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By Kaya Ismail

Digital marketing has become a necessity for any business attempting to survive in this day and age. It’s been said that the most important thing is not the amount of money you spend on digital marketing but the way you spend it. What does this mean? Well, certain categories within digital marketing will give you more benefits than others, depending on your company’s size and goals.

Digital Marketing is constantly changing, but there are some foundational categories of digital marketing you need to have a strong grasp of to thrive in the digital ecosystem. To learn more about the top digital marketing disciplines and the software tools for digital marketing. we asked the experts and here’s what they shared.

Top Categories for Digital Marketing

If there is a universal truth in digital marketing, every marketing executive has their own ideas of how marketing should be done and even how many marketing categories there are. Working in such a rapidly evolving industry means that new marketing categories can crop up all the time.

Even in the past ten years, there has been a huge jump in how digital marketing is understood. However, like Kate Adams, SVP of Marketing at Boston, MA-based Validity, said, “while marketing categories aid in creating brand awareness, recognition and trust, what a lot of marketers don’t realize is that the success of their digital campaigns is highly contingent on the health of their data.”

To understand more about each category, let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular digital marketing categories.

SEO

For some marketers, SEO is the pillar of their campaigns. This is because SEO is applicable to the other digital marketing categories. For instance, you’d have to use relevant SEO keywords in your drip campaigns and content marketing to make them effective and engaging, which is why SEO and research are fundamental for digital marketing.

SEO Tools

“When it comes to doing SEO, our go-to tools would be SEMrush and Ahrefs. We find using SEMrush helpful as it allows us to quantify our website’s estimated reach and also determine our site’s domain and/or resource authority,” shares Maya Levi, Marketing Manager at Tel Aviv, Israel-based ReturnGO.

SEM

Search engine marketing (SEM) refers to the practice of leveraging paid advertising that appears on the search engine results pages (or SERPs). In search engine marketing, companies place bids on keywords that Google visitors might use when looking for certain products or services, which gives the company the opportunity for their ads to appear alongside results for those search queries.

SEM Tools

According to Christopher Moore Chief Marketing Officer at Mooresville, NC.-based Quiet Light, “The best tool for pay-per-click advertising is Google Ads Editor as it allows you to create and edit different ad campaigns across different Google accounts making it far easier to manage your various campaigns and edit ads as the campaign goes along to make them more SEO friendly.”

Content Marketing

Content can take many forms, from blog posts to voice instructions delivered through IoT devices. Since it can takes many forms, it is often seen as the lifeblood of marketing campaigns. Due to its flexibility, content marketing has a central and all-encompassing role in every marketing strategy and can be tailored to fit customer needs before, during and after the buying process.

Content Marketing Tools

There are many content tools out there to help improve your content marketing. They can help build, grammar, content suggestions and SEO best practices. Examples include Grammarly, Ink and Jarvis.ai. Most of these are artificial intelligence-based apps that helps marketers overcome writer’s block and create content more consistently across niches, and ensure SEO is baked-in to the process.

Email Marketing

Getting into inboxes and engaging recipients through email marketing has become more challenging than ever before, with inbox volume nearly doubling year-over-year. Email marketing tools can help simplify email marketing campaigns and provide crucial insights to help increase engagement and improve execution.

Email Marketing Tools

A good piece of advice is that you should always start with an ESP (email service provider) that fits your budget and your brand. “Flodesk is a great option for paid with no tiered plans, but if you want to start with free, MailerLite is another popular one with a generous amount of free subscribers before you need to upgrade your plan,” shares Abby Sherman, Director of Strategy at Minneapolis, MN.-based Snap Agency.

Data Analytics

Without data, marketing is nothing but guesswork. On the other hand, the inappropriate use of data can definitely cripple even the best-laid plans. “Marketing and sales teams waste up to 50% of their time dealing with data quality issues,” confesses Adams. “From duplicate records to outdated contact information. If companies aren’t reaching the right audience, their marketing efforts (and money) are going to waste,” she continued.

Data Analytics Tools

“To gather data and insights, we supplement our usage of SEMrush with Google Analytics (GA),” said Levi. “Google Analytics is easy to set up, and it allows us to stay on top of our social networking profiles and website’s performances. Through the data that we get from GA, we can resolve marketing roadblocks that we encounter along the way strategically,” she shared.

All in all, to make it easier for you to meet the demands of digital marketing, it’s best if you choose and invest in the right software that will make the research, execution, and optimization of these efforts much easier for you. Some of these helpful apps include CRM tools, automation software, and collaboration tools that, with the help of personalization and a human touch, will help you create relevant and effective marketing campaigns.

Feature Image Credit: Adobe

By Kaya Ismail

Sourced from CMS WiRE

By Spencer Haws

Today, I’m excited to share with you an interview I did with Steve Wiideman from Wiideman.com.

Steve has been in the SEO industry since 1999…a dinosaur in internet years!  His first job out of college was doing SEO and search engine marketing.

So, Steve brings all of his SEO knowledge and experience to the podcast today.

In particular, we discuss how his SEO consulting group is working with clients doing local SEO, eCommerce SEO, and much more.

During the interview we discuss specifically how the Wiideman group helped Bob’s Watches:

  • eCommerce SEO
  • Bobs Watches has grown to over $40 million a year in revenue
  • and much more

We also discussed his view on affiliate sites and how it relates SEO.

