It was only a matter of time before digital marketing became as ‘traditional’ as mail and phone calls. The world is a digital place and consumers have more accessible digital channels than ever before.
Deciding which channel to focus your digital marketing efforts on can be challenging. No single channel will be able to meet the needs of your entire marketing team – so you need to consider what channel will be most effective for each individual role in your organisation.
Here, we’ll discuss the various channels you might consider reaching your targets and how you can use digital marketing to enhance your marketing strategy.
If you’re reaching out to the general public, you’ll often hear about direct marketing. Sending out paper brochures, mailers, and knocking on doors are all considered forms of direct marketing. While these tactics have their place, especially in certain situations, they are certainly not the best way to approach all of your marketing efforts.
The key question to ask is, ‘Is this the best place to reach my customers?’
If you have a niche within the general public – such as farmers who want to market their produce, or luxury brands wanting to target wealthy individuals – then paper brochures and targeted mailers may be the way to go. However, if you’re a technology brand reaching out to the general public, TV ads and online leads are probably the best methods to uncover customers.
When discussing inbound marketing, it’s important to consider the type of content you’re using. While you may choose to use traditional advertising to attract customers, you’re probably engaging with audiences through content more so than marketing messages.
Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that is useful and valuable to potential customers – and then leveraging that content across all of your platforms.
If you’ve ever shopped at Nordstrom, you may have come across their ‘Bloglovin’ tool. This tool, which the luxury goods company acquired in 2016, helps consumers discover relevant blogs and websites to read through the company’s owned bookstore’s catalogue. With a similar tool, you can discover blogs and websites that are relevant to your industry.
With social media, you have a worldwide audience that is potentially interested in your product or service. This is a great place for marketing efforts as long as you’re using the right strategies and tools.
Depending on how large your following is, you may choose to use a tool such as Hootsuite to monitor and engage with your audience across all of your social platforms – including email.
If you’ve got a sizable following on Twitter, you may choose to use the service’s ‘Powerful Proposal’ tool which assists with marketing, sales, and product development. With this tool, you can craft a proposal that will convince a prospect to purchase your product or service. To create a compelling proposal, you can use the tool to research relevant trends and then position your product in the context of those trends.
With each new generation, the digital marketing world will continue to evolve.
Content Marketing Digitalisation
The ‘digital’ aspect of content marketing has created challenges as well as opportunities. Most businesses still view content as a standalone activity – a blog post here, an image on social media – whereas now there’s so much more to consider.
As a content marketer, how do you decide what to publish when there are so many platforms to choose from? How do you decide which tools to use to automate your workflow? Having a wide range of experience in digital marketing and SEO, I’d like to share with you my favourite content marketing tools that will assist you in creating and distributing content in a more efficient, data-driven manner.
Content Types & Platforms
Whether you’re a content strategist, marketer or blogger, it’s important to understand what kind of content you’re creating and for which platforms. A few years back, if you wanted to write a blog post, you’d probably turn to WordPress or another blogging platform. While those remain the most popular choices, today the decision point isn’t as clear-cut as it used to be.
There are now so many other digital publishing platforms designed for businesses that want to create and distribute content – from e-books to web logs to mini-blogs. Not only that, but these various platforms allow you to choose your language, design and even your content type (i.e. whether you’re writing a traditional blog post or an e-book or PDF etc.). If you haven’t used a number of these tools, it can be hard to know which one is right for your needs.
Blogging used to be a good choice for those looking to create content and distribute it online. The fact that it’s widely accepted as a type of content, across all social media channels, has opened up a world of possibilities. As a blogging platform, you have complete control over the design, branding and content of each post. Although the role of a blog owner has somewhat changed – with the rise of hybrid media and content distribution – it’s still a very useful tool for businesses.
An e-book is, essentially, just a type of content that you can distribute in digital format. That means it can be accessed online or on mobile devices and, if you choose to, make use of a variety of e-book tools that are available to business owners and marketers. If you decide to go this route – which I would highly recommend – you’ll want to take a few things into consideration.
