DIGITAL MARKETING – THE COMPLETE GUIDE

Digital Marketing is an increasingly popular term these days, however, its popularization happened only at the beginning of the new millennium, with the also popularizing the internet. Internet access has quickly created a new category of Marketing that we call digital marketing, which is nothing more, nothing less, than the application of marketing concepts to digital media available today.

Digital Marketing is the development of marketing strategies to promote products or services through digital media and electronic devices such as computers, notebooks, smartphones or tablets. In theory, Digital Marketing does not exist . What exists is the application of traditional marketing concepts and relationship marketing to digital media available today. It is common to confuse digital marketing with the domain of a digital tool, such as Facebook Ads Ads or LinkedIn Ads Ads. My partner Regina Santana talked about this in an article that explains the difference between working with digital marketing and digital platforms. Basically, working with a tool is quite different from working with digital marketing.

It is also important to understand that although Digital Marketing consists of the application of traditional marketing concepts to digital channels, today it is important to understand the technology and its use. Consumer behavior in the digital environment has changed considerably and the technology at our disposal also often makes it difficult to apply the concepts. It is not that Digital Marketing does not exist, but it is much more complex and deprecates technical knowledge that until then was not necessary to dominate.

What is Digital Marketing?

As I mentioned previously, digital marketing is the application of communication and marketing strategies for the promotion / marketing of products or services through digital channels (websites, blogs, social media, applications, etc.) and electronic devices. Simple tasks such as finding a restaurant on Google, knowing if a store sells a particular product, comparing prices for a TV model, or buying a book online on the internet are all tasks that today are common to the vast majority of people with access the Internet.

With the development of the smartphone market – from 2007 to the present – the vast majority of users spend more time on their smartphone today than on any other device. This means that your target audience is constantly connected and online. It is through digital marketing that we seek to positively impact these users, generating a greater demand for products or services that can meet their needs. If we consider that according to the Global Web Index, about 87% of users with Internet access have a smartphone, so this work is essentially done in Mobile these days. Forget the idea that mobile is the future. The mobile is the present and the future.

Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing

With the evolution of Digital Marketing, much has been said about the war between Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing. In practical terms neither killed the other, since they complement each other perfectly. Traditional marketing continues to exist and works well in some market segments and / or for some very specific media such as magazines or television. The big difference for digital marketing lies in the fact that in digital marketing, it is possible to measure the return on any investment, unlike what happens with traditional marketing, commonly known as Outbound Marketing .

Since in digital marketing it is possible to measure the return on any investment, including the number of views, people impacted, actions and interactions carried out, conversions, etc., it is said that digital marketing is much more interesting than traditional marketing or relationship marketing. If all of this brings together the possibility of segmenting a communication, for a very specific audience, then digital is an incredible opportunity for your company and your business.

Unlike an ad in a magazine or a commercial on television, in digital marketing you can target your audience in a very precise way, including demographics, geography, interests, and more. This allows you to direct your communication to the right people, rather than shooting everywhere, looking for someone who pays attention to your product or service.

I would not say that traditional marketing is worse than digital marketing or vice versa. I would say that each of them today has a very specific function and when combined in a global marketing strategy, they can present very good results being used simultaneously. In some countries, such as Brazil and Portugal, television continues to have a very large impact on the population and is a traditional marketing channel to take into account. In the northern European countries, for example, this is not the case.

Some of the advantages of Digital Marketing in relation to Traditional Marketing are:

  1. Audience Segmentation – Contrary to what happens in Traditional Marketing, where the message is presented to as many people as possible, in the hope that a part of them will show interest in the product, in Digital Marketing targeting segmentation allows we can target only a specific segment of the audience, without having to show the message to everyone.
  2. Real – Time Metrics – In Traditional Marketing metrics are usually the number of people impacted by the message and not necessarily interested in the message. In the case of television, it would be the amount of people who were watching the program, whereas in the case of an Outdoor, would be the amount of cars that have passed through that road. This does not mean that these people have shown interest and / or even paid attention to the message. In Digital Marketing, it is possible to measure all this in real time, including people who interacted with the message, who compared the product and / or who expressed any kind of interest.
  3. Lower cost and more assertive – In Digital Marketing the cost to advertise is considerably lower than that of Traditional Marketing, with the advantage that it is possible to be much more assertive by advertising directly to a specific audience segment. Still, with the decline in the number of advertisers in traditional media, prices have been decreasing considerably and today it is rather cheaper to advertise on television, radio or print media.
  4. Engagement with your audience – Contrary to traditional marketing, where the message was sent and there was no return, being the public a passive subject, in digital marketing all campaigns presuppose an engagement between who announces and who receives the message. It is extremely common to see comments on campaigns in social media, sharing of content, etc. Engagement is elevated to another level, so great care must be taken in the design of a digital marketing campaign, because of course this engagement can be positive or negative. If it is negative, it is necessary to have a contingency plan and crisis management.
  5. Agility in the implementation of campaigns – Contrary to an Outdoor or Television campaign, in digital marketing it is possible to create, edit and replace any type of campaign in a few minutes and without the need for an extremely advanced technical knowledge. This agility allows you to tune up campaigns faster and deliver better results. What’s more, with internet access, anyone can easily learn how to upload their digital campaigns and start advertising in minutes.

How to do Digital Marketing?

When we talk about digital marketing and as I said above, we are talking about a strategy of communication and marketing through digital media. We are not talking about a specific platform or tool, but all of them simultaneously. For an effective communication strategy in digital marketing, it is necessary to work on several fronts simultaneously, which will uncover the technical domain of some very different things, such as SEO, SEM, SEA, Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing, social media management , email marketing, among other things. While all these things are different, they connect with each other in a digital strategy (we’ll go deeper later).

You do not naturally need to master all of these things to be a digital marketer, however, the greater your overall knowledge, the greater your ability to spot problems and create digital communication strategies that effectively produce results for your business and / or the business of its customers.

