In the past year alone internet usage amongst online shoppers has jumped another 5%. This shows that offline marketing is not as effective as it used to be compared to digital marketing.
There are times when being stuck in traffic and gazing at a billboard would have helped. However, nowadays, people are glued to their smartphones and tablets. After all, they act as pocket computers that keep you connected on the move.
Since the world was unable to venture outside freely for the past couple of years, many took to buy something online.
Even those who remained skeptical about purchasing products or services over the internet were forced to cave and give it a try. If you are a business that has not investigated developing a digital marketing plan, it is not too late.
Here is everything you need to know about the importance of digital marketing and why it is the most important investment you can make for the growth of your business.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing or online marketing consists of all promotional efforts online. For instance, you may want to start advertising your products or services through social media platforms, search engines, email, and other websites.
All of this is what becomes digital marketing. Since there are too many places where you can advertise your business online, you need a creative and cost-effective digital marketing strategy to ensure that you will get a return on investment.
Otherwise, you may as well be throwing money out in the world and never getting anything back for it. You need a digital marketing plan if you want your ads and campaigns to generate leads and entice new customers.
The Importance of Digital Marketing
Without digital marketing, you may struggle to build brand awareness. Many people are used to brands that advertise heavily online because their ads always pop up in our newsfeeds.
Think about how often you may have come across advertisements on social media from top companies like Nike or Apple. Nearly every brand has a website. If they do not, you will find that they at least have a digital ad strategy or social media presence.
Even if you do not engage on every platform, it is essential to have some form of existence online so that customers who have never seen your physical store can still learn about your company through their phones and tablets.
Many consumers do not trust a business that cannot be found online. People rely on reading reviews and browsing through numerous web pages before deciding what to spend money on. There is a reason why many companies also offer “virtual tours” or why many YouTubers have become famous for product review videos.
Before splurging on the latest iPhone that costs an arm and a leg every year, many customers would jump online to read reviews and watch videos of what the product looks like. Hence why “unboxing” videos have become so famous over the years.
Spend Your Marketing Budget Wisely
Digital marketing has several options. It can be challenging to get experimental and creative if you have a tight budget. You must only focus on the channels that your customers are on.
If you find that most of your customers love using Facebook, there is no point investing your marketing budget on Reddit or TikTok. The best digital marketers always have a clear picture of how each campaign supports their sales goals.
Depending on your goals, you need to develop the best digital marketing strategy to avoid investing in unnecessary channels. Advertising everywhere and anywhere does not work anymore.
You need to support that marketing budget wisely on the platforms where you can find the most customers that will be interested in your product.
Digital marketing will help you reach a much larger audience than ever before. If you have a physical store, think about the number of customers that visit each day.
Then you should quadruple that number if you guess how many customers would shop from you online if you reached out to them the right way.
With a good-looking website and search engine optimized content, you can become the thought leader in your industry. This will help people trust you enough to spend their hard-earned money on your products and services.
Focused Marketing Efforts
The key is to channel your efforts to specific areas where you are most likely to succeed. If you spend to advertise in a magazine or on TV, you do not have much control over who gets to see the ad.
You are at the mercy of that TV or magazine because they have their own audience. You can measure demographics like the magazine’s usual readership or the demographic of a neighbourhood.
However, this is all a shot in the dark that can lead to inaccurate information. Without digital marketing, you cannot target and identify a particular audience.
This is crucial because you want to avoid shots in the dark by sending your targeted audience personalized messages costing you good money to make.
By taking advantage of social media’s targeting features, you can show all your ads to the people that you choose. It would be up to you if you want your ads to be seen by a specific gender, age group, or someone who lives a few blocks away.
When someone has shown a lot of interest in your products and services, you can use SEO and PPC strategies to lure them even more.
What Is SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of getting free traffic from organic search results in a search engine.
If you are an SEO guru with the perfect website optimized for success, you can become the number one link that shows up on Google when someone searches for a particular keyword related to your business.
For instance, if you jump on Google and search for “running shoes,” it is almost a guarantee that you will see a brand like Nike or Adidas on the front page of your search engine results. This is because companies like those spend a lot of time, money, and resources on SEO tactics.
