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Ever wonder what is digital marketing and how is it different from traditional marketing? What is the benefits, how can it be done & will it actually help my business grow?

Well today I am going to tell you some of the important things you need to know about digital marketing. Right now, digital marketing has been made to seem way more complicated than it actually is. It is a shame really because it’s actually pretty straightforward once you know & understand the strategies that I am going to be sharing with you.


Differences between Digital Marketing & Traditional Marketing

 Digital marketing is really just marketing done through the use of digital channels,  like search engine optimisation (SEO), social media, pay-per-click (PPC), Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, email marketing, website optimisation etc, anything that really takes please online or through the use of a digital media.

In contrast, traditional marketing using traditional media things like TV, radio, newspapers, magazines or billboards; basically anything not digital now.

Traditional marketing and/or traditional advertising still works but there are some significant advantages to using digital marketing. Digital marketing gives you a much larger audience size, really you can reach anybody that’s online, and from this you can be really targeted to hit the right people/audience that are the perfect fit for your business. You can be laser focused and selective on the most ideal & perfect people you want to attract. Furthermore, it is significantly more cost effective than running an ad in say The Sunday Independent or a television ad. These are designed to appeal to mass markets and to try to reach everyone, which is probably not your goal.

Also, digital marketing allows you to get immediate feedback and this is probably one of the best benefits of the channels. After all if you think about running a magazine ad where you’ve got to think of the copy, the creative, what you’re going to say, get it all written up and sent to the magazine it’s got to get published and then have to wait weeks or months before starting to see if it was worth it or not. However, with digital marketing in theory you can write an ad, have it online in a matter of minutes and get immediate feedback. Leading to immediate correction & immediate results.

Also, digital marketing tends to be a whole lot easier to measure and to track because everything’s digital, which means we’ve got a digital trail allowing to measure costs, results and everything in real time. You can make adjustments, tweaks and optimisations on the fly.

However, in contrast with waiting three months for your magazine to come out to figure out if things worked or not. Also, you can’t measure clicks on a magazine so the best you can hope to do is either have them fill out a form on the magazine or get them to visit a digital channel which ties us back into digital marketing anyway.

There’s obviously some serious advantages here to choosing digital marketing but again that’s not to say that traditional marketing doesn’t still work; it does. However, the point here is to take a look at either traditional or digital marketing and then sort of take a few steps back to the strategies, the fundamentals, the principles, the consumer psychology, the buyer behaviour, why people do the things they do and then focus on mastering & learning that then you can apply that to digital channels or traditional channels.


Strategy vs. Tactics

Strategy is all the big picture stuff and this is really where you want to focus your efforts first and foremost because this is the foundation that all of your future marketing efforts, tactics, tools and software that are going to be built on. If you get this part wrong then nothing else matters because nothing else will work. Now there are a ton of different strategies, approaches and ways to look at your digital marketing but pretty much no matter how you look at it, it always comes back to four basic & really solid principles, that have stood the test of time and are going to be just as relevant today as they are a hundred years from now:

  • Model
  • Market
  • Message
  • Media


1.   Model

Essentially the model is your business, your offer, your package, your servicing and the pricing that goes with it. How you deliver whatever it is that you deliver to the market it’s important that you design your model around what is the most enjoyable, profitable and in demand by the market. The worst thing you can do is build a business that you absolutely hate.


2.   Market

These are the people that you’re going to serve.  You don’t want to try target everyone & anyone, instead you want to focus on exactly who is going to get the best results from your product or service. Furthermore, ensure that you choose a market that you are going to most enjoy serving. In marketing, we call this an ideal customer avatar or an ideal client avatar. It’s made up of demographic details (like age, gender, income, occupation), geographic details (including city, state, province or country they live in), and psychographic details (including their values, their attitudes and their lifestyles)


3.   Message

This is where you clarify and connect with your ideal target market by speaking directly to them, about their pains, problems, frustrations and how your business is uniquely positioned to help solve these problems for them. This can be done by telling stories about previous customers and their client results, through testimonials & case studies. This proves that you know what you are talking about, and have done what you are going to do. 

Therefore, to craft a truly effective message you’ve got to understand who your market is, what really makes them up and what makes them do the things they do. This can be done through market research and having conversation with your customers.


4.   Media 

This is where you’re going to use your marketing and which digital channels you’re gonna choose. Most businesses do this completely backwards, they start with the media by hearing a great thing about Facebook ads, youtube marketing or starting a podcast, and then rush in to using this platform forgetting all about the message, the market and the model. Therefore unsurprisingly, a business is being built on a not the right foundation and in turn isn’t providing the value they customers desire.

