Marketing of any kind, whether it’s called digital marketing, internet marketing, or even online marketing, is all about getting your message in front of customers and prospects. Once you’re in front of them, good marketing is about differentiating your product or service from your competitors. It’s about delivering the right message at the right time to drive a purchase.
Digital marketing has jumped to the forefront of the marketing scene quite simply because it’s where customers hang out today … doing searches, interacting on social media, getting news, and much more. The key to digital marketing is selecting the right channels – the channels where your prospects go when they’re online. It’s also about finding the right mix of tactics including social media (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.), SEO, email marketing, Google ads, and more.
If you’re a small business in the Lancaster, Harrisburg or York areas, and you’re looking to enter the internet marketing space, it can be daunting. That’s why it pays to have a good digital marketing agency in your back pocket. In particular, you want an agency that has the right mix of internet marketing services to help you AND knows which of those digital marketing services to use to reach your specific prospects. With a limited budget, it’s critical to use the right digital marketing tactics to maximize your spend and deliver the best possible results.
Which Digital Marketing Tactic Is Best?
So how do you go about finding the right mix of internet marketing tactics? Does Facebook marketing work for everyone? Are Google Ads always the best approach? How much should you invest in SEO? Should you begin with an email marketing campaign? And what about traditional marketing options like direct mail? Which digital marketing should you use?
Unless you live in the digital marketing world full time, you can’t be expected to have all those answers. But the right internet marketing agency can. They’ll know which internet marketing service is best to reach your prospects. Here’s a snapshot of where each digital marketing channel excels.
Let’s face it, your web design is the quintessential digital marketing platform. It’s where all your other internet marketing tactics typically drive prospects and customers. When you talk about building the foundation for digital marketing, you have to start here.
Your website content needs to be carefully crafted to differentiate your products and services. It has to talk to your target audiences in a language they can understand. Most important, it has to answer their questions better than your competitors can. That content also has to be written to factor in SEO.
A good web design will be user-friendly on both desktop and mobile, which is where responsive web design comes into play. It should also be lean so it downloads fast. Finally, it needs to drive prospects and customers to take actions like purchasing, scheduling an appointment, requesting more information, or any other type of call-to-action.
Google Ads (also known as search engine marketing) can play a part in any business, regardless of size. It’s good for driving purchases, helping to capture customers with high lifetime value (dentists, accountants, IT services), and for businesses with high margin products or services like attorneys or car dealerships.
Like SEO, paid search increases your visibility on search engines and drives traffic to your website. Unlike SEO, it can create immediate ROI. SEO requires an ongoing commitment to content creation and takes much longer to build up results. Its other chief benefits as a digital marketing tactic are:
- You can get on the top of Google’s first page fast.
- People clicking on paid search ads typically want to buy now.
- You can access a host of analytics, set up conversion metrics, and easily determine ROI.
- You can target specific locations effectively.
Search Engine Optimization:
Like search engine marketing, SEO also gets your business found in search engines and helps drive traffic to your website. But it’s not an overnight process like Google Ads. It takes time and continual adjustments to increase your rankings and beef up your website traffic. SEO is impacted by how your web designers lay out your web design, how your web developers build that design, the quality of your website content, your keyword selections, and who knows what else (Google does!).
So if SEO is so complicated, why bother?
- Everyone uses search, and 81% of shoppers research online before making a purchase.
- It helps drive much more traffic to your website (if your SEO company knows what they’re doing).
- By creating content consistently, you can become authoritative, address prospect and customer pain points, and differentiate your business.
- It accomplishes the chief objective of marketing … getting your product or service in front of prospects when they are looking for it. If you’re at the top of Google’s rankings, you greatly increase your chances of getting a lead or sale.
Bottom line: SEO is one of the most effective digital marketing tools that allows you to continue to be in front of prospects and customers every single day.
When it comes to internet marketing, email marketing is a cost-effective choice. In fact, Forrester Research and Shop.org found that 85% of retailers consider email marketing one of the most effective customer acquisition tactics for internet marketing. Plus, it goes directly into your prospect’s or customer’s inbox. Email marketing can accomplish several things in your digital marketing campaign:
- Email has incredible reach. More than what’s offered through social media channels.
- Your message will be seen by your warm target audience, who have already opted in to receive your messages. You can also reach customers easily on mobile.
- Boost your sales by getting offers in front of your prospects and customers. Done right, email messages convert better than other digital marketing tactics, so they deliver better ROI.
- You can segment and personalize your messaging to deliver relevant content and offers based on your customers’ preferences.
