Digital Marketing Doesn’t Have to Be Your Thing, But…

Digital Marketing For You

Digital Marketing Doesn’t Have to Be Your Thing, But…

It has to be a part of your strategy. Digital marketing is here to stay, and it’s only going to become more of a “must” as tactics such as search engine optimization, social media and content marketing continue to evolve to meet the needs of consumers.

For those of us who are not “digital natives”—people who have grown up in the digital age, that is—modern marketing can be overwhelming, to say the least. I worked on traditional marketing campaigns for a major telecommunications company for 15 years, and when digital marketing started to become popular, I was resistant myself. I wondered how a social media post could possibly rival the blood, sweat and tears (not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars) poured into TV, radio, print and direct mail. Let’s just say I saw the digital marketing light and have been encouraging my colleagues to do the same ever since.

Maybe you’re hiding from the world of keywords, clicks and likes because you don’t feel confident in your digital skillset. Or, perhaps you’re skeptical that this stuff actually works. Whatever the case may be, digital marketing isn’t the unknown abyss that you might be picturing in your head. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Here are a few simple concepts, along with a gentle nudge, to get you going in the right direction.

The Purpose of a Website Has Changed

There was a time back in the early days of the internet when you built a website and that was it. Set it and forget it. Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case. Google anything—seriously, anything—and your search will return thousands of hits. The website is no longer simply an online “storefront,” but rather, a motor to compete for visibility.

People Land on Optimized Sites

If you haven’t touched your website in 10 years, 5 years, or even 1 year, it’s likely being outperformed by your competitors who are actively and ongoingly investing in search engine optimization (SEO) services to drive people to their websites. In other words, if you’re not making it a point that your website is seen, it’s probably not being seen. Websites now need constant updating to keep up with Google’s algorithm for delivering search results.

SEO is an especially terrifying term for a traditional marketing person. The best way to think of it is that you’re helping search engines (namely Google) help customers find you. This starts with building a strategy around common keywords that people type into the search bar when they’re looking for your products or services, and continues with positioning your website so that its content caters to those specific terms. It also entails making your site more trusted and user-friendly.

We’ll leave it at that for now, because there’s much, much more to it; SEO never stops and never ends. The point of this article, though, is to help you begin to approach these things, not force you into the same jargonland that you’ve been avoiding.

Reversing the Role of Social Media

Another commonly misunderstood area of digital marketing is social media. Traditional marketers tend to categorize social media as a PR and communications tool. You use it to “get the word out.” It’s common to use social media to communicate to your employees, current customers, friends and family, because that’s how we use our personal social media. But for businesses, social media offers an opportunity to expand your message to a larger and more diverse audience. I realized very quickly that by taking the same concept of planning out traditional campaigns and incorporating those messages throughout social media, I saw significant results in website traffic and sales for my clients.

Okay, so it wasn’t quite that simple. A true social media strategy 1) identifies which social networks make the most sense for your business to be active on, so you no longer need to waste time trying to be on every single platform you see, and 2) brings people closer to your brand (both literally and figuratively) with thoughtful, useful content. You can do the latter with simple photo posts, blogs or videos, they key being to include a link to your site or landing page so people can interact by calling or filling out a form. Now, social media becomes less of an outlet from your website and more of a tributary to your website—a tool to grow your business.

Analytics and Efficiency – The Underlying Advantages of Digital

It’s always challenging to quantify the success of a billboard, TV commercial, radio spot, direct mailer, or any traditional advertising medium. The beauty in digital marketing is that the unknowns quickly become known. The actionable data that digital marketers have access to is phenomenal and will make you wonder how you ever lived without it.

For example, you can “boost” or “promote” a Facebook post for a nominal ad spend; target your audience down to their location and profession; see everyone who clicked, liked, commented, etc.; and then “retarget” them by running follow-up ads that take them to your website. That’s a far cry from, say, placing a print ad in a trade publication and hanging your hat on their “circulation.”

You Don’t Have to Give Up Your Comfort Zone

There is no reason why you should have to choose between traditional and digital marketing. Instead of pitting the two against each other, consider testing the waters online. Move a portion of your marketing budget to the digital side and see how it goes. The numbers are going to show whether it’s working—and if it’s not, you can adjust accordingly.

Unsure of where to start? That’s what we’re here for. Already have a marketing person? They need a team around them. Skach Marketing Group can help you create, execute, maintain and measure a digital marketing strategy for your business. Learn more about our services here.

Cindy Skach

Cindy Skach brings more than 20 years of delivering measurable results through strategic marketing to clients. Her sales experience allows her to appreciate the value of digital marketing and build a team accordingly, while her marketing experience enables her to understand and relate to a sales team’s needs. Collaborating with many agencies over the years equipped Cindy with the insight and business savvy to launch Skach Marketing Group.