An effective digital marketing strategy is vital to achieving your business objectives in the current digital era. Trying to choose the right marketing channel for your business can be overwhelming, particularly so with the great number available to choose from. Trying to include all digital marketing channels in your marketing strategy can eat into your time, resources and budget. Understanding what options are out there can help narrow down which ones can work best to achieve your business goals.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the traffic to your company website by optimizing the content so it appears high in the search engine results. While it may take time to move your company up through the search engine rankings, it is an important place for your company to be visible.
BrightEdge recently reported that an average of 51% of traffic comes from organic search. This number has remained consistent in the past three years, with an average of 51% also being reported in a 2014 report. In the current market, an increasing number of B2B buyers are conducting research before engaging with prospective suppliers. A reported 71% of B2B buyers begin that research with an organic search (Google, 2015).
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) does exactly what it says on the tin. While SEO requires time to build up to a result, PPC only requires revenue. While Search Engine Marketing is the most popular and most effective method of paid advertising among B2B marketers, social media is establishing its dominance in the PPC advertising market.
Facebook ads are overwhelmingly dominating the social media advertising platform with 93% of marketers utilizing their services. While B2C marketers held the majority in using Facebook ads versus B2B marketers (95% and 87% respectively), B2B marketers got greater use out of LinkedIn ads (29% versus 10%).
Email marketing is essentially the process of marketing your business through the platform of email. It is a highly cost-effective method of reaching large numbers of people at any given time. The Radicati Group (2017) estimate the number of email users will top 3.7 billion worldwide. Most, if not all, successful companies are engaging in email marketing via newsletters, subscriptions, and to serve as a notification to special offers.
Many company websites promote the benefits of signing up for a newsletter or subscription and follow-through with weekly or monthly emails promoting in-store or online sales, with some even offering a personalized discount code to promote the sale of their product.
Social media marketing
Using social media platforms to promote brand awareness and generate traffic is the main objective behind social media marketing. While it is becoming increasingly important to establish your brand on social networking sites, it is not a priority to have an active presence on every social media platform. With the number of social media options out there you could find yourself spread far too thin, which could result in not effectively establishing a presence anywhere.
It is important to look at the profile of your target audience and understand what social media platforms are most popular. While 74% of people recently surveyed by Hubspot reported using Facebook for professional purposes, your target clientele may be more of an avid Twitter or Pinterest user.
Content marketing is the production of quality content through blog posts, whitepapers, and videos (to name a few) in an attempt to generate traffic and potential consumers to the company webpage. Distributing relevant content that is both interesting and educational can generate an audience that consistently returns to read your content.
When done correctly it can be very effective in promoting lead generation and sales. In 2016 it was reported that close to 90% of companies were using content marketing, with LinkedIn being the most popular (94%) and most effective (66%) social media platform among B2B companies to distribute said content.
Identify your company goals
Establishing the goals of your company is the most crucial component when choosing which digital marketing strategies to invest in. If your company’s primary goal is to generate sales and increase revenue then you must implement a lead generation strategy when using digital channels.
A lead generation strategy often requires a combination of digital marketing strategies. The usage of SEO and PPC advertising to generate traffic, alongside email marketing and content marketing can lead to greater return on investment (ROI).
Consider your resources, time-frame and budget
When deciding which digital marketing channels to use it is important to understand the resources you have at your disposal. Do you have employees with the skill set to produce high-quality content pieces, the editing skills to produce quality graphics and videos, and the personnel with the ability to design and maintain a website?
Attracting experienced creative talent may weigh on your budget. Hiring inexperienced talent in need of training can relieve your budget slightly but it can eat into your time-frame. Making use of the talent in your current workforce can be an important factor in deciding what digital marketing strategies you implement.
In a tight time-frame, PPC advertising can be an extremely attractive. If you have the budget for it then good news: it’s a method that generates traffic quickly! Unless you are a big organization with a large budget this is a method that will eat into your budget.
As unappealing as slow and steady wins the race may sound, investing the time into producing content relevant to your target audience and driving traffic using social media marketing can produce greater ROI.