Digital Marketing for Beginners
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing or online marketing is the promotion of services and products via the internet and other forms of digital communication, including email, social media, and web platforms. When done successfully, digital marketing can assist your business in becoming visible to online consumers. It can also help your business stay ahead of the curve by giving you access to online consumer insights and behaviour so that a company can adapt and plan accordingly. In addition, digital marketing can provide businesses with profitable leads, helping them to grow.
According to Forbes, five crucial digital marketing elements to consider when developing a digital marketing campaign are mobile, organic search, social media marketing, content marketing and lead generation.
1. Mobile Optimisation
A digital marketing campaign needs to be correctly optimised for mobile phones. In 2022, 78.6% of the South African population accessed the internet using their mobile phones – according to Statistica. This figure is projected to climb to over 90% by the end of 2026. In 2021, the figure for mobile internet users was 47.8 million in South Africa.
These figures place into context the importance of mobile platforms for organisations or businesses undertaking any digital marketing campaigns.
2. Content Marketing
Content is an essential aspect of a digital marketing strategy. Just like the name, it refers to an organisation’s content and how it can be utilised to effectively narrate an organisation’s story and market its products and services. This means the digital strategy should include a good content strategy that outlines what business stories are going to be told, how the content will be mined and how it be packed for maximum impact.
The success of content marketing depends on quality content. The content must aim to tell the story of the business as comprehensively as possible over time. It must aim to educate consumers about the products and services, and philanthropical initiatives of the business and position the business favourably in their minds and persuade them to spend their hard-earned money.
A good content strategy ensures a steady flow of stories on the organisation and that the communication is not erratic or once-off. This means developing content calendars and editorial calendars as well as using skilled resources to develop the content. These resources include writers, editors, and graphic designers.
A good content strategy will ensure that the content is packaged in ways that are befitting for specific platforms. For example, for mobile, social media, websites, emails, etc. It will also take into consideration that each of the digital marketing mediums is different, and this impacts the design specifications.
A good content strategy ensures an understanding of the targeted audience and, in turn, enables proper packaging of messages to suit each audience. This way, a business can utilise content marketing to build relationships with various audiences and ultimately generate revenue. It is essential to understand your audience at a deeper level, not at a superficial level. For instance:
Their purchasing habits
3. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is also an excellent way for a business to build and increase its brand presence on the internet. Social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, Snapchat, Reddit, Pinterest and TikTok.
Each medium has nuances; therefore, it is essential to understand each one. Most important, content creation is essential to ensure consistent communication that enables consumer engagement and high-quality traffic.
4. Website Organic Search
An effective content marketing strategy drives relevant and high-quality traffic to a business website. Covid-19 pushed the importance of having websites even higher. During lockdowns, when people’s movements were restricted, and they could not visit physical stores, websites, and other digital marketing platforms became very important for purchasing and keeping up with what businesses were doing.
Online consumers source information through various methods, the most prominent being search engine results. The first part of getting your website in front of potential customers and clients is correctly optimising it. This is where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes in.
Optimising your website correctly will help search engines identify what your site is all about and how it relates to what the consumer is looking for. It will increase your website’s visibility within the search engines and help drive more traffic to your website, increasing your potential for a variety of positive opportunities.
What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
SEO is a digital marketing process that helps websites to work for businesses in that it enables businesses to be visible and found on the internet. Ultimately, SEO helps to increase the traffic to your website and drives leads and sales, brand engagement and brand awareness.
SEO involves the back and front end of the website. The back end is the technical aspects which require website developers or coders to consider when developing your website.
OTHER IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF A SUCCESSFUL ORGANIC SEARCH
Creating new and impactful content for your website creates business authority. It is the first place people go to when looking up your business and your business offerings. For this reason, your website must represent your business well.
The content must be relevant to your business and your target audience. If you already have customers, you must speak to them while embracing and speaking to your potential customers.
Content packaging is critical in driving your website’s digital marketing strategy. In this regard, there are various ways of packaging your content. Images, designed templates, infographics, multimedia, and other exciting formats encourage visitors to linger on your website.
When collating the content, you must consider your keywords and the unique selling points of your business. This will help you to rise above the clutter and be found on the internet.
It would help if you considered your website keywords before or as your website is being developed. These keywords are essential in digital marketing as they help your site become searchable. However, be warned that the process of developing keywords is not once-off. It continues for as long as you have the website as people keep changing their search patterns on the internet.
Length of Page Content
This is also important for digital marketing. If your page content is too little or “too thin”, your SEO will not be successful, and your site will not be found. So be sure to pad your pages with relevant content.
For many small business owners, the last time they interface with their content is when the website is developed, and then the site goes on autopilot. If digital marketing works for you, this will have to change.
The content must be updated on an ongoing basis. This includes updating company information that is no longer relevant. It also includes uploading marketing campaigns, press statements and other relevant and current information on your website.
5. Linking of Social Media Accounts
Linking your social media accounts to your website as part of the digital marketing strategy will also assist in increasing the traffic to the website and, in turn, improve its searchability. However, this depends on how active your social media accounts are.