We can separate them into the following mediums:
- Social Media marketing
- Rich Media
- eMail marketing
- OnLine Advertising
1. Social Media Marketing:
Facebook claims to have 1.59 billion monthly active users (@ y/e 12/2015) and a market value of over $300 billion.
Facebook can be an integral part of your Digital Marketing Strategy and can help you stay in touch with your best prospect for new sales ie your existing customers. Facebook provides new ways to identify new audiences for your services. It also builds your business Brand & product awareness.
Facebook will position you or your company as the experts in your field and can make it easier for your web pages to be found in Google. By setting up a Business Page on Facebook, you can get your existing customers to “LIKE” you, share blog posts and images promoting your business, thereby building your Brand.
Twitter has 332 million active users who can post up to 140 character updates at a time. The # symbol, called a hashtag is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet.
How to apply Twitter as a marketing eTool in your Digital Strategy:
Twitter is a great tool for driving traffic to your website and blog. To do this, you create a tweet around a link, writing a message that compels people to click to learn more.
Over time, the quality of what you tweet will help you grow a strong Twitter following. Your Twitter conversations should cover topics designed to draw in potential customers at a time when you are most likely to engage people.LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service, used mainly for professional networking.
With over 400 million people signed up to LinkedIn, the basic function is to create profiles and “connections” to each other on-line, with a view to obtaining introductions, jobs etc.
Google+ Business pages enhances your discoverability with targeted audiences. “Google” is probably the most recognised brand in the world next to Coca Cola & Apple. Two thirds of the worlds internet population uses Google search engine.
Everything you post on Google+ for Business page is immediately indexed by Google.
YouTube is a video sharing website, it allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos.
Lots of companies are now using web videos to reach out to current and potential customers. They’re building more personal relationships with their client base and reaping the benefits of this creative indirect marketing strategy.
This platform is perfect for small businesses. There are no big budgets required – just a video camera, a little creativity, and this handy guide. Using YouTube to drive your business.
Other ways on how to use YouTube to grow your business:
Snapchat is a mobile messaging application used to share photos, videos, text and drawings. It’s free to download the app and free to send messages using it. It has become hugely popular in a very short space of time, especially with young people.
How to use Snapchat to market your business:
Ways to use Snapchat to promote your business:
- Provide Access to Live Events
- Deliver Private Content
- Offer Contests, Perks or Promotions
- Take People Behind the Curtain/behind the scenes.
- Partner With Influencers
Snapchat’s authentic platform can make an impact with your followers and strengthen your brand’s point of view with real-time marketing.
Instagram is an online mobile photo and video sharing service that enables its users to take pictures and videos and share them publicly or privately:
More information about Instagram:
Instagram can be used in business to great effect to create a brand profile on Instagram to make your Brand visible to a new market by:
- Balance fun images with images from you business
- Cultivate a following
- Launch Debut videos
- Embed Instagram videos on your blog or website
- Follow your Followers back
- Inspire potential customers
- Leverage photo contests on Instagram with Facebook
- Market your brand using trends eg #followfriday
Play this short video for more information on how to build an audience for your Brand:
Vine is a short-form video sharing service where users can share six-second-long looping video clips.
You can share these short videos with your Twitter followers and Facebook friends.
Here are some creative uses for Vine for Marketing your business:
- Engage Your Followers in Conversations
- Highlight Your Brand Advocates
- Display Your Work for a Client
- Offer Up Relevant Historical Trivia
- Celebrate the Holidays
- Get People Excited About a New Product
- Take People Inside Your Office
- Attract Customers to Your Booth at a Conference
- Tell your Brands story
Periscope is an app that lets you share and experience live video streams direct from your smartphone or tablet. It can be used to capture the atmosphere among fans at an important match, to broadcast an unfolding news story or to experience what it’s like to walk down the streets of New York or Dubai.
Periscope is used to create live video broadcasts:
If your business is looking for a better, more personal way to connect with customers, Periscope is the answer. The Twitter-owned live-streaming iOS and Android app lets anyone broadcast video for free, giving small businesses an easy, fast and affordable way to communicate with customers in real-time.
How to use Periscope in your Business:
- Humanize your brand
- Show behind the scenes
- Give product demos
- Showcase Offerings
- Live Events
- Live Q&A
Pinterest is a social network that allows users to visually share, and discover new interests by posting (known as ‘pinning’ on Pinterest) images or videos to their own or others’ boards (i.e. a collection of ‘pins,’ usually with a common theme) and browsing what other users have pinned.
Pinterest represents a massive opportunity for both consumer-focused and business-to-business companies:
Other emerging Social Media:
Imgur is an online image sharing community and image host founded by Alan Schaaf. Imgur allows users to create an account and post images of all sorts. The images can be about games, memes, people, places or anything of personal interest.
