Understanding Digital Marketing: The Fundamentals Guide

With your competition spending billions of dollars on digital marketing, don’t you think it’s about time to work on understanding digital marketing?

While many business owners still don’t understand the reach and scalability of digital marketing, many are beginning to see the error of their ways. They now see the benefits of digital marketing through methods such as SEO when looking at their bottom lines.

We understand that digital marketing can be confusing with the lingo and jargon you find online, but we’re going to make it simple for you in this guide. Continue reading this article to learn what digital marketing is and how you can make it work for your business even if you’re a beginner.

What Is Digital Marketing?

Before we get into strategies, let’s clear up any misunderstanding about what digital marketing is.

To break it down simply, digital marketing is when you market your products or services over the internet and via digital media.

Search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and other online promotional methods fall under the umbrella of digital marketing.

There are many different ways to get the word out about your business through online marketing strategies from local SEO to Facebook Ads.

Make sure you understand who your audience is and where they spend their time online before formulating your strategy. When you know your audience, you’ll know where to spend your time and marketing dollars.

Why Digital Marketing Is a Must

With 293 million people using the internet in America, can you afford to ignore digital marketing?

Even if you’re not big on internet use yourself, know that everyone else is using it for everything from watching funny cat videos to choosing which car they’re going to buy next. In fact, there isn’t much that you can’t do online – including researching businesses before you decide to actually do business with them.

If you’re a small business owner, you might not see how the internet can help you get more customers. But the truth is, you’re losing business every day that you’re not promoting yourself online.

People are looking for help with things that your business does, and if they can’t find you, it’s because you’re not up on your showing up in search engines like Google.

Using your blog to get noticed by providing helpful advice and ranking by using SEO or by making the most out of your Google My Business profile to get attention when people perform local searches, can help drive real results.

Keep ROI In Mind

Whatever methods you find that work for you, these strategies will help you get more customers for your business, and often you’ll find that you get a much better ROI than by using traditional marketing methods.

When you’re bulking at setting up your own strategy, know that every day that you aren’t marketing online, your competition is growing their presence online that much more.

Digital marketing won’t only help you get more customers, but tracking your results is easier than ever, allowing you to make informed decisions to help drive efficient growth.

What You Need to Kickstart Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Now that you’re getting better at understanding digital marketing, let’s get into how you can take advantage of this great opportunity to get the word out about your business.

Here’s what you need to start building a strong foundation.

A Well-Functioning & Attractive Website Design

While you could have gotten away with a self-made, one-page website in the past, these don’t work as well today.

People associate a good website with a good company. If your website looks “sketchy” people automatically think that your business might be sketchy as well.

Think of your website as the opportunity to make a good first impression. As the old saying goes, you only have one chance to make a good first impression. Make sure your website does your company justice by giving your visitor’s a way to easily find the information they need.

Make sure your site isn’t slow and bogged down with excessive and oversized images or videos. Look to see if there are pages on your website that are unnecessary and see if there are things you need to do to optimize the speed of your website.

If the design and structure of your website is slowing it down, this can cause serious problems – such as Google not ranking you as high due to your site’s low performance.

Besides loading quickly, make sure your website is responsive. A responsive website means that your website will show up on the device someone views it on properly. Meaning, whether someone visits your site from a phone, tablet, laptop, or extra large monitor, your site displays perfectly.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Search engine optimization, which is commonly known as SEO, is one of the best ways to get targeted traffic to your website.

There are two components to SEO. One of these is on-page SEO, and the other is off-page SEO.

On-page SEO is when you optimize each of your website pages to rank for a search term so that page of your website shows up in the search engines.

On-page SEO includes:

  • Keyword in the title tag
  • Keyword in the meta description
  • Keyword in a header, at the intro and conclusion of the page
  • Keyword in the alt text of images
  • Relevant internal and external links
  • Quality, relevant content

There are a lot of factors in play when it comes to optimizing your website’s pages, but if you develop a checklist before you publish your pages, you can make sure you stay on track and don’t miss any of the important parts of optimizing each page on your site.

