In order to get the most out of a digital marketing strategy, it’s important to take a holistic approach and consider how all the digital media at your fingertips work together and reinforce each other. Nothing exists in a vacuum online – search marketing is intertwined with social media, video is intertwined with search, email and social media cross boundaries, and so on. It’s important to take a birds eye view of your entire digital strategy to get the best results.
Here’s an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of particular components of a digital strategy and how you can get better results by combining their effects.
Search Engine Marketing
Here we are talking about both SEO (organic search traffic) and PPC (paid search traffic like Google Adwords). We all know Google is incredibly important, but it also pays to get a clear idea of the specific role search should play in an overall strategy.
Search engine marketing is amazingly powerful for pulling in new potential customers. Searchers are out there looking for keywords related to your brand or products. This is a way to pull in potential customers who may not necessarily have been exposed to your brand or particular messages already.
PPC is great for doing this rapidly – it can produce instant traffic. SEO is stronger in the sense of producing large amounts of traffic for a relatively low long term investment.
Search is lacking in one important way, however: it’s not great for building ongoing relationships. For that, you need digital media which allow for repeat contact with enthusiastic fans of your brand. Enter…
Social Media Marketing
While the ‘viral’ nature of social media means it can be a powerful way to spread the word, one of its real strengths is the potential for relationship building. Once you have fans and followers, you can put your brand and offers in front of them again and again.
That leads to the other powerful aspect of social media: it’s effectively a technology that amplifies word of mouth. If you build strong relationships with core customers or ‘brand fans,’ they can easily tell hundreds or thousands of others about your offers with a few mouse clicks.
Facebook obviously falls under the category of social media and therefore has a strong role as a relationship building and word of mouth tool, although you may also be wondering about the potential of Facebook ads for direct marketing and sales.
Facebook ads are PPC (pay per click) just like Google Adwords, but there’s an important difference to keep in mind here. When someone sees an ad on a search results page, they are actively searching for a solution to a problem. When someone sees and ad on Facebook, they are ‘hanging out,’ talking to friends, and not generally looking for a commercial offer.
So the approach required to get a searchers attention is different in comparison to a Facebook user. Whereas a searcher may see an ad as a welcome solution, the same person might see the same ad as an annoyance and unwanted distraction on Facebook. Facebook ads can be used to generate direct traffic and sales, but it’s important to understand the psychology of users on search versus social media.
Email marketing, again, is a powerful form of relationship building. It allows you to get valuable repeat exposure to people who have actually chosen to hear more about your brand or product. A well constructed email newsletter can raise conversion dramatically, as those who don’t respond the first time they hear your sales message may respond after reading five, six or seven of your emails.
Likewise, email autoresponders can be used to put together free ‘courses’ or serialized info products, putting repeat exposure on autopilot.
Digital advertising doesn’t begin and end with Google Adwords and Facebook. Although these big players may offer large quantities of traffic, there is also targeted traffic to be had by strategically placing ads on sites whose traffic fits your target market. Bear in mind that text links within content get much higher click-through rates than banner ads (this is why most of the ads Google serves are text-based).
In addition to text ads are image ads and video ads, both of which can be powerful if used correctly. Youtube offers big opportunities for video advertising, although it also requires large budgets and is not a realistic option for small operators. That said, anyone can generate more traffic by creating and posting their own Youtube vids (rather than showing ads on other videos).
Hiring a Digital Agency
Obviously, putting together a complete, multi-media digital marketing strategy can be a complex process. Hiring a professional digital agency will allow you to focus on your own priorities while feeling confident every aspect of your online strategy is being handled effectively.
Contact us or give Tom a call on 0221330298 to learn more about how we can help with your digital marketing strategy.
Tom McSherry is the founder and chief strategist of Premium SEO NZ. Tom has been in the digital marketing industry for 8 years providing digital copywriting and optimisation services to businesses in New Zealand and around the world. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.
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