The Digital Marketing Process is Not a Microwave – It’s a Work in Progress

The Digital Marketing Process is Not a Microwave – It’s a Work in Progress

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.

 

Digital marketing process

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.

Digital marketing process

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.

The Personality Traits of a Content Curator

The Personality Traits of a Content Curator

To Create or Curate Content? (IV)

11 personality traits especially helpful to content curators:

Content Curation

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).

Subject-matter expertise

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.

Empathy

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).

Systematic categorisation

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.

Patience

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.

Conclusion

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.

 

The Benefits of Automation in Digital Marketing

The Benefits of Automation in Digital Marketing

Many marketing departments have to automate numerous repetitive tasks, such as emails and social media posts. Thankfully, technology has allowed digital marketing warriors to streamline an otherwise tedious process.

Digital Marketing & Marketing Automation

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation refers to the software that allows for more effective marketing on numerous online platforms. When done correctly, it can determine the evolving needs of your leads, their behaviours and interactions across all of your marketing channels.

Marketing automation uses all the information that you have on a prospective client in order to understand what their wants and needs are. This enables you to deliver the information they need to make a purchase, exactly when they need it and in the place that they are looking for it.

Benefits of marketing automation

With that said, the benefits of marketing automation software can be simplified to three key factors:

  • It automates content to relevant platforms and buyer groups, thus giving the marketing team more time to focus on other tasks.
  • By tracking the behaviour and actions of potential and existing clients, it can personalise their online journey.
  • By tracking each touchpoint with a campaign, added to having sight of any sale and their value, marketing automation software can determine which campaigns have had an influence on each and every sale. Therefore, it understands and maximises the return on investment.

If you are producing effective inbound marketing content, and you’re generating a steady flow of organic leads, consider focusing your efforts on a marketing automation strategy to scale your successful efforts. This will enable you to nurture good quality leads into satisfied, paying customers.

The key is to understand that marketing automation does not do marketing for you, it merely enhances your marketing efforts. When considering a marketing automation provider, make your decision based on the unique goals of your company.

ITM Website Design, SEO & Digital Marketing

For marketing automation that gives you the most added value, contact ITM. Using the SharpSpring platform, we have been able to free up a lot of time for marketing teams, allowing them to focus on their important tasks, while SharpSpring sends out all their emails and social media posts.

 

 

 

 

Digital Marketers: The Mystery Unveiled

Digital Marketers: The Mystery Unveiled

I’m sure by now you’ve found figuratively tons of online information regarding digital marketing.

So, now we hope to answer some of the questions you might have about the people who perform your business’ digital marketing: specialist digital marketers. What does a digital marketer do? What should you expect of the services you receive from your digital marketing agency? Are there different types of digital marketers and what is their role in your digital marketing strategy?

The greatest digital marketers will have a clear outline of how each digital marketing campaign supports their overall marketing goals. The size of the campaign is determined by marketing strategy goals as well as the organic (free) and paid channels at their disposal. They are responsible for building awareness for the business; providing research for prospective customers as well as driving those prospects to conversions.

Digital Marketing Specialists

Digital marketing specialists are those who drive brand awareness and lead generation via all digital channels for a business. These marketing methods can be organic (free) or paid and are used through channels such as:

  • Your business website
  • Social media
  • Search engine rankings
  • Display advertising
  • Blog engines and
  • Email

A digital marketer will focus on various key performance indicators (KPI) for each and every channel in order to accurately measure the business’ online performance. KPIs are measures which are used to assess the success of a digital marketing strategy (commonly measured in conversions).

Digital marketing is an umbrella term that holds all roles of online marketing under it. Just as in traditional marketing, digital marketing is a job that requires many different skills.

In small companies, one person may be able to handle many of the digital marketing tools for a time. However, as the business grows, the responsibilities that come with each role is multiplied, and may require the focus of many specialists. To find all of the necessary skills in one individual is rare, therefore effective digital marketing requires the formation of teams. The rest of this post will focus on the members of this digital marketing team.

SEO Manager / Specialist

Ensuring that a business’ website can be found by the target audience is no easy feat. The role of an SEO specialist is to help the business achieve an acceptable rank on Google and to measure a website’s “organic” traffic.

Traffic generated organically (with free marketing methods) refers to traffic that comes from website visitors who found your business’ page through a Google search.

An SEO specialist uses a variety of approaches in order to optimize your business’ website; this would include collaborating with other specialists to achieve marketing goals. For example: coordinate with content creators to ensure only the highest quality content is produced and performs well on Google.

Main Key Performance Indicators (KPI/s):

  • Organic traffic

Content Marketing Specialist

These are the digital content creators. Digital content marketers are in charge of coming up with a content strategy and keep constant track of the business’ blog-calendar (when to release new blog content).

Content includes static pages; landing pages; blog articles; newsletter; emails and videos. Content marketers often collaborate with other departments to ensure products and campaigns are supported with promotional content on each digital channel.

Main KPIs:

  • Dwell time on page
  • YouTube channel subscribers
  • Overall blog engine traffic

Social Media Manager

Social media manager is a self-explanatory term; however, the industry the business is involved in determines the social networks they manage. These specialists establish a posting schedule for all the written and visual content for a business.

Collaboration with content marketing specialists is common when developing a strategy for which content to post on which social media network.

