Are you spending significant time and resources on marketing, but your efforts are falling short? Chances are, you’ve been neglecting one or all of these crucial digital marketing concepts. Content marketing, PPC advertising, social media advertising and SEO are the core of every successful digital marketing campaign. Here’s why you need to quit what you’re doing right now and focus your marketing efforts on these top four marketing concepts.
One of the phrases that I hear far too often is content is king. It’s becoming a cliche, and although it is true, not all marketing experts utilize the full power of content. That’s not to say that people aren’t trying – more than 90% of companies have used content as part of their marketing strategy in 2016.
What exactly makes content so powerful as a marketing tool? Let’s take a step back and think of how people find your business in the first place – through a search engine. The only way for search engines to find your site is through relevant search terms. These keywords need to be on your website, in strategic places where they feel natural and in line with the surrounding text. The only way to achieve this is by having written content, either in form of blog posts, ebooks, white papers, infographics or any other medium you may imagine.
Naturally, the more content you have, the more keywords you can rank for.
Thinking of content purely as a technical means to drive traffic to your site is not the right mindset. Content which is purely aimed at driving traffic is lackluster and while it may direct a visitor or two to check out your landing page, those visitors won’t linger for too long.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
Truly great, quality content provides value to the reader. It educates your visitors and provides solutions to their problems. It is well-written, compelling, with actionable insights. Content written like this won’t just get you on the first page of search engine results pages. It will also keep people coming back to your site for more, and perhaps even more importantly, it will make visitors share your content and link to it.
If you’re tired of seeing ads plastered all over the place, you’re not alone. Research suggests that we are exposed to an astounding amount of ads on a daily basis. In 1984, the average person saw about 2,000 ads per day. Some 30 years later, the same person sees about 5,000 ads in a single day. Needless to say, we’ve gotten pretty good at ignoring ads over the years, especially those of us who are digital natives. On the other hand, we naturally reach out for content when we need to find a solution to a problem.
In the end, you’re probably left wondering… What’s this going to cost me? Does it make sense to invest in content marketing? Very much so. Compared to paid search, content marketing provides three times as many leads. Here’s where things get even better – content marketing is 62% cheaper than paid search. With these stats in mind, it’s safe to say that content can provide excellent ROI for your business – the precise amount will depend on your industry and how much time and money you invest in content.
About 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine. This means that the vast majority of people who end up on your site found you through a search term. On top of that, the first 5 results on a Google results page get 67% of all clicks. It’s a fact – your position on a search engine results page can either make or break your business’ success.
SEO or search engine optimization seems to be a buzzword these days, with SEO experts and SEO agencies popping up all over the place. There are two sides to SEO: on-page and off-page. On-page SEO entails a range of different tactics such as keyword placement, HTML tags, meta descriptions, title tags, image alt tags and others. With some basic content management system knowledge and a couple hours of learning, you can learn the basics of on-page SEO. On the other hand, off-page SEO mostly relates to factors outside of your own powers, such as who links to your site and where. It’s much more difficult to tackle off-page SEO on your own (most companies will hire an agency), but with great content (more on that later) and enough time, you can make great strides here as well.
Another reason why SEO is an essential digital marketing concept is its omnipresence. If you’re not dedicating time and resources to search engine optimization, you can rest assured that your competition is. The sooner you start with your optimization efforts – the better.
Speaking of time, for SEO to bring results, you need to be in it for the long run. Many business owners think that all it takes is optimizing a few pages and throwing in keywords here and there, and they’re done with SEO for good, and all it takes is a few weeks’ work. In fact, many agencies will tell you that it will take months before you actually start seeing noticeable results. And that is just the start – you need to work on SEO over time to ensure that your results are not only consistent, but continue growing over time.
When it comes to return on investment, there’s very few things that work better for business than SEO. Other digital marketing methods such as PPC advertising or social media advertising might give more immediate results in terms of revenue, but SEO provides more value over time. The reason why there are so many doubting Toms when it comes ROI for SEO is that it’s not exactly easy to track. Oftentimes SEO as a digital marketing strategy works in combination with other methods such as PPC, and it’s not always clear which of the two brings traffic and sales.
