Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

Last updated Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 46.6 million people used the internet daily in Great Britain during 2020.

Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place, at the right time.

You need to meet them where they are already spending time:

On the internet.

How can you market to this audience?

By using digital marketing 🎯

So let’s begin:

What is digital marketing?

Whenever a potential customer uses a digital device to interact with your business, that’s digital marketing.

Digital marketing includes a wide range of activities, all aimed at bringing you more awareness, leads, and, ultimately, sales using digital channels.

That can include search engine marketing, paid advertising, content marketing, social media, email and more.

Why use digital marketing?

#1 It's targeted

Shorten the customer journey by presenting the right offers at the right time.

#2 It pays for itself

Pound for pound, digital marketing can bring you a better ROI (Return On Investment) than any other form of marketing.

#3 It's powerful

Create a huge amount of awareness and engagement among potential customers anywhere in the world.

#4 It's measurable

Track every action and result, giving you a comprehensive and detailed picture of performance.

#5 It's interactive

Through channels like social media, you can talk directly to your customers and find out what they think.

#6 It’s scalable

Whenever you want to drive more business, it’s simple to boost your investment and see quick results.

How does B2B digital marketing work?

That's an interesting question.

Let's take a look at the digital marketing funnel:

Digital marketing funnel

Digital Marketing should operate across the entire Marketing/Sales funnel.

When marketing and sales work in tandem, businesses tend to flourish.

Channels can be used at different touchpoints throughout the funnel to encourage visitors to become leads through to repeat customers.

Digital Marketing Funnel

In an ideal world, we would like to think that the buyer visits our website, then buys from us.

No questions asked!

Then reality kicks in 💡

We realise that the B2B process is somewhat different than B2C.

No impulse buying.

It’s also a lengthy process with possibly many stakeholders.

For B2B, we need to consider:

Decision making processes

Does your product have a positive impact on a buyer’s company?

If not, then your chances of them choosing you will be slim.

However, ROI is usually the key factor when it comes to making a decision at this point.

Essentially, the return should be greater than the investment.

Motivations

B2C buyers generally make purchases based on emotion.

For B2B, the buyer may consider:

  • Quality of the product
  • Value of the product
  • Reputation
  • Customer service

To name a few.

Buyers

A B2B purchase is usually a collective decision.

You won’t just need to convert the mind of one individual. It could be a board or department.

Your goal as a business is to move a buyer from the top of the funnel to the bottom and RETAIN them.

It’s worth noting:

  • The buyer can enter the funnel at any stage
  • They can jump stages
  • The process isn’t actually linear

Next, we'll take a look at the stages of the digital marketing funnel:

Stages of the digital marketing funnel

Awareness

The Awareness stage is known as the Top of the Funnel (TOFU).

Digital Marketing Funnel - Awareness Stage

The buyer is looking for solutions and shows a keen interest in a particular product.

It focusses on:

  • Attracting new customers
  • Building brand awareness

The most effective channels to use are:

Consideration

The Consideration stage is known as the Middle of the Funnel (MOFU).

Digital Marketing Funnel - Consideration Stage

The buyer is exploring and evaluating the solutions they have found.

According to Marketo, companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost.

At this stage you can focus on:

  • Driving leads into the business
  • Educating about pain points/challenges

The most effective channels to use at this stage are:

Decision

The Decision stage is known as the Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU).

Digital Marketing Funnel - Decision Stage

The buyer is now ready to make a purchase decision.

Focus on:

  • Clearing up any objections to buying
  • Encouraging immediate action
  • Converting leads into customers

The most effective channels to use for this stage are:

  • SEO & Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Remarketing/Retargeting

Advocacy

The Advocacy stage is essential for the long-term growth of your business.

Digital Marketing Funnel - Advocacy Stage

It focusses on:

  • Retaining existing customers
  • Encouraging repeat business
  • Driving referrals

The most effective channels to use for this stage are:

It’s much cheaper to retain existing customers than to acquire new ones, so this stage is very important. As a business, you should aim for long partnerships with your customers, which is an essential strategy for long-term growth and profitability.