This process can give your website a lot of visibility. It is important to remember that customers have a short attention span. People are constantly being fed so much media from every angle and do not have the time to pay attention to every company.
Keyword research may seem like rocket science at times, but it is one of the best ways to ensure that you can be found online by customers interested in what you are trying to sell.
When you undertake keyword research, you need to look for those that have high search rates. This is essential because you do not want to focus on a keyword that no one thinks about or enters into their chosen search engine.
Then you also need to pick something that has low competition. Remember that your competitors are doing this as well. They will also have their own keywords to try and get to the top of search engine results.
How to Build Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are the best way to visualize who your ideal customer will be. Every business owner must have a clear idea of their ideal customers and their customer journey. This is the end-user of your product or service. With the right buyer personas, you can suit the needs of your target customers.
This is the north star for your marketing team and all digital media that will be created for the marketing campaign.
You can also align all your work across the organization from sales to marketing to service. This will help you attract the best leads and high-value visitors to your company. You will also have an easier time retaining people because they will keep coming back for your high customer standards.
It is important to understand why your buyer persona is essential for content creation, sales, and product development. Without a buyer persona, you will be shooting blank targets without knowing who you are meant to be aiming for.
Every business must tailor messaging and content to meet specific needs. Do you know what your target buyers’ specific needs and interests are? Think about the background of your ideal buyer. To fully understand what makes customers tick, you need to develop detailed personas to drive your business forward.
How to Create Buyer Personas?
The best buyer personas can be based on the insights and market research your company collects from consumers. By conducting interviews and surveys, you can create either two personas, or a dozen. However, it is always best to start small with a handful of personas.
Then you can continue building more from there. Developing these personas is necessary to create the right content. Why should you keep writing blogs and publishing them on your website if you do not know who the target reader is?
Avoid sending the same lead nurturing emails to every person on your database. This is impersonal and may put people off.
Ensure that you segment according to buyer persona and tailor messages to different ones you have created. This will help you churn out highly targeted content to achieve lower cost-per-customer or cost-per-lead.
Unfortunately, there is no set list of globally recognized buyer personas that you can pick from. There is also no standard number of how many you need. Every business is different, and buyer personas should always be unique.
The best way to identify your buyer persona is through research and interviews. Contact customers or other prospects outside your usual database. Ensure that they align with your target audience.
Then look through this database to reveal trends about how your customers consume and find your content. Are they discovering your business through social media or word of mouth? If you conduct surveys, use the form fields to capture the most important persona information.
You can also ask your sales teams for their feedback. They will have the right knowledge about leads since they interact with those people the most. Ask your top sales staff about generalizations they can make about different customers that have approached your business.
Think about creating buyer personas as interviewing customers. You need to go all out to ask people what they like about your product or service to give them more.
With the raw and meaty data, you can identify commonalities from all the interview questions. This will help develop at least a primary persona. Then you need to share this with the rest of the business so that everyone on your team knows who the target customer is and why they matter.
Content is one of the most crucial parts of doing search engine marketing. This is the ultimate vehicle you use to engage with all your followers. You have a guaranteed recipe for success if you can find the perfect way to craft content with all your keywords.
By writing informational and valuable content, you showcase yourself as an expert in your industry. This will make people trust you more over your competitors to buy products from.
For example, if you own a hotel, you may want to write blogs about travel tips or why a staycation is essential for mental health. You are presenting yourself as a thought leader without directly promoting and shoving sales offers down people’s throats. This will also help you target a broader range of consumers.
For instance, a person may have assumed that you are a business hotel because you have many meeting rooms and events. However, you can reach them with an article about planning the best family holiday with a link to book one of your rooms.
This can be included at the end as a “call to action.” You can also pick certain words or phrases as your anchor texts to link internally to pages on your own website. You can also include external links to other sites.
If other websites have a high domain authority and are not competitors, it can be helpful to link to them if someone wants to find out more information. Good content will help you stand out from the crowd.
After all, who does not appreciate information that educates well? Content creation is art. You have all the freedom to make it what you want it to be as long as you correctly focus on using your researched keywords.
