information to convert or increase your customer base. Newsletters should inform your target audience about the latest news, updates and tips.
Similar to email marketing, content marketing is another one of the most effective digital marketing channels for producing ROI. LYFE Marketing also reported that content marketing can generate three times the leads for about 62 percent less than traditional marketing. Leads are people who are very likely to buy your product and become loyal customers, as you nurture that relationship, which is different from website traffic.
Pieces of promotional content include blog posts, infographics, video content, news, checklists, case studies, webinars and white papers—which are excellent lead magnets. Think about which ones will be most effective in speaking to your target audience, depending on where they are in the five stages of the buying cycle and how they consume information.
To increase organic traffic and lead generation, you must deliver consistent, high quality content. This type of traffic is unpaid and generated by users who find your website after using search engines.
Once you have great content, promote it! Some of the best vehicles to promote content is through personalized email marketing and sharing your posts on social media. These are just some of ways to get traffic to your blog and generate leads.
Are you starting to see how the different digital channels are working together, to make the most impact?
Social media marketing
The latest social media marketing statistics show that 73 percent of marketers believe that social media marketing has been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business. Moreover, 54 percent of social browsers use social media to research products. Seventy one percent of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family.
One of the ways to use social media to grow customers is to create original social media content, such as blogs and video, and share it on your social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. You can utilize these platforms to increase video sharing and photo sharing. In addition, engage with your audiences by asking questions. Most critically, promptly answer questions and reply to comments.
You can take that one step further and boost social media engagement by:
Analyzing what posts have worked
Incorporating holidays and/or trends
Leverage social media advertising platforms, through Facebook’s Custom Audiences and Look-a-Like Audience. This will increase your reach to pages that have similar characteristics to your current fan base and email list.
SEO & PPC
There they are. Two of the digital marketing acronyms I previously mentioned. One of the many advantages of SEO and PPC is the ability to streamline your campaigns and optimize results.
Let’s start with SEO. Recent marketing statistics show that 64 percent of marketers actively invest in SEO. There are two general elements to successful digital marketing—traffic and conversion. SEO-generated traffic is more likely to convert at a higher rate than ad-generated traffic, since the person doing the search is actively seeking out information and has a specific want and need.
I’m a big fan of SEO because it helps your business appear in search results from keywords. This drives organic traffic to your business. Genuine visitors—with an interest about and need for your brand—build a higher conversation rate, click through rate and a sustainable lead.
SEO will help your website rank higher, in search engine results, thereby driving more traffic to your site and potentially more business. It also will allow your business to show up at the right time, when your audience is searching for you. Optimized conversion content, based on the buying stage your audience is in, will present them with the right message.
PPC, or search advertising, lets you position yourself near the top of searches, even if that’s not where your website would organically show up. It works by advertisers paying each time a user clicks on one of their online ads. One advantage is that you’re only charged when a user actually clicks on your ad. Another is that you can more precisely target people based on buying behavior, pain points and demographics.
The digital marketing world is vast. Other effective digital marketing channels to consider include display advertising and mobile marketing.
Digital Marketing Case Study
CMA executed a digital marketing campaign for Amerlux, an independent LED lighting manufacturer, to launch one of its new products, Aerus. It’s designed to be used for commercial spaces, offices or anywhere low ceiling applications are needed. The lighting solution delivers the ultimate in comfort and aesthetic design, by providing low-glare lighting that offers even distribution with the fewest number of fixtures.
The firm marketed this product utilizing:
Blog content with links to the resources
Promotional blogs on social media
A custom landing page on a paid media campaign
After a week of the campaign running, the firm analyzed the data to determine how each digital marketing solution was performing. CMA noticed that there was a need to rearrange elements of the landing page, to deliver optimal views and conversions.
Through continuous analysis, CMA was able to immediately recognize what wasn’t working, then quickly made changes to get a positive outcome. The result was a more than 30 percent increase in traffic. This is just one example of how digital marketing works and why it’s so effective.
The buyer’s journey has changed tremendously over the last decade. How and where we view information has become mainly digital. Traditional media, such as TV, print and radio, has slowly been on the decline. Non-traditional media, or digital media, has become a primary focus for marketers.
There are many reasons for this shift. Digital marketing helps businesses reach their target audience effectively and consistently. You can optimize a campaign to achieve success on a monthly, weekly and even daily level. This makes a digital campaign incredibly customizable and tailored to your business’s goals.
It also can help you evaluate changes to support campaign success. When working with a marketing partner that understands your brand, a business can reach their goals through a variety of different digital marketing solutions more effectively.
By Omair Siddiqui