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What is Digital Marketing?

 

Digital marketing has advanced well beyond having a website and a Facebook page. Have you ever had that nagging feeling, that persistent thought that comes back to you again and again that you need a Digital Marketing strategy before you get left behind?

Through a driving need to make your business digital, you have set up the essentials. You may know how to tweak your website, use email marketing automation software and even create a variety of different Facebook ads.

Yes, these tactics have given you an online presence. But what is lacking is the strategic glue that binds them together as an effective tool, delivering results that are better aligned with your expectations.

Like any business owner, you are also short on time, pulled in many different directions and often don’t know where to start. Or, if you do know where to start, you don’t have the resources to implement your plan.

Baker Marketing will not only take you through the following steps of developing a successful Digital Strategy but can also help you to implement them. Read on to find out how.

  1. Define your key digital marketing objectives
  2. Select the best digital marketing channels for your business
  3. Select appropriate digital marketing tactics for your business

Digital Marketing Fundamentals and objectives?

 

The Benefits of Digital Marketing

 

Digital Marketing is the child who never sits still. Constantly hungry, constantly playing and constantly evolving, the online space has the power to reach millions of people wherever they are, at any point in time.

85% of people in Australia access the internet daily, and 87% are accessing the internet from their smartphone, and these numbers are increasing daily.

Here is why every brand needs Digital Marketing:

  • Reach your customer in precisely the right place at the precisely right time. Digital Marketing gives you the tools to be in front of your potential customers when they are searching for the products and services that you sell.
  • Real-time feedback. We are now having two-way conversations with our customers instead of broadcasting our message to the masses. More feedback means more opportunity to improve at a faster rate than ever before.
  • Data-driven insights. Digital Marketing has done what no other form of marketing could cost-effectively achieve, which is to provide measurable, real-time insights at almost every touchpoint with the customer.

When to Use Online Marketing

 

The internet is lightning-fast and incredibly easy to access. Consumers are increasingly going online to do their pre-purchase research with 58% accessing the web to gather their facts.

Online marketing can be used at every stage of the sales funnel as outlined here:

  • Awareness. Introducing your products and services to new customers has never been easier than with the broad reach of online marketing. You can reach customers at any time of the day or night when they are browsing and researching. Tell them about who you are, what you do and how you can help them, effectively turning them into qualified prospects.
  • Consideration. You can use Digital Marketing to move customers from being a qualified prospect to a lead, by creating content that they are prepared to exchange their personal data for. Having an online presence when they are searching for your products and services is equally essential.
  • Action. When customers are ready to buy, they will often go online to complete the transaction. You can have your website and social media channels set up to make this process as quick and easy for them to convert as possible. If you aren’t there at this time, or you don’t make it easy, they are likely to go to a competitor.
  • Satisfaction. One of the enormous benefits of digital marketing is that it provides a platform for a two-way conversation between the brand and its customers. Giving consumers a place to voice their satisfaction, or dissatisfaction, online offers a source of valuable feedback for a business. This touchpoint can also be used to upsell customers with additional products, services or information they may be interested in. This type of activity fosters long-term loyal fans.

Defining Key Digital Marketing Objectives

 

Unlike most traditional marketing, digital marketing allows marketers to see measurable results for their online efforts. In contrast, how can you accurately know how much impact billboard or newspaper advertising has had on your sales?

Now that digital marketing provides incredible visibility over results, marketers can set concrete objectives for their online activity and get real-time feedback on how they are performing.

The process of defining key marketing objectives can depend on:

  • The overall business strategy, e.g. new product awareness, new customer acquisition or existing customer retention
  • The type of business, i.e. B2B or B2C
  • Historical results
  • Return on investment required

Once objectives have been defined, you can move on to making a plan of attack for which channels and tactics will be best suited to achieve these goals.

Digital Marketing Channels

What are Digital Marketing Channels?

 

Even without a digital strategy, almost all businesses will have some form of Digital Marketing channels in place. It is useful to put the channels into an easy to understand framework and use this to do a self-assessment of which ones you have, what are the differences between them and what you should look at implementing. The framework covers owned, earned and paid media.

 

Owned Media are digital assets that you created, you own and most importantly have control of. These include your:

  • Website
  • Landing pages
  • Social Media profiles
  • Blogs

Once established, owned media is a low cost to maintain, and because you have control over it, there is a significant amount of flexibility to make as many changes as you like to the content. It is entirely up to you when and where they appear and how they look and are distributed.

 

Earned Media are digital assets that are about your business but are not created by you and are not controlled by the organisation. These include:

  • Reviews
  • Online forum discussions
  • PR
  • Social Media comments
  • Blog comments

Earned media is used to drive traffic to your owned media, encouraging customers to interact with you on a deeper level. The primary drivers of earned media are engaging content and good Search Engine Optimisation.

 

Paid Media are digital assets that you have bought in the online space, such as advertising in the Google and Facebook networks. Paid advertising can drive earned media, amplifying a shared message and add value to your owned media by directing traffic to your website and social channels. This form of media is great to get the ball rolling when new content, products or services are released.

