The online/digital marketing process is one that requires effort, consistency, ongoing analysis and technical know-how.
And when implemented correctly, it can help any business owner reach the goals they have set out for their business.
However, the question is not always “does it work?” but rather “will I see immediate results?”.
The answer is pretty simple and disturbingly straight forward: Unfortunately, not.
Everyone wants to see immediate results from their digital marketing and understandably so, but this is a process that simply cannot be rushed.
Sure, there are ways to achieve temporary results such as Google Ads, buying likes and followers, content automation, link manipulation or other bad-guy SEO (search engine optimisation) tactics.
However, if your aim is to achieve significant and long-lasting results for your business, then you must understand that digital marketing simply isn’t an overnight job.
How long does it take for digital marketing to work?
Understanding the digital marketing process in detail will help you understand why it may take several months to see results. It will also help you understand why it’s more than worth the wait.
Firstly, to put things into perspective, if your business already has an established following of 20,000 people as well as an existing social media strategy, then the chances of seeing almost-instant results are relatively high.
However, launching a new business, one unknown to the market with several recognised competitors, will require more time before seeing any results.
Bottom line is – The length of time it takes to see results from digital marketing depends largely on where you start, what your competitors are doing, your budget and your focus areas.
Where do you start?
Well, your online marketing should start with a great website design. One that’s mobile responsive and ready for any device. Additionally, website speed, user-friendliness and content precision are vital to any successful website and must be taken into consideration throughout the website design process.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Once your website contains the above criteria – the next step is to start with SEO.
Search engine optimisation should be the very next step in your digital marketing strategy. BUT – SEO must be executed strategically.
SEO is the process of making your website the most relevant to search queries used to find businesses like yours.
Essentially search engines i.e. Google need to make sure the websites they present to their users in search results are a.) as relevant as possible to the search result and b.) provide comprehensive information that improves the lives of their users rather than wastes their time by providing inaccurate information or no information at all.
Now considering the fact that there is an unfathomable number of online searches performed every single minute of the day – it has become extremely important to be at the top of every search result relevant to your business.
- Not being at the top of search engine results will end up in your website losing a serious amount of traffic.
Appearing at the top of the search engine and attracting the right type of traffic ultimately results to an increase in conversion rates – which is the aim of the digital marketing game.
Focusing on SEO means that you are focusing on providing search engines with clear indications on what, who, how and why your website deserves to be at the top of their results.
Content marketing aka inbound marketing or am I just “blogging”
The next step is content marketing otherwise known as inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing uses search engine optimisation, content marketing and social media marketing, to attract prospects while highlighting a service or product.
The special thing about inbound marketing is that it’s equally relevant and effective for businesses with small or large followings as well as start-up or well-established businesses.
Unlike the blogging craze that started up a few years ago, content marketing has a specific purpose.
Instead of blogging about difficult social interactions at your weekly yoga class, preferred coffee temperatures and why zoodles work well with cashew nut cheese sauce – content marketing aims, or it “should” aim to create and speak to business’ narrative.
Writing a blog each month is easy enough – but there are several aspects that need to be considered and effectively incorporated before “blogging” becomes lucrative.
Business relevancy, trending topics and how your clients go about finding the information you’re presenting must be at the forefront of your content marketing strategy.
Additionally, your content marketing plan must adopt your SEO strategy. Again, SEO works towards making your website the shiniest diamond of the lot and indicates to search engines that your website is the best match for a search query.
Are your competitors using digital marketing?
We often have clients whose competitors have been around for years and their position on the search engine appears to be practically cemented.
Yes, this is a problem, but instead of fixating on how your competitors are ranking above you – you need to focus on how to dislodge them.
Although search engines aren’t entirely predictable – there is a certain equation to working your way up their search engine results.
Of course, it will be much harder to outrank your competitors who already have a sturdy and established online presence – but it’s not impossible.
Competitor analysis requires looking at their SEO strategy, assessing their content and social approach and where applicable, evaluating their Google Ads plan.
