Google has always changed the way marketers, small and large, advertise their products and services, but it's no longer the only game in town. Facebook has surpassed Google in terms of traffic and presents significant opportunity to build awareness and drive sales for your business. Further still, ad networks such as DoubleClick provide the opportunity to efficiently display your banner ads across well-known sites. Lastly, there is a whole industry around tracking marketing results and providing deep levels of insight into what visitors are doing when on your website. Web analytics has many major players from the free of Google Analytics to the very expensive SiteCatalyst from Omniture.
The following is a breakdown of core digital marketing channels:
PPC Pay Per Click | Search Engine Marketing: This channel enables you to purchase keywords relevant to your brand or the products / services you offer. You then create customized ads to entice users to click and visit your site for conversion. There are several benefits of this channel: 1) It's an auction based environment where you get to set the maximum price your willing to bid on specific keywords or publisher websites 2) You can locally target ads, by country, region, metro area, state and even down to the zip code 3) Campaigns can be setup quickly and live within 15 minutes 4) Testing of ads, keywords, custom landing pages and more is easy and results are available quickly 5) With web analytics, tracking results make optimizing campaigns easier and more accurate. Of course there are many more benefits, but these are some of the major examples. There is great opportunity with paid search marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) | Natural Search | Organic Search: The other side of paid search is natural search. When you look at listings on a search engine's results page, you'll notice that not all are sponsored ads. Those free listings are provided by the search engine scouring the web for content relevant to the search term (s) used. According to the search engines complicated algorithm, results are determined by several factors that aim to provide you with quality websites related to your search. The SEO process involves optimizing your website to rank high in these listings. Some believe that just placing important keywords in as many places on your website is the optimal strategy. This could not be further from the truth. Solid SEO involves competitive analysis, keyword research, site architecture considerations, optimized content, reporting and consistent optimization. A sound SEO strategy can yield great results, but keep in mind, this takes time.
Email Marketing: Reaching new prospects and re-marketing to existing customers through email can be one of your most successful digital marketing efforts. Email taps into the visual-nature of human emotion and can effectively communicate your offers and information. Further, there are new advances with personalization and stricter enforcement of CAN-SPAM rules have made email less of a nuisance in the minds of the consumer. This channel is easily measured with analytics and offers a myriad of testing, segmentation and optimization opportunities. Partnering with a skilled professional to own the execution strategy, any business can benefit from this highly efficient channel.
Social Media Marketing: The buzz of the day is definitely around social media. Every business wants to have a presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, but it does make sense for you? Maybe, maybe not. It's important to go through the process and decide if social media is an appropriate marketing channel for you. Driving ROI through social media is challenging, but possible. Once you've made the choice, the opportunity is significant. You can reach your customers in a place where they already spend time, listen to their thoughts on your company and engage them with interactive and viral content. Done right, social media can develop a strong community of loyal customers that praise you from the digital mountain top.
Online Media: Online display advertising offers an additional channel that is not without it's challenges. As search has become the most popular method of looking for information, companies and products, display ads have had to evolve. Gone are the days of the static ad. Now, you are hard pressed to find a website without rich media ads – flash ads, video, interactive widgets. Re-targeting and behavioral targeting allow for a more efficient method of reaching your audience and maximizing ROI. Online display advertising has dramatically improved since introduced and the opportunity to add as a marketing channel has never been greater.
Web Analytics: Marketing can only be successful if you can measures results. Fortunately, there is no shortage of web-based tools to accomplish this. Once implemented, web analytics applications allow you complete visibility into how your marketing campaigns are converting, how users are moving through your site, consuming the content and engaging with your brand. Analysis of this data can lead to instrumental insights and drive your overall marketing strategy. Web analytics are powerful tools that are essential to have in place before spending your marketing budget.
This list may seem daunting. In reality, Internet marketing is a science that when done well can yield valuable results. I'm not saying to immediately launch campaigns in multiple channels at once. It's prudent to start with one, optimize and add additional channels slowly till you find a good mix, manage resources and are generating results. It is possible to learn all of this through trial an error, but it's more efficient to hire experienced internet marketing professionals to do the heavy lifting. The money saved by hiring expertise often far outweighs the money lost learning on your own.
Hopefully this list was helpful to get you thinking about new ways to market your business. There will be additional follow-up posts that will get into a bit more detail.
Source by Mark F Simmons