Jun 20

Digital Marketing – A Primer On Selling Online

Digital Marketing is more than just a trendy way to get a few extra clicks on your web page: It’s the way of the future. In the coming decades, Digital Marketing will become one of the most critical aspects to nurturing a growing online business. It already is, in fact. As such, anyone hoping to get a successful business going in the modern age needs to have a comprehensive understanding of the admittedly complex topic. For those new to space, or those looking to expound on their current pool of knowledge, the following article will act as a refreshing, in-depth primer.

In the coming article, a detailed analysis of Digital Marketing, as well as its many different facets and sub-disciplines, will be elaborated upon at length. The term digital marketing came around in the 2000’s, just as the internet started to become a resource that the vast majority of people had immediate access to. A vast web of information and avenues for communication, savvy small business people, and driven workhorses quickly saw the enormous potential the internet could provide them. In the last decade, these visionaries have more or less made digital marketing a science, and one that just about anyone can perfect given time and the correct information.

Online marketing can be simplified as such: Utilizing the various avenues of communication and information sharing services the web provides for broadcasting yourself, your ideas, and your business. In doing so, you provide yourself with the sort of advertising larger conglomerates spend millions on. All it takes to achieve this is time, consistency, and knowledge of the most effective insider tips available. Online marketing is sophisticated, however, and as such we have broken down the topic into some different sub-categories to make the topic more palatable. Below is an explanation of what these sub-categories are, and why they’re so important to growing your online business.

The 5 Pillars of Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing can be broken down into its five most popular forms: SEO, PPC, Content Market Marketing, and Email Marketing. Each of these pillars represents a different avenue for you to broadcast yourself, as well as your business, to the largest audience around – the worldwide web. Millions upon millions of people access the internet every day, and in theory, every one of them could be your customer or patron. The goal of this guide is to take that theory to reality.

A quick overview from Avinash Kaushik.

But how, exactly?

Each of these pillars represents a different method of getting yourself in front of the people who are most interested in the service you provide. As such, some of these will be a perfect fit for you, while others may seem less than ideal. Not every business will take advantage of all five pillars, but an effective one should utilize at least three. For example, for a someone who is already killing it Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing may be redundant, or potentially counter-intuitive if done incorrectly. Likewise, someone whose business operates entirely on SEO may not see much use in Content Marketing, but that same person will need to delve into the world of Social Media Marketing and PPC. The process operates on a case by case basis, and by the end of this breakdown, you will have a better idea of what works best for you and your business.

Each breakdown will contain not only an explanation of what each pillar is but how you should go about applying the discipline as well.

SEO

Search Engine Optimization is one of the most commonly utilized aspects of digital marketing, and in recent years has become a buzzword in and of itself. The process has been popularized by some larger websites and internet conglomerates. The success many have found by utilizing the process has led to many treating the concept as the holy grail of internet marketing. That designation, while seemingly over-dramatic, isn’t as far off as you might assume.

Search Engine Optimization is unquestionably one of the essential aspects of nurturing an online business. The process is an integral part of keeping you and your service relevant as time moves forward, as well as an excellent way of maintaining a healthy flow of traffic on your web page. There are many different ways of applying Search Engine Optimization. Some work better than others, but there is no risk of failure when in this area. Quite the contrary: No matter what your efforts may entail, the vast majority of success found with Search Engine Optimization will be completely contingent on time. Allowing your business space to breath and grow naturally is the best advantage you can give yourself, as well as your long-term goals.

Specifically, Search Engine Optimization refers to your ability to appear on the top of Google searches people may make in regards to topics that relate to your business. These topics can be either exactly or loosely related; if a business is appearing at the top of a search for large amounts of people, they have undergone the process correctly. The goal of the process is to increase your website’s ‘rank’ on Google searches, which roughly translates to how many pages you appear above of when a given person searches something related to your web page. Search Engine Optimization can often look overwhelming to newcomers, if only for the fact that by definition it implicates hefty competition. Do not let this overwhelm you, as very few businesses and people take the time to commit to learning the ins and outs of Search Engine Optimization. As such, the pool of people you will be competing with is much smaller than it initially appears.

Effective Search Engine Optimization will result in an increased amount of ‘organic’ traffic. This concept can be described as the number of people who stumble on your webpage, product, or service by chance. Whenever this happens, the action can be directly translated to free advertising. Someone, who otherwise would have no idea you or your service existed, now has an in-depth understanding of who you are and what you do, and all at no cost to you or your business. By this reasoning alone, many people consider Search Engine Optimization one of the most valuable aspects of the Digital Marketing Experience.

An active practitioner of Search Engine Optimization pays close attention to the keywords included in the content they publish online, as well as the varying interests of their target demographic. A good speed including properly optimised images help improve user experience in SEO.When all of this is taken into account, Search Engine Optimization truly begins to pay out in some significant ways. Spammy keyword stuffing or shady practices of title stuffing can lead to Google penalties too.

