Digital marketing is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle for brands to focus on in the 21st century. From the advent of social media and blogging in the ‘90s to the explosion of TikTok in 2020, it’s a medium that holds a lot of power in the world of marketing and advertising.
But how can you use it for your small or medium-sized business? A lot of it can feel like unfamiliar territory with abbreviations like PPC and SEO popping up in how-to articles around the ‘net. If you want to learn more about digital marketing and the differences in channels, messaging, and metrics, then you’ve come to the right place! At Made by Chapter, we pride ourselves not only on knowing the ins and outs of digital marketing but are also constantly learning more to help ourselves and our clients navigate the world of online marketing.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is easiest described as any marketing that uses electronic devices to deliver its message. Typically, this would be from a computer, phone, or tablet and usually take the form of videos, display ads (such as banners), and social media posts.
Although television shares a lot of its marketing strategies with digital marketing, it’s considered a traditional marketing medium. Traditional marketing encompasses magazine adverts, radio spots, billboards, and direct mail.
Unsurprisingly, consumer attention is shifting from traditional to digital marketing over the past decade and will soon overlap it to become the reigning medium for marketing. This is the main reason why your brand should be more involved in the digital marketing sphere.
What are the different types of channels?
The online world is a forever-expanding place. In the 1960s, Marshall McLuhan coined the term ‘global village,’ which comes from the daily production and consumption of media, images, and content from global audiences. People who are thousands of miles apart are being brought together to share their opinions and views by complex communities of networks stretching worldwide.
These complex networks can be summed in some main channels for digital marketing:
- Email marketing: You have an audience and you have something to tell them. Compiling an email list and sending out marketing campaigns through email is a great way to bring attention. Offering discounts for mailing list sign-ups and getting featured in established newsletters are just some of the ways that you can use email marketing in your strategy.
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC): If you have the budget to spare, PPC advertising is a great way to get a high amount of traffic in a short period of time. The effectiveness of these adverts varies depending on your keyword targeting, optimization of visuals and info in your adverts, and how much you’re willing to pay to acquire a customer.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Every day, there are over 3.5 billion Google searches. From each of these searches lies a chance to get your brand or message seen by people around the world. By doing careful keyword research, organic link building and making the most of both on-page and off-page optimizations, you could see yourself rising higher up the Google results page and earning more clicks to your site.
- Display advertising: Banners, boxes, interactive ads, video ads and all other ads you see when you’re browsing the internet are all forms of display advertising. These ads are usually either Cost-Per-Impression (CPM), which can be more cost-effective compared to Cost-Per-Click (CPC), which we normally see in PPC advertising as explored above.
- Social media marketing (SMM): Using sites and apps like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok unlocks a wide range of audiences. While specific content is better suited to certain social media channels, there’s a lot of potential and power in utilising social media for your brand. The options are endless too, with tools and tips that suit anything from non-profit charities to global brands and everything in between.
- Affiliate marketing: Offering a commission to influencers and their audiences when they advertise your product can bring a huge influx of consumers to your website. The Awin Report estimated that advertisers invested $13 billion USD in affiliate marketing globally in 2017 with the numbers rising yearly. You can use this as leverage to get the right eyes on your product.
What messages are best suited for digital?
The digital space benefits messages that need to go out quickly to a wide audience. While most campaigns are thought-out and planned, some need to go up asap. Especially during Covid, when restaurants are requiring bookings and people may not show up or cancel, places can post cancellations on their social media for users to book directly.
With reactive marketing, where your brand reacts to a viral trend, you’re best suited to digital channels (specifically, social media). This is because you’re taking advantage of something happening at the moment. You want to reach your audience quickly with your message.
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Digital channels are also well-suited to crisis management. In a time when you want to keep your audiences up-to-date on what’s happening, it’s best to choose a channel where you can distribute this information quickly and widely. This also allows them a way to be notified when you post updates.
Newsletters and email campaigns work well for new product launches, insider benefits, and general information about your product or brand. They’re well suited to digital in 2021, where most audiences are used to getting their information quickly in an electronic format, but can also be translated into more traditional spaces, like physical newsletters.
Choosing objectives and metrics
You put a lot of time and effort into your digital marketing campaigns, so how do you make sure it’s successful?
Setting up your website on Google Analytics before you start campaigns is the easiest way to get a birds-eye view of what’s going on. You can see where your users are coming from and where they’re going, and using UTM links on the back of your internal links on your social posts can help see which campaigns are bringing in the most traffic.
Keep an eye on this space as we’ll run through a crash course of what you need to know about Google Analytics. As a quick intro, Google Analytics is broken down into 4 main sections:
- Audience: Explore who your users are and look into demographics, location, which device they’re using and more. This gives you a breakdown of who your users are.
- Acquisition: How you got your users and where they came from. You can look into which channels they used to get to you (organic Google searches, social media posts, emails) which helps you determine how effective your campaigns are.
- Behaviour: This looks into what users are doing on your site. Which pages they visit, how long they stay, and where they drop off help you determine the best ways to optimise your site to keep them coming back.
- Conversions: Are users taking the actions you want them to take? This section looks at defining funnels for actions (like purchases) to see if they’re taking the actions you’re aiming for.
Digital Marketing Metrics You Should Track in 2021
- Web Traffic
- Traffic by Source and Medium
- New vs Returning Users
- Page Views
- Top Pages
- Exit Rate
- Bounce Rate
- Conversion Rate
TIP: Use UTM parameters on your links using our handy template – that way you can track all of these metrics specific to certain campaigns, such as your Black Friday Sale or a Webinar campaign you ran.
Social Media Marketing
- Impressions – organic and paid
- Reach – organic and paid
- Engagement – organic and paid
- Click-Through Rate
- Cost Per Click – paid ads
- Cost Per Conversion – paid ads
- Cost Per Acquisition – paid ads: good for subscription products, services or memberships.
Email Marketing Metrics
- Open Rate
- Click-Through Rate
- Conversions Rate
- Hard Bounce Rate
- Soft Bounce Rate
- Unsubscribe Rate
- Subscriber Growth Rate
- Spam Complaints
Digital marketing can be a daunting space if you don’t know where to start. We hope this gives you the peace of mind to get started in digital marketing. It’s also fun to experiment with what works best for you and your brand. If you need that extra push and guidance in your journey, get in touch with us to see if we can help you!