Friday, 31 January 2014

Digital Marketing: Definition and Concept

What Is Digital Marketing?

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What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is a sub branch of traditional marketing and uses modern digital channels for theplacement of products e.g. downloadable music, and primarily for communicating with stakeholders e.g. customers and investors about brand, products and business progress.
So digital marketing is about two things -  access to your products and communication.
You can watch our digital marketing video below, download the new 2nd edition of our Introduction To Digital Marketing eBook or read on for more information on what’s included as part of it:

Online Marketing

- Website Optimisation
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Video Search Engine Optimisation (VSEO)
Social Media Optimisation (SMO)
- Blogs & Forums
Online Display Advertising
Email Marketing
QR codes

Mobile Marketing

- Messaging (SMS & MMS)
- Mobile Internet
- Mobile Apps
- App advertising

Radio Marketing

- Radio Advertising
- Podcasts
- Interviews
- Sponsorship

TV Marketing

- TV Advertising
- Sponsorship
- Product Placement
- Interviews

eMedia Marketing

- Video, audio and content delivered via electronic devices
- Digital billboards
Digital marketing is a powerful engine in all businesses, regardless of their size. If you’re just getting started and would like to know more, download our Introduction To Digital Marketing eBook which takes you through the basics of digital marketing, explains how it fits into marketing and how you can use it to develop your brand an increase sales.

Digital marketing is the advancement of your organization or brand using one or more of the various digital channels, such as email, cellular phones, social networks and the like. This could be a classy birthday greeting sent to the customer's smartphone, a personally relevant coupon sent by SMS to the customer or a weekly newsletter than includes updates and specials. Customers and affiliates are interested in receiving these good news messages from you, and we're here to help you deliver the messages to them and advance your business simply and effectively - no prior knowledge required.

The Advantages of Digital Marketing

The advantages of digital marketing are astronomical. First of all, this is a type of direct marketing, with all of the advantages that come with it: personal attention to the customer, motivation to action and more. Second, it's possible to create uniform messages which are personally formatted for each recipient with great ease, for example, by addressing the recipient by his first name or referring to activities performed by the customer in the past. In addition, the use of digital marketing allows you to measure quantitative results, giving you information about exactly who was exposed to your message and when, and which actions the viewer performed as a result. In addition, anyone can launch successful campaigns with digital marketing without any prior knowledge and without hiring special professionals. With so many significant advantages, digital marketing is a valuable addition to your business and helps you achieve more for less.

Digital vs. Traditional Marketing

Until just a few years ago, the methods of advancing a brand were pretty limited. However, since the communication and internet revolution, the ways you can reach your customer have multiplied. Cellular coupons, a well-developed email campaign or a customer survey on Facebook reach your customers in various situations and give a new light to your business, thus complementing one another to strengthen your business.'s-digital-marketing.aspx

Friday, 17 January 2014

Digital Marketing Strategy For 2013 And Beyond

February 14th, 2013 by Sameer Khan

As digital marketing continues to evolve and purchase cycles becomes more complex, marketers struggle to find ways to get the maximum returns on investment. 2012 was no different, as social media and mobile became the mainstream digital channels while content continues to be the primary fuel for digital marketing. Adding to the complexity of the digital channel proliferation, buyers are becoming much more sophisticated. In a recent survey conducted by Forrester Research, 82 percent of the buyers researched online before making a purchase. This crucial data point is a huge eye opener for marketers who are still hesitant to invest in online marketing.
With 2013 already in play, it is time to evaluate your digital marketing strategy and develop a solid model to drive improved results. In this post, we will discuss the critical components of a digital marketing strategy and how these components work together.
 digital marketing model
1. Digital Marketing Model

#1 PAM (Persona, Audience and Messaging)