  • Are affiliate sites really providing value or are they just doorway pages?
  • What sort of link building and keyword research should be done?
  • Ranking affiliate sites in Google

Steve is also a professor at Fullerton college and UCSD where he teaches SEO and online marketing.

He’s put together lots of video materials that he is giving away for free.

If you want to get free access to Steve Wiideman’s SEO videos you can go to AcademyOfSearch.com.  Use coupon code SEOSteve to get free access.

Get Academy of Search for Free

Free Access with Coupon code “SEOSteve”

If you’d like to follow along with Steve, be sure to head over to:

Watch Entire Interview with Steve Wiideman

 

 

Read Transcript

Hey Steve, welcome to the niche pursuits podcast.

Steve Wiideman: What’s up, Spencer, how are you doing? I’m doing really good.

Spencer Haws: It is great to connect and connect with an SEO veteran. You’ve been in the industry

Steve Wiideman: for a long time.

Spencer Haws: I do what I can and to know, but some of our listeners, maybe aren’t aware who you are. Right. So why don’t you give us just a quick background, who you are, what you’ve been involved with professionally.

Steve Wiideman: Of course. Yeah. So I started in digital, around the late nineties. I was freelancing doing some web design work for friends and family members. And. Really discovered a passion for it. One of my jobs, my I, my day job at IBM global services was to migrate data from what was going to printers and mail rooms to be online.

And I had this epiphany. I’m like, you know what? I’ll bet every business is going to have a website at some point, you know, and we’re talking late nineties, there were some sites didn’t even exist yet. Google didn’t even exist yet. And so, you know, I had that epiphany, I went back to school. I got a degree in e-business management.

You got to learn everything from database networking, graphic design, and pulling it all together through project management. And my first job out the Gates, my first professional job out the gate was as a search engine optimizer for a local. it’s more at the time it was more of a national, but I had a, brick and mortar location for monitors and that sort of thing.

And what year was your first job? Oh, geez. That was professionally. It was probably 2004, 2005. Okay. So before that I was just freelancing and going to school and, yeah, so 2000. Late 2005, I get a phone call saying, Hey, this this little company ran by a mouse, wants to hire you to manage paid advertising with this Google ad words and, and MSN ad center thing.

You know, could you, could you see if that’s something that’s a good fit for you? And I’m like work for Disney? That’d be amazing. So, I ended up actually being the STM account manager for disneyland.com, marketing and commerce marketing, you know, new Nemo ride grad night, commerce tickets, packages, reservations, and a new brand that they created called to adventures by Disney.

And that was an all flash website that couldn’t even be crawled or, you know, with no pages to index, there’s just a Swift file. So, you know, my, my role there, was mainly paid and I convinced my manager to give me a shot at this SEO thing. he, wasn’t very impressed that I ranked number one for.

Orange County SEO expert. And he said, tell you what show me that you can rank for SEO expert and we’ll talk. And so three months later after creating my SEO expert page and doing some promotion for it, adding video, getting some links to it. I’m on the first page. I’m like, like, Hey Terry, check it out.

I’m on the first page of Google for SEO expert. Let me do some SEO on these websites. And, and it comes back and goes, well, you’re not number one, few months later, I got the number one spot. I held it for 12 years, until I realized that my peer group and you know, that the community thought that it was bragging.

And I got blacklisted from a lot of speaking opportunities. the moment I dropped that some three years ago now. now I, I get the most amazing adventures with some of these peers that, that, before I thought I was just this guy that bragged about being number one for SEO expert. And now I get to go camping with these amazing friends and it was so worth it.

So that’s interesting.

Spencer Haws: So you think people didn’t like you because you ranked number one for SEO

Steve Wiideman: expert. And in fact, I, I saw lots of hate and blog posts and things back in the day that. It’s like, you don’t even know me. I, a few times I actually found the contact information of the people who wrote things about me and I’m like, Hey, let’s, let’s talk for a few minutes.

So you get to know who I am, you know? And then afterwards they post this guy actually had the audacity to call me. And, but it turns out he is actually a pretty cool guy, you know?

Spencer Haws: So I think that would be a good thing if you’re ranking for SEO expert.

Steve Wiideman: Well, I would just

Spencer Haws: ignore the haters.

They

Steve Wiideman: didn’t know what they were talking about anyways.

Yeah. Well, those, those haters now are my best friends and they’re so supportive of me. And when I get stuck on a really difficult technical or, or contextual SEO issue there they’re right there for me. So. we have some pretty exciting, amazing, you know, brands we get to work with now, a few restaurant chains, and I didn’t have that peer group around me, folks that were.

Just as experienced or veteran is as you call an earlier, you know, I don’t know that I’d be as successful. So I think it was worth it to, to move on from that what we’re going to hold list of new keywords. We’re going to try to tackle, but, I don’t think SEO expert is going to be one of them. Okay.

Spencer Haws: Well, so how did you actually end up making your first dollar online?

So you’re ranking for SEO expert. Was that kind of the first way you were getting clients or. Just curious. Yeah. How did you make your first

Steve Wiideman: dollar online? I think I started some of our own websites around 99 in 1999. I started to create some web directories. I had some web directories for, DJs and limousine drivers.

And at first it was just to help my, my friends and, and, you know, freelance clients that had those businesses. And then it evolved to something where I had people subscribing to my online directories. They pay an annual fee or monthly fee and. that was probably where I made the first dog was really just kind of creating my own line online directories.

