Overview of Digital Marketing Channels

Overview of Digital Marketing Channels

In this lesson, you’re expected to:
– discover the different channels that can be used as part of your digital strategy
– learn about key concepts such as SEO, PPC, display advertising and affiliate marketing

It goes without saying that a company can’t do without digital marketing in today’s world.

Digital marketing and its associated channels are important – but not to the exclusion of all else. It’s not enough to just know your customers; you must know them better than anybody else so you can communicate with them how, when, and where they are most receptive to your message.

To do that, you need a consolidated view of customer preferences and expectations across all channels – web,social media, mobile, direct mail, point of sale etc. Marketers can use this information to create and anticipate consistent customer experiences that will move customers along in the buying cycle.

The deeper your insight into customer behavior and preferences, the more likely you are to engage them in lucrative interactions.

Before you start planning an effective digital marketing strategy, you need to understand the different channels in digital marketing which can then be used to get traction for your business.

But you can’t pursue anything and everything. You have to spend effort only on the channels and activities that help your business, and these will vary by company.

Identifying what channels work best for your company and working on them will help you propel your business forward.

There are numerous channels that can be used as part of your digital marketing strategy.

[Optional] Digital Marketing Tactics for 2016
Read this article to learn more:
http://www.sweans.com/digital-marketing-tactics-for-2016/

If you’d like to refer to this later, you can find the link in the Additional Material section.
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SEM – Search Engine Marketing
What is SEM?

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is the process of gaining website traffic and visibility from search engines through both paid and unpaid efforts.

“Search Engine Marketing” was once used as an umbrella term to encompass both SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and paid search activities. Over time, the industry has adopted the SEM acronym to refer solely to paid search.  

You generally use SEM and/or “Paid Search” to refer to paid listings, with the longer term of search marketing used to encompass both SEO and SEM.

Below are some of the most common terms also used to refer to SEM activities:
· Paid search advertising 
· PPC (pay-per-click) – advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically.
· CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) – Most search ads are sold on a CPC / PPC basis, but some advertising options may also be sold on a CPM basis.

[Optional] What Is PPC? Learn the Basics of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing
Read this article to learn more:
http://www.wordstream.com/ppc
SEO
What is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization” which meansoptimizing your online content, so that a search engine shows it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.

It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.

All major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have primary search results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. Payment isn’t involved in SEO, as it is with paid search ads.

[Optional] SEO: The Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
Read this article by Moz to learn more:
https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo
This channel involves designing graphic-based advertisements and placing them next to content on websites, e-mails, and instant messaging applications. The ads can be text, images, audio/video clips or other interactive content.

While surfing the internet or going through your mail, you may often be presented with advertisements of all sorts. That’s exactly what display advertising is, but it’s important for your ads to be relevant to what people are looking for.

That’s because the success of a display advertising campaign is determined by calculating the number of clicks an ad receives given the number of times it was displayed to the consumer or made an impression on him/her*.

Benefits of Display Advertising

Display advertising is a powerful marketing channel that funnels users to a landing page. It uses banners that display your logo, along with a prominent call to action*. Using methods like retargeting, companies are able to shift more ad spend into banners and net higher gains for the investment.

Here are some of the top benefits of using display ads:
– Brand Recall
– Low Costs
– Offline Sales

 * Call to Action: The primary button, link or other user interface element that asks the user to take an action that leads to (or towards) a conversion. A “Buy Now” button on Amazon.com, a “Sign Up” button on an email registration field, a “Download Now” on an app landing page are examples of different Calls to Action.
You can target your ads according to consumer behaviour, demographics, or geographic location. Say for example, you own a salon in Madrid and are offering discounts to locals. There’s no point letting people in the US know about this discount.

With the help of analytics, it is possible to track the number of people who have seen your ads or clicked on them, what a person did on your site after entering it, and the conversion rate*.

Display advertising not only helps you promote new products or offers, but it also helps you increase your online presence and reach out to your customers. In addition, it can help drive leads and increase brand awareness.
 * Conversion Rate: To get your Conversion Rate, divide the above total number of conversions by the number of visitors to your site. For example, a site with 5000 visitors and 50 conversions has a conversion rate of 1%.
[Optional] What is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Email Marketing
Email matters.“People don’t change their email addresses,” notes New York Times best-selling author Jon Acuff.

As the name suggests, you market your products or services to your targeted customers via email.

Email marketing is a great way to gain new customers or improve relationships with existing ones.

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According to statistics, email is the most effective way to re-engage your existing users and customers. When someone signs up for your website or buys from you, their email address needs to go into an email marketing software such as MailChimp.

