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 Lesser-Known Digital Marketing Tools and How They are Used

The Lesser-Known Digital Marketing Tools and How They are Used

Everybody is talking about the digital marketing tools: Search engine optimization (SEO); Content marketing; Social media marketing and PPC (Pay per click); but what about the lesser-known digital marketing tools?

The digital marketing tools which form some of the foundation of your online marketing strategy, but aren’t as exciting. Except, when you hear about their benefits, they turn out to be surprisingly stirring. Today we are going to explore:

  • Affiliate marketing;
  • Native advertising;
  • Email marketing and
  • Online PR and how each can help your business reach its marketing goals.

Affiliate Marketing

What is Affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based digital marketing tool that is founded on revenue sharing. It’s the method of spreading product marketing across diverse parties, which results in each party receiving a share of the revenue – according to their contribution, of course.

There are many sources on the subject which state that there are either three or four different parties involved in affiliate marketing: the merchant; the network; publisher and customer; or the advertiser; publisher and consumer. But, in reality, there are two real sides of affiliate marketing: the product creator/seller and the affiliate marketer.

The product creator, also known as the merchant/vendor or retailer, is the party which creates the product. Anyone from entrepreneurs to large companies can become a merchant behind an affiliate marketing program. All they need is a product to sell.

The task for an affiliate marketer is to earn commissions via promoting the products of other companies. Find products that appeal to you, promote that product by attracting and convincing potential customers, then earn a commission for every sale you help make.

Examples of affiliate marketing channels include:

  • Posting affiliate links from social media accounts
  • Running a review blog of a merchant’s products
  • Hosting video through programs such as YouTube partner; or
  • An entire website dedicated to finding the best products related to a certain topic, or many topics (such as Amazon.com)

Benefits of affiliate marketing

For advertisers:

  • Market your products only to interested people for no upfront fee.
  • Engage in risk-free advertising: pay only when you see results.
  • Have multiple (hundreds, even thousands) of websites promoting your product.

For affiliate marketers:

  • The opportunity to effectively sell stock without the costs or responsibilities of manufacturing, buying or storing.
  • When working with networks that pay highly, there is massive profit potential and,
  • If performed correctly, the opportunity to create an almost passive income.
  • There is the ability to work online from anywhere at any time, with the freedom to choose how hard you work.
  • A strong social following can almost guarantee that you, as an influencer, will receive many free incentives from advertisers who are looking to boost their brand awareness.

Native Advertising

What is native advertising?

In simple terms, native advertising is a paid form of advertising that is primarily content-based and is featured beside other non-paid content on digital platforms. Native advertising is a combination of form: matching the visual design of Ads to look and feel like natural content; and function: Ads which function like natural content, behaving consistently with the seamless user experience.

Native advertising morphs advertisements into content which resembles the content online audiences already seek.

Types of Native Advertising

  • Sponsored content
  • Recommended content
  • In-feed Social media Ads

Examples of native advertising

Many posts on social media represent examples of native advertising. These include:

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Tumblr and
  • BuzzFeed sponsored posts

Benefits of native advertising

  • This type of advertising helps create a seamless experience for the online audience, contributing to the goal of the ultimate user experience.
  • The online audience realizes that native advertising is still advertising, but studies prove that users are up to 25% more likely to engage with native Ads vs. standard banners.
  • Online user bases are also more likely to engage with native advertising than with editorial content.

Email Marketing

What is email marketing?

Businesses use email marketing in order to communicate regularly with their audiences. Email is a great communication platform and is widely used – even more so than social media platforms.

Furthermore, it lacks the clutter associated with social media as it’s generally used for business-orientated purposes and interests.

Types of Email marketing

  • Direct Email – Promotional messages and special offers.
  • Retention Email – Newsletters.

Examples of Email marketing

The types of emails one would create to form an email marketing campaign could include:

  • Welcome emails for new customers.
  • Blog subscription newsletters.
  • Follow-up emails for visitors who have subscribed, downloaded or bought something.
  • Promotions for loyal members.

Benefits of Email marketing

  • An incredible source – There are more Email accounts than Twitter and Facebook accounts combined.
  • Measurability – Track your ROI (return on investment) precisely and make necessary modifications to your campaign.
  • Success – Target your audience to find the ideal customers and keep constant contact to enrich business communications.
  • Cost – Email is one of the cheapest ways to communicate to a broad target audience which can also be specifically targeted.

Online Public Relations

What is online PR?

Dissimilar to traditional PR; online PR is the process of attaining earned exposure with digital publications; blogs and other content-based websites, only through digital marketing channels.

However, the content is not focused on the product or service, but rather topics of interest which surround the product. The channels one could use to maximize online PR include:

  • Engaging online views for your business.
  • Reporter outreach through social media channels.
  • Engaging comments on a personal blog or website.

Examples of online PR

Online PR is a digital marketing tool which influences:

  • Columnists and traditional writers;
  • Websites and brand-sites;
  • Personal and professional bloggers;
  • Social Media users

Via distribution sources such as:

  • Blogs;
  • Social media platforms and
  • Websites

Benefits of online PR

  • It is great for online reputation management. Good reviews bring in more traffic to your website, while bad reviews offer insight into the business’ shortcomings and can be counter-acted with press releases or articles.
  • Online PR does not have to be expensive; many will review your product for no cost if a sample is offered.
  • It can improve your SEO ranking by submitting keyword optimized articles or press releases to blogs, you can increase your back-link profiling.

Digital Marketing South Africa

The world of digital and social media marketing is incredibly complex. Not using digital marketing tools, especially inbound marketing tools, to market your business is guaranteed to be a loss of 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.

We handle all aspects of online marketing, including:

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

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

ITM – Website Design Cape Town

Not only that, it is critical that your web design be modern and use current technology.

In addition to this your website should support your marketing efforts by including elements such as a blog engine and Social Media marketing.

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