The first step in developing an effective digital marketing campaign is to develop a persona. A persona is a very important aspect of any marketing campaign, and it should not be overlooked. Your business must have its own distinct persona and voice. A persona is basically a personality for your business, which you convey in your communications with your customers.
Your products or services could be perceived differently across your customer base. It is critical to understand the types of customers you serve and deliver your marketing message in accordance. As an example, if you sell mobile games, you need to cater your persona to suit this particular audience. If your customers see they can relate to your company, you will gain their trust and get them to buy your product or use your services. Make sure that your company uses the same persona, and communicates with the same tone or voice in all of your messages.
ScreenHunter 24 Feb. 07 21
2. Persona development

#2 Digital Marketing Mediums

In your digital marketing strategy for 2013, you must use as many different marketing mediums as you possibly can. The more marketing mediums you use, the more successful your marketing strategy will be.
Earned Media
Earned media in the digital world is a term used for generating traffic and customers through organic means instead of paid advertisement. Earned traffic can be gained through content marketing, search engine optimization, social media or editorial impact. Earned media does not involve advertising, and it is the complete opposite of paid media. It is a way of promoting your business without paid advertisements.
Paid Media
Using paid media is the fastest way for businesses to advertise their products and services. Paid advertisement comes in various flavors and forms. Paid search marketing involves paying for advertisements for your company to move high up in the search engine results page. Your company can also benefit from using display advertising in its digital marketing strategy. Display advertisements are ads that you pay to be placed on websites. Forrester research forecasts interactive display media to triple by 2013. The chart clearly shows how important paid media is for your overall online marketing strategy.
online display growth
3. Online display growth forecast (Forrester Research)
Owned Media
Owned media is one of the best ways that your company can build relationships with its customers. Earned media and paid media may draw potential customers to your website, but owned media is what can help turn these potential customers into paying customers. Using owned media in your digital marketing strategy is essential. Owned media involves lead nurturing using email marketing. Email marketing is essential to build customer relationships, and to turn potential customers into customers who purchase your company’s product or service.
Email marketing involves sending out a newsletter periodically, which is filled with useful information for customers. If your company doesn’t already have one, it must develop a newsletter. If a person goes to your website and signs up to receive your newsletter, but they don’t buy anything, using email marketing is a great way to turn that person into a paying customer. The content in your newsletter must be good, but this is discussed in more detail below.
Types of Content

ScreenHunter 28 Feb. 07 22
4. Content marketing
Content plays an important part in all three media types. Content that your company produces must be of higher quality, authoritative and helpful to your customers, prospects and followers. There are essentially three main types of content:
Dedicated Content: This is the type of content that you use on your website and on any other websites that you use to promote your company. This content must be informative, SEO optimized to include the right keywords, relevant and of use to the reader.
Supplemental Content: This content is used to supplement the main, dedicated content that appears on your website. The primary goal of the supplemental content is to educate your target market about your products and services. It also helps you establish your company as the thought leader in the market.
This type of content includes blog posts, articles and whitepapers, all of which must be well-written and valuable to customers. If content is poorly written, and does not contain useful information, it will reflect badly on your business. Supplemental content also includes slides and videos, which also must also be high quality.
Social Content: Social content is designed to increase syndication on social media sites. Social content should be developed to spark conversations, attract comments and generate fan following. This type of content must not only be informative and useful, but it also must be engaging and original in order to attract potential customers.

#3 WAM (Web and mobile strategy)

