Leveraging Digital Marketing
Content marketing remains one of the most powerful ways of adding value to the experience of consumers engaging with a brand. An organisation creates and distributes content such as copy, images and video. An organisation operating in the business-to-business (B2B) area may choose to use social media posts, engaging video or blog posts, while B2C (business to consumer) companies may choose content such as educational videos and white papers or webinars.
Posting content could be viewed as free seeing as the organisation is not paying for above-the-line advertising. It serves to attract (and retain) customers by pushing out a brand message.
Content is also extremely versatile. It can help brand custodians educate, inspire and entertain. Content is the foundation on which digital marketing is built. It can serve to elevate search engine results (via SEO), populate social media posts, provides messaging for emails and a variety of other channels.
The market for quality content is becoming extremely crowded. With businesses increasingly choosing to employ content over a variety of channels, there are thousands of new blog posts, engaging videos and other content reaching a multitude of audiences each day. It is becoming increasingly challenging for a business to stand out from the crowd. For content to be effective it has to consistently position brand messaging – and be of consistently high quality. It must also be focused on meeting the needs of the consumer audience, only then can it contribute to achieving strategic business objectives.
Search engine marketing
There is an old saying that the best place to hide a dead body is on page three of the Google (the Gorilla in the Sandpit of search) results. Search engine marketing is aimed at ensuring that a business’s website appears on page one of those results – consumers only rarely venture beyond this page. A variety of tactics are employed to ensure this optimum positioning, these include using certain keywords and phrases to fuel search results. Aside from Google. Bing search engine optimisation is also important as Bing is often used on business computers. There is organic search (search engine optimisation)and paid search (pay-per-click, also known as PPC). Both are targeted at desktop and mobile users. Smart home assistance is also being targeted (see 10 – audio marketing).
Search Engine Optimisation – SEO
Search engine optimisation involves creating content that reflects the needs of the consumer using a search engine. It also involves ensuring that the content is technically optimised for various platforms and channels. The use of SEO is now viewed as a business imperative, rather than a ‘nice-to-have’. As a side point, we would highly recommend that you take a look into market research recruitment agency in London to look at local vacancies.
Using SEO costs a company nothing (if they have onboard skills). Organic search results are trusted due to the fact that they seem authentic and objective – the company is not seen as having ‘paid’ for space when their brand appears on a search engine results page.
SEO may not involve a specific financial commitment – but sculpting effective SEO optimised content takes time and effort and requires a level of technical skills involved in optimising a company website.
There is also the fact that Google tends to update its search algorithms on a regular basis – what is ideal optimisation today may not be tomorrow. The sheer volume of content also means that getting that ideal organic search result is becoming a real challenge.
Great SEO results start with great content. A structured content strategy is absolutely essential (point 1). Keyword research can help to identify what consumers are searching for. A company needs to remain informed about changes to algorithms. Those new to SEO can make use of one (or more) of the many plug-ins that assist in optimising websites (Yoast for WordPress can be particularly useful). Company’s with larger budgets can also choose to outsource much of the optimisation work to experts.
In essence, pay-per-click is paid search advertising. It makes use of tools such as Google Adwords or Bing Ads. It can resemble results of organic search, however, there will be an indication that the content is advertising. Companies can purchase a top-ranked position via auction. The criteria can include geographical targets, keywords and other criteria, in other words, the demographic of the target audience. It’s a viable avenue for those engaged in e-commerce – and for local businesses.