Ways to Improve and Simplify
Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital marketing, as defined by Wikipedia, is the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium. Long story short, digital marketing is the marketing of products or services through the use of electronic devices. So you would think digital marketing is always conducted online, right? Actually, it isn’t. It can also be done offline. How you ask? Let me explain.
Digital Marketing According to Neil Patel
Basically, offline marketing simply means marketing strategies not conducted through the Internet. According to the marketing guru Neil Patel, there are 4 main categories of digital offline marketing.
First is enhanced offline marketing, which he describes as a form of offline marketing that is enhanced with electronic devices. An example Neil uses to explain this type of marketing is that of using any type of tablet at a restaurant to place an order. Applebee’s, for instance, has started to apply this approach in their restaurants within the past few years. What else falls under the category of enhanced offline marketing? Billboards.
Times Square is chalk full of them. And not just your standard, everyday billboards. LED billboards. According to Times Square’s official website, more than 300,000 pedestrians cross through Times Square each day, with numbers as high as 480,000 on busier days. That’s a lot of eyes looking at your advertisement. However, it’s gonna cost ya. Billboards in Times Square can cost anywhere from around $1 million to $4 million a year.
Product demos and samples are also an important part of the enhanced offline marketing strategy. You may be old enough to recall all of the CDs and DVDs, such as those coveted AOL free trial CDs, that came in magazines or the demo CDs you got when you bought a new PlayStation. While the actual use of CDs and DVDs have dropped significantly, the concept of digital product samples still exist and remain an important part of reaching new customers.
Social Nature is a Vancouver-based start-up whose business model focuses around natural and organic product sampling. To begin, Social Nature asks you fill out a detailed survey about your lifestyle and the types of products you’re interested in trying, which is a great way for the brand to gather information on the key demographics they are wanting to reach. You then select which products you’d like to try (all for free) and, if all goes well, you will be sent that product to test out. Once you’ve tried your free sample, you are then asked to review the product on social media in order to continue receiving more free samples. This is also a great example of affiliate marketing, which will be discussed a little later.
The second category of digital offline marketing is radio marketing. The radio was invented over 120 years ago by a man named Guglielmo Marconi. The first instance of digital marketing via the radio occurred in 1910, just under 15 years later, through the live broadcast of an opera performance. Radio marketing has continued on, and is still relevant today. Here are a few statistics for you: Radio reaches 54% of the United States population on a daily basis. Time spent listening to the radio on a weekly basis is 815 minutes. Radio advertising expenditure is approximately $17.49 billion, while digital advertising revenue is about $1.02 billion.
Digital Marketing Through Movie and Audio Streaming Services
If you’re looking to advertise on the radio, it would be beneficial to obtain a sponsorship with the radio stations. With a sponsorship, you will often be guaranteed a premium air slot going into a commercial break, as well as better air time. Podcast and internet radio advertisers have started to make changes to their advertising strategy by placing their ads at the beginning of the content, and sometimes right at the end, in order to ensure the message is getting across to the audience.
Next is TV marketing. This form of marketing is huge, right? Well, maybe not a huge as you might have thought. Even with the average American watching about 4 hours of TV a day, the efficiency of television advertising has gone way down. If you think about it, television ads are not tailored to the individual viewer like online digital marketing is. How many TV ads have you watched throughout the years that just don’t apply to your life? Probably a good majority of them if I had to guess. If the consumer is not interested in the content, they will almost immediately tune it out. Cable providers have also come out with a little thing called DVR. You may have heard of it. You could say DVRs have become a kiss-of-death, of sorts, for television advertisers. Viewers no longer have to sit through commercials when they can just fast-forward right on through to their content.
On top of this, television advertisers have really taken a hit due to the increasing popularity of streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. Unlike Netflix, Hulu does have ads. However, if you pay a premium price, you can watch all of Hulu’s content ad-free.
When most Americans think of watching commercials, they probably associate it with the Super Bowl. The majority of the most talked about commercials are those that aired during a Super Bowl. Companies pay a pretty penny to advertise during the game in hopes of making a lasting impression. In fact, a 30-second ad during the 2017 Super Bowl cost up to $5.5 million. So if television marketing has gone down, why are companies willing to pay such inflated prices for one ad during one game?