Hootsuite is a social media management system for brand management created by Ryan Holmes in 2008. The system’s user interface takes the form of a dashboard, and supports social network integrations.
Reddit is an entertainment, social news networking service, and news website where registered community members can submit content, such as text posts or direct links, making it essentially an online bulletin board system.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media as a marketing eTool:
Too many businesses enter into social media because it’s ‘the done thing‘ – they feel they should have a presence purely because their competitors do. There are a number of real benefits to getting involved with social media, provided it is properly planned and executed.Business advantages of effective social media use include:
- compelling and relevant content will grab the attention of potential customers and increase brand visibility
- you can respond almost instantly to industry developments and become heard in your field
- it can be much cheaper than traditional advertising and promotional activities
- social content can indirectly boost links to website content by appearing in universal search results, improving search traffic and online sales
- you can deliver improved customer service and respond effectively to feedback
- customers can find you through new channels, generating more leads
- increased loyalty and advocacy from the customers you’ve connected with
- you will need to commit resources to managing your social media presence, responding to feedback and producing new content
- it can be difficult to quantify the return on investment and the value of one channel over another
- ineffective use – for example, using the network to push for sales without engaging with customers, or failing to respond to negative feedback – may damage your reputation
- Privacy – some avid social network members feel that marketing and advertising is intrusive to their privacy. According to Web Pro News, eight out of 10 social media users feel ambivalent to uneasy about sharing personal information and place social networks low in security confidence. The practice of shaping ads and campaigns off member information collected from social networking sites has stirred a wave confidentiality controversy, and marketing efforts can be met with bitterness and offensive
2. Rich Media:
Rich Media is a digital advertising term for an ad that includes advanced features like video, audio and other elements that encourage viewers to interest and engage with the content:
While text ads sell with words, and display ads sell with pictures, rich media ads offer more ways to involve an audience with an ad. The ad can expand, float, peel down, etc. You can access aggregated metrics on your audience’s behaviour, including number of expansions, multiple exits, and video completions to get granular data on the success of your campaign.
Rich Media is used primarily in YouTube, Vine, Periscope, DoubleClick by Google.
- Ad-serving : Online publishers use DoubleClick to display adverts on their websites.
- Ad delivery : DoublClick will let advertisers control how often an ad is shown to a browser, how long it is shown for and how often it will appear.
Behavioural targeting – this comes in two categories:
- Targeting for one website owner: An online publisher can set a DoubleClick cookie to tell them what sections of their sites you are browsing. DoubleClick will then judge the type of adverts you might like to see from what you’re browsing. For example, if you are on a news website and you visit the sports pages, then adverts for match tickets may be more relevant than makeup. This information belongs to the website owner only.
- Targeting in advertising networks: Google runs a service called Adsense, in which lots of different publishers pool the information they get on browsers. This helps them build up a better idea of the type of adverts someone might want to see. This is a third-party advertising cookie.
Rich media can have the sizzle that many ad executives complain the typical Internet creative lacks. If an agency can marshal its creative forces, it has the potential to create more powerful advertising than currently exists in any other media. But there’s more to this than first meets the eye.
The major pros of rich media are:
- It gets viewers’ attention and is engaging.
- It delivers a more nuanced message.
- It employs emotional appeals difficult to execute in a two-dimensional medium.
- It allows for interactive experiences like games or commerce applications.
- It helps build your business brand
But these benefits come at a great cost:
- Bandwidth requirements are much greater for rich media (by a factor of 10 to 100), preventing many viewers from seeing the ad.
- Rich media formats often require a certain browser or plug-in technology, preventing a good proportion of the audience from getting the rich message.
- Production costs on rich creative can be as high as those for television spots. The range is broad, but with the smaller media buys on the Internet, the relative efficiency can be hard to swallow.
- Some rich media technologies do not yet have fully developed measurement capabilities that yield performance information on a par with other online advertising.
- A rich media campaign involves many parties. Between the site, the agency, the client, the production house, the technology vendor, and, often, a special rich media ad server, there is a lot of room for miscommunication.
- The rich media trafficking process can be very complex.
3. Email marketing:
Email marketing occurs when a company sends a commercial message to a group of people by use of electronic email. Most commonly through advertisements, requests for business, or sales or donation solicitation, any email communication is considered email marketing if it helps to build customer loyalty, trust in a product or company or brand recognition. Email marketing is an efficient way to stay connected with your clients while also promoting your business.