Among the numerous digital marketing tools , strategies and knowledge you will need to be able to work effectively, I highlight the ones that are now the most popular and most frequently used by digital marketing and affiliate marketing professionals.

1. Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the main tools used by those who work with digital. This strategy aims to spark interest in your product or service, through content. This content may aim to sell, educate or simply report on something related to your business or your business.

Through this content, you will be able to generate organic traffic in the search engines and also loyalty your customers through informative or enlightening content. Unlike a direct or door-to-door selling approach, in digital marketing we use content marketing as a way of generating interest in customers about what we have to offer them.

Here on my blog, for example, I use content marketing to help educate this digital marketplace and build my authority within that area through educational and informational content. By developing my audience (which includes you too!) And my follower base, I am building an extremely valuable asset for my long-term business.

A company that has a blog, for example, can through a content marketing strategy, educate your market and your customers about your products, a specific niche market or simply inform about the launch of new products.

Let’s look at some of the possibilities you have at your disposal when it comes to content marketing:

1.1 Create a Blog

I already talked about how to create a successful blog . In fact a blog continues to be very important in any digital marketing strategy in my opinion, since it allows you to quickly transmit your ideas and concepts, educate the market or simply get the latest news about your company and / or communicate important releases of new products.

A blog is also one of the best ways for you to generate content for the internet and consequently traffic and readers. Unlike a website, which tends to have more static or timeless content, a blog follows a chronological order of content and can be updated daily.

Some tips for you to develop interesting content for your blog:

  • Create a first editorial calendar – A blog is something that requires a lot of time and dedication, but at the same time it can frustrate you when you are not able to create new ideas for content. These blockades are often the reason for many bloggers giving up. To facilitate this task, create an editorial calendar of content, with a schedule of each agenda you intend to write and when. Without this, you will always wait for the chip to fall and never advance.
  • Write about what people are researching – While it is important for you to keep an editorial calendar for your posts, I also recommend that you conduct a pre-review of how users search for such content on the internet. Sometimes you think writing about “weight loss” is the most interesting, but it turns out that people actually look for “weight loss.” Tools like KWFinder (link) or Semrush (link) can help you with this task. Also read this article: how to find profitable niche markets .
  • Do not talk about what you do not know – Sounds like a silly tip but believe it happens too often. If you are going to address a subject, focus on yourself and become an expert only and only on that subject. It is preferable to be very good at a specific micro niche than to try to be good at anything or everything. Which of course will not happen. Keep your focus on what’s important!
  • Diversify your content – Although a blog refers to text content, it can actually be used for you to publish video, audio or image content as well. Try to diversify the types of content in your blog, in order to make it dynamic and more interesting for those looking to keep up with their daily work.
  • Create epic content – If your goal is to produce content, try to produce the best content possible. This does not necessarily mean creating giant content, okay? It means creating deep content, which clarifies all the main doubts of who is searching for this subject. When a user performs a search on Google and finds its content, will it be fully clarified, or will it need to go on other sites to really get clarified? Based on this response, produce epic content!
  • Post only when you have something to say – Some people suggest posting to a blog every day. Some people suggest posting once a week. I suggest you only post when you have something to say. If the purpose of publishing content is just to comply with the table, you will not be adding anything at all. Of course, the higher the frequency the better, however, focus on quality rather than quantity!
  • Optimize your content for SEO Content optimization for SEO is fundamental in the long run in a content marketing strategy, which means that when you are developing your content, try to think of them from an SEO perspective as well. Optimizing your content will make a big difference in the long run. Read more about this in this article: how to write and optimize content for SEO .

1.2 Video

In addition to text content, video has also been gaining tremendous popularity over the years. Many brands and small businesses use video as a communication strategy with their target audience for the possibility of getting their message across more easily.

Let’s face it, the vast majority of people do not like to read. Between reading an article or watching a video, people usually prefer to watch a video because they find it easier to assimilate their ideas. Today, about 33% of all online activity is related to video consumption, and half of this consumption of video content is done in Mobile, meaning video plays an extremely important role in a digital marketing strategy.

Video is also an extremely powerful tool for connecting you and your followers. It allows you to create a more personal presence by establishing a more emotive connection. Normally, when viewing a video, the user feels more confident about being the author’s visualization, identifying with his ideologies and recommendations more easily.

Video content does not necessarily need to be long. In fact, the average time of video consumption on Facebook worldwide is only 6 seconds . This means that your videos need to be well crafted to quickly establish a connection to the player.

Some tips to include video in your digital marketing strategy:

  • Create videos for YouTube and use them on your blog – We recommend using a digital marketing strategy to create video content specifically for YouTube. With over 1 billion users, YouTube is an extremely powerful tool for lead generation and sales, as well as brand awareness . In YouTube videos, you can also go deeper, creating more complete content. Finally, use these videos and create articles for your blog on the same subjects and embeed the video directly in the article of your blog.
  • Create videos for Facebook with subtitles – Unlike YouTube, Facebook video works quite differently. For Facebook, shorter video content is recommended in a square and captioned format. Since the vast majority of people watch content on mobile devices, by using a square video format you are ensuring that the person can watch correctly on any device. Captions are highly recommended because the vast majority of users consume video content without sound.
  • Create short videos for Instagram – In Instagram video content is very well accepted too, however, videos can not last longer than 60 seconds. That means you have to synthesize your ideas in just 1 minute and stream those ideas into pragmatic videos that are simple to be consumed by your followers.
  • Create a content strategy for video – As with text content, it is also important in your video content to create a content strategy. This means creating editorial planning, searching for keywords with search volume on tools such as Keyword Tool for YouTube,  and styling your videos, making it easier to consume information.
  • Create video content frequently – As with blogs, it’s also a good idea to create new content on video so often. However, remember that it only makes sense to create content when you have something really interesting to say. If it is only to comply with the table, there is no added value for the user, which means that their content is not good. Focus on creating good content that can be useful to your followers, not you.

