Digital marketing is the part of marketing that utilizes online and digital technologies such as mobile phones, computers, tablets and other digital media platforms to promote products and services.
Why Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing helps connect brands with their customers, by offering communication that’s relevant and personalised to the customer. With the added advantage of being highly trackable in terms of ROI a lot of marketers are allocating larger share of their marketing spends to digital. While, on paper, this concept is simple enough to understand, it’s much harder to implement as most marketers often create intrusive and ineffective communication that only serves to alienate their customers.
Whether you are looking for tips to improve your brand’s online presence, or want to have a successful career in digital marketing, the following steps can help you create effective strategies that bring you closer to your audience.
Digital Marketing Examples
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Pay Per Click (PPC)
- Affiliate Marketing
- Marketing Automation
- Email Marketing
Start by creating an optimized website
Much can be said about the overall design and aesthetics of your site, however, if the same is not optimized correctly for search engines, it might as well not exist. SEO or search engine optimization is the first step that you must take in order to ensure that your marketing practices are successful. Take care of the following to ensure your website is SEO friendly:
- Page Titles: A page title refers to the text that you typically see on top of the browser window when looking at a web page. This title is also presented as a part of the results on the search engine page, which is why it is essential to have page titles that not only accurately describe the content on the page, but also align with its purpose. While crafting page titles, you must ensure that you use relevant keywords close to the beginning of the title. Page titles should also be fewer than 70 characters so that the entire thing can be displayed on the web browser.
- Meta descriptions: A meta description functions as a short summary, letting your audience know what to expect from the website. They play a significant role in ensuring your click-through rate is high.
- Headings: Headings serve two major purposes – the first is that they help break down massive chunks of text into palatable sizes for readers. The second is that they offer search engine crawlers give your <h1> tags the same level of importance that they give to keywords. Using headlines can ensure that crawlers understand your content and display the same when consumers enter their search queries.
- Images: Images not only enhance the user experience, they also optimise the page for search engines. However, most marketers make the mistake of using too many images on a page, which can ultimately increase the load time for your website and, consequently, the bounce rate. Using alt texts can help search engines relate the image with the search query of the user, thereby improving your rankings.
- URL Structure: The URL structure refers to the chronology followed by different texts in the URL. In order to optimisethe same, you must separate keywords with hyphens, order words in a way that describes what’s on the page, and even use 301 directs when required.
Finally, while optimising these elements on your website, you must also ensure that the website itself is suited for mobile viewing. This is because most searches today are conducted via smartphones and tablets, and ensuring that the website can be displayed corrected on these devices can help you retain customers. Google also ranks websites with a responsive design higher than those that don’t have this.
Create Helpful and Relevant Digital Content
You’ve probably heard the adage – content is king. The content you create will drive your digital marketing strategy the most, which is why you should focus on creating valuable and high-quality content that is relevant to the needs of the reader. Content is one of the most severely underestimated marketing tools in India, with large brands publishing incoherent, grammatically incurrent drivel that’s peppered with keywords.
Blogging is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. Search engines like Google tend to reward websites that publish blog posts on a regular basis. While many brands do accept this as a fact, they just cannot nail down the art of blogging – brands tend to publish highly promotional content that revolves around their products. No one wants to read that! Instead, focus on offering content that adds value to the customer’s life. Answer their questions and give them a reason to keep coming back to your blog.
Keep in mind the following pointers while structuring your blog:
- Start with a compelling title that inspires people to read ahead
- Ensure that your content is well-written. Do not ‘dumb things down’ or labour under the belief that no one reads. People who are accessing your blog are reading its contents so always ensure that each post adds value and is interesting.
- Add multimedia content to make the blog easier to read. Infographics can be a good tool to summarise information that’s presented in the form of lists. Videos and slideshare presentations are also great tools to use.
- Add in-text hyperlinks to help your customers find more information related to the topic they are reading about. Don’t just point them towards your own content – use outbound links too.
- Every blog post should end with a call to action. This will help you improve your lead generation.
It is important to understand that your blog posts aren’t the only tools that can help you generate more leads. Long form content that comes in the form of free tools, templates, e-books, and how-to videos can nudge customers along a journey that leads to a purchase.
Leverage social media to engage customers
Social media platforms let you connect with your customers daily by sparking conversations about their needs. These platforms are also great content distribution avenues and can help you boost your brand’s visibility. While there are a host of social media platforms that you can leverage, start with the big 3 – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (if you are a B2B company, then switch out Instagram for LinkedIn). Create regular posts and make sure that you reply to comments as frequently as you can, so that you can ensure your consumers always feel like you’re listening.
While managing your social media profile, you must also ensure that you master the art of social listening. Ensure that you set up Google Alerts for your brand, products, competitors and even industry terms to know what your consumers are saying about you. You can track mentions and respond to people (and even prevent small incidents from snowballing into PR nightmares).
Use Landing Pages to Convert Visitors into Leads
Once you’ve optimized your website and begun managing your social media, it’s time to start generating and using leads to improve your conversions. There are many ways to convert leads and improve your sales, such as:
Creating gated content
Gated content refers to an offer of content that’s extremely useful to your target audience. This could mean an e-book, a webinar, series of private how-to videos, free tools, or any other content that they would not normally be able to access without supplying their contact details. One of the most important things to keep in mind while creating gated content is that you’ll need to really get inside the minds of your audience to understand what they need from you.
Additionally, you can also create product focused content that increasing sampling. This can be a free consultation, product demo, a discount, or a limited trial period. The idea is to convert consumers who are curious about your product into active users of the same.
Creating CTAs (Call To Action)
A call to action is basically a link or button that grabs attention and inspires a certain action, such as buying your product, downloading your e-book, or booking a free consultation with you. Your website should, as a rule, have CTAs that guide consumers through various parts of their journey until they reach the coveted final stage – action.
Creating Landing Pages
Once consumers have viewed your content and felt inspired by your CTAs, they’re going to finally click that link you’ve been asking them to click. This should take them to a compelling landing page. The landing page is where customers tend to fill out pertinent forms to download your gated content, and it needs to have a good CTA that ensures they don’t get bored and close the page. This information is important as your sales team can use it to follow up and sell your products. Additionally, you can send them periodic emails to remind them about your brand.
Of course, once you’ve done all of this, you must ensure that you measure the results of your efforts to understand what’s working and what’s not. Without doing so, you may continually implement tactics that just don’t resonate with your audience.
Moving beyond the basics of Digital Marketing
Once you’ve implemented these basic steps, you must enhance your efforts by:
- Using paid ads periodically to boost your reach and increase brand awareness. You can use both, display advertising and native social media advertising on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, based on your needs.
- Automating communication to make things idiot-proof. Content automation is a key asset when it comes to facilitating customer journey. Once you have a bank of leads, use email automation to contact them and generate interest in your brand.
- Setting metrics in place to measure whether your efforts are working.
With these steps, you can create an effective digital marketing plan that helps you boost your brand’s reach significantly. Prioritise creating original content and reaching out to your customers over simply blaring your product’s benefits on social media from time to time. By keeping the customer’s needs first, you’ll be able to make them a part of your brand’s journey to success.