A website is all well and good, but people need to see it. Even more than that, the people that are likely to convert into customers need to see it. Ensuring you get quality traffic to your website is business-critical, then – but how do you do it?
Digital marketing offers a number of tools that can help improve the quality of traffic your website attracts. From identifying target keywords to developing content strategies, you can take charge of your website’s user profile – and start to make real differences to your conversion rates.
There are four key means of achieving better traffic, and at their most basic levels, they involve organic traffic, paid ads, social media and content writing. Let’s go through each in turn.
>Tried and tested, search engine optimisation is the suite of techniques that digital marketers employ to ensure that each search engine lists a given website advantageously – that is, puts it in front of the right searchers.
Search results are arrived at by complex algorithms. These consider a range of different factors in order to return the most relevant websites for given target keywords. SEO is about tweaking your website so that it appeals to those algorithms.
From incorporating target keywords in website copy and image alt tags to using the best navigation structures and latest accessibility features, building a website that is informed by the latest search engine optimisation techniques is absolutely essential to ensuring good organic listings on Google, Bing and the rest.
Another acronym, PPC stands for “Pay Per Click” and covers the range of options open to a business that wants to supplement their organic marketing efforts with paid-for advertisements.
Google is well known for offering paid-for advertising, especially its search ads. Businesses bid a certain cost-per-click for given target keywords. If that bid is sufficient, then their ad will appear in the search results for those keywords. Although usually more costly than SEO, it can be a great way to increase visibility and site traffic in a short space of time!
Facebook, Twitter and other services also provide PPC advertising options and are only increasing in popularity – especially now that people have so much more time to spend on social media.
The power of social media is that it is primarily user-driven: you can pay for your content to appear in people’s feeds … but users will always trust content more if they see their friends sharing it.
That means you should harness your customer base and encourage it to share your content. If they enjoy your products and services, they may well want to tell their friends. Offer them content that is attractive, useful and most of all relevant – this will make it even more likely to be shared.
Equally, offer discounts and rewards for social sharing: a ‘refer a friend’ bonus, for example, or a special reduced rate on a purchase if the customer also shares the product to Facebook. These “organic” social media posts will go a long way to spreading the word about your business.
Digital marketers use this term to describe a method of attracting customers by providing content for free. This might be text, imagery, video or audio – the key is that customers should want to engage with it.
Think free blogs and podcasts, a YouTube channel or an Instagram account. Businesses have found all sorts of creative ways to build communities online using great content. Often this content doesn’t directly sell a product or service, but instead shares stories and expertise with an audience that forms around a shared interest – and will form bonds of trust with your brand, too.
Search engines reward regular content; social media accounts are powered by it. That makes content marketing, not just an end in itself – one which converts users more surely than any paid ad – but a channel which also supports all the other work of your digital marketers.
These are just four of many pillars for digital marketing: search engine optimisation, paid advertising, social media and content marketing. One can be more effective than the other – depending on a multitude of factors including your industry and your location. That is why the most important tip is to do your research and develop a strategy that is carefully tailored to your needs.
If you’re not sure where to start with your digital marketing strategy then please get in touch with us. We will be glad to help. Call us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marketing is only effective as its fitness for purpose. That’s an obvious point to make, perhaps, but it also bears repeating: there are enough examples of marketing going wrong, or not achieving its aims, to suggest that not everyone is alive to the truism!
The critical question for any marketing campaign is this: to whom are you speaking? The audience must dictate every aspect of a marketing campaign. You can only achieve results if you’re aiming your message at the right people. And to do that, you need to know who those people are.
Take the time-honoured division between B2B and B2C marketing. The former targets other businesses; the latter your customers. It shouldn’t need stating that these are two very different audiences, with potentially several further sub-groups within them. It follows that your methods and messages have to be different for each.
Think digitally: when a B2B client or a B2C client types a term into their search bar, they will be looking for different things. To capture both target markets, you need to optimise for both phrases. Of course, there will be overlap, too – but don’t rely on it.
Critically, B2B and B2C marketing are based in different skill-sets: the first relies primarily on relationship building; the second on ease and quality of transactions. But both of these are driven by branding – albeit different aspects of the same.
Much emphasis is rightly placed by designers on logos and colourways – on the visual elements that knit together any brand, whether online or otherwise. But these choices need to be informed by a deeper understanding of what a company is – because only by understanding a business’s values will a brand make sense to all its audiences.
