We live in the digital age, knowledge spreads like wildfire and the parameters we try to confine “Digital Marketing” within are growing at an exponential rate. Digital marketing encompasses ALL marketing activities that use digital devices. This includes online and offline activities. To devise the most effective strategy you need to learn which of the 10 most important types are best fit for your business to invest.
1. Content Marketing - The art of storytelling and distributing valuable information to raise brand awareness.
By building a relationship with potential customers you become a partner rather than an advertiser. Consistent distribution of quality content builds “consumer trust” with your product or service, driving profitable customer action. Content marketing is a digital marketing tactic that overlaps with other types of digital marketing.
2. Social Media Marketing - Promoting a product or service with the use social media platforms and websites.
Advertising your product through social media is done by sharing information, engaging with followers, fans, partners, and even competitors. Through these platforms you are able to communicate with potential customers to increase product or brand awareness. Not all social media is made the same. In fact, each social media network has a different set of standards in which their users consume information. Adapting to these differences is essential for your product to get the most exposure. Some social networks can help product sales skyrocket depending on your situation, product and content. Know your market and learn how they shop for your type of product or you could be investing valuable time and money into a platform that just wasn’t meant for your business.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - The process of optimizing content and websites in order to rank closer to the top of search engine results, such as a Google query.
Search engines pick and choose which websites are to be listed for search terms based not only on keywords mentioned on the website, but also with any additional links that click back to the website. “Link Building” is the term used for these type of links. If you would like to read more about link building read my article. Keywords or key phrases found within the copy of a website, its content, and the links that lead back to a website are directly related to SEO. There are a variety of strategies you can use to optimize your website for search engines, but like many other search engines Google has strict rules about what tactics are allowed and what are not allowed. This is sometimes called “White Hat” or “Black Hat” marketing strategies. A few pointers on Google Approved White Hat techniques can be found in this article.
4. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) - A form of internet marketing that increases visibility in search engine results through paid advertising.
A business will pay the search engine a predefined amount of money in exchange for displaying a marketing message at various locations within the search results of specific keywords or phrases. Google Adwords is the most common form of search engine marketing. SEM, promotion of a website with paid traffic from search engines, is a form of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising.
5. Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) - A form of internet marketing in which a social media network offers the opportunity to place ads within the feed of social media users.
Social media networks, like Facebook, analyze the habits and data of their users. This information is used to place targeted ads when businesses purchase Pay-Per-Click Advertising. A Pay-Per-Click campaign is very similar to a SEM. Just like we mentioned earlier when we talked about content marketing, the lines between many of the digital marketing techniques we discuss will blur.
6. Affiliate Marketing - As a performance-based form of digital marketing, businesses pay individuals to advertise and sell a product.
The rates of affiliate marketing are typically more expensive than Pay-Per-Click, but has a smaller financial risk since affiliates are only paid on conversion of sales. This style of marketing is popular with bloggers and high-traffic website owners. Individuals that make money from selling other people’s products to their audience are often called “Influencers.”
7. Email Marketing - Sending a commercial message to people through email is called email marketing.
It is sometimes hard to believe email marketing is considered to be one of the best converting marketing channels. In a broad sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be categorized as email marketing, but most times we are talking about sending regular updates to email subscribers. It is essential that these email updates are providing valuable content to keep your audience engaged with your brand. Over time your business will build and nurture a relationship in which a percentage of your audience will convert into customers. Be careful with purchasing lead lists and bombing your audience with promo messages. It can appear as spam to your audience. The best email marketing results come from subscribers you personally earned and cultivated the relationship. This list of subscribers can turn into your best digital marketing asset.
8. Radio Advertising - Commercial radio stations sell airtime to deliver simple but powerful messages to a targeted group of consumers that can potentially be interested in your service.
Majority of radio advertising is filled with catchy jingles that eventually become annoying. I can hear the “411 Pain” commercial playing in my head right now… Goes to show you that's some good advertising if I can remember the ad without even having the radio on. And let’s not forget about digital radio stations. Apps like Pandora play commercials in between songs until you upgrade to their paid version.
9. Television Advertising - A video commercial aired between the breaks of regular TV programming.
I think most of us are familiar with this one. Although, many people avoid watching actual TV because of those short, usually annoying, videos that break up our favorite TV program there is still some marketing success in TV advertising. We all have heard or even watched some of those memorable Super Bowl commercials. One major downside to advertising on TV is the lack of audience targeting. Digital TV has also emerged through technological advance.
10. SMS Advertising - This permission-based form of advertising is sent straight to your smartphone as a text message.
Customers have to opt-in to receive a text message advertising from a company before they can start receiving marketing texts making it particularly effective.
As technology continues to evolve other forms of digital marketing will develop. I am sure there are currently other marketing tactics out there that I did not mention, but if you are in the midst of building a digital marketing strategy this top 10 list is definitely an adequate guide to help you on your way.
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