7 Digital Marketing Channels

In October 1994, the first web-based banner ad was born courtesy of an advertising campaign for AT&T. “Have you ever clicked your mouse right HERE? YOU WILL” – The copy read. In the four months that followed, 44% of internet users had actually clicked on it, giving the company heaps of advertising mileage.

The publishing of that ad, which is now better known as display ad, has been referenced as the earliest form of digital marketing. Then again, display ad is only part and parcel of the entire digital marketing industry.

Almost 3 decades after the launch of the iconic banner or display ad, the industry has evolved beyond ads. It now encompasses a wide range of internet-based strategies using digital marketing channels to deliver content and telling to promote the offers.

Understanding Digital Marketing Channels

Digital marketing channels are platforms that you can use to reach your target audience with information about your brand, product or service. Utilizing these channels allows you to help your customers with any questions that they may have about your company while positioning your business well so that you can be a step closer to your marketing goals.

Not all digital marketing channels are cut out for each  one of your business objectives though. Some are more suitable for certain types of audiences, while others are set up differently depending on what they’re capable of doing. As such, you must know which digital marketing channel to use and the best practices to achieve a particular goal.

7 Digital Marketing Channels 

1. Websites ( Content Marketing )

Your website must have tool for your business as it provides you with a dedicated platform where you can educate audiences about your brand, products and services. This requires a solid understanding of your target audience and great content for  marketing strategy.

Whatever the popularity of your company, a website can give your business the online presence it needs to communicate with the target audiences to sell the prospects. In fact, another study showed that 69% of Americans have purchased an item online. Whether your business is concerned with e-commerce or it’s something that’s more service-oriented, be it B2C or B2B, you should definitely invest in a website.

Your website is an ideal channel for your content marketing campaigns. Through blog posts and announcements, you can provide existing and potential customers with valuable and relevant content to help them solve their pain points. Because websites have multimedia capabilities, you can easily distribute different types of content from articles to infographics and even video.

At the rate that people are consuming content, having the right mix of these top-performing content types can exponentially increase your site traffic and engagement. Ultimately, this can result in better brand recognition, authority building and new sales opportunities for your business.

2. Email

There are some reasons why it’s so hard to dislodge email as a channel that delivers medium to high ROI for your business, but the one thing you can’t take away from email is its versatility. Although email may not be the newest technology available, it allows you to apply the latest trends in content marketing, such as personalization and automation, without hurting your marketing budget.

Email also has the ability to support other marketing objectives, so it’s no surprise that 73% and 63% of B2B marketers say that email is their top tool for generating leads and driving revenue, respectively.

Beyond lead generation and revenue, email helps you in many more ways as follows:

  • Email has become so widespread that it reached 3.9% billion users in 2020, and the figure is expected to grow to 4.3 billion users in 2023—more than half of the world’s population!
  • Email still delivers the best returns, with 73% of respondents of a study ranking the channel as excellent, compared to SEO and paid search at 72% and 67%, respectively.
  • Every $1 spent on email marketing, you can expect a $42 average return on investment.
  • Up to 62% of opens are done on a mobile device, compared to 10% on desktop.

3. Social Media

Social media marketing is on this list for some very worthwhile reasons, but this isn’t just about social media users reaching the 3.81 billion mark. From being a channel that people use to establish personal connections, social media has evolved into something grander, bigger, and better than what it was originally envisioned to be.

These days, you can reach out to potential buyers by engaging them in a more personal and authentic fashion. As such, it’s easier to direct your efforts toward organic social media marketing since the platform was initially designed to foster interactions rather than sell to your prospects.

You must invest time in cultivating relationships with your target market as you try to understand the needs and interests of your buyer personas. Ultimately, this can help you generate highly qualified leads on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook—which account for driving 80%, 13% and 7% of qualified B2B leads, respectively.

Although this can directly drive sales, you should remember that social selling isn’t really about selling at all, so prioritize building a strong, positive relationship.