What does this mean? A B2B relationship is often built over time, and via personal interactions; but every exchange with a B2B lead should be informed by the very values that are embedded in a business’s brand. Likewise, a B2C lead needs to be led through any website or other transaction process seamlessly: brand experience contributes a lot to this and helps create an environment in which the client feels guided and cared for.
In other words, B2B and B2C can sometimes be different sides of the same coin: your marketing to them can be complementary rather than entirely distinct. The trick is to have strong foundations – good branding, great design, a considered UX – which can be deployed appropriately in different niches.
B2B clients, for example, are often much more precise in interest and rational in decision-making than B2C leads. B2C customers can be segmented and passed through a pre-ordained sales funnel since their larger numbers permit a greater reliance on demographic targeting, emotional appeals and so on.
B2B clients must often be targeted on a much more granular level – through very specific analysis of search behaviour, for instance, or by incorporating jargon and professional terminology in your copy. Even more specifically, B2B marketing needs to locate the right person in any given firm – the decision-maker. In B2C marketing, every lead is a decision-maker themselves!
Ultimately, B2B and B2C want the same thing: to buy products and services which have value to them. Understand how they measure value – and how they make decisions – is key to optimising your marketing to achieve the desired goals. And that is how marketing is different for B2B and B2C marketing.
Done right, digital marketing takes time. That’s why automation can be so important: it makes critical tasks easier and more streamlined.
Simple: it’s the suite of tools and techniques available which enable businesses to schedule, plan and execute digital marketing activity ahead of time, and with minimal resource commitment.
Sounds good, right? It is – and it’s so important that it is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ element for any digital marketing strategy; it’s non-negotiable. Whatever software package a business uses, automation enables a much more structured and simpler set of marketing activities to be undertaken.
The benefits of marketing automation for customer retention alone, for example, are plentiful. Automation enables you to put out far more content – and do so far more consistently – than mere manual marketing would. And that pays dividends.
From scheduling content rationally to responding to social contacts by the bot, automation adds a fluid, responsive element to your marketing activity without making onerous demands on staff time. The benefits of this approach can be broken into five basic brackets.
Simply put, automation saves time. In turn, of course, this saves money – by allowing businesses to release those efficiencies elsewhere, redirecting staff to other tasks. Most importantly, marketers are at their best devising creative campaigns – and not having to spend time laboriously posting content all day enables them to focus on this more critical element of their work.
By automation repetitive tasks and streamlining data-gathering, automation empowers staff more than ever before – and it makes them more productive in the process. It’s no surprise, then, that automation has been shown to increase sales productivity – and reduce marketing overheads simultaneously. That’s a powerful double-whammy.
As well as saving staff time, automation offers better data. By automating all their actions through a single dashboard or piece of software, businesses bring together all interaction data in a single place: automation, therefore, brings further benefits of concentrated feedback, since user data is no longer gathered across a range of separate services.
This enables businesses better to segment their audiences, creating more usable and effective profiles for the range of customers and users to whom they provide services – and, of course, for potential prospects. Better data improves both the accuracy and granularity of this segmentation, vastly enhancing the results marketers can achieve.
In other words, automation enables the creation of better campaigns – because through the enhance datasets it produces marketers can generate more qualified leads. The multi-channel overview of prospect behaviours that automation digital marketing enables ensures that well-tooled campaigns will – because they are better targeted – result in more promising engagements, and better nurturing of prospects through the sales process.
Perhaps this is why businesses employing automation see on average a 10% increase in their sales pipeline contribution. Critically, the success of various channels can be compared – and approaches to particular prospects fine-tuned as a result. This means that marketing messages feed directly and demonstrably through to sales processes. In other words, automation powers that elusive alignment between marketing and sales – all thanks to better data.
It’s not all about new customers, however – existing customers are better served by digital marketing automation, too. Automation enables more personalised customer journeys, for one: by analysing the troves of data automation can provide, businesses can offer more tailored ads and products for returning users, to improve the usability of the website for clients (and consequently, of course, increase sales).
Likewise, the quality and consistency of other kinds of information existing customers receive will improve: from newsletters to social engagements, automation can offer much better quality content to customers, enhancing and expanding existing relationships. Good content builds a brand’s identity and its rapport with customers; automation facilitates much more reliable execution of this process.
Finally, all of this contributes to great returns on investment. Business implementing digital marketing automation spend less on labour costs, more on creativity, and see better sales conversion figures. In other words, their marketing budget works harder – and better – for their business.
What is digital marketing automation? It’s a digital marketing success.
If you’re looking to develop your digital marketing strategy but don’t know where to start then please get in touch with us. We can discuss your business requirements and help develop the right strategy for you. Call us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at email@example.com.
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