1.3 Ebooks and other materials

In a content marketing strategy, in addition to blog articles and videos, you can also create other types of materials that make sense in a digital marketing strategy. If your goal is to generate leads from potential customers for your business, then Ebooks, Sheets or Tools are excellent content products for that purpose.

An Ebook is nothing more than a PDF file, similar to a book, but smaller in size. An Ebook may be between 30 and 300 pages depending on the specificity of the content in question and how much you intend to have that product. Often, an Ebook to offer in exchange for the data of potential customers, in a strategy of getting contacts, is usually a smaller product, however, if you want, you can also choose a product of the highest quality, which can better qualify your leads and generate a greater long-term return.

Infographics, tools, spreadsheets, templates, plugins, etc. are all content materials that you can use in a digital marketing strategy by offering these products in exchange for qualified leads from potential customers to your business.

2. SEO and SEM

It is not worth having a good content marketing strategy if you do not know how to optimize this content for the search engines. With the growth of the internet over the last few years, the number of websites and blogs published on the internet has grown at an absolutely incredible pace. According to Internet Live Stats , it is estimated that today there are over 1.8 billion websites on the internet. An interesting fact is that less than 200 million websites are active, that is, they receive frequent updates.

Being on the internet is very different from being on the internet. As you can easily see, the number of active websites is about 9 times less than the number of websites published on the internet. Still, the competition for relevance is with each passing day, which means that all the details count. SEO ( search engine optimization ) is a process of content optimization to help Google’s robot more easily understand the hierarchy of that content.

In article optimizing content for search engines  I explain in detail how this process works and what you need to take into account to more easily position your content on Google. Contrary to what may seem, it is not enough to publish a website or blog on the internet. It takes a lot of work to create relevancy and optimization so that Google can more easily understand your site, its content hierarchy and within each content, which is more and less relevant to the user.

Think that while you are writing content, thousands of other professionals worldwide are writing content as well. The competition for user attention is gigantic and the trend is only increasing. For Google the process boils down to relevance and context. Whenever a user searches for something on Google, their goal is to deliver the content that best answers the user’s doubt. This often means that your content needs to be relevant, objective and complete, not leaving the user in doubt about it.

Good content should follow a series of rules, some more technical and some not so much, so that in the end it is the best possible answer for the user who is searching about this subject. Some tips to make your texts more relevant and more objective:

  • Use headers to highlight titles and subheadings . This helps Google understand the content hierarchy;
  • Optimize the URL of your articles before publishing them. Remove connecting words such as “from”, “from”, “like”, etc;
  • Create internal links to other material on your site  that can assist the user in clarifying other related topics;
  • Use citations and other sources to make your content richer and better documented;
  • Use images throughout your articles to break the reading and make it more harmonious;
  • Optimize your images with title and alternate text attributes so Google understands them more easily;
  • Create external links to other materials outside of your site that help complement your content. Google likes this;
  • Stylize your content using point lists, numeric lists, bold or italic text, etc. This also helps to synthesize content;
  • Optimize the SEO of your content , such as the SEO Title and the meta description that will be sent to Google.

In addition to search engine optimization, another aspect you may be able to explore is sponsored links. In a SEM (Search Engine Marketing) strategy there are always two different verticals: organic content and sponsored links. Look:

Maintaining a mixed positioning between content and sponsored links can often make perfect sense to create a dominant position in the market. Not necessarily appearing only in organic positioning makes sense. The greater the dominance for a particular search, the better. Several companies seek to adopt mixed marketing strategies for search engines, naturally including the content of their site, but also the sponsored links from Google.

This is an example of the company La Redoute in Portugal, which in addition to being naturally positioned to search for the brand name, is also using sponsored links to position the brand at the top of the search. In addition, the company also appears on the right-hand side through the Google Finance listing and still appears as a location from Google My Business.

This is an example of Netshoes in Brazil, which adopts the same behavior. The brand is positioned in the Sponsored Links for the brand name, organic and also the listing of the company from Google Finance.

This type of domain for certain searches is critical to ensure that no competitor enters the middle of this search and tries to steal some of the volume of traffic associated with it. It is also a way for the company to ensure that any user searching for the company name finds what they are looking for. The value per click in the case of sponsored links is extremely low, since there is no competition for the keyword, since the search term is the name of the brand itself.

In a Digital Marketing strategy, using the marketing for search engines is fundamental, whether through a purely organic strategy, through content optimization for search engines, either through a paid strategy, through sponsored links, or through a mixed strategy that includes both organic and paid.

3. Marketing in Social Media

With the growth of Internet access, the first social media began to emerge. In Portugal popularized the Hi5, in Brazil popularized the Orkut and in the United States popularized the MySpace. Later, all of them disappeared from the map and gave way to Facebook, created in 2004 and that began to gain market between 2008 and 2010 and today is the most used social media in the world with more than 2 billion users.

Along with the growth of Facebook, other social media sites such as YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram , Pinterest, among others , have also emerged that have gained their place and today represent gigantic audiences worldwide. According to the Statist website  these are the main social media used worldwide and its size in millions of users:

For those who work with Digital Marketing, taking into account social media is fundamental in any type of strategy, regardless of whether the business is purely B2C ( business to client ) or B2B ( business to business ). Of course, depending on the characteristics of the business itself, not all social media are interesting. Just as it is not important to be present in all of them.

Contrary to what happens so often, no business needs to be present in all social media. It is preferable to have a strong positioning in only 2 or 3 of them, than to have an account in all and none of them with sufficient expression.

