Though in some industries, print advertising and marketing is still alive and living, the majority of businesses are starting to rely on digital marketing for their business. With the age of digital marketing out of the woodwork come new businesses putting up a shingle or old companies rebranding themselves saying they are a digital marketing company, when last week they may have been just mediocre graphic design or internet development company. When people say or think digital, the internet is what comes to mind and usually the first thing is a website. A website is a very important piece, but is not the only piece and is why you have to be even more careful when implementing digital marketing.
With print advertising, direct mail, and all of the ways we all did marketing in the past, there were some key things we had to keep in mind. We needed our messaging to be succinct, we needed to have the piece directed at our target market, and we needed to have a call to action or offer to inspire the prospect to pick up the phone and call. It was not just about the design of the ad or the direct mail piece, though having a poorly designed and not properly branded piece could be a hindrance.
The fact is that with digital marketing, none of those things have changed and in fact have become even more important. Digital marketing is about marketing on the internet using different mediums, but all of the important marketing concepts apply and just because a company can design a website or can do SEO (search engine optimization), it does not mean they are a digital marketing company. There are new mediums and tools for digital marketing, but all the same it is still marketing and if you look at each piece independently and do not look at a digital marketing strategy as a whole, you could really miss out. You also need to make sure your providers understand Marketing and not just are technical and understand the internet.
Even with print, to get traction, you have to have more than just one ad in newspaper or send out one direct mail piece to get results. You have to use multiple mediums, have them support each other, and hit people multiple times to get the leads you need.
The same is true on the internet. Digital marketing is more than a website; you need to embrace social media, digital advertising, landing pages, search engine optimization and much more. All of these work together. You cannot just market in one place and expect results any more than you did if you put one ad in a newspaper and that was it. All of your digital marketing has to support each other.
Branding, Messaging, and Content
You need to have the proper branding and messaging and make sure it is consistent throughout all of your digital marketing. People go to Google and search these days before they ever call you or visit your business. This is the first impression that most people have of your business. Whether they land on your website, a directory, or a social media page, they should know this is your business, what you do and recognize it from your print branding or branding on another site. It is also important that you have content that is fresh and is of interest and relevant to the reader.
Narrowing down your target market is even more important with digital marketing in getting your prospects to find you. On the web it is a lot easier to do this because you can utilize tools to help you. You can optimize your website, landing pages, social media, directories, blogs, and advertisements with keywords, so when you are searched, your pages will come up base on what those targeted prospects and customers are searching for in search engines.
Marketing campaigns on the internet are not any different in concept than they are in print. Whether you are using social media ads, Google Adwords, or have a landing page, you still need to have a call to action and need to be able to measure your return on investment. How you implement this different, but the concept is the same. If you are going to spend the money to do campaigns, you need to understand and know how this is accomplished, whether it is filling in a form, getting a phone call, or having code inserted in your webpage from Google Adwords.
This article just touches the service on the topic of digital marketing, but is to educate you and leave you with the following as you begin to think about implementing digital marketing in your business.
Marketing concepts are the same and apply whether you are using print or digital marketing, just how they are utilized and implemented may be different. Only having a website is not enough today, you need to have a digital marketing strategy. If you are an industry where print is still important, do not let someone talk you into abandoning print completely. Look at how the two can support each other.
Make sure that who you hire to help you with your digital marketing knows marketing as well as the internet. Because this is the “new” service business, there are a lot of companies who are pushing this without the background and experience. In some cases they are selling the service and outsourcing this overseas to even less qualified individuals.
Make sure if you do not know how to get the results, know how to read Google Analytics or understand other tools that provide this. If you are not able to read or understand the tools, your provider should be explaining this to you in detail. If you are paying hundreds a month and are not sure what benefit you are receiving, do not just keep paying without asking the important questions.
RK Fischer & Associates