What is digital marketing and how has it changed over the years?
Digital marketing has been around for quite some time.
The term gets thrown around the marketing and tech world often but is really just a buzzword that means:
Marketing to people through digital channels or electronic devices including websites, applications, social media, email, search engines, phones, radios, TVs or any other digital channel or device.
Not that long ago you were doing digital marketing if you stuffed your webpages with keywords and created a bunch of links to your website, made a few cold calls, or ran an ad on the radio; and sometimes these methods worked.
Then search engines started getting smarter about page ranking and the world became connected in ways never before seen via smart devices and social media.
Today there are over 2 billion people on Facebook and roughly 2.5 billion people who have a smartphone. More Google searches are completed from a mobile device than a computer and on average Americans spend 11 hours a day looking at some sort of electronic device.
With electronics taking up so much of our time it makes sense that marketers shift their efforts to get in front of potential customers on these very same devices and there are several ways to do this including:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Search engine marketing (SEM)
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing (SMM)
- Email marketing
Each of these marketing techniques represents a piece of the digital marketing pie. Where most businesses fall short, especially small businesses is they hit one or two and fail to reach customers through the other channels.
Have you heard of the marketing rule of 7?
It has been around since the early to mid-1900s and simply stated, means that a prospect or potential customer needs to “hear” from a business at least 7 times before they take an action which includes paying money.
With the attention span of so many declining, many marketers will make the case that the rule of 7 is now the rule of 10 or 15. That means you have to put your brand in front of a prospect 10-15 times before they become a paying customer. The fact is it’s really easy to become “out of sight, out of mind” in today’s society.
So how do you stay front and center and beat out all of the noise that’s competing for your prospects attention?
You have to take an omnichannel approach to digital marketing and while it’s not easy this means that you need to:
- Develop a search engine strategy to rank better on Google and other search engines
- Setup and run a paid advertising campaign via Google ads or similar
- Produce new content for your audience to keep them engaged and to find new prospects
- Stay active on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc; and
- Last but not least, email your customers to keep them coming back to your platform
Just focusing on one of these examples can be a difficult task to take on when running a business. You very well could see success by focusing in on one or two but if you want to build your brand up and create more awareness; you are much better off developing a plan that includes all of these digital/online marketing channels, not just some.
By taking an omnichannel marketing approach you are enabling your brand to stay front and center. A sample customer lifecycle might look like this:
First, they find you via a Google search. Next your retargeting paid ad shows up when they visit a different website. They read a facebook post and comment on one of your Instagram photos. You hit them with an email and finally, your brand has made enough of an impression for them to take action.
Of course, the cycle above can differ quite a bit but the point is to illustrate the different methods you are able to connect with prospects and active customers.
Which digital marketing strategies have you implemented? Are you connecting with customers on these different levels?
If you aren’t sure where to start let us know and we’ll show you how we can help prepare your brand for a digital future.