digital MARKETING A strategic overview With Calvin Jones
About me http://bit.ly/CJGooglePlus www.linkedin.com/in/CalvinJones www.twitter.com/WriterCJ Web content specialist, digital marketing consultant and author based in West Cork. Co Author of Understanding Digital Marketing and The Best Digital Marketing Campaigns in the Worldwww.digitalbusinesshub.com www.cjwriting.com
Some things well CoverWhat is Digital Marketing and why is it important? Digital marketing strategy Your Website: the hub of your digital world Search and the art of getting found Web analytics and online measurement E-mail marketing Engaging customers through Social Media Digital Marketing Trends Case studies and Examples
digital MARKETING What is it, and why should I care?
If you remember just one thing, remember this: THE PRIME DIRECTIVEDigital marketing is about PEOPLE not TECHNOLOGY! Technology is just the bit in the middle that helps us communicate more effectively
What is Digital MarketingDigital marketing is the act of promoting a business, brand, individual or cause through a variety of digital media channels, principally the internet, but also through digital display or mobile messaging platforms
Why Digital Marketing?More than 2 billion people with internet access USA 78%, Europe 58% Ireland: 65%, UK: 82%, Scandinavia 90+% The internet is: Changing how people look for, research and buy products and services. Changing the way people interact with businesses and brands. Changing customers expectationsMake more efficient use of your marketing € Useful link: www.internetworldstats.com
Do I need a digital marketing? The key questions: 1. Are your customers / prospects online, or are they going to be? 2. See question 1 Consumers are spending more time online, and increasingly expect the businesses they buy from to be there too!
Defining your digital marketing strategyKnow your business Is your business ready for digital marketing Remove internal road-blocksKnow your competition What are they doing well (emulate them) What are they doing badly (learn from them) What arent they doing at all (seize the opportunity)
Defining your digital marketing strategyKnow your customers Who are they, and what do they want from you? Are you servicing the same customer base online? How do they use digital technology?Know what youre trying to achieve If you dont know where you want to go, theres a good chance youll never get there. Set clear, measurable, achievable goals.
Meet Consumer 2.0Same people – its the medium thats changed, and its altering consumer behaviourImpatient information junkies: they want it all, and they want it nowTheyre in control: play on their terms or youll lose them before you startTheyre fickle: if your value proposition doesnt stack up, theyll go elsewhere
Your Window to the Digital WorldYour website is your most valuable piece of digital real estateIt is the only place online where you are in controlThink of it as a “conversion engine” for the traffic you drive to itYour website turns visitors into leads / customers
Whats in a name? Choosing the right domainDomain names are cheap – but the right one could prove pricelessThink memorable, descriptive... and relevantIf you target a local audience think of registering a country specific TLD (Top Level Domain)You can easily buy multiple domains and redirect them to your primary domain. Useful links: www.mydomain.com, www.letshost.ie, www.blacknight.com
Hosting: where your website livesHosting = space on a computer permanently connected to the internetShared Hosting, VPS, Dedicated Server, or Co- location? What about “Cloud” Hosting?Choosing the right host Location, reliability, reputation, support Whats the “buzz” online, what are people saying about them? Ask for recommendations Useful links: www.letshost.ie, www.blacknight.com
Planning your websiteWho is your website really for?Usability: make your visitors lives easier.Accessibility and Web Standards W3CWords matter the most – pretty pictures still come secondSearch engines are your market research friends: look up your competition Useful links: www.usability.gov, www.useit.com, www.w3c.org
Content: the workhorse of your online businessUse keyword research to inform content decisions (base decisions on data not speculation)Arrange related content into clearly defined themesGrab attention, use compelling, engaging languageInverted pyramid – most important elements first, drill down to supporting detailStructure for “scan-ability”, use headings and bullets to break up text
Website DesignFocus on usability – help visitors achieve their goalsIf youre not a designer, bring in a professionalForm follows function: dont let design impact usabilitySave some budget for your content: words matter more than looks on the web
Choosing a Web DesignerCheck the designers websiteCheck reference sites from their portfolioContact reference clients and ask about their experienceDo the sites they design perform well in search?Do their sites comply with W3C web standards?
Search: The Holy Grail of online marketingSearch Engines are the best source of targeted traffic to your siteGet your details in front of people at the precise moment theyre looking for what you offerMore than 80% of web users rely on search engines to navigate the webIn March 2011 search engines fielded 16.9 billion requests for information
Search: dealing with HUGE numbers“The first Google index in 1998 already had 26 million pages, and by 2000 the Google index reached the one billion mark. Over the last eight years, weve seen a lot of big numbers about how much content is really out there. Recently, even our search engineers stopped in awe about just how big the web is these days -- when our systems that process links on the web to find new content hit a milestone: 1 trillion (as in 1,000,000,000,000) unique URLs on the web at once!” Official Google blog post, July 2008
How Search WorksSearch engines earn money from advertisingTo attract advertisers they need an audienceTo attract / retain audience they rely on RELEVANCE Improved Relevance = Better User Experience = More Users = More Advertisers = More Revenue Putting users first makes search engines richer!