Different Forms of Content
There are many types of content marketing. You have the freedom to write and publish blog articles on your website, use videos for TikTok or YouTube, record podcasts, write listicles, create how-to guides, or design infographics.
Most likely you wouldn’t be able to nail your digital communication from the very beginning. The key is to find out which type of content your customers love the most and what digital channels work best.
Some companies have made how-to guides their whole identity because consumers love them.
It is hard to blame them because these are the most useful if you are new to a product. A company like Apple can easily impress by typing out a detailed article on how to use a MacBook if someone has recently made the switch from Windows.
However, the best thing to do is have a diverse range of content. Instead of only a how-to guide, you can also switch things up with a listicle or a thought piece.
Your goal is to ensure that your content is interesting, shareable, and relevant. Then you will hit a home run because you can target different types of consumers without spending a lot on advertising.
Mastering Social Media Posts
Social media posts are also a great form of content. You may not think that small caption matters, but it is a great way to use a keyword while capturing people’s attention.
Many companies tell stories through captions on social media and write short paragraphs to educate others. For instance, charity organizations usually have extended captions with their social media posts to tell donators why the cause matters.
This cannot be done in a sentence or two, so you will usually find a paragraph at the very least. They use this opportunity to tap into a reader’s emotions to convince them to donate money towards a cause.
They will also have long-form articles on their websites that they will link to from their social media posts. This way, customers have the option to digest a little snippet from social media before clicking on a link to read more about the charity on the website.
What Is Off-Page SEO?
Everything that is mentioned above has been about on-page SEO. Off-page SEO involves all the external optimization practices that occur away from your website.
One of the best techniques is to use “backlinks.” These are links to your site from other websites, so search engines like Google see that you have a high-quality and valuable site. This will help you build a lot of domain authority. Backlink building is not complex.
While linking to your own page from a guest post article, you must select an anchor text. This will be a short sentence of fewer than 5 words purposely plugged into the article.
In this example, you can write a sentence saying, “check out these baby bowls that will bring a smile on your child’s face during mealtimes.” Then select “baby bowls” as your anchor text and link this short phrase to the page on your website where people can buy the bowls from.
Influencer marketing is one of the most powerful off-page SEO tactics and a fantastic social media marketing tool. A celebrity asking millions of followers to buy your product can result in significant sales boost.
The best part is that their followers will listen. People are always fascinated by stars and look to them for the latest tips on what to wear, where to eat, where to travel, and things to buy. This is why celebrities are always hired for product endorsements.
A watch company would immediately see its sales figures skyrocket if people saw Leonardo DiCaprio or Chris Hemsworth wearing their timepieces. When one of the Kardashians shows off a dress or makeup set, it goes out of sale in moments because they have too many followers that seek lifestyle guidance and rush to buy everything they promote.
However, not every company can afford to pay a top A-lister to promote their brand. Some of them do charge ridiculous amounts. Kendall Jenner was paid nearly $250,000 for a single post on Instagram promoting the infamous Fyre Festival.
These are macro-influencers because they are at the very top of the game. The Kardashian family may charge several thousands of dollars for a single post, but companies end up with millions in additional revenue if their brand is endorsed by one of the members.
Anyone can become a celebrity thanks to the internet and high-end smartphones with cameras that can turn into a full production studio. If someone has a following large enough to help companies make a profit, they are an influencer.
It does not matter if they have never acted in Hollywood movies before. Many charismatic experts in various fields have become top influencers on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
They are not the usual type of stars that do TV commercials, but they are specialists, bloggers, or regular people with a lot of knowledge about a subject. Marketers and brands are now tapping into micro-influencers to drive sales.
Without worrying about spending a lot of money, you can find someone who is an expert on the products you want to sell. They may not market your products to millions of people, but they will have a smaller loyal army of fans who trust their judgment and advice. That is all you need to make a sale using influencer marketing.
What Is PPC?
There are two types of internet traffic most companies dabble with. One is free and organic, involving SEO tactics. This helps companies save a lot of money because they can optimize their on-page and off-page SEO strategies to attract consumers via search engines.