Off-page SEO includes:

  • Link building
  • Social signals
  • Citations

While some of these factors are going to occur naturally, there are things you can do to help your site rank through off-page SEO efforts such as writing in-depth content that people are naturally going to link to from their content because of its quality.

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is using social media (like Facebook and Instagram) to advertise your products or services. Social media advertising is a good place to start if you’re not sure how to get your feet wet, promoting online.

Even if you just start out posting on your Facebook page or Instagram, it will at least give you an idea of how things work.

Social media can be a powerful force and can be either a paid or free method. If you have a limited budget, this is a good place to start and build your following organically. Just keep in mind that if you’re not putting money into your social media advertising, it can take some time to get things rolling.

When you get started, you should be on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn – depending on who you audience is. You may even be able to build a following quickly on new platforms such as TikTok.

As other platforms arise that make sense for your business, you can consider adding these other platforms.

PPC Marketing (Pay-Per-Click)

If you’re impatient and you don’t want to wait for results like you’re going to have to with SEO and you aren’t sure how to get attention on social, PPC is an option to get in front of eyeballs quickly.

While you can get in front of eyeballs quickly when using PPC, you need to make sure that you understand how PPC works.

When you dive into the world of PPC, it is extremely important that you understand who your audience is. If you are running ads online and you don’t know who you’re marketing to, you could spend thousands of dollars without getting any results.

Google Ads isn’t the only place where you can spend money on PPC. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn will also more than happily take your money to get clicks on your content.

Once you know who your target audience is and what you want to say to them, try a couple of ads and see if they work for you. If one works better than another ad, test another ad against the winner and keep improving your ads to get the best results.

Content Marketing

Using content marketing is a great strategy to get attention to your business. Content can be blog posts, ebooks, podcasts, PDFs, and any other type of content you want to put out.

The thought behind content marketing is to share helpful content that will appeal to your target market in order to build a strong relationship with them. The hope is that when the customer decides to buy, they will have a connection with you and want to do business with your company.

When creating your content, you shouldn’t only create content that people making a buying decision are looking for. You should also create content for people that are early on in the buying process.

People purely looking for information make up a lot of searches, and if you aren’t making content for them, you’re missing out on potential customers.

Email Marketing

Another important part of your digital marketing strategy is email marketing. While open rates might not be as high as they were five years ago, if you implement good email marketing practices, you’ll be able to see a good ROI on your efforts.

Email marketing doesn’t only have to be promotional emails and asking for the sale. Your company can use email marketing to build relationships with your customers, suggest resources, and to be generally helpful.

If you aren’t building an email list, you should start building one right away. When people come to your website, they are lost forever unless you get them on your email list, or they bookmark your site to come back again later.

Do you really want to leave your website visitor’s return to the luck of the draw?

When you’re using email marketing, one of the most important skills you can invest in is learning how to write subject lines that get opens. If you can’t get people to open your email, it doesn’t matter how amazing the content is inside.

Taking time to learn what gets clicks now will help you as you’re writing every email in the future, so it is worth taking a few hours to at least get a better idea of how to write subject lines.

While email marketing is important to your digital marketing strategy, make sure to learn the best practices, and don’t blast customers with generic emails. Customizing emails, so they are helpful to each person on your email list will give you much better results.

What Will Work for You?

If you aren’t sure what is going to work for you, the best thing you can do it jump in and give it a try. Even if your first effort is creating a Facebook account so you can make a Facebook page, you’re moving in the right direction.

Look around at all of the people on their phones and computers and think about how your business can be the one they are looking for instead of trying to get them to look up for a minute at an expensive new billboard you’ve been considering.

Understanding Digital Marketing to Grow Your Business

Now you’re well on your way to understanding digital marketing, so you can grow your business as big as you’d like using these strategies.

We understand that even with a basic understanding of online marketing strategies, these things can be confusing and even overwhelming.

Why not let us help you?

Learn more about our free 30-minute growth marketing strategy session today, and let us help you work toward achieving your goals.

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Antonio Calabrese GHAX

Hey, I’m Antonio Calabrese, Founder at GHAX. We love working with businesses who are serious about growth.

If that’s you, get in touch and be 1 of 20 this month to claim a free marketing strategy session.

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