Digital Marketing

help! i don't know where to start

"I know I should be doing something to promote my business online but I am out of my depth here!"

Confused? Lack Confidence

Social media and digital marketing are a complete mystery to you, but you know you ought to be doing something.

You understand that digital marketing is key to promoting your business online but don't want to make a mess of it? Perhaps you lack the confidence to get started with social media or you just don't know where to start?

DON’T WORRY, we can help!

Even if you are a complete digital novice and don't know Instagram from Twitter, we can help you to start thinking digitally.

ready to find out more?

Keep scrolling for more information on getting started with digital marketing or download our free guide 'Ten Top Tips for Digital Marketing Success' below, for some actionable tips and advice you can get started with today!

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What is digital Marketing?

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Digital Marketing – also known as online marketing, is really just a term used to describe the marketing of products or services online.

Any activity undertaken online with the purpose of promoting products and attracting and engaging customers would be termed as digital marketing. This would include all types of online media. Online media can be separated into three main types:

Owned
Media

Digital content which is controlled by you - your website, your blog, emails you send.

Earned
Media

Content which you gain through shares and User generated content - social media mentions, retweets, shared blog posts, reviews.

Paid
Media

That online content which you pay for – PPC advertising, banners and promoted social media posts, advertorial.

Even if you don’t think you are, you are currently undertaking some kind of digital marketing if you have an online presence and it will be either owned media, earned media or paid media.

Digital marketing is simply an umbrella term for all these kinds on online interactions which help with your SEO, raise awareness of your brand or products, attract, engage and help to build trust with your customers.

With the sheer amount of content online now it can be difficult to get your business seen on the internet through the traditional SEO techniques and this is where digital marketing has come into its own. In particular, Inbound Marketing strategy has come to the forefront of online marketing as a way of attracting visitors to your website through the provision of high quality information, provided for free with the intention of bringing leads and potential customers to your website when they are searching for specific information online.

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The basics of Inbound Strategy – Pull, don’t Push

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Traditional marketing and advertising uses methods which would be referred to as ‘interruption marketing’ or push marketing. The business pushes out information about its products or services (leaflets, brochures, adverts etc.) and this can reach you, whether you are interested in it or not. Think of a flyer for a takeaway pizza delivery service which is put through your letterbox or an advert in the local press by an estate agent or accountant. 

Inbound strategy uses ‘pull’ techniques which are designed to bring your customer to you.  

This is done by providing high quality information about things which the customer has already shown an interest in. Remember - as much as 75% of the traffic to your website is visitors who are in the research phase of their buying journey. They may be using the internet to research information which helps them to make a decision about what they ultimately decide to buy.   

Business: Swish-Fish
Potential Customer: John

Our case study company, ‘Swish-Fish.com', sells fishkeeping accessories online.

Our potential customer John, is thinking about keeping fish.

Swish-Fish write a detailed piece of content for their website entitled ‘everything you need to know about keeping fish. They use all their expertise to create a detailed and informative blog post which provides a lot of free advice on keeping and caring for fish.

John comes across this article when looking for information on keeping fish and finds it extremely helpful and interesting.

Swish-Fish have also offered John the opportunity to download a free guide to buying fishtanks. John receives the download. He may not be ready to actually buy a fishtank yet but when he is – he has the information he needs. Swish-Fish have started to build up a relationship of trust with John and demonstarted that they have expertise in the area of keeping fish. Swish-Fish can also send John an email thanking him for downloading their free guide - maybe even with details of fishtanks which are great for new set ups... You can see where this is going!

Contrast this approach against the estate agent who has put an advert in the local press or a leaflet through your door offering a free valuation. It may be useful to you at the time you see it, or it may not… You may remember the name of the company which was advertising estate agency services when you are ready to think about selling, or you may not.  You may not even own a house! This method is literally pushing information towards potential customers in a fairly untargeted way. Beacuse this approach is not trageted it replies on big reach to be effective.  

So, you can see how Inbound Strategy can be extremely effective at delivering potential customers, who have already demonstrated an interest in the product or service you are providing, directly to your website. The key to this approach is delivering the right content to the right people, at the right time.