Search nuts and boltsCrawler / Spider scours the web and stored data in a massive database called an indexUser types a search query – search engine retrieves matches from the indexSearch engine ranks millions of results for relevance based on complex search algorithmOrganic results presented to the user, along with relevant paid advertising based on the same keywords Google Explains Search: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNHR6IQJGZs
Avoid Search Road BlocksDont make life difficult for search engines Flash / Ajax: avoid all-flash / all ajax sites – they are difficult for spiders to crawl Script based navigation: can cause problems for spiders. Have a text based workaround Frames: bad for search, and bad for users Image based navigation: again, you need a text based alternative if you use image based navigation Example of a Flash heavy website: www.leoburnett.com
Keywords unlock the power of search successBrainstorm seed keywords What would your customer type in the search box? Come up with half-a-dozen terms.Find out what they are actually searching for Use keyword tools like Googles free adwords tool, Wordtracker or Keyword Discovery Its not all about volume: focus on keywords specific enough to drive targeted traffic
Long tail versus short tail KeywordsShort Tail short generic phrases or single words high volumes of traffic lots of competitionLong Tail longer descriptive phrases (3, 4 or more words) much lower search volumes individually less competition and more likely to convert
Help Search Engines to help youEffective search engine optimisation (SEO) makes it easier for search engines to find, index and rank your pagesREMEMBER: search engines rank pages, not sites – each page gives you a unique opportunity to rankOptimise each page for your target keywords: 1-3 per page
On Page SEO: Meta TagsThe <Title> HTML tag Appears at the top of your browser window Descriptive, keyword optimised phrase Will be the clickable link in search results page Your first chance to grab peoples attentionThe <Meta> Description HTML tag Descriptive overview of the page – often used as the snippet of text in search results
On Page SEO: ContentYour content body Write naturally and incorporate target keywords organically Focus on great content for your readers Use headings (<Hn> tags) and lists to structure content logically Use descriptive anchor text for internal links Whenever possible have descriptive text alternatives for images and rich media content.
Links: votes for your siteIncoming links from reputable sites boost search rankings When another website links to yours, theyre saying “this content is worth reading”Not all links are created equal: The weighting of links depends on the perceived authority of the referring site. Links that dont comply with search guidelines will not count.
Links: how to get themAsk for them Online and offline networking, social networks, customers, suppliers, etc.Create compelling content and encourage people to shareLink bait: content designed specifically to attract links contests, coupons, reports, infographics, widgets, plugins... anything that adds value
Social signals and SEOSocial “buzz” feeding into search algorithms Whos talking about, retweeting, +1ing and sharing your content can affect ranking What your online social circle is sharing can impact personalised search resultsActivity on social media platforms is now an integral part of your SEO
Pay Per Click Search AdvertisingSearch ads appear beside and occasionally above organic resultsShort, keyword targeted text based ads Typically a clickable headline and two short lines of textAd placement based on combination of relevance, bid value, “quality” score and other factors.You only pay when your ad is clicked
Effective PPC AdsConcentrate on highly targeted, conversion focused keywords (you pay for every click)Benefit focused headline and ad copy: attract attention and encourage click-throughSend people to a dedicated conversion optimised landing pageMonitor campaigns closely, apply budget constraints, measure and refine constantly
Search Marketing Sum-upSearch Engines are a core elements of online marketingUse keywords unlock the power of searchOrganic SEO can drive free targeted traffic to your site, but takes time and sustained effortPPC Advertising can send instant traffic to your site, but you pay for each click, so conversion is crucial for ROI
Website Intelligence: AnalyticsWeb analytics provides valuable insight on your visitorsMake decisions based on actions by real people, rather than blind speculationTrack and measure results – fine tune your strategy, do more of what works, stop doing what doesnt workTest different options to improve ROI
Analytics OptionsStart with Google Analytics – enterprise class analytics for free Easy set up Comprehensive features Intuitive web based interfaceCommercial options include Coremetrics, WebTrends, Omniture etc.Google “Web Analytics” for more options
What can Analytics tell me?How people find your siteHow they navigate through itHow they become customers / convertIf they dont convert, where do you lose them?How well your content is performingTrack conversion stats via AdWords and other advertising channels... and much, much more Google Analytics support resources: http://www.google.com/analytics/support.html
Social Media People are talking... ... are you ready to join the conversation?