Here are three popular companies involved in Email Marketing:
- Constant Contact
- Campaign Monitor
Constant Contact is a powerful and user-friendly software with a diverse selection of email templates. The company is an especially good choice for email marketing beginners, who will have access to some of the best educational resources in the industry.Constant Contact offers more than 400 customizable email templates. You also have the option to use a blank template or code directly with HTML and CSS. They also have a WordPress plug-in as well as a Facebook Fan Page app which gives your Facebook fans a way to sign up for emails directly from your Facebook Fan page.
MailChimp is a simple email marketing software (EMS) which gives you a number of easy options for designing, sending and saving templates of your emails.
MailChimp also has more than 400 templates to choose from. They recently implemented a drag and drop editor for quick, easy and aesthetically pleasing email layouts. Many of their templates are optimised to display on mobile devices. You also have the option of coding your email directly with HTML and inline CSS.
MailChimp uses an open API and encourages other applications to integrate with it. PayPal, Google Analytics, Shopify, FreshBooks, Salesforce, SurveyMonkey and many more.
Campaign Monitor is an online email marketing application that enables designers to create, send, manage and track branded emails for themselves and their clients with ease.Campaign Monitor allows companies to quickly and easily design their own personalized messages for fans and customers. It also enables you to optimize your campaigns with the help of advanced analytics and detailed reports.
Advantages of Email Marketing:
- Low Cost: Accumulating email addresses and maintaining a mailing list is relatively inexpensive, as well as sending out a newsletter. The cost of sending thousands of pieces of direct mail would be much more expensive to reach the same number of customers.
- Tracability: Clickthroughs and positive or negative responses to newsletters by customers emails can be easily tracked by many numerous tracking metrics. This allows for a measurement of return on investment as well as the effective of a marketing campaign.
- Instant Delivery Time: Email is near instant and so provides the benefit of deploying a marketing campaign faster than traditional media. The ‘quickness’ of the internet also encourages immediate responses from potential customers.
- Personalisation and Campaign Testing. It is easier and cheaper to personalise emails, or a group of emails, than for physical print media and also than for the comapany’s website. This allows a relatively easy and cost effective way to test different email creatives and messaging.
- Integration. Another level of market targeting allows email marketing combined with other direct media more of a chance to reinforce the marketing campaign message with an audience.
- Pushing the Message: Website based advertising relies on an individual to visit the website. Direct email communication allows an advertiser to ‘push’ it’s message to the target audience.
- Numbers: It is far easier to collect email addresses of interested parties who can then opt-in to companies marketing emails and newsletters than it would be to collect physical addresses and send direct mail to the same interested parties.
- Green: E-mail marketing is paper-free.
Disadvantages of Email Marketing:
- Undelivered Email: It may be difficult to get email through a spam filter as many companies use e-mail marketing to communicate with existing customers, but many other companies send unsolicited bulk e-mail.
- Email Overload: Even when an email gets through to the consumer, there is so much email that needs to be looked at sometimes it is difficult for the individual to distinguish between solicited and unsolicited email, as well as have time to read through the email.
- Renderability:. Difficulty of displaying the creative as intended within the in-box of different email reading systems.
- Email response decay: Email recipients are most responsive when they first subscribe to an email. It is difficult to keep them engaged. Soon, the opted in for newsletter may be seen as an irritant.
- Communications preferences: Recipients will have different preferences for email offers, content and frequency which affect engagement and response. These have to be managed through communications preferences.
- Resources: Additional people and technology resources are required to deliver a sophisticated email newsletter that engages the consumer.
4. Search Engine Optimisation SEO:
This is using keywords or keyphrases in a web page in order to help Search Engines find you more easily. The objective of SEO is that when someone is searching for your Goods or Services that you will appear on page 1 of Search Engines.
In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.
As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content, HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines.
Content Marketing 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.
Your SEO keywords are the key words and phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your site via search engines. A website that is well optimized for search engines “speaks the same language” as its potential visitor base with keywords for SEO that help connect searchers to your site.
A keyword phrase means a set of separate words that build a phrase (a multi-word search term).
Small businesses who want to optimize their websites need to understand the key elements of every web page. One of these elements is the page title.
A page title, or title tag, is the main text that describes a web page. It is the second most important on-page SEO element (behind your main body content), it is the easiest SEO element to edit and appears in three key places.
- Browser – the title tag show up in both the top of a browser’s window as well as the applicable tabs.
- Search Results Pages – title tags also show up in the search engine results as the links that potential visitors will click on after conducting a search.
- External Website – often times external websites (especially social media sites) will use the title of a web page as its link anchor text.
Meta Descriptions:Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that provide concise explanations of the contents of web pages. Meta descriptions are commonly used on search engine result pages (SERPs) to display preview snippets for a given page.
