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What is digital marketing?

As immersed as we are in the wonderful world of digital marketing at Cariad Towers it is easy to forget that for a significant proportion of the population the online world remains a complete mystery.

In fact just last month a report came out suggesting that over 12 million people – and a million small businesses in the UK – do not have the skills to prosper in the digital era. I found this statistic staggering and yet it got me thinking; how many businesses are out there knowing that they need to be embracing the digital world and yet not having the faintest idea how to go about it?

I therefore decided that for today’s blog I would go back to the absolute basics. It’s aimed at those who feel they ought to know what online marketing is and are therefore ever so slightly embarrassed to ask the question what is digital marketing?

Basically digital marketing is an umbrella term for the targeted, measurable and interactive marketing of products or services using digital technologies to reach and convert leads into customers.

The core digital marketing channels comprise of SEO, content marketing, social media, email and search engine marketing (PPC).

Search Engine Optimisation

It can be achieved via a number of different platforms but as 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine that is where we shall begin….. One of the best ways to improve your business’ digital marketing performance is through the use of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This is the process of affecting a website’s visibility in a search engine’s unpaid results. In the old days this was a simple matter of making sure you had enough “keywords” on your website and creating backlinks (links to another website). This would guarantee your website a high ranking meaning you would find your business at the top, or near the top, of the first page of the search engine through which people were searching for you. Things have moved on though and today achieving a good ranking is a much more involved process involving the technical optimisation of the website.

This is achieved through a number of different processes including keyword density and conversion mechanisms. Content should not simply string a list of keywords together but should be relevant and regularly updated via the use of informative, authoritative copy including blogs, images and videos.  It is still important to have strong backlinks to other websites and to share content, feature informative articles and make use of online PR.

Social media

Social media is another marketing tool and a great way to promote your business digitally. It promotes brand and product awareness, brand advocacy, attracts new customers, encourages customer retention and helps with lapsed customer reactivation.  There are many platforms for delivering social media campaigns including: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ (to name but a few of the biggies).

However before deciding which will work best for your business it is essential that you have a strategy, a known target market and measurable objectives so you can measure ROI. Remember – you can’t measure success until you have defined what success looks like!

There are a few basic rules when it comes to social media the most important being that social media is social; don’t keep blasting out sales messages and make sure you interact and are involved by sharing, liking, tweeting and re-tweeting. It is vital that whoever is handling your social media understands and conveys your brand’s tone of voice and understands your target market and key messages.

East Herts embracing technology

I should perhaps point out at this juncture that East Herts fared relatively well in the report I referred to at the beginning which was commissioned by Go.On Uk, a charity set up to promote digital skills. Digital exclusion was deemed unlikely in all four categories (infrastructure, access, basic digital skills and basic digital skills used) and 77% of adults had all five basic digital skills. Incredibly though 11% of adults in East Herts have never been online……….they have no idea what they are missing out on!

If you feel your business could benefit from some expert online marketing then contact us today and let us show you exactly how digital marketing could deliver for your business.

This article will continue next month, and focussing on other areas of digital marketing.