fbpx

Digital Marketing Channels: How They Measure Up

author image Written by: Content Team           Categories - Digital Marketing, SEO Tips>Ad Retargeting

Different Web Marketing Tools Have Different Strengths and Weaknesses—Know How to Use Them

digital marketing Banner ads, PPC, behavioural retargeting, social media advertising and native ads—what do these all have in common? They’re all tools and channels for web marketing. But while each one uses the internet the way its forebears used television, radio, and magazines, not all avenues of online advertising are made equal, and not all audiences can be reached the same way. Here’s our rundown of the most popular digital marketing mediums, and the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Banner Ads

This is the OG of online ads, first appearing in 1993. Banner ads include graphics, popups, popunders, buttons, and every annoying flash element on a page ever. The Good: Banner ads are inexpensive, their performance is easy to measure, and they show off your brand’s identity. The Bad: No one using the web actually likes them. In fact, they find banner ads either annoying, disruptive, or worst of all, ignorable—leading to what is known in digital marketing as “banner blindness.” They have poor click-through rates, poor engagement, and they are the main target of ad-blocking programs.

PPC

PPC, or Pay-Per-Click, is one of the biggest mediums for online ads today. Through platforms like Google AdWords, you can bid on search keywords, having your ads appear alongside organic search results. The Good: Because of the pricing model, you only pay for the ads that people actually click on. If you’re setting up an SEO campaign and waiting for the organic traffic to come in, PPC is a great way to get traffic in the meantime. You can easily track impressions, clicks, and conversions. They can be customized to only display in certain locations or at certain times of day, and you can set your budget. And oh yeah, AdWords is not affected by most popular ad-blocking software! The Bad: A click paid for does not a conversion make, unfortunately, and that doesn’t even touch on click fraud—when competitors or web trolls will click repeatedly on your ads to waste your ad budget. And, of course, PPC ads are occasionally subject to the same blindness as banner ads, though they still outperform them by miles.

Retargeted Ads

These work like PPC, but they fill web marketing space with ads that remind users to complete a conversion they have left undone, e.g. a full shopping cart that never made it to checkout. The Good: They can bring potential customers back after they’ve left you, increasing your odds of converting them. You can customize the ads for different points in the sales funnel, and direct them at specific audiences. The Bad: Most people don’t understand how this web marketing technique works, and consequently, think it can be a bit creepy. Retargeted ads also need tremendous care and constant monitoring—lest you overload a potential customer, or continue serving them ads after they’ve already converted.

Social Media

If you’re not using social media in your digital marketing strategy, ads or none, then you’re seriously missing out on countless opportunities to connect with your audience. The Good: Facebook alone has over a billion active users—that is the kind of reach you can’t overlook. Social media ads allow you to go where your audience is, and you can target your campaigns based on user preferences, pages or profiles they like, and more. The Bad: Some users like to keep social media for, well, being social, leading to ad blindness (and ad-blocking). Those who don’t mind the ads are often in the early stages of the buying process—if at all.

Native Advertising

Native ads are a fairly new web marketing tool. These advertisements are contextual—whether they appear on a social network, in a mobile app, or on websites like Buzzfeed. They take on the look and feel of the platform they appear in for a more immersive touch. The Good: Like I said, they are much more immersive—and they tend to get similar engagement to actual editorial or user-curated content, as well as being more relevant. They don’t disrupt the browsing experience so much as they use it to their advantage, and aren’t affected by ad-blocking on desktop or in mobile apps. The Bad: Some people see native ads—particularly ones they’ve clicked on, not realizing it was sponsored content—as either confusing or deceptive, which can generate some ill will.

The Bottom Line

Is there a clear, definite winner for best or worst web marketing technique? Not even remotely. When you’re marketing your brand online, your best bet is to use different channels and methods in concert with each other. You might use AdWords and Facebook both as retargeting platforms, or do an A/B test to see whether native ads or banner ads bring you more traffic. Or you can reach out to the digital marketing experts for their input—these are the people who eat, breathe, and sleep this stuff. They can help you determine which type of advertising is right for you, and make adjustments as necessary.