- Increase loyalty and build customer relationships by communicating with them on a planned basis to remain top-of-mind.
- Become more effective with your digital marketing efforts through A/B testing to discover what drives customer interaction and conversions.
- Get fast responses to your offers.
Social media isn’t one thing. It includes a number of internet marketing platforms including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and more. Each platform reaches different audience types. That’s why it’s important that you, or your digital marketing agency, knows the inherent differences in each. More on that in a moment.
Why use social media as a digital marketing tactic in the first place?
- It differentiates your business and shows off your brand personality to help you stand out from competitors.
- Social media helps keep you engaged with your customers to help you drive purchasing decisions and build loyalty.
- It can help shape your marketing by capturing feedback from customers and prospects.
- Social media can improve customer service. Customers or prospects can ask real-time questions and get answers fast.
- It allows you to react quickly to negative comments to help manage your reputation.
- It’s another way to build traffic to your website.
As mentioned, each social media channel plays a different role in your internet marketing efforts. Some are more directed for businesses and others to consumers. Plus, each caters to different ages and demographics.
Here’s an overview of the most popular channels and where they might fit best in your digital marketing program (all statistics from Omincore Agency)
Along with YouTube, Facebook dominates the social media landscape with 68% of U.S. adults using it. Not surprisingly it has the broadest demographics:
- 41 billion monthly active users
- 53% female, 47% male
- 62% are ages 65+
- 72% are ages 50-64
- 88% are ages 18-29
- 84% are ages 30-49
- 82% are college graduates
- 96% of users access it via mobile
YouTube actually exceeds Facebook with 73% of U.S. adults using it. It’s effectively the second largest search engine next to Google. Apart from that:
- 2 billion monthly active users
- 62% are male
- 80% of users are from outside the U.S.
- 62% of businesses use it
- 9% of small businesses use it
- 35+ and 55+ are the fastest-growing segments
- Millennials prefer YouTube over television 2:1
- 51% visit the site daily
- 37% are 18-34
- Males watch soccer or strategy games
- Females watch beauty videos
- 35% of adults use Instagram.
- 1 billion monthly active users
- 52% female, 42% male
- 7 million are from the U.S.
- 31% are 18-24
- 32% are 25-34
- 72% of teens, 35% indicate it’s their preferred platform
- 63% of Americans use it daily
- 3% of businesses use it
- 300 million monthly active users
- 70% of users are females, men account for only 7% of pins
- 34% are 18-29
- 80% of U.S. mothers use it
- Millennials use it as much as Instagram
- 28% of all social media users
- 360 million monthly active users
- 75% are under 34 years old
- 90% are 13-24
- 39% are 18-24
- 61% female, 38% male
- 69% of teens
- 24% of adults
- 41% of teens prefer it
Whereas most social media platforms target consumers, LinkedIn is the recognized leader for B2B marketers.
- 310 million monthly active users
- 40 million students and college graduates
- 57% male, 43% female
- 70% of uses are outside the U.S.
- 21% of millennials use it
- Average income is $83,000
- 90 million are senior-level influencers
- 63 million are in decision-making positions
- 330 million monthly active users
- 34% female, 66% male
- 22% of adults
- 37% are 18-29
- 25% are 30-49
- 80% are affluent millennials
If you need more help deciding which social platform is best for you, check out: Choosing the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business
Putting Digital Marketing to Work
As you’ve probably figured out by now, selecting the right digital marketing tactic or mix of tactics takes some research. It starts by understanding your target audience. As you can see, there’s lots of data available to help narrow your selection. Make sure you use that data to make an informed decision. Don’t ever use a tactic just because your competitor is there. They could be using a digital marketing tactic that’s off base.
Of course, sorting through that data and coming up with the right solutions is another matter entirely. That’s why it pays to partner with a good digital marketing agency, especially if you’re a small business without the resources to hire a full-time marketing department. Because that’s what it takes … a team of internet marketing specialists, each with a solid foundation in their dedicated area.
But don’t get overwhelmed thinking you have to use every digital marketing technique out there. It’s best to select the right combination of tactics and execute them well versus spreading yourself, and your marketing budget thin. Focusing on doing a few things well, rather than everything poorly. Less really can be more.
Talk with a Proven, Local Digital Marketing Agency
We’ve been helping clients in the Lancaster, Harrisburg and York markets with their digital marketing for nearly 30 years. We have a team of professionals that eats, breathes, and lives internet marketing. Get in touch. We’ll make sure your marketing efforts hit the mark.