Main KPIs:

  • Shares
  • Impressions – number of times a business’ post appears on the newsfeed of a user.
  • Follows

Marketing Automation Coordinator

A marketing automation coordinator assists in the choosing and managing marketing automation software. This software allows the entire marketing team to decipher and understand the customers’ behaviours and to measure the growth of the business.

Many of the marketing operations discussed above may be executed separately from one another; however it is vital that there is someone who is able to group these digital activities into individual campaigns in order to track each campaigns performance.

Main KPIs:

  • Campaign click-through rate
  • Lead Generation (conversion) rate
  • Email open rate

Our role as your digital marketing agency includes many roles and responsibilities.

For example, a collaboration between digital marketing specialists may involve:

  • A content marketer creating a series of blog articles in order to generate leads for a new product.
  • The social media marketer would help promote the blog articles through organic and paid advertising on the business’ social media accounts.
  • An email marketer creates an email campaign to send to those individuals who would be interested in the product or more information about the business.

Digital Marketing South Africa

The world of digital and social media marketing is complex and diverse. Furthermore, if you are not using your digital marketing as a tool to market your business then it is guaranteed that you are missing out on incredible benefits.

Digital Marketing South Africa offers you the opportunity to take your business to the next level. Our team of digital and social media marketing wizards are equipped with all the tools necessary to help you grow your business.

You do not need to have your own team of digital marketing specialists, ITM can easily fulfil that role for you. But if you have internal resources we can strengthen your team and add much needed expertise in key strategic areas.

We handle all aspects of online marketing, including:

Feel free to contact us for more information about our online marketing services.

WEBSITE DESIGN CAPE TOWN

It is critical that your web design be modern and use current technology.

In addition your website should support your marketing efforts and include elements such as a blog and Social Media.

Digital Marketing South Africa utilizes the superior professional web design services of ITM Website Design.

Defining Inbound Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: What’s the difference?

Defining Inbound Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: What’s the difference?

Inbound marketing and digital marketing, these two terms may seem similar: both focus on creating digital content for online audiences. However, there is a major difference: one resides in the other.

Digital Marketing: An Umbrella Term

What is digital marketing? The definition of the term is one that doesn’t differentiate between different types of online marketing.

These methods include both push and pull marketing tactics (otherwise known as inbound and outbound marketing methods). Therefore digital marketing is an umbrella term in which inbound marketing and outbound marketing fall under.

The role of digital marketing in a business is to effectively market your brand to an online audience. However, your method of marketing, whether inbound or outbound, will have drastic effects on your marketing success.

Outbound marketing

The definition of outbound marketing is a series of tactics which aim to place a marketing message (or an advertisement) directly in front of the viewer. Outbound marketing tactics also aim to show the message to as many people as possible, regardless of whether the message is welcomed or even relevant to the audience.

Examples of digital marketing

Outbound marketing examples:

  • Banners Ads that push products or promotions onto an audience.
  • PPC (Pay-per-click advertising)
  • Content syndication
  • Email Marketing (usually in the form of spam Emails)

The disadvantages of Outbound Marketing

  • There is more difficulty in tracking ROI (return on investment).
  • It’s a high-cost, low-yield solution.
  • There is an increase in blocking techniques (such as Spam filters and “do not call” lists).

Inbound marketing

The definition of inbound marketing refers to the ‘full funnel’ method of attracting; engaging and enlightening online audiences with high quality content in order to turn them into customers.

Inbound marketing tactics make use of high quality online content that will provide helpful assets to the online target market. These inbound marketing tactics attract target customers to the business’ website.

Inbound marketing example:

Possibly the simplest, yet most effective of the inbound marketing tools is a blog engine. Blogs allows your website to capitalize on information regarding the keywords and phrases that your ideal customer audience is looking for.

The other methods which are used with inbound marketing are varied (including both organic and paid methods) and include:

  • Online PR (Public Relations)
  • Email marketing
  • Marketing automation
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Native advertising
  • PPC (Pay-per-click advertising)
  • Social media marketing
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Content marketing

These tactics may be used throughout an inbound marketing strategy. As a result of the work put into inbound marketing strategies, the ideal customer will be delighted when they perform a search and are attracted to your business’ website that is full of useful, high quality content.

Digital Marketing South Africa

The world of digital marketing is dynamic and complex, as is your audience. If you are not using digital, and more importantly, inbound marketing as a tool to delight your audience and market your business then it is guaranteed that you are missing out on incredible benefits.

Digital Marketing South Africa offers you the opportunity to take your business to the next level. Our team of digital and social media marketing wizards are fully equipped with the tools necessary to help you grow your business.

We handle all aspects of online marketing, including:

  • Inbound marketing,
  • Native Advertising,
  • Content Strategy,
  • Content Creation,
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Social Media Marketing (managing and sharing across all social networks),
  • Email Marketing,
  • Pay Per Click advertising and
  • Marketing Automation.

Feel free to contact us for more information about our online marketing services.

ITM – WEBSITE DESIGN CAPE TOWN

Having fantastic inbound marketing is great, but it means nothing without an equally fantastic website. Therefore it is critical that your web design is modern and uses current technology.

Your website should serve as a support to your marketing efforts and include elements such as a blog and Social Media.

Digital Marketing South Africa utilises the superior professional web design services of ITM Website Design.