All right.

Spencer Haws: that’s very cool. so what are all the businesses that you’re involved with now to kind of catch people up? You know, you’ve kind of given some of the history now, but, but what are you involved with now? is it just the one business? Wait a minute.com or. Is there

a

Steve Wiideman: portfolio there? I think, I think all of us, as we get started, you know, we, we get to a place after a couple of years, we own 500 domain names and we want to do something with all of them.

And we’ve got all these great ideas of what we want to do. that list has gone down, you know, it’s probably less than 70 domains that I own now, of which I probably use 10, some of which, are projects that I worked on with, students at some of the colleges I was doing guest speaking for and some mentoring for.

but the only two sort of companies or anything that I’m doing at the moment, one is just running our small group here at Wayman consulting. You know, we’ve got nine employees now and. we support everything from, you know, your local HVAC company to, you know, one of the largest restaurant, casual dining chains in the country.

and the other, the other sort of role I’m taking right now is an adjunct professor at Cal state Fullerton, UC San Diego. I’m not teaching six classes at Portland community college. So when everyone else gets off the clock and they go home and eat dinner and. You know, and watch the very entertaining news right now.

no I’m being sarcastic. I’m not, I’m, I’m putting courses together and helping students and helping the next generation of SEO so that, you know, in five, 10 years from now, You know, the, the, hopefully there’ll be more transparency, more ethics and more strategy and less, tactic, less, black hat and, you know, things that, that manipulate search results.

Instead, we’re building good foundations on how we, you know, how we handle digital marketing. So collectively I think I have. just over about 160 students. So, you know, it’s, it’s, because it’s an online course for digital certificate programs. Some of them are only one unit long. it’s not that challenging, but there are days where I’m like, I’m not going to get home tonight.

It doesn’t do things I’m doing, I’m running that demand at the moment. And, and with, wait a minute, we’ve got, you know, our, our training programs and our digital programs. And then I have the teaching side and the teaching side actually helps build a weight of insight. As we reinvent our website over the next month or two, it’s gonna be very educational and it’s going to leverage a lot of the content that I’ve created for the students.

Spencer Haws: Yeah. You know, I think it’s very cool that you’re teaching in college and the fact that there actually is a degree or courses for SEO and search engine marketing, that didn’t didn’t exist when I was going to college. I was actually surprised to hear that there was an E business, Degree when you graduated.

I didn’t know that existed back in there, but

Steve Wiideman: I got that postcard. I’m like really? Wow. I’m not going to say no to that. And then I saw a full sale, had a, an actual master’s degree program, like, Hmm. Should I go back to school and get a master’s degree? And, an e-business and I just never did. So did you graduate in, like, what

Spencer Haws: was it?

2003,

Steve Wiideman: 2004, 2004? Yeah. Okay. All right. So,

Spencer Haws: I hate to admit it, but I might be older than you. I graduated in 2002 and they didn’t have any online business courses that I was aware of. At least

Steve Wiideman: this was through Westwood college of technology and that’s awesome. It was a tech school, but. I also had a bit of a break between high school and college.

I had, you know, three years where I served in the us army in Fort hood. and then, you know, came back and did the work grind for a few years before I went back to school. So. Gotcha.

Spencer Haws: Very cool. So we did a brief call, before hitting record here and we kind of talked a little bit about what I’m involved with.

I mentioned that a lot of my listeners are building affiliate sites. I built a lot of affiliate sites and sort of in that discussion, you mentioned. Sorta that you don’t do your, your group doesn’t do a lot of consulting. I essentially asked you have any clients that are doing sort of affiliate marketing, you said no, not, not really.

and you sort of mentioned that, oftentimes, you know, affiliate sites are building a lot of doorway pages and, it’s just Google. Doesn’t really like that very much. It’s I’m

Steve Wiideman: paraphrasing. Yeah. A lot of, a lot of our effort is around lower funnel content. How do we drive customers? To our clients, you know, that the brick and mortars and the small stores and restaurants and some online, you know, e-commerce websites that we support where there’s an actual sale or a product.

So we can actually calculate ROI. One of the. One of the things that we really enjoy is geeking out on analytics and being able to say, Hey, you invested X, thousands of dollars in SEO this month and generated X dollars of revenue. It’s really to do that. Or you’re really easy to do that when you have an e-commerce website or a hybrid, if you’re a brick and mortar and you can place an online order, especially now during the pandemic, but can’t you do that with an affiliate site to some degree?

Yeah. I mean, you could do it where you’re, you’re calculating and importing data back. If you’re doing some. online ads to promote your, your page from an organic perspective, I suppose. Depending on how you’re doing it. If you’re doing it through a third-party network tying in which, which keywords generating traffic and that sort of thing can be a little more tricky with affiliate when there’s not a sale on the site itself, unless you’re drop shipping.

Of course job, ship’s different. Cause they’re still ordering on your website. I see.

Spencer Haws: When you, when do you want to get that granular data, right? You want to see that you ranked number one for this

Steve Wiideman: particular keyword. You want to see

Spencer Haws: how much this particular product sold from that page. cause, cause certainly we’re doing a lot as affiliate site owners, we’re doing a ton of analytics, you know, cause, that is the primary driver of traffic for affiliate sites is SEO.