Once they’re there, you can let them know about new features, new products, or send them content that you’ve created that they might be interested in.
Below are some commonly used online marketing softwares:
Why Use This Channel?

Email marketing campaigns are good for companies that may not be able to invest a lot of money in promoting their business. It also allows companies to promote other marketing channels effectively. However, building a customer database and designing newsletters/emails can be very time-consuming.

Furthermore, not all your customers may have the patience to go through your emails. On the other hand, if you keep sending multiple emails, it may irk your customers.

Find the right balance and avoid sending emails that have the line ’Do not reply’. Also, have a specific email domain as communicating with your customers is of prime importance.

Social Media Marketing
Types of Social Media:
– social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn
– micro blogging websites like Twitter
– content communities like Flickr and YouTube
– blogs, forums, podcasts

All of these forms involve the building of networks or communities by allowing users to interact with each other.

Social media tools encourage users to share opinions, participate in discussions and engage with others in real time. As such, social media marketing can be the best way to market your brand or company, and connect with your customers.

Note that encouraging users to engage and participate is often a challenge, so you’ll need to figure out how you’ll go about these things.

Furthermore, continuous communication with customers is necessary and you’ll have to make sure that you are aware of all the positive and negative things that customers have to say about your brand.

[Optional] 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing
Visit this link to learn more:
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/218160
Online Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is a process by which your current users and customers bring you new users, without you having to advertise or market to those new users. There are many ways this can happen:

– Word of Mouth: Users and customers simply tell their friends about you.
– Inherent Virality: User value increases when their friends sign up (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, WhatApp)
– Collaboration: Products benefit from having other users on them you can work with (e.g. Trello, Asana)
– Communication: The product is meant for communicating, so you need the people you communicate with to use it (e.g. Slack, Skype)
– Incentives: Your users can earn rewards by getting their friends to sign up (e.g. Dropbox, Lyft)
– Embedding: Your product can be embedded on other people’s sites, so new users are exposed to it (e.g. Typeform, Disqus)

The ability of a product to go viral is dependent upon the      “Viral Loop”.

What is a Viral Loop? 
A cycle wherein a user sees content and shares it with others, causing the cycle to repeat. The loop moves content from user to user as audiences interact with it and share it.

It is a combination of the speed and effectiveness of your users going through a three-step process:
1) The user finds or starts using your product.
2) The user tells their friends about it, or invites them to use it.
3) These new users begin using your product, and the process repeats.

[Optional] Viral Marketing Examples
Check out this link to see examples of some successful viral marketing campaigns:
http://rebelgrowth.com/viral-marketing-examples/
Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing involving a business owner and one or more websites or affiliates.

The affiliate website owners place advertisements on their own websites to market the business owner’s goods or services in exchange for a percentage of profits.

Affiliate programs are a way for you to reward your existing users for spreading the word about your product or service. It can be done one of two ways:

1) You can reward them with money or services within your service.
Lyft and Uber both utilize the first type of affiliate rewards. They don’t pay you cash for your referrals, but they do give you and whoever you refer credit towards a free ride for getting them to sign up.

2) You can reward them simply by paying them for the referral.
The is very common in retail. Amazon, for example, offers an affiliate program whereby users can sign up for an Amazon Affiliate account, and then earn 4-10% on each sale they drive to Amazon’s site.

Why use Affiliate Marketing?

Considering an affiliate marketing campaign for your company is generally a good choice; you get mass coverage at no additional costs. You also get more exposure when more websites are affiliated to your business.

Your affiliates can make money in three ways: Pay Per Click, Pay Per Sale, or Pay Per Lead. This means that your brand is advertised for free and you only incur a cost when an agreed action occurs such as:
– when a user clicks on your advert on the affiliate’s website
– when a user is led from the affiliate website to your website and purchases a product/service
– if the user registers on your website

Google Search Network
The Google Search Network is a group of search-related websites and apps where your ads can appear.

When you advertise on the Google Search Network, your ad will be displayed next to search results when someone searches with terms related to one of your keywords.

[Optional] What’s the Google Network?
Watch this 3-minute video to learn more.

Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTEO7CyHoQw

Where Search Network Ads Can Appear

Your ads can appear with Google search results and on other search sites when your keywords are relevant to a user’s search.

– Google search sites: Ads can appear above or below search results on Google Search. They can appear beside, above, or below search results on Google Play, Google Shopping, and Google Maps.

– Google search partners: Ads might appear with search results on websites of Google search partners. For text ads, search partners include hundreds of non-Google websites, as well as Google Video and other Google sites. Shopping ads can appear on search partner sites that display and link to products for sale.

[Optional] How Search Works?
Watch this 3-minute video to learn more.

Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNHR6IQJGZs

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