There’s More to Digital Marketing than Social Media
By Jeremy Flinn, Entrepreneur
You’ve heard the term more and more over the last 5 years. Digital marketing or internet advertising – at first it sounded like something that would never effect your business. Why would it? You had a steady stream of dedicated customers and seemed to have new customers engaging with your brand and products/services. It was likely that TV commercial or magazine ad you ran. You don’t know for sure, but it seems logical. But business started to plateau or even stumble a little, so you dove into the world of digital marketing head first and opened up not just one but TWO social media accounts – Facebook and Twitter. You now were engaging with customers who were active customers of your brand and products/services. But to your surprise, your business didn’t shoot off like you expected, in fact this digital marketing seemed to be a complete flop. Sound familiar? Well if opening a couple social media accounts and even doing some paid advertising on them was your way of digital marketing, you’re probably realizing you missed something.
Social media is absolutely a piece of digital marketing, and if used correctly can be a great catalyst of business growth. But even though you think it’s cool that a bunch of people “Like” your picture of cat sleeping on the cash register, that doesn’t do anything for your business unless you are a pet adoption center. Ok, maybe the cat thing was a little extreme. But think about some of the things you have posted recently on your social media platforms, and the differ engagements – Likes or Favorites, Comments, and Shares or Retweets – you received. Were they generating business for you? Likely not. In fact, recent studies show that nearly 70% of social media followers for most companies have never been to their website!
There’s a strategy with social media in order to make it an effective piece of digital marketing. If you aren’t driving or exposing social media followers to your business directly, you are likely failing. Sure it’s cool to have 50,000 Facebook fans. But if only 5% of them are actual customers, then why are you spending so much time trying to appease the rest of them? You know what’s better? 5,000 Facebook Fans in which 70% of them are highly engaged in your business, products, and/or services. Quality is much more important than quality. Why? In social media, time is your enemy. Before you know it half your day is spent trying to engage and direct social media followers to your brand and products/services.
But enough about social media. That’s only a piece of digital marketing. What about search engine optimization (SEO)? Sounds complicated, and to a point it is, but to really grasp what SEO is just Google it. No seriously, Google it. As soon as you type the phrase “What is SEO,” SEO is occurring! Google is reaching out to find the most authoritative site on the terms you are looking for and will rank them in the search engine result pages (SERPs). This complex algorithm from Google is revised and released a lot. It is often too much to comprehend for most business owners, thus the advice provided by digital marketing firms like Stone Road Media.
The term Pay-Per-Click or PPC is thrown around a lot, and often can be a quick way to drive traffic to your business. But if not managed correctly it can also be a quick way to drain the bank account. PPC, like Google AdWords, allows you to create a targeted ad for your business to “jump ahead” of the organic results on a SERP. This sounds great in theory and can be very effective, but lately, Google has found that over 80% of the clicks on the SERPs occur on the organic search results. Why? Basically the consumer has evolved and knows that the top and right columns are for “paid ads,” and tend to lean more towards the organic area as its ranked highly for a more definitive reason than “the highest bid.”
This is the tip of the iceberg for digital marketing as all of this revolves around content. Written, video, and pictures are the critical component to successful digital marketing. Not regurgitated content either; I’m talking truly original content that is relative to your brand and that your prospective customers will be legitimately interested in.
As you begin to think about incorporating digital marketing into your business, think about the total package of what this means, and avoid the trap of just social media. In the end it might be the reason your business continues to flat line or respond with positive growth.