Steve Wiideman: Right? Right. So if you were to perform a query right now for a product, with an intent to purchase, most of the results are going to be your, your Amazons and your, you know, your online stores. if you were to do a longer sweat, so query how, where compare versus ideas, strategies, tips, lists, right?

Those are the, the, the obvious opportunity for affiliate sites to create really rich long form content. Right. You’ll make recommendations within that content to, you know, to drive affiliate. We do have two affiliate clients that, that are in the medical industry and they’re selling like essential oils and those sorts of things.

And, and they’re doing really well because they create amazing content. They’ve got these great videos and like, hi, I’m Dr. So-and-so. And this is my wife, Dr. So-and-so and say, we’re going to be talking about backs, the unboxing, the YouTube videos that you know, that people are looking to decide whether they want to buy a product that.

You know, the, the product review keywords that you’re going after. I think there’s a huge opportunity there for affiliate marketing. but our, our forte has always been focused around, you know, direct sales and, you know, we really don’t have a lot of affiliate clients, but that’s not to say I don’t believe in it.

I think, I think affiliate’s amazing. And I think any, any entrepreneur, who’s not doing something to, to drive affiliate revenue. I mean our whole, our whole new website that we’re launching has a section for partners and folks that we recommend where the goal is to of course have affiliate relationship there.

So you’d be, you’d be silly not to diversify your, your online income streams by not doing a little bit of affiliate marketing. Right, right.

Spencer Haws: Yeah. No, and that’s, that’s good to hear just. To clarify for listeners, because most of them, that’s what they’re doing. You know, sort of those opportunities that you laid out said, Hey, there’s great opportunities for the comparison, the reviews, the lists, the all that, that, that’s exactly what I teach, and have been teaching for 10 years, right?

Is, is building these sort of niche affiliate sites. You write really in-depth content. You rank number one for Google for best XYZ product or. X versus Y product or whatever. and a lot of people built, you know, that’s their livelihood, you know, people do this full-time and they’re making really good money doing

Steve Wiideman: it at the equipment in my room was supposed to because of recommendations that I found likely.

Yeah. Ended up on BNH or somewhere else.

Spencer Haws: So just to clarify, you think Google is happy and, and they’re okay. Ranking this type of content affiliates that are building this in depth type of content that we just mentioned. Shouldn’t have to worry.

Steve Wiideman: No, not at all. I think, I think where they would have to worry is if, if they were trying to compete against a very behavioral targeted query, like by purchase order right out the gate, if you’re doing, you know, buy.

IPad case, you know, and, and I, I definitely encourage anyone who’s listening and watching to that, to do some of these queries where they’re using words like buy purchase order, reserve book, those, those types of call to actions, you know, really are conducive to somebody who’s in the, I need to buy now.

They’re not really interested right away to read an article. Their intent is I know what I want. I’m going to buy it. But if they’re in sort of mid funnel or upper funnel, it’s great. The greatest catalyst I can imagine. It’s more, you know, driving income through affiliate. back my, one of my first eBooks that I wrote in the two thousands was called SEO in a day.

And I went after, is it Monety or the little how’d you call it? It’s a saw you drink, right? Oh, I saw that they weren’t doing any, any sort of digital marketing for themselves and I’m like, all right, I’m going to pick, I want to pick one of these MLMs and just create a, a affiliate site and show that you can do optimization and get.

traffic and revenue in a day or less. And so we went through with this whole WordPress walk through our board, a little video on how to do it and create a content was up to like, you know, 10 o’clock at night creating content. The first thing that I optimized for was the thing that I had the most trouble with.

I couldn’t sign up. To become an affiliate without talking to an affiliate. I’m a tech introverted, you know, guy. I don’t at the time, I didn’t want to talk to anybody. So I did this search for Mondavi distributor ID, and I just wanted to set enters through your ID to sign up. I’m like, crap, I don’t have one.

They don’t want to talk to anybody. Five by pages into Google. I find a distributor ID and someone’s thread on some other website. And so I grabbed that and the very first page I create is Mondavi distributor. I need five, six, whatever, you know. Right, right. In the title of the page. And, you know, with, within a couple of weeks, I started getting calls from mom and be like, what are you doing?

You’re getting more downlines and more orders than like any of our affiliates who you working with, this, this person isn’t even responding to our emails. And I’m like, I don’t even know who the distributor ID was. I grabbed, I, I just, you know, I knew what I wanted. I was trying to find it and I optimized for it.

And so, yeah, four months later I’m getting checks from people who are buying this product and. so it was called STO in a day and it’s totally outdated now because it was pre Google penalties, like, you know, their penguin link penalty and they’re Panda content penalties. So a lot of the suggestions in there and the methods that I used to get links to the site quickly, you know, were obsolete.

But, but yeah, I love and passionate about it. Affiliate is I’m sure. All of us are awesome. Not

Spencer Haws: very cool. So, now you’re focusing more on, at least through Wiedemann group consulting. You’re more focused on local companies. e-commerce companies, those, those that, you know, they’re, they’re making purchases either on their side of they’re trying to drive foot traffic into their business potentially.

