Simply put, it is the art of creating awareness, garnering engagement and increasing patronage for a product or service, using any form of technology. That’s it.
The idea is to create awareness and market your product or service to your prospect, lead, and customer in the right manner, at the right time and through the right channel. Hence meeting your audience where they hang out.
The benefits inherent in digital marketing are so pivotal that no business in this age and time would want to pass on such opportunity. This is because, it is the only effective way that businesses and organizations – regardless of the industry – can market to today’s audience/customer. Here’s proof of that.
According to studies, an average person keeps his mobile device at arm’s length for 22 hours a day. There is absolutely no human activity that is void of the presence of digital, no matter how minimal.
Think about it…
- As captivating as football matches, people now tweet their thoughts in real-time just as they watch a live football match.
- People in relationships now have to plan to do away with their gadgets just so they have quality human time.
- Most people now prefer to use the E-version of their religious book at the place of worship
- People now travel for hours almost saying nothing with the person sitting beside them in the vehicle but they are engrossed, scrolling their page on social media platforms or chatting with a friend online.
- People can hardly watch an episode of a drama before checking if they have a new message on WhatsApp or Facebook messenger.
That is the reality of this age. As a business, trying to get the attention of your customers on your own terms would mean swimming against the tide, your best bet is to meet them where they spend their time – Digital/online advertisement.
“What is worth doing is worth doing well
If you will integrate digital strategies into your marketing effort, it is pertinent that you do it right and to do that, you need to grasp how all the elements of digital marketing work together to provide optimal results in any digital campaign.
In this article, we will be touching 6 elements of digital marketing that will significantly transform the level of growth of your business.
The core elements of digital marketing are:
- SEM – increasing your business visibility on search engine result pages through unpaid (SEO) and paid (PPC) means.
- SEO – search engine optimization: optimizing your website/content to rank on the first page so that people find you when they come searching for what you sell or do.
- PPC – pay per click: Paying for your business to be shown to people when they come searching for what you sell or do
- Email marketing: Fostering a mutually beneficial relationship with your customers by sharing valuable contents via email
- Social media marketing: Simply building an online community for your business
- Content marketing: sharing contents that help solve customers’ problems, making you top of mind
Truth be told, digital marketing in its entirety can be overwhelming; a fact every beginner can relate to.
Perhaps you’ve studied the elements of digital marketing in the past but it all seems scattered and you don’t know how to bring it all together to grow your business.
Congratulations! you are reading just the right article. After this read, you will have a clear understanding of how all elements can work together to make your business a success.
Question! Do you have a website? If yes, awesome! If no, you might want to pay more attention here. A website is a must for any business that wants to go digital… scratch that. It is a must for every business that wants to reach its customers.
We discussed earlier on how customers are now online all the time. Additionally, in digital marketing, location is not a barrier. The reach it provides is just limitless. Now back to the issues at hand.
Think of a website as owning a piece of the internet; your online office where visitors can learn more about your business and also knowing how you can help them solve their problems. Without the presence of a website, your digital efforts across all platforms will not provide reasonable results.
In this digital age, when a business doesn’t have a website, it automatically translates to being unintentional about business success. A website serves as a front desk officer, marketer, sales officer and customer service agent at the same time. Additionally, it works 24/7 and for 365 days.
This means your customers can have access to you any time of the day in the comfort of their homes. You need to own a website that works tirelessly to grow your business in your absence. You can enroll for training to learn how to build your website on your own or outsource it to web design and development experts.
That being said, the goal is not to have a website because other businesses are doing the same. You want to be seen when people go online to look around for what you sell or what service you provide. This is where SEO comes in.
Search engine optimization – according to Wikipedia – is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or webpage in a search engine’s unpaid result. Now let’s break that down a bit.
It entails the processes you indulge in order to appear on the first page of search engines when people come searching for what you offer.
According to studies, 90% of internet users don’t go past the first page of search engines, which brings about the joke – “the best place to hide a dead body is the second page of google.” This is reasonable since most people would rather rephrase their search query than go beyond the first page of google.