<meta name="description" content="This is an example of a meta description. This will often show up in search results.">
Meta description tags, while not important to search engine rankings, are extremely important in gaining user click-through from SERPs. These short paragraphs are a webmaster’s opportunity to advertise content to searchers and to let them know exactly whether the given page contains the information they’re looking for.
The meta description should employ the keywords intelligently, but also create a compelling description that a searcher will want to click. Direct relevance to the page and uniqueness between each page’s meta description is key. The description should optimally be between 150-160 characters.
Headings:Heading tags, as their name suggests, are used to differentiate the headings and sub-headings of a page from the rest of the content. These tags are also known to webmasters as HTML header tags, head tags and SEO header tags. The most important heading tag is the h1 tag and least important is the h6 tag.
Links:Link/Hyperlink building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. A hyperlink (usually just called a link) is a way for users to navigate between pages on the internet. Search engines use links to crawl the web; they will crawl the links between the individual pages on your website, and they will crawl the links between entire websites. There are many techniques for building links, and while they vary in difficulty, SEOs tend to agree that link building is one of the hardest parts of their jobs. Many SEOs spend the majority of their time trying to do it well. For that reason, if you can master the art of building high-quality links, it can truly put you ahead of both other SEOs and your competition.
Alt Tags:You include images in your articles to get people to read your text. Well-chosen images also strengthen your message. You shouldn’t forget to give those images good
alt attributes: alt tags and title tags strengthen the message towards search engine spiders and improve the accessibility of your website.
The alt and title attributes of an image are commonly referred to as alt tag or alt text and title tag even though they’re not technically tags. The alt text describes what’s on the image and the function of the image on the page. So if you have an image that’s used as a button to buy product X, the alt text would say: “button to buy product X”.
The alt tag is used by screen readers, the browsers used by blind and visually impaired people, to tell them what is on the image. The title attribute is shown as a tooltip when you hover over the element, so in case of an image button, the button could contain an extra call-to-action, like “Buy product X now for $19!”.
Each image should have an alt text. Not just for SEO purposes but also because blind and visually impaired people otherwise won’t know what the image is for. A title attribute is not required. It can be useful but in most cases, leaving it out shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Url’s:A URL is human-readable text that was designed to replace the numbers (IP addresses) that computers use to communicate with servers. They also identify the file structure on the given website.
- Use hyphens to separate words when necessary for readability. They should not use underscores, spaces, or any other characters to separate words. Overuse of hyphens in URLs can be seen as spammy, so it’s best to use caution and limit hyphen use in URLs when possible.
- Never be longer than 2,048 characters; otherwise Internet Explorer won’t be able to load the page.
- Avoid the use of parameters, if possible. If parameters need to be used, they should be limited to two or less.
Website Diagnostic Tools:
Major search engines, provide free tools for webmasters. These tools help webmasters better control how Google interacts with their websites and get useful information from Google about their site. Using Webmaster Tools won’t help your site get preferential treatment; however, it can help you identify issues that, if addressed, can help your site perform better in search results.
WordTracker is an independent keyword research tool, which digs a little deeper into keyword research, combinations, and stats so that you can build powerful websites, from the best possible keyword phrases. Finding the right keywords is the beginning of every single marketing process that you execute online.SEO MOZ: enables you to track keywords weekly for Google, Bing, and Yahoo in 200+ countries. In addition to measuring your backlinks, most valuable pages and anchor text, Moz also proactively looks for unlinked mentions and competitive link opportunities. With Smart SERP Analysis, Moz provides comprehensive keyword-based data (i.e. which words are ranking, who’s searching, where the traffic is generating, etc).
Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools) is a no-charge web service by Google for Webmasters. It allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites. In 2015, Google rebranded Google Webmaster Tools as Google Search Console.
Other emerging SEO practices:
If you’ve improved the crawling and indexing of your site using a webmaster tool or other services, you’re probably curious about the traffic coming to your site. Web analytics programs like Google Analytics are a valuable source of insight for this.
Google Analytics is a free tool provided by Google which empowers you to find out exactly what your visitors are doing on your site and how they’re getting there. For example, using Google Analytics you can find out:
- which search phrases your visitors are using to find your site
- the average amount of time your visitors are spending on your site
- the average amount of time each visitor is spending on each page of your site
- which links your visitors clicked while they were on your site
- what geographical area your visitors are coming from
- which sites are referring the most traffic back to your site and much more.
This enables you to track the behaviors of your visitors and tweak or focus your marketing accordingly.