Pros and Cons of Digital Marketing Channels

 

Type of Digital Media Advantages Disadvantages
Owned
  • Once established they are a low cost to maintain
  • Flexible to change whenever necessary
  • Drive qualified traffic to your website and generate conversions
  • Often time-consuming to create
  • Needs a strategy before it can be implemented. Without a digital strategy, there is a high chance of reaching the wrong audience and potential failure
Earned
  • Free most of the time
  • People will trust the voice of others over the voice of the brand
  • Access to new audiences to boost awareness
  • Drive traffic to your owned assets
  • No control over the content or the timing
  • Building relationships and reviews takes time
Paid
  • Drive qualified traffic to your website and conversions
  • Can drive earned media
  • Advanced targeting to reach the right people
  • Gets results quickly if you use the right strategy
  • Increase brand awareness quickly and get the ball rolling
  • Competition levels are high
  • Takes time to gain feedback to optimise and make changes
  • Becomes more expensive as time goes on
  • Hard to gain the attention of users. They can ignore advertising as they know it is paid
  • Limitations, e.g. number of characters and space

How to Identify Your Best Digital Marketing Channels?

 

Identifying which digital marketing channels are best for your business is a strategic decision that should be a part of your overall Digital Marketing strategy.

 

Initially, the choice of a digital channel will be based on key objectives such as:

  • Awareness
  • Engagement
  • Conversions
  • Building a community

 

Once you have chosen your objective/s the next step is to consider the following:

  • Target audience
  • Budget
  • Competitor activity
  • Available expertise

Digital Marketing Tactics

 

Google AdWords

Google is the largest search engine network in the world and essentially the only form of permission-based media. What this means is that Google gives your company the opportunity to be front and centre when people are searching online for the products and services that you sell, and when they are ready to buy. What other media gives you hot leads like this?

Google AdWords provides the platform to choose the keywords you want to advertise on, create a compelling ad and then show it to your audience. You can then track all aspects of how each user interacts with your ad including when they purchase or contact you. In this way, AdWords is not only a driver of traffic but also sales and leads giving you the means to measure profitability.

Digital Advertising

Digital advertising is a broad term that encompasses any paid media that you see on the internet. This form of advertising includes banners on websites, text and shopping ads on Google search pages and sponsored posts on Facebook and Instagram feeds.

Digital advertising has become popular as it allows brands to reach their customers where they spend most of their time whilst providing a high level of measurability that was previously not available with traditional advertising.

Digital advertising is constantly evolving and improving to achieve the balance of being effective without creating an unpleasant or disruptive experience for the consumer.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is the new customer service front line. Entering a store used to be a customer’s first interaction with a brand. Now social media is often that first point of contact where brands are having real-time conversations with their customers.

Social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn provide a platform where brands can maintain rich connections with larger numbers of people than ever before.

Email Marketing

Email Marketing has long been one of the most popular forms of communication for businesses looking to reach their target audience easily, quickly and cost-effectively. The process of email marketing involves directly sending an email to a group of current or potential customers to achieve the following key objectives:

  • Build brand awareness
  • Build loyalty, trust and advocacy
  • Promote products and services
  • Generate leads and sales
Content Marketing

Content marketing is the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant and consistent information. The goal of content marketing is to attract a clearly defined target audience and also invite positive consumer interaction.

Content Marketing can achieve the key objective of attaining or attracting customers to the business by aiming to:

  • Solve the customer’s problem
  • Draw attention to the brand or product
  • Answer specific questions
  • Be shareable by users
Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing is a content marketing strategy where you create engaging content based on what your customers are searching for and build a relationship with them as their trusted advisor. Once they recognise you as a trusted source, they are far more likely to purchase from you. Inbound marketing moves away from the typical hard sell and broadcasting of generic messages. Instead, you focus on what problems your customers have, how you can solve them and then creating valuable content around that.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation refers to specific software that automates digital marketing processes for you. The software is especially designed to improve the organisation of marketing tasks such as sending emails and social media posting so that they can be executed in a more timely and efficient manner.

Utilising marketing automation properly will allow you to nurture your prospects through the sales process by delivering them personalised messages at the right time.

Digital Marketing vs Inbound Marketing

 

Digital Marketing is a big umbrella term that encompasses many different online tactics including both inbound and outbound. This means that you can use Digital Marketing tools such as advertising campaigns to ‘push’ your products and services out to your potential customers, or you can use tools such as SEO to ‘pull’ your customers in by targeting specific keywords.

Inbound Marketing on the other hand, is a specific Digital Marketing tactic that involves creating content that your target audience are looking for and drawing them to your website. The premise behind Inbound Marketing is that you are providing users with the information they want, when they want it, effectively building a trusting relationship which sets them up to be more likely to purchase from you.

In short, Digital Marketing encompasses all online tactics whereas Inbound Marketing is one specific Digital Marketing tactic that can be used to generate qualified prospects and turn them into leads.

Selecting Digital Marketing Tactics

 

Selecting the appropriate Digital Marketing tactics for your business will depend on key information such as:

  • Whether you are selling B2B or B2C
  • The key objectives of your digital marketing efforts
  • Target audience
  • Resources available for execution

Digital marketing can work for any business in any industry. A well thought out digital marketing strategy that incorporates building a buyer persona and buyer journey will drive the decisions around the content that you create and the most valuable platforms to share it on.

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