Getting started with Inbound Marketing

In order to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time, you have to have a good understanding of who the right people are. This is where buyer personas come in...

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What are Buyer Personas and why do I need them?

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Put simply, a buyer persona is a research based, semi-fictional representation of your ideal (or target) customer. It is common for businesses to have more than one type of target customer and therefore multiple buyer personas. Having an understanding of who these people are, what drives their buying decisions and what their challenges and barries are is essential for effective inbound marketing. Understanding and empathising with your customer enables you, as a business, to provide them with the right information at the right time.

Remember - It’s not about you…

If you think about more traditional ‘outbound’ marketing, it tends to be very focussed on the company. What they do, what they sell, why you should use them. They are not looking at it from the perspective of the customer, what they need, what their problems are and how they can help them. Turning the focus to your customer away from your company enables you to start to build a relationship of trust with them, making them more likely to want to do business with you.

Undertaking a buyer persona exercise for your business will help you to understand those needs and better address them through the information you provide. It is likely that you will have more than a single type of ideal customer so will need to create multiple personas. This is the first step towards being able to take a much more targeted approach to your online marketing and start delivering the information your customers wants and needs to enable them to make informed buying decisions. For more information on personas download our example persona profile opposite and see our blog post working with personas.

Click the link below to download our free Buyer Persona example and template

Download a free Persona profile template Guide
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Identifying Content Types and Channels

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Part of the exercise of identifying personas is looking at where your customers and potential customers look for information and what their main information sources are.  This enables you to start thinking about which content types and channels will be most effective for you.   Start by thinking about the four main channels for providing digital content.

Your website

Static web content, blogs and news pages are typically the type of content you will have on your own website.  You can also make downloads available, write buyers guides, white papers and e-books and publish product information sheets.   Writing a regular blog can be a great way of showing a human side to your business, giving you the opportunity to speak directly to your customers.  You can use a blog to answer common questions, provide industry insight and highlight new products and services.  For more information on blogs and blogging, have a look at these two posts on our own blog!  Businsess blogging - an essential part of any inbound strategy and what is a compounding blog post and - how can you write one?

Social Media

Social media is a great platform for interacting with your customers in a more informal way. That is why it is called social media! Social media channels can be great for two way conversations and building relationships. It is an extremely cost efficient, even free channel where you can interact with customers and potential customers where they are.  One of the great things about social media is its massive reach – Over 3.2 billion of the worlds 4 million internet users have active social media accounts and they are logged in on average for 116 minutes per day.  You need to think about which social platforms are likely to be the best for for your business and your customers. Instagram for instance is an entirely visual platform so is not idea for those businesses which lack visual content. Facebook users demographic profile is older than Instagram. Social media can be one of the easiest channels to keep up to date as posting need take very little time. For more information on Instagram, what to post and when and the etiquette of social media – see our blog

Email

Email is a great way of nurturing and keeping customer engaged.  It is very cost effective with one of the highest ROI of any marketing channel.  It is fairly low skill to set up and is great for automation.  Email marketing enables you to send personalised, relevant and targeted communication, direct to your customer’s inboxes – ready for them to interact with when they are ready.   Email is also very mobile friendly with estimates saying that 53% of all emails are opened on a mobile device.  There is a higher tolerance for promotional material in email than in social channels and that makes it the ideal channel for letting you customers know about special offers and deals.  For more tip on email marketing – download our free guide to email marketing. 

Get Your Free Email Marketing Guide

Effective Email Marketing Download

Paid Ads – Search engine marketing

Paid ads can be a pretty effective driver of traffic to your website with, on average, 41% of clicks going to the top 3 paid ads on the search results page.  This can be especially valuable for businesses which are still trying to gain traction and visibility in organic search on the web, especially if you are in a competitive market.   The cost of PPC advertising can vary enormously depending on how competitive your keywords are and thorough keyword research and planning is essential to ensure you are taregting your adverts properly.  The cost of PPC adverts can run away if you are not careful so it's important to keep a close eye on results to make sure that your additional clicks are converting the way you want them to - the additional traffic to your website alone is not helpful if it does not come with increased conversions.   

