The 4 Pillars of Modern Digital Marketing Strategies and the One Thing You Can’t Do Without
By Donal Stott & Julia Hammond
Modern digital marketing strategy is constantly evolving, but there are several constants that continue to drive success for businesses. Whether your business is blue collar or white, B2B or B2C, a complete digital strategy is essential for business success in a market dominated by the power of the internet.
Consider this your introduction to the essentials of digital marketing. In this guide we’ll explain everything businesses need to know for online success. From what digital marketing actually is to why it matters, and the four most effective digital marketing channels that can benefit any business. Use the links below to jump to a section within the guide or continue reading to learn all about digital marketing and how it can benefit your small-medium business.
The top 4 digital marketing channels
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC)
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
What is digital marketing?
Put simply, digital marketing is any marketing strategy which is focused online and uses related apps or platforms – such as search engines, websites and social media – to promote your brand, services and products. It uses various digital channels to meet your unique business goals from improving brand awareness to finding new leads and increasing conversions.
Why is digital marketing important?
It’s very rare for a person not to be using the internet in this day and age. According to We Are Social’s 2018 Digital Report, over half of the world’s population – that’s around 4 billion people – are internet users and almost the same amount are active on social media. This represents a 7% increase for global internet users compared to 2017 and a 13% increase in active social media users. The same report noted that in Australia, 88% of the population are internet users and 69% of the population are active on social media. When looking at these statistics it’s clear both within Australia and across the world; the internet has our attention and digital marketing is the best way for your business to reach this massive audience.
How does digital marketing work?
With so many people using the internet, it might seem like too big an arena to make an impact. However, digital marketing doesn’t just spread your message to the whole of the internet. It focuses on a specific audience who have an interest in what you’re offering and uses the most relevant channels to reach them. For example, an online fashion boutique may want to target their marketing toward young women, and they can do this with a combination of organic posts and ads on social media. Another example could be an accounting firm who are seeking more clients from their local area. In this case a search engine marketing campaign focused on their main location and surrounding suburbs can help.
By targeting your audience in this way, you can also remain competitive in your industry. Whether there are major brands already succeeding in your field or it’s a highly popular industry such as plumbing, a strong digital marketing presence can help you succeed no matter how many others are pushing for the same audience.
The most effective digital marketing strategy will be personalised to your business goals and will use the best channels to achieve them. There is no single formula that can be relied upon however, there are some channels which will benefit every business – we’ll detail more on these below.
The top 4 types of digital marketing & the channels every business should use
Online marketing is a complex discipline, and one that requires unique solutions for every business. It’s not as simple as going to the closest digital agency and paying for an out-of-the-box solution. Instead, you need to carefully consider your business, your target market and your available marketing channels to achieve the best ROI for your digital marketing strategy.
While your business needs a unique strategy, there are four key types of digital marketing that you need to consider as part of your success.
SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine optimisation is one of the most powerful digital marketing strategies available to any business. With almost every purchase, whether online or not, being preceded by a Google search, it is essential your business is found when potential customers come looking. A good digital agency can have your website ranking for keywords fairly quickly, though this can often be affected by the competitiveness of your keywords.
Keyword competitiveness is basically how many other websites are trying to rank for that keyword, and the more regularly searched keywords will often be quite difficult to rank. While the team at WME can rank websites for all types of keywords, the more competitive a keyword is, the more resources we’ll need to achieve the desired result, and that can increase the cost your business has to pay to reach a certain point on Google.
When you’re approaching any marketing tactic you not only need to consider if you can get a return on investment, and if what you’re trying to achieve is reasonable for your budget. Marketing costs money, and while any budget can get some great SEO results, if you’re trying to rank for highly competitive keywords on a shoe string budget, you might need to think again.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising – Google AdWords
Search engine marketing is made up of several separate digital techniques, put none more successful than PPC, called Google AdWords for those advertising on Google. Google AdWords lets you pay to appear at the top of Google searches and, like SEO, can yield great results for businesses of all sizes.
AdWords works on a cost per click basis, basically you only pay when someone clicks your ad, and that makes it one of the most efficient marketing techniques available. Because you’re targeting certain keywords and phrases, you should only be showing your ad to people interested in what your business has to offer – though it’s here that a poorly constructed AdWords campaign can cost your business money, we have some tips to help you out of an AdWords’ quagmire here.
The immediate effect AdWords campaigns have on a business’s digital success is one of the reasons it’s become so popular among businesses of all sizes. Unfortunately, this popularity has driven the click price up for some of the high traffic keywords and phrases, this means you need a clever online marketing strategy to maximise your ROI and lower the cost of your AdWords campaign.
Content marketing is perhaps the broadest and most complex of all digital marketing strategies. It includes a huge range of content, from blogs and white papers, to EDMs, landing pages, press releases and more. This isn’t a simple subject to jump into, and that’s why we have an ultimate guide for those looking to really understand how content marketing can help their business.
The complexities of content marketing mean that this is an area that requires real expertise to ensure your digital marketing strategy is getting the proverbial bang for your buck. Wasting energy and resources on content streams that aren’t suited for your business can be costly, and quickly dry up your digital marketing budget.
Social media has surprisingly been only slowly adopted by a huge amount of Australian businesses, and far too many examples exist of businesses going into social media marketing blind. This, unfortunately, can lead to not only wasted resources and a net cost to the business but, in worst case scenarios, huge damage to a company’s reputation.
At WME, we know just how powerful a carefully researched social campaign can be. With millions of Australians glued to their phone, social media is nothing if not a gold mine for businesses with the willingness to go after their target market.
One thing a lot of businesses are heard saying is that social media won’t work for them, and in most cases, that’s just not true. There’s an opportunity for all business types, new and old, B2C or B2B, to make use of social media to grow their customer base, as long as the get the right advice along the way.
Like every other digital marketing strategy mentioned here, it’s important to make use of the right social media techniques to get a strong ROI from your marketing strategy, and in most cases this will actually involve using social media as a key part of your content marketing strategy.
The one thing your digital marketing strategy can’t succeed without…
There can’t really be a single secret ingredient that goes into all successful digital marketing strategies, can there?
Yes, there is, and it’s a simple one that so many Australian small and large businesses fail to use properly.
Data is everything to a digital marketing campaign, without it you’re flying blind.
So many digital channels techniques rely on smart, segmented data to ensure they’re actually successful. From content marketing to SEO and PPC, collecting data on your current and potential clients is the only way to build a successful campaign.
The easiest way for any company to ensure they have data at hand is to make use of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. This software holds the key to the gates of marketing heaven, and personally, as a content marketer, working without one is like a visit to purgatory. CRMs allow you to store practically every piece of data imaginable about your client base, and good ones allow you to turn that data into targetable marketing segments to deliver your digital marketing campaigns to.
The four pillars of digital marketing are all great marketing techniques that you should consider for your business, but if you take one thing away from this blog it should be this: invest in a CRM.
Build a successful digital marketing strategy with WME
As one of Australia’s leading digital marketing agencies for over 10 years, WME are dedicated to helping small-medium businesses thrive. We have expert teams to help you reach your business goals with web design, SEO, social media, content marketing and PPC. For a personalised digital marketing strategy, contact our team on 1300 663 995.