Digital Minds: 12 Things Every Business Needs to Know About Digital Marketing by WSI
November 23, 2016
Since Digital Minds: 12 Things Every Business Needs to Know About Digital Marketing. As you know, the digital landscape moves at lightning speed compared to the rest of the world, and since this book was written a few years ago, some if it is already a little dated (like the Google+ section I removed...because honestly, who uses Google+??). But the book does give a good high-level overview for anyone who is new to digital marketing. It covering the basics with strategies for content marketing, social media, responsive web design, SEO, display advertising, and email marketing. If you're interested in a brief overview on digital marketing, this is for you.
Technology and the Internet are in flux. Giants like Apple, Google and Facebook are changing the way we interact with each other. Technologies move so quickly that jumping on the train can be daunting for businesses. But the route hasn't always been clear; social media, mobile marketing and search marketing campaigns are always changing. Luckily, digital marketing is still in its infancy and there's plenty of time to get on track. Written by WSI, Digital Minds brings industry-proven expertise to assist your business with hot strategies for content marketing, social media, responsive web design, SEO, display advertising, email marketing and more. By grasping the trends now, your business can catch up to speed and stay ahead of the competition.
Due to the constantly shifting nature of the industry. What works now won’t work next year if it isn’t updated and adapted to reflect the changes of the Internet, technology, consumer behavior and industry best practices.
Content, advertising, mobile and social media will make up the foundation of your digital marketing efforts,
Content is the lifeblood of digital marketing. Anything designed to bring value to the audience consuming it – whether in the form of entertainment or information – is considered content.
Word Of Mouth: People share content that makes them look smart or funny
Digital marketing framework. The framework is a six-step process, made up of the following phases: Discovery, Internet Business Analysis, Build, Implement, Measure and Manage Results.
Core components of Discovery include identifying goals and objectives, selecting strategies and tactics, exploring new opportunities, and setting metrics and targets.
Internet Business Analysis. There are three specific tasks that will yield valuable information: market segmentation, persona development and competitor analysis.
Market Segmentation: is a marketing strategy which involves dividing a broad target market into subsets of consumers, businesses, or countries that have, or are perceived to have, common needs, interests, and priorities, and then designing and implementing strategies to target them
Persona development involves the creation of fictitious characters that represent various types of your customers by incorporating different demographics, interests, locations, age groups, gender and behavior.
Analyze your competitors to see what they’re doing in the digital space.
The Build phase is where the strategic development of a digital marketing plan shifts into resource planning and allocation. Developing a cohesive and well-organized launch strategy.
The Measure phase of the digital marketing framework is what enables you to determine which strategies work best. One of the most helpful aspects of digital marketing is that anything and everything can be measured.
Goals and objectives break down into three categories: lead generation, brand awareness and customer retention.
Lead generation is any process or tactic that puts you in front of customers to make them aware of your offerings. Strategies that excel at lead generation include display advertising, paid search advertising (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO). SEO helps direct search engine traffic to websites and is similar to PPC, except there’s no charge for these clicks. SEO is a very effective lead generation tool and also helps out in the brand awareness department. By targeting specific keywords, SEO can connect you with searchers who are looking for what you offer. Landing page optimization and responsive design, which fall under conversion architecture, are vital components of lead generation tactics.
PPC ads appear on search engine results pages (SERPS) above and to the right of the organic web listings. The positioning of PPC ads is determined by a keyword bidding process. Google refers to PPC as search marketing and their ad platform is called AdWords. The process begins with a silent auction for keywords (search terms) relevant to your business that, along with what Google calls the quality score of your ad, determines the placement of your ad within the listings. Quality Score is determined by the keyword’s click through rate (CTR) on Google, relevance of ad text, historical keyword performance, landing page keyword focus, and other relevancy factors. With the right keyword mix, it’s not difficult to maintain a steady stream of reliable traffic to your website. The search engines provide you with tools to limit settings for cost per click and daily budgets.
Bid optimization platforms offer several advantages. For example, keyword bid adjustment best practices can be a bit of a tedious task to complete. That’s where bid optimization software comes into play. Optimization algorithms will begin to focus more of your budget on those keywords.
