The online revolution has brought a slew of opportunities. People interact in new and exciting ways – in specialised communities on social media, in forums and comment sections, even inside games.
Today there are more eyes looking at specialised content more often. Which means that, with the right tools and techniques, your message can travel further than ever before.
Here we look at five essential digital marketing techniques that will help you start up and grow your business.
1. Social media marketing
Before you make a decision about the ideal ratio of paid versus organic social media marketing, you first need to establish where your audience is.
There are 15 million monthly active Facebook users in Australia – around 60 percent of the total population – with half the country logging onto the platform at least once a day.
But knowing how many eyes are on a platform isn’t enough. You need to know who the eyes belong to. According to research from Roy Morgan, age demographics on Facebook are fairly consistent across the board: 82 percent of Generation Z (those born between 1991–2005) use the platform, while a similar 86 percent of Baby Boomers (1946–1960) are on it.
On the other hand, photo and video-sharing platform Instagram, which has around 9 million monthly Australian users, has an audience that skews younger.
Once you’ve established the best social platforms for your business, come up with an outline of measurable targets. This post by marketing platform Hootsuit identifies 19 specific metrics for tracking your performance on social media. They include ‘post reach’, a way to measure how many people have viewed your post based on the time it’s been online. Or ‘audience growth rate’, a way to assess your brand’s growth over time.
From here, it’s important to craft a message that resonates with your audience. And, most importantly, it’s crucial that you post regularly and during optimal times.
Who's using Instagram?
- Gen Z (1991 - 2005): 68 percent
- General Y (1976 - 1990): 52 percent
- General X (1961 - 1975): 32 percent
- Baby Boomers (1946 - 1960): 15 percent
- Pre-Boomers (pre 1946): 7 percent
2. Website enhancement
Unless you’re an e-commerce business, a website might feel like an extra limb on top of your social accounts. But for many customers a website is their first impression of a business – and today, if you’re not online it’s almost like you don’t exist.
Your website should be reliable and easy to navigate, with clear language and ‘calls to action’ (CTAs) that prompt users towards a particular product or service. Each page should also be user friendly, with clear branding at the top, succinct headlines and tabs, and visual cues that help users navigate around. And, with 89 per cent of Australians owning a smartphone, it’s important to make your website optimised for devices like mobiles and tablets.
10 important digital marketing terms simplified
- Search engine results page (SERP): pages displayed on a search engine, such as Google. Websites compete for higher SERP rankings
- Search engine optimisation (SEO): a way to drive more traffic to your website by ranking higher on SERPs. SEO is usually optimised with targeted keywords
- Conversion: any positive action made on your website, such as a purchase, download or newsletter signup
- Conversion rate optimisation (CRO): optimising the number of conversions your website makes by changing things such as images or text
- Digital direct marketing (DDM): marketing via direct electronic channels like email or mobile phone messages
- Impressions: the number of times someone views an advertisement. This measurement assesses the frequency an ad is looked at
- Cost per thousand (CPM): a measurement for pricing advertising based on every 1000 impressions
- Pay per click (PPP): a measurement for pricing advertising based on the times someone clicks on an ad
- Click through rate (CTR): the number of people who click on an advertised link based on its total impressions. This is a way to measure the success of an ad
- META descriptions: the title and description appearing on a search engine page that links to your website
3. Paid advertising
One of the best ways to get noticed is to rank high on Google’s SERPs. However, apart from things like clever SEO, the clearest path to the top can’t, for the most part, be manipulated. At the end of the day, people best respond to good old-fashioned quality.
But it’s still important to get noticed. Google Ads (previously known as AdWords) gets you to the top of their SERP pile for a price. It isn’t the same as a high organic search result but, with a targeted campaign including the right keywords, it is a cost-effective way to promote your brand.
Another common approach is eye-catching display advertising: targeted visual ads that appear on websites, apps, social media, and more. According to Sensis, customers who are re-targeted by display ads are 70 per cent more likely to purchase your product.
4. The right software
There are more than 7000 digital marketing tools online, so when it comes to finding help there are plenty of options.
Web analytics platforms like Google Analytics let you track your performance by analysing the activity on your website. This isn’t just a resource for measuring website traffic, too. Analytics can help you gather information about who your customers are – a launchpad for any successful marketing campaign.
Hootsuite is a program that lets you manage multiple social accounts from one platform, with features like customised analytics reports and sleek contest templates. Buffer similarly lets you plan and schedule posts across multiple social accounts on one platform, and enables you to schedule posts ahead of time.
Telstra Online Essentials takes the hassle out of the process entirely, with end-to-end service from building your website to promoting your business and driving sales. The platform also offers add-ons like video marketing, which can boost your organic search traffic.
There are a number of compelling reasons for starting a blog. As business.gov.au reports, it can help a business reach new customers, boost their SEO, and gather feedback from their customers.
The right content does more than keeping customers up-to-date with your brand and products offered, it can make them more likely to engage with your products and convert to making purchases. Melbourne-based fashion label and 2017 Telstra Business Awards Medium Business Award winner ELK, for example, posts regular ‘ELK Tales’ on their website – an engaging mix of written, visual and video content that’s both promotional and non-promotional – from their latest wears to insider tips for a day out in Melbourne.
Marnie Goding, founder, says, “This helps to build a community of like-minded people and in so doing inspires trust and loyalty.” And from trust and loyalty comes attention and likely sales.
Marnie also offers us some additional essential tips from here experience heading up ELK.
ELK founder Marnie Goding’s tips for online marketing
- Great photography and product information: Images and essential written information go hand in hand. The right combination of words and imagery gives your audience key information. In fashion retail, it’s not just what the product is made of but how it fits, how it falls on the body, and whether the cut is right for them. The correct information makes it easier for the customer to commit to purchase the item and will also lesson the potential for a return.
- Using social media to drive traffic: Instagram and Facebook are an ideal way to showcase your brand in different mediums. But more than branding, think traffic. Focus on the customer’s journey and make it easy for them to get to your online store to buy the item they want.
- Content that tells your story: With ELK Tales, we offer customers an experience beyond selling products. We use it to provide more detail about how we make products, the ELK culture, and share creative stories and ideas that inspire us.
- Provide incentives to encourage subscriptions to your database: Always think about social media platforms as rented space. And think about data you harvest from them as only borrowed. The ultimate goal is to encourage website visitors to sign-up to your database so you can get their details and build a one-on-one relationship directly with them.