The internet has changed the way businesses advertise themselves and their products and services, with digital marketing being at the forefront of this marketing revolution. With about 4 billion people using the internet, it is easy to see why digital marketing has overtaken traditional marketing.
Digital marketing is also being helped along by technologies such as big data and machine learning, with the technologies being used to target customers in ways that were not possible in the past. Businesses that want to remain competitive and visible can remain present across the internet by implementing various digital marketing strategies.
1. Social Media Marketing
It is estimated that 95% of all the people who use the internet have at least one social media account. This opens up opportunities for businesses to reach these people on various social media channels and platforms.
More people than ever now rely on social media to learn about brands and to see what brands are saying. This is why all businesses should be active on social media. Businesses can reach consumers on social media in a variety of ways. The first is organic reach. This is where businesses put out relevant content that will reach their consumers. Readers of this content can be directed to a website, landing page, or wherever else a business wants them to go.
The other way is through paid adverts and sponsored content. Each social media platform has some way for businesses to distribute paid ads. Paid ads on social media have proven to be cheaper and more effective than traditional advertising methods because businesses can highly target who sees their ads therefore ensuring a very high return on their investments.
Sponsored content, on the other hand, is content that is prepared and paid for by a business but that is posted by another business or brand. Sponsored content opens up opportunities for collaboration between businesses and ensures a wider reach for businesses that choose to work together in this way.
2. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is related to, and seen by many as the natural evolution of, affiliate marketing. In affiliate marketing, a business pays an affiliate when a consumer purchases a product through their affiliate link. Affiliates have to work hard to introduce customers to new products and services, ensure people reach the business through their link and then get paid a percentage of whatever the price of the products and services is.
Influencer marketing, on the other hand, is where a business or brands works directly with popular websites, celebrities and people and business considered to be an authority in certain areas. Ideally, businesses would try to partner with influencers who already have an audience to get the most out of this type of relationship.
The business or brand reaches out to influencers with sponsored content, ads, or other content they would like the influencer to put up. The influencer then leverages their large following and inbuilt audience to direct people towards the business or brand they are partnering with.
The reason why businesses reach out to influencers is the same reason why influencer marketing is so effective. Influencers already have a large following of people who trust them. This means that people trust their opinion on the products and services they promote. This increases the chances of people making purchase decisions based on the recommendation of a trusted source.
3. Content Marketing
Content marketing is so common that many businesses do not think of it as part of their marketing strategy. Content marketing can be very powerful if used the right way. Content marketing can take a variety of forms including eBooks, short and long-form website content, white papers, and more.
Depending on how the strategy is employed, a business can use content marketing to achieve several goals. They could be introducing people to new products and services, attracting inbound traffic, ranking better on search engine result pages, attracting downloads, and for signups and lead generation.
Content marketing can also be used to answer user and customer questions before they ask them. For example, a business can put out content explaining how a product works. When a user searches for that topic, they might be represented with the content and then directed where to purchase the product. The guidance provided by content on various platforms can be very powerful in getting customers to make a purchase.
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing
Search engine optimization often goes hand in hand with content marketing. Most people click on one of the first three results on a search engine results page depending on what they’re looking for. With this in mind, businesses must ensure that their content comes up when a user searches for information related to this content.
To ensure your content is at the top, you need to optimize it for SEO. This is done through using the right keywords, ensuring that the content is relevant so people want to read it, and addressing what you anticipate a visitor or reader will want to get out of the content you post.
SEO is also about ensuring that the technical elements search engine bots look for are implemented correctly so these bots are able to crawl your content successfully so that it can be indexed and ranked properly.
SEO can be a huge investment, but you can reduce the cost drastically if you already have a content marketing strategy in place. Either way, SEO is a worthy investment if done right.
5. Local SEO
Local SEO is a subset of general SEO, but it can be a better strategy than general SEO depending on your goals, needs, and business scope. General SEO targets visitors around the world and is especially great if you are a global company or would like to attract customers who are not in your immediate vicinity.
However, if you rely on local traffic and would like to provide your goods and services to a specific area, local SEO is a better option for you. This is because many local businesses can benefit a lot more from local SEO than from general SEO.