Google Alerts is another free tool provided by Google. With this tool, you can select a word or phrase or even an entire sentence and have automatic emails sent to you whenever that word, phrase or sentence is published anywhere on the internet. This is a powerful tool for keeping track of what content your competitors might be creating and publishing.
Google alerts can also let you know when something is being written about you or your company online. This can be useful for finding out if someone is duplicating your content or saying something negative which might hurt your company’s online reputation.
Yoast SEO (formerly known as WordPress SEO by Yoast) is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists today for WordPress.org users.
5. Online Advertising:
Online advertising is a marketing strategy that involves the use of the Internet as a medium to obtain website traffic and target and deliver marketing messages to the right customers. Online advertising is geared toward defining markets through unique and useful applications.
A major advantage of online advertising is the quick promotion of product information without geographical boundary limits. A major challenge is the evolving field of interactive advertising, which poses new challenges for online advertisers.
Online advertisements are purchased through one of the following common vehicles:
- Pay per click (PPC), also called cost per click, is an internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites, in which an advertiser pays a publisher (typically a website owner or a network of websites) when the ad is clicked. Pay–per–click is commonly associated with search engines.
- Google AdWords is Google’s online advertising program that lets you reach new customers and grow your business. With AdWords, you choose where your ad appears, set a budget you’re comfortable with, and measure the impact of your ad.
- Google AdSense is a program run by Google that allows publishers in the Google Network of content sites to serve automatic text, image, video, or interactive media advertisements, that are targeted to site content and audience.
Examples of online advertising include banner ads, search engine results pages, social networking ads, online classified ads, pop-ups and contextual ads.
- Banner Ads are a form of advertising on the internet delivered by an ad server. This form of online advertising entails embedding an advertisement into a web page. It is intended to attract traffic to a website by linking to the website of the advertiser.
- Classified advertising is a form of advertising which is particularly common in newspapers, online and other periodicals which may be sold or distributed free of charge. Classified advertisements are much cheaper than larger display advertisements used by businesses, although display advertising is more widespread.
- Social network advertising, also called social media targeting is a term to describe forms of online advertising that focus on social networking services. One of the major benefits of this type of advertising is that advertisers can take advantage of the users’ demographic information and target their ads appropriately.
- Pop-up ads or pop-ups are often forms of online advertising on the World Wide Web intended to attract web traffic or capture email addresses. Pop-ups are generally new web browser windows to display advertisements.
- Contextual advertising is a form of targeted advertising for ads appearing on websites or other media, such as content displayed in mobile browsers. The advertisements themselves are selected and served by automated systems based on the identity of the user and the content displayed.
As already discussed, Online Advertising is available in a number of formats, from banner ads, to rich media ads to social media pages and more. As you get increased traffic to your website, you may wonder which advertising campaigns are providing the best return on investment (ROI) and which are not proving valuable to your business’ goals. It is important to measure the effectiveness of your web advertising.
There are a number of ways to measure the effectiveness of your online advertising:
- Click-Through Rate (CTR) is the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement. It is commonly used to measure the success of an online advertising campaign for a particular website as well as the effectiveness of email campaigns.
- An Impression is when an ad is fetched from its source, and is countable. Whether or not the ad is clicked is not taken into account. Each time an ad is fetched it is counted as one impression.
- Views – A Web page that has been viewed by one visitor. Page views are often used in online advertising, where advertisers use the number of page views a site receives to determine where and how to advertise.
- Increased Revenue
- Cost Effective
Disadvantages of online advertising:
- Growing user blindness to online advertising,
- Negative user reaction to distracting online advertising and more use of AdBlockers
- Difficulties in measuring success of online advertising,
- Need to create different versions of the advertising for different devices, ie Desktop, Tablet, Phone etc.
- Challenge of converting impressions into engagement with the marketing message
Once you begin your outreach to customers using your tool, remember these five keys:
- Communicate with customers often. Pick something simple you will do consistently like a marketing newsletter blast or a weekly tips announcement, and stick with that plan. If you’re consistent, your message will begin to stick in the minds of your customers.
- Utilize the marketing templates in your online tool. Many online tools have great wizard templates for e-mail campaigns and newsletters. This saves a ton of time.
- Make sure your leads are current and your notes updated. Clean up your database as often as you can.
- Leverage the benefits of your online tool. There may be hidden benefits you haven’t tried yet, such an application tie-in to your iPhone or a new module that improves the way you track your customer leads and marketing activity. Technology changes weekly and new innovations happen daily on these types of online products. Keep up-to-date by checking in often with your online marketing tool’s website.
- Make sure the pricing structure works for you. If your online tool doesn’t scale for you as the price increases, examine other online options and make sure you pick a membership structure that will continue to grow with you as you gain new customers.