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How to Get into Digital Marketing

Learn the fundamentals of this increasingly tricky business.

Image Courtesy of Fang Digital Marketing

The way we consume content has shifted a lot over the last decade. The Internet and mobile devices have been around since the 90s, and yet we've only just begun embracing their advantages.

The days of television are long gone when it comes to advertising and marketing because of them. Advertisers can easily intercept online by increasing sales and productivity. 

It's easy to grow, segment, and target specific audiences this way because it's measurable and easy to track. They know exactly how much money they're spending and where they're going, so it's easy to see what's working and what's not.

You're probably wondering: how does this all work? 

It all starts with you. Figure out what kind of products or services you want to develop and what kind of content you want to create. For this, you'd need to have an idea of what would resonate with your target audience. 

So instead of emailing the full database of people buying similar products or services, email only those certain people who fit your demographic.

Getting those emails isn't difficult to do, either. Devise the right questions to ask people in order to learn about them, including their jobs and the challenges they face at work, their age, their influences, their spoken languages, and their content preferences.

There are lots of ways to find out this information: through Google Analytics, and audience reports about business coming to your website and where they're coming from, including affinity audiences. 

Other ways include questionnaires and social media (the people following us and showing interest). Social media platforms, in particular, are great because they show more than just age and location. 

They also infer what time of day do people view content, the influencers they follow, which forums they hang out on, the videos they watch, the events they show interest in, where they spend time, how they are engaged, and what devices and resources they use.

They're simple and digestible, with one-sided top level demographics. Just be wary of collecting too much unnecessary data.

Content marketing should be helpful to your target audience. To analyse your audience, decide who to target and how to turn them into customers through the marketing or conversion funnel (AKA sales pipeline). 

The idea is to get them to buy more and more often. Keeping them in this process, however, can be tricky.

For one, there is a lot of competition, and the Internet itself is a distracting place. Always keep in mind how much products and services within your industry cost, and find a way to create preference and loyalty toward your particular brand. 

In other words, make your customers into advocates of your products.

Their personal journey is broken down into six stages: 

  1. Discovering your product or service for the first time; 
  2. Researching it (reviews, prices, etc.); 
  3. Forming and establishing preference; 
  4. Building value and purchasing; 
  5. Maintaining loyalty (buying more); and 
  6. Buying more and advocacy (telling others about it).

You need to show why they need it from you specifically and right now by building awareness (through discounts, offers, and trials, etc.) to influence their decision and bring in traffic.

There are different ways strategize and execute your digital marketing campaign: search marketing, SEO and SEM, and social and email marketing.

Search marketing gains visibility in search engines with paid categories, organic servers, and SEO. 

You need to be optimizing (getting your products and services to pop up for certain people) according to consumer psychology, which involves getting information from them when they're actively looking for things online.  

SEO increases organic traffic and raises a website's rank. There are 10 positions and the higher you are the better, because 40 percent of traffic goes to the top spot.

However, there are businesses that try to manipulate SEO in shady ways, which can result in massive bounces.

You can obtain sustainable and risk-proof results using Best Practices. Reward your page with the right combinations of signals. Some factors help and others hurt, so make sure to have good quality content that's helpful for SEO, good site speed, keywords, relevance, and variations.

As well, keep in mind technical infrastructure, or, how other third party websites see your website. For example, your site shouldn't have duplicate content, URL, HTML format, ALTEXT, or the baseline.

Your keywords should be on your landing page, in every title, and have overall topical relevance. Other factors that matter are location, quality versus spam, freshness, overtime, steady velocity, and ROI (how much you spend and get back - return on investment).

If you want to reward with a better cost, there's also pay-per-click. This is based on quality score and the optimization of Google Adwords.

Generally speaking, an ad should be well written so people are interested in it. To measure ad view, the click-through rate is divided by impression. 

Consumers should have a good landing page experience, which means they should be spending time on it with no bouncing. So, relevance on the first page is crucial. 

Keyword research is also extremely important. As your page witnesses loads of visitors over time, there will be shifts in demand and use of content. Bid on keywords according to how many you will need as a result of trends and search term popularity.

Niche marketing is the way to go in this regard, which can be achieved by either long tailing (less volume, less competition, cost less, converse more), or short tailing (generic, high volume, more competition, converse less, cost more.

Have the right amount of substance in your content in the right places of your website. Display networks are a great way to do this, through ad placements, text, images, and videos (media). You can even link your assets through social media. Display ads are not based on intent but rather awareness, because they're targeting info based on consumer behaviour.

You can also try remarketing when a potential consumer doesn't convert. You show ads based on implied interest by scheduling them once every few days and then having longer retargeting intervals. This route is a bit creepy, however.

Otherwise, paying attention to follower and subscriber counts, platforms and networks used by consumers, and buyer personas will help you tailor your content to your audience. 

Specifically, you'll develop promotional techniques for managing your community, such as the ability to respond to questions and allowing for (live) two-way dialogue among that community.

As for mobile, snackable microcontent leaves people wanting more while on the go even though it's something they engage with for a short time, making it easily graspable. Meme references are effective here.

Finally, you are rewarded organically when people like and/or comment on your content. The more engagement you experience, the less you have to pay. Since social media algorithms are tied to engagement, investing in these tools and techniques will bring potential buyers to you naturally.

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