It may be that your competitor has an inferior product/service to yours, and we know it hurts to see them raking in the clients and cash, but if their marketing campaign is holistic and effective – you will need to take their efforts and ensure yours are even better.
If you have a top-shelf product or service, you can find new audiences, foster their trust and convert them into paying customers who are likely to keep coming back.
Budget – How big is yours?
Big companies have big marketing budgets – and are likely to provide quicker results than that of the average SME business’ budget.
Now this isn’t to say that a tight budget won’t produce results – it may just take a more time.
A more generous budget means more time can be spent on digital marketing efforts, and more input generally means more output and quicker results.
No – your competitors don’t necessarily have the upper hand – but you will have to make sure whoever you pick for the job has the right modus operandi going forward.
There are thousands of digital marketing agencies in Cape Town for example, with only a select few following the right steps.
Most demand a retainer with no transparency on what or how your money is spent. Unlike companies with unlimited budgets who may not necessarily ask questions – if your budget is tight, you need to see a breakdown of services and you need to see reporting on what has been done and what the effects were.
What do you focus on first?
A singular approach is not going to cut it. For example, you cannot depend solely on one type of service such as a pay-per-click campaign without making sure it aligns with your website’s SEO.
The world of digital marketing is constantly evolving. It’s therefore imperative that you adopt a holistic strategy which is expansive and comprehensive.
It’s at this point that it becomes clear that digital marketing is an ongoing, long-term commitment which requires constant nurturing and a company that addresses all its aspects rather just one or two.
How to choose a digital marketing agency
The important thing to remember when hiring a digital marketing agency, is that digital marketing is not simple, or an easy one-size fits all task.
With that said, gone are the days where you had to travel around to different companies to have your company’s different needs and wants met. Most online marketing companies should offer an all-inclusive package.
Assessing the services of an online marketing company and how much they can offer you in terms of output is important.
Steer clear from digital marketing “experts” who tell you that it’s a quick and easy method to increase your lead generation or sales. These people are likely employing black-hat SEO tactics that will result in Google penalising your website. Buying followers, likes and reads is also not a worthwhile method – your followers should become brand ambassadors for your business, and it doesn’t help having 10 000 followers living in Nepal if your company and its services are only offered in Cape Town.
Going organic doesn’t only apply to how you pick your veggies, but also how you build your following and in turn client base.
Digital Marketing South Africa – Digital Marketing Agency Cape Town
In order to see genuine results, you need to stick with a digital marketing strategy for a minimum of 6 months to a year.
However, if you are not correcting every aspect of your website from back-links to user experience, providing high quality content or posting frequently, it may take much longer.
The process of digital marketing entails measuring goals that have been set and when achieved, new goals are set, and a new strategy devised to work towards them.
It also involves identifying when things don’t work and a devising new plan.
Our digital marketing agency in Cape Town aren’t afraid of a challenge and love working with clients from all spheres of business.
We’ll get to know you, your business and what your goals are. We provide monthly reports, a breakdown of services and true love – haha.
Transparency and communication are key, and we hold the relationships we have with our clients very closely.
We’ve grown our business from a copywrite service to a full-scale online marketing company – successfully serving website design from our brother company ITM Website Design Cape Town and SEO, content marketing, social media marketing as well as pay per click advertising.
Contact us for a free SEO audit and let’s chat – we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about our website design and the digital marketing process we follow.
To Create or Curate Content? (IV)
11 personality traits especially helpful to content curators:
Content curation is a very complex task, it takes a certain person with certain skills to be able to complete the job properly. Here is a list of characteristics that make for a competent content curator:
Content curation and Curiosity
Curiosity is essential to curating. You should have a thirst for knowledge like the blood-lust of an ancient vampire who’s been released from a thousand-year sleep.
The thirst will drive you to dedicate the time and energy to consume as much as you can.
This requires you to be open-minded (to foster a supportive environment of open dialogue and understanding) as well as sceptical (of all the fake information out there).
