Many online marketing publications have covered digital marketing’s many benefits for businesses. Digital marketing is an excellent source of lead generation, and with more firms catching onto its potential, CEOs are also asking themselves whether digital marketing is worth the time and investment.
There’s much confusion over what digital marketing is and how it works. It’s not a static thing you leave hanging there expecting results to happen overnight. Digital marketing takes time, planning, and strategy to yield the best results. You have to think about what your objectives are for your business and use the most appropriate digital marketing strategy to achieve them.
In this guide, we’ll show you the eight most important things CEOs need to know before investing in digital marketing.
What is Digital Marketing?
Before diving deep into the important aspects of digital marketing, it’s best to have some understanding of what it means. Digital marketing uses technology and online solutions to reach customers, advertise your products and services, and more. It involves creating mobile-friendly websites that work on desktops, smartphones, and tablets. It covers everything including SEO, social media marketing, and advertising on Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
The types of digital marketing we focus on heavily here are SEO, content marketing, and social media, although we have also set up PPC and social media advertising campaigns for clients before.
Digital marketing is a great way to market your business because it doesn’t cost nearly as much as relying on traditional advertising or old outbound marketing practices that annoy customers and drive them away. In the time it takes to cold call a customer and likely receive a resounding no, you could instead set up a digital marketing campaign and have these customers directly to you.
There’s an advantage there because these customers know what they want and have the intention of finding businesses like yours through typing relevant keywords into the search engines they use. Most of them are also looking for products on their phone instead of waiting for a customer service representative at your company to call them.
What You Need to Know Now in 2018 and Beyond
We gave you a little overview on what digital marketing is and why businesses are relying on it more these days, so you’re ready to get into the specifics. Here’s what you need to know about digital marketing in 2018.
1. Interruption Marketing Isn’t Effective
Interruption marketing is another name for traditional marketing and includes TV advertising, radio ads, brochures, and direct mail. This form of marketing is dead for many reasons. First, the ROI on interruption marketing is so bad and seldom produces the results most companies are looking to have.
It’s also much harder to measure the results or efficiently build a list of leads to work from. You’re more likely to repel customers than attract them with spammy emails and obnoxious pop-ups, which was very common in the early days of the internet.
2. SEO Takes a While, But It Does Work
Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is the process of taking your website and optimizing it to show up higher in search engines using techniques which follow Google’s terms of service.
SEO is both a creative and technical exercise with website content creation being a large part of the process as well as increasing how quickly each page on your site loads on the browser. Many CEOs get discouraged after a month or two when they’re not seeing a ton of leads coming in from the 20-30 blog posts created or the brand new website that was launched the month previously.
It’s a mistake to believe that SEO doesn’t work because it didn’t produce instant results in a month or two. It depends on your industry, your niche, and how competitive the keywords you want your business found are. We recommend giving SEO about six months to a year before passing judgment.
If you’re seeing some increase in the leads you’re getting, that means your website SEO is on track. There are some businesses where after 3-4 months, they see results as well.
3. Quality Content Always Matters
Copywriting is such a valuable tool to use for your business. It’s used in everything from press releases to landing pages you can create paid ads to draw traffic. Along with content writing, both of these types of marketing aim to offer your customers value.
Content can also include infographics, videos, whitepapers, case studies, and anything else where you’re presenting reasons why customers should purchase your products and services.
Websites with content greater than 1000 words on average are the websites that rank higher on search engines too. Google is always paying attention to how long people spend on your site and what their activity was before their session was over.
4. Having a Social Media Presence is Mandatory
There’s no way around this fact. You need to be using social media regardless of whether you have a personal account or not. None of that detracts from the fact that social media marketing has been quite useful for reaching millions of people online.
The content consumption on these sites has also tremendously increased. Take Facebook for example. In the last two years, content consumption on Facebook has gone up by 57% according to HubSpot. Digital marketing is not about creating content and letting it stay dormant on your site. It must be shared and distributed on social media to yield the most benefits.
People will find your content on search engines, but this could take a long time, so why not ramp up your social media marketing while you wait? If your competitors are also aggressively promoting their content on social media, so should you.
5. You Need a Team for Digital Marketing to Work
There’s so much that goes into making a digital marketing strategy work and succeed. You need people who are experts in specific types of digital marketing. The content marketers should be in charge of developing your website content and inbound marketing strategy. SEO specialists should work on the SEO strategy and on-page and off-page optimizations.
Web developers and designers need to create websites which are user-friendly and make it much less painful for customers to contact you. Of course, someone also has to be responsible for setting up email marketing and working with marketing automation tools.
In any case, the job of all these digital marketers and web development professionals isn’t to only produce websites or nice social media graphics. All of these professionals need to work together to increase your ROI and find better ways to outsmart the competition.
It’s possible to do this on your own, but be warned that it will take up so much of your time to the point where it becomes a headache and too much to keep up with. Also keep in mind that digital marketing is changing all the time, and there’s that added struggle of keeping up.
6. Digital Marketing Isn’t Static and Always Changes
As mentioned previously, digital marketing is always changing, but we’d like to elaborate more on this point. Years ago, it was commonplace for content to be stuffed to the brim with keywords and hardly be readable for the customer.
Google later cracked down on these websites to promote better ones that have valuable content for people to read. Automation is also going to shape up digital marketing in the future with programmatic advertising leading the way.
The point is that it’s not always easy to see what’s coming next in the digital marketing world. It’s still possible that someone will figure out a better way to do pay-per-click advertising and come up with a platform superior to Google Ads and what’s currently on the market. It shouldn’t be your worry to figure out these new digital marketing trends for yourself.
7. Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
With many digital marketing strategies and options to choose from, never put all your bet into just one approach. PPC will work in the short run when you don’t have much SEO on your website, but that could always change.
Maybe later on, the website SEO starts bringing in much cheaper leads than what you were getting from PPC, forcing you to shift your digital marketing strategy to other areas. Then there might be a time where you’re getting so much traffic that you can make some extra money with affiliate marketing and partner up with people who share your interests. Digital marketing is as flexible as you’re willing to diversify.
8. Search Engine Algorithms Always Change, But You Shouldn’t Panic
Get comfortable with the fact that Google is always releasing new algorithm changes, but don’t fall for all the hype many marketing professionals on blogs scare business owners and CEOs. Recently, Google released the Medic search engine algorithm update, and this had many digital marketers panicking as usual.
It turns out that many of the websites that were affected by this algorithm update are recovering from the temporary decrease in SEO rankings. Keep calm and focus on strengthening your branding and content whenever there’s a new update.
Make the necessary changes and keep moving forward with your digital marketing in spite of the hundreds of algorithm change Google implements each year.
Digital marketing is ultimately a team effort and can’t be done as effectively alone. It takes lots of time, strategy, and planning to produce the most desirable results. These results depend on what you’re looking to gain from digital marketing for your business.
If you’re a CEO looking for a better digital marketing agency to work with, then call our team at 470-440-3434 or email [email protected] to learn more or read our blog for other digital marketing tips and solutions. CEOs who see the value and potential in digital marketing are the ones who are going to be ahead of the pack and get the best leads and sales.