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A Crash Course In Digital Marketing

Learn what marketing is and why it should be an absolute priority for your business,
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Dean

I. Introduction

ezwebs.co.uk _  Image Name Marketing can be defined as “The Art Of Getting Customers”.

This means that marketing is about persuading potential customers to take an interest in and ultimately purchase a product or service from a business or organisation.

From small-scale enterprises to big corporations, marketing has always been an essential element of business strategy, playing a pivotal role in fostering relationships with potential customers, enhancing brand visibility, and driving revenue growth.

Marketing is the most important method of generating business income, and the absolute primary method of generating brand attention.

1. The Importance Of Marketing

Ultimately, if you are not marketing yourself, nobody will know about you and nobody will buy anything from you.

This makes marketing an area of primary importance because, without it, you can not expect to generate any significant revenues.

In fact, it could be said that the primary skill of the most successful businesses & individuals is the art of marketing rather than the sheer quality of their services or product lineup.

After all, even if you genuinely do have a fantastic product or service catalogue with fantastic prices, nobody will buy it if nobody is aware of it.

It could be said that the dirty little secret of marketing is that the quality of your offering matters only so much as your technical ability to sell it & put it in front of motivated buyers.

That’s why marketing should be one of your foremost priorities.

2. Digital Marketing: The Historical Origin

Over the past 50 years, with the onset of the digital age, the landscape of marketing underwent a significant transformation.

Digital marketing emerged as a powerful extension of traditional marketing, integrating the use of various online channels and strategies to influence purchasing decisions and foster stronger relationships with a wider, global audience.

Email marketing began to displace direct mail. Huge amounts of marketing volume was instead transferred to the email domain to enjoy greater reach for lower costs.

Pay-per-click ads on social networks began to displace billboards & pay-per-view video ads began to displace TV commercials.

Digital marketing was born out of necessity, driven by the surge in Internet adoption worldwide and the huge relocation of businesses from physical locations to the Internet.

The transition from conventional marketing to digital was not abrupt but a gradual evolution that took place over many years.

The introduction of email in the 1970s probably marked the foundational phase of this transformation, followed by the development of websites, search engines, and, later, the explosion of social media platforms and mobile technology.

Each technological advancement added new facets to digital marketing, expanding its potential to reach and engage audiences.

3. The Digital Marketing Repertoire

In reality, the concept of digital marketing goes beyond merely having an online presence.

It encompasses a multitude of strategies including search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and email marketing, among others.

It should be emphasised that this is nowhere near an exhaustive list of strategies.

Each of these elements works in concert, forming an intricate network aimed at maximizing a brand’s online visibility, generating leads, stimulating conversions and ultimately, convincing consumers to make purchases

The advantages of this approach are manifold.

It opens up a global marketplace for businesses of all sizes, allowing them to reach out to a much larger and more diverse audience than would be reached by narrowly focusing on a single aspect.

The interactive nature of digital media facilitates real-time engagement with customers, providing valuable insights and feedback.

Unlike traditional marketing methods, digital marketing offers a high level of customisation and personalization, enabling businesses to tailor their strategies based on individual customer behaviour and preferences.

Furthermore, digital marketing campaigns can be tracked and adjusted in real-time because the virtual nature of it means that it is not necessary to completely scrap a campaign in order to make minor adjustments.

In essence, digital marketing has reshaped the way businesses operate, fostering greater competition, innovation, and customer-centricity.

The following sections of this article will delve deeper into the key components of digital marketing, providing a comprehensive understanding of each and their role in a successful digital marketing strategy.

II. Understanding Digital Marketing

ezwebs.co.uk _  Image Name Digital marketing, by its very nature, requires a multi-faceted discipline to generate consistent results.

At its core, digital marketing revolves around the idea of creating meaningful interactions with consumers through various digital channels which your business should occupy and use for distributing marketing content.

These channels could range from search engines and websites to social media platforms and direct email.

The goal is to reach potential customers where they are spending an increasing amount of their time – on the internet.

The fundamental components of digital marketing include:

1. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO is the process of improving a website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Because search engines dominate internet traffic, it’s important to have a strong presence on their SERP’s.

By using targeted keywords, providing high-quality content, and ensuring a user-friendly website design, businesses will provide a more search engine attractive presence on the internet.

This means search engines will refer more organic (unpaid) traffic to their site.

Good SEO is essential in making sure that your website and content are accessible to those who need or want what you are offering through ensuring.

2. Content Marketing

This involves creating and distributing valuable content to attract and engage a clearly defined audience who are potentially interested in buying your products & services.

The content could take many forms, including blog posts, videos, ebooks, infographics, and more.

The idea is that by providing value to your customers in return for their attention and perhaps some small actions such as submitting their email to you so that you can send them marketing emails, they are more likely to engage with your business.

