An introduction to digital marketing

Feb 19, 2015 by
An introduction to digital marketing

Over the last few years, traditional forms of marketing have been completely usurped by the burgeoning industry of online marketing. Evidence shows that increasing amounts of revenue and sales are being driven in the online marketplace. In this new world, how can you manage to stand out amongst the noise and rise above the competition?

Having a strong digital presence is essential. Potential customers expect to be able to engage with you more often and in more ways than ever before. Once you have their attention, only then can you begin the process of winning their trust and demonstrating the benefits of your products and services. Fortunately, some of the most effective methods for raising the profile of your business are really not rocket science. We’ve picked out three of the best places to start.

How blogging benefits online marketing

Blog gold

What is a blog? A blog, according tomarketingterms.com, is: “A frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and web links.” Blogging is an excellent tool for communicating valuable information to your audience, discussing topics which are relevant to them and establishing a positive reputation within your industry.

Another benefit of blogging is that search engines love blogs for their original content. Regularly updated, high quality content containing relevant keywords for which people are searching really helps to drive search traffic to your site. Search engines look at a variety of factors to determine a site’s worth, and while no one knows exactly how algorithms such as Google Hummingbird work, contextual links and other ‘off-site’ factors are certainly important. But even with this in mind, there really is no substitute for great content that keeps people coming back to your site time and time again.

In the words of Hubspot writer Corey Eridon:

“Every time you write a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website. It’s also one more cue to Google and other search engines that your website is active and they should be checking in frequently to see what content you’ve published that they should surface.”

Blogging also allows you to establish yourself as a thought leader and expert in your field. If you continue to provide valuable, educational content and insights about your industry, you will be seen as having the relevant expertise to your potential customers. This helps to build trust and makes your audience more likely to want to do business with you.

Can social media lead to more conversions?

Social media

Social media has seen an explosion in popularitysince the mid-2000s, connecting people in a way that has never been seen before. Moreover, smart businesses have taken advantage of the medium as a less formal, more direct way of interacting with their current and potential customers.

Think about it – how many times have you clicked “like” on the Facebook page of a company that offers products or services which are interesting to you? Once you have clicked that button, you are now a direct recipient of that company’s marketing endeavours, enabling you to learn more information about the services offered and perhaps eventually make a purchase.

In the digital age, it’s important to use the latest tools available to you to ensure that your message is received by as many people as possible. Since there are 1.8 billion people in the world currently using social media, you need to get acquainted with platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Additionally, because people are able to search for the kind of content that interests them, you are likely to find more receptive audiences than with conventional marketing platforms. According to Hubspot, social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, or PPC, and social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate!

Many companies use social media as an extension of their customer support services. For people wishing to have an enquiry answered about a service or product, sending a tweet is an easy way to accomplish this, so always try to be responsive and helpful. Additionally, social media updates are a great way to promote your latest posts. Doing this will not only help to establish you in your niche, it will also benefit the SEO of your site by bringing in new, organic traffic.

What is SEO, and why should I care?

SEO cubeSEO stands for search engine optimisation and relates to the strategies employed to improve the visibility of a site. Improved visibility means better search engine rankings, which means more traffic and hopefully more customers – unless you do things incorrectly!

One way that this aim is accomplished is by researching the most relevant keywords and phrases that your potential customers are actively searching for in the search engines. Once you know what keywords are being searched for the most, a copywriter can deliver optimised content for your product and sales pages which incorporates more of those exact key phrases. Techniques such as these will result in more organic traffic for the site and thus a higher search engine ranking – again, as long as it is not overdone!

Additionally, if the URL of the site contains a popular keyword, it will tend to rank higher in the search engines. By having active links coming into the site from other perceived authority sites (it helps if they are in the same industry or niche), the site will be ranked higher in the search engines.

This is basically a form of digital social proof, which dictates that if other blogs and sites vouch for your site, then Google and the other search engines will also pay it extra attention.

Summing up

This is just the briefest introduction into three areas that could each have dozens and dozens of blog posts written about them in their own right. But fear not, if you want to dig deeper, we’ve got more for you:

Why blogging is about more than just great content
Why Twitter’s good for business
The skinny on local SEO and why you need it

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