Steve Wiideman: Right, right. And part of it’s because you know, it, it gives us more of a challenge. You know, when, when we get a large corporate client who comes in and says, we’re on this really wonky CMS system, and we’re getting beat by all these competitors, what do we do? It gives us the opportunity to really challenge ourselves.

you know, the best could that competition and really big industries and, and, and explore and pioneer new areas of search. So, you know, for one of our restaurant chains, for example, we did a study recently of some 300 local pages. You know, if you have a brick and mortar company and you’ve got multiple locations, you’re going to have multiple pages or those locations.

And so we got to study all of those different pages and their attributes. What’s the difference between one that’s ranking higher and one that’s not, you know, and, and in doing that, you know, we’re, we’re creating and we’re building data and best practices and sort of the anatomy of a local landing page.

And, and that’s exciting because now, now you’re a pioneer now you’re. You’re someone who’s, who’s looked on as the guys who, who love to research and discover things and people will pay for the information. That’s the best part is we, as we do, you know, push a lot more of our educational stuff and the road, you know, the, the, the sales part of that and how we really generate revenue is when they purchase, you know, some of the research that we built.

Spencer Haws: So I wanted to ask a little bit about that. Just kind of how, your consulting group is set up. I understand that you’re not an agent agency, but you are a consulting group. So can you clarify that? And, and why is

Steve Wiideman: that? Sure. You know, I, I didn’t have a good experience in agency when I left the corporate world, 2008 or so I did two years in the agency and I was miserable.

I didn’t like it. How, how agencies treated clients in general. I didn’t like that. Yeah, the way that they they’ve really tried to have their secret sauce of what they do. And instead of being transparent, you know, when I, when I went off on my own and, you know, decided to be a freelance consultants, you know, late 2009, it was built around transparency.

Hey client, here’s all the things we’re going to do together. I’m gonna load it up into our project management system and we’re going to work together to get it done. And they’re like, wait, you’re giving me everything you do. Are you afraid? I’m just going to do it all myself. I mean, you’re looking at all this, so you really, you really want to do it all yourself.

Like no. So, and those clients that are DIY, they’re going to figure it out one way or the other. Anyway, those people who know and trust your expertise would feel better knowing that you’re their wing man. So we’re, we’re, we’re using a model that, that allows us to, to really help. Businesses to bring in their own SEO team, their own content writer, their own technical, you know, resources managing the tech side of SEO and their, their own outreach and link building digital PR teams.

And now all the things that they’re doing have the brand voice on them. And they’re, and they’re saving so much money. Once these resources get trained up and, and are able to do all the same things, agencies do. They get to save so much money in what would have gone to overhead and leadership and, you know, and, and, other costs.

By Spencer Haws

Sourced from NICHEPURSUITS

By Darya Jandossova

Every day, billions of people use the internet and smartphones. Because of this, digital marketing has become one of the most important aspects of an organization’s overall marketing strategy.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing can mean slightly different things to different people. For example, the tactics used by an e-commerce platform will be different from bricks and mortar businesses.

The most common types of activity encompassed within digital marketing include:

Content marketing

The shift towards content marketing has been significant over the last decade. Creating and distributing valuable content to your target audience to build awareness, trust, and inbound leads.

Content marketing can take the form of blogs, whitepapers, video content, case studies, infographics, and podcasts.

Social media marketing

There are a number of social media platforms used by brands in order to drive traffic and engagement. While much of the activity on social media can be classed as content marketing, the chance to listen and engage with an audience makes it a viable marketing channel in its own rite.

Social media continues to evolve as new platforms emerge. The most popular being Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, WeBo, and TikTok.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Gaining quality organic traffic through major search engines such as Google and Bing. Strategies can include optimizing websites, building backlinks, and SEO friendly content.

Search engine marketing (SEM)

The other side of the search engine coin to SEO. Search engine marketing refers to the paid activities used to increase search engine visibility and drive traffic through Google Adwords or Bing Ads.

Affiliate marketing

This particular form of marketing is becoming extremely popular. Affiliate marketing is when a person or company is paid a set commission for every sale or traffic they generate for another company. This particular form of marketing is popular with bloggers and solopreneurs, who can pivot content quickly in order to showcase affiliate links.

Every year Amazon pays out hundreds of millions of dollars in affiliate fees and is one of the most popular programs of its kind in the world.

Pay per click (PPC)

Similar to paid search, you pay a pre-set amount whenever someone clicks on your ad.

Email marketing

The granddaddy of digital marketing. Every year we hear that email marketing is dead, but it is still a staple of a solid digital marketing strategy. When it’s done properly, regular or automated email marketing is still a powerful tool, especially combined with personalized marketing techniques.

Instant messaging and bots

WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat have, between them, billions of users all around the world. That is an unmissable opportunity for brands looking to get their messages out there.

The use of bots, in particular on Facebook, is a great way of interacting with your audience in a scalable, on-brand way.

What does it mean to outsource digital marketing?

Outsourcing your digital marketing means that you are using a person, company, or companies to take care of those aspects of your overall marketing strategy. This could be for a number of reasons including a budget, lack of internal resources, or being too big or too small to be able to have the necessary resources in the house.

What does in-house digital marketing mean?

An in-house team will plan, execute, and report on all digital marketing activities using a team employed by the organization.

What are the benefits of outsourcing digital marketing

There are many reasons that you might want to outsource your digital marketing, including:

Budget  – smaller businesses know that they need to implement some form of digital marketing to grow, but cannot afford to hire a team full time to do this. Instead, they will use third-party/parties to plan and implement digital marketing on their behalf. Types of outsourcing could include web design, social media, SEO, and so on.