The hype and anticipation that encircles the commercials that are to be shown during the Super Bowl creates a slight exception to the decreasing efficiency of television ads. Now, because of the growth of social media, those commercials that the viewers really enjoyed will often go viral online. Thanks to websites such as YouTube, viewers can go back and re-watch these commercials anytime. Because viewers can continue to immerse themselves in their favorite commercials whenever they want, it helps companies justify the price they paid to advertise during the game.
Next we have phone marketing. Your immediate thought probably goes right to those telemarketers we so dearly love. Cold calling, while not as successful of a tactic as digital marketing, is still a viable option for marketers in today’s day and age. Telemarketers may find more success in trying to sell directly to a business (B2B) than directly to a consumer (B2C) due to professional connections and prior relationships.
Another emerging trend in phone marketing is text message marketing. If you listen to the radio, you may recall hearing something along the lines of, “Text “WIN” to 5555 for a chance to win tickets to such and such festival.” Well, this is one of the forms of text marketing. Restaurants and fast food places, such as Pizza Hut, have really jumped onto this bandwagon, as well. By signing up to receive texts from a company or business, they will send you deals, coupons, and discounts – all directly to your message inbox. And since it’ safe to say we all read our texts – even though we all have that one friend that says they never saw your message (sure, Jan) – this is a great way to reach out to new and existing customers.
Red Box is a prime example of running a successful text message marketing campaign. After sending in a text, consumers were given a random discount on their next rental, from $.10 to $1.50. After only 10 days, Red Box connected with 400,000 customers and generated over 1.5 million text messages.
Text reminders are also a useful offline digital marketing tactic. Companies like Home Depot will shoot you a text when the order you placed has arrived at the store. Walmart will send texts when your prescription is ready for pickup. As consumers, these reminders are quick, simple, and hassle-free.
Marketers also have the option to create loyalty programs and conduct giveaways via text message marketing. In order to create these special campaigns and giveaways, there are programs available, such as Heyo, which help you to create the visual for the campaign and optimize it for mobile use and for social media platforms.
QR Codes and Digital Marketing
Another element of phone marketing is QR codes. QR codes are those square barcodes you may remember from a few years back that are scanned with a smartphone to reveal different types of content, discounts, etc. There is a lot of debate around whether or not this type of advertising is effective.
Those that support the use of QR codes say that marketers just don’t know how to use it correctly. Then there are those who do not find the codes to be worth the trouble. First, the user has to download a specific app to their phone in order to scan the barcode. Then, the content that is opened is often not optimized for mobile use. Also, the physical locations in which they are placed is also up for debate. In the past, the codes were often shown on a TV commercial or in subways. These locations made the accessibility to the codes short-lived, and in the case of the subway, often no cell service was available which completely defeated the purpose. In 2011, only 6% of consumers had scanned a QR code throughout the entire year. In 2012, 97% of consumers claimed to not even know what a QR code was.
Disclaimer: It’s important to remember that with phone marketing you must follow best practices and obtain the user’s permission before enrolling them in any of your marketing programs.
So, the different types of offline marketing according to Patel are: enhanced offline marketing, radio marketing, TV marketing, and phone marketing. But, there are also online digital marketing strategies. Also according to Patel, these online strategies include: search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), pay per click advertising (PPC), content marketing, social media marketing (SMM), affiliate marketing, and e-mail marketing.
SEO and Digital Marketing
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of maximizing the visibility of your website through the results organically produced by a search engine. A few of the best practices for improving your SEO include writing blogs, content optimization, and social media. This is arguably the most important process when it comes to online digital marketing, considering Google gets over 100 billion searches every month. For more in-depth information about how you can improve your SEO, you can check out our blog here.
Search engine marketing (SEM) is the process of purchasing ads on search engine results pages (SERPS) to gain more traffic to your webpage. Whereas with SEO, SEM results are not produced based on content and quality, but rather on price. In order to effectively use SEM, research should be done to identify specific keywords that apply to whatever it is you are trying to sell. This leads us to pay per click.
