In the past two decades, digital marketing has gone from being an exciting new suite of tools for businesses to promote themselves, to an essential part of any marketing strategy. And all signs suggest that it’s continuing to grow in importance to businesses.
According to Econsultancy and Responsys’ ‘Marketing Budgets Report 2014’, 71% of businesses are planning to increase the size of their digital marketing budgets over the coming year. The growth of digital marketing is made even starker by the fact that the same report found that only 20% of businesses are intending to increase their traditional marketing budgets over the same period.
What types of digital marketing should I invest in?
It’s clear that the smart money at the moment is going into digital marketing, but which specific virtual baskets should you be putting your digital eggs into? The same report identifies the top five areas of online marketing where budget increases are planned.
Since the early days of the internet there has been a substantial shift away from the hard sell towards a softer approach that seeks to offer value and substance to potential customers. This approach is encompassed by the term content marketing, which refers to any marketing activity that involves the creation and distribution of content for the purpose of acquiring and engaging customers. Forms of content marketing include blog posts, articles, e-books and white papers.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
If you have a website and you want it to be found amongst the many millions of others online, you need SEO. SEO simply refers to the process of optimising your website so that it ranks higher in search engine results. There are a variety of different ways of doing this, including the creation of high quality SEO content which contains relevant keywords and phrases.
Many people today use their smartphones and other mobile devices such as tablets to access the internet. Increasingly, they’re not just browsing the internet, they’re also purchasing things via their mobile devices, and it’s important for businesses to respond to this trend by ensuring that their websites are mobile-friendly. This might involve the creation of a separate mobile website and content which is specifically tailored for mobile users.
Email marketing has been around for a long time but it remains a potent way to communicate with customers. You can use it to keep customers abreast of developments within your company, inform them of special offers that may interest them, or direct them to further content on your website. As with any form of digital marketing though, email marketing must be approached subtly, offering value rather than jumping down the customer’s throat with sales messages.
Social media is a more recent addition to the digital marketing quiver, and one which continues to develop. A solid social media campaign across platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can help you to build your brand voice and increase customer engagement.
If you have limited in-house resources then an online copywriting agency may be able to assist you in all of the above. Check out our online article on the Benefits of Using a Freelance Content Writer.