The most popular social media in Brazil according to the Global Digital Report 2018 study  are as follows:

  1. Facebook (130 million users)
  2. WhatsApp (120 million users)
  3. YouTube (98 million users)
  4. Instagram (57 million users)
  5. Messenger (unknown number)
  6. Twitter (30 million users)
  7. LinkedIn (29 million users)
  8. Snapchat (unknown number)

With so much public on social media nowadays, it becomes fundamental to include social media in any kind of digital marketing strategy, no matter what it is. If your audience is on social media, your business needs to be right where your audience is. This means that having a marketing strategy for social media is critical.

Amongst several things you can do at the marketing level for social media, I outline some simple strategies that can help your business grow faster. However, remember that you do not need to be in all of them, but only in those that best suit the type of business you have or are managing.

  • Identify Your Audience First and Build Your Persona – It’s no use getting out by piling fans and followers on your social media if the audience that is following you are not potential customers of your business. It is very important that you know in advance who your target audience is and whom you intend to communicate with.
  • Use social media as a relationship channel – Relationship marketing is a powerful customer loyalty tool. If your customers are on social media, you need to leverage these digital channels as a way to establish better relationships with your customers, making your company communication more streamlined and closer to your audience. Using social media as a problem-solving channel is also very positive.
  • Create a content calendar – It’s no use updating your social media in an irregular and unthinking way. Just as for updating a blog you need to create a content calendar, you need to do the same for social media. Stipulating in advance what to publish in each moment and in each digital channel is very important.
  • Use diversified content strategy per channel – It’s no use to always publish the same content across all of your digital media. There is no reason for your audience to consume your content in different media if the content is always the same. Adopt a diversified content strategy for each of the media where your business is present. The audience on Instagram is very different from the audience on Facebook or YouTube. Understanding this makes a very big difference for your business.
  • Publish it only when it has something of value to add – It’s not worth you updating your social media just to keep schedule if it does not add any kind of added value to your audience. Publish only when you have something to say that can help your audience in some way and / or add value to your brand.
  • Use a mixed strategy of organic and paid content – It’s no use complaining that the organic reach of social media is falling. Adopt a mixed strategy of organic content and paid content. Sponsoring your publications on social media is still very cheap. If with a little investment you can reach thousands and thousands of potential clients of your business, why not do it?
  • Track your action metrics – You can not improve something that you’re not measuring, so measuring the results of your organic and paid publications is critical to helping you define which content to publish most often. The content that works best with your target audience is where you should put the bulk of your investment.

The cost to advertise on Facebook, for example, has been rising considerably over the past few months, largely because of the number of advertisers entering the platform. The time you invest is now, as long as the price is still low. If you leave to invest later or continue to complain that organic outreach is down, you will most likely pay a much higher price in the future!

According to an AdStage study , the cost to advertise in the first quarter of 2018 on Facebook was $ 11.20 per 1000 ad impressions (CPM), a figure still lower than the last quarter of 2017. However, as you can see from the chart, the cost to advertise has skyrocketed over the past year and has practically doubled in price compared to the first quarter of 2017.

If you take to get into that boat, you will pay a much higher value in the future. Today Facebook has more than 10 million small businesses advertising on the platform. In the future this number will be much higher and competition for advertising space as well, which means that the price will continue to rise. It is the law of supply and demand.

Any digital marketing strategy should have a strong presence in social media. If you are still not working properly on your social media, know that you are leaving a lot of money on the table.

4. Messaging applications

If you have not noticed, in the previous point, when I talked about the main social media in Brazil, in 2nd place appears in WhatsApp and in 5th place appears Messenger, both instant messaging applications. Although not really social media, in the true essence of the word, they are extremely powerful channels of communication for any business.

With more than 120 million users, WhatsApp is today the main digital communication channel in Brazil. This means that if your business has a digital marketing strategy, it should also include messaging applications.

Recently WhatsApp has even launched WhatsApp Business, which is the business version of WhatsApp for small businesses that want to communicate with their customers more effectively. Available only for Android at that time, WhatsApp Business is a new communication channel for businesses that want to use digital marketing to communicate and get closer to their customers.

With WhatsApp Business, for example, you can create a business profile for your business, use labels to organize contacts or conversations, create quick answers to more easily serve your customers, create response automation, and analyze attendance performance statistics such as such as message flow, messages delivered and not delivered, answered, etc.

 

Facebook Messenger itself has also been evolving considerably, with the inclusion of chatbots (automated robots) and also recently with the integration of Messenger for websites ( Customer Chat Plugin ), which allows you to make service via Messenger to your integrating Facebook Messenger with your own website.

I have been testing these resources in the pages of my courses and the result has been extremely positive, opening a channel of more agile communication with potential students. Another great advantage is that the conversation can start while I’m in the office and be completed later at home, once you just have access to Messenger to continue to respond to customer questions.

Another important aspect is that it is possible to automate the service by integrating a chatbot with the Messenger plugin for websites, taking the entire automation process to another level

Lastly, if we look at SmartInsights’s study of  average open rates for email marketing campaigns and compare it with the average open rates of messages sent in Messenger, we quickly understand that the future is clearly in the messaging applications. In addition to ensuring a much higher opening rate, they are also a closer communication channel and where the customer feels an integral part of the company and not just another customer.

For a digital marketing strategy today, not considering instant messaging applications is unthinkable, considering not only the open rates and content click rates, but mainly because of the importance of establishing a more direct, closer and more transparent communication with the client.

5. Email Marketing

A digital marketing strategy should also account for an email marketing strategy , of course. While opening rates are considerably lower than Messenger (see above), email remains one of the key business tools and one of the main conversion tools.

Email marketing has the peculiarity of being a strategy with relatively low costs when compared to other forms of marketing for digital channels. Another advantage is that email marketing allows for closer communication with your customers and potential clients, opening a channel of direct communication with each of them. However, it is very important that you study your audience well and use appropriate language in your messages, capturing the attention and interest of those who subscribe to your newsletter or are interested in keeping in touch with you or your business.