4. Organic Search ( SEO

Did you know that over 75,000 Google search queries are performed every second? Just imagine how many people are searching on the internet! Given that people use search engines for research, shopping, and entertainment, the opportunities for businesses are huge!

When prospects or customers look for products or services, they’ll tend to go with whoever ranks higher. Standing out from the competition at this stage means that you’ll be capturing new opportunities organically, driving a consistent flow of leads down your sales funnel.

As long as you adopt modern SEO best practisces—keyword research, blog post optimization, and linkable content creation—improving rankings on search engines will come a lot easier.

5. Paid Search ( SEM )

On the surface, it might seem inconceivable that paid search ( also called SEM ) will have the potential to give you ROI. After all, you’re paying for each click you get, unlike SEO, where people find you organically (and technically for free).

The advantage of using paid search is that your ads are shown above organic search results, making them more visible to users. Even if you have to pay for every time a user clicks on your ad, there’s still a lot of value—monetary and otherwise—that can be had from paid search. Being above organic results means you’re still capturing that engaged searcher before they even have a chance to see their other options (your competitors).

For every $1 you spend on Google ads, you can earn an average of $2 in return. That’s 100% ROI right in the bag. It’s also been found that PPC results gain 150% more conversions than organic visitors. Clearly, paid search could very well represent a win-win situation for your marketing campaigns.

6. Mobile 

The number of mobile phone users is increasing by the day, and this trend is expected to continue in the years to come. Because of this, it only makes sense to serve promotional content to mobile users. And thanks to geo-targeting strategies where location information is used to recommend products or services more conveniently, customer experience can be consistently improved as well.

Smartphone users are also spending 90% of their mobile time using apps and games, which makes mobile apps a profitable marketing channel. Last but not least, mobile can collect customer data, which you can then use to map out a mobile marketing strategy that produces results.

7. Display Ads

Display ads allow you to use images, audio, and video to communicate your advertising message better. These are shown on websites, email platforms, social media, and many other digital channels that offer ad placements, usually in the form of a banner.

Compared to search ads, display ads generally have lower cost-per-click since there’s more advertising space available across the web than on a search engine. The core difference is that you don’t target keywords. Display advertising success depends on how well you can match your ad to the host website’s audience to drive conversions.

One of the great things about display ads is their ability to track users for retargeting. For example, if a user lands on your website and doesn’t convert, you can track them with a cookie and retarget them with a relevant display ad later on. It should be no surprise to know that with this much contextual relevance, you’ll be generating a lot more conversions at a lower cost-per-click (CPC).

How to Use WhatsApp For Digital Marketing ?

Businesses focus a lot of their marketing activities on  a lot of social media platforms. One of the reasons is that there are a huge number of active users on those platforms. 

WhatsApp is more than just a messaging app for people. It can be a great platform for businesses to communicate with their prospective customers as well as existing customers. 

Let’s now look at how businesses can communicate with their audience on WhatsApp.

Whatsapp Business App

WhatsApp launched a Business App which was “built with the small business owner in mind” according to them. With the WhatsApp Business App, “businesses can interact with customers easily using tools to  quickly respond to messages.”

Here are what you can know the function of Whatsapp Business App :

1. Create a Business Profile 

WhatsApp allows businesses to create a verified business profile through which businesses can display important information regarding them like the business description and category, website address, physical address, opening times.

2. Organize and Label Your Contact 

Businesses can organize and label their contacts so that they can easily segment their leads or audience and communicate with them. For example, you can label and segment your audience as “prospects”, “existing customers”,”pending subscription”, to help distinguish your audience and send messages to each of the labels accordingly.

3. Create Automated Messages and Greetings 

You can use automated messages or automated greetings to answer your audience when you are away, or unable to answer. An automated message can be something that says you are away right now and will be getting back to them by a specified time. 

4. Use Quick Replies

You can set certain messages that you use often as ‘quick replies’ and quickly use them whenever you need to while communicating with your audience. You can set your brand messages, product/service offers, introductions, as ‘quick messages’ and use them with your prospects and customers.

