Digital Marketing is the process of marketing products and services through digital mediums. These mediums include websites, search engines, email, text messages, and many other digitally-based platforms.
For this article, I want to share what we at DVS believe to be the four fundamental activities of a successful digital marketing strategy for your company.
- Website Optimization
- Marketing Automation
- Original Content Publishing
- Online Advertising
Get these four fundamentals right, and you will see your inbound lead generation and sales conversions soar. Ignore them and see your money disappear, often without a measurable return on your investment.
Now that we have introduced the four fundamentals let’s learn about each.
1. Website Optimization
Google search results account for over 91% of internet traffic. The search engine giant uses hundreds of factors to decide how to rank results for queries. If your website is poorly designed, has misleading content, or has long load times, it’s likely to get buried within the millions of search results. Simply searching for “digital marketing” returns 2,950,000,000 results in 0.89 seconds.
Making Google happy is only half the battle. Once users get to your website, it should have an outstanding user experience and informative content to satisfy the original query. If your site is not mobile responsive, intuitive, attractive, and full of what your visitors are looking for—then they will return to the results and click on someone else’s site.
Remember who you crafted your website for—not your designer, not you the owner, but for your audience.
“But what makes a website properly designed and built?”
Learn more about website optimization on the SEO service page of our website. For more detailed explanations on specific SEO topics, check out the Beginners Guide for Google’s Ranking Factors and Top Web Design Tips on our blog.
2. Marketing Automation
Inbound Lead Generation is the process of having qualified leads automatically delivered to your sales team, rather than having them spend their time going out to acquire them cold. Marketing Automation is the engine that makes this possible.
A marketing automation system is your 24×7 sales team that never takes a break, gets sick, goes on vacation, or “forgets” to follow up on an opportunity. It is your solution to automating the process of capturing leads from your digital marketing activities, driving sales conversions, and measuring the ROI from digital marketing campaigns.
Don’t get me wrong, marketing automation cannot replace your sales team. This inbound lead generation strategy is all about freeing your sales team to close opportunities rather than hunt for leads.
Here’s why I put this fundamental after website optimization: the main reason website users don’t convert on their first visit is because they aren’t ready to buy. Marketing automation is what tracks that first visit and nurtures your relationship with them until they are ready to talk to your sales team.
Marketing automation is not just for inbound sales lead generation and conversion. Just as automation has transformed manufacturing, marketing automation can also transform your:
- Customer Engagement / Remarketing
- Internal Communication
3. Original Content Publishing
Original content publishing is vital to your success in attracting both Google and human visitors to your website.
Original content is one of the main ranking factors Google uses to determine your position on its search engine results pages (SERPs). Creating authoritative original content is rewarded by Google because you are providing the information people are searching for and helping Google accomplish its mission: “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
What is considered authoritative original content? It’s content that informs, educates, or solves a problem that people are searching for (and does it better than content on other sites).
Original content isn’t limited to written copy. It can take many forms and has the potential for innovative content is boundless.
Written Content (Copy)
- Website pages
- Case Studies
- Ebooks / Whitepapers
- Social Media Posts
- Informational “How-Tos”
- Educational Clips
- Portfolio Examples
- Virtual Reality
- Augmented Reality
- Voice Search
- Interactive Content
Original content publishing is considered the “long game” of the two promotional efforts you should use to drive traffic to your website. Unlike online advertising, original content can take six to twelve months to build momentum and start pulling in organic traffic from the search results.
4. Online Advertising
Ranking organically isn’t the only way to drive traffic to your website. Online advertising leverages your ad budget to place your call to action (CTA) in front of prospects.
Frequently referred to as Paid Advertising, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), or pay-per-click (PPC), it is the short game due to its immediate ROI (if done right).
Two Major Types of Online Advertising: Search & Display
Search Advertisements appear on search engine results pages according to specific keywords and phrases people enter. Search ads are usually plain text ads that appear before organic results.
Search advertising is most effective for capturing searcher intent. For example, I recently did a search on Google for carbon monoxide detectors for my home. Even before I could see the organic search results, I had to scroll past paid product ads and local businesses ads.
Search advertising is often your best strategy if you’re looking for immediate results. The ability to display exactly what a person is looking for when they are looking for it provides the best chance for immediate conversions and sales.
Display Advertisements are not tied to search results and show up alongside YouTube videos, blogs, social media platforms, news outlets, and many other locations. While they can be plain text, they are more likely to be highly-designed banner ads, videos, or pop-ups.
Display advertising is most effective for building viewer awareness and creditability. Whether your brand, product, or service is new or established, people have to know it exists. Consistent exposure to your ad via display advertising is an effective way to accomplish this objective.
When brand awareness (not immediate results) is your primary concern, display advertising is often your best strategy. The ability to seen repeatedly by prospects as they travel the digital landscape is a time-tested strategy for building brand awareness.
Major Online Advertising Platforms
There are multitudes of digital advertising opportunities in today’s online environment. However, if you want to reach the widest audience most efficiently, there are two options:
Platforms making up the remaining perfect are Amazon, Bing, and other social media sites like TikTok and Pinterest.
Don’t overlook advertising opportunities presented by trade associations, industry publications, local business networks, and other smaller organizations focused on your particular industry niche. While not offering the massive reach, they often allow you to focus your efforts on a specific audience.
Learn how DVS can guide you through the advertising jungle by visiting our Advertising service page. Then visit our blog to learn about Standing Out in the Crowd: LinkedIn & Trade Show Marketing.
Now That You Know the Fundamentals, Where Should You Start?
We put these fundamentals in order for a good reason. These are the basics that form a sound digital marketing strategy and work best when executed in order:
- Optimize your website to provide the best possible user experience.
- Stay connected and nurture leads with marketing automation.
- Build relevance and authority with original content publishing.
- Expand your reach and promote your brand with digital advertising.
If you have questions or are looking for help with your digital marketing efforts, please contact us!