Local SEO targets searches that are made by visitors in a given local area. Think about people looking for a dentist in their local area; for example, if your reach is too wide or not targeted enough, you might miss out on customers who might be located just a few miles from your business.
It is therefore important that businesses take time to optimize their SEO strategies to be as targeted and relevant for local users as possible. Google will often want to show people results for businesses within their locality, especially where Google thinks that someone is looking for a service.
In these cases, people prefer a local business over an international one, and this is where local SEO can greatly benefit your business.
Local SEO is also a great strategy for businesses that want to be found on Google Maps. Just remember that you need to have a Google My Business page that is optimized for local SEO to get the most out of this digital marketing strategy.
6. Email Marketing
Email marketing is another marketing strategy that goes hand in hand with content marketing. Email marketing can be used to stay connected with customers, to introduce them to new products, to tell them about the latest content you have posted, or to send them offers depending on past purchases.
The emails used in an email marketing campaign should be highly targeted to appeal to the people receiving them. The one mistake businesses make is sending generic emails that do not necessarily appeal to or interest the people receiving them. Targeted emails that focus on what the customer is likely to respond to have a better success rate.
This is the reason why customer segmentation is so important. People who have already been to your website should receive a completely different email from those who already added a product to the cart but did not purchase. The power of email marketing lies in being able to send customers targeted emails that influence purchase decisions.
7. Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing takes many of the digital marketing strategies discussed here and applies them to mobile devices. Mobile marketing can be done through social media, text messages, mobile applications, and push notifications.
With the importance of mobile devices rising and the number of people who own mobile devices and use them daily increasing, the mobile user segment will become even more important to marketers in the future.
Marketers have to think about optimizing their marketing efforts for mobile so they can deliver user-friendly and seamless experiences.
Mobile marketing can be complicated but very effective for businesses that are looking to take advantage of this digital marketing strategy. For marketers who want to take advantage of this relatively novel marketing strategy, enrolling in the online masters in digital marketing program at Emerson College can arm you with the skills required to take advantage of different mobile marketing initiatives.
It is estimated that it takes five times more effort, time, or money to sell to a new customer than to sell to an existing customer and this is the reason why businesses should include remarketing in their digital marketing strategies.
Remarketing is where businesses advertise to and sell to existing customers. It can be done through targeted advertising to customers who have visited your website previously, those who have clicked on your ad previously, or those who have already bought a product from you.
If you are already using some form of paid advertising, you should also engage remarketing efforts. Remarketing can significantly boost the effectiveness of a paid advertising campaign.
The one challenge businesses might face when using remarketing is that they need to have customer data first. It is impossible to retarget people you have no idea about. If you are already getting a decent amount to your website or landing page, significant interest in your ads, or a lot of clicks on your social media posts, those are already great sources of consumer information, and remarketing can work great for you in these cases.
9. Video Marketing
As the number of people who prefer video content over contextual content increases, businesses must start thinking about creating digital marketing content to reach those audiences. Growing a business on YouTube is an excellent strategy for businesses that can create content around themselves or their products and services.
YouTube is the logical place to start considering how many people watch YouTube videos, but it is always a good idea to experiment with other platforms and your website to see where the placement of video content makes sense for your business and where it brings the best results. Some online platforms you can experiment with include Facebook and Twitter.
10. Pay-Per-Click and Search Engine Marketing
Pay-per-click and search engine marketing are usually classified together because they both involve the use of paid ads on search engines. These ads are strategically placed to bring in as much traffic as possible through the use of highly targeted and relevant keywords.
Paid search is also critical for SEO as it helps businesses lean into the keywords and search phrases that their customers use to find information as well as products and services. The increase in traffic caused by the use of paid advertising has the added advantage of helping your website rank higher on search engine pages.
The best thing about paid search is that you can start with a small budget. At this stage, experimenting with different strategies, budgets and keywords is best as you try to fine-tune your ads to see what works best for your business. Once you discover the perfect combination of ads and keywords, you can increase the budget.
Digital marketing is great for small businesses because it produces results that are easily measured compared to traditional marketing methods. The strategies you decide to use will largely depend on your business and its needs. Combining a few of the strategies we have looked at above is also a great way of getting even better digital marketing results.