In an age when people are much more likely to turn to the Web than the newspaper or television for information, it’s more important than ever for businesses to have an online digital marketing strategy in place to stay relevant. Through tools like SEO, social media, Web design, lead generation and more, companies can utilize digital marketing to build leads, earn credibility with their customer base, and increase their revenue.
Social Media Marketing Through the use of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media outlets, your business can connect with potential customers and build long-lasting relationships with current ones. Did you know that 71% of social media users are more likely to purchase from brands they follow online? Your company’s social media channels can use contests to create buzz about your services and products, provide a place to start conversations with your customers by posting and promoting trendy and unique content, and can be a platform for interesting company insight on industry-related news.
Understanding what comprises an effective digital marketing plan is essential to launching or revising a campaign that will truly succeed. However, there are a number of strategies to juggle at once, which is why we’ve divided our Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing into each of the essential components in a comprehensive marketing plan that’s designed to bolster traffic and score more conversions. These components include:
Our guide also includes links to more detailed information and services, as well as tips for what to look for in a reputable digital marketing agency.
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Through the use of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media outlets, your business can connect with potential customers and build long-lasting relationships with current ones. Did you know that 71% of social media users are more likely to purchase from brands they follow online? Your company’s social media channels can use contests to create buzz about your services and products, provide a place to start conversations with your customers by posting and promoting trendy and unique content, and can be a platform for interesting company insight on industry-related news.
“In the long term, having good social media signals is a reflection of being an authority; a reflection of a sort of person that people want to listen to. [When] something that nearly reflects that you’re someone worth listening to, then, search engines want to listen to you as well.” –Matt Cutts, head of Google Webspam.
Social Media Steps You Need to Take to Digitally Brand Your Company:
The Main Idea: Leverage social media to sustain and attract new viewership through content and advertising that is both engaging and meaningful to viewers, while maintaining consistent branding.
What Does Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Look Like?
SEO requires an ethical approach to be successful using on-site and off-site optimization techniques. Because search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo are constantly changing their algorithms, it’s important to keep up with current strategies and evolve to remain ahead of your competition. However, a good digital marketing campaign will still utilize many traditional core approaches that influence your website’s search engine rankings. Such fundamentals include on-site optimization, SEO copywriting, social engagement, link building, and local SEO. When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, content is king. This means that content naturally integrates keywords and phrases when appropriate, positions a company as an authority in its industry, and generates content that is thought-provoking or interesting to readers. Proper site structure is also vital to an optimized website, as is a comprehensive link building campaign and strong, relevant content that is updated regularly.
The Main Idea: Ensure that all aspects of SEO are implemented consistently and simultaneously.
First Steps & Questions to Make Sure Your Website is SEO Ready:
Lead Generation is Key
Lead generation strategies that help fuel sales and build your ROI include generating targeted leads, acquiring these leads, and following through. By receiving “ready to purchase sales opportunities” and creating demand for leads early to increase prospect viability, you can then capture these leads and turn them into sales. Follow-through is important, as is quick and speedy turnaround on your business’s end. An unanswered inquiry is much less likely to become a sales opportunity. Another lead generation technique includes email marketing, which is designed to develop leads and drive sales.
The Main Idea: Deploy diverse methods of targeted leads and always respond to inquiries in a timely and professional manner.
Let’s Not Forget Strong Web Design
Proper Web design and development is an important part of digital marketing. Not only does your website lay the foundation for search engine optimization efforts, but it is also a representation of your business. A user generally takes only 4-6 seconds to decide whether he or she is going to continue browsing a website. This makes a well-designed landing page and an easy-to-use navigation panel vital for a successful website, particularly for e-commerce.
What about Mobile Web Design?
Mobile design now plays just as crucial a part in a digital marketing campaign as web design for desktops. Why? Consider this: in 2013, mobile commerce sales reached $4.7 billion in in the second quarter of the year, up 24 percent year-over-year. With mobile sales on the rise, it’s more important than ever for websites to offer responsive design, as e-commerce is one of the fastest-growing and most competitive arenas. And, if you’re aiming to attract local customers to your site, know that nearly 60% of mobile users are searching for local businesses every month.