You can use email marketing in a digital marketing strategy for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Communicate discounts on products or balances;
  • Confirm a purchase from a customer in your store;
  • Communicate new product launches;
  • Report changes to the site or your online store;
  • Inform you that you wrote a new article on your blog;
  • Sell ​​a physical or digital product;
  • Carry out surveys with your target audience;
  • Among others.

Email marketing also allows you to create different types of communication strategies depending on the audience reading your emails. Contrary to what is common, email marketing is not just for you to sell your products, quite the contrary. It should be perceived as a channel of communication with your audience. Ever wondered what it would be like if all your WhatsApp contacts were always sending advertisements? That is exactly what happens with email marketing. Do not do it!

Some ideas for you to explore your email marketing campaigns with results and without the need to constantly be trying to sell to your audience:

  • Create educational content about your business or niche market – Do you work with CRM? Create a series of contents explaining why contact management is important, what a CRM is, because your software is better than the others, etc. Do you work with digital marketing? Create a series of content explaining the advantages and disadvantages of digital marketing, what are the main strategies, what to avoid doing, how to do and what to do, etc. Content is a way to create authority and at the same time help your audience better understand your value proposition.
  • Create polls and ask questions to better understand your audience – Do you need to know what your audience’s real needs are? Ask for them! With email marketing it is easy for you to submit a campaign and ask your audience directly about your needs and / or difficulties. You can also create polls to try to figure out which paths to take first to meet the real needs of your audience.
  • Share your content with your audience  – Published a new video on YouTube? Write an email telling your audience that you have a new video on your YouTube channel on a particular subject. Published a new article on your blog? Share with your audience through an email campaign. That simple. Your audience wants to consume these contents.
  • Try to sell in the right measure – For every 5 content that adds value to your audience, you can send 1 email trying to sell some of your products. Do not be too commercial and try to adopt a posture similar to the one you use when you advertise your content. Exaggerated commercial messages tend not to work so well these days.

At the level of email marketing software, I highly recommend  MailChimp . Alternatively, you can also use  E-Goi , and  Aweber , which are great email marketing software as well.

6. Lead Generation

A digital marketing strategy without lead generation is not a real strategy. Generating leads or generating leads is the process of capturing data from a potential customer interested in consuming your content and / or buying your product. The goal is to get the attention of people interested in learning more about a certain subject, following our profiles in social media, listening to what others talk about us and later turning themselves into our clients.

It is important however to know the difference between qualified leads and unqualified leads . In reality what your business needs are contacts from people who already know what they are looking for and / or already have a real need to be met. In the second case, an unqualified lead is someone who does not yet know what their need is and / or has no associated buying goal. An unqualified lead will be much more expensive in the long run than a qualified lead.

To raise more leads in a digital marketing strategy, we use a variety of lead generation techniques to get the audience’s attention to what we have to offer and consequently nourish those leads with relevant content through an email strategy marketing or through social media or messaging applications. This is what we call the marketing funnel or sales funnel, see:

This marketing funnel assumes that once we attract a person’s attention and become a lead for our business, we now need to relate to that lead and then later try to sell something to them. This is what we call the nutrition phase, that is, the moment when we will nourish our leads with quality content, creating a real need to solve a given problem, a problem for which we have the perfect solution.

Here are some strategies to get you started on generating leads right away in your digital marketing campaigns:

  • Create lead generation ads on Facebook – Facebook ‘s ad manager offers a “record generation” ad template, which is exactly the same as lead generation. They are dynamic forms, from Facebook itself, that allow you in a few minutes to get contacts from people interested in following your content and / or your business.
  • Create Your Own Landing Pages – A Landing Page is nothing more, nothing less than a landing page (or landing page) where you can more concretely explain what you have to offer your potential customers. In the article Landing Pages – The complete guide to creating landing pages that convert  explain exactly what you need to take into consideration to create your landing pages. This page format is perfect for lead generation and you should make ads on Facebook, Google or LinkedIn and send your traffic directly to that page. It is in it that you will capture the data of your potential customers.
  • Offer something in exchange for the data from this lead – A strategy that works great is offering something in exchange for data from these potential leads, such as an Ebook or a video lesson, for example. This makes your value proposition a lot more interesting and helps increase your conversion rate. It’s a win-win model , where the lead wins something and you get the data from that potential customer.
  • Capture leads in your content – It’s no use writing content often if you’re not capturing the contacts of your readers. It is important that you capture leads directly on your website or blog. Your readers are probably your biggest digital asset.
  • Run A / B tests with your capture pages and forms – You can not figure out how best to capture leads without performing A / B tests. Test with different pages, different landing pages and different capture forms. Analyze results and optimize accordingly to increase your conversion rate on new leads.
  • Nurture your leads with content and maintain a relationship with them – The key to converting leads into customers is precisely the nutrition of those leads with relevant content. Maintaining a good relationship with your leads, clarifying your doubts and fueling your needs is crucial so that in the end, your conversion rate is positive.

Lead generation is a key strategy in any digital marketing action and should be one of your priorities. The data of your potential customers are actually your gateway to the sale and / or for a future relationship with these people.

7. PPC (Pay-per-click)

Digital marketing without ads is not digital marketing, is it? This type of pay-per-click strategy is commonly known as pay-per-click (PPC) and is a strategy that aims to drive traffic and sales through paid ads on digital media such as social media, sponsored links from Google, among other formats and options available in the market.

7.1 Ads on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger

Ads on Facebook are now one of the primary means used for PPC campaigns. While not typically pay-per-click (CPM) ads, they offer tremendous versatility in terms of audience segmentation, ad formats, and also the ability to advertise directly on Instagram and Messenger too.