Your website is an important foundational element of your digital marketing strategy. It is also one of the first major interaction points for your customers with your company. The key goals for the website should be to engage or convert or retain customers, or all three in most cases. With a huge spike in the growth of smart phones, it is extremely important to add mobile component to your website strategy.
Website strategy is critical to the growth of customers and revenue as it provides the framework for sales generation. Here are some of the key areas of focus for a robust WAM strategy:
a. Hosting infrastructure: Hosting could very well be the biggest investment component of your web strategy. It is extremely important for you to consider a hosting provider than understands your needs. Some of the consideration points when choosing a hosting provider are uptime, scalability, redundancy, compliance and support.
b. Web dev/design and UX: Web design is another major element to achieve success online. Your customers deserve nothing but the best web experience and your job as a marketer is to recruit the best team or vendor to design/develop your site. Customers will bounce away immediately from a low quality site and this could have a significant impact on your revenue.
c. Mobile site: According to Google, mobile online usage will surpass PC usage in 2013. A mobile site is not an option, but a mandatory requirement, and your users expect a better mobile presence. You can either develop a separate mobile website for your company or use responsive design so your website is easily accessible on desktops, smartphones and tablets.
d. Global presence : When you target global customers the two critical pieces to consider are site architecture and language translation. First, you have to select the right architecture for your international site. It is highly advisable to have a separate country specific top level domain (TLD) to host the international site while .com can serve the US customers. TLD allows you to capture maximum search rankings on international search engines and creates a virtual separation between country-specific digital marketing efforts.
Global TLDs can create some web manageability issues, and in this case subdomain or subdirectoryis preferable.
The last step of the web strategy is to recruit a solid language translation company to translate web content in local languages.
Those are some of the critical components of a digital marketing strategy. We hope this has been helpful. Do you know of any other ways to sharpen a digital content strategy in 2013? Comment below.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Sameer Khan.
Sameer is a passionate entrepreneur and innovative marketing leader with more than a decade of online marketing experience. Sameer started his online marketing career with a consulting role in 2001 and presently leads the inbound marketing team at Rackspace. He strategically built the foundation of Rackspace search marketing and web analytics and has played a key role in strategizing the inbound growth of He is a social marketing & analytics blogger and co-founder of Ninja Marketing Consultants LLC, a Texas-based online marketing company specializing in bringing enterprise class marketing to small and medium-sized businesses.

The Top 7 Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014

The Internet has drastically altered the way in which information is shared, and has had a profound impact on marketing. Over the past few years, there has been more of a shift toward inbound techniques, while many outbound tactics have become antiquated. More businesses are finding success publishing original content rather than embedding advertisements within external content, because of the additional benefits these tactics offer, such as branding and audience growth.

