Digital marketing is fundamental to businesses’ success in today’s modern era of engagement marketing. Promoting brands, products, and services online and through mobile applications is quickly becoming table stakes. So as a marketer, you must get on board.
But online advertising is just the tip of the iceberg. Marketers have to dig deep into today’s vast and intricate cross-channel world to discover the most impactful strategies required to build a thriving business.
Search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and conversion rate optimization techniques work in tandem to demystify consumer behaviors, capture customers’ attention, and turn people into loyal buyers over time. No digital marketing campaign should be without these critical activities. Let’s dig into the concept of digital marketing and how to be successful in today’s modern, complex business landscape.
MARKETING AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?WHAT IS DIGITAL :
Digital marketing is the endorsement of goods, services, and company brands through online media channels.
Today’s consumers are multi-device and multi-channel, doing the majority of their own research online before they even step foot into a store or speak to a sales person.
Buyers today are more empowered than ever before. Within several seconds they can discover anything they want to know regarding product quality, availability, and value. Google Think Insights found that 48% of consumers start their inquiries on search engines, while 33% look to brand websites, and 26% search within mobile applications. Businesses have to be ready and willing to engage with their customers on every digital platform and device imaginable.
APPLYING DIGITAL ELEMENTS TO ENGAGEMENT MARKETING:
Engagement marketing is the art of creating meaningful interactions with people, based on who they are and what they do, continuously over time.
Engagement marketing is marketing that engages people towards a goal, wherever they are. And it’s marketing that is backed by both creative vision and hard data. Finally, it’s marketing that allows you to move quickly, shortening the amount of time between an idea and its outcome, allowing you to create more—and better—targeted programs.
Businesses can apply this type of campaign to every stage in the customer life cycle, a term used to describe the various stages consumers go through when interacting with brands. In the past, marketers have relied on the consistent chronology of the customer life cycle, from brand awareness, to the first purchase, and eventual brand loyalty. From an engagement marketing perspective, digital marketing techniques go beyond simply keeping companies connected to consumers based on past, predictable behaviors. Digital marketing creates meaningful relationships between businesses and consumers regardless of where or when a customer interacts with a brand.
Engagement Marketing Relies on Understanding:
Tracking individual behavioral metrics online, including past purchases, searches, page views, and more, yields useful information for businesses to apply to digital marketing strategies. By eliminating the need to make sweeping assumptions about sizable demographics, which would result in much more general and less effective campaigns, engagement marketing personalizes brand experiences. As a result, customers feel more welcome, appreciated, and valued by businesses, thus improving the chances these individuals will become brand loyalists and advocates.
With digital marketing added to the marketing mix, engagement with consumers becomes more consistent and continuous throughout the customer life cycle because campaigns are optimized to be omni-channel. This means they exist in more than one format for customers to easily view via mobile, desktop, or tablet throughout the day. An omni-channel approach increases the likelihood a customer will respond positively to a campaign’s call-to-action.
Digital and engagement marketing go hand-in-hand, each one complimenting the other and enhancing campaign results.
Let’s go through some of the channels and tactics you can use in your digital marketing campaigns to get found, engage, and move your buyers to become customers.
GETTING STARTED WITH PPC (Pay Per Click):
These targeted ads show up in customers’ search engine results or on websites visited. Marketers pay a fee to a website owner or search engine only when a user clicks an ad. This method, according to Word Stream, accounts for 64.6% of ad clicks.
To create a successful PPC campaign, businesses need to establish highly focused, particular keywords and phrases in both their ad copy and on their company websites across all channels. Base your keyword choices on company priorities, products, brand messaging, and competitive insight.
Destination URLs, or landing pages, need to be optimized with relevant keywords and phrases used in the ad copy for PPC to be successful. In terms of digital marketing, these keywords and phrases can be determined by using Google’s Keyword Planner, or similar tools, which provide the most popular search queries related to your keyword terms. Shorter terms and phrases are more mobile-friendly and should be prioritized.