A curator should entail expert-like knowledge of a subject. Learning increases resolution: the more you know about something, the more you can truly appreciate its details. Including the slightness in differences of traits, qualities and weaknesses. Content curation is possibly the best way to learn the most about a subject.
You do this by reading up on the topic; interviewing established experts; collecting, researching, and analysing resources, data, trends and statistics.
You should also try to facilitate discussions with fellow fanatics and scholars. When I say fanatics, I mean those who don’t have a formal education in the subject, but are regarded as valuable and trustworthy experts. Always consider and compare differing viewpoints and question established assumptions.
Then you write about it.
Strong ethics in content curation
The personality traits of a content curator
Content curators regard a set of strong values that one strives to adhere to during decision making, thereby filtering out ones own reality.
A curator’s values will define the scope of the ‘net’ they throw to ‘catch’ information.
Whether it’s a small net with big holes (not very useful to catch the good yet tiny bits) or a large net with medium holes (optimal to ensure a wide scope and good quality), this plays a large part in the way as well as what one curates.
Ask yourself why you do what you do, and what you stand for. Challenge yourself, travel, experience as much as you can!
Alternative traditions and cultures will open your eyes to many realities and thoughts that you might not previously have considered. This will lead to you discovering a lot more about yourself and your ethical standpoint.
Transparency – Disclosure
Curators thrive on credibility and trust. Transparency, the conscious decision to not keep secrets or hide personal information for one’s own benefit, is imperative to curation. Share your motives and interests, especially if they may be interpreted as a conflict of interest.
The audience has a right to know the motives of a curator, to know what drives and rewards them, so as to afford a level of trust that is not superficial.
Hardly anyone wants to read content picked out of a personal whim, they require cold hard facts about their interests, or an interesting perspective that they would never have previously considered.
To identify deeply with another person or group is essential to content curation.
Since the aim is to answer the questions posed by the audience, it is important to connect with who the audience is, their language; needs; interests and expectations, to find out what they would like to know.
Personal voice within content curation
The personal voice is a personal view on a specific topic, shared with the public. A content curator is not objective, no. We do not keep a distance from the subject matter nor the collections we create. The job entails bringing in one’s bias, prejudice, perspective and opinion to any and all pieces created.
Content curators are highly involved with the subject and content. Content curators actively question the value of information, rationally analyse to identify key strengths and weaknesses and always offer their own perspective.
It can be said that a curator without a strong voice is nothing.
Pattern recognition in content curation
The ability to easily recognise similar information patterns across a range of completely different contexts or appearances.
It’s an invaluable skill to be able to identify trends or the emergence of novel ideas before others. This entails a devotion of more time to the study of your topic; curate more; pay increased attention to detail, nuances and subtle traits that are easily overlooked.
Organisation and content curation
Is the ability to recognise similar items, logically group and label (categorise) them in an order to ensure easy navigation through the information.
To curate content is to make sense out of chaos. To create the logical, clear organisation of information leads to better understanding of concepts.
Attention to detail
Involves being aware of and sensitive to the care for small, sometimes seemingly insignificant items or details that are part of something.
To do this you must dedicate ample time to the content curation process; ensure a peer-review of the content, generate comments and feedback to it and double review it (yes, I’m serious).
Being thorough, analysing things within a systematic procedure, executing high precision tasks without leaving anything to chance.
Content curation is about being precise and giving quality information, there’s no way to do this without having a system of categorisation.
Check, vet and verify. Always.
Is the ability to wait for extended periods of time without losing focus or sight of the objective.
Patience is a core trait that is needed in order to allow ample time for a curated collection to develop. Research and content curation take time. The value is not found in the speed of which you can operate, but how well you can understand the topic and present the information.
Another way to look at content curation is to imagine it as a distillation process. You start with a vast quantity of subject matter, and systematically sift and refine all the material until you have a pure concentration. A potent, 100% extract.
Your ultimate goal being to dose your audience with undiluted shots of pure, useful information to facilitate their understanding on a particular subject.