With these trends in mind, let’s discuss my predictions for the top online marketing trends of 2014.
1.      Content Marketing Will be Bigger Than Ever
One of the main ways that companies are establishing authority and gaining trust with consumers is by consistently creating valuable content through a variety of channels. This typically involves relevant industry information that provides insight or entertainment to an audience. Doing so allows a company to steadily build rapport with its demographic and develop a loyal following. According to the Content Marketing Institute, the top B2B content marketing strategies are social media, articles on a business’s website, eNewsletters, case studies, videos and articles on other websites.
By using one or more of these channels, businesses are able to build a positive reputation within their industry. This trend suggests that marketing to the masses through techniques like television ads and radio ads are becoming less effective. Instead, it’s better to concentrate on inbound marketing, by producing valuable, engaging content designed for a specific audience. For help designing your content marketing strategy, see my articles “11 Places to Find Awesome Content Marketing Ideas,” and “How to Build a Kickass Content Strategy.”
2.      Social Media Marketing Will Require More Diversity
Just a few years ago, businesses were limited with regard to the social media networks they could implement into their marketing campaigns, with the biggies including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Now, it seems like new social media sites are appearing all the time. While some never really get off the ground, others like Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr and Instagram have surged in popularity and have provided businesses with a plethora of new options that allow them to produce engaging content in a variety of media forms and build their audiences across more channels than ever before.
Consequently, it has become common for businesses to branch out and experiment with multiple networks with the aim of reaching the maximum amount of consumers. This diversification seems to prove fruitful for many companies because it often builds brand equity by making it easier for consumers to recognize a particular brand. For help figuring out which social media networks are right for your business, see my article “How to Determine Which Social Media Network Fits Your Business.”
3.      Image-Centric Content Will Rule
As consumers are hit with an increasing number of advertisements, it’s becoming more important to make content easily and quickly digestible. If you look at the social media sites I mentioned previously that are on the rise, three of the four have a common characteristic…they place an emphasis on images. The rapid rise to success of Buzzfeed and Pinterest are testaments to the power and viral potential of image-based content.
Successful blog posts that receive the most social shares also usually have a common characteristic: they pepper in some well-placed pictures to break content up and emphasize certain points. Another example is infographics, which combine images with a minimal amount of text to explain a topic and provide statistical information or data from research studies.
While I doubt that traditional text-based content will ever completely go out of style, it’s pretty clear that incorporating images is beneficial to a marketing campaign.
For more information about using Image-based social media networks in your online marketing initiative, I recommend the following articles:
4.      Less Will be More
One notable trend is the apparent shift in consumer preference regarding simplistic marketing messages instead of in-depth messages. When you think about some of the top brands in the world like Apple and Google, they clearly value simplicity. A large part of Pinterest’s appeal is its clean, uncluttered, and minimalist aesthetic.
With many consumers feeling burned out by a constant barrage of information and advertisements that scream “look at me”, some of the most innovative marketers are going the opposite direction. The’re now making efforts to tone-down their campaign messages and not overwhelm consumers with hype.
Perhaps an article by Forbes said it best: “there is a sense that from the hyper-connectivity of our highly-digitized lives to the bright, flashy, complicated sensory input we’re fed everyday, there is no way to continue at this pace. As a result, 2013 is likely to be a year where the most successful marketing strategies will be ones that are not only simple in nature, but promote goods and services that serve to simplify the consumer’s life, or even just their customer experience.”
5.      Mobile-Friendly Content Will Be Necessary
Due to the widespread (and quickly growing) use of smartphones and tablets, it’s necessary for companies to create content that’s accessible to mobile users. According toForbes, “87% of connected devices sales by 2017 will be tablets and smartphones.” Whether it’s creating an alternate mobile version of a website or utilizing responsive web design, it’s important to provide a positive experience to users that are browsing via a mobile device.
Otherwise, it’s easy to lose customers to competitors who have adapted to this trend. As the shift from traditional PCs and laptops to mobile devices continues, businesses that aren’t onboard are likely to suffer.
6.      Ad Retargeting Will Grow in Effectiveness
This is a marketing strategy that has really caught on recently. In a nutshell, it works by utilizing browser cookies to track the websites that users visit. Once they leave a certain site, the products or services they viewed will be shown to them again in advertisements across different websites.
It’s fairly obvious as to why this technique can be so effective. With only two percent of web traffic converting on the first visit, ad retargeting works to increase the overall conversion rate by reminding consumers of the product or service they viewed. This keeps the brand and the product at the top of the consumer’s mind. There are even psychological studies that have shown that simple exposure to brand names and logos creates familiarity, which builds trust and makes consumers more likely to make a purchase.
Even if there’s no immediate purchase, this can really pay off in the long run. Due to the success that many marketers have had with ad retargeting, there’s a good chance that it will become more mainstream in 2014.
7.      SEO and Social Signals Will Become Even More Intertwined
Although social signals still don’t typically carry the same weight as traditional inbound links, it’s pretty undeniable that they play a role in organic search rankings these days. After all, they’re one of the three pillars of SEO. Since the goal of Google and other search engines is to provide users with the most relevant and highest quality content possible, it makes sense why they would factor in the number of social shares that a blog post, article or product page receives.
The more people that are sharing a piece of content, the higher quality it’s likely to be, and therefore its position should increase within the search engine results pages. It’s no coincidence that the top-ranking search results tends to have lots of social shares, while those ranked lower have fewer.
Besides this, social shares can serve as a stamp of approval (ie, a trust signal) for visitors landing on a page. If they see that it has hundreds or thousands of shares, it’s likely that there’s something of value. That’s a big reason why so many businesses are installing social share plugins and encouraging consumers to share as much as possible.
While it’s difficult to predict algorithms will evolve in the future, there’s a reasonable chance that social shares will match or even outweigh traditional inbound links by the end of 2014. For more information on how SEO and social media are becoming intertwined, see my article “How to Integrate Social MediaWith Your SEO Campaign.”
There you have it, my predictions for the top seven online marketing trends of 2014. Did I miss anything? What do you think about my predictions? Leave a comment and let me know!
Follow me on Twitter @JaysonDeMers for more insights, predictions, and expertise.

SEO And Other Web Marketing Techniques: Tools or Tricks?

Inbound marketing, content marketing, search-engine optimization, these are all recently coined terms for some old tricks.