3. Social Media Marketing

This refers to the use of social media platforms to promote a product or service.

Social media marketing goes beyond just posting boring business news updates to your company’s social media profiles.

It also includes actively engaging with your audience and looking for new opportunities to increase reach and visibility.

4. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

This is a method of driving traffic to your website by engaging a publisher or platform to host your adverts and paying them a small fee every time your advert is clicked.

One of the most common types of PPC is Google Ads which allows you to pay for paid slots on Google’s search engine results pages for a price that is charged on a “per click” basis.

That is to say, every time a potential lead clicks on your adverts.

5. Email Marketing

Businesses use email marketing as a way of communicating with their audiences.

Email is often used to promote content, discounts, and events, as well as to direct people toward the business’s website.

Due to the regulations that ISP’s (Internet Service Providers), have agreed upon, there are very clear marketing industry rules about how email marketing should be conducted.

This means that you have to follow a clear set of rules that will differentiate your legitimate marketing emails from unsolicited emails (also known as SPAM).

Following these rules keeps your legitimate marketing emails out of your audience’s “Junk folders” and makes sure that your post is read by people who are likely to buy your products & services.

III. A Systemic View Of Digital Marketing

ezwebs.co.uk _  Image Name These elements of digital marketing do not stand alone.

Instead, they interact and overlap in complex ways.

For example, content marketing is also a vital aspect of SEO, as publishing high-quality SEO-optimised content on your website can help boost search engine rankings & traffic.

Similarly, social media marketing can be used to distribute this content and increase its visibility. Of course, high-quality content will ensure that your social media adverts should perform better.

Furthermore, you can use social media adverts to promote your opt-in forms for email marketing.

You get the idea.

This means that an effective digital marketing strategy doesn’t rely on a single technique.

Rather, a genuinely good strategy will utilize a balanced mix of these channels to reach potential customers in a variety of ways, broadening the scope of the overall marketing campaign while simultaneously increasing its impact.

The power of digital marketing lies in its ability to easily combine components into broad systemic strategies.

Lets take a look at the common components of a digital marketing campaign.

IV. SEO

ezwebs.co.uk _  Image Name On the vast internet landscape, carving out a distinct presence to capture the right audience can appear to be a daunting endevour. This is precisely where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in.

SEO concentrates on enhancing your website’s allure to search engines, thereby augmenting its visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine outcomes.

Lets ask a basic question: How do search engines like Google or Bing operate?

In essence, they sift through the internet for content, ranking it based on the perceived relevance and usefulness to user queries.

These rankings are shaped by intricate algorithms that consider numerous parameters, including keyword density, website speed, mobile-compatibility, inbound and outbound links, among many others.

1. Keywords

SEO’s initial step involves pinpointing relevant keywords.

These are phrases that are potentially used on search engines by individuals who may be seeking your products or services.

Embedding these keywords in your website’s title, headers, and content enhances the likelihood of search engines acknowledging your site as valuable to those searching for such terms.

2. Content Quality

Search engines assign priority to high-quality, pertinent content. Your website’s content should convey valuable information to the reader and should be regularly refreshed. Consistent production of superior content not only attracts search engine algorithms but also cultivates trust within your audience.

3. User Experience

Search engines exhibit a preference for user-friendly websites. This implies your site should load rapidly, provide easy navigation, and be accessible on mobile devices. Simply put, your website should offer a satisfactory visitor experience.

4. Backlinks

These refer to links originating from other websites that direct towards your site.

Backlinks signal search engines about the value and credibility of your content. However, not all backlinks possess the same significance.

Those deriving from renowned, high-traffic sites will bear more influence than those from less-known, inferior-quality sites (which may negatively impact your SEO).

Despite its technical facet, SEO isn’t merely about catering to search engine algorithms.

Fundamentally, it’s about comprehending and catering to your audience. After all, the principal objective of search engines is to provide users with the most relevant and useful information at hand.

V. Content Marketing

ezwebs.co.uk _  Image Name Content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand, as creating high-quality, keyword-rich content is a crucial part of optimizing your website for search engines.

However, content marketing goes beyond just the sheer technicalities of improving your search rankings; it’s all about building relationships with your audience through the power of compelling content..

Content marketing involves creating and sharing materials that do not explicitly promote a brand but stimulate interest in its products or services.

The content can take a variety of forms, from blog posts and articles to infographics, videos, and podcasts. Regardless of the format, the content should provide value to the reader, whether that’s by educating, entertaining, inspiring, or solving a problem for them.

Effective content marketing starts with understanding your audience.

What are their interests and concerns? What questions do they have? What problems can you help them solve? Answering these questions will help you create content that resonates with your audience and builds trust in your brand.