Digital Marketing South Africa
We are masters in the arts of content curation and endeavour to leave no stone un-turned. To learn more about the importance of effective content curation, contact us.
While content marketing isn’t a new concept in the world of digital marketing, it’s now more important than ever before.
Today, EVERY business, including yours, has a story, a great product, a unique selling point – but how you communicate this with your audience is what sets you apart from the rest.
Online users are tired of having to sift through irrelevant content and search engines like Google have recognised this.
But before we dive into how irrelevant most online content is these days, we should probably define what content marketing is, why businesses need it and how they should be using it.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the process of creating content that offers readers something of value and making it readily available for them to access and consume.
It should involve less of a sales pitch while rather aiming to inform readers and create interest in your brand as a whole.
Content comes in various forms – blogs, videos, social media posts and podcasts – to name just a few of the most recognised and widely used.
But, keep in mind that content marketing isn’t just blogging, creating at-home videos or speaking your truth through your podcast about the recent distasteful redesign of your favourite supermarket.
It involves research, more research, keyword analysis, good writing skills and a website design that enables you to take advantage of the positive effects content marketing can have.
Content Marketing – Why is Content King?
Consumers have become more conscious about who they are purchasing their products and services from and are now looking for brands that are aligned with what motivates them to invest their money.
Not only does your should your company be ranking at the top of the search engine results, it also needs to have a good social media following and a solid narrative to back it up.
With hundreds of companies out there and more popping up each day, not to mention how easy it is to search for businesses online these days – it’s understandable why it’s so important to make your brand’s unique selling point conspicuous to the public eye.
The beauty is that, when content marketing is done properly, it can help you achieve search engine stardom as well as create and grow the social media following your business needs.
Publishing high-quality content and having it well-received by readers will positively impact your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO) and as a result, its search engine ranking.
Search engine rankings are determined by using very specific algorithms. Search engine bots then use these algorithms to scan websites, assess how relevant they are to a search query and report back with the most relevant, informative websites that they find.
Integrating Social Media Marketing
To further encourage engagement and foster a trusting relationship with consumers, content should be pushed out through social media channels in order to make sharing easy.
However, a one-size-fits-all approach will not suffice when it comes to content marketing through social media. The type of content, as well as the appropriate platform and method of publishing is largely determined by your target audience.
Quality Content Encourages Engagement
Engagement plays a key role in understanding who your brand should be speaking to and who is listening.
Good content which is shared to social media encourages more users to engage with your brand. If the content is genuinely good, users happily consume it, understand the message it delivers and will perhaps even like, share or comment on the piece of information.
Although your content should be designed to target a specific audience, by making it shareable across various platforms, you are now given the opportunity to analyse who exactly is engaging with it.
These analytics can further assist you with creating even more appropriate and valuable content specifically for the people who are already interested in what you have to offer. See where we’re going with this?
If the content is not relevant or compelling, users will continue to scroll past it and the content, as well as your efforts will eventually disappear into the black hole of cyberspace.
Creating Brand Awareness – The Value of Content Marketing
Always keep in mind that good content is generally less “salesy” than an advertisement, so it allows consumers the opportunity to engage with a brand without a blatant sales message disrupting the engagement.
Quality Content can Position Your Business as an Industry Expert
Quality content creates authority in a saturated market which, in turn, has the potential to generate new leads and increase sales. It adds value either through solving a problem in the everyday lives of consumers or teaching them something new and useful.
Although content is king, it doesn’t carry a direct monetary value. However, it’s vital to the business model as well as the relationship between the brand, its consumers and its sales.
ITM – Your Digital Marketing Agency
Identifying the components that make up a good content marketing strategy and being able to implement them successfully requires an understanding of consumer behaviours, sales, content creation and search engine optimisation.
ITM is a full service, online marketing agency, and our team of content creators, SEO whizzes and marketing specialists are guaranteed to produce the most compelling, relevant content for your brand.
Contact us, and we’ll help you get your crown.