They fit the era of Google GOOG -0.09%Facebook FB -0.23%, and Twitter, but particularly Google, when a handful of platforms have the power to transform frogs into princes.
Particularly Google because no other company ties together everything on the Internet the way Google does.
Facebook has its billion users, and it can plumb its content geyser for interesting bits to sell to advertisers, but in the end, it’s just a narrow slice of life.  Not everything on the Internet happens on Facebook.
And Twitter is similar, if smaller.  With a mere 200 million users, Twitter represents an even narrower slice.  Interesting, although hardly enough to drive the entire world of online marketing.
But the concept of ranking the entire Internet — billions of pages — by importance is an idea that just keeps on giving — to the founders, employees, and shareholders of Google, of course, but also to the advertisers who are able to reach their chosen audiences and, yes, even to those poor, hapless, monetized folks who use the Web for everyday tasks and form the source of all revenues for the monetizers.
It’s true.  The users do get actual value in exchange for their attention.  That’s what makes Google’s model so powerful.  It’s not a magic trick.  It’s real math.  Such math is so tantalizing that Microsoft MSFT +2.71% has spent billions of dollars trying to replicate what Google does.  Many others have tried and failed: Yahoo YHOO -0.16%, AOL, Alta Vista.
And in the 15 years since Google started its search engine based on a single powerful idea — PageRank — many pilot fish have swum around this whale, attempting to siphon just a smidgen of its rich harvest.  A ten-thousandth of one percent would be fine, enough to get rich beyond their wildest dreams.
And along with the mathematicians, a number of charlatans have managed to slip into the arena, hawking every kind of means to game the system.  An imaginative one was recently highlighted in the New York Times.  Mugshot Websites gather arrest photos from local sheriff’s departments and such and republish them.  Because of the nature of this content, human nature, and the way PageRank works, these sites rose high in page rankings related to those individuals.  So, if someone has the misfortune to be arrested, whether, guilty or not, anyone Googling their name will see the mugshot reference on the first page.
A whole little cottage industry sprang up around this confluence of technology and human nature.  Mugshot Website operators forced people to pay sometimes exorbitant fees to take down the shots.  But as Google giveth, so it taketh away.  The Times exposé caused Google to change some math, pushing the sites’ rankings off the first page.  It also caused most important payment processors — American Express AXP +1.3%MasterCard MA +0.2%, PayPal, Discover, and others — to halt these extortionist payments.  So, good on the reporter, David Segal, and the New York Times.
But for every scam that gets blown up there are hundreds of others in operation or waiting in the wings.  And not all are illegal or completely unethical.  Many fall in the gray area.
Content marketing is one of those in the middle.  The idea of content marketing is a lot like hiring your own claque, paid attendees who sit in the front row at your show and cheer wildly as you strut and fret your hour upon the stage, attempting to influence the opinion of other attendees, who are not in on the game.  This trick, which is at least as old as Shakespeare, relies on a simple piece of human psychology.  People look to others to help gauge their own opinion about something.  No one wants to be the only fool clapping.  As you hear the front row erupt in whistles, yells, and foot-stomping, you think, “Actually this show is pretty good, now that I think of it.”  Very powerful stuff.
And so the content marketers set up fan sites that all point to your page.  Whatever traffic they generate based on often bogus, cheap, or borrowed content goes to your site, and it appears to the search engine that the Internet must love you.  Of course, as in any arms race, Google has tweaked its math in response to the content marketers, attempting to mitigate at least the worst abuses, sniffing out this activity and down-ranking the content marketing sites.  But there are still plenty of charlatans making a good living advising people on this topic and setting up supporting pages.
Search-engine optimization (SEO) is a rather polite term for another way to game the system.  The idea is that certain words and phrases on a Web page will raise its ranking.  Stuff your page with them, and your visibility on the Internet will rise.  Of course, there’s more to it than that.  Aside from the cat-and-mouse game played between Google and the SEO mavens, there’s the dynamic aspect of it.  Fresh content does better than stale content, and so the SEO devotee needs to keep changing what’s on the page.  Again, a large cadre of SEO specialists are willing to help out for a fee.
So, my question here is: In the Internet age, is all marketing hogwash?  Is everyone just trying to outsmart Google?
This is where inbound marketing comes in.  I like the concept of inbound marketing because it relies on product quality.  In other words, why should your page rank any higher than it does?  If you don’t have something good to offer, why should anybody visit your site?
My friend Dan Lyons knows something about inbound marketing.  He created Fake Steve Jobs, a blog that at its height (while Steve was still alive), drew more than 1 million fanatically devoted readers each month.  His content was fresh (he updated constantly), funny, and good.  And he really did channelSteve Jobs, an amazing feat, as if he lived inside Jobs’s head.  Top quality content drew millions of views.  And in a jujitsu of anti-marketing prowess, Lyons tried to hide, posting anonymously through multiple layers of security until he was outed by yet another clever New York Times reporter.  With no outbound marketing at all — no hey-look-at-me hucksterism — Fake Steve Jobs gathered a rapt audience of highly influential people.
In a recent posting on Facebook, Lyons highlighted BatDad, a new video sensation, noting the elements that he thought made the meme work.  The character is quirky and funny and yet delivers solid parenting messages, a topic of interest to a potentially huge audience.
So, what does inbound marketing even mean?  It’s closely related to viral marketing, the idea that a really good idea takes off by itself as people pass it along to one another, eventually spreading it everywhere.
And again, the charlatans enter, trying to game the system, hiring good-looking teenagers to pretend to like some T-shirt so that other teenagers will buy it.
But at bottom, inbound will only work if the product is good.  Effectively, the Internet is a fantastic channel to give an idea a chance to make it in the wild, but the virus only spreads if the content justifies the buzz.
Twitter: RogerKay