However, if you go through the steps in the right order starting with the model moving to the market, identifying the message, and by the time you get to media the choices should be evidently crystal clear and you should know exactly where your ideal target market is present, active online and in turn is going to enable you to there and ignore everything else.

The reality is you don’t need to do everything, you don’t need to be everywhere, you just need to be in the places where your ideal target market is present & active.  This is going to save you a ton of time, money, headache & wasted energy by spreading yourself too thin on channels that simply aren’t going to deliver results.

Tactics on the other hand are how you’re going to execute the strategy. These are the details, the actionable steps or executable things that you’re actually going to go and put into practice. The tactics being things like what frequency are you going to post, what kind of content are you going to post, what schedule, level of consistency and how many memes.

A tactical question would be what’s the best time to post on social media, whereas a strategic question would be which social media platform should we be on.


Organic vs. Paid

Organic content and organic digital marketing is essentially anything that you create for free so anytime that you make a post on facebook, an instagram story or a youtube video etc. It is content that you’re not paying money to have it promoted; you’re creating organic content. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that it’s free content because good content that’s time, energy & money in recreating it. It is classified as organic as you haven’t paid to promote it.

If not paying for content to be promoted then paid marketing is the opposite of this. You are putting out content & paying networks to promote it, distribute it to even more people. Basically, with paid media, paid marketing or paid ads you’re running advertising to whatever message or whatever content that you’re putting out there.

Now the big players in the space right now are obviously the kingpins like Facebook ads, Instagram ads, YouTube ads, Linkedin ads and Google ads.

Organic content shows up in the news feeds of people that follow you, whereas with paid marketing it shows up in the news feeds, on the phones and on the devices of the people that you choose through targeting.

Nonetheless like with everything in marketing these days they are positives and negatives to both.  Organic is free essentially in nature but it’s going to be a little more limited in reach because the way the algorithms work is that they favour paid media because that is where they make money. Paid marketing on the other hand has the obvious downside of costing money. Still on the bright side it allows you to reach more people very quickly, so essentially the choice between organic and paid comes down to time versus money, and also the rate at which you want to experience results.

Direct Response vs. Brand Awareness

Direct response marketing is ultimately having the goal of getting an immediate and tangible return on something, like a lead, sale, phone call, a visit to your website, or a sign up. This sometimes isn’t always very creative. It is usually just creating an ad or creating a piece of content to generate a lead, send out an email, measure the number of conversions, promote a video, or track how many people signed up for a free trial. Immediately you’re going to be able to track and measure it so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Conversely, brand awareness marketing is essentially more focused on longer term, building trust, authority and getting your brand name known in the market.

In direct response we’re measuring things like leads, sales and conversions, whereas with brand awareness we’re measuring things like trust, authority and possibly mentions. Brand awareness is a lot harder to quantify and to measure, as they’re a lot more intangible. The reality is in the long term is to build a scalable, sustainable and profitable business, and to achieve this you need a good mix of both direct response marketing and brand awareness marketing.

One of the biggest mistakes in all of marketing is running brand awareness marketing campaigns and expecting direct response results; this is a recipe for failure and one of the biggest reasons that many people claim their marketing isn’t working.  It’s because they’re using the wrong tool for the job, like following a recipe to bake a cake and then getting really frustrated when it comes out like muffins or bread. This is why it’s incredibly important that you use the right recipe; your strategy for the job.


Difference between Search and Discovery Marketing

The key to success of marketing is intent. In short, you need to know the reason that someone’s using that specific platform at that particular time. When we talk about search marketing we are talking about platforms like Google and social media platforms. When someone logs on to Google for example, they have an intent; they want to find an answer, a solution or a product. They’re there to do something, buy something, learn something or take some kind of action, this is where search marketing & discovery marketing comes in. You want to show up in front of them and basically answer their question or give them the solution to whatever it is that they’re looking for.

Some search marketing strategies here are using search engine optimization (SEO), Google ads, which is pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and discovery marketing. However, this encompasses brands like Facebook, Instagram and Youtube to a certain extent. Essentially a user on these platforms may have intent but they’re probably more casually browsing after all, as nobody really shows up in the morning logs onto Facebook or Instagram with a credit card in hand looking to buy something. This is why if you’re doing search marketing well you can afford to be direct. They’re looking for something you have the answer too, so you can just give it to them.

However, with discovery marketing on the other hand you’ve got to be more creative and a little more entertaining. You’ve got to get their attention, then keep it and allow them to become interested in what it is that you’re selling or promoting now.

 Both search marketing and discovery marketing are incredibly important parts to building an overall successful sustainable business but just like with direct response marketing & brand awareness marketing you want to make sure that you’re using the right tool, for the right job, at the right time and in the right place.

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