What Is Digital Marketing?
The answer is – a bunch of different things, a cluster of concepts. Digital marketing’s origins began way back in the late 90’s before the days of Google and long before the days of Social Media. Back when I started it was all about building content on your website, then creating links to your website. That was the only way to reach your customers. The holy grail was (and still for some businesses) capturing emails so even if a cataclysmic ranking event happens, such as what happened when Google introduced panda or penguin algorithm changes, you still have the ability to find and reach your audiences. Now we have Social. Social was supposed to be, well – social we thought, but then these free platforms introduced paid options for advertisers. Social become socially commercial! Back then, link building was one of the biggest “most important things to get right” – the consensus was, “he who has the most links and best optimised pages on their website wins”. Now we have mobile and user friendliness, page engagement and bounce rates added to that formula. Digital marketing got a whole lot more complex – but the same fundamentals still apply. What makes a website Google friendly and rank in the top pages search engine results still applies. We just have to be a lot better at it – and deliver greater value to your audiences in many ways so they want to pick you, and not a competitor. That may seem a bit daunting to a newbie, but as someone who’s been through all the changes, that just means there more opportunities to stand out amongst the ever growing crowd! There are so many more ways to demonstrate your offerings, AND build long term links and organic traffic paths to your website than ever before.
Online Marketing Strategies
How many online marketing strategies are there? And what should you be using? Well that completely depends on your market research. Who your audience is and what they want. That is always the place to start. Once you know what they want and how they want it, then you can decide where to place the stuff they want to see, read, watch or listen to.
Online Marketing Ideas
These are just a few on the concepts we cover in our courses and webinars:
- Search Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- PPC & Paid Advertising
- Marketing Automation
- Online PR
- Affiliate Marketing
But they all revolve around the topic of content marketing.
Content Marketing (everything else you do points back to this fundamental)
Writing outstanding content for your website is always the cornerstone of a solid digital marketing strategy. What is good content? It’s content that answers your audiences questions, it’s satisfying and useful. If it’s really useful, it will get linked to and shared. It’s also easy to promote, and you’ll get a lot of people clicking through to it. You can write great content when you know what people want to know. If you understand who they are, what they want, how they want it and how you can continually satisfy them (no sidetracked thinking here please), then it makes it so much easier to deliver valuable content on a consistent long term basis. It also means that evergreen content, information that stays valuable year in year out, will not lose momentum and probably gain it. Just like a cult movie, your evergreen content stays popular and talked about. Content on your website can be broken up into tweets, image posts, videos, Facebook posts and mini articles on different sites. If they all link back to something even better than the teaser you’ve just posted on social media, or in a link from someones website, you’re building a positive relationship with both the audience, and the people who shared your link. If you deliver great value content OFFSITE on other websites and link back your own, where they find what they want and more, you’ve won. Deliver poor content and they’ll ignore you:
Digital Media Marketing Courses
There are many digital marketing courses available online. The basic principles of digital marketing however, run several layers deep. On the surface you can learn how, what and where to publish content like this Udemy course (open in new tab for later).
- Accepting instructions
- Knowing & understanding
Like an offline company, there are different levels of understanding around how a business can be promoted. Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos instinctively know what works and what their customers want. That’s how they grew their businesses into empires. They know and understand at a deep level, and created systems around that. Their staff do the “doing” and implementation of the tasks that need to happen to create that vision, but they had a clear vision to start with. Without their vision, the business wouldn’t necessarily work. It would have been be easy to lose track and drift off course.
Digital marketing is the same!
That’s why you need to know why you are doing what you are doing in your own digital marketing strategy – so you don’t get lost in the how to, and forget the why! There is so much noise, that you need to have a clear vision of what your targets should be.
Search engine optimisation is not something we believe should be taught separately to everything else. Is it integral to everything else you do online. Contrary to popular belief, you can use Social Media Marketing channels to help raise your websites rankings in search engines. It’s not in the way most marketers think though. Start with really good onsite search engine optimisation on your pages, where every segment of content on your page is there to serve your audience in some way. If you get this right, and set every page on your up with relevant page titles, descriptions, headings and image tags, you’ll be optimising for SEO as you go. If your pages are easy to share (another aspect we cover in our training), and your content is link & share worthy, you’ll be ticking off both SEO and marketing boxes at the same time.