Content Team

How to Get Your Business Holiday-Ready in 2020

09/30/2020

Tips For Preparing For The Holiday Rush

This holiday season might be a bit different this year thanks to the pandemic, but it doesn’t have to be all surprises. There are so many ways you can prepare your business for a successful holiday season, pandemic or no pandemic. With that being said, we’ll help you understand what steps you need to take when it comes to your sales, marketing, and operations departments to set your business up for success.

Show Your Current Customers/Clients That You Care

via GIPHY

Customers always like to feel appreciated, especially around the holidays when everyone is feeling warm and fuzzy.

Whether it’s special thanks emails, holiday cards, a loyalty giveaway, or customer appreciation sale/promotion, being proactive and going the extra mile will show your customers you truly value them and will help maintain the relationship long-term.

Promote Your Products/Services

The holiday season is the biggest time of year for shopping, so now is the time to really go all out promoting your products and services by offering holiday sales, discounts, and promotions. Also consider introducing gift certificates, so your loyal customers can share the love with their friends and family.

Pivot To Social Media Platforms

via GIPHY

If you don’t already have a social media presence, start now. If you do have social media pages set up, but don’t use them that frequently, start amping up your efforts with regular posting right away.

Beyond just generic posts, use your social media to promote specials and certain brands you sell, offer promotions, host virtual events, and show off your company culture. This not only helps increase brand awareness, but can help drive traffic to your website and increase leads.

Facebook is ideal as it’s the most widely used platform, but Instagram is also great.

Still not convinced? Here are a few statistics that may change your mind

  • 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media would recommend that brand to their friends and family
  • 54% of social media users use social media to research products they are interested in
  • 68% of all U.S. adults have a Facebook account

Promoting Your Brand Via Social Media Giveaways

Social media giveaways are also a great way to promote your brand.

However, don’t just give anything away. For a giveaway to produce the kind of results you’re looking for, you should be giving away a product or service from your brand. Because, while IPad giveaways can get a ton of attention, they don’t leave a lasting impression because the people who are entering aren’t usually interested in your brand.

Instead, create a post offering a free product or service to one lucky customer, and make it a requirement for all participants to share the post with their followers.

Or, you can also connect with an influencer to launch and promote a giveaway to their followers. Either way, this is a relatively inexpensive option to help get your brand in front of a wider audience.

Invest in Tools That Support Your Business

Having a strong team to help run your business is great, but, as you’ve probably learned, there’s only so much humans can do. From CRMs, to project management, chat functionalities, etc., investing in digital tools and cloud software to help manage your various departments is essential and will help you scale your business.

Start an eCom

It’s no secret that customers are moving online and taking their business with them, especially around the holiday season.

Here are some stats to back this up:

  • 76% of consumers now prefer buying holiday gifts online
  • Online holiday shopping revenue in the U.S reached $124 billionin 2018
  • The percentage of retail sales that come from eCom is expected to rise from 8.9% in 2017 to over 15% in 2022, totaling nearly $892 billion

For businesses that operate primarily from a brick and mortar, get ahead of the curve by launching your own eCom website to support your storefront.

When transitioning to online sales, make sure you are being fully transparent with your customers throughout this process. This includes being upfront about shipping costs and delivery times, along with refund, exchange, and cancellation policies.

5 Tips for Operating A Successful eCom

1. Ensure Customers Will Have The Best User Experience

Customer experience is key to maintaining long-term relationships with your clients. Make sure your website has a strong UX and is mobile friendly.

2. Automate Selling, Shipping, and Fulfillment

Automate these areas of your business to help streamline processes and avoid human error.

3. Create Strategic Holiday Marketing and Promotions

Offer holiday promotions to help draw people to your website and gain sales. These must be planned out and launched months in advance for them to be effective.