Similar to engagement marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) models rely on data gleaned from individuals’ online behavior. The PPC model is used in digital marketing to boost website traffic by delivering highly relevant advertisements to consumers online.
Testing in PPC
In order for your PPC ads to be successful, you need to always be testing. Companies can test their PPC ads and landing pages using A/B testing, which involves creating two different versions of an ad and seeing which one converts.
Items that marketers should test include:
These tests will let marketers know if their digital PPC strategy should continue as-is, or if re targeting may be necessary to increase conversion rates.
THE POWER OF RETARGETING:
By tracking past interests, purchases, level of buying intent, and overall engagement, even anonymous prospects who have visited your website can be re targeted based on their location, industry, company size, targeted list, or behaviors.
The result is better performing ads, stronger ROI from your advertising spend, and the ability to nurture customers with a consistent, cross channel experience.
Re targeting works only when businesses are able to successfully track who visits their sites and how they got there. With a platform like Marketo Ad Bridge, marketers integrate a greater amount of data into re targeting efforts for both anonymous and known site visitors. For anonymous visitors, those that the company has no contact information or concrete names, marketers can send messages based on IP address location, industry, product interest, buying intent, and much more. For known visitors, previous levels of engagement, current buyer stage in the customer life cycle, and specific needs based on company profiles are incorporated into targeted ads.
Your audience expects an increasingly personalized experience online. By tracking how customers engage with your brand across multiple channels, using a marketing automation or a personalization tool, you can serve your audience with personalized ads on multiple channels: such as additional websites visited and social. This activity is called re targeting.
OPTIMIZE WITH SEO:
SEO isn't a new term, though the concept and its execution changes regularly as new devices are introduced to consumers and people become more adept at researching brands. Optimizing content to rank high in online searches and improve organic traffic requires in-depth industry and keyword knowledge.
Marketers must harness the power of SEO and apply it to their digital marketing campaigns, keeping in mind the following concepts:
Look to Google Analytics for the Best Keywords.
Most businesses base their SEO ranking on Google, as this search engine holds 67% of the market share. Google Analytics informs businesses of the keywords most commonly searched by consumers from particular industries and demographics. Google Webmaster Tools helps marketers identify click-through rates of popular search terms from the previous six months.
Title Tags and Meta-Descriptions Influence Site Traffic.
A title tag defines the title of a website landing page and tells internet users what information a page offers. Meta-descriptions are tiny snippets of content that provide extra insight into what consumers can expect from a site. Every page on a business’ site should have strong, relevant title tags and meta-descriptions. Avoid piling in too many keywords, which can overwhelm search enginesand look like spam. Title tags and meta-descriptions improve SEO rankings and clickability.
Marketing Automation Software Enhances SEO.
Platforms like Marketo’s SEO Tool helps companies swiftly identify keywords that drive the most revenue and opportunities for inbound marketing. It also alerts marketers to inbound linking options based on keywords online users search frequently.
While PPC and re targeting efforts are certainly valuable, the organic online traffic earned through search engine optimization reigns supreme. SEO is defined as increasing a website’s rank in online search results, and thus its organic site traffic, by using popular keywords and phrases. Strong SEO strategies are hugely influential in digital marketing campaigns, as visibility is the first step to a lasting customer relationship.
SEO AND DIGITAL MARKETING:
A Mobile Responsive Website is Crucial to a Successful SEO Strategy.
In terms of engagement marketing, your content needs to be accessible to consumers on all mobile devices. Websites must be responsive, altering interfaces and content for mobile devices, as soon as a user visits a landing page. WebDAM reported 57% of mobile users think poorly of businesses that don’t have mobile-friendly websites and Google’s algorithm is now highly focused on mobile optimization.
Maintain a Level of High Quality Content.