Knowledge – because digital marketing companies make their money from just that, they need to keep their knowledge, skills, and technologies on the leading edge at all times. You can benefit from this continuing development without having to put yourself off your team through the recommended training or costs.

What are the cons of outsourcing digital marketing?

There are some potential downsides to turning over your digital marketing to a third party.

Less personal – by handing over your marketing strategy to someone else, you might find that your brand begins to develop in different ways in order to attract new audiences and customers. If you’ve been responsible for your brand and marketing to date, it can be difficult to let go.

Finding the right team can be difficult – while working with the right team can fundamentally change your business success for the better, choosing the wrong team can be damaging.

It takes time to find the right people. You need to work with those that you connect with and work hard for you. There are plenty of horror stories out there that put people off hiring an outside agency.

You need to commit to a strategy – in order to create a comprehensive digital marketing campaign, you need to commit to a budget, and strategy at the outset, as well as have. It is unfair for you to move the goalposts frequently. You’ll also need to sign something along the lines of a digital marketing proposal and it’d make sense to get acquainted with one prior to signing it.

You are one of a number of clients – your business may not be as important to them as you’d like it to be. That’s not to say that you won’t be treated professionally, but you cannot always expect to be a top priority.

What are the benefits of in-house digital marketing?

Dedicated to one client, you – there are no other clients vying for your marketing team’s attention, so you know that your company always takes top priority.

Quicker response times – if your marketing team works with others within your organization on various tasks, having a team on-site, dedicated to you can cut out a lot of red tapes. For example, if a certain department has an idea for a campaign or would like something promoted at short notice, you don’t have to try and negotiate with an outsourced team to try and bump your request to the top of the list.

Better brand knowledge – because the team is part of your organization, they live and breath your brand every day. This can then be translated seamlessly into your campaigns.

What are the cons of in-house digital marketing?

Costs – as covered earlier in the article, digital marketing encompasses a lot of different specialisms. Recruiting and training people in all of these areas can be very expensive. In addition to salaries, you also have to consider recruitment costs, benefits and ongoing training needs.

Skill levels – each area of digital marketing could be done by one person full time. But it is usually down to a few people who are expected to do everything. They often end up gravitating towards the areas they prefer, or never developing in-depth knowledge in a number of areas.

Potential to be overworked – if you hire a single person to do all of your digital marketing, as well as your traditional marketing tasks, you run the real risk of burning them out quickly.

Fewer contacts and special deals – digital marketing agencies can often have great contacts and deals in place with other sites or providers. In house teams often don’t have the time of the financial clout to do this.

Less strength in depth – if you are using an agency and someone is out sick, then there are usually other people who can take over the project at short notice. This usually isn’t the case with small in house teams. If someone in your team leaves, you are without any skill in certain areas until they are replaced.

Does it make sense to combine the two?

Many businesses find a good balance between in-house teams and outsourcing. It usually works best when there is an experienced marketing point person who can lead on the strategy development and then recruit and oversee the people or companies who will then actually implement the digital marketing campaigns.

This works well for a number of reasons. Having a single point of contact who has overall responsibility for digital marketing helps to streamline planning and decisions. Small in-house teams can also take care of some of the days to day digital marketing tasks that need doing and respond to in house requests quickly.

From a digital marketing agency perspective, it is always easier to deal with someone who knows what they are doing when it comes to leading a marketing function within a company and has realistic expectations.

For those companies who are deciding whether or not to recruit an in-house team, or outsource, this article provides some of the pros and cons of each course of action. Remember, what works for one company will not always work for another. It might make sense to outsource your digital marketing requirements at the beginning, then move towards a blended team as you scale up. Alternatively, if you are large enough to recruit a full digital marketing team, then you will have an entire department dedicated only to your organization.

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

By Darya Jandossova

Darya Jandossova Troncoso is a photographer, artist and writer working on her first novel and managing a digital marketing blog – MarketSplash. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, creating art and learning everything there is to know about digital marketing.

Sourced from noupe

By

I am lucky to talk to key executives from hundreds of companies each year. Inevitably, the conversation typically rolls around to the effectiveness of digital marketing. The one common link in each of the conversations is understanding if their marketing is effective and interpreting what it means. In some cases, the organization has never received a report. In others, they get numbers but don’t know what they mean or how to decipher them.

If you are paying someone (an individual or an agency) to execute a digital marketing initiative, then you should expect to receive regular updates, reports on progress and interpretations of what the data is telling you and what should — or should not — be done about it. If you are missing this information, there are two possible solutions: Meet with your provider and ask for reporting data and recommendations to be delivered consistently, or find a new provider.

Understanding your campaign performance is critical in order to make decisions, allocate budgets and understand your customers and their needs. Let me explain in greater detail.

1. Search Engine Marketing: Paid and organic efforts relating to search marketing are able to provide key insights that can boost your page visibility within your specific sector, improving your page rankings while creating a better experience for your customers. As it relates to your paid search marketing (SEM or PPC), you will want to know what terms your customers are using, as well as which of your keywords has the strongest click-through and conversion metrics. Additionally, ask for reporting on ad group and ad copy performance, site links and call extensions. This will help you better understand your customers and what they want from you while providing insights that can be applied to other areas of your marketing. You should review this information monthly with your contracted provider.