So just what does it mean to have a responsive design? A website that is truly responsive is coded to seamlessly adapt to any platform; the layout, text size, navigation and images of a website will be able to fit the screen of any mobile device to ensure users are still afforded an optimal experience. The great thing about a responsive design is that it doesn’t require companies to create an entirely new website just for mobile users; all that’s required is back-end coding to properly adjust viewing and layout.
The Main Idea: Success in digital marketing depends on a web design that affords an optimal user experience across platforms.
Online Public Relations
The use of online Public Relations is an effective method for your business to increase brand awareness, boost website traffic and sales leads, and ultimately generate more revenue. Public Relations methods such as press releases and media pitches offer the same benefits of traditional, more expensive methods of increasing visibility in the market like television commercials, radio spots, and newspaper advertisements. Another benefit of online Public Relations documents is that they can be sent out to hundreds of media sources based on specific categories with just the click of a button. An online press release or media pitch can also be embedded with direct links to a business’s website, which can further generate traffic.
What Makes for Good Online Public Relations?
Like any traditional press release, an online press release should be highly informative. However, the key to ensuring that an online press release makes its way around the web is to create a press release that’s also engaging; its title should be announcing something relatively interesting, while its content should include meaningful quotes from a company representative, links to a company website or relevant sources, and concluding information that communicates the company’s prominence. A press release can also integrate researched keywords and phrases as an SEO tactic. These same strategies can be applied to an online media pitch.
It’s also a good idea to create a separate media page on a website to archive all press releases and additional media content (such as television interviews, etc.). This not only helps visitors to a site learn more about a company and its latest news, but makes it more likely that Google will view the company as an authority when indexing, which in turn can improve search results ranking.
The Main Idea: Leverage the power of online Public Relations to direct attention and traffic to your website, and continue to capitalize on these publications by creating a News and Media webpage to improve ranking.
The Value of Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Principal Search Engine Marketing services include Paid Search Management (PPC), Comparison Shopping Engine (CSE) Management, Content/Display Network Advertising, Banner Ad Design, and Landing Page Optimization.
Because PPC continues to grow in the United States and internationally, more and more businesses are devoting resources towards PPC and other methods of online advertising due to continued success. Not only does a great landing page containing strong, relevant content and good design, but ad visibility is favored by Google to companies that direct web traffic to rich landing pages.
Is Google AdWords Worth it?
A pay per click service like Google AdWords is probably the most popular and effective method of establishing ad visibility, as it’s been known to offer customers a high return on investment. A Google AdWords advertisement can be customized to appear when users type in specific keywords or key phrases relevant to a company, or when these searches are conducted by users in a specific region, which is an ideal strategy for those targeting a local audience.
This type of targeted advertising increases a company’s odds for conversion, as an ad will only appear on a search engine results page of a user that was already searching for a related product or service. While most companies strive for organic clicks rather than those generated from paid advertising, the truth is that users are almost just as likely to click on an site that’s advertised when conducting a general search.
The Main Idea: The advertising dollars spent on Search Engine Marketing are worth it; this avenue for potential growth and improved rankings should not be overlooked.
In Case it Wasn’t Clear…
Digital marketing matters. Through online marketing, you can track results more easily than with other traditional methods and stay up-to-date on the most recent and successful marketing strategies to help further your business. It’s hard to ignore the growing significance of having a digital presence, regardless of your industry or the size of your business… and more often than not, such strategies should be left to the digital marketing professionals in order to get the desired results.
Digital Marketing Online search is continuously evolving and requires a dedicated team of experts who are current with the latest search algorithms, updates, and industry news. A good digital marketing campaign also requires time that most businesses simply don’t have – nor do they have the resources to hire an entire team of experts for the job. By hiring a reliable and ethical digital marketing agency, you’ll have a team of experts who understand the dynamics of every nook and cranny within your industry and can help your company reach online success.
A good digital marketing agency will want to truly help their clients succeed as a strategic partner. Experience is absolutely vital within an ever-evolving field like online marketing, as a great firm will refine their process as the industry evolves. Below are other features to look for when searching for a good digital marketing agency: