What is Digital Marketing exactly? In its simplest form, Digital Marketing is the process of using digital technologies and platforms to achieve a higher rate of sales/leads/conversions.
There are many forms of digital marketing, here are 5 options that really must be considered for successful digital marketing.
Can a business really be credible if they do not have a web presence? We have heard many small business’s state that they get ‘all their custom and enquiries through Facebook and have their own Facebook page which is enough’.
It’s not enough.
A Facebook page is great and an important factor in Digital Marketing (see ‘Social Media’ below) but a website allows you as a business to communicate exactly what you do to potential clients. It allows your potential clients to form a clearer picture and a better opinion of you. It should allow multiple forms of communication (contact form, prominent email addresses and phone numbers).
More than that, your website should be a form of ‘seduction’. A well-designed site can be your most valuable sales tool. It’s your chance to convince and convert your audience.
A responsive website design is crucial. Your website should display perfectly on all devices, from a phone through to large screen desktops. Mobile internet use is now at a greater level than pcs at 52% on an upwards curve year on year.
Your website is your number 1 digital property – all other digital marketing should evolve from and lead back to your website.
Can a business have a website with no SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) in place? Unless you are fortunate enough to have a well-known USP and familiar brand name, the answer is always no, you really must have SEO on your site (The same also applies even if you do have a well-known USP and brand name!).
Hiring a reputable SEO agency is possibly as hard as ranking in Google search – we are being serious here. Our tip would be to work with a UK SEO agency that displays clear results and a transparency in their services. There is good SEO and bad SEO out there. Some services will promise plenty and deliver nothing, indeed some SEO agencies may actually harm your website’s reputation with search engines. We have worked with numerous clients to repair damage that other ‘SEO providers’ have done to their websites – be careful who you hire!
Search Engine Optimisation should provide search engines with clear information on what the website is about, with a focus on keywords and key-phrases. For instance, our website ranks in Google on page 1 for ‘UK Social Media Agency’. Best practice SEO should allow a website to rank for specific keywords and phrases, taking into account the keyword competition volumes. A thorough keyword research will reveal multiples of realistic keywords to target.
Organic SEO, using the keywords sensibly placed within the website content, will provide more traffic to the website and should continue to provide consistent traffic long after the website has been optimised. This is ideal and can negate the need for PPC to a point.
“No need for an agency, we can do it in-house”… To be honest, all five points listed here ‘can’ be actioned by an employee up to a point. The danger with this is there is no real quality control in place. Hiring professionals to run all five points makes good economical sense and you should receive a return on that investment.
Social Media is a classic case of the DIY approach, with some businesses making errors on their social networks which will either be a waste of your employees time or worse, will damage your brand.
An experienced Social Media agency will develop a strategy, defining your target audience and how to connect with them. A clear tone should be set and continually adhered to. By producing content that actually engages with your audience, an agency should be able to easily demonstrate their worth.
Social Media can be a fantastic way of delivering core brand messages, growing an audience (and awareness) and building relationships with your potential customers – surely you would want this opportunity to be managed not by the latest intern but by professionals that will enhance your business?
Another reason to go professional is the obvious advertising opportunities. Anyone can boost a post, but can everyone really produce specific advert creatives that are targeted to a very special audience / market sector? If social advertising is within your budget, it would be prudent to hire professionals to execute the adverts.
A business that opts for the DIY approach generally does not see a return on their time or are just too busy to operate their social networks continuously. A social network that has not been active for some time could send out the wrong message to a potential customer (‘are they out of business?’). It is important to maintain your social accounts, whether you use an agency or not.
Blogs? Really? I’m no Perez Hilton! Good, One Perez is really more than enough… That said, all businesses should consider the potential of developing a rolling blog posting strategy.
Blogs can allow you to target other keywords and phrases that were not used in the website optimisation process. Lower competition keywords can and should form a list of future blog titles. By writing a 500+ word article and using a target keyword wisely (Title, content x 3), a blog may rank high in search results. The lower competition keywords may come with a lower monthly search volume, but when you multiply this technique over a series of articles, you could end up with a healthy combined search volume.
Another benefit to blogging is you are giving search engines something new every time they crawl your website – they love this and will potentially reward you with overall higher search positions.
By using a professional blog copywriting service, your website should receive a constant source of new traffic. Using the low competition keywords that would have been discovered in keyword research, your blog will provide you with an effective marketing tool.
Add to that the enhanced reputation of your website overall, the regular content from blogs really can work for any form of business.
“Top of this list shows organic SEO detailed, why should I pay for that and PPC as well?” Perhaps a valid point, why should you pay to get to top position in search results when there are services to get you there organically – or vice versa…
PPC (Pay per Click) is very different from organic SEO. PPC is literally that, when someone clicks on your advert, you have to pay for the privilege, with no guarantee of that person ever contacting you or making a purchase. Organic SEO can be a one time hit in terms of cost, with no negative impact when someone clicks on the listing in search results.
So why PPC? When you pay to advertise, you can select the exact keywords and phrases you wish your advert to be shown for and link it to a specific page on your website. It can be costly, but it can also be effective. PPC allows you to target more broader terms, such as ‘Social Media Agency’, rather than ‘UK Social Media Agency’ as basic examples.
PPC is also very useful for new websites that have not yet been ranked by search engines. Utilising paid search in this instance provides an immediate way of showcasing your website or latest offer.
PPC works well with specific adverts leaning towards specifically designed landing pages. The most used PPC platform is Google’s Adwords. Although it may seem a relatively simple process to set up an advert, getting the right message into the limited content areas is crucial. So too, is the targeting. Google does provide some very good (and not immediately obvious) specific advert targeting.
It is worth considering using a professional service here. A PPC specialist will be able to control your budget effectively, maximise clicks on specific keywords and deliver outstanding results.
Yep, you can run all five options listed above yourself. There are free website builders, you could have a crack at SEO yourself, Social Media is easy peasy and so on…
We are hoping that we have pointed out the pitfalls of the DIY approach or choosing the wrong agency. If you are not 100% sure on what you are doing, or what the possible outcome of your efforts might be, you should seek professional assistance.
HIT Social Media is part of HIT Digital, a complete and professional UK Digital Marketing Agency with a proven track record in all of the above.
If you would like to know how we could help with any of the listed options, with tangible results, please get in touch.