What is Social Media“Social media is the umbrella term for web based software and services that allow users to come together online and exchange, discuss, communicate and participate in any form of social interaction.”- Me, Understanding Digital Marketing
What is Social MediaSocial media is nothing new Online social interaction pre-dates the web by some 20 years Always on broadband, mobile and web 2.0 technologies make it easy to shareSocial media is naturally compelling Were social creatures: were hard-wired to interact with other peopleSocial media is nothing to be afraid of
Why you need to get involvedMarketing has evolved Broadcasting a message no longer works, this is a conversation, not a lecture People are talking anyway – better to be involved in the conversationOnline equivalent of word of mouth Instead of sharing with 5 friends down the pub, people are sharing with 500, 5,000, 50,000. Are they saying good things about you?
Why you need to get involvedLearn more about your customers Find out what people like, dont like, want and need Use that knowledge to inform your marketing and deliver what theyre looking for.Build enduring, mutually beneficial relationships Engaging with customers regularly helps build trust, improves your reputation and builds online advocacy around your brand.
Types of social mediaSocial bookmarking: www.delicious.comSocial submissions: www.digg.comForums and groups: www.boards.ieBlogs: www.icecreamireland.comMedia sharing: www.youtube.comSocial Networks: www.facebook.comMicroblogging: www.twitter.com
The Social Media Rules of EngagementListen before you leapDraw on what you already knowBe open, honest and engagingBe relevant, interesting, entertainingAdd value, dont just push your messageRespect rules – written or otherwiseRespect people
Adding A Social Element to your own siteFeeds from your social media accountsBlogsSupport ForumsLive Online SupportReviews and ratings (www.amazon.co.uk)Social applications (www.ideastorm.com)... use your imagination, and engage!
E-Mail MarketingE-mail is perhaps the most universally accepted digital medium How many people you know actively use social media every day? How about email?Engage regularly with existing customers, build relationships with new customers, reach out to prospectsCustomers will still open your email, if you routinely add value
Email Marketing ToolsDONT try to manage your email marketing in Microsoft Outlook!Dedicated email marketing software is Affordable Easy to use Conforms with relevant anti-spam legislation Will grow with your online business Makes subscription and list management a breeze
Email Marketing ToolsEnterprise email marketing with CRM IntegrationDesktop based email softwareWeb based “Software as a Service” Benchmark Email, Aweber, Newsweaver ... and many more Ideal for small to medium businesses Affordable, great feature set, scaleable
Building your e-mail listOpt in is crucial – you need peoples permission to contact them Explicit opt in is best – people actively sign up to your newsletter or mailing list Soft opt-in – its generally fine to add email addresses collected when people completes a transaction on your website to your listALWAYS make sure its easy for people to unsubscribe if they decide its not for them
Building your email listPut a sign up form prominently on your websiteMake it easy for your subscribers to share your email offerings via email and social mediaEncourage sign in on a dedicated landing page on your siteAsk for an email address in exchange for value added content (a downloadable whitepaper, free webinar, etc.)
Creating compelling emailDesign your HTML email template as you would a web page Make it visually compelling, and complimentary to your site design Continuity enhances the user experience and builds trust Ensure your message degrades gracefully Email client software often blocks images by default, and some people choose not to view email in HTML format.
Writing email contentYour subject line is important It is the only content subscribers see BEFORE deciding if theyll open your messageAbove the fold – present your most important content up frontWrite as you would for the web – keep your copy clear, engaging and shortInclude a compelling call to action: tell people what you want them to do!
Future trendsMobile... the internet in our pockets By 2014 mobile devices will overtake PCs globally for internet access Increasing market share for smartphones and tablets Move away from proprietary “locked down” apps to cross-platform, device independent standards based applications (HTML5)
Future trendsLocation based services / marketing Using mobile location data to make advertising more useful Targeted “offers” based on where you are at any given time More innovative location based applications and marketing as devices become more capable and marketers get more creative
Future trendsPersonalisation and behavioural targeting Targeting ads to individuals based on past preferences and other behavioural cues Combine with location data to deliver extremely targeted advertising tailored to the individual Ads become useful because they give you relevant information about things your interested in Privacy is the main stumbling block
Future trendsIntegrated marketing Stop thinking in terms of “traditional” and “digital” -- its just marketing Choosing the most effective combination of complimentary channels spanning multiple mediaThe demise of campaign-based marketing Well see less isolated campaign based marketing, brands moving towards a model of iterative engagement and conversation
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