This is why every business and site owner put so much effort into ranking on the first page of google which consequentially increases the traffic of prospects that visit their websites. Mind you, the main goal is not just to drive crazy traffic to your site, but to get relevant prospects that will eventually convert and become a customer. Now how do you do that?
The first thing you need to understand is that although the concept says “search engine optimization” which directly translates to obeying the rules of SERPs, you need to also consider the searchers. This is because Google’s mission is to provide the best answer available to searchers when they use their search engine.
To do this, they have artificial intelligence Googlebot that crawls websites to discover contents that are likely to provide the best answer to the searcher. So, as regards optimizing your website for search engines, the things you need to checklist include:
- Site architecture
Site architecture simply means the grand layout of your website. How pages link to one another and how easy is transitioning from page-to-page. The rule of thumb is, it shouldn’t take more than three (3) clicks to get to a page from another.
When your website has a good site architecture, it will be easy for Googlebot to crawl and report based on how neatly the pages are linked. This also gives search engines a better understanding of your website.
- Content’s quantity
In the quest to supply the best answer possible, Google believes that the lengthy the content, the more detailed and useful it is. However, this doesn’t give the liberty to duplicate contents or force the length. Depending on the niche, the average length of a post that will be on the first page of Google is between 1500 – 2000 words.
No matter what you do, ensure you balance quality with quantity. A quantity but irrelevant article will eventually be penalized by Google which may be a bit difficult to rank again. For a long-lasting first page position and influx of traffic, maintain quality at all cost.
- Mobile responsiveness
Know this, most of your customers (prospective & existing) access the internet with their mobile phones. When they visit a site and it’s not mobile-friendly, they return to the search page and click on a competitor’s website.
That’s just the reality of mobile against desktop. Most people use desktop only when they want to accomplish a work-related task and that is usually not a time to surf the internet for personal reasons. Among the different things that lead to an increase in bounce rate on a website, website responsiveness is one thing you don’t want to overlook. You can check your website’s mobile responsiveness using this Google tool.
- Optimized images
The benefits of adding images to your content are too much to pass, it’s simply a legal cheat for effective SEO practice. One of the ways it helps your SEO game is that it helps Googlebot to have a better understanding of what your article contains.
However, when not optimized, it can be a disadvantage by leading to slow-loading pages and storage consumption. The things you should consider when using images include:
- File size
When the file is too big, it might lead to slow loading which can increase your website’s bounce rate. It also takes up your storage and can as well tell on users’ data. You can use JPEGmini or Compressor to reduce file size while maintaining the quality.
- Correlation with content
It goes without saying that you should use images that resonate with what your content is saying. You want to use an image that will provide more explanation of what you are talking about or at the least, provide the visual idea of the content rather an image that will leave users confused. Also, avoid low quality and offensive images.
- File name and Alt text
To help the search engine understand the content of the picture, it is pertinent that you put a description that does justice to the content of the image. This will also help your images rank on image inclined search engines.
- Title and meta descriptions
As the name implies, title tag – also known as H1 – is simply the title of your content, it tells both the search engine and the users what is to expect in the content. H1 and its subsequent (H2,H3,H4…) also improve users’ readability which is a credit to users’ experience as well as a boost to SEO practice.
The meta description is a 160-character text shown on SERPs. Its purpose is to provide a summary, creating problem awareness and what users will benefit from consuming the content within. While writing your meta description, ensure it doesn’t exceed the given space.
- Relevant keyword
There is no way around SEO without adept knowledge of keyword. A keyword is more like a street name with many houses owning numbers accordingly, just that in the case of SEO, there is a possibility of change of house number, depending on how valuable the house is.
Before starting anything about your SEO strategy, it is pertinent you do keyword research. After which you pick the ones you want to rank for, based on difficulty, competition, and intent.
After selecting your keywords, you can quickly check for articles that rank on the first page, check what they are doing and do much better than them. Stuffing your content with keyword is not a way to go, simply add it in your URL, title tag and meta description.
To optimize for searchers, you have to look into:
In this age where people have millions of information at their fingertips, there is no patience anymore to wait for a website that takes forever to load – this leads to an increase in bounce rate. While some people will leave immediately to come back later when they have more time.