Some key points to encourage retention and loyalty:

  • Excellent products/services
  • Great brand experience
  • Placing the customer first
  • Making it easy to advocate
  • Identifying customers who will advocate

What are examples of digital marketing?

The following examples are often referred to as channels in digital marketing:

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

According to Ahrefs, 91% of all pages never get any organic traffic from Google.

Search engine optimisation works by optimising your site so potential customers can find it on a search engine.

Primarily, you should focus on keyword research and search intent optimisation. In other words, optimise pages based on what your potential customers are trying to achieve with their search.

To make it easier for your customers, you should:

  • Optimise your site
  • Build backlinks
  • Increase social engagement

It will help guide them through the process of searching, learning and ultimately buying from you.

You can do this by utilising:

Keyword Research

Keyword Research is a process where you review popular search terms people type into search engines like Google, based around search intent.

92.42% of keywords get ten monthly searches or fewer. (Ahrefs)

From this research you can apply it to all different digital marketing channels, including SEO, PPC, and content marketing to name a few.

Your keyword research should review:

  • Search volume
  • Search intent
  • Seasonality
  • Localisation
  • Commercial value
  • Difficulty
  • Relevance
  • Trends
  • SERP features

Get this right and your website will flourish.

Content Optimisation

Content optimisation is a form on on-site SEO.

By optimising your website content for search engines, you are ensuring that people and potential customers can find you on their own.

By utilising keyword research, your content optimisation could include:

  • Optimised URLs
  • Optimised heading
  • Localised phrases
  • Internal and external linking improvements
  • Optimised imagery
  • Enhanced mobile performance

Technical SEO

According to BrightEdge, 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine.

Technical SEO aims to improve your organic search performance by ensuring that your website meets the technical requirements of a search engine.

If your website is not technically sound, it will struggle to appear in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Technical SEO should focus on:

  • Website architecture
  • Crawling
  • Rendering
  • Indexing
  • Page performance

This will ensure your website is in good health and can be found by search engines.

Link Building

Google says that backlinks are one of their top three ranking factors.

Link building is the process of getting other websites to link to yours.

This helps your website to rank higher in the SERPs.

It’s an important part of SEO because links are a ranking signal to search engines.

Think about it this way:

Each link you have from an authoritative site is seen as a vote of confidence for your website’s reputation.

When conducting link building, you should consider:

  • Competitor research
  • Email outreach
  • Broken link building
  • PR

Important note:

Not all links are created equally.

Some links can come from spammy sites.

If that happens, they will likely have a negative impact on your SEO.

💡 Need help with Keyword Research, Content Optimisation, Technical SEO or Link BuildingFeel free to get in touch.

Paid advertising

Paid advertising, also known as ‘paid search’ or Pay Per Click (PPC), drives traffic to your site from online ads, usually getting quicker results than SEO on its own.

Almost 65% of all keyword searches with high commercial intent come from PPC on Google. (WordStream)

Your ads appear on Google, Facebook and other platforms with highly targeted campaigns focused on customer demographics and interests.

Paid advertising can burn cash if you get it wrong.

Find the best ways to make your money go further, including smart techniques like remarketing and retargeting.

The types of paid advertising you could consider includes:

Google Ads

Google Ads provides businesses with the means to appear at the top position of Google’s search results page through a paid search, shopping and display campaigns.

With paid search you should take the time to:

  • Understand your business
  • Adapt your strategy

This will help you to meet your goals.

Growing your Google Ads accounts steadily with consistent monitoring will help your business achieve the best ROI too.

Remarketing

Remarketing works by showing ads to people who have previously visited your site and mobile app.

It can be one of the most effective forms of paid advertising available.

Remarketing can be a key strategic component of your advertising and drive ROI for all types of advertisers.

By targeting audiences who have already shown interest in your products, you are more likely to achieve a greater ROI.

Display Advertising

With display advertising, you can advertise in different formats, displaying them on related websites to what you’re selling, and show them to people with the most interest.

Create carefully crafted strategies structured by product or audience to drive great results.