Firstly, you’ll want to pick a platform that’s easy to use and flexible enough to allow you to create your e-book with minimal effort. Some of the more popular choices include HubSpot and Canva, both of which are extremely user-friendly. You can use these platforms to create any type of e-book, from a how-to guide on social media to a corporate handbook or even a cookbook.
Secondly, you’ll want to make sure that your chosen e-book platform is secure. This particularly applies if you’re choosing to publish any type of sensitive or confidential information. Although there are a number of reputable e-book platforms that protect your privacy, your content and the integrity of your data – like JotSpot and WordPress – it’s still a good idea to be mindful of cybersecurity best practices when publishing e-books.
3. Web log
A web log is a type of content that lives beyond a single social media channel and can be accessed and used on any online device. The fact that it’s a digital format makes it extremely adaptable and, as long as you have a fast and reliable Internet connection, you can always access and update a web log whenever you want. Depending on your audience and the type of content you’re publishing, a web log can be very useful.
Unlike many other content types, a web log doesn’t necessarily need to be written in high-quality prose – in fact, some of the more established ones, like Quora and Medium, allow you to use non-fiction text in a creative and engaging manner. For example, if you have a lot of expertise in digital marketing, you could use your web log to share your knowledge with other marketers.
4. Social media
Once upon a time, a business blog and a social media account were virtually the same thing. However, today, with the rise of hybrid media and content distribution, a business blog isn’t necessarily the only place you’ll find valuable content. Indeed, a business owner or marketer can have a webpage, an e-book or a web log all while being active on social media channels like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
The rise of content automation means that tasks such as content syndication and distribution can be handled with the click of a button. If you have a sizable social media following, you can use tools like Hootsuite to distribute content to all your accounts in one place. Similarly, if you have a decent number of blog posts, you can use platforms like WordPress to easily distribute them to your favourite social media channels.
Managing multiple blogs, e-books and web logs can be a lot of work. If you want to take the drudgery out of maintaining multiple sites, you can look into content automation tools that can do the work for you. In addition, when you publish content on your website, you have the option of cross-posting to social media channels. While this may sound like an appealing solution, the sheer volume of content that needs to be monitored and replied to makes it a task that’s best left to humans.
You may be wondering why I’ve dedicated an entire section to digital marketing and SEO and not included a blog in the list. The answer is quite simple – SEO isn’t just about blogging – it’s about using a number of different tactics to ensure that your blog posts reach your target audience in the most effective manner possible.
If you’re looking to take your blog to the next level, you can always turn to local SEO, which focuses on getting your blog posts and other content – such as product reviews and guides – in front of people in your target audience, whether they’re located near or far away. Although there are a number of free tools that can help you with local SEO, like Google Maps and Google My Business – both of which are owned by Google – the easiest and most convenient way to get started is with a paid tool. This is because a paid tool provides you with all the features you need and doesn’t require you to learn a new set of commands or use a different interface. In addition, many of the larger platforms, like HubSpot and Convissory, provide you with templates that can easily be used to create a local SEO strategy for your website.
Last but not least, let’s not forget about video content. Thanks to platforms like TikTok and YouTube, video content is no longer the preserve of the entertainment industry. Indeed, anyone can produce and distribute video content and connect with an audience like never before.
Whether you’re a business owner, marketer or content strategist, video can be a useful tool in your toolbox. Indeed, many large platforms, like TikTok and YouTube, offer a variety of tools that can be used to easily produce and distribute video content. Not only that, but you can also find a host of niche platforms, like TikTok Business, that allow you to specifically target your audience and create content that they’ll value and benefit from.
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop to learn more about content marketing, you can find a wealth of information on the internet. However, if you want to take your content marketing to the next level, you can always turn to these various platforms that can help you create and distribute content in a streamlined manner. In addition, if you decide to go down the path of e-books, you can pick a few of these reputable platforms that are guaranteed to keep your content safe and your customers satisfied. With the right tools, content distribution and marketing, as well as SEO, are now just a few clicks away.