Digital marketing has become overwhelming. And it seems to be evolving at an accelerated rate. Even experts in the field find themselves scrambling just to keep up with the latest paradigm shifts, theories and industry reports. So when you talk about digital marketing beyond SEO, what does the average business owner need to know?
Where there used to be a standard stepping-stone process for digital marketing, today’s agencies are blurring the lines between one tactic and another, overlapping them as they push the limits of conventional thinking.
Many business owners today are thinking to themselves, “Why do I need to waste money on a digital marketing plan?”
In the 1990s (and into the early 2000’s) business owners were asking “Why do I need a website?”
In 2015 they are asking “Why do I need a branded mobile app?”
The Internet has made the world more competitive than ever before. And when you consider that by 2013 that seventy percent (70%) of all local searches were done on smartphones, you begin to recognize the power of technology.
Consumers can now find what they want, when they want it — and find it on the spur of the moment. This is great for businesses, especially local businesses … provided that they are not invisible online.
If you built your business in a basement, you’d certainly have spent the money to place a sign out front, yes? The same applies in the digital world.
The difficulty for many is that knowing the components of digital marketing does not a marketing plan make. Even if you know how some of the components work, and/or how to deploy those efforts yourself, you still need a marketing plan.
SEO is not unto itself a marketing plan, it’s just a marketing tactic. In fact, there are many different approaches to SEO, and new ones being developed all the time with algorithm shifts.
At Incognito Worldwide we like to focus on a content plan (the broad narrative, the article topics that feed that narrative, an editorial calendar, writers and editors, and syndication channels).
Keyword research is still important, as is optimization. But while that is the jump off point, content — as well as off site promotion — is the sustaining energy that drives a SEO campaign.
But there are many other components to digital marketing, and some of the most commonly known include:
Search Engine Optimization — to raise the website ranking in search
Social media marketing — to attract and engage existing and potential customers
Advertising — text and display ads in search, blogs and social media
But a good digital marketing plan also includes:
Content development & management (text, creatives, video, survey, newsletter)
Lead capture strategies and tools, including website entry & exit surveys
Analytic tools, reporting and analysis
Many business owners, whether they jump into digital marketing by hiring an expert or try to do it themselves, do so without a plan. For example, many business owners build a social media page(s), and start posting. They wait, and wait, and wait, and then wonder why nothing is happening. Because there was no plan.
Digital marketing is a slow-roast process, as opposed to the quick-grill results that some digital marketing components can offer. There was a time when just by using good on-site optimization and/or backlinking a site could jump to the top of search rankings. Today, the competition is fierce, and often you find yourself jocking for position — with it changing daily — with compeititors. Digital ads can get quick results, but that too takes time to setup correctly. You need the creative for the ads, the taglines, and you should — in most cases — have landing pages so you can A/B test different campaigns.
Most every digital marketing component now overlaps with every other, so when you hire someone to do DEO, that had better be able to develop content (and the content strategy), build landing pages, and undertand the phychology of social media. No single component of digital marketing seems to have the stand-alone impact it once did. It requires a multi-tiered marketing plan.
Confused yet? Fret not. As a business owner you only need to answer two questions:
Armed with these answers you’re ready to begin. Remember that old saying that tends to ring true most of the time … You get what you pay for. In today’s marketplace price should not be the driving factor. They should be who can get you the results you seek.