5. Use Analytics 

The Analytics provided by WhatsApp Business are still basic in nature and might probably be developed further. But they are still useful. You can know the amount of sent messages, number of messages delivered and number of messages read.

WhatsApp also has a Business Api service which helps businesses build their own official WhatsApp messaging experience for efficiently communicating with their audience. Also, it is more likely that Facebook is going to introduce more features for marketing on WhatsApp sooner or later. However, businesses have enough opportunities now on WhatsApp.

Ways to Utulize Whatsapp for You Business

Provide Customer Service 

A great way to use WhatsApp for your business is providing customer service. Businesses are already using messenger platforms like Facebook Messenger to provide customer service. While WhatsApp is not as advanced as Facebook Messenger bot, it is still a great platform for your customers to place orders, make enquiries.

Updates 

You can use WhatsApp to send updates to your audience. If your business is product-based, you can send updates regarding new product releases or upgrades or if you are a restaurant or a cake shop, you can update your audience on new items. If you are a blogger or vlogger or a YouTuber, you can update your audience regarding new content. Think of WhatsApp as a modified form of email marketing. The possibilities are endless. You can use Broadcast lists to send messages to multiple contacts at once. However, a broadcast list is limited to 256 contacts.

Create and Promotes Offer 

You can create and promote offers, freebies, discounts on WhatsApp. Make sure that they are relevant and useful to your audience. Let your audience know when you seek their contacts that you wish to send them seasonal offers and discounts. Of course, do it sparingly. You can use broadcast lists for this.

Make Use of Stories

Stories are always interesting, no matter from whom they are. That’s the reason why almost every social media platform started to incorporate ‘stories’ since Snapchat introduced the feature and made it a success. WhatsApp stories are really a great way for businesses to communicate to their audience regarding almost anything. You can introduce new products, promote offers, promote your events, give sneak-peeks, show inside pictures of your workplace or restaurant, and so on.

Create Groups & Form Communties

You can create groups on WhatsApp and build communities around your brand. Using groups, you can interact with your audience effectively and they too can interact among themselves. 

Using groups, businesses can discuss about their events, seek feedback from their audience, make use of user-generated content and interact with the members on various things. However, a group can only have a maximum of 256 users. 

While these are some of the ways you can use WhatsApp for your business, you can get more creative and make use of this platform in many different and exciting ways. It all depends on your business, your brand and your audience.

Social Media Marketing VS Digital Media Marketing

Many people use digital marketing and social media marketing correspondently. They believe that engaging in different social media platforms is digital marketing, but this is just a part of it.

Digital marketing is an umbrella term that encompasses all types of marketing activities that a brand performs digitally, both online and offline, to promote their services or products.

Social media marketing, on the other hand, is one of the channels of digital media marketing. It involves marketing on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

What is Digital Media Marketing?

According to the dictionary, marketing is the activity, set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. The addition of the word ‘digital’ to marketing means utilizing digital media channels to promote your products or services.

Digital marketing is about the implementation of a variety of customized digital media marketing channels to achieve any of the following objectives:

  • To grow your products or services sales and profits
  • Create your brand awareness and build a strong relationship with your target audience
  • Create and add value
  • Promote your products or services or brand

Remember that it is not necessary to include all available digital media marketing channels in your marketing campaign. Digital marketers develop a customized digital marketing strategy that includes the most appropriate digital marketing channels that fit your business, target audience and of course, your budget.

What exactly is Social Media Marketing ?

Social media marketing is only one aspect of digital marketing. It implies the use of social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Goggle+ and Snapchat to marketing your products, services, or brand. Typically, it involves engagement with your target audience, followers, seeking industry influencers, posting fresh and unique content, arranging contests and adopting a variety of other means to grab the attention of the audience present on different social media channels.

What is Digital Marketing Tools ?

Modern digital marketers have to be active on several forums at the same time to stay on the same level as their competitors. Whether you require digging through information or data, numerous digital marketing tools help you to save your time and keep your sanity.

