What is digital marketing, anyway? (Asking for a Friend)
It is not uncommon for a business owner to be “in too deep” to realize that what he or she is doing is, perhaps, not as obvious to other people. It can be beneficial to take a step back and try to view your area of expertise from someone completely outside of it.
Finding universal ways of explaining what you do and why it is valuable can help you be a better business person by forming relationships that are truly based on mutual understanding.
In our case, we are a digital marketing agency. There are a lot of us, we admit. You probably can’t throw a rock in Denver without hitting a “digital marketer” or “SEO specialist.” But while these terms are very commonplace and everyone has a general understanding that they are somehow necessary for business, it isn’t often that we go into broader terms to help explain what the heck we do.
What is Digital Marketing?
So, what is digital marketing? The name implies the use of digital technology to market something, and this is true. Specifically, it is the use of internet-based digital technology to market goods and services. Some examples of online tools used include social media, websites, and email.
The primary goal of digital marketing is fairly simple: to help your business stand out. The strategies used to achieve this simple goal are a little more complicated, but they can be summed up in two basic categories: organic and paid.
Organic Digital Marketing
“Organic” digital marketing uses various techniques to guide people naturally to your website. This is generally done by creating useful content that addresses the most popular questions people have when searching online.
Useful content may include text on your website pages or a blog post that incorporates popular search terms and questions. Or it may be a video tutorial, infographic, or social media post. Whatever the medium, you want your content to be the most valuable by having the exact information people are looking for in a format that is easy to access and share.
But how do you know exactly what people are searching for? Digital marketers can analyze what people want to know regarding your specific business by using sophisticated software tools, such as SEMRush. They will use this information to write articles and web page text for your business that is “optimized,” meaning it includes the exact terms, phrases, and questions people are looking for.
When a digital marketer talks about “Search Engine Optimization,” this is partially what they are referring to: content that will pop up sooner in search results because it has the precise terminology people are searching for.
SEO also involves keeping up with any changes to search engine “algorithms.” Algorithms are parameters that Google and other search engines use when they are determining which pages should rank the highest. For example, at the moment, the Google algorithm prioritizes websites who have a mobile-friendly version. A digital marketer will take things like this into consideration and make sure your website does not lose its ranking because of changes to the algorithm.
Paid Digital Marketing
Paid digital marketing strategies are exactly what they sound like: they cost money! While your organic strategy will also cost money in the form of your marketer’s salary, paid digital marketing involves a separate budget that can be applied strategically in order to more aggressively boost your sales. There are several paid digital options, including:
- Paid Social Ads
- Email Marketing
Pay-per-click is an advertising strategy that features your business in an ad on a search engine, like Google, and requires incremental payment only when the ad is clicked. This is a great starting point, but you do want to ultimately convert those clicks into sales.
This is where terminology like “conversion rate” comes into play. Conversion rates are simply the percentage of people that click on your online advertisement and actually buy something. Your digital marketer has access to data and can tell just how many people are clicking on an ad, and how many of those clicks translated to sales. This is an extremely useful tool that can help a business refine its campaign to target the right people.
Paid Social Ads are also a great way to hone in on your target audience-that is, the people you would like to buy your product or service. Facebook Ads, for example, has very sophisticated filters that allow you to be extremely specific in whom you would like to see your ad. Your digital marketer will advise you on which social platform may be appropriate for your business.
The exact methods you use for your paid digital campaign will depend on many factors, including the type of business, target audience, budget, and brand voice. Your digital marketer will help you decide where to start.
Do I Have to Have a Paid Digital Marketing Strategy?
Not necessarily. A good organic strategy can be extremely effective in helping your business gain exposure and boost sales. But keep in mind that organic strategy takes longer: you will need to allow reasonable time to create lots of great content that is well-researched and useful.
Creating good content is not as easy as it sounds, and it can be very time consuming. You will also need to allow time for a learning curve. There will be some experimentation with topics, tone, and medium depending on what is or is not working to bring in traffic.
In general, the best digital marketing strategy incorporates both organic and paid methods. The two tend to complement each other very well. For example, one of the best ways to increase conversion rates on your paid ads is to get people to stay on your website longer. A great way to get people to stay on your website longer is to have useful and engaging content!
Serenity Digital is Just a Stone’s Throw Away!
Serenity Digital specializes in both organic and paid digital strategies. We have experience working with all sorts of businesses, from food service to law offices. Give us a call to discuss how we can help you!