If you haven’t heard of digital marketing, you must be living under a rock. Digital marketing is using online media to attract, convert, and retain your potential clients through the use of tactics like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM), Search Engine Optimization (SEM), Email Marketing, and Content Marketing.
I’m going to give you a brief introduction into the different tactics of digital marketing. Later on, in other blog posts, I’ll break down each tactic and how you can use them for your creative business.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
SEO can be a little tricky and a whole hell of a lot confusing. But, I’ll try to break it down for you.
You know how you go to Google when you have a question? You type your question into the search box and hit enter. Then you get a page full of results all aimed at helping answer your question. In a nutshell, this is SEO.
SEO is about getting search engines to rank your website/blog on the first page of the Search Engine Results for certain terms or what we in the online marketing world call keywords.
The truth is that SEO can be rather technical. Google has over 200 ranking factors. Don’t worry, you won’t have to get all of them right to rank well.
The most important thing to remember with SEO is to think about whom you are writing for and why you are writing. Search intent is the most important thing. Try to figure out what your customers/audience wants and then create the best resource for them.
You can implement SEO on your webpage, blogs, and social media captions, and so much more.
SEO is organic, which means that the traffic you receive from SEO is natural and free. However, it normally takes a while for you to get this traffic. Google says that it can be around 4 months for you to rank a site. So be patient when attempting to get organic search traffic.
While Google is King when it comes to search, there are other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo.
HOW SEO RELATES TO SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING, EMAIL MARKETING, AND CONTENT MARKETING
SEO + Social: While social media isn’t a direct ranking factor for SEO (meaning, it isn’t one of those factors that helps you rank on the first page of Google), social can be used to drive traffic to your site and may help you get backlinks to your site (FYI – backlinks are a big ranking factor for SEO).
SEO + Email: If you can get organic traffic to your website, you better not let those leads get away. Make sure you get your target audience on your email list so that you can keep them up to date on what’s happening with your business or pitch your services/products to them.
SEO + Content: Literally the only way you are going to be able to get people to your site is through awesome content. Don’t get scared. You don’t have to be a literary genius in order to have awesome content. You just have to provide your audience with the best.
THE PROS AND CONS OF SEO
Pros: Although SEO can take a while to work (and by work I mean get you organic traffic to your site), when you do start to gain organic traffic, it normally doesn’t stop. It also helps brand you as an authority in your niche when you are able to start ranking for authoritative keywords.
Cons: SEO can be a significant time and resource commitment in the beginning. Also, it may be hard for individuals to implement SEO for themselves because there are so many factors that go into making sure your website and content are SEO optimized. Also, SEO changes pretty frequently, so a technique that may be working today might not work later on.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING (SMM)
Everyone is on social and for that reason alone, you need to have a social media strategy. Social media for your business and social media for personal use are two totally different things. On your personal accounts you probably post for fun. When you create a social media marketing strategy for your business, you are posting for a specific purpose. Social media marketing should always be tied to a bigger goal.
Spoiler alert: You don’t have to be on every channel. This is actually really good news. Most people think you have to be everywhere on social but the truth is that you don’t. You need to figure out where your target market is online and then you need to be there and dominate the space. For example, if your target market is mostly on Facebook. You need to be posting content that will engage, educate or entertain them.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people making with their social media marketing strategy is forgetting to actually be social. Most of the posts are focused on their business and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen people leave comments and the businesses never actually respond.
The other biggest mistake I see people making with their social media marketing strategy is that they are not aligning their social strategy with their business goals and objectives. The truth is that to have an effective social media presence for your business you must align it with your business strategy. It’s so much more than posting pretty pictures.
You can organically grow your social media channels, which is normally super slow and can be a big time commitment or you can use tactics like paid advertising to target your ideal customers.
HOW SMM RELATES TO SEO, EMAIL MARKETING AND CONTENT MARKETING
Social + SEO: While social media isn’t a direct ranking factor for SEO (meaning, it isn’t one of those factors that helps you rank on the first page of Google), social can be used to drive traffic to your site and may help you get backlinks to your site (FYI – backlinks are a big ranking factor for SEO).
Social +Email: You can use social to drive traffic to a landing page where you offer a lead magnet like an ebook to your target audience.
Social +Content & SEO: Use SEO to figure out what keywords will help you show up and be found in the social media platforms and then write a compelling captions using those keywords. This will help you be found in the search sections for the social media platforms.
THE PROS AND CONS OF SMM
Pros: Social media is used by virtually everyone of all races, genders, and age groups. It gives you an awesome opportunity to connect with your audience on a personal level.