Some of the digital marketing tools according to the strategy include:

  • Email marketing
  • Paid social media marketing
  • Video hosting tools
  • Social media channels
  • Website analytics
  • Content creation tools
  • SEO tools
  • Customer service tools
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Display retargeting
  • Organic social media marketing
  • Content curation

Why should you include Social Media Marketing in your Digital Marketing campaign ?

Today’s world has become increasingly social. Research shows that internet users spend nearly 30% of their online time on social media platforms. If you want to place your business in front of people and expand your reach globally, social media marketing is a must for your business.

Most of the businesses and brands experience a quicker response rate from social media marketing campaigns as compared to others digital media marketing. But this is not enough to achieve the set marketing goals. To harness the optimal benefits, it is necessary for businesses and brands to include other digital marketing components in their digital marketing campaign and not only focus on social media marketing.

Digital Marketing versus Social Media Marketing 

After reading the above explanations, it must be clear to you that social media marketing is just a part of digital marketing.

The comparison of both side by side gives you the following:

  • Digital marketing uses both online and offline digital means to reach out to the target audience, while social media marketing is limited to online boundaries.
  • Your digital media marketing campaign may use a variety of channels such as mobile advertisements, TV, online advertising and SMS. While social media marketing may focus on one or more than one social media channel such as Twitter, Facebook and  YouTube.
  • The success of your social media marketing campaign depends heavily on your content strategy. It means you need to keep posting fresh and unique content on your social media accounts to interact your target audience. While for digital marketing, you can only use the banner advertisements on different digital platforms like TV, the Internet or billboards to promote your brand.

What is SEO & Why is it important ?

You’ve probably heard many times that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital digital marketing tool, but do you know what SEO actually is and do you want to know more about SEO ?

SEO is made up of multiple different elements and best practices that help your website rank higher in search engine results, how they work is key to understanding why SEO is so important. In short, SEO is significant because it makes your website more visible. However, although SEO once involved adding keywords to your site for search engines to find, SEO in 2018 is far more complex and involves a much broader scope of considerations.

Nowadays SEO is a full-time job for small businesses and many are turning to website design. Beyond that, it is also a valuable tool for brand awareness, building relationships with prospects and positioning yourself as an authoritative and trustworthy expert in your field. So without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about SEO and why it’s vital in today’s digital world.

The Crucial Elements of SEO

Keywords

Keywords are still the only SEO technique that mattered for a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still crucial. Keywords are still important nowadays. The difference is that today, keywords must be well-researched, carefully chosen and judiciously used in your content in order to be effective. But what are keywords, exactly? Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines to find what they’re looking for. For example, if you were looking to buy a new jacket, you might type something like “mens leather jacket” into Google. Even though that phrase consists of more than one word, it’s still a keyword. So, that’s an easy way to explain the keyword.

When researching keywords, it’s important to look for ones that have high search rate and low competition and to choose short-tail keywords (such as dog), long-tail keywords (such as terrier puppies for sale), and local keywords (such as puppies for sale in Boston) to work into your content. You can also use keywords to optimize all your titles, URLs, and other on-page SEO elements (more on that later).

Content

Content is a vital part of SEO because it’s the way you use to reach and engage more audiences. For instance, if you owned a nursery and wanted to increase your visibility, you might publish a series of blogs about gardening, choosing the right species of plants, growing tips, and more. When a person who wanted to know about gardening went looking for that information, your blog would come up and you’d be able to build a relationship with that prospect by providing valuable information. When the time came for that prospect to buy a plant, for instance, you’d be the first nursery that came to mind. Today’s content must be educational, but also interesting, relevant, engaging and shareable. Content comes in a variety of forms, such as:

  • Web page content
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Whitepapers and e-books
  • Social media posts
  • Local listings

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO involves external optimization practices that happen away from your site. The main technique used for off-page SEO is backlink building since quality backlinks to your site from external sites tell search engines that your site is valuable with high quality and this builds authority.

