As connoisseurs, professionals or aspirants in this field, we’re all aware of what digital marketing means and what this umbrella term encompasses. Call it the need for the hour to amplify your business by harnessing its techniques or just another fad, the field of digital marketing can be said to be a canvas for thought-leadership styles, something in vogue of late.
Devise a few ideas that require using the social media to its fullest, drop in a few jargons, highlight the keywords, structure and make your work appealing and voila, you have the material ready! It sounds simple, yes, and while anyone might be able to digitally market, only devout professionals would have the tricks rolled up their sleeves.
All the jazz words that you must have come across, right from SEO, SMM, PPC, conversions, keywords, CTR, meta-descriptions to sophisticated terms such as performance marketing, content marketing, influencer marketing, product marketing and else fall under this realm of digital marketing.
Right, where do we begin? Let’s start at the basics.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Your go-to friend. Best bud. As the name suggests, it optimises the search engine. How do you do it then? By improving the quality of your content. Get those creative juices flowing and pour your heart out. Structure it neatly in terms of the title, headline and paragraphs with appropriate punctuations. Highlight certain words that you feel are recurring and bear a strong significance to your piece. These certain words that stand out from the rest are your ‘keywords’ (Tip: Look out for the words highlighted in this article)
Simple. Next, what do you do with these keywords? Search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing or any other medium work fantastically in a jiffy. Say, you type in ‘best books to read in 2020’ in your search engine, give it a second or at the max, two (depends on your network connection) and you’re presented with loads to choose from! The search engines automatically scan through the endless entries on the net and present to you the most visited and well-structured pieces. That’s what it is imperative to structure your content properly- so that the search engines can read it.
Don’t just limit your content to written content. You can include media such as images, videos, gifs or even stickers. How do you let the search engines notice them? By captioning them when you upload, under the ‘title’ or ‘alt text’. This alt text, tag or description is the little piece of text that goes in place of your media on the webpage, making it readable for the search engine (Also helps when images fail to load on a site and the readers are stuck on what might the media be)
Line your content skillfully using the keywords that you have and create a small description or excerpt. You can use it as ‘meta description’ that summarises and describes your handiwork in a couple of words.
Search Engine Result Pages (SERP): As we’re talking about SEO, you will come across SERPs which are nothing but the pages displayed in terms of the results based on what the viewer types in. The better is your SEO, the more are your chances of being featured on the first page.
Social Media Marketing (SMM): If your content is fire, social media is its gasoline. Social media out there is exploding and what’s better than posting everything on these platforms! Social media marketing is interactive, user-friendly, revolving around and involving customers to make the business well-known. It’s supposedly called a two-way street, in that you see what the brands have got to offer at the same time, voice out your choices by participating in the contests or other interactions.
Use bold and trendy hashtags. Get creative with some quirky taglines!
You got it, you flaunt it! #BeLoudBeProud
Unleash the Picasso within you and maintain a colour palette for your Instagram feed. Get your catalogue up and running on Facebook and link your two handles to each other. Presentation is important, ensure everything that you do is not just aesthetically pleasing but gives you a chance to stand out.
There are tools available to help you with everything, right from Grammarly that corrects the content syntax to Buffer that lets you schedule your stuff, from Canva and Stencil that are great when it comes to designing artwork to InstaSquare for maintaining the feed- Name it and have it! (Note: This article isn’t a paid promotion for any of the apps/ websites mentioned. They’re just used as examples)
SMM gives you a chance to connect with your audiences, as well as reach out to your potential audience. This way, you can drive the website traffic and increase sales. No need to worry if you’re an NPO or a service provider, as SMM has you covered in every possible way. To quote digital leader Erik Qualman, ‘We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it’.
And who says you have to limit to just Instagram or Facebook? The pictures that are sent across on WhatsApp with accompanying text that at the end says, ‘personal message (PM) to know more’, or the grand pins and boards that you have on Pinterest that has your attention piqued, or perhaps those videos that you like on even view on YouTube are a part of social media marketing. (Pinterest has become an increasingly popular app especially among American women)
Pay-per-Click (PPC): Marketing done through advertising, it’s when viewers click on something to view it. Who pays to whom? The advertiser pays to the search engines, or the platform where the ad has been put up. How does it help? You, as the advertiser or the brand, will be paid whenever someone clicks on your ad (Note: There are third-party service providers who can place these ads strategically).
In short, say you’re a vegan makeup brand. To increase your sales, you place an ad on the first page of Google- The result that is labelled as ‘Ad’. You have paid Google. Google, in turn, takes care of your requirement and places your ad up there. Viewers are often enticed by the search page contents and click on the ads. By doing this, they don’t lose anything but you, as a brand, earn money depending on the number of clicks that you receive.
There’s a budget that stretches over the duration you’d want these ads to be displayed for, called Cost-per-Clicks (CPC). As the ads innovator Howards Gossage said, ‘Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes, it’s an ad’, make sure you place your money wisely. Spend your money when and where you feel good.
Click-through-Rate (CTR): As we’re on this subject of clicks, let’s focus on the CTRs. CTRs are mere metrics that measure these clicks on the ads based on the number of impressions. What are these impressions? To put it simply, each time your ad is displayed, each time it is an impression, hence there’s a difference between actually clicking and viewing the ad. Another sub-topic that follows the suit is conversions, which are basically the converted results in the form of increased online presence or leads.
Mobile marketing: Some call it a type of marketing while others call it a strategy. In the end, if your business is not on the internet, your business will be out of business. Sure, what’s internet marketing without surfing on mobile?
Mobile marketing is two words put together, which essentially is self-explanatory. It is multichannel marketing. Done through texts, social media, sites, it is an amalgamation of everything listed above as well as the traditional word-of-mouth, in a digitalised and mobile-compatible way. The interfaces on websites can be changed to accommodate those who use mobiles when browsing the sites. Scanning QR codes is another great technique under mobile marketing. If social media is bustling, the use of phones is no less because people now look at their mobile screens more than ever.
Content marketing: Content is the king- It is what sells. Remember, content is the reason that searches begin in the first place.
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Keep an eye out for Part 2 of Digital Marketing where we talk in-depth about Google Ads, keywords and more.