Almost every business across the world uses digital marketing, no matter how big or small.
With so many businesses around the world, going online is becoming a driving force for businesses to stand out. For this to be successful each business needs to have digital marketing, whether this via a full marketing team, a single person or an apprentice. The role of a Digital Marketer is to ensure that everything online runs smoothly, up to date and draws in customers. Here in Manchester alone (the home of 360 Apprenticeships), there are over 8,000 companies that have a digital presence employing over 82,000 people; so getting noticed is more important than ever.
In this blog, I discuss the main elements involved in digital marketing, how they can be utilised and why it is so important in the modern world.
When we think of digital marketing, the first thing that comes to mind is Social Media. Millions of companies around the world use it to promote the company, so getting to the top can be a battle. Online presence is more important than ever, with annual growth increasing every year. There are now 3.499 billion active social media users, with 202 million new users between April 2018 and April 2019. This means that being noticed online isn’t as simple as it used to be.
Social Media is the face of digital marketing and can be one of the major factors to drive business. Depending on what you sell, opportunities you provide and the target audience, the tone and target audience can differ for each channel. If you are business who uses Instagram to sell products, then each post will be aimed at customers. Whereas LinkedIn targets business owners and employers, so posts here will be more professional. Though having a social media presence is important for future customers and potential partnerships, it isn’t the only area that will improve online presence.
A strong website
Lets imagine the journey of a potential customer; scrolling through Instagram they see a post/advertisement and engage with your page, a product that they see looks interesting so decide to view your website, but come to find a messy, out of date site that looks like it was made at the dawn of time. This is where the customers journey ends and decide to not go forward with buying that product. Because of that, you loose revenue and a new recurring client.
Keeping your website up to date with new products, information, blogs and more is going to keep bringing customers back. If looking after a website seems like a daunting task, there are a number of ways to do this; Bring in a full time employee/apprentice to keep the site on track/updated, venture outside to a digital marketing or web design agency or even hire freelance!
Search Engine Optimisation and Analytics
What happens behind the scenes of social media and website development is just as vital. To ensure that each post rank highly and drives traffic to the main web page, every Digital Marketer will use two elements that work hand in hand; Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and online Analytic tools.
Analytics help to see how your business performs online. This includes how a customer found your website, if the right audience is being targeted, devices used and much more. Some sites and apps already have their own analytical software, but there are a number of web analytic tools that can be used to help you see the bigger picture. For starting off, Google Analytics is a great application not just for simplicity, but free too. Though you may not get every little detail about how well the business does online, all the basic essential information is there.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is important to getting noticed on all major search engines. When someone searches a term online whether this is Google, Bing, Yahoo etc, the first page is as far as many will go. On the search engine giant Google, the first page attracts 92% of traffic, with that dropping by 95% on the second page. This is why getting on to page one is vital to draw in business and can be done in two ways – Organically or with Paid Search.
Organic Search involves actively boosting performance from adding keywords and phrases in posts and blogs, to placing company details into online directories and Google My Business. If you are a local business such as a boutique or salon, focusing on local SEO is the best solution. Wherever your company is based add keywords that relate to you location. For example, we are based in Manchester so will include words and phrases that will attract those looking in the Manchester area.
But you do have to be patient; the process can take some time to gain traction and move up the ranks, so make sure all the content is up to date and relates back to local SEO.
If you are looking to bring more footfall to the website, paid search is a great way to do that. Paid Search gives you the option to place your website on page one of any search engine. You can also use paid search for social media. Paid search works on a model known as pay – per – click; meaning that whenever someone clicks the link the business pays a fee. Though it can be costly, you can be certain that the paid ad will be one of the first they see.
One element that many don’t realise is important is Email Marketing. This is a huge part in attracting business, whether this is from a Business to Consumer (B2C) standpoint or Business to Business (B2B). But what each email involves will vary depending on what you want to sell. An online clothing company will tailor a majority of their emails for customers giving information on new lines, sales, competitions and much more. Whereas a law firm will give information and tailor emails to the services they can offer.
The question that gets asked a lot is if email marketing is a dying breed, which is definitely not the case. On average 102.6 trillion emails are sent yearly with an estimation of 126.7 trillion emails by 2022. Out of all that have an email personal or corporate, 99% open their emails on a daily basis. However, you have to be careful that the consumer isn’t overrun with emails as this can be seen as spam. Ensuring that each email engages the recipient is vital to keep them as a customer and help generate leads to expand.
No matter what sector a business is in or who they are targeting, engaging content can drive traffic to the website and generate more consumers and/or partners. Content marketing involves anything that is on the creative side such as social media, videos and writing regular blogs. In digital and content marketing blogging is now one of the driving factors to draw people in. Writing well detailed blogs can position you as an industry leader, giving your audience a reason to choose and stay with you. Businesses who specialise in B2B that have published blogs reported that they generate 67% more leads monthly through blogging.
When writing blogs you need to think about the content and how it is phrased. This is where keyword research comes in to play, and helps to boost SEO. Using specific phrases and words will ensure that the right audience find the blog who can potentially become new customers. Another way to draw in readers is by adding back-links. Although this will take the reader to another page, whoever owns that site will be able to see how the reader is visiting their site, and if the back-links drive traffic to them, they could potentially promote your blog and business.
Once the blog is complete and uploaded to the company’s page, creating posts on your social media platforms to promote will interest potential and recurring readers. Not everyone will actively search for blogs, so if you don’t inform them then you can lose readers and potential customers. You can even create marketing campaigns via email for the exact same thing, to advertise and remind them of your blogs.
There are many other elements within Digital Marketing that will increase rankings online and draw in more customers. But the above are the four that are most commonly used, and work hand in hand to get businesses on the digital map.
If you are an employer looking to hire, or want to start an apprenticeship in digital marketing, contact us for more information.