Well, they just may forget completely. This is a problem retargeting helps solves anyway. Nevertheless, you should find out and avoid things that can make page loading slow like an unoptimized image and others.
- Secured connection
This happens to be the easiest thing you can do to boost SEO ranking. Regardless of the quality or relevance of your content, without SSL certificate, the bounce rate on your website will know no bound. This is because people tend to leave immediately, they notice they’re browsing an unsecured website.
It’s more like they’re deliberately exposing themselves to cyber-attack and no article or information is worth that. The smartest thing you can do in your SEO game is to get your site secured. It automatically builds trust with users.
- Users experience
This covers how well users are able to interact with your website, you want to provide users with a “wow” experience each time they interact with your website. It involves speed, mobile responsiveness and site architecture. When users find it easy to navigate your website, they definitely will stay longer and consume more content. You may even get shares and comments.
- Quality/valuable content
For you to be recognized by Google, you have to present yourself as loyal to their mission which is to provide searchers with the best answers. By sharing valuable and helpful content consistently, you will get returning users, reduced bounce rate, bookmarks, shares, and more.
When people find your content helpful, they are bound to come back again or go forward to share their information with you. When Google notices that people like visiting your site, you automatically get pushed up.
Pay per click is another advertising method on the heels of search engine marketing. Just like SEO, PPC is done to increase the visibility of your business when prospects or searchers come searching, using words related to your business.
The main factor that differentiates PPC from SEO is that PPC – like the first letter in the acronym implies – involves paying to get on the first page of SERPs when searchers search for your selected keywords.
There have always been lots of discussions as to which of the two methods is better or more profitable. Well, there is no straight answer to that. That is because each method has its advantages and disadvantages.
SEO is completely free. Also, it ensures perpetual traffic and is suitable for a long-term goal. However, it takes a while before applaudable results are achieved.
PPC, on the other hand, is suitable for businesses that need instant results like a school running a campaign between two school sessions or a gift shop running a campaign during festive seasons.
Also, the traffic generated from a campaign boosts SEO’s organic ranking. However, it requires investments in terms of money. Nevertheless, it promises high returns on investment.
Word stream did a good job on the basics of PPC marketing.
3. Email marketing
Email marketing is simply the process of sending timely electronic mails to subscribers. By subscribers, we mean people have deliberately given their contact information. In this digital age, people won’t ordinarily give their information except they trust the recipient and are actually interested in what he’s offering.
What this means is when you send out an email campaign, you are reaching people who have shown interest in your business and have developed an affinity such that they shared their information with you. Hardly a surprise that email marketing – second to search marketing – has the highest ROI.
However, the success rate of email marketing campaigns strongly depends on how well it is run. Thankfully, email marketing tools such as MailChimp provides insight on subscribers which allows for an informed decision that leads to the increased success rate in subsequent campaigns.
Businesses now leverage this medium to do a lot of things seamlessly, ranging from awareness, sales, retargeting, notifications, customer services, and relationship management. Different factors that are responsible for email marketing success include:
- Strategic timing
Depending on your target audience, you might want to study and know the best time to send an email to your subscribers. For example, an audience of the working-class may not have the time to open emails that are not work-related during working hours. While some would plan to check later, other activities could make them forget easily. Weekends or after work hours work fine with such category of people
- Subject line
47% of email subscribers decide to open an email just because of the subject line. It is, therefore, safe to say an email campaign with a weak subject line may not do well. It is pertinent that you optimize your subject line for maximum open rate.
- Valuable content
A business that is purposeful would not send an email to prank its subscribers, that would be an Ad suicide. Ensure that the content of your email campaign is valuable. Entertaining and informative content will make your business top of mind, thereby guaranteeing the success of subsequent campaigns.
- Audience list segmentation
It is important your email campaign is as personalized as possible. Creating different lists according to audience or acquisition time is important as you wouldn’t want to send a welcome email twice to the same subscriber. Segregating audiences according to interests and pain points will also increase the email campaign success rate.