The other is paid advertising on the internet, where PPC comes in. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising allows you to pay a fee to push your website on top of a search results page. Whether you are the grandmaster of SEO or not, if you pay Google some money, it will recommend your page when people search for a particular keyword.
If you do PPC the right way, you can get high-quality leads. By creating a seamless journey for search engine users, you can expect a massive return on investment.
PPC is not necessarily used only for search engine results. You can also use it for social channels. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram always charge businesses good money to place ads on people’s homepages. You can always find PPC ads clearly at the very top of a search results page on search engines.
What Is CPC?
Cost-per-click or CPC is how much you must pay a publisher for every click your ad receives on its platform. This way, you only get charged if a search engine user has seen your ad, found it relevant, and clicked it to get more information.
This can be competitive because most companies prefer CPC to save money. It is always more cost-effective to get charged for a click that can potentially be a potential lead instead of spending to show an ad to anyone and everyone.
Remember that most people online have the shortest attention span. Many people scroll past and ignore ads, so there is no point in paying for them if you do not get actual customers at the end. CPC acts as a bid to determine where your ad will be placed.
This turns into an auction, where the highest bid leads to better ad placement. If you want to be at the very top of a search results page, you will have to pay more than your competitors for that spot.
However, you can set your CPC at the maximum price you are willing to pay for each click. This will help ensure that you do not bankrupt the business due to advertising expenses.
Now that you know the basics of PPC and CPC and want to include paid ads as part of your digital marketing plan, the next step is to choose the right platforms.
There are dozens of online spaces to spend your advertising budget on. Not all of them lead to decent conversion rates and ROI. The most popular advertising platforms like Google are always a crowd-pleaser because they are easy to use with a lot of traffic.
However, if you do not have a reasonable budget, you can also use smaller platforms. Before choosing your platform, always consider their keyword availability and whether your target audience spends a lot of time there or not.
Google Ads is the king of paid digital advertising. Everybody is on the platform, and you will always hear someone ask Google something if they have a question. Around 90,000 search queries are processed by Google every second.
This alone should tell you how many people use the search engine daily. Although this is a bonus for companies wanting to attract many customers, it can also be a downside when you realize how competitive keywords are on this platform.
If you’re going to use Google Ads, you should expect to have a larger ad spend than other platforms. However, you will generate many leads because everybody is always using Google, and your ad can be seen by many.
Bing is one of the smaller platforms you can take advantage of if you do not set aside a large ad spend. If Google is asking for too much CPC money, you should check out Bing because you can place ads at the top in the same way for a lower price.
The only downside is that not many people use Bing, whereas the entire world jumps on Google to search for something. This can be the most cost-effective decision for your business if you find out that your customers are on Bing.
Facebook is a social media platform where you can post pictures of your food and tag people or write on each other’s walls. It has become an extraordinarily effective and famous platform for paid ads.
However, you use CPM instead of CPC or PPC. Cost per mile (CPM) is how much you want to pay for a thousand impressions. This is necessary for Facebook because it has millions of people on the platform, and you can practically advertise your product to the entire world.
However, this is unproductive. Therefore, Facebook charges a CPM to help you target users based on behaviours, locations, demographics, hobbies, and interests.
If you are a musical instrument company advertising a sale on acoustic guitars, Facebook can help target your ads to people who play guitar.
The company has so much data on everyone that they can also find out how often someone plays guitar, what time of day they pick up the instrument, and whether they may upgrade for an electric guitar someday.
This is the most valuable information a company can ask for. Advertising on Facebook can cost very little or very high. It depends on how many impressions you want to get for your ads.
What Is Retargeting?
Approximately 97% of people who visit a website close their browser or jump on other pages before buying anything. Then it becomes your responsibility to bring them back.
Retargeting is a digital marketing tactic to lure back those who came close to buying your products before leaving. A customer may get distracted for many reasons.
If someone is shopping on your website, they may suddenly lose phone signal or need to drive, so they put their device aside and forget to come back. This is an excellent opportunity for you to show ads to them even if they visit other websites.
