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It’s impossible to avoid advertising in the digital age. Unless you’re in the middle of nowhere, completely isolated from any sort of electrical network, sooner or later you’re going to find an advertisement somewhere. Only, the advent of digital marketing channels meant that advertising is a little more surreptitious than it used to be.
Now where advertisements used to just be advertisements, the rise of digital media has paved the way for new channels to open to the world of marketing, channels that have turned advertising from an obvious appeal to the consumer in all of us, to the subtle changes on a website that make it rank that few extra spots higher, or the social media post showing an element of a business owner’s personality and values. Where once a business sold products, now marketing sells a brand and the products are bought thereafter.
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So, what exactly are these “Channels” used to promote these brands?
There are many kinds of digital marketing channels, some of which are so common you might already be somewhat aware of their existence. You can think of these channels somewhat as tools in a toolbox, you may have access to all of them and they may all do their job well, maybe even better than others – but there’s always going to be a specific tool for a specific job.
These online marketing channels are the most-used platforms in just about every marketing campaign. The internet is a huge place and, in the decades since digital marketing became a thing, these are the methods that have consistently proven to get the best results with use.
It’s important to remember however that the internet is very much an organic place. It grows, it shifts, it changes, it reacts. All of these methods are subject to tweaking as time goes on, and indeed there’s almost a 100% chance that at some point you’ll have to change something about how you’re using a particular digital advertising channel or another. It’s almost expected to see an initial decrease in business before the marketing campaign you’re enacting takes effect. Remember these and you will be fine.
Without further ado, let’s get into the various marketing channels and how they operate!
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is one of the most popular and most effective digital marketing channels available, and it has been since the earliest days of digital marketing. SEO’s platform is effective because it’s cost-effective, fast acting, and works at the heart of the internet, search engines.
Google receives around 5 billion searches every day, and contains an index of around 50 billion websites. The chances of your website being found among all those billions of searches without any assistance is very scarce. The answer to this is SEO.
SEO, simply put, is the process of optimising your website (and other platforms of your online presence) to be easily found by search engines. Using Google as an example (and as the most popular search engine in the world it doesn’t seem like too far a stretch to assume it’s what most people will be using), the way Google ranks its websites is through the use of AI piloted bots called “spiders.” These spiders go through the internet, and “crawl” through any webpages they can find. The spiders analyse the webpages they find for search terms, content, links and backlinks, how relevant the content is, how many times certain words appear, how quickly the website loads, how high of quality the images present are, and anything else that affects the quality and usability of your website.
Taking this information, the spiders then index the website in terms of their quality and relevance to certain search terms. When you enter a query into Google, the algorithm looks at the websites that have ranked well for that query (taking into account other user data such as age, geography, etc.) and list them in order of their efficacy.
Of all the internet marketing channels available to you, SEO is probably the easiest to implement, as the research to use it equates to knowing relevant keywords, and then sprinkling those keywords throughout any content on your website, being sure not to oversaturate, because as well as the spiders know when there aren’t any keywords present, they can tell when there’s too many. This prevents unethical marketers from hiding hundreds of the same keyword in some background element of a website in order to improve rankings while offering no relevancy.
PPC can sound a little weird to people at first but bear with us, it’s actually more lucrative than it might sound. PPC stands for “Pay per Click”, and exactly as it suggests it means that you pay the search engine of your choice (these days the most popular is Google Ads and we’ll explain why in a moment) a nominated amount of money every time your ad gets clicked on. Why would you do this? Well because in exchange, your ad is nearly guaranteed to get one of the top 5 spots in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages).
You see most people never make it to the second page of Google. This is so prevalent that it’s become a meme. The first page is where most clicks are gotten, and of those nearly 30% of people click the very top result.
Now SEO can get you to that coveted spot, but you can guarantee the spot with a PPC campaign, and in particular, Google’s method of running this kind of campaign makes it one of the most effective digital marketing channels. Google Ads, Google’s PPC Marketing platform, utilises what is known as the “Google Auction.” This is an incredibly innovative system that helps the algorithm determine which PPC ads get displayed where in the SERPs.
When hearing it for the first time you may think that the auction depends on how much money you’re paying Google for their advertising. And while indeed your “bid” as it’s called, is a factor, what really matters is your quality score, a metric that Google’s AI uses to assess the quality of the content on websites and how relevant they are to their potential customers. This means that someone with a low bid but stellar quality would almost certainly be placed above someone with a high bid but worthless copy and content. This means PPC is not only great for small businesses and start-ups, but it’s a perpetually level playing field.
Marketing is a social interaction, so if it’s not being done through social media, it’s really a wasted opportunity.
You may think of social media as a quagmire of celebrity drama and petty squabbles, but the fact is that when used right it is one of the more powerful digital marketing channels that marketers and businesses have access to.
The reason for this is that social media is highly targeted to particular audiences, and generally when it comes to advertising there are features that you can use within the platform itself to target it even further. Not to mention that multiple social media platforms address each other’s shortcomings. Instagram is great for more direct, quick-fire advertising directly to the audience, while Facebook generates a little more of a slow-burn with its advertisements. This means that you can use Instagram to release bursts of advertising when you want to quickly promote a new product or service, while Facebook is great for maintaining an audience and generating word of mouth.
Most people tend to think of advertising as a nuisance. People are becoming more aware of their privacy and how much corporations tend to capitalise on their time. Email marketing eradicates that by making your audience ask to be advertised to.
Email marketing begins at your website, where while a customer is making a purchase, you give them the choice of signing up to your mailing list. Should they do it, then you’ve made an asset out of your customers.
After signing up to the mailing list, your customers will receive emails from your brand, keeping them in the loop of developments with your business, new products, deals, specials, and promotions. But the best thing is that these emails serve as a constant reminder that you exist for as long as they are in the customer’s inbox. They force the customer to an action, either reading the email, deleting it, or archiving it.
Still Not Sure?
We get it, this is a lot of information that you’ve had to absorb very quickly and you’re still not entirely sure how it works. However, you can be assured that in today’s digital world, these online marketing channels are the only way to keep your business afloat, and that these are the bare minimum. It can be overwhelming, but that’s why we exist.
Traffic Radius are an online digital marketing agency based in Melbourne. We’ve been in operation for decades, and our work ethic and results-driven attitude have taken us from a small start-up to an international marketing powerhouse! We can help you achieve the visions you have for your business, all you have to do is contact us here, or call us on 1300 870 901.