4. Social media marketing
Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to promote a business that includes the management of a marketing campaign, setting of scope and the establishment of a business’s social media culture and tone. Simply put, it is any marketing activity that happens on social media platforms.
Meeting your customers where they hang out is one of the benefits of digital marketing. Studies show that 24 million Nigerians are active social media users. This provides a wider market for businesses to reach their prospects and customers. The positive effects of social media marketing on business growth cannot be overemphasized. Among others, the beneficial reasons why your business should be on social media include:
- Brand awareness
The perfect digital marketing element to create brand awareness is social media. With 2.2 billion users worldwide, Facebook remains the social media platform with the widest reach. 3.5 billion people are active social media users globally. With these established facts, you will agree that no other medium is better for brand awareness.
- Insights on competitors
Social media provides a platform where strategies and activities are openly shared. You can leverage this opportunity to analyze your competitors, learn what they are doing which you can improve on in order to stand out. Mind you, this shouldn’t turn you into a copycat. The idea is to give you insights on what works and what doesn’t. after your analysis, you will be able to make decisions from an informed position.
- Mutual beneficial relationship with customers
Social media platforms allow for things like comment, share, and like. These engagement variants help customers or prospects to share their views or opinion as to your content or business generally.
This also allows for a mutually beneficial relationship as customers are no longer talked to but interacted with. This makes prospects and customers feel on board with the service or product being provided to them.
- Increased affinity and patronage
With the constant share of valuable contents which your followers can relate to and also find useful, they’ll develop a natural likeness for your business, perceiving you as an expert and a thought leader in the industry, thereby making you top of mind when they need a solution to the kind of problem your business solves.
In order to win your social media strategy and be successful in your campaigns, you should ensure these principles are factored in your strategy.
- Target audience
Social media, second to none, provides the widest audience reach – true. However, you can’t possibly make the whole of the internet your audience, that is not feasible. You have to create your target audience, the exact kind of people whose problems you want to solve.
This will also help you with how you design your content. With a target audience, you will be able to focus on personalizing for relevance and your followers will be able to relate to your content.
- Relevant platform
Every social media platform is awesome. However, you should understand that the platform you will use is determined by your kind of target audience. There is no point
- Valuable content
In order to be seen as an expert in your industry, you need to share problem-solving content with your audience. Also, find a way to balance business promotion with entertainment and informative content. This way, your followers won’t feel as though they are just numbers you are trying to market to.
As regards the number of times you post per day or weekly, there is a need for you to understand when is best to share content with your audience. With the help of insight tools that come with each social media platform, such information will be available after a few tests.
5. Content marketing
Content marketing as defined by Wikipedia is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online. Better explained, content marketing is one important arm that is present in other arms of digital marketing which entails the creation and shares of timely, valuable, relevant and consistent content for the purpose of creating awareness, attracting, converting and retaining a clearly defined targeted audience.
With valuable information more accessible than ever, people now determine the way businesses interact with them. Rather than making efforts to sell your products to customers, you will do well if you appear as an expert who shares tips and helps them solve the problems they are facing.
Sharing valuable content related to your industry will make your target audience perceive you as a thought leader and develop a natural likeness for your brand such that they automatically believe that you deliver the best quality in the market or just complete loyalty for your brand for the solutions you provide through your content marketing. Check out Neil Patel’s step by step guide on content marketing
Ultimately, content marketing attracts prospects and transform prospects into perpetual customers by creating and sharing free valuable content which helps the company to create sustainable brand loyalty by creating relevant and helpful information to customers. Thereby, creating a willingness to patronize the business in the future. This strategy avoids direct sales but thrives on building trust and rapport with the targeted audience.
There you have it. An overview of digital marketing and its elements. By now, you should have knowledge of the elements that are relevant for your business and how you can capitalize on each of the elements to grow your business.
For a more practical approach to digital marketing strategies that work you should enroll for intensive digital marketing training. A quick recap of the elements discussed.
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
You can integrate these strategies simultaneously or choose to first tackle the ones that are proven to work in your industry. Feel free to drop your questions and opinions in the comment section.