At the end of the day, no matter how good your SEO is, no matter how compelling and engaging your content is, none of this can guarantee you the top spots in search engine results. The reason for this is pretty simple – those spots are reserved for paid ads. In fact, Google makes more than $19 billion annually from ads, so they are betting on the fact that you will resort to paid advertising.
One of the key reasons to invest in PPC is the ability to track your performance. As we’ve previously mentioned, SEO can be pretty difficult to track in terms of ROI. Same goes for content marketing – organic search data won’t always be able to show how much you made from an blog post, for example. With PPC, you can simply load up AdWords and Google Analytics and get precise information on what’s working and what isn’t.
One of the most appealing aspects of PPC is that you only pay if it works for you, i.e. you pay per click. This is completely different from all other forms of advertising, where you invest without knowing how successful your efforts will be. With PPC, you know how much you’re going to spend, down to a cent, every time. You set your ad budget and you only spend the exact amount you desire.
When it comes to targeting, you can get extremely precise with PPC. Given how powerful Google’s algorithms are, it’s no wonder that you can reach out to specific locations, timezones, times of the day, and all of that with specific ads. This is immensely powerful, but only if you’ve done your homework first and know exactly who your potential customers are.
Another thing that PPC can do that content and SEO cannot is get immediate results. For example, you’re selling rugs and you’ve just launched your business and site. Your competitor, Rugs LLC, has been in the business for years and has a fully SEO optimized website, chock-filled with great content on how maintain, clean and choose rugs. There’s no way to outrank this website – at least not in a short timeframe. In comes PPC, and with just a few clicks and a certain amount of money, every time someone types in “cool rugs”, your company will be in top of the search results.
If this seems kind of unfair to Rugs LLC, it really is. The fact of the matter is that PPC is a trump card in marketing, and you should be aware of this. Even with a great product, excellent content and perfectly optimized pages, your competition can get an edge by paying for ads. For this reason, you should always allocate some of your marketing resources to PPC, no matter how strong your online presence is.
While it is great to be able to get quick and measurable results with PPC, there’s an important consideration to keep in mind. PPC works as a quick fix for your marketing problems, but it only works for as long as you keep paying. In the long term, your cost per lead will end up much higher than with other marketing tactics. On the other hand, well-written, SEO-optimized content is a long-term investment that pays dividends. If you publish a great article, it can get shared over and over again. With PPC, as soon as you run out of your budget, you’re done with this form of advertising.
There’s no doubt that social media is growing at an incredible rate. With this large of an audience, networks such as Facebook make it super easy to get in front of your desired audiences… For a certain amount of cash.
There is staggering amount of money revolving around social media advertising – the total amount spent on social media jumped from $16 billion in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016. If you think that this is just a fad, you’d be seriously wrong. For USA alone, predictions are that over $17 billion will be spent on social media advertising in 2019.
For most people, when they think of social media, they think of Facebook. And when it comes to advertising, it is the lifeblood of Facebook – 95% of their total revenue comes from ads. Since it is owned by Facebook, we have to mention Instagram as well, which makes about $2.81 billion from mobile ads.
There are multiple benefits to social media advertising. First and foremost, this is yet another channel to connect with your audiences and increase brand recognition. A huge portion of your customers is already on social media, and if you’re not leveraging this fact to communicate with them, you’re seriously missing out.
Additionally, using social media amplifies your SEO efforts. You should use every chance you get to share your content on social media, as it can drive significant traffic to your site, especially with paid ads.
If you were to ask which of these four marketing concepts to focus on first, the truth is that all three are equally important. However, we do advise building on your content and SEO first, as PPC advertising can be done at any point in time and still get palpable results. It is only when you utilize all three of these concepts that you get the full picture and ensure marketing success for your business.
If your marketing efforts are falling short, perhaps you need to try out something new. Quizzes are a great way to engage and educate your leads, and their average capture rate is over 30%. Try out quizzes today, it’s completely free!