By Landon Charles on Aug 19, 2021
You probably already know that digital marketing is essential to the success of your business. Having a robust online presence is no longer optional. It’s expected of brands in every industry with very few exceptions. However, the nature of digital marketing is constantly evolving, and it can be difficult to understand where to start. A good local digital marketing agency such as Umbrella Local can help, but you still want to keep up with marketing channels.
Part of the challenge for many marketers is just how many digital marketing channels exist. Each one offers its own set of pros and cons. Understanding how to effectively use each one is easier said than done.
That’s where we come in. Here are the six digital marketing channels that every business should use plus tips and tricks for implementing each one. First up: SEO.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO, or search engine optimization, is arguably the most popular acronym in the marketing world. It’s also a digital marketing service that is one of the most popular. In essence, it’s the process of strategically creating and organizing your marketing content in order to rank highly on search engines. Google has algorithms that determine which pages show up on the search engine results page (SERP) when you enter a search term. With SEO your goal is to optimize the many factors that affect the algorithms so that Google trusts your content and wants to serve it to audiences.
Why does this matter? According to Search Engine Journal, the first result on Google for a given search term gets an average click-through rate of 28.5%. The second position drops to 15%, and by the time you get to the tenth position, it’s all the way down to 2.5%. For your business, this means that the higher you can get your content to rank, the more organic traffic you will generate for your website.
For SEO the key is to have content on your website that aligns with the search queries for which you want your content to rank. Make sure your main site copy accurately reflects the products or services you provide, then use your blog pages to fill in supplemental content that establishes authority in your industry.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
With PPC advertising, advertisers (that’s you) pay for the placement each time a user clicks on the ad. When people see the ad but don’t click on it, those impressions are free because they’re less likely to lead to a sale.
Paid search ads are the most common form of PPC ads. They’re the sponsored listings that you’ll see in the first few slots of many search pages, and they’re often effective for the same reason that earning the top slot organically is effective. PPC ads are a great channel if you have specific keywords that reliably drive sales for your business. The higher the conversion rate from the ad, the more successful your campaign will be.
Learning the ad landscape can feel complicated at first, so it’s a great practice to either hire an expert to get you set up or just start trying things and monitor results. Google Ads is a great network to start with, and you can tweak your approach over time once you start to get a feel for how the process works.
Content marketing is an umbrella term for any content you put out related to your business. It can include blog posts, eBooks, infographics, photos, videos, social posts and any other content your brand distributes.
Content marketing is useful for a few reasons. First, it’s a subtle way to help nurture relationships with your audience without directly pushing a sale. You can focus on educating or entertaining your prospective customers with your content, and they will naturally learn more about your business offerings over time. It also helps to boost your SEO results as we mentioned above.
With content marketing, the most important thing is to get started. Brands often put off content creation indefinitely because they get overwhelmed by the options. While you can definitely start with a comprehensive strategic plan and make sure every single share is perfectly in line with your vision, skip those steps if they’ll hold you back from creating content at all. Once you’ve started putting something out there, you’ll be better informed to develop a strategy and cadence that make sense for your business.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is another great way to build up your online presence. It’s actually a subset of content marketing, so all the tips above can be applied to your social strategy too. One common mistake digital marketers make with social media is to assume that they have to keep up with all the common social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok and more.
Thankfully, this isn’t necessarily the case. Spend some time thinking about where your audience is most likely to engage with your content and where your content style fits best. Then prioritize only the platforms that align best with those goals.
Start by deciding how much bandwidth you have to put behind your social strategy. Then decide which platforms you’ll prioritize, how often you’ll post and what kind of content you plan to share. You may also want to start by following other creators in your industry and hashtags related to your niche.
While it’s admittedly not the most exciting channel, email marketing is still one of the best ways to drive results for your business. Your subscribers have already opted into receiving your content before they start to get your emails, so you have a captive audience that already likely has an understanding of who you are and what you offer.
Email is also highly customizable. You can send different emails to different segments of your subscriber list. For example, you can send one promotional offer to current customers and another to people who haven’t yet made a purchase.
Before you dive into email, make sure you understand and plan to comply with email laws in your country. In the US, you need explicit permission to send emails to your audience and there needs to be an unsubscribe option on every marketing email you send. A good local digital marketing agency can help you with this as well as the actual content and targeting.
Spend some time thinking about how you might segment your subscriber list and what your goals are. Your strategy will differ depending on whether you’re trying to nurture relationships, drive sales, or accomplish something else entirely. So, understand your aim before you send anything out.
Voice Search Optimization
Voice search is the newest channel on this list, but it’s catching up to the mainstay channels quickly. Voice search is responsible for the responses you get when you ask Siri, Alexa, Google, Cortana or any other digital assistant a question.
The process is pretty much the same regardless of which platform you’re using. The device essentially does a web search for your query and returns the most relevant and concise answer it can find. Sometimes this answer is from the top-ranking slot on the results page, but other times it could be from a source much further down on the page.
When you’re creating web content (like your website pages or blogs), consider the questions that your audience might want to ask about your industry or your products andservices. Then include a response directly in your content in a question and answer format. The key is that Google needs to be able to connect the dots between the question and your intended answer. The more logical you can make that relationship, the more likely it will be selected from the pack.
There You Have It!
The explanations above serve as your introduction to the digital marketing landscape. Following the tips in the “Getting Started” sections is sure to set you up for success. You might be surprised at how quickly you’ll build expertise just by setting up these six channels. If you need more information, Umbrella Local has a local digital marketing agency near you that can help. Contact Umbrella Local to learn more. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish!
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