2. Website Optimization: With an SEO contract, you can expect to see regular reports on your website performance in relation to your search engine rankings — how and where you are showing up on Google, Yahoo or Bing search results pages. The actual report may vary by contract, but at a minimum should include a review of your website speed on mobile devices, your current ranking and any change in your ranking for 5-8 keywords, identified technical errors and a summary of what work has been completed to improve in these areas.

3. Video (pre-roll, streaming, promoted): Video marketing has a little different report and KPI structure. With this type of advertising, the goal is typically to increase awareness or evoke some type of emotion. That is difficult to measure in clicks. When you are looking at performance metrics as it relates to video, ask for the video completion rate (VCR) and total time played in addition to any attributed clicks or conversions. This video data will let you know how effective your message is as well as if you are targeting the right audience within your ad buy.

4. Online Display Ads: While many professionals within our industry provide reporting on display ad impressions served and click-through rates (CTR), they really do not tell us the whole story. Request reporting data on ad performance by message and size, conversion metrics and website analytics data that will indicate the quality of the click. In today’s marketplace, it is easy to buy clicks and flood a website with cheap traffic. You will want to ensure that you are paying for quality web traffic, not just quantity.

5. Email Marketing: Reporting on this activity is more straightforward than other digital aspects, mostly because it is more of a standardized service. Ask for a summary for each email sent. It should include the date and time it was deployed, total sends, total opens and reads, number of clicks (and on what links), as well as any results from A/B testing of subject lines and content.

6. Social Media Marketing: Depending on the scope of services of your social media contract, your contractor should be providing a monthly summary of their activity and the results. If the intent is to boost your page engagement, the report should include posts made, activity for each post, change in page engagement over the previous month and data on paid activity. If you are trying to promote an event or sell a product, the report should also include hard numbers on the registrations, sales or leads attributed to the campaign efforts.

7. Website Insights/Usability: The goal of a paid online campaign is to grow your business. Looking beyond impressions and clicks will tell you how well your campaign is working for you. Look for key indicators, such as time on site, pages per visit and new visitors. These data points will let you know how good the quality of traffic is (how many pages they are looking at and for how long). They will also provide insights as to what pages of your website need attention through better/more content or flow.

The data collected from your marketing campaigns provides valuable knowledge. Accessing this information, understanding its meaning and applying the insights will propel your organization further, faster and with lower acquisition costs.

Feature Image Credit: Getty

By

Korena, the Founder & CEO of KeyMedia Solutions, applies 25+ years marketing experience to drive a startegy first approach

Sourced from Forbes

By Korena Keys

I am lucky to talk to key executives from hundreds of companies each year. Inevitably, the conversation typically rolls around to the effectiveness of digital marketing. The one common link in each of the conversations is understanding if their marketing is effective and interpreting what it means. In some cases, the organization has never received a report. In others, they get numbers but don’t know what they mean or how to decipher them.

If you are paying someone (an individual or an agency) to execute a digital marketing initiative, then you should expect to receive regular updates, reports on progress and interpretations of what the data is telling you and what should — or should not — be done about it. If you are missing this information, there are two possible solutions: Meet with your provider and ask for reporting data and recommendations to be delivered consistently, or find a new provider.

Understanding your campaign performance is critical in order to make decisions, allocate budgets and understand your customers and their needs. Let me explain in greater detail.

1. Search Engine Marketing: Paid and organic efforts relating to search marketing are able to provide key insights that can boost your page visibility within your specific sector, improving your page rankings while creating a better experience for your customers. As it relates to your paid search marketing (SEM or PPC), you will want to know what terms your customers are using, as well as which of your keywords has the strongest click-through and conversion metrics. Additionally, ask for reporting on ad group and ad copy performance, site links and call extensions. This will help you better understand your customers and what they want from you while providing insights that can be applied to other areas of your marketing. You should review this information monthly with your contracted provider.

2. Website Optimization: With an SEO contract, you can expect to see regular reports on your website performance in relation to your search engine rankings — how and where you are showing up on Google, Yahoo or Bing search results pages. The actual report may vary by contract, but at a minimum should include a review of your website speed on mobile devices, your current ranking and any change in your ranking for 5-8 keywords, identified technical errors and a summary of what work has been completed to improve in these areas.

3. Video (pre-roll, streaming, promoted): Video marketing has a little different report and KPI structure. With this type of advertising, the goal is typically to increase awareness or evoke some type of emotion. That is difficult to measure in clicks. When you are looking at performance metrics as it relates to video, ask for the video completion rate (VCR) and total time played in addition to any attributed clicks or conversions. This video data will let you know how effective your message is as well as if you are targeting the right audience within your ad buy.

4. Online Display Ads: While many professionals within our industry provide reporting on display ad impressions served and click-through rates (CTR), they really do not tell us the whole story. Request reporting data on ad performance by message and size, conversion metrics and website analytics data that will indicate the quality of the click. In today’s marketplace, it is easy to buy clicks and flood a website with cheap traffic. You will want to ensure that you are paying for quality web traffic, not just quantity.

5. Email Marketing: Reporting on this activity is more straightforward than other digital aspects, mostly because it is more of a standardized service. Ask for a summary for each email sent. It should include the date and time it was deployed, total sends, total opens and reads, number of clicks (and on what links), as well as any results from A/B testing of subject lines and content.

