You research and find the most successful ways to promote your online brand and henceforth create consumer awareness. But then you have to ask yourself… what is the most ‘simple’ effective way to promote your brand online?
What’s the best digital marketing strategy to gain e-commerce success?
Implementing powerful techniques to drive online traffic.
That’s simple, right?
To a lot of people, it does seem pretty uncomplicated. You research and find the most successful ways to promote your online brand and henceforth create consumer awareness.
But then you have to ask yourself… what is the most ‘simple’ effective way to promote your brand online?
Generally, when people brainstorm ways in which to perform a functional digital marketing strategy, they face a wall with two doors. The first door leads you to a brilliantly complex pathway toward online optimization. It’s free (or it perceives itself as free), but it’s very hard to dissect and many may be overwhelmed by its confusing, foreign language. The second door leads you to the more monochromatic world of online marketing. The pathway through this door is very linear and everything’s pretty structured and (seemingly) straightforward. However, this path usually comes with a higher toll (but usually with a more immediate reward).
These days, these two doors have become even more complicated. Door 1, aka the world of online optimization, doesn’t just confine itself to the search engines, it also encompasses social media. That means both SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SMO (Social Media Optimization). The same goes for Door 2; you’ll find both SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and SMM (Social Media Marketing) in there.
In actuality, the debate is now less over whether you should be investing in digital optimization or digital marketing, and more to do with whether you should be investing in/ appearing on search engines or showing/promoting on social media.
Truthfully, the not-so-simple answer is, your digital marketing strategy should include optimizing and marketing for both. Every path leads to different scenery with its different appeals. So, of course, you’re going to find different audiences – no single one is going to be the same as the next.
This leads to another simple question…
Do you want to appear for some of your potential/targeted audience, or all of it?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I assume you’ve answered with the latter. That’s good because you shouldn’t be placing all your eggs into the one basket.
That’s why Google Analytics is so fantastic. With the presumption that all of your parameters/pixels are installed correctly, you can visibly see how multiple platforms assist in different ways. Whilst one platform might have a higher conversion rate, another platform may lead you to more impressions and sessions. Thus, losing one of these platforms would be of detriment to your entire digital marketing strategy
The importance of social media promotion
Social Media Marketing (SMM) is the latest generation of SEO. SMM was born after the internet experienced the ‘social medias boom’. Practically, having SMM a part of your digital marketing strategy helps to gain website traffic and readers’ attention using social medias.
Why should it be a part of your digital marketing strategy? How does it work, exactly?
By creating relevant and attractive content about your business on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn), you reach a large audience who are likely to share your posts with their own social networks: that is called “electronic word of mouth (eWoM)”. The ease of interaction with the audience and the rapid spread of information constitute the added value of SMM strategy to influence your brand’s awareness and therefore your conversions.
The biggest advantage of SMM and SMO is that you can control your appearance and how you would like to be perceived. On search engines, you don’t have the ability to hide/get rid of any negative results attributed to you/your brand. And as we have all realized, online reputation management is booming. Everyone likes to be a critic and it only takes a matter of seconds to be publicly shamed. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to defend these attacks on search engines. However, when you stumble upon criticism on social media, brands have an opportunity to counter these reviews by personally reaching out to the attacker/providing support in live time. You actually have the chance to turn a complaint into a compliment and win back that customer (as well as hopefully, many more).
Why appearing on search engines is important
Think about the last time you used Google. That’s probably not that far back…right? Most of us won’t go a day without using Google if it’s to search for the local repairman or to find the most recent clickbait from DailyMail or Buzzfeed. In fact, Google currently processes over 40,000 search queries every second. That translates to a whopping 3.5 billion searches every day and even more impressively, 1.2 trillion searches per year (worldwide). Econsultancy recently reported that 61% of consumers use search engines to help them with product research before making a purchase.
Stil, think it’s not important to your digital marketing strategy?
Now, I understand not all 3.5 billion searches per day are going to be relevant to your business, but I’m sure you can imagine the number of searches that could relate to your business/geographical area would still be pretty gargantuan.
I’ll leave you to judge whether that grants justification…
Now… you have to choose whether SEM or SEO is better suited for you.
What’s so great about SEM?
If you like instant gratification/you’re under the age of 30/ you’re impossibly impatient, then you’ve probably already dabbled into the search engine marketing tool, PPC such as Google AdWords. Globally, it’s the quickest digital marketing strategy. It basically means, that even if you haven’t made it to the top of organic search results, you can buy your way up the ladder (ideally to the first 4 ads/links on the search results) via AdWords. You choose what keywords you rank for, how much you’re willing to spend and when you want to appear. This doesn’t just go for Google. Some of the other largest SEM platforms include Yahoo!, Microsoft adCenter and Search Marketing. These all have great measuring tools and webmasters to track and target geographic location, CTR (click-through-rates), CPC (cost-per-click). It also leaves you to create your own advertisement copy (that can be edited at any time).
In summary, SEO deals with a website’s ranking on SERP (Search Engine Result Page). The challenge of producing effective SEO into your digital marketing strategy is to find and implement techniques that will improve your website’s search engine ranking and give it more visibility and traffic. Google is constantly changing it’s top secret algorithm, and the minute anyone is close to cracking it, they’ll change it. So, there are no obvious tell-tales of getting your brand to that no.1 position. However, there are definitely proven ways to help. The best, most obvious practices involve using keywords in file names, titles on pages, as well as in you Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions. This also involves making constant internal tweaks to make certain the code adheres to Web standards and is easily accessible for search engine indexing.
Off-page tricks include creating backlinks from websites with higher search rankings. Many SEO professionals do this through outreaching to blog posts and ensuring keywords are enscripted in the placed links.
The disadvantage of having SEO as a part of your digital marketing strategy? It takes time. Not only is it time-consuming, but it will also be awhile before you see your results. However, once it starts to kick-in the positive results will absolutely flourish and more importantly, costs will go down.
Search & social help each other out
While there are a lot of differences between the two, there is some cross-over. For example, you can use the same keyword research and on-site optimization strategies for both. Which is great, because keyword usage is equally important for both.
Search can lend a hand and can offer you a good understanding of what is highly searched/ particular keywords you should be using on social media.
Social media profiles rank really well for businesses. That means your Twitter, Google, YouTube and LinkedIn accounts. And especially, Facebook. Getting your social media accounts to the top of the page has a two-fold benefit for your digital marketing strategy:
1. Your social media page will be highly accessible
2. You can ensure that your brand name is close to the top of the search ranking
So, is your digital marketing strategy effective?
Now, having supplied all of this information, I’m not about to tell you how to implement your digital marketing strategy, or which pathway (if not all) you should go down. What I can tell you, is that despite how effective all platforms are, they do take constant management to stay successful – and this means knowing your way around the digital space.
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.