Focus on:

  • Ad assets
  • Bidding and campaign strategy
  • Measurement and CRO

Paid Social

Social networks hold HUGE amounts of data on virtually everyone.

Target your ads at very specific:

  • Groups
  • Locations
  • People

For this reason, paid social is a great way to target the different stages of the buyer journey.

Each social network brings its own pros and cons, so make sure you do your research before using it.

There’s no point using a social network if your target audience isn’t there.

According to Clutch, less than half (45%) of small businesses invest in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

🧱 Need advice structuring your ad campaignsFeel free to get in touch.

Content Marketing

Content marketing involves sharing videos, blogs/articles and posts online on topics related to your business. 

82% of marketers actively invest in content marketing in 2021 (HubSpot). Up from 70% the previous year.

It’s not about driving sales directly.

Focus should be on building your presence and reputation online and generating interest in your company and products.

We recommend you:

  • Analyse your audience
  • Develop a content strategy
  • Plan with a content calendar
  • Produce your content
  • Promote it via the stages of the buyer journey
  • Measure performance

When performing content marketing, you could consider:

Content Audits

A content audit is a great way to review:

  • Your owned assets
  • Earned assets
  • Paid assets

It will help to find any gaps in your content so that you can adjust your process to better serve your target audience.

Grow your content and digital strategy so that your business can provide the material your audiences need.

Content audits should gather, categorise, and analyse your content across all mediums.

Create a report with actionable items based on your overall goals.

Content Strategy

Your content strategy is an ongoing process.

It’s a process that utilises content to achieve your business goals.

Your strategy should:

  • Define your audience
  • Define your assets
  • Establish which channels you will use

Your content strategy should introduce a content framework to define:

  • Who will you be creating it for
  • What content will you be creating
  • Where will it apply to the buyer journey
  • Why will you be creating it
  • When will you distribute it

Blog Content Creation

Blog posts are a great way to increase brand awareness and drive organic traffic to your website.

They should incorporate SEO best practices to maximise the inbound marketing efforts of your business.

Blog content creation should ensure your topics, titles, keywords and formatting engage your target audience, support your marketing strategy and business goals.

Your goal is to produce valuable and engaging content that is optimised for search engines.

Infographics & Asset Design

An infographic is a collection of:

  • Charts
  • Data
  • Imagery
  • Text

The goal is to create a clear understanding of a topic.

Create engaging and striking visuals to communicate information quickly.

They should be provided into various formats.

They are most effective when:

  • Embedded in blog posts
  • Published in resource centres
  • Used in marketing automation

Consider custom illustrations for blog/social media posts and Call to Action (CTA) buttons to help drive conversions.

Case Studies

Case studies are a great form of social proof that detail your capabilities to new and existing customers.

They are a great form of marketing for the Consideration, Decision, and Retention stage of the buyer journey.

With your case studies, create data-focused compelling stories to highlight your business via:

  • Customer testimonials
  • Employee interviews
  • Information analysis

Website Copy

Your website copy needs to grab your buyers’ attention.

It needs to provide in-depth exploration of the unique products, services and value propositions your business can offer.

Your website copy should incorporate the latest SEO best practices to boost your online presence and to meet the needs of your customers.

Remember, its focus should be on building your presence and reputation online.

Ultimately, generating interest in your company and products.

📝 Creating content but don't know where to start? We can help with that.

Social media marketing

According to Oberlo, more than 70% of consumers with a pleasant social media experience are likely to recommend the brand to others.

Social media drives traffic and builds your brand by engaging people on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

We’ll help you develop interesting, shareable content so you can build a following and attract more people to your profile and website. 

When conducting social media marketing, you could consider:

Organic Social

Organic social is the process of studying your social audiences and developing a strategy tailored to them.

It involves:

  • Creating content for social media profiles
  • Monitoring online conversations
  • Providing community engagement
  • Monitoring, measuring, and reporting on social media performance

Paid Social

As mentioned earlier, social networks hold HUGE amounts of data on virtually everyone.