There are many tactics to backlink building and some of the current best practices include guest blogging, creating lots of infographics that will be highly shared and mentioning influencers in your content.

 

Local SEO

Local SEO is becoming increasingly important as more and more people search for something using their mobile devices. These days, 57% of all searches are performed from tablets and smartphones with half of those searches having local intent.

If you owned a restaurant, for instance, then local SEO would ensure that when people in your area went looking for the best restaurants in town, they’d come across your site. Along with using local keywords, other local SEO best practices include claiming directory listings, creating location-specific pages for your site, and creating pages for your business on Google My Business, Google+, and Google Maps.

Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing (SEM) refers to paid marketing efforts, and it includes things like native ads, Google AdWords, social media ads, pay-per-click, Google shopping ads, display ads, and more.

Although SEM isn’t usually a major component of a comprehensive SEO strategy, it does have its place because it can help you reach new and highly targeted audiences. 

SEM is Search engine marketing (SEM) is a digital marketing strategy used to increase the visibility of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs). Search engine marketing is also alternately referred to as paid search or pay per click (PPC).

Target Market 

SEO today is not about just grabbing as much traffic as possible, but instead attracting high-value visitors interested in what you offer.

In terms of demographics, what is your market searching for? How are they performing web searches? Where are they located?

The more specific your answers, the more valuable your investments in SEO become. Google Analytics is a good place to start your investigations !

Links to your site are extremely valuable

When another website links to yours, search engines consider that an indicator that your site contains valuable content. Not so long ago, getting dozens of links from low-quality sites was all it took to boost your ranking. Today, the value of a link to your site depends on the quality of the site that is linked to you. Just a few links to your business from high-traffic sites will do wonders for your ranking !

Understanding the Importance of SEO for Modern Businesses

Visibility and Rankings

One of the most important functions of SEO is increasing visibility, which means making it easier for prospects when they want to search something and they find you. Visibility is directly related to your ranking.

The higher you rank on a search engine result page (SERP), the more likely prospects are to see you and click through to your site. The more effective your SEO efforts, the higher your ranking and the better your visibility, which is especially important when you consider that a quarter of web users never click past the first SERP.

Web Traffic

Increased web traffic is one of the very important goals of SEO and you increase traffic when you increase visibility and rankings. Consider this for a moment: nearly 33% of clicks go to the first ranking page, and the first five listings get over 75% of all clicks.

If you want to find more prospects of your website through a search engine, then you need SEO practices that will help you rank among the top five positions and ideally number one.

Authority

 

The concept of authority is relatively new in SEO, but it’s becoming increasingly important to search engines because it’s becoming more important to web users. Essentially, authority means that your website is trustworthy, high quality, relevant and has something to offer for your target. The more authority your site has, the higher your ranking will be and the more prospects will come to trust your brand.

Creating a Better Visitor Experience

Another reason SEO is critical is because all the time you put into generating great content and optimizing your site with on-page SEO improves the usability of your site and this creates a positive customer experience.

For instance, when you take steps to make your site responsive, it will make it usable for all your mobile visitors as well as people who visit from a laptop or desktop. Similarly, by increasing your page load speed, you’ll reduce your bounce rate and encourage visitors to spend longer on your site. Nearly 50% of consumers expect a page to load within two seconds and the longer the load time, the higher the bounce rate and the lower your conversions.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, SEO is a complex undertaking that involves many different techniques, tactics, and best practices. Moreover, these best practices are always evolving as consumer and web-user behaviors change, as new technologies emerge and as search engines change their algorithms. That being said, SEO is still of the utmost importance for any business that wants to be visible online, so your efforts are well worth it.

This means you really can’t afford to approach each campaign individually. The most successful brands integrate all their campaigns that ensure there’s always something pushing their leads one step closer to converting into a customer.

5 Steps to Build A Digital Marketing Campaign

You need to take the steps to make sure you get the most out of your marketing campaign.