Digital marketers must enhance their SEO keyword strategy by consistently producing engaging content and subsequently seeing that content is distributed by other parties. Increasing online visibility is important to improving SEO. Make sure that you are creating quality content that helps your readers—keyword stuffing will get you nowhere. Impress site visitors with valuable information, and marketers are sure to see their sites pop up in more locations across the web.
MOBILE APPS AND ADS:
86% of a consumer’s time on a mobile device is spent in applications
45% of mobile marketing campaigns in the US offer apps
72% of consumers with mobile devices prefer mobile-friendly websites
85% of smartphone users prefer native mobile apps over mobile websites
The power of mobile apps can’t be understated. Google found 72% of consumers with mobile devices prefer mobile-friendly websites. Consumers spend 86% of their time on mobile devices in applications, and 45% of all mobile marketing campaigns in the U.S. offer apps for users to download. Native mobile apps are preferred over mobile sites by 85% of smartphone users.
Mobile ads also have a huge return on investment for brands, as 59% of mobile users find these ads helpful. In fact, mobile ad revenue is expected to reach $24.5 billion in 2016, and mobile ads accounted for more than 60% of Twitter’s ad earnings in 2015. In addition, Google reported on average that 88% of mobile search ads led to site visits that halted when the ads were removed, though that percentage varies by industry. However, every vertical observed in Google’s study, from the automotive industry to retail, experienced an incremental click rate of over 80%.
PERSONALIZATION AND CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT:
Today, when consumers visit their favorite sites or log into social media profiles, they can quickly find past purchases, reward points accrued, and receive suggested products they may like based on likes, clicks, or reviews performed in the past. Personalization tools allow businesses to provide website visitors with these targeted, individual experiences, even before users sign up or provide personal information.
Marketers utilize data stored in their marketing automation software, figures compiled from previous purchase records, and predictive analytics to give customers the most relevant and unique experience. Because consumers jump seamlessly between channels, all digital and non-digital channels should provide an element of personalization.
When built around specific wants, needs, personalities, and actions, campaigns affect consumers in more meaningful ways—delivering exactly what they need when they need it.
Consider this example; a potential buyer comes to your website from the healthcare sector. You know that she is a healthcare provider because you can look up her IP address. Using a personalization tool you can serve her specialized content, such as a video addressing her needs and some customer logos to show her that you work with her peers.
From there, she navigates off of your site and goes to Facebook. Using a tool like Marketo’s Ad Bridge, you can serve her personalized healthcare ads based on what you know about her industry. She then goes to another website, and she sees the same, relevant ads. Now she can’t keep you off of her mind and she goes back to your site to consume more content.
THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL MARKETING:
Now that you have a good baseline on today’s digital marketing, what about the future? One huge contributor to the increase in customer connectivity is the flurry of new, wearable devices available to consumers today.
These devices fall within a concept called the Internet of Things (IoT). Fundamentally, IoT is the notion that any device that can be powered on or off can also be connected to the internet. IoT also refers to the intricate, expansive web of connectivity between all electronic objects and their users. To better illustrate IoT, Forbes used the example of an alarm clock going off in the morning. Not only could this clock wake up a person, but it could also alert the coffee maker in the kitchen to begin brewing a fresh pot.
While this alarm clock-coffee maker connection may not be right around the corner in every home, it’s definitely an indicator of where internet availability is heading. To stay relevant, and one step ahead of competitors, brands must have multi-channel, multi-device strategies keeping them connected to consumers wherever and whenever consumers decide to go online.
Plus, think about all of the amazing data you can get from wearables and other IoT devices? The possibilities are truly endless for digital marketers.
Digital marketing across multiple channels offers marketers valuable insights into target audience behaviors, in addition to a myriad of opportunities for consumer engagement. Customers are a businesses’ most important asset; every step of their journey, from discovery through conversion and advocacy, should be monitored and facilitated by the company. The success of campaign strategies depend on metrics compiled over time across digital platforms. Engagement and digital marketing go hand-in-hand, and businesses can use the tools outlined here to stay one step ahead of their customers, moving above and beyond the competition.
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