4. Ramp Up Customer Service And Support For Holiday Traffic

As holiday traffic to your site and storefront increases, it’s vital that your team is equipped to support this. Improve your customer service processes and ensure that you have enough staff on hand so that customers aren’t being left in the dark.

5. Measure The Success Of Your Holiday Campaign

Looking at your analytics is key to determining whether your marketing efforts have been successful so you can know whether to tweak or maintain your strategy going forward.

Operations Tips

While marketing is important, it’s also crucial that your team is able to handle the influx in sales you’re going to experience right before the holidays.

Here are a few tips for improving your internal operations.

Inventory Management

One of the worst ways to lose a customer’s business is to promise or even promote the availability of an item that you don’t actually have in stock. Therefore, when sales are on the up during the holiday season, inventory management is more important than ever.

Rather than risking potential human error, automate your inventory management system to ensure you have an accurate account of every product in stock.

Organize Staff Schedules/Hire Seasonal Help If Required

via GIPHY

Now’s the time to turn your business into a well-oiled machine. Make sure staff schedules are made and organized ahead of time and that any time off is booked well in advance and communicated with whoever is making the schedule. And, if you find that things are starting to get a bit hectic, hire seasonal help to take some of the stress off your team.

Optimize Your Downtime

Once the holiday rush is over and you’re taking some much deserved time off, take the time to reflect on this year’s holiday rush and evaluate your business’ strengths and weaknesses, what worked and what didn’t, and how you can do things differently going forward.

Communicate With Your Team

Communication and making sure everyone is on the same page is key to ensuring things run smoothly with your business and reducing the risk of hiccups from occurring. Let everyone know the business goals for the holiday season and what is in store, what’s expected of them and their roles, and who’s able to take time off (and when).

Whether it’s sending frequent emails to all staff or scheduling regular meetings (either virtual or in-person), checking in every once in a while and keeping everyone updated is vital.

Support Your Team

via GIPHY

Everyone within your team will be overloaded this time of year, so make sure everyone feels supported and be understanding about delays. You’re all in this together, so teamwork and communication is more important than ever.

The Takeaway

Need help building your holiday marketing plan? You’ve got enough on your plate during this time to tackle it alone. Consult with a professional digital marketing agency to help bring your marketing strategy to the next level and grow your sales.

From building a new website to setting up paid ads, developing a social media strategy, and even producing video, a full-service marketing agency will have your business ready to handle the holiday rush.

read more

Struggling to Stand Out in a Saturated Market? Here’s What You Need to Know

12/19/2019

Tips for Gaining A Competitive Edge to Surpass the Competition

From dental clinics to home landscaping services and everything in between, it’s hard to know exactly how you can stay above water and compete in a saturated market with new businesses popping up left, right, and centre. And while competition can be a good thing, not knowing how to differentiate yourself amongst a growing pool of competitors can quickly sink your business. So, to help you stand out in a saturated market, we’ve compiled our best pearls of wisdom that will help you gain the edge you need to surpass the competition.

Why A Saturated Market Is Challenging

With any business, you’re bound to encounter a few roadblocks on the way. This is especially true when operating in a saturated market. One of the most significant drawbacks of operating in a saturated market is that it limits your profitability and growth potential. It also makes it more difficult for your brand to stand out when competing for customers’ attention, business, and loyalty. This means that the more competition you have, the more money you’ll need to spend in order to stand out and push yourself to the front of the line.

Why A Saturated Market Is Opportunistic

Despite the obvious challenges, a saturated market isn’t always a bad thing. Think about it this way: the more competitors you have, the more buzz is generated surrounding your product or service, which increases your chances of having your marketing messages reach a whole new audience. In fact, having this kind of buzz surrounding your industry will help to validate the idea that a particular type of product or service is something consumers need. This leads to you getting a bigger pie of marketing dollars rather than having to duke it out with competitors to get a larger slice of the same pie. Plus, having competition also promotes growth, as you won’t ever be able to become complacent. In other words, a growing market is good for business.

