Digital marketing is the modern way to market.
To best illustrate, it’s useful to look at the methods used in traditional marketing and see how digital marketing compares.
The old-school “Big Three” marketing channels are print, radio and TV. You can put the commercials people see before movies at the theater in that list as well.
Through most of the previous century, these channels were the only ways to advertise your products or services.
The Big Three are all examples of outbound, broadcast marketing.
It is a one-way “broadcast” to (hopefully) your prospects.
There is no way to tell exactly who is absorbing your advertising message.
As if that weren’t bad enough, these entrenched broadcasting channels are the most expensive by far of all the marketing methods.
A recent client prospect told me that he currently pays $750 per month to appear in a glossy local magazine for a neighborhood with less than 10,000 residents here in Northern California.
So far in two months of ads, he has received just one lead.
He has not yet closed that lead.
Unfortunately for his business, this gentleman signed a deal with the publisher for 36 months(!) If current stats hold true, he will have paid $27,000 for 18 leads, a cost of $1500 per lead!
During our conversation, he confided in me that this publisher was a great salesman.
You’d have to be, to make this model make sense in this day and age.
Traditional marketing channels all carry the weight of large payrolls and dwindling but nonetheless expensive employees.
I worked for a trade publication in the 1980s while I was in college. Fire Protection Contractor magazine was created for folks in the fire sprinkler industry.
We would literally beg people, typically the business owners, to write for us. Their submitted article would essentially be free advertising, we would tell them.
We needed the written content to place our ads in a way that made it appear that our magazine was first and foremost about delivering valuable content to our readers. Of course, paid advertising is the very lifeblood of print media.
However, very few businesses took us up on our offer to publish their articles for free. It was (and still is!) a lot of trouble to stare at a blank page and write a lengthy article.
Recently, I offered to provide free valuable business-oriented content to a Pleasanton weekly newspaper.
They sent me back a media kit and a price sheet to submit an article.
The price to do the work, and write the article was $500! Yes, they wanted me to pay them to do the work to create the content which they would surround with other paid advertising.
But I have my own publishing machine: Boomcycle.com and Google.
Email was really the first digital marketing channel, and boy, was it ever effective.
In 1978, Opens in a third party website, when a salesman with Digital Computer Corporation sent out an “email blast” announcing the new VAX computer, marketers realized that a targeted list of people they knew to be prospects was a super cost-effective and efficient way to get their message out.
Email marketing was so effective, that spam became a big problem in the 1990s and remains so to this day, with an estimated 85% of all emails sent being unsolicited advertisements.
But let’s not be too hasty to consign email marketing to a bygone era.
Big email systems like Google’s GmailOpens in a third party website are extremely effective at weeding out spam, and email is actually quite useful again, if you’re on Gmail.
I’m on Gmail and I love it! Living life nearly 100% spam-free has made my email useful again.
A particular website’s ranking in Google determined which websites would show up highest in the organic (unpaid) search results for a given search term or “keyword” (a misnomer when it’s more than one word, but no one seems to say “key phrase”, so we’ll go with it).
In ranking, as in golf, a lower score is better.
To illustrate how rank works, it’s helpful to give a few examples:
Opens in a third party website, where an ad only appears to viewers within a certain distance of the advertiser.
Because digital marketing is such an involved and ever-changing topic, I almost left out the absolute best part: targeting and reporting.
Is your product a great fit for millennials living in Livermore with a median income between $50K – $100K? Find them all day on Facebook and Instagram.
Advertising a local microbrewery to bearded hipsters? Use Facebook Audience Insights to find the perfect match for your tasty IPA.
Do you sell a B2B service for folks in the biotechnology industry working in Chapel Hill, NC? Build helpful and great content, and let your ideal prospects find you with organic search engine optimization (hint: this is absolutely the best way to market: “inbound”.)
By now, you get my point: targeting allows you to reach out to your ideal prospects, at exactly the moment you want, eliminating the massive waste of time and marketing “real-estate” incurred when doing shotgun-style traditional media advertising.
What good would targeting be if we couldn’t see the people that we’d reached and the actions that they’d taken?
Using systems such as Google Analytics
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, as well as a variety of other reporting tools, we can see who has visited our web properties and what they’ve done when they got there.
By using UTM parameters in your advertising campaign, you can easily track where users came from and report on it in a meaningful and colorful way in Google Analytics.
With Analytics and Search Console, you can answer questions like these:
So what is the most effective way to spend your marketing dollar?
There are so many ways to look at your data in Analytics and Search Console, it’s dizzying. These reports give you extremely powerful tools that are simply not available to you when doing print, radio or TV advertising.