SEM, or Search Engine Marketing, is one of the essential disciplines for growing an online business. Nothing is more critical to an online store or storefront than consistent traffic. Organic webpage traffic and new viewers contribute to the single most crucial factor in long-term success: Sustained relevancy. Thousands of phenomenon go viral, but very few of them have staying power. SEM seeks to rectify this by providing content creators with the ability to keep themselves and their product in the public eye far longer than the would be able to otherwise. Many services seek to aid in the pursuit. SEO Services can take a new or struggling company to the new heights and can take already established names to the next level.

PPC

Pay Per Click is unique among the pillars, as it is one of the few methods that yield immediate returns. The process refers to micro deals made with publishers, advertisers, and patrons that results in an immediate payment being accrued after a click on a given website, article, or piece of content. Pay Per Click has taken off in recent years and is directly responsible for creating many of the most popular internet celebrities. The process has resulted in people with no relevant skills in the Digital Marketing, such as Youtubers and musicians, making millions unwittingly.

The payments given after each click are extremely small, so much so that you may initially question the value of the process. This mindset is often born from a lack of knowledge of just how many people could potentially be clicking on a given article or piece of content. For example, if a Pay Per Click view yields five cents, and one million people click on that article, then a previously negligible sum becomes a serious profit. Now imagine if you are posting five hit articles a week: The gains yielded by the process are nothing to laugh at and are in many cases the long-term goal had by many content creators and news outlets.

There are many different ways of acquiring a Pay Per Click deal. A large audience isn’t required either, as many smaller companies are happy to make deals with rising creators, on the hope of catching a wave or phenomenon that hasn’t begun yet. As such, there is no reason to limit your ambitions based on your current audience, or the size of your enterprise. By far, the most common form of Pay Per Click technology is Google Adwords. The service is a methodology Google concocted to make a profit off of the millions of people utilizing their service, and it has proven to be a mutually beneficial arrangement in the vast majority of cases. Best of all, the Google Adwords application process is shockingly lax and can result in some much-needed income for those who are just getting started.

As a business grows, larger deals will become available. In the best case scenario, product manufacturers, films, video games, and even individuals will offer Pay Per Click deals to get their image or service plastered across your online service. In these scenarios, the profit can be enormous, and the potential for growth even more so. To acquire deals of this calibre, one needs to have both a large audience, as well as a history of consistent traffic and audience engagement.

Pay Per Click and great PPC management are one of the only pillars the results in an immediate return on your investment, and as such, shouldn’t be ignored. No matter how small the initial sum may be, get integrated with a service as soon as possible, as learning the ropes will be as valuable in the long run as the payment itself. In short, acquainting yourself with the process is a win-win by any metric.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing is one of the most effective of the pillars and will lend itself well to anyone who works in a creative space. The process closely resembles traditional advertising, in that it entails the utilization of commercials, slogans, personalities, iconography, etc. Content Marketing can leave a lasting impression on your audience, as it provides a direct route to creating actionable results from the traffic accrued on your website. The process can yield enormous results, and can significantly endear you to a large number of people. Anyone with skills in art, music, public speaking, writing, and editing will find themselves at home with content marketing.

To this point, each of the previous pillars has been ‘passive,’ as in they have not required constant action from you as a content creator or business owner. Content Marketing breaks this trend, as the process requires active participation and creation on behalf of the business owner. As such, Content Marketing does hold some degree of opportunity cost, meaning that while you’re creating this content, you could theoretically be doing something else to enhance your business or web presence. This means the practice has the potential to be one of the more risky pillars. For these reasons, it’s important to understand how to create effective, memorable, and positive imagery to associate with your brand or business.

If you do not have a background in creative pursuits, it’s possible to hire freelancers and professionals to create the content for your business. This route has the potential to be the most effective method of content marketing, as working with professionals guarantees more significant results and some degree of quality. It has a real, monetary cost, however. As such, recognizing methods of Content Marketing that are more passive is essential as well.

One of these methods can be found in yourself: literally. A potentially effective way to market yourself to your audience is to present yourself as a sort of mascot or personality. Many bloggers and YouTubers do this, and in the process create a personable relationship with their audience. By creating this relationship, they do more to guarantee loyalty and consistency from those who enjoy their services. Moreover, using yourself as an advertising tool can help create credibility with your brand, which can make future Pay Per Click deals and expansions a more intuitive and straightforward process.

This isn’t the only avenue available to those looking to engage in passive Content Marketing, however. Logos and iconography can also be extremely effective tools when creating a brand. If you have the resources or talent, theme music and jingles can also be a great way to create real-estate in the minds of those who visit your website. Ultimately, anything you can do endear yourself to those who visit your website, as well as potential viewers, can be considered effective Content Marketing. Content Marketing is one of the easiest pillars to pair with others, and it’s rare to find a business that can’t benefit from the process.

Social Media Marketing

As the time moves forward, society is becoming more and more reliant on social media. As such, digital marketing is also being affected by the phenomenon. For the better, however. Social Media has opened up many new avenues for online business owners to market themselves and their product. Additionally, it allows you to accomplish this goal in a manner that is organic and natural. The benefits yielded by this method of online marketing are numerous. Social Media Marketing has taken many otherwise unnoticed products and transformed them into viral sensations overnight. This extreme result isn’t even required to make good use of the pillar; in many cases, just having a social media presence can greatly affect the size and growth rate of your business.