Content marketing also involves distributing your content through the right channels to reach your audience.

This might include your website, email newsletters, social media platforms, and even guest posts on other websites. The more places your content can be found, the more people it can reach.

In the next section, we will explore how social media platforms can be used to expand the reach of your content and engage with your audience in meaningful ways.

VI: Social Media Marketing

ezwebs.co.uk _  Image Name As we navigate the expansive domain of digital marketing, the colossal presence of social media is simply undeniable.

With billions of active users dispersed over platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, among others, social media has evolved into a pivotal component of contemporary marketing strategies.

Social media marketing transcends merely disseminating content across your company’s social media profiles.

It is about engaging with your audience, nurturing relationships, and heeding your customers’ feedback.

It’s a reciprocal communication avenue that extends unique opportunities for brands to glean insights from their audience and, reciprocally, deliver value through content, customer support, and engagement.

1. Platform Selection

One of the preliminary hurdles in social media marketing lies in selecting the appropriate platform(s).

This largely depends on your target audience and their preferred online hangouts.

Seeking young consumers? Instagram or TikTok could be your optimal platforms.

On the other hand, targeting professionals or B2B clientele? LinkedIn might serve as a more fitting choice.

2. Content Strategy

An effective content strategy serves as the linchpin of successful social media marketing.

It calls for creating engaging, share-worthy content, considering the frequency and timing of posts, and integrating your social media initiatives with your overarching marketing strategy.

Ideally, your social media content should reflect your brand’s ethos and values, remain pertinent and valuable to your audience, and stimulate interaction.

3. Engagement

Social media thrives on relationship-building.

This implies that your role isn’t confined to content dissemination.

It’s equally essential to interact with your audience by acknowledging comments, resolving queries, and perhaps engaging in discussions on other brands’ or influencers’ profiles.

Recall, social media is a reciprocal medium, and engagement is a key element in building a robust community around your brand.

Analytics and Adjustments: Ultimately, proficient social media marketing demands continual analysis and modification.

Most platforms furnish comprehensive analytics tools that can offer insights into the performance of individual posts, the peak activity times of your audience, among other metrics.

Regularly reviewing this data and tweaking your strategy as required can further optimize performance.

4. Analytics and Adjustments

Ultimately, proficient social media marketing demands continual analysis and modification.

Most platforms furnish comprehensive analytics tools that can offer insights into the performance of individual posts, the peak activity times of your audience and many other metrics besides.

Regularly reviewing this data and tweaking your strategy as required can further optimize performance and yield an evidence-driven approach to your overall social media strategy.

VII. Pay-Per-Click

ezwebs.co.uk _  Image Name While SEO, content marketing, and social media allow you to reach and engage with your audience organically, sometimes it’s helpful to give your efforts a boost with some paid promotion. That’s where pay-per-click (PPC) advertising comes into play.

As the name implies, PPC is a model of digital marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, you’re buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to earn those visits organically. One of the most popular forms of PPC is search engine advertising, where ads appear on search engine results pages.

1. Keyword Research

Just like SEO, successful PPC campaigns start with keyword research. You need to understand what terms and phrases your potential customers are using when searching for products or services like yours.

2. Effective Ads

Your ads should be carefully crafted to attract attention, communicate your value proposition, and compel users to click. This often involves writing compelling ad copy, selecting relevant images or visuals, and providing a clear, compelling call-to-action.

3. Landing Page Optimisation

Once a user clicks on your ad, they should be directed to a landing page that is optimized to convert. This means it should be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and aligned with the message in your ad. It should also have a clear call-to-action, such as filling out a form or making a purchase.

4. Monitoring & Adjusting

PPC campaigns require ongoing monitoring and adjustment to maximize their effectiveness. This can involve adjusting your bids for different keywords, experimenting with different ad formats, and making changes to your landing pages to improve conversion rates.

VIII. Email Marketing

ezwebs.co.uk _  Image Name Finally, let’s discuss one of the most powerful and cost-effective digital marketing strategies: email marketing. Despite the proliferation of social media and other forms of online communication, email remains a potent tool for reaching and engaging with your audience.

Email marketing involves sending commercial messages to a group of people via email. These messages might include promotional content, newsletters, updates, or other information that provides value to the recipient.

Effective email marketing involves building a list of subscribers who have expressed interest in your brand, crafting compelling email content, and analyzing your results to improve future campaigns.

IX. Conclusion

In conclusion, digital marketing encompasses a wide range of strategies, from SEO and content marketing to social media, PPC advertising, and email marketing. The best approach will depend on your brand, your audience, and your specific goals. However, with a good understanding of these basics, you’re well on your way to harnessing the power of digital marketing to grow your business.


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Dean Benton

Dean is EZWebs founder and a long time business & technology wonk.

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