Ah, digital marketing. The term itself has almost become a buzzword to the point that all semblance of actual utility has become muddled in the increasingly (and needlessly) complex labyrinth of different channels.
This article is here to break down the fundamentals of digital marketing to the absolute, abject basics. You’ll find no hype here.
From a 50,000 foot view: digital marketing services, regardless of the channel, help attract new users to your business model, no matter what market you serve or what products or services you offer.
That’s that. Now, here are 5 of the most effective digital marketing channels, for effectively all eCommerce businesses, in 2023.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is known in digital marketing circles as SEO. While it can quickly get confusing, what you need to know is this: SEO is a collection of practices that make a website more attractive to search engine algorithms.
When implemented properly, SEO makes a website appear higher in the organic search results for specific search terms and keywords. That means more people see it, and ideally, more users click on the listings and buy products.
There are more than 200 ranking factors (criteria Google uses to index a page and assign rankings) that are known to digital marketers, such as content, keyword density, headers, title tags, website structure, speed, and backlink profile, just to name a few.
SEO is also laborious and takes a long time to work, in some cases, more than a year. However, it is without a doubt one of the most effective digital marketing channels, especially when implemented properly, and when appropriate keywords are targeted.
You don’t need to take my word for it. SEO efforts can deliver about a 15% higher close rate than other marketing efforts, giving it the highest ROI of all channels.
Yes, it is expensive, and yes, it takes a long time to “work,” but all investments require principle, and time and effort usually pay ripe dividends.
Content Marketing: Blogging, Video, and Podcasts
On the scale of digital marketing importance, content marketing is right next to SEO. This channel encompasses all types of content produced to attract new leads, organically, either through SEO, shares, or other means.
There are many, many content marketing channels, but three of the most popular are blogging, video marketing, and podcasts.
Blogging can be extremely valuable because even in an era of voice search and social media addiction, a massive number of online shoppers are still searching for products (and looking to the answers to their questions) in Google.
Blogging can be an extremely effective way to generate inbound leads, build authority and credibility, and engage with users that might otherwise never have found you or heard of your brand.
Moreover, and equally as important, blogging gives you a unique opportunity to review products, make recommendations, populate your website with user-generated content, and increase the keyword-density of your website, which improves SEO. So blogging is one of the richest content marketing channels of all.
There’s also video marketing, which, when operated through an established platform like YouTube, gives your business basically limitless potential to reach new clients. Publishing videos that are attractive, entertaining, educational, or useful to your target market in any way improves the odds that YouTube’s algorithm will pitch them to other potentially interested clients, thus increasing your reach.
Podcasts can be another very effective form of content marketing, but with eCommerce, it’s a bit of a niche thing. No one is going to listen to a podcast in which you ramble on about products, but for service-driven models, it can be an effective way to reach new ears.
For instance, if your business offers legal services, educational programs, or anything of that nature, you can create a podcast that deals with the intricacies of those industries, reaching new audiences by amassing followers and subscribers.
When you need a quick way to get more impressions (people who see your website), clicks, and website interaction, pay-per-click marketing is the way to go.
There are many different types of paid ads. You can run search ads, shopping ads, video ads, and social media ads, and in all of them, you pay to target specific audiences for a chance to get a view (and a click). In some, like Google Search Ads, you bid on keywords in an attempt to show up in the ads sections of the search results for specific search terms and keywords.
Pay-per-click marketing can be expensive and doesn’t usually deliver ROI nearly as high as SEO or content marketing, but in the short term, it can be an effective way to get new customers and sales.
Also, with effective targeting with respect to audiences, devices, time of day, interests and other criteria, you can run ads that are continuously optimized for performance, increasing a campaign’s overall ROI over time.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a large channel that includes both paid and organic strategies on a wide range of platforms that each offer their own unique benefits.
Some of the top social media platforms for visual appeal include Pinterest and Instagram, both of which rely heavily on visual elements to attract interest and promote engagement.
Facebook (now Meta) is a large platform with massive global reach that relies on a balance of visual and textual elements and allows businesses to create professional pages to promote products, materials, services, and events.
TikTok is an up-and-coming platform with a growing user base that relies heavily on short video content to attract attention and boost engagement. YouTube is another, though it is better for longer-form, informational video content.
Another valuable platform is LinkedIn, especially for businesses, as it has a more professional cant. Business-to-business models can (usually) get the most out of LinkedIn.
Organic growth on any of these platforms is possible through posting content and interacting with followers and other accounts. Activity on these platforms will increase your visibility to your target market, increasing the chances that you will expand your follower base.
There are innumerable benefits of organic social media marketing campaigns. Interacting with users on social media can help promote your products, services, and events, assist you in distributing educational materials, and build better, stronger relationships with your customers.
Many social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, also allow you to advertise via paid channels, similar to a regular PPC (pay-per-click) campaign. You can create ads and target them to specific users, and in some cases even sell products directly through the platform.
Engaging in social media campaigns on any of these platforms will spread brand awareness, improve customer engagement, enhance your credibility and authority in your industry, and can potentially bring you new leads. In some instances, it’s possible to sell directly through the platform in question, growing revenue as a direct result of your social media marketing efforts.
Every year, some digital marketing “guru” comes out and says that SEO is dead. The same can be said for email marketing. Yet, every year, they’re wrong.
Email marketing can be among the most effective marketing channels for engaging with your existing customers, and through a wisely-run email marketing campaign, you can push for higher customer lifetime values.
An email marketing campaign lets you target existing customer accounts based on past engagements with your website, such as past purchases and web page views, enabling you to send customized, personalized emails to each user. This improves the efficacy of an email marketing campaign (when it is well-targeted) giving email marketing a high potential close rate.
Email marketing is good for more than just boosting sales, though. You can use an email marketing campaign to improve customer service, to gather user data and feedback, solicit reviews and user-generated content (UGC), and promote blogs and other informative and content marketing materials.
It is an effective component of any holistic digital marketing campaign, and remains effective as a channel, even in 2023.
Diversify and Conquer
While each of these digital marketing channels can be highly effective at reaching new customers, maintaining customer relationships, and growing sales in its own right, the best way to build an effective marketing strategy is through synergy.
No channel works in a vacuum, and in some way, all of these channels work together. SEO brings you leads that can then be captured and used in email marketing. Social media signals can impact SEO and content marketing can be boosted by SEO. Effective organic ranking can lower your costs of and reliance on PPC, while PPC can earn you gains in the short term.
They all work together, and each has its strengths and weaknesses. Rather than relying solely on one or a few, the best way to succeed in digital marketing is to manage several campaigns simultaneously while continuously optimizing them.
Source: BINARY NEWS NETWORK
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