Google AdWords is the most popular PPC advertising system in the world. AdWords provides you with numerous tools, available right at your fingertips, to identify your customers and determine the best way to reach them. This system helps you to define the best keywords for your campaign and then allows you to create bids on the keywords you feel best represent the message you are wanting to get across to your audience. If you don’t have Google AdWords, you’re missing out on countless potential customers.
Content marketing, as defined by the Content Marketing Institute, is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. In more words or less, content marketing is creating a strong, long-term relationship with your customers by providing them relevant, and high-quality content on a consistent basis. Writing blogs, for instance, is an example of content marketing. Hopefully, your goal when writing a blog is to provide your audience with useful content that will help enhance their life, whether personally or professionally, in some fashion. Info-graphics, videos, and podcasts are all different types of content marketing that can enhance your digital marketing strategy.
Next is social media marketing. It’s probably safe to assume everyone has heard of at least one of the major social media platforms. The most popular continues to be Facebook, with over 79% of Americans having an account and over 1.6 billion visitors daily. If your business doesn’t already have a Facebook page, it would extremely beneficial to join the more than 2 million businesses already advertising on the site. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat also join Facebook as the top social media platforms in the world. Social media is a great opportunity to improve your content marketing, as well.
Affiliate marketing is another form of online digital marketing. It is the process of earning commission by promoting other businesses or individual’s products. Before you agree to promote someone else’s product, it is incredibly important to research the product, try it out, and believe in it. Would you buy a house without doing a walk through, getting an inspection, or just plain seeing it with your own two eyes? I would hope not. That would be pretty risky. The same goes with promoting someone else’s product. Whatever you promote could reflect back on your brand, so choose wisely.
Finally, we have e-mail marketing. E-mail continues to be a central force in digital marketing and is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. The return on investment (ROI) for this type of marketing is also strong, with a $38 ROI on every $1 spent. By employing an e-mail strategy, you are able to directly reach out to thousands of customers at a single time, with little risk and low cost.
Once you’ve established your e-mail marketing plan, such as frequency and content, the next step is to get customers to sign up. One of the best ways to do this is by offering incentives. When visiting a website, many businesses will place a promotional pop-up on the home page, being the first thing you see, in order to entice you to join their e-mail list for discounts and other promotions. White House Black Market, for example, offers you 10% off your first purchase by joining their list. You can assume that the consumer is already interested in what you’re offering just by the fact they’ve visited your site, so offering an incentive is another foot in the door to gaining their business.
Digital Marketing through Retargeting and Targeted Marketing
Last but not least, let’s not forget the importance of retargeting for your business. Retargeting, or remarketing, is the practice of showing your ads to visitors after they’ve left your website. This is done through the use of browser cookies. The cookie allows the marketer to determine what the user’s online behavior is like and then use that information, in return, to try to bring the user back to their site. Have you ever been doing some online shopping, added an item to your cart, left the site, and then noticed an ad for that exact item on the next website you visit? That, my friend, is remarketing.
On the other end of the spectrum is the concept of targeting. Unlike remarketing, the user never has to visit your site in order for your ads to appear. Targeting is based on the user’s online search history. For instance, let’s say someone has been doing some Google searches for bathroom remodels and you’re a business that sells shower doors. Based solely on their online behavior, targeting will allow you to show ads for your shower doors on sites that the user visits.
As you can see, there are numerous avenues you can take to drive sales and build awareness. Using a healthy mix of marketing channels will help to make your business stand out amongst the crowd. Luckily, digital marketing is often more affordable than traditional marketing methods, so incorporating several digital channels into your marketing strategy won’t break the bank. Digital marketing also gives you the ability to reach larger audiences in a much, much shorter time-frame. So, whether you’re a start-up or a well-established business, the benefits of instituting a fine-tuned digital marketing strategy, both online and offline, will create countless opportunities for growth.
Are you interested in a more advanced marketing approach? Give us a call and step into a digital targeted marketing plan… 316-264-1321