In the article How   explain everything you need to start advertising on Facebook in an effective and with results. As I said earlier, the cost to advertise on Facebook has been increasing, which means that more and more advertisers are interested in advertising on social media controlled by Facebook itself, such as Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp in the future. .

To get the most out of your ads, check out some very simple tips that can make a big difference in the final performance of your campaigns:

  • Use colors that stand out in the news feed – It’s common to see Facebook ads with a blue color similar to that used by Facebook itself on your social network, however, this is not good practice. You should use colors that visually break the user’s timeline and make it pay attention, such as green, yellow, orange, or red.
  • Use images with less than 20% text – You should always use images with less than 20% text. Although it is now possible to create ads with more than 20% text in the image, Facebook will cut in the reach of your campaign, which means you will pay for it, but fewer people will see your ad. Always use ads with less than 20% text. You can check if your ads are within the text limit by using Facebook’s own text overlay tool .
  • Your copy determines whether the user will click or not – Although it is the image that causes the user to stop scrolling in the news feed, it is the copy of your ad that will determine whether or not the ad will click on that ad. Capriche in your copy and use simple and objective language, not too extensive and using verbal time appropriate to your audience (either you use the first person or you use the third person).
  • Use emojis in your ads. Your conversion can increase up to 30%! – Contrary to what happens, much because of conservatism, the use of emojis in ad copy can generate up to 30% more conversion. This is because in addition to visually highlighting their content, emojis help humanize brands and the public tends to like that.
  • Test different formats and different locations – The secret when we talk about Facebook ads is always to test, test and test. This means you need to test different ad formats and different locations for those same ads. Not necessarily what worked well for product A will work well for product B. Ads on the feed tend to deliver better results, but did you know that advertising on Instagram Stories is working very well and at a lower cost than other locations?
  • Create ads for Instagram Stories – Instagram Stories are one of the latest sites available to make ads and the results are actually very positive. In addition to having a very large audience, Stories still have low advertiser competition, which makes it an excellent bet right now. We recommend you make ads on Stories now that no one else is doing it!
  • Create ads for Messenger – Ads on Messenger are having great results as well. While it may be perceived by your audience as a bit more elusive than the feed ads, the results are quite positive. I recommend you test while few advertisers are advertising there.

Facebook ads continue to be one of the most inexpensive media today. Although the price to advertise there continues to skyrocket, Facebook remains a very cheap paid media channel compared to its competitors, such as Google or LinkedIn, for example. Another interesting thing is that on Facebook you can advertise also in Instagram and in Messenger. In the future possibly in WhatsApp as well. So, it’s good to start making your first ads before the price gets much higher.

7.2 Ads on Google and YouTube

Advertising on AdWords is also part of a digital marketing strategy. Commonly known as Sponsored Links, ads on Google tend to have the advantage of being related to specific search terms. This means that it is much easier to try to sell to someone who is already researching on a particular subject, than for example to someone who is browsing Facebook for entertainment content. The difference in the mindset of the target audience is quite different and in this aspect Google has the advantage of being more geared towards the ultimate conversion goal than Facebook, for example.

Google sponsored links allow you to advertise your product or business, directly to anyone who is researching on a particular subject. In the same way that SEO works with the objective of positioning a certain content for a particular search, in the case of Sponsored Links, we are able to advertise directly for this search and burn some steps related to the positioning of content and / or sale to those who are researching on certain specific topics.

Google allows you to advertise in a variety of ways and on different platforms that Google has in your network, see:

  • Search Ads – These are text ads that appear on Google search associated with certain search terms (keywords).
  • Ads on the display network – These are display ads (banner ads) that appear on different sites on the internet that are displaying Google ads.
  • Ads on Google Shopping – These are text and image ads that appear on Google Product Search, the Google product aggregator.
  • YouTube ads – These are video ads that appear on YouTube and off YouTube (when the video is embedded) at the beginning of other videos and also associated with YouTube search terms.
  • App Ads – For those with mobile apps, Google also owns the AdMob platform, which lets you make mobile ads to build Android and iOS app installs.

When we talk about advertising on any Google ad platform through sponsored links, a key aspect is always the prior analysis of search terms, commonly known as keywords. In the case of ads on the Google search network, the tool I recommend for keyword analysis is  KWFinder . It is a sensational tool for keyword analysis and SEO competition and gives a very interesting insight into which keywords have a higher search volume on Google in certain countries and in certain languages. However, when we talk about ads on Youtube, the tool I suggest to do keyword analysis on YouTube is the Keyword Tool for YouTube .

7.3 Ads on LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn Ads is also a fantastic tool for a digital marketing strategy. Although it is a social media very focused on professionals, it is an excellent option for media campaign more directed to businesses (B2B). In the article on how to advertise in LinkedIn Ads  I explain step-by-step the different formats of ads and the best options for those who want to advertise in the largest professional social network in the world. LinkedIn’s traditional ad format, for example, has an overly expensive cost-per-click, however, the Sponsored In-Mail ad format , which is sponsored messages sent directly to users’ inbox, has a much higher price friendly and are a great option to take into consideration.

The great advantage of LinkedIn is by far its target audience, which is made up only of professionals and companies, keeping a high focus on business or work issues. This gives this social network a type of user with a totally professional mindset when browsing the network, ensuring a higher quality for advertisers. As far as ads are concerned, the fact that it is possible to hyper-target audience and direct these ads to very specific audiences, based on specific positions or companies, makes the performance of those ads tend to be quite positive, when compared to other social media. Especially with regard to lead generation, these tend to have a much higher level of qualification.

Finally, another interesting fact is that LinkedIn Ads also has its own conversion pixel, being able to track the audience of your site and advertise directly to those people through LinkedIn Ads ads.

