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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.
- Define your key digital marketing objectives
- Select the best digital marketing channels for your business
- Select appropriate digital marketing tactics for your business
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:
- Landing pages
- Social Media profiles
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:
- Online forum discussions
- 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|
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:
- Building a community
Once you have chosen your objective/s the next step is to consider the following:
- Target audience
- Competitor activity
- Available expertise
Digital Marketing Tactics
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 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 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 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 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 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 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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