Online Marketing Techniques That Can Build Your Business

Posted by  on Mon, May 6, 2013

The advancements in the internet field have given new meaning and introduced new techniques in various fields of business. Marketing is among those fields that have been completely revolutionized by the Internet. Now marketing is known as Internet marketing or e-marketing due to high involvement of the Internet. This type of marketing is much more effective than the conventional marketing. Through Internet marketing you can spread your message to a large circle of people in less time with minimum costs. But with so many marketers utilizing online marketing for their businesses, one thinks what may be the most effective online marketing techniques that can benefit you in the most successful way. This post can answer exactly that question.

Article Marketing

Research shows that nearly half the internet population spends its time blogging and reading content and what better way to accommodate this ever growing thirst for knowledge by providing an informative and interesting article. You can create an article that consists all the relevant information about your product and services. Make sure to add some organic keywords through which your article would be SEO friendly and can be searched easily by the readers.

Forum Marketing

Forums are the places where people come and talk about nearly everything. These open discussion platforms can become a source of live traffic if you play your cards right. You can educate them about your business and involve them in discussions and gather opinions in the process to improve your products and services. It’s like killing two birds with one stone.

Search Engine Marketing

This is one of the most common e-marketing practices to promote your business online. In this type of marketing you must devise SEO friendly content that is both informative for the people as well as unique in the eyes of search engines.

Classified Marketing

The name says it all. This method of marketing requires you to post a classified ad of your products or services on various classified sites. The key to this method is to keep it short and brief but never put anything on your ad that you cannot deliver.

Viral Marketing

In a short span of time, this type of marketing has cemented itself as one of the most effective and successful marketing technique. All you have to do is to produce something so unique and interesting that people simply can’t resist sharing or spreading. In order to come up with something like that, you should do a detailed study of the behavior of the online market and customer response to various services and products. Once you go viral, you can sit back and relax as the people sharing your message would do your job for you.

Blog Marketing

Blogging is the number one activity of the modern internet user these days. People like to share, document, discuss and blog everything and anything they would consider is worth spending time on. So blog about your business and provide useful information related to your business which in turn will attract more and more people to your site.
These marketing techniques are the most effective among many marketing practices. Only through experimentation and trying different combinations, you can find the proper online marketing strategy that suits your business the best.