This week we’re continuing with our analysis of digital marketing – what it encompasses, how it all works together and why you should be using it in your total (offline) marketing strategy. In Part 1 we talked about what digital marketing is and includes. As a recap, I define digital marketing as the marketing that occurs online or via mobile device to result in an offline or online action by the potential customer. This week, I’m going to break down the parts that digital marketing so you can understand 1) how important that individual piece is, and 2) how it works with the other parts to complete the digital footprint of your business. The segments we will discuss are search, content, social, email and mobile marketing.
The saying goes that “content is king”. Everything begins with content. By “content” we could mean text, a podcast, a video, an eBook, a SMS/text message, etc. No matter what the format, content needs to be target, compelling and engaging. It can be educational or entertaining or a combination of both.
But what form your content takes comes 2nd to the “whom” your content is directed to. Content needs to be directed to your target audience or ideal client. What are their needs? What questions are they asking? What problems are they having? Once the heavy lifting of creating an ideal client profile (ICP) has been done, developing content to meet their needs – and therefore, become a valuable resource – comes next.
This is usually where business owners start sweating profusely. In the famous words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”. But creating an ICP and developing content for them is critical because it makes all the other parts of digital marketing easy.
When your ideal client goes searching for the answers to their burning questions and needs, having content that is optimized to be found and answer those questions and needs are imperative. But search entails a tad more than creating content – it is about optimizing it through keywords, tags and paid ads.
Another way to optimize your content is for mobile platforms. Mobile devices have outpaced computers and people are searching online more and more from their phones and tablets. Tips for mobile optimization can include responsive web design or a mobile-friendly site to not adding things like flash or pop-ups that make mobile sites difficult to use.
Social Media Marketing
Now that your content is developed, social media helps to share it. Social and search are overlapping more and more. Making sure your content is easy to share,and sharing it on the appropriate channels, will help your site get found. Based on your ICP, the social media channels you use may differ – it may just be one, but more often it will be more.
Social media also helps you drill down on your content (and even find new content ideas to create) by giving your ICP a platform to discuss it with you. Become the resource and develop a relationship that reinforces it in trust.
Email marketing not only turns traffic into leads via an opt-in form, but it also partners with social media to help continue nurturing the relationship with your ICP. Again, what enables this is also content. Perhaps you exchange a whitepaper or e-newsletter or some sort of exclusive content for a name and email.
It amazes me how many people do not give web or social media traffic an avenue to submit their contact information. I can’t tell you how many websites I’ve gone to that just supply the address and hours of operation – no contact form for anyone to fill out. This is a huge missed opportunity.
Hopefully, you have gotten the idea how integrated all the facets of digital marketing are. It is virtually impossible to craft a complete digital strategy that doesn’t encompass all of the above. Nor should a business fool themselves into thinking that using one channel is all it takes to be truly effective. Next time we’ll talk about the benefits of digital marketing and why business should use an integrated strategy.