A digital marketing campaign involves the execution of a marketing strategy across all the digital channels where consumers engage with a brand, usually for the purpose of improving a company’s conversion rate. Digital marketing campaigns are much more dynamic and sustained than traditional, analog marketing methods. A digital marketing campaign involves a lot more than simply placing adverts for your business or brand around social media and other websites.

There is a constant or near-constant exchange of data between the business and the various online platforms on which they market. For example, an integral part of most digital marketing campaigns is SEO. But SEO is not something you can simply buy or implement with a single transaction. SEO is an ongoing process and in order to ensure that your score continues to rise and that your competitors don’t end up overtaking you with regards to your most important search terms, you need to be regularly examining data and evaluating your effectiveness.

Sticking to the following steps when you are devising your digital marketing campaign will ensure that you approach your marketing in a logical and efficient fashion, giving you the best possible chance of success.

1) Define your goals

To some people, this advice seems so glaringly obvious that you might wonder why we would include it at all. The reason is that, for many marketers, defining their goals at the very beginning is second nature. However, there are many people who are so eager to get into the nuts and bolts of their campaign that they don’t do the planning beforehand that is necessary for a focused approach.

There are a number of choices you will need to make when putting your marketing campaign together. Of course, you might be pursuing both goals.

The exact goals you pursue are entirely up to you. They will be decided, at least in part, by the current circumstances your business is in, but only you know what it is that you want to achieve for your business in the long term. However, the following goals are worth considering, even if they aren’t the primary focus of your campaign.

  • Brand awareness

A measure of how well-known your brand is among your target market. Through digital marketing and advertising efforts, positive associations around your brand grow in the consumer’s mind, sparking consumer interest, trust and loyalty – often even before the conversion takes place.

  • Social media followers

Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. The major social media platforms (at the moment) are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat.

  • SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

2) Identify Your Target Market

Knowing exactly who it is that you are trying to sell your products to is hugely important if you want to be able to use your resources more efficiently. Don’t worry how much budget you have, the more you know about the demographics that you are trying to reach, the more finely you can craft your marketing materials to appeal to them. This is a much more efficient approach than simply throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks.

You should begin to know who exactly is currently buying your products. Your current customer demographics may not be the same as the demographics that you most want to reach with your marketing. If you are looking to reach new audiences and expand your reach with your latest marketing campaign, you need to make sure that the new direction you are planning on heading in isn’t going to alienate your existing customers.

3) Define Personas

A persona is a detailed description of your ideal customer. This includes information such as their age, their occupation, their wealth and class status, their family situation  and any other variable that will determine how they are likely to spend their money. Whereas your target demographics are fairly broad, your persona should be defined in as much detail as possible. This often includes information about their hobbies, interests and personal lives. This kind of information is often omitted when considering broad target demographics.

4) Realistically Assess Your budget

One more important step that is often overlooked it warrants. Setting yourself a realistic budget is important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, your budget will serve as the primary restriction on what you can do with your marketing campaign and will also dictate how you allocate your resources. The good news is that digital marketing is cheaper than conventional marketing, meaning that the same resources will go further when you are using them in the digital space.

5) Take Advantage of Social Media

Social media is the most important marketing platform in the world today. The success or failure of your digital campaign may well ultimately hinge on how effectively you are able to utilize social media. Not only is social media a very important marketing platform in its own right, it also serves as a support for many other aspects of digital marketing, creating a powerful synergy.

There are a number of reasons why these two digital marketing aspects should be considered together, not least of all because social media will provide you with valuable insights and data which can be used to further improve your SEO score. Keeping a consistent message across your various marketing components is essential for ensuring maximum synergy between them. If you utilize your social media profiles to their fullest effect, they can provide you with the kind of data that you would normally have to pay a market research company a hefty sum to produce.

A strong digital marketing strategy is a successful business. While digital marketing is cheaper than traditional marketing methods, it is also a much more powerful tool. The only caveat is that it requires businesses to take a more considered and thoughtful approach when devising a campaign.