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.
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 for Outbound and Inbound Marketing
What is digital marketing? It’s a form of marketing which takes place online in the form of digital content such as text, images, adverts, emails and videos.
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.
Inbound Marketing vs 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.
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 (IM) Defined
The definition of IM 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 IM tactics attract target customers to the business’ website.
An Example of Inbound Marketing
Possibly the simplest, yet most effective of the IM tools is a blog engine. Blogs allow 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 IM 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 IM 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 satisfy your audience and market your business, then it’s 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 South Africa
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.
When you think of what it takes to establish an online marketing strategy which includes content SEO, do you stop dead in your tracks with confusion and a touch of unease?
Well, our goal is to remove all feelings of stress or concern by acting as your translator of all things digital.
We’ll show you that you don’t need a course in digital marketing and you definitely don’t need to hire an advertising agency to get your business to flourish.
All you need is a little bit of help, which we are more than happy to provide. We are here to change your opinion and make you aware of your ever-present online ally known as SEO.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the practice of implementing unpaid or ‘organic’ online marketing techniques to successfully push your website to the first of the search engine result pages (SERP).
As a result, you increase the quality as well as the quantity of your website’s traffic (while decreasing traffic to your competitors!).
By definition, marketing should allow you to place your business in the line-of-sight of your consumer. Most people pretend to know what they’re talking about when it comes to online marketing, yet, few truly understand how it works.
Therefore, not many realise that SEO is an imperative part of your business’ marketing plan. Research states that SEO ( online marketing strategies) has a positive correlation to higher sales and marketing leads.
Whether you use an advertising agency, social media advertising, organic advertising, or paid advertising, it’s a great idea to utilise SEO for your business.
This is ultimately a fancy way of saying that you structure your website and content to captivate the attention of Search engines (mainly Google). In turn, you drastically increase your chances of catching your target market’s eyes.
SEO is for Search Engines and Humans
The goal of Google is to be the most comprehensive online hub of marketing, communication and information. They seek to provide their users with the best quality information available through intelligent searching algorithms applied to specific search terms.
That may seem like a simple task. However, when you think of the billions of websites in the world, different search term combination and the amount of spam-sh content, the search bots have their work cut out for them.
It could easily be compared to sifting through a desert to find only the finest grains of sand. Then laying them out, in order of quality and relevance, for all to enjoy.
By using SEO properly, you implement strategies that allow search engines to find, understand and index your website quickly and accurately, resulting in your page being at the top of the first results page.
There are over 250 factors that Google uses in hugely complicated mathematical algorithms to decide the rank of a website. This includes everything from:
- Standard of user interface;
- Technical aspects; to
- Scrolling text.
3 Main SEO Categories:
- Technical SEO – These include foundations such as: sitemaps, robots.txt, page speed and mobile friendliness.
- On-page SEO – This includes a content audit, page titles, URL, meta-description, title tags and semantic architecture.
- Off-page SEO – includes back link building, social citations and domain authority.
Without improving the technical aspects, content SEO alone has the ability to drastically increase your websites ranking on Google. This deals with the writing and structure of your content, making it easy for people and Google to navigate.
On-page SEO deals with three main topics:
- Keyword strategy
- Site structure
Your keyword strategy is created based on the findings of your keyword research, which involves:
- Search intent: discovering what the target market actually wants to know, do or buy;
- Finding keywords: terms you want your business to be associated with and, more importantly, the terms your target audience would use to find your business.
Your target market already is asking questions, it’s your job to find out what exactly they are asking. The next step is to answer the queries with concise, quality content.
Three Steps to Keyword Research:
- State the mission of your business.
- List all the keywords you want to be found for.
- Create a landing page for each keyword.
Keywords can be divided into heads and tails. Head keywords are generally short, common and highly competitive as they generate decent traffic for websites. Tail keywords are usually longer, more specific (niche),less common and, therefore, easier to rank.
At first, your content should focus on the small number of the most commo keywords that are most relevant to your business. It’s good practice to place them on the highest level pages of the website (homepage and menu categories).
Your business is dynamic, so, it may change over time. Therefore, your marketing and keyword strategy should be flexible enough change and adapt accordingly.
The structure of your website is important for various reasons, here are two:
ONE: So that Google may read and ‘understand’ your site. This allows them to discover important aspects such as:
- What the site is about;
- Where the most important content is;
- How easy it will be to find and index content relevant to your sites purpose and intent
TWO: Ensure that you don’t compete with your own content. You may find yourself with several articles on a similar topic. A well-planned and executed internal linking structure can show Google which articles are the most important.
Site Structure is a Pyramid
Begin with the fundamentals and the basics, and as your progress down the pyramid, you can get more technical and complicated.
Use head keywords higher up and tail keywords addressed lower down in the site’s scheme.
The homepage would serve as the top tier and would contain content regarding the focus keyword which is the main keyword you want to associate with your site.
The top tiers of the pyramid would focus on cornerstone content: articles on head keywords which you are most proud of; fit the mission of the site best; and which you want to rank most with.
The next tier should form categories that refer to the preceding pages and additional tail keywords.
It’s important to link from tail to head in order to tell Google which articles to rank highest. In other words, mention tail content in your cornerstone content, and incorporate internal links between the two.
More characteristics of an ideal site structure are:
- Incorporating tags and taxonomies to give the site more structure (this assists Google in understanding how to group your articles on similar topics);
- A clear, logical site map (with unique and apt page titles);
- A Meta-description (to reflect the relation of the page to key search terms);
- A lack of duplicate and out-dated content; and
- Solving orphaned content (which don’t get any links from your other articles/posts).
Copywriting and Content SEO
Content copywriting, like all writing, must be attractive to readers in order to grab and maintain their attention.
However, this specific type requires you to attain the attention of two audiences: the human target.
The role of content copywriting is to incorporate SEO practices to make your website more visible to search engines and answer the target markets queries with high quality content.
Not only should your content be original, but also easy to read for both of our audiences (humans and Google). This is where traditional writing skills are particularly useful.
A well-written article follows a systematic path and is complete with defined paragraphs, superior grammar and immaculate spelling. Furthermore, articles must be factual and to the point.
These are all part of creating informative, easy-to-read posts that get your audience to develop trust in your brand.
Ultimately, the goal is always to answer the target audience’s questions and ensure a decent UX (User eXperience). They have posed specific questions and these require quality answers.
Digital Marketing South Africa
Many businesses focus on creating content while few focus on maximising their content’s visibility and with regards to Google. The result is that good content gets lost in a vast abyss of the very average.
What is the point of having website? It’s to have your content seen by the largest audience possible. Visibility is about increasing the likelihood that Google picks your content for result pages. The higher up your website is found, the more clicks your site will get.
In fact, SEO is all about making 100% sure that your superior content and the product/ service, or message you offer is seen and acknowledged by Google. As a result every person out there that’s looking for an answer, finds your website.
We can help you rank achieve everything it take to rank at the top of Google. For more information about our comprehensive digital marketing and SEO services and expertise, contact us.