The Best Ways to Make Your Business Stand Out

But this doesn’t mean you don’t have to put the effort in to help your business stand out. So how do you use a saturated market to your advantage and find a unique way to position and market your brand in a way that is unique from the competition? Here are a few ideas:

Be Human and Have A Personality

It’s a well-known fact that people like buying from other people, especially ones they can relate to. So, if your branding and messaging seems like it was written by a faceless robot, it won’t appeal to consumers. But by crafting a distinct style, voice, or brand personality, you’ll appeal to specific types of buyers. The key is not to be afraid to let people see the humanity behind your brand. This ‘personality’ should also extend to your values, your mission, your vision, and what you stand for. Because if consumers feel like they know you, they are more likely to develop trust, giving you the advantage over other brands.

Know Your Niche

Rather than breaking into an industry and focusing on a broad target audience, you should be looking for a niche group whose needs aren’t being met. These potential customers are probably already buying what’s currently on the market due to the lack of alternatives. So, if they see a product/service offering that’s created especially for them, they’ll feel seen and happily go with your brand over the competition.

Build Relationships and Engage Your Audience

via GIPHY Again – and we can’t stress this enough – people don’t buy from faceless companies; they buy from other people. So, whether it’s through email marketing, a social media marketing strategy, or just amazing content, it’s important to focus on building and maintaining great relationships with clients that will keep them engaged and coming back long-term. It doesn’t matter whether they’re one-time shoppers or long-time buyers, fostering an amazing relationship with every customer and ensuring they feel valued will give them one more reason to keep coming back to you over your competitors.

Emphasize Exceptional Customer Service

via GIPHY With so many options available to them, customers will no longer put up with delayed responses, poor shipping practices, or other customer service issues. In fact,  around 75% of customers believe that customer service is one of the best ways to measure a business’s competence. So, the takeaway here is to treat your customers like royalty and make sure your communication is on point by providing quick response times and amazing customer support.

Be Transparent and Honest and Admit Mistakes

In the age of social media, negative feedback and poor experiences spread like wildfire, and can truly make or break your business. For this reason, you must always be on your toes and be able to respond to negative critiques and rectify any wrongs as soon as they happen. And don’t be afraid to look bad in front of customers who may not have had negative experiences. Owning up to your mistakes makes you appear more human and genuine, which is something people always like to see.

Prioritize User Experience

Besides providing great customer service and having an awesome relationship with your clients, your user experience (UX) needs to be a top priority. User experience refers to a customer’s overall experience using your website, factoring in how easy and pleasing it is to you. A meaningful user experience not only allows you to define your customers’ journey on your website, but also provide them with a positive brand experience that will help to build loyalty and trust. The best way to achieve this is to have a modern-looking, mobile-friendly site that is also easy to read and navigate on desktop. Also make sure you are producing high-quality content and are keeping up to date with digital marketing trends.

The Benefits of SEM And How It Can Help You Stand Out

If you’ve put in all the work and are still struggling to generate leads, SEM marketing may be the final missing piece of the puzzle. SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is the process of driving website traffic through the purchase of search engine ads. This includes:

  • Paid search ads
  • PPC (pay-per-click)
  • PPC (pay-per-call)
  • CPC (cost-per-click)
  • CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions)

SEM marketing is a great way to give yourself a competitive advantage by increasing your visibility, improving brand awareness, and advertising directly to an audience that is already interested in what you have to offer. The end result of SEM marketing efforts is usually more traffic to your site, increased leads, and better conversion rates and sales. So, what do you have to lose?

Tackle Everything at Once with a Digital Marketing Agency

With a bit of time and effort, you can overcome a saturated market and get your brand where it needs to be. But you can’t do it alone. By partnering with an experienced digital marketing agency, you can trust that your business is in the right hands and will be optimized to surpass your competitors. via GIPHY Through competitive research analysis, an agency will help you gain a better understanding of what you’re up against. Plus, whether it’s through PPC, social media, SEO analysis, or content marketing, an agency will come up with strategies and plans of action to help steer your business in the right direction and smash the competition.

read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *