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As the world increasingly turns it’s back on traditional media, digital marketing has become fundamental to any business looking to compete in the modern landscape.
SEO marked the beginning of the digital marketing era, first arriving on to the scene in the late nineties. Since then, the digital space has grown considerably to include a rich variety of online opportunities.
While there are many channels to choose from, not all of them will be suitable for your business. To ensure you are using the most effective platforms for your needs, it’s important to first understand what options are available to you.
Here are some key digital marketing channels that you may want to consider in your overall strategy.
Today, organic search results drive the highest volume of website traffic, contributing to 53% of overall online visits. As a highly trusted channel that processes 3.5 billion searches per day (Source: Internet Live Stats), Google enables users to quickly obtain answers and solutions at the tap of a button.
Depending on your offering, your business may be able to leverage strong results from search engine optimisation.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO is the process of increasing visibility in search engines to drive relevant, high quality traffic to your website. The aim is to rank for keywords and phrases associated with your products and services to maximise your exposure and capture high intent users.
At the same time, it’s important to remember that there’s a lot more to it all than just keyword rankings. Good SEO is all about providing the best possible UX (user experience), delivering relevant content and demonstrating authority and trustworthiness. In our recent blog post, we shared ways to optimise your website for SEO and how to get the best possible results.
Is SEO Right for You?
As the most established form of digital marketing, SEO is an effective way to build a strong digital marketing foundation. It has the power to increase your site traffic, raise brand awareness and help you reach new and existing customers.
While SEO should always be considered in any digital marketing strategy, there may be times when it’s not appropriate for it to drive your overall approach. For example, if you offer a new product or service that lacks market awareness, there may not be sufficient organic search traffic available for you to generate results.
Alternatively, if you are looking to achieve immediate results from your digital marketing, SEO may not be the most suitable option. There are opportunities to obtain short term wins from SEO, but it is generally geared to support your business in the longer term.
Even when SEO is not your core focus, it’s still important to optimise your website, as UX, content and more will all impact how users engage with your site.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Where SEO takes a more gradual, organic approach to improving search engine visibility, SEM involves the use of a paid strategy to help get your business to the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages).
Paid search is the most commonly used form of pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. While PPC encompasses a wide range of advertising formats, including display marketing, Google shopping, YouTube ads and more, SEM is specifically referring to text-based ads in Google search results.
In comparison to SEO, SEM can become a more costly exercise due to the need to allocate an advertising budget to your campaign. The good news is, you will only be spending money when a user decides to click on your ads.
Unlike traditional forms of advertising, SEM is not entirely dictated by price, meaning the highest bidder will not always achieve the best results. When deciding which ads to display in response to a search query, Google will also take your quality score into consideration. The expected click-through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience will all impact your quality score and the performance of your campaign.
When to Consider SEM
There will be times when you need to generate results as quickly as possible. From launching new products and advertising campaigns through to promoting limited time offers, SEM can be a way to get your message in front of motivated, prospective customers. While SEM can assist with lead generation, it can also be used to improve brand awareness and drive traffic to evergreen web pages.
With the ability to edit, update and pause your campaigns at any time, you can continually optimise your SEM campaign to increase your click-through and conversion rates, while lowering your cost-per-click.
The Google Display Network (GDN) offers you the opportunity to display banner ads on a wide range of websites that align with the interests of your target audience. When you need visual aids to help communicate your message and sell your products, display marketing may be the ideal option.
Using Display Marketing
Banner ads involve the use of imagery, videos and animations that are designed to attract attention and make an impression on potential customers as they browse related sites on the web. With the use of emotive visuals, compelling messages and a clear call to action, display marketing can help drive traffic to your site, encouraging the user to subscribe, submit an enquiry or perform a transaction.
When Is Display Marketing Effective?
One of the keys to a successful display marketing campaign is achieving optimal frequency, or the number of times a user sees your banner ad within a given day. The aim is to hit that sweet spot where the user sees your display ad enough times to absorb the information and subsequently take relevant action.
While SEM has an average click-through rate of 3.17%, display marketing comes in at 0.46% (Source: WordStream), suggesting that it is best used to build awareness and support other lead generating channels. That being said, with the right message in the right place at the right time, there’s no reason why you can’t generate strong results from a display marketing campaign.
Even if you’re new to the concept, there’s a high chance you’ve directly experienced remarketing in the past. Cast your mind back to the last time you browsed for a certain product online. If you suddenly began to see ads for the same product or brand while using social media or exploring the web, then you’ve likely been reached by a remarketing campaign.
How to Make the Most of Remarketing
Remarketing is ideally suited to businesses looking to maximise conversion rates and improve brand recall. While remarketing will send users back to your site, it is ultimately your landing page experience that will affect what the user decides to next. To make the most of remarketing capabilities, you need to optimise your pages for conversions and UX to influence the user and pave the way for them to complete a desirable action on your site.
Blogs, videos, infographics, white papers, e-books, webinars, podcasts, social media posts and more are all examples of content marketing. As content plays a big role in building brand equity and SEO performance, you should always include the use of some form of content in your digital marketing strategy.
How Does Content Marketing Work?
Great content has the ability to influence perception and behaviours. By distributing valuable and informative content that is relevant to your audience, you can start to draw in new customers while fostering the loyalty of your existing customers. It’s all about educating, entertaining and engaging your audience to help them find a solution or achieve a lifestyle goal, with the end game of gaining their trust and converting them into ongoing customers.
Depending on your offering and your target audience, you may find it valuable to develop a presence on any one of the following social media platforms;
You can approach social media as either an organic content or paid advertising exercise, with the option to combine both in a well-rounded, integrated strategy.
How to Choose the Right Social Media Channels
As each social media platform offers a different experience with varying capabilities, you need to consider each one as a separate digital marketing channel and review them independently to identify what will work best for your business.
Similar to how SEO was the first form of digital marketing, Facebook is the most well-established social media platform, with the highest number of users worldwide. Facebook is often a good starting point for any business, while LinkedIn is likely a must if you have a B2B focus.
Instagram and Pinterest are effective channels if you can express your offering visually, while YouTube offers the opportunity to share more long-form educational and branded videos. If you’re looking to target a younger demographic, TikTok and Snapchat may be suitable, whereas Twitter is best used for the sharing of news, opinions and PR focussed content.
If your objective is lead nurturing and customer engagement, you should definitely consider email marketing or eDMs (email direct marketing) in your digital marketing arsenal. From providing important company updates to promoting sales offers and distributing informative content, email marketing enables you to deliver your message directly to your subscribers.
Unlike social media, remarketing and display advertising where you will need to compete for attention, eDMs enable you to get your brand right in front of your audience. By segmenting your database, there is also the option to customise your content and tailor your messaging to the needs of specific types of customers to directly target and influence them.
What Will Work for Your Business?
Every business is different. Before jumping into using SEO or digital marketing, you first need to sit down and define your objectives. Take the time to understand what you are looking to achieve from your marketing efforts and why this is important for your business. Next, you’ll need to factor in the needs of your audience and the activities of your competitors to put together a digital strategy that is going to make an impact on your bottom line.
If you’re looking for guidance and support, our team of digital marketing specialists are here to help. Get in touch with us today to discuss next steps for your business.