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content optimisation and keywords

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The cornerstone of all online marketing, whichever channels you are using, is content optimisation and keywords.  We have mentioned above, Inbound marketing relies on delivering the right content to the right people at the right time. In order to be able to do that – the content has to be found.  That is where optimisation is important. 

SEO and Search Marketing 

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) has sometimes been seen as the snake oil of the online environment.  Dodgy practices of keyword stuffing and attempts to game the system to falsely promote websites to the top of the search rankings used to be pretty common.  All that has changed now though with Search Engine Optimisation being much less easy to cheat.

Black hat SEO refers to the use of aggressive SEO strategies, techniques and tactics that focus only on search engines and not a human audience, and usually does not obey search engine guidelines.
WEBOPEDIA

No more black hat SEO…

The old days of SEO, simply stuffing your keywords on to your page as many times as possible and hiding text at the bottom of the page are long gone.  Google is offering a much more sophisticated search service now which has its emphasis on user experience and high quality, relevant results.  The secrets of Google’s search algorithm as closely guarded and no-one knows exactly how it works, but, we do know the important factors.  There is a certain amount of technical work you can do on site to ensure that Google recognises your site as being correctly set up.  Your website should be responsive and page load speed is important.   See Mobilegeddon, mobile friendly site and SEO - Beyond that, your SEO it comes down to the content and keywords you are using.  

Looking at the Long Tail

The way we search the internet is changing.  People are using longer search phrases as they search for more relevant results in an ever more crowded field.  Voice and natural language search is also becoming more widespread with devices like the Amazon echo and Google Play.

Take the example of someone looking for information online.  Going back to our earlier example of John and Swish-Fish, if John simply searched for ‘keeping fish’ he is going to have to look through a few pages of results to get the information he needs.  A search for ‘Beginners guide to keeping fish’ is going to serve him much better.   This type of long tail search is much more specific and likely to provide much more useful and relevant results.  Modern SEO will recognise this and try to answer these kinds of searches with useful content.   In this case – the blog post by Swish-Fish – everything you need to know about keeping fish’  Our blog post What are long tail keywords – and why should you be focussing on them? looks at the long tail in more detail.

The Freshness Factor

The freshness of your content is also a ranking factor.  The more often you add fresh content to your website, the more your site will be indexed by search engines.  This makes it more likely your content will be found.  It does not necessarily mean that you will be ranked higher, that is not a given.  However updating your website with articles, downloads and fresh web copy provides you with the opportunity to achieve higher rankings - based on the quality of the content you provide.   Fresh content on your site also demonstrates that your business is active and engaged.  This offers a much better impression to site users than a website which has out of date copy or a blog which was last updated six months ago.

More is More

More content equals more keywords.  When you write content with your audience in mind which is relevant to your business it will naturally contain useful keywords.  Quality is, once again, the watchword here.  Writing content that answers common questions or explains how to do something is a good strategy as you are providing quality information which your customer wants to read. Do not just write content around a keyword; think about your personas and what they want to see.  Our blog How do you write SEO friendly web copy has more information.

Site Authority

Building site authority is another good reason for adding regular site updates.  If you are providing high quality information on your website which people are finding and reading you are helping the process of search engines seeing your website as authoritative.  When you publish valuable and informative content on your website which is relevant to your industry, your site will start to be viewed as authoritative.  Again, the key takeaway here is to provide high quality content which is useful to your reader.  

So, Its all about the content

You can see how much of an important part content plays in your overall digital marketing strategy. As well being a major factor in Search Engine Optimisation, content creation provides the opportunity for incorporating keywords across your website and adds huge value to your site from a user perspective.  It also helps to build site authority, helping you to be seen as an expert voice in your field and fresh content means that your site will be indexed more frequently – allowing people to find your stuff online.

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What's next? - getting started

To make a start with digital marketing for your business, download our free guide ‘Ten Top Tips For Digital Marketing Success’ which provides some straightforward, actionable tips and advice you can implement straight away.

If you would like a free initial consultation to asses your digital marketing needs – contact us.

Find out more

Contact Rumble

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Tiverton Way, Tiverton
Devon, EX16 6TG.
T: 01884 214111
E: info@wearerumble.co.uk

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