General search terms are called ‘short tail’ keywords and are usually one or two words long. Specific search terms are called ‘long tail’ keywords that are usually three or more words long. For competitive reasons, it’s costly to rank high for short tail keywords, but easier with lower cost per click for niche long tail keywords.
Google recently upgraded its AdWords platform to make it easier to differentiate and manage PPC ads aimed at various devices. The update to AdWords that includes the capability to increase keyword bids when someone is searching within a close radius of a business’s location.
The most important metrics to monitor are an ad’s CTR and conversion rate. You can even run multiple ads at the same time and see which one works better. This practice is called A/B testing.
Monitor the available keyword reports to determine which ones are driving converting traffic. Website conversion tracking usually requires your web developer to insert some snippets of code on various pages of your website to provide feedback to the PPC platform. PPC management platforms are sophisticated enough to trace these conversions back to specific ads and keywords. PPC advertising also functions as market research by giving you insights on the most popular search terms people are using to arrive at your site. PPC also offers customer demographic insights.
Negative keyword list should contain words that you do not want to trigger your ad.
Brand Awareness: Content marketing and display advertising are great strategies that, when combined and properly executed, can accomplish an incredible spike in brand awareness. PPC campaigns can be effective for brand awareness too. PR campaigns excel at honing in on people who are interested in your product or service and driving them to your website. While social media marketing is a valuable component to brand awareness and customer retention. Video also complements both social and SEO efforts by encouraging consumer engagement, boosting organic rankings and allowing you to creatively market your products and services.
Customer Retention: Content, social and email marketing are very effective strategies you can use to improve your overall ability to retain customers.
Website Design, Layout & Copy Considerations:
A wireframe is a sketch of a page layout. After development starts, minor modifications to the design can become more complicated. Major changes might force a complete redesign.
Make sure that you place the most important elements above the fold (the spot on the page where most visitors will have to scroll down to see more).
People don’t read on the Internet, they scan. They see headlines, bullet points and graphics.
Don’t forget the call to action!
Does the copy focus on benefits rather than features?
Is your offer time sensitive to create a sense of urgency?
Responsive design allows your web content (navigation, images, text, forms, etc) to dynamically respond to the platform or device that is requesting that information. This all happens in the back-end automatically as grid elements reconfigure themselves to the optimum size, position and scale for the specific view of the requesting device. Responsive design focuses on three or four sets of design sizes and devices: smartphone, tablet, laptop (960 grid system), and sometimes the larger screens of desktop computers.
There are, however, a few development tricks involving HTML5 and CSS (cascading style sheets) that can be used to load the correct image sizes and design functionality based on the device of the user.
Need Seamless Interaction Across Devices: 67% of all searches start on one device and get finished on a second device.
If you are using an open source platform certain website modules may not be compatible with a responsive layout.
There are hundreds of factors which determine how websites rank, and Google (or any other search engine) has not publicly disclosed these factors to anyone.
Google’s primary goal has always been to deliver users the “best” websites that match their search query, Google has sent a very loud message that they want to see website owners produce in-depth, high quality content that its users will benefit from reading. Search engines like Google will continue to re-define what constitutes a “good quality” website, mobile users will eventually overtake desktop users making the mobile experience all that more important.
Panda and Penguin offer new standards for what qualifies as the best. Panda was originally created to reduce the visibility of websites that produced lots of content that was lightly written on a given topic. The Penguin update dealt with quality guidelines as well, but specifically addressed the area of link building.
Three typical online behaviors – search, surf and social. Surfing accounts for the largest percentage of time spent online. Consumers are now spending more than half of their media time surfing popular news, entertainment and lifestyle sites on the Internet. They also spend more time online than watching TV, and reading newspapers and magazines combined!
Display, on the other hand, targets potential consumers in your chosen geographic area who are surfing online.
Display in isolation is primarily an online display or banner advertising solution that builds brand awareness and brand affinity.
Advertisers who run PPC along with complimentary creative display ads experience better results than running search engine campaigns alone. In some cases, using search and display advertising together resulted in a double-digit increase in conversion rate.
