Expert Insights on Digital Marketing and Lead Gen (Guest Posts)
Digital marketing is all about promoting your business on the Internet.
It's about getting your brand name, products and/or services in front of your target customers while they are actively searching for a solution you offer, or while they are simply browsing around the Internet.
It’s using all the tools in your digital arsenal to generate more leads and sales.
Digital marketing is comprised of many different channels, platforms and strategies. Some of the most important ones are:
- Your Business Website - without a good website, you’re going to struggle to do any digital marketing at all.
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - this is optimising your site to rank better in search engines when people search for keywords related to your business.
- Social Media Marketing - promoting your business on websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Paid Digital Advertising - this is incredibly broad, but includes things like Pay Per Click (Google Adwords and the like) as well as paying for ad space on other websites. There are loads of opportunities for paid promotion of your business across the Internet.
- Email Marketing - Collecting email addresses from website visitors and nurturing them into warm leads and customers by sending out email content.
Compared to traditional offline marketing, digital marketing offers a number of compelling benefits:
- Budget scalability - You don’t need to start with thousands of dollars. Most self-service digital advertising networks (such as Google and Facebook) allow you to start with anywhere from a couple of dollars in ad spend. This makes digital a great option for businesses who are starting out or otherwise need to be cautious with cashflow.
- Targeting - Most paid digital marketing platforms, such as Google Adwords or Facebook Ads, offer extremely precise targeting. This targeting comes in the form of allowing you to hone in on a precise demographic, or people searching a particular keyword. With traditional advertising there is some form of targeting available (for example, radio stations will have info on the average age range and gender of their listeners) but this is nowhere near as precise as the demographic targeting options available on Facebook. Want to target women, aged 18-25 who are interested in health and beauty? That’s easy!
- Reporting and data-driven insights - One of the biggest issues with traditional advertising is that it can be difficult to know if you’re getting any return on investment. You might have a hunch, but unless you are able to quiz every customer or lead, you’ll never truly know how successful any marketing campaign is. With digital, you can enjoy incredibly accurate and detailed tracking and reporting. You can see how many clicks your ads received, what percentage of them converted into leads or sales, where the “weak links” in your funnel are, and a whole lot more. Perhaps more importantly, you can use this data to make informed decisions about improving your digital marketing campaigns, identifying opportunities to scale up or down as necessary.
There is more to digital marketing than mentioned above (much more, in fact). However, at the very high level it’s the combination of an incredible range of platforms and channels, with lots of flexibility in terms of what you spend and how you spend it, as well as the precise target and reporting that is available, which gives digital marketing a compelling edge as a means of promoting your business.
One more thing:
Pursuing an effective digital marketing strategy for your business doesn’t mean you need to neglect or abandon the potential of offline marketing.
If you’re already seeing good results from offline activities, then you can keep doing those. Digital marketing is just another string to your bow, and one that offers its own unique set of opportunities (and potential challenges).
However, at Bolstur we believe that if your business hasn’t yet done any active marketing, then starting with digital is a great way to do get started.
You don’t need a massive budget to begin - even the price of a coffee a day will give you the ability to test the waters with digital marketing. And because of the incredible data insights available (if you have your tracking set up correctly) you’ll be able to see if you’re getting a positive ROI from that initial spend. From there, you can scale up and grow your business.
guest post by Sam Frost
Head over to his site for more awesome and actually useful tips on digital marketing -www.samfrost.co.nz
Have you ever seen inside a plane cockpit? To a layperson, there are so many dials, gauges and screens that it looks almost impossible to work out what is going on.
All of data that the dials and gauges relay to the pilots help communicate information about the plane and its progress.
Pilots are careful not to spend so much time ogling the data on those dials and gauges that they lose sight of the basics - flying the plane and getting it where it needs to go safely. The data they have on tap is there to build a dynamic picture of the flight as it progresses, to plan for the next stages of the flight, and to allow the diagnosis of an issue if something goes wrong.
However, there have been a few famous accidents caused by pilots who made the mistake of fussing so much over a specific reading on a dial that they literally lost sight of where the plane was headed.
what caused these accidents?
By obsessing over the minute data, these pilots lost track of the bigger, more important picture.
What does this aviation lesson have to do with digital marketing? Something very important, in fact:
It’s not uncommon for me to come across a business owner who is tracking and obsessing over a whole load of metrics that even advanced digital marketers don’t worry about too much.
I’m talking about things like:
- Bounce rate
- Page views per session
- Page scroll depth
- Page load speed
- Average time on site
All important metrics in their own right, but they pale in comparison to the big one.
Ultimately, what is the point of digital marketing?
It’s to make your business more money.
How do you make more money? You sell more products and services.
What do you need to sell more products and services?
You need more leads.
You need the phone ringing, and the email inbox filling up with potential customers.
A low bounce rate on your website doesn’t pay the bills. A massive stack of hot leads does. Having a higher-than-normal average session duration won’t fill your calendar with appointments. More leads will.
Therefore, one of the most important aspects of digital marketing is focusing on lead generation.
Lead gen is all about collecting names, email addresses, phone numbers (and potentially other qualifying data) from people who you would like to have become your customers.
Lead gen - in my opinion - is all about a “back-to-basics” approach to digital marketing.
It’s about focusing on the number that really counts.
Rather than blinding yourself with data, you pick a metric that is truly important (the number of leads you’re getting) and then seek to grow that.
There are businesses all over the show who fill out the stores/events/calendars with nothing more complex than a basic lead generation system. There is little reason why your business can’t do the same.
Other metrics - like those listed in the bullet points above - are simply there to help you identify areas of potential improvement. They aren’t a goal in and of themselves.
If ever you feel like digital marketing is overwhelming, get yourself back on track by focusing on the most important numbers.
Are you getting more leads, and are those leads turning into sales?
guest post by Sam Frost
Head over to his site for more awesome and actually useful tips on lead gen -www.samfrost.co.nz