For instance, the customer may suddenly see your ads pop up on their social media homepage or even as a banner at the bottom of another website they are browsing.
This reminds them to consider going back to your products, especially if they were very close to finalizing a sale the last time.
You can use Facebook retargeting, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, or other retargeting ad platforms. Serious digital marketers use this technique as a vital tool to connect with consumers and boost brand loyalty.
Retargeting is a long-term strategy that needs to fit your digital marketing strategy. Otherwise, most potential customers will fall through the cracks if you cannot lure them back.
Remember that if you do not make an effort to chase after customers, your competitors will. Google suggests using more than one marketing channel to do this the right way. It is best to combine your retargeting campaigns with all the other advertising you do to help boost sales.
If you use a program like Mailchimp, you can effortlessly create integrated campaigns for all types of advertising.
You can retarget anyone who leaves without buying anything when you start getting traffic from all your ads and SEO tactics. This process can be automated, so you do not need to spy on people’s online behaviour yourself.
Essential Strategy Planning Steps
Now that you know everything involved in digital marketing, it is time to write a strategic plan. This will give you an overview of why your team will need to take specific actions, what resources to invest in, and the goals you will accomplish.
The first step is to think about your customer and why they would be interested in buying something from you. Creating buyer personas is the best way to do this because it provides the perfect snapshot of your ideal customer.
For instance, a fashion brand can define its buyer personas as someone who likes to budget carefully, especially if they live in the suburbs and want to fill their wardrobe with marked-down designer clothes.
A company like Go-Pro may have a buyer persona of somebody who craves adventure and wants to capture a lot of content to show off to their social media followers.
Buyer personas are essential for every business because they give you psychographic and demographic information like your potential customer’s income, age, job title, location, and hobbies.
This information will also help you identify challenges in the person’s life to tailor your products or services to fulfill their needs.
Consolidate Marketing Tools
It is always better to have a marketing hub to consolidate all your tools on a centralized platform. This will make it easier to track all your metrics while collaborating with everyone on your team in real-time.
Remember that you will have several tools to attract customers, such as SEO, live chat, blogs, retargeting, and so much more. Consolidating these on a single platform will help you nurture and convert leads through marketing automation.
A centralized platform will make reporting and analysing a lot easier, so it is always worth subscribing to one of them with a reasonable monthly cost depending on the size of your business.
Audit Media Campaigns
This is where you need to focus on your marketing goals and owned media. For example, consider whether updating the CTA or call to action at the end of your blog posts will help you get more people to sign up for your newsletter or buy a product. Then go over your buyer personas to tailor all your content carefully.
For instance, if you are a dental practice and your buyer persona’s biggest problem is flossing, you should make a demo video on how to floss or write a how-to guide. Your content creation plan should also include goals, topic clusters, and channels for each piece of your content.
Which Metrics to Track?
One of the most important metrics to track in digital marketing is total site visits. This will measure how many visitors your site attracts. Your Total Site Visits figure should always have stable growth every week.
Otherwise, you will need to re-do your SEO efforts if you notice a drop in website hits. The second most important metric is traffic by channel.
This is where you can see if your strategy will achieve good results by knowing how many direct visitors are browsing your site, how many organic visitors are finding your page through search engines, how many learned about you through email marketing and social media, and how many paid visitors you attracted from ads.
These are also essential metrics for you to tweak your sales funnel and retargeting tactics accordingly. Keep your return customers happy so that you do not need to spend to attract new ones all the time.
When it comes to landing pages, bounce rate is an important metric. It tells you how many people visited and quickly left your website because of irrelevant information.
Urgent optimisations are needed if your strategy indicated a high bounce rate. Otherwise, you will always attract the wrong audience by not providing valuable content.
Finally, always keep up with digital marketing trends and see what your competitors are doing. Then you can always stay relevant while providing a better service to your customers.
Bring It All Together
Now that you know how to build the ultimate plan, you can quickly bring it all together and assign actions to achieve your goals. Always think long-term when you create this strategic plan.
Remember that this will be the structured timeline and base of all your digital marketing efforts. Get in touch with us today, and we can help you construct and implement the best strategic plan that will fulfil all your business goals.