Social Media can impact your business in many different ways, and understanding how can greatly benefit your burgeoning online endeavour. First, Social Media Marketing entails a degree of personability and interaction with your audience. Interaction is potentially the most valuable aspect of the process. By creating positive relationships with those who consume or engage with your service, you ensure both positive word of mouth, as well as continued business. In doing so, you have secured both free advertising, as well as a return customer. The value found in the process is second to none, and as time moves forward, Social Media Marketing has the potential to be one of the most invaluable aspects of nurturing an online storefront or content creation service.

Social Media MarketingTo get started in Social Media Marketing, create an account with one of the major social media giants. If you think you can manage multiple pages, create an account with each of them. Having a presence on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus can go a long way in gaining organic traffic to your web page or service. Once that has been completed, use the page as a place to engage with your audience. Post fun, interactive questions, and on a somewhat regular basis, post endearing slogans or cute jokes. Make sure that each of these things is as neutral as possible, and pertain only to your business. Creating jobs that deal with things such as politics, current events, or other companies have the potential to alienate otherwise willing customers. It is much easier to retain someone who you have already pleased than it is to regain the trust of someone you have alienated, so keep these things in mind when operating a social media page. If you have the resources available, many online businesses employ full-time social media managers. Doing so can have significant results, as engagement specialists are trained to keep customers happy.

As beneficial as it may sound on the surface, Social Media Marketing has the potential to be a risky endeavour as well. One ill-worded post or overly opinionated quip can tank an otherwise successful business, so tact and perception are prerequisites, no matter what your business or service may entail.

Email Marketing

Email Marketing is the granddaddy of Digital Marketing, as it has been around since the very beginning of the Internet. The concept is simple and much more straightforward to grasp than some of the other pillars. In short, Email Marketing entails sending out massive amounts of emails to prospective customers and partners, in the hope that a fraction of them will engage in turn. The concept is similar to Pay Per Click in that it relies mostly on small returns accrued in large numbers. A tiny portion of those who receive your emails will reply or open what you have sent them, so the performances will rely solely on the portion that does engage with what you have sent them.

The process combines the passive nature of the earlier entries with, the more active pillars we have just discussed. You will need to create compelling and engaging emails to send out en mass, but once you have concocted a few of them, there won’t be a need to refresh for a few months. These Emails can contain advertisements, quips, calls to actions, or reminders of upcoming events that pertain to your service. In reality, the sky is the limit when crafting an email. The only essential aspect of what is found inside the Email is that the text requires some sort of engagement on the recipient’s end. Make sure that whoever does end up reading your content will be persuaded to engage with your business even further. In doing so, you will have created a more personable relationship with the recipient.

Many bloggers and internet talents use Email Marketing as a way to keep in touch with their audience. The process acts as a companion piece to Social Media Marketing: If Social Media Marketing is used for engaging with your active audience, Email Marketing can be utilised as a methodology to communicate with customers who you may have fallen out of touch with. One of the most critical aspects of managing an online business or content creation platform is ensuring that the people who utilize your service come back for more on a frequent basis, and Email Marketing is one of the most effective ways to accomplish this goal.

Email Marketing has the ability to create a large amount of interaction with your audience, but utilising it without restraint can produce the opposite of the desired effect. If you spam your prospective customer’s inboxes, they can potentially grow annoyed with your persistence. To avoid this, ensure you aren’t sending your customers the same email more frequently than once a week. If the content contained in the email is varied enough, then breaking this rule is forgivable. Ensure that the content of each of your messages is confident, engaging, and not overly aggressive. If each step has been followed properly, Email Marketing can be one of the most useful and practical tools that a SEO Expert can make use of. Use the process to create new clients and reconnect with old ones.

Conclusion

The five pillars of Digital Marketing are essential to creating a thriving business. The online landscape is evolving every day. To ensure you retain relevance and success in the sometimes cutthroat world, keep yourself well-versed and knowledgeable in all this related to Digital Marketing. Search Engine Optimization is a crucial part of retaining relevancy in the over-saturated realm of online content creation. Likewise, Pay Per Click is an integral part of keeping you and your business funded and successful even during slower of the journey. Social Media Marketing can keep you engaged with your audience, ensuring customers new and old are satisfied. Content Marketing can keep you and your brand’s image fresh. Lastly, Email Marketing is an excellent way to ensure that your audience is always up-to-date with your business deals, events, and new releases. Ultimately, every aspect of Digital Marketing stands to benefit your business in some respect. By understanding and respecting the algorithms that dictate your businesses’ success, that same success is all but guaranteed. Remember that each of the results yielded by these factors is maximised when paired with time and consistency.

About The Author

Ajay Chavda is the co-founder of Weboptimizers, an SEO agency in Melbourne and has been involved with SEO for over 15 years. Between the digital properties and security forums he has managed, his articles have been read by approximately 50 million unique visitors.

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