DIGITAL MARKETING: WAY MORE THAN SOCIAL MEDIA

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Brands and social media are a perfect fit – after all, there are more than 2 billion active users on social channels every single day, better said, there are more than 2 billion potential customers revolving around social networks, so it's pretty easy to understand why, when it comes to digital marketing, the first thing that comes to mind it's social media.

Many people believe that by having a profile on Facebook and Instagram they are doing digital marketing.

Wrong!

Whenever I come across clients with this state of mind, I feel like I would be a really lousyDigital Marketing Consultant if I don't educate them as far as digital marketing beyond social media, before doing anything else.

I always start with the basics, some easy-to-remember definition that will give some light about what we're dealing with. A definition that has stuck with me ever since I heard it from Neil Patel: “Digital marketing is any form of marketing products or services that involves electronic devices”.

And because it's done through electronic devices it gives brands a wide range of tactics to work with. Not only social media.

Digital marketing has two major components: internet (online) marketing and offline digital marketing.

Brands can concentrate on online efforts: websites, SEO, SEM, content marketing, online advertising, videos, email marketing and, of course, social media (see, social media is a major part of online marketing which is a component of digital marketing). They all need an electronic device with an internet connection for them to work.

Or brands can take advantage of the possibilities that offline digital marketing tactics have to offer: text messaging, QR codes, augmented reality or billboards; all done through an electronic device that doesn't necessarily need an internet connection.

Digital marketing goes beyond social media. You got it. Now, how do you start doing some serious digital marketing?

First things first. Create a thoughtful plan with details on where you arenow and where do you want to go, so you can have an idea of what is it that you need to do.

A typical digital marketing plan includes mostly items from the internet marketing family, so keep that in mind.

I always recommend that if you are planning on launching a product or service, don't wait until it's ready, start building momentum, generate buzz and create an engaging community that will back you up when everything is ready.

And the best way to do this is... you got it right, social media. But then again, it's not the only thing you can do.

In the meantime, start building your website. A well-crafted website is the key to your digital success. It adds credibility and trustworthy, your customers can find out more about what is it that you have to offer and if you constantly create appealing content, your website can be a resource for your customer on how to use your product or service, not to mention it can position you as a leader in your market.

You have your website. Bravo! Now, how do you get people to visit it? Of course, social media it's a great source of traffic, but it's even better to receive traffic from people who are already turning to search engines looking for a product or service like the one you have. That's when SEO (Search engine optimization) and SEM (Search engine marketing) come in.

If you have a little more budget to spent, an aggressive online advertising campaign is a sure bet. Create marvelous banners and put them on those websites were you know your target spend their time.

And don't forget email marketing because no, it's not dead. In fact, it's getting bigger than ever and if you do it right (I mean, not spamming, creating gorgeous layouts and fascinating –and useful- content) you can engage with your customers at levels you never imagined.

If you want help spreading the word about your product or service, online PR (my personally favorite) comes to the rescue.

I use to work as the Social Media Manager for a worldwide fashion brand, and I can tell you, great online PR and great relationships with bloggers, influencers and online editors that, of course, are aligned with your brand's message, it's a foolproof way to put your brand out there in the digital space and it can do wonders for your small business/brand.

When you have this all set, you can then start thinking on doing some other cool stuff with offline digital marketing.

I can't stress enough the fact that brands need to look beyond social media and see the world full of endless possibilities that comes with digital marketing. When brands/businesses understand that digital marketing is way more than social media they can take that as an advantage to come up with a meaningful digital marketing strategy that can skyrocket their digital presence.

BY: ERIKA THOMAS