6. Social Media Marketing: Depending on the scope of services of your social media contract, your contractor should be providing a monthly summary of their activity and the results. If the intent is to boost your page engagement, the report should include posts made, activity for each post, change in page engagement over the previous month and data on paid activity. If you are trying to promote an event or sell a product, the report should also include hard numbers on the registrations, sales or leads attributed to the campaign efforts.

7. Website Insights/Usability: The goal of a paid online campaign is to grow your business. Looking beyond impressions and clicks will tell you how well your campaign is working for you. Look for key indicators, such as time on site, pages per visit and new visitors. These data points will let you know how good the quality of traffic is (how many pages they are looking at and for how long). They will also provide insights as to what pages of your website need attention through better/more content or flow.

The data collected from your marketing campaigns provides valuable knowledge. Accessing this information, understanding its meaning and applying the insights will propel your organization further, faster and with lower acquisition costs.

Feature Image Credit: Getty

By Korena Keys

Korena, the Founder & CEO of KeyMedia Solutions, applies 25+ years marketing experience to drive a strategy first approach.

Sourced from Forbes

By Jane Brown

There are countless marketing strategies one can explore as a small business owner. With that said, it’s unrealistic to explore all possibilities due to budgets, time, and resources. In fact, spreading too thin is a disservice to the marketing efforts as it never truly allows a realistic return on investment from a particular technique.

It’s the notion of “Jack of all trades, master of none”, or, “The shiny object syndrome”. A small business owner’s high impressionability and thirst to succeed often leads to hopping from topic to topic, never truly completing projects and marketing campaigns. Let’s dial it back and explore realistic small business marketing strategies worth exploring.

5 Small Business Marketing Strategies for Branding and Sales

Small Business Marketing Strategies for Branding and Sales

1. Social Media Marketing

Every business should create accounts on:

These provide free platforms to connect with the business’s audience. Their usage is 1-for-1 as done for personal accounts: find interested parties, start discussions, and share content. Except, a small business will inject promotional offers and sales on occasion.

These platforms should funnel users to one’s email newsletter as this mutes the social “noise”. The newsletter and social account work in tandem building brand awareness and lead generation.

Plus, it’s free.

2. Merchandising

Merchandising creates three awesome benefits:

  1. Unifies the workforce through branding
  2. Mobilizes employees and fans to passively promote the brand
  3. Provides incentives for contests, giveaways, and outreach

Utilizing customized business merchandise is the best option for providing items like branded work shirts for employees, gizmos for around the office, or novelty items for customers and fans. These items constantly remind others about the business brand, creating opportunities to bring past customers back into-the-fold between purchases.

3. Referral Systems

This is called by many names:

  • Word-of-Mouth
  • Affiliates/partners
  • Refer-a-Friend

The idea is creating an incentive when interested parties and customers help drive new leads and customers to the business. This is accomplished through low-tech flyers or business cards, or high-tech with referral systems and apps.

What you’ll need:

  1. A unique code for each, active participant
  2. A worthwhile incentive (cash, points, discounts)
  3. A way to track the referrals and participants

Give participants the tools and resources and they’ll help in several ways. Their methods could include writing online reviews about the business, sharing their code/links on social platforms, or distributing branded print materials to acquaintances.

The cost? A few bucks for cards or $10 – $20/mo for a simple tracking app/plugin.

4. Search Engine Marketing

There are two avenues. They are:

  • Improving organic traffic through optimization
  • Getting instant traffic & leads with advertising

Got a website? Good, the business is already halfway there.

DIY or outsource SEO work to improve the website’s page by including its relevant keywords, expanding its content, and building backlinks from relatable, trusted websites. Then, conduct outreach efforts to create an online presence increasing its odds of being shared, linked to, and being the topic of discussion.

Likewise, leverage website & business data to develop an advertising campaign on popular channels like Google Ads. Or, advertise directly on relevant websites in the business’s industry & market. This involves writing ad copy, developing creative banners, and funding the PPC/CPA platform.

Search marketing costs vary but range from free (DIY methods) to thousands (professional). A middle ground, about $500 – $1000/mo, provides ample, realistic returns.

5. Email Marketing

Starting an email marketing campaign begins with:

  1. Subscribing to an email marketing provider
  2. Creating and populating an autoresponder
  3. Adding opt-in forms to the website or landing page(s)
  4. (Optional) Creating an incentive to increase list building efforts

Email marketing campaigns are among the best forms of outreach and sales. Your continual effort to collect emails creates a hedge against wild swings your website may experience from search engine algorithm changes (as we see often).

Email marketing costs anywhere between $0 – $20 to begin with most providers. The setup process is easy enough for any small business owner — requiring little to no technical skill as it provides WSYWIG form builders. Once set up, the opt-in form is placed in strategic areas of interest enticing visitors to sign up for a newsletter.

What can you do with an email list? Consider regular discounts & deals or blog updates & exclusive content.

Treating the email list as its separate business entity transforms the platform from a passive feed to a marketing machine. Sending an email takes less than 10 minutes but can deliver thousands of site visitors and potential sales!

 Realistic Marketing Methods Grounded in Reality

These marketing methods are fundamental strategies used throughout the business world for good reason: they work. Reexamine the business’s efforts and investments — is it chasing shiny objects or trying to do everything without succeeding at any?

Get realistic with marketing strategies.

By Jane Brown

Sourced from FINCYTE