Cons: Can be hard to implement correctly and normally takes a lot of time to actually create engaging posts. Organic growth on most platforms tends to be slow. So if you want to grow your channels quickly you will most likely need to do paid advertising.
Want to learn more about SMM? Check out these resources: What is Social Media Marketing by Neil Patel & 7 Steps in Creating a Winning Social Media Strategy by Sprout Social
SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING (SEM)
SEM is all about paid advertising. When you need customers quickly and don’t want to wait for organic traffic to kick in, you can use an advertising network like Adwords from Google. You will pick keywords, just like for SEO and pay to have them served to your audience.
Remember when I gave the example in the SEO section about doing a search for “organic coffee” and how it brought up those search results. Well that search also brought up a few ads as well. This is an example of SEM.
In my opinion, SEM is best done for small businesses when you want to introduce your products or services to a new market or are trying to get new clients. Unless you have an unlimited advertising budget, I would suggest smaller businesses use this tactic sparingly.
It is best to use this tactic for high buyer intent keywords. This just means that you are targeting keywords in which people actually want to buy something. For example, if you are looking to buy a new computer you would probably type is something like “best 15 inch pc laptop”. When you focus on buyer intent for SEM, you have a higher chance of getting a Return on Investment (ROI).
HOW SEM RELATES TO SEO AND CONTENT MARKETING
SEM + SEO: Since organic traffic can be slow, use SEM to get traffic to your site faster. Once organic traffic starts to pick up you can discontinue using SEM.
SEM + Content Marketing: Content can help you write compelling headlines and body copy so that you can get people to click on your link.
THE PROS AND CONS OF SEM
Pros: When done correctly, it can bring in a consistent stream of clients.
Cons: Can be pretty expensive depending on what industry you are in and how long you plan to run the campaigns. Also, there are so many factors that go into running a successful Search Engine Marketing strategy that it can be confusing and you have the opportunity to waste a lot of money.
Once you develop an email list you have the opportunity to connect and sell to your potential clients over and over again. Please take the time to understand just how amazing this is. There is a 38:1 return on investment with email marketing. This means that for every $1 you spend you can make $38 back. I don’t know about you but this is very powerful.
The way email marketing works is that you offer something of value to your audience in return for their email addresses. Email is very personal and please believe me when I say that people don’t just give out their email addresses willingly anymore especially with all of the spam that they get everyday.
Email helps keep your customers and potential customers in tune with what you are up to and it is a very effective way to promote your business. I’m a huge advocate for email marketing. It is one of the best investments that you can make for your online business. If you do nothing else for your business, please start and nurture your email list.
HOW EMAIL MARKETING RELATES TO SEO, SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING, AND CONTENT MARKETING
Email + SEO: Once you get people to your website or blog, get them to sign up for your email newsletter.
Email + Social: Drive traffic from your social media channels to either your blog or a landing page and have them sign up for your newsletter or offer.
Email + Content Marketing: Your content for your email newsletters and/or the landing pages you use to get the email newsletters are so very important. Take the time to learn effective copywriting techniques in order to get your audience to sign up.
THE PROS AND CONS OF EMAIL MARKETING
Pros: One of the most effective marketing tools you can have in your online marketing toolkit. You can sell to this list over and over again.
Cons: People are smart and weary of giving out their email addresses so you have to be smart and strategic about how you go about getting their email addresses. Because of this, growing your email list can be hard.
Want to learn more about Email Marketing? Check out these resources: What is Email Marketing by Brick Marketing & Email Glossary: 44 Email Marketing Terms Marketers Should Know by Hubspot
Delivering the right message at the right time to the right people. The power of words can influence what people think; what people do; and how they relate to your and your business. Content helps take people who have never heard of your business and turn them into customers and eventually loyal fans of your brand.
There are many types of content assets you can create for your business. Here are just a few:
- Video transcripts
- Website copy
- Case studies
- Social media posts
HOW CONTENT MARKETING RELATES TO SEO, SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING, AND EMAIL MARKETING
In essence, content marketing should really be apart of all of the other tactics in digital marketing. From the blogs you write; to the social media posts you create; and the emails you send out for your email marketing campaigns, you should have a strategy for your content.
Want to learn more about Content Marketing? Check out these resources: What is Content Marketing by the Content Marketing Institute
The digital marketing strategies work well alone but are the most powerful when you can combine two or more of the strategies together.
Have you started using digital marketing for your business? If so, what tactics do you use? Leave a message below!