Remarketing and Retargeting are powerful technologies that remember consumers who visited a website or searched for a product and then display relevant ads on other sites they visit. These techniques create top-of-mind awareness for your brand and help bring consumers back to your site. How does this work? A surfer clicks on your campaign ad. When they click on the ad, they come to your landing page or website that has been proxied for tracking purposes. At that point, a tracking cookie is placed on their browser to make sure they can be identified as a visitor to your website. Then, as they surf other sites supported by specific chosen advertising partners, your display ad is carefully and repeatedly shown. The goal is for your brand to stay top-of-mind with interested site visitors and also attempt to bring them back into the buying funnel and hopefully to the purchasing phase.
The primary goal of display advertising is to drive clicks back to your landing page or website so you can deliver your key brand messages and convert visitors to take specified actions leading towards a purchase.
Benefits of Facebook include:
Increased traffic to your website
Increased brand awareness
Increased trust with your consumers
Increased opportunity for market research
Facebook consumers love competitions and freebies, and offering something for a share or a like is a great way to gain loyal followers fast.
Asking questions like ‘red or blue?’ not only gets people engaging with your brand, but also helps you optimize your marketing
Design competitions are a winner on Facebook in many ways. People love to feel they are a part of the brand
People talking about this: measures the activity that your consumer initiates. In other words, if someone comments, likes or shares your post or content, answers a poll question, mentions your page or checks in at your place. This figure includes shares using a mobile device. Clearly this is the social engagement measurement,
Weekly total reach is the measurement of how many people have posted something about your page. The numbers Facebook tracks are based on the first 28 days after a post is created. Your post counts as a reach if it is loaded and appears in their news feed.
Each Tweet is only 140 characters including spaces
It is important to highlight that a person does not need to use Twitter or follow a company or personality to view tweets and conversations. Unlike Facebook, where you can choose to hide elements, Twitter is public and fully searchable. This in itself is a benefit as it means your shared content can be seen by everyone.
Informative tweets about your industry are a great way to set you apart from the competition. You can stand out from the crowd as being a leader in your field on Twitter and other social media platforms.
Hash tags are great for competitions, where users tweet a hash tagged phrase to be eligible to win a prize.
Promoted accounts can be geo-targeted to country level, and in the United States down to state level. A promoted account appears only for people who would find your news interesting based on the people they currently follow.
Promoted tweets are typically used for special offers and deals. They are priced at a cost per engagement basis where you only pay when someone retweets, replies to, clicks or favorites you’re promoted tweet. This means that promoted tweets are great for growing brand awareness as the cost for every impression (time your tweet is shown) is free.
Twitter Analytics are available to all paying advertisers on Twitter and offers some high level information including details on trends, activity and followers.
YouTube, 48 hours worth of video clips are uploaded every minute, resulting in nearly 8 years of content uploaded every single day.
YouTube receives more than 1 billion unique users each month
Over 4 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube
YouTube is localized in 53 countries and across 61 languages
YouTube is the second largest search engine next to Google
In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 Trillion views (around 140 views for every person on Earth)
Video makes it 53 times more likely that you’ll get a front page Google result. Videos also have a 41% higher click through rate in search results than plain text and consumers are 64-85% more likely to purchase a product or service after watching a video.
Example of Video Use: Blendtec created a video series called Will It Blend? Where Tom would attempt to blend various unusual items in order to show off the power of his blender. Items included everything from cell phones, golf balls, marbles, an iPad, a six foot garden rake and even a Justin Bieber action figure. These videos demonstrated the functional benefit of Blendtec’s blending power, and drove massive engagement online.
Shorter is better for video. According to a study conducted by Wistia: “The average 30-second video was viewed 85% of the way through, while the average 2-minute video was viewed on average 50% of the way through.”
Call to Action: leave the last few frames of your video with your call to action, and don’t forget to include your calls to action in the description section of the video. This will allow viewers to easily click on a link
Brand YouTube Channel: when upload a video to your YouTube channel, your subscribers will receive a notification and have a higher potential of seeing your video on the homepage of their screen when they are signed in.