7.4 Good practices for advertisers on digital media

When we talk about advertising on Facebook, Google, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, or any other website or social media, good practices tend to be very similar across all of them. In a digital marketing strategy there are some things that will always be necessary to take into consideration to achieve good results with your PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns and obviously achieve the Break-even of your campaigns as soon as possible  . To better understand what to take into account, here are some good practices to consider before, during, and after creating your digital media ads:

  1. Identify your audience before starting a campaign – It may even be a bit annoying to have to create a Persona each time you plan to upload a campaign, but being fully aware of who your target audience is and to whom you are communicating, do a very big difference. Your user’s purchase day begins with viewing your ad but does not end there. Try to understand who these people are and what steps they will take until they reach the end of your sales funnel.
  2. Set up the entire technical part in advance (conversion pixel, remarketing code, conversion metrics, etc.) – Before starting your ads, make sure that all the technical components are in place and that you will be able to measure your results in the most correct and assertive. In the case of Facebook it is important to put the conversion pixel on your site and set up a custom conversion. For Google sponsored links, you’ll need to install the Google remarketing code and set up conversion events on your site, for example.
  3. Set the goals and expected results of your campaign in advance – Any paid campaign you make on the internet always has a concrete goal, whether it’s generating more leads, more sales, more traffic, strengthening brand branding, etc. Defining in advance what your campaign goal is and what results you expect from it is important, otherwise when the campaign begins, you will not know if it is performing above or below expectations.
  4. Target your audience well – Unless your product is affordable by anyone, it’s always important to target your audience based on the Persona ID you performed in the first step. It does not make sense to show your ad to people who are not potential buyers of your product, right?
  5. Create remarketing campaigns every time – If you’ve followed step number 2 and have correctly set up your Facebook conversion pixel or Google remarketing code, you’ll be able to create remarketing campaigns, or show your ads to people again who have already interacted with your ad or been on your site before. This will help you increase your conversions considerably and at a very low cost.
  6. Test your campaigns for 4 days and do A / B testing whenever possible – No campaign should start running without testing. I recommend starting with a low investment value and running different ads for 4 days to understand which ads perform best with your audience. Test different images, text, and even audience targets. Once you find the winning ad, you’re ready to begin your ultimate campaign.
  7. Keep track of key metrics for your campaigns – Not all metrics are important, but some are actually a compass that helps you understand how your ads perform and what the results are. Some metrics to take into consideration:
    1. CPC – Cost per click on your ad
    2. CPM – Cost per 1000 ad impressions
    3. CPA – Cost Per Action Performed
    4. CPL – Cost per lead raised
    5. CTR – Click trough rate or clickthrough rate for your ad
    6. CAC – Cost of customer acquisition
    7. LFTV – Lifetime value or value of your client throughout your life
    8. ROI – Return of investment

8. Affiliate Marketing

 

A digital marketing campaign should contemplate whenever possible an affiliate marketing strategy as well. Affiliate marketing positions itself within digital marketing as a strategy that aims to increase its sales volume through selected partners (affiliates) by paying them a commission whenever they generate a sale of a product of yours. The great advantage of affiliate marketing is that you only have to pay the affiliate when it generates a concrete result for your business, which can be a sale, a lead, or any other goal you set for your campaign. If the affiliate can not generate this result, you will not have to pay anything.

Affiliate marketing is not something new. For hundreds of years people have been working on similar commission models. A good example of this type of work would be real estate brokers. They advertise real estate on and off the internet, receiving a commission on the sale of that property.

On the internet, this commission model on sales is called affiliate marketing or affiliate marketing (in English). The first affiliate program on the internet was created in 1996 by Amazon and was called  Amazon Associates . The program continues to exist today and was one of Amazon’s key growth drivers as thousands of affiliates promoted the company’s products in the United States, receiving a share of sales. If they did not generate sales, Amazon would also not be investing any money with this advertising, since it would pay a commission only for realized sales. Amazon today has more than 100,000 affiliates advertising their products and pays commissions of 3% to 10% on sales.

In Affiliate Marketing – What is and where to start  explains in detail everything you need to know about Affiliate Marketing and the Affiliate Program article –  I present the main strategies to work with affiliate marketing and also a listing of the main affiliate platforms of the Brazilian and Portuguese market.

9. CRO (Conversion Optimization)

Digital marketing is only digital marketing if you have the essence of performance analysis and conversion optimization. The goal of any digital marketing professional is to improve the conversion of their campaigns all the time. This conversion optimization process is called CRO ( Conversion Rate Optimization ). When we talk about the digital environment, the consumer journey from the moment you click on an ad or content of your own until it converts into a lead or a sale, is a process that can be constantly improved.

When it comes to CRO, we’re talking about optimizing your digital assets, not your advertising. We speak for example of your landing pages, your sales page, your website, or even your e-commerce. The goal is to increase your conversion rate by optimizing small processes that make your consumer’s journey simpler and more geared towards the conversion goal you initially set. There are several ways to improve your conversion rates in digital marketing, but the main ones to take into consideration are the following:

A / B Testing

An A / B test is a test that aims to test two variants of the same page, with minor changes. The traffic that this page receives is then divided by 50% between version A and 50% version B. The page that presents the best result is the winning page of the optimization test. As a rule, when we talk about A / B tests on pages or landing pages, we’re talking about testing small changes such as the call-to-action text, button color, title, or text above of the fold, etc. It is critical that you understand that you should not test multiple changes simultaneously, otherwise you will not know which of the changes worked. An A / B test should be simple and objective, with as few variables as possible in one test at a time.

In this example A / B test team from the famous SimCity computer game, tested two different approaches to your online game sales page. In the first version, the page contained a large banner indicating that the pre-order purchase of the game was entitled to a $ 20 discount on the next purchase. In the second version, the banner was removed and the user immediately visualized the two versions of the game available. The only change was the removal of the banner from the header and this generated a 43% increase in the volume of purchase finalizations on the site.

