Last week, the Akwa Ibom tech ecosystem played host to Ized Uanikhehi, a renowned digital marketer from Evolve Synergy Limited. Her mission was to train tech enthusiast in the Akwa Ibom ecosystem in Digital marketing for a period of three days and on Wednesday, the 20th of September 2017, Digiclan Uyo was launched. DigiClan is a community of people working in the same industry committed to the growth of the Industry, to learn from each other, to collaborate, to foster networking between members, to Inspire growth in the Industry and set standards that will ensure that we all grow together.
What is Digital Marketing? Before now it was generally believed that those who can attract some thousands of likes on their facebook posts were digital marketers. But Ized had a surprise. According to her, “Digital marketers are not people with the highest number of FB likes, but they are trained to serve in that capacity.” She defines Digital Marketing as “advertising and brand promotion delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps.”
Below are some terms used in digital marketing
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is primarily concerned with ensuring that your website and blog content ranks higher in search engine results, thereby driving more traffic to your site and potentially more business. However, while SEO used to involve adding a few keywords to your site for search engines to find, SEO in 2015 is far more multi-faceted and needs to be part of a wider digital marketing plan. Because of this, many companies turn to website design and marketing experts such as Pronto for support.
Simply put, search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing the content, technical set-up, and reach of your website so that your pages appear at the top of a search engine result for a specific set of keyword terms. Ultimately, the goal is to attract visitors to your website when they search for products, services, or information related to your business.
SEO can almost be viewed as a set of best practices for good digital marketing. It enforces the need for a well-constructed and easy-to-use website, valuable and engaging content, and the credibility for other websites and individuals to recommend you by linking to your site or mentioning it in social media posts.
Another way to optimize your website on search engine is to enter the discussion on forums like Nairaland and other forums. This ranges your website top on every search keywords on search engines.
Create an SEO strategy?
Forget what you think you know about SEO and recognize too that it is not a static solution. The rules are changing all the time as online behavior and capabilities develop over time. Naively thinking you can just ‘wing-it’ or that you don’t need to think about SEO could stop you from reaching your full business potential. As well as adapting you need a solid monitoring and tracking system in place for your SEO. Here are a few points you need to consider when working out an SEO strategy:
- Who is your target market?– SEO today is not about just grabbing as much traffic as possible but attracting potential customers who are interested in what you have to offer. Think about demographics, what your market is searching for and how, as well as where customers are located. The more finely-tuned you can be on these basics, the more you can target your SEO effectively. Google Analytics is a good place to start with your investigations!
- Mobile markets are bigger than desktops– You don’t need statistics to show you that the online mobile market has exploded in the past few years, overtaking desktops last year. Optimization is about creating a website that fits this new style of online browsing. If potential customers are looking for you using mobile devices then make sure that you provide a quality user experience. If you are not sure how your website measures up then you could simply try out Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test by entering your website URL.
- Search engines are expanding– When you think about search engines, do you automatically think of Google? The tech giant has such a big share of the market that ‘Googling’ has become a verb we use when we are searching online. However, this is changing, with browsers looking at other search engines, such as Firefox opting for Yahoo as its default. Search engine DuckDuckGo has gained in popularity too for those who favor searches without personalized tracking.
- Keywords need to correspond with ROI– Rather than focusing on one keyword and using it to chase your website up the ranks, keywords are much more about considering what your target market is actually tapping into the search engine. Intent or long tail keywords require you to zoom in on what users are doing, how, and when. Keywords are still relevant in SEO but they need to be precise and throwing a smattering of keywords into the mix is not enough. Also, certain keywords may get many hits but are these the best hits? It is not always about numbers but how these translate into conversions, revenue and profitability. Don’t measure keyword success in simple numbers but find out what the ROI (Return on Investment) is for your SEO efforts.
- Clear website and quality content is king– A user-friendly website, with clear navigation, SEO keywords and optimized with relevant, quality content is what is really going to build up traffic. Each page needs to be built around keyword themes, with unique content, so that search engines can crawl through your site easily and rank you higher. You want your site to really respond to what your potential customers are looking for, so keep the content natural and focused; don’t strangle the style and meaning of your site with keyword stuffing which is a turn-off to search engines and users alike.
- Quality links count– In the old-days, not so long ago, the name of the SEO game was link-building; getting as many links as possible out there on other sites. Inbound or back links are still incredibly important and can act as a stamp of legitimacy for your site. However, today it is all about quality not quantity, with links on relevant sites potentially bringing in more referral traffic and more users from your target group. The result? Better brand exposure and SEO with greater opportunities for conversions.
- Social media has a pivotal role– Last, but my no means least, social media is an evolving platform that has changed from a medium to share content only to a viable marketing device. Users will often come to your website via social media so to optimize your online presence, in line with SEO, you need to create an up-to-date, engaging, and personalized approach that often steps outside the realms of classic marketing campaigns.
- Monitor and track– A vital element of any SEO strategy is to follow how it is working. Google Analytics or another analytics tool can provide valuable data for understanding how changes affect your traffic volume and ultimately your conversions. To be successful with your digital marketing strategy you need to know what works and be able to quickly and effectively adapt if a method is not working how you perhaps envisaged.
Online marketing such as PPC (Pay Per Click), email marketing, and relevant online PR all need to work well and complement your SEO strategy. This means creating the right balance between paid ads and organic SEO searches in the result pages, cross-selling of content via relevant emails with keywords, and interesting press releases to really boost brand awareness and increase visibility for your site too.
Digital Content Strategy
Have you heard the expression, “Content is King?” If not, you have now. Great content is the fuel that drives your digital marketing activities.
* It is a key pillar of modern SEO
* It helps you get noticed on social media
* It gives you something of value to offer customers in emails and paid search ads.
Creating clever content that is not promotional in nature, but instead educates and inspires, is tough but well worth the effort. Offering content that is relevant to your audience helps them see you as a valuable source of information. On top of that, resourceful content makes it less likely that they will tune you out.
An ‘engaging’ content (marketing) strategy is not about the content you think you need to have. It is about the content you need to have in order to engage the people you would love to engage by knowing what they want. It’s about enabling people to fulfil a task they have, whatever it may be at any given time.
Whether it concerns content production or other aspects of your content strategy: customer engagement always depends on the “customer-centric” value of the content you provide. The usefulness. And you don’t define that: the customer, in the broadest sense, does. Combine this with the simple fact that relevance drives consumption and is the essential attribute marketers must deliver in order to be successful in content marketing and the conclusion is clear.
Peer advice, affinity networks, circles of trust, consistency, a touchpount-based approach and a strategic advocacy agenda are crucial when defining an effective and engaging content marketing program.
In creating your content, you must focus on strengthening the emotional, psychological or physical investment a customer has in a brand. Many marketers look at engagement as getting others to act. In the end it is. But to me, that action isn’t clicking or buying etc. alone. That’s the measurable stuff. Engagement is also about providing experiences and answers to questions and needs, still the primary task of content. When you solve someone’s questions or simply deliver what they expect and need across their journey or on your website, you also engage them as they get what they want. Also measurable but not directly. (This could also be done using videos).
Social Media Marketing
People aren’t just watching cat videos and posting selfies on social media these days. Many rely on social networks to discover, research, and educate themselves about a brand before engaging with that organization. For marketers, it’s not enough to just post on your Facebook and Twitter accounts. You must also weave social elements into every aspect of your marketing and create more peer-to-peer sharing opportunities. The more your audience wants to engage with your content, the more likely it is that they will want to share it. This ultimately leads to them becoming a customer. And as an added bonus, they will hopefully influence their friends to become customers, too.