Sponsored ads: You can pay for your videos to appear as sponsored ads in YouTube when people conduct a search.
Pre-roll ads. This is when viewers are first shown a video ad prior to the video they intended to watch. Usually within the first 5 seconds they are given the option to SKIP AD. So this means if you are investing in pre-rolls, you want to make sure the first 5 seconds of your video is what engages people
Keyword Phrase: Video a title, Description and Tag to help YouTube understand what your video is about. Ensure you include your keyword phrases in all three sections.
Submit your video to multiple video platforms. This will let the search engines know your video is travelling across different video sharing websites which increases the likelihood of your video ranking organically in search.
Key metrics and performance indicators for video: Views. Total views for the selected data range. Estimated minutes watched. Estimated total minutes of viewing time of your video(s) from your audience. Traffic source. How your video is being found. Demographics and geographic. Who is watching your video and the location from which they are viewing it. Audience retention.
Direct Marketing - Emailing
Permission-based email marketing offers better response rates, increased trust in your company’s brand and better deliverability.
Run a contest. This is one way to build your database
Address your subscribers based on the product line they’ve purchased from
VIP customers. Your VIP customers should be remembered, acknowledged and given special attention. Send them exclusive offers and information the rest of your database may not receive.
allow your subscribers to update their profile information
Ease your skeptics with a guarantee policy
Everyone loves freebies. Consider rewarding your subscribers from time to time with a free gift to show them you value them as a customer.
Different types of content that work best based on where a consumer is in the buying cycle (awareness, research, and purchase). For example, thought leadership and best practices work best during the awareness stage; comparisons, reviews, and pricing information appeals during the research stage; and information about the company, support, etc. will work best at the purchase stage. At the end of the day, relevancy
Email frequency: more than once a week is too much and less than once a month is not enough.
People coming to your website or other web properties (social media profiles, blog, and landing pages) through search engine marketing (search engine optimization, pay per click) and even offline tactics should always have the option to subscribe to your email list.
As more people search for and consume information on the go with their highly functional smartphones, mobile will play an integral role in any successful digital marketing strategy.
44% of consumers use their smartphones while shopping.
66% of those ages 18-29 and 68% of those living in households earning $75,000 or more owning smart phones.
Those interacting with you on a phone will likely be waiting in line or at some other time when they have a quick minute to hop on and check out what’s happening. Knowing this, you’d want to ensure that any messages you’re creating are quick and easy to digest.
When consumers are on a tablet there’s a good chance they are not “out and about” and have a little more time to engage and take in what you’ve got to say.
95% of all text messages received are actually read by the recipient. Compare this with the fact that if you get an open rate north of 20-30% for an email marketing.
Text Short Code Example: You put a flier up in the shop that says “Text JAVA to 12345 for food and drink specials” (this is just an example). In this example 12345 is the short code and JAVA is the keyword. You could also have other keywords for use like MUSIC or BOOKS when your customers want to know about local musicians coming to the shop or book club meetings. You could even tie this to a QR (quick response) code so those with smartphones could just scan the code and opt-in that way.
TIP: As a general rule, when using QR codes, it’s always good to provide the “text” way of opting-in for those that are not using a smartphone.
Measure & Manage Results:
The real key to generating a great return on investment (ROI) with Internet marketing is using your business goals to develop a dedicated strategy.
It’s hard to improve a digital marketing strategy without determining the effectiveness of your current tactics and whether there are gaps and pieces missing.
Digital Marketing Measurement Model (DMMM) potential KPIs:
Conversion Rate – the ratio of number of conversions divided by the number of visits
Days/Visits to Purchase – how many days or how many visits it takes a visitor to buy on our website
Loyalty – the number of times a visitor returns to your site
Time – how long does it take to a visitor to return to your site
Bounce Rate - Bounce is when someone lands on your website and leaves immediately
Aggregated data is misleading. Visitors behave differently depending on the medium or campaign they came from, their location, or the day of the week. In order to solve this, you need to segment the data.
Analytics tools such as Google Analytics provide great possibilities for setting up dashboards and you can (and should) create one or more dashboards that will represent the KPIs