It took some time, but once I took a breath and wiped the sweat from my brow, I realized I’m probably not alone in the seemingly endless growth of the digital marketing industry; therefore, in this post, I’ll talk about what digital marketing is, as well as techniques to use in your online marketing strategy, assets to obtain, and challenges to consider.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is a blanket term that describes the efforts used to reach your target audience and convert them from strangers to loyal customers, including:

  • Designing and optimizing your website so that it’ll be found in search engines
  • Creating a clear, honest, and reliable brand voice in word, picture, and deed
  • Creating e-mail campaigns that build confidence in your brand
  • Developing a social media presence with your customers

Digital marketing is a relatively new term; it’s also referred to as:

  • Online marketing
  • Internet marketing
  • Web marketing
  • Digital media design

Why is Digital Marketing Important?

Technology grows at an exponential rate. Just think how different everything was 20-30 years ago. The internet changed the world, sped it up, and turned us all on our heads almost overnight. The world in which most of us were born no longer exists, and we have now entered the Digital Age.

We must adjust the sails in this ever-changing and powerful environment. We must remember who we are as humans and keep a clean, consistent presence with the brand. Having a digital marketing strategy will certainly get you there.

Working within an industry is one thing, but running a business in that field is an entirely different beast. You start to appreciate the need for a marketing director because everything you need to do to run your business is a full-time job, including:

  • Creating a brand voice, logo, fonts, colors, taglines, and slogans
  • Designing a website
  • Optimizing that website
  • Reaching out on social media
  • Using traditional efforts like buying ads (newspaper, Google, or social media)
  • Drawing customers in through inbound marketing methods.

The 100-hour work-weeks aren’t exactly what you had in mind when you started this journey of owning a business, is it? It’s time to make a plan that will save you time and, hopefully, reduce your stress.

Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy

Your digital marketing strategy can be designed any way you’d like. The below are the main topics to consider. For each, you’ll want to develop:

The 6 Components of a Digital Marketing Strategy

Use your assets to increase traffic, generate leads, improve brand awareness, and delight your customers. Content marketing includes everything from offers through your website to the way you respond to complaints, focusing primarily on your public presence and communications.

SEO is a complex organism, hidden behind masks and layers of algorithmic code. SEO is an arduous process that helps bring organic (free) traffic to your site using keywords, descriptions, alt tags, and a diverse link profile.

Targeted email lists help you talk to the right audience at the right time about the right things. You’ll get a better return on these efforts by making sure your content is requested and wanted by the reader.

Social Media is where “it” is at. It’s the water cooler of the world now, and everyone is talking. Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or whatever-space, the result is the same: millions of people flock to social media all day, every day, completely changing the scope of 24/7 marketing and advertising.

Inbound marketing techniques are much less disruptive to your customers than traditional marketing methods. Inbound focuses on pulling people in with a magnetic approach, including techniques like creating relevant and timely content, offering freebie materials, performing advanced SEO, and diversifying content.

Also referred to as search engine marketing (SEM), PPC is akin to putting ads in a newspaper, but with an ability to track and measure. You pay the publisher (like Google AdWords) every time your ad is clicked, with the hope that the person who clicked will become a customer. There is always a risk in advertising, and this is one of them.

This is not an exhaustive list of techniques for your digital marketing strategy. HubSpot is a great resource if you’re looking for a few more tactics.

Digital Marketing Assets

As with traditional marketing, online marketing includes the accumulation of assets, to include:

  • Whitepapers and e-books
  • Electronic brochures
  • Interactive tools
  • Optimized, user-friendly website
  • Social media pages
  • Branding assets like the logo, fonts, colors, messaging, etc.
  • Blog posts
  • Infographics

Challenges Faced in Internet Marketing

“Nothing worth having comes easy.” Even as the world changes at breakneck speeds around us, we remember that phrase at Your Imprint. It rings true and echoes loudly with everyone I’ve met. Digital marketing is no exception, so here are three challenges to consider when working on your internet marketing:

There is a rampant proliferation of digital channels. We’re all distracted by touching multiple digital channels in the space of a day, using a variety of digital devices with different specifications, protocols, and interfaces

The competition is extremely high, and I don’t just mean for us at Your Imprint, a Fort Collins Digital Marketing company. It’s relatively cheap to advertise online, compared to traditional methods, so there’s a lot of noise out there.

The digital trail of data a user leaves behind is mind-bending. Trying to catch and track all that data to grow your business is a real challenge.

These challenges are serious but not impossible to overcome. It takes planning, creating a budget, and taking the leap.

So, to answer the question of whether digital marketing is a trick or a treat, I’d have to say it’s a treat. It’s definitely not a spoof. Technology is growing too rapidly to call it a trick, and it shows no signs of slowing down. At this point, it’s either jump on the train or stay behind. Make sure you check the treat by using a strategy you can understand and implement.

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