Some tools where you can perform A / B tests with some ease:

Heat map

When we develop a landing page or a website with the goal of capturing leads or selling a product, we often have no idea how our site is perceived by the public. To counteract this and understand the behavior of our target audience on our website or landing page, we use heatmap analysis tools that aim to identify areas where the user walked and where he or she clicked. This helps you understand the hottest and coolest areas of a website or landing page, helping us to act quickly on optimizing the experience, leading to greater conversion.

This is an example of a heat map of an A / B testing website and the behavior of your users in relation to the software plans and prices page. The reddest areas are the hottest areas and the bluest areas are the cooler areas. You can understand that the focus of the clients are the middle plane and the rightmost plane, for example.

Some tools where you can perform heatmap tests with some ease:

Anonymous video session recording

Some more advanced tools like the fantastic  Hotjar , allow you to record in a totally anonymous video, the sessions of your users on your website. This feature is absolutely fantastic because you can view the videos of all visitors and really understand their behavior on our website or on our landing page and make modifications according to this same behavior. As I mentioned earlier, many times when we create a website or a landing page, we have no real idea how this asset will be used by our target audience. Understanding this behavior and the barriers to conversion help improve the product and significantly increase conversion rates.

10. Measuring Results and Analytics

Finally, digital marketing also boils down to analyzing metrics and understanding consumer behavior. When we talk about digital, we talk about websites, landing pages, e-commerce stores and other digital assets that can be easily measured in different ways. Without measuring results it is impossible to improve anything. Contrary to much happening today, digital marketing is not just about making sales. Measuring results and behaviors is a key role in understanding the audience and optimizing them according to the actual needs of the target audience and the campaign in question.

Start by using  Google Analytics , Google ‘s results measurement tool (it’s free!). With it, you can create conversion goals and funnels to understand the behavior of your users on any page you own, be it a website, a landing page or an e-commerce store. Analytics also includes a number of other advanced features for analyzing target audiences, marketing funnels, conversions, and allows you to create custom dashboards with the key key performance indicators (KPIs) in relief so you can track key metrics and results of their digital actions.

Another important aspect is to understand the origin of your traffic and the main search terms that lead users to find their content, for example. The same goes for paid media campaigns, where you can through Google Analytics, accurately measure conversion and traffic generation results from this type of PPC campaign and act accordingly.

Some metrics to take into consideration when measuring results with Analytics:

  • Unique visitors – The number of unique people who have visited your website, landing page or e-commerce in a given period of time. This is a different metric than the number of sessions, because if the same user twice accesses your website, it will have two sessions, but will remain only a single visitor. The number of visitors on your page is an important metric to understand the volume of traffic generated in the period and compare with the number of conversions you’ve made on the page.
  • Traffic source – Different digital channels can direct traffic to your page. The most valuable traffic is usually the organic traffic from the search, however, if you’re running paid ads on social media, for example, it’s important to measure these results and understand whether your social media traffic is reflecting or not and the results obtained with this type of traffic. Sometimes in the traffic source segmentation we find websites or pages that generate a lot of traffic that we did not know about.
  • Bounce Rate – This is a percentage from 0% to 100% that reflects the number of users who just entered your page and did not take any further action after that time. Example: If a user enters your page and quits, your bounce rate will be 100%. If that same user signs in and sees two pages of content on your site, it will have a 50% bounce rate.
  • Pages Per Session – The average number of pageviews per page during each session.
  • Average visit duration – This is the average number of minutes each user spends within their website consuming their content. If this number is too low (few seconds), there is something on your page that needs to be improved quickly. Especially when we talk about landing pages, we may be talking about vanishing points, which are taking their users off the page and this means a lower conversion.

11. Digital Influencers

In recent years one of the novelties of digital marketing are the digital influencers. With the growth and popularization of social media such as Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and Facebook, influencers have emerged, which are people or professionals with a large number of followers in their social media profiles and pages, who have the ability to influence the decisions of buying other people. Through diversified and niche profiles, these influencers work directly with brands, indicating their products and generating authority for those same brands by associating their profiles with the brands in question.

In working with digital influencers it is necessary to take into account different factors, such as the number of followers of the profile, but also and especially the level of engagement with those same followers. It is no use having an influencer having a high number of followers in their profiles if the level of engagement is too low. This means that there is no strong connection between the professional and your audience and this will naturally be reflected in the impact of your advertising campaigns and sponsored content. Another important aspect to consider is that the work of an influencer is purely of building authority and relevance for the brand in question, by associating its name with the product.This does not necessarily mean that the brand will exhaust its products from the moment the influencer publishes a photo with the product . It is important to understand the context.

The Influencer Marketing Hub site has a micro-influencer vs celebrity analysis tool , which gives some very interesting metrics to consider about an influencer or micro-influencer profile, such as the estimated value per publish on Instagram, the engagement rate with the audience and also an estimate of the return on investment. Although not an extremely complex tool, it allows you to understand the basic profile of an influencer in Instagram and its key metrics.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that no review tool considers Instagram Stories and they are extremely powerful at the level of reach and engagement with the audience. As they disappear after 24 hours, there is no way to analyze the impact of this type of publication through tools, but it is necessary to consider it in a strategy with influencers. It is often in the Stories that the real value of these influencers and their ability to influence the buying decision-making of their followers is often present.

Conclusion

Digital marketing is much more than applying marketing expertise to digital channels, and it is also much more than just mastering a certain set of tools available in the market. In reality digital marketing combines not only traditional marketing and relationship marketing knowledge, but also new understanding of consumer behavior in the digital environment, digital tools and technology. It’s a whole set of various elements that coupled perfectly, can help any business to get your message across to an incredible number of potential new customers.

Already use any of the digital marketing strategies indicated in your business? Leave your comment below with your ideas, experiences and results!

Want to learn more about Digital Marketing? Get to know my  Intensive Digital Marketing Courses that can help you take your business to the next level! 😉

Good ventures!

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