With paid social, you can target different stages of the buyer journey:

  • Awareness – for brand awareness and reach
  • Consideration – for traffic, engagement or lead generation
  • Decision – for conversions and sales

Combine this with the fact you can target specific demographics, it’s a very popular choice for businesses.

👍 Need someone to manage your social media accountsGet in touch today.

Email marketing

Email marketing plays a pivotal role in lead generation, brand awareness, building relationships or keeping customers engaged between purchases.

Email may be old, but it’s still the most effective marketing channel.

Why?

  • The audience is already engaged
  • It’s low cost
  • It has an unrivalled ROI

According to Campaign Monitor, email marketing has an ROI of 3,800%.

In fact, email is 40x more effective for customer acquisition than social media. (McKinsey & Company)

With email marketing, we recommend you consider:

Customer Segmentation

With customer segmentation you divide your customers into groups that share common interests.

Its goal is to decide how to relate to customers in each segment in order to maximise their true value.

Segmented campaigns drive as much as a 760% increase in revenue. (Campaign Monitor)

Breakdown your audience into segments based on their interests.

This will ensure that your email marketing aligns with your content strategy, providing the customers with information that they actually want.

No one likes spam.

Email Campaign Design

Email campaigns are a coordinated set of individual emails deployed across a specific timeframe with a sole purpose.

Using customer segmentation, you can create dynamic content to suit the target audience.

We recommend you:

  • Conduct an email audit
  • Include opt-in forms where possible
  • Segment your audience
  • Create persuasive email copy
  • Design a simple branded email template
  • Create email drip campaigns

📧 Looking to send out an email campaign? We can help you with that.

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

CRO involves increasing the percentage of users who perform a desired action on your website. It provides solutions to make the most of the traffic your website already has.

According to WordStream, the average conversion rate for websites is 2.35%.

It’s a process of continual improvement, using quantitative or qualitative data to make informed decisions.

You should consider:

CRO audits

A CRO audit is a great way to identify what’s preventing conversions from your website traffic.

Most attempts at increasing conversions fails because organisations tend to try to copy other businesses practices.

It’s important that you only apply practices that are tested against your own audience and limitations.

This is where a CRO audit comes in handy.

We advise you to do the following:

  • Set business goals and targets
  • Study User Experiences (UX) on your website
  • Study your analytical software

A/B Testing

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a process of showing two variants on a web page to different groups of website visitors at the same time, comparing which variant converted better.

This is an important part of CRO and a great way to optimise your website’s funnel.

With A/B testing, you should experiment with two or more test variations with users at random to determine the best solution for your website’s conversions.

Analytics software

Google Analytics is a great way to see what is and isn’t working on your website.

Haven’t got it installed?

You should do that as soon as possible.

Once installed, you should consider the following setup process:

  • Always have a raw data view
  • Make sure bot filtering is turned on
  • Set your goals
  • Don’t collect any Personally Identifiable Information (or PII)

Heat maps

Heat maps are a great way to understand what users do on your website.

For example:

  • What they look at or ignore
  • How far they scroll
  • Where they click

They can offer your business many benefits. This can include:

  • Helping to make informed decisions
  • Understanding the UX on your website
  • Supporting other analytical tools
  • Providing a visual approach to data
  • An overview of key web performance metrics

Ultimately, heat maps are a great way to improve ROI.

Landing page design & development

Landing pages are the next step toward a visitor becoming a customer. Your landing page lets you offer your services in exchange for a visitor's contact information.

Design and build landing pages to focus a user’s attention on a single desired action, such as:

  • Making a purchase
  • Filling out a form
  • Signing up for a free trial
  • Entering an email address

This approach works well with paid advertising.

🧪 Need to run an A/B test on your website? We can help you with that.

There are other channels you could consider including:

  • Mobile marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Affiliate marketing

To name a few.

Consider what channels will work for your business.

Remember:

There is never a one-size-fits-all approach.

 

Now we’d like to hear from you:

Are you looking for some advice on digital marketing? Perhaps your internal marketing team needs some guidance?

Either way, get in touch and find out how we can help.

 

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