Marketing has been transforming businesses for ages, since way back in the 1960s when advertising strategies stemmed from one simple creative idea that transformed small businesses into huge, recognizable brands today. Back then, creative advertising teams focused less on the research and more on creativity.
1960s Tide Ad:
Needless to say…things have changed. Not that marketing is no longer creative, but it’s just way more complex. And we have to educate kids on not eating Tide pods rather than selling the products. Enough said.
The Evolution of SEO and Social Media Digital Marketing Strategies
We’ve been doing search engine optimization (SEO) and digital marketing for over 12 years. Our team has been in it since Google and AOL Instant Messenger was all there was. Did I mention dial-up internet too? Yeah that used to be a thing.
Digital Marketing Platforms
When we first began doing SEO strategies, it was a hell of a lot easier than it is now. Back then, you didn’t have to worry about hundreds of different ranking factors or platforms for a website to be visible online.
Now, you have to think about Google Organic, Google Local, Google AdWords, Facebook Organic, Facebook Paid, Instagram Organic, Instagram Paid, LinkedIn Organic, LinkedIn Paid, Twitter Organic, Twitter Paid, and all their different algorithms. Each platform has a paid and organic option which requires its own strategy, since each audience is unique.
Within each platform, there are also different campaign types. With Facebook, you have a variety of options, including
- Video views
- Sign up for phone call
- Website traffic
Platforms are just scratching the surface when it comes to how things have evolved online. When we first started, we only had to think about desktop computer users and their user behavior.
Now, online users aren’t even using their desktop. They’re on their mobile devices.
More users are searching for local services on their mobile devices than ever before. If your brand isn’t mobile-facing, then you’re falling short with your SEO.
Website User Experience
Back in the day, we didn’t take into consideration the website user experience. The entire website was focused on the keywords and getting as many of them on the site as possible to achieve top Google rankings.
Needless to say, that technique is way outdated, but we still see a lot of SEO companies doing this. A word of advice: These short-term strategies will only hurt your site in the long term.
Today’s digital marketing strategies focus heavily on website user experience and attracting user engagement. When your website content is high quality, personalized and easy to navigate, users will stay engaged with the site.
You Must Be Visible on All Platforms or Your Sales and Leads Will Suffer
In order to really grow your online leads, you need to consider all of these changes as well as all of the platforms your potential audiences live on.
“What if my audience isn’t on social media?”
We hear this so often from business owners. It’s completely inaccurate and makes me giggle every time I hear it.
Yes, your audience lives on social media. Yes, your audience is searching on Google. Why? Because EVERYONE is using social media and Google.
The Problem with Only Focusing on Organic Results
We are organic marketers, so we believe businesses should focus their marketing dollars on organic marketing first. However, with today’s algorithm shifts on Google and Facebook, you have to consider some paid ad budget.
Organic marketing alone takes time to see results. You can expect anywhere from 12 months to several years to see full results from organic marketing.
It’s not that it doesn’t work; it does work. Again, you’re only visible on the organic platforms though. Your business will not be visible in Google’s top paid ads or in Facebook’s newsfeed as often since those platforms allow paid ads to be at the top.
The Hybrid Approach: Organic Marketing Plus Paid Ads
The benefits of utilizing the hybrid paid and organic marketing approach include:
- Your brand will receive visibility a lot faster.
- Organic keyword rankings will increase much quicker.
- Your website content will get much more visibility.
- Social platforms will attract many followers within your targeted demographic.
- Your content will be targeted to a specific audience and geographic area.
- You’ll have the ability to test different landing pages for conversions.
- You’ll increase your qualified leads much faster, since organic alone will take at least a year.
Why You Need Digital Assets for Marketing to Be Effective
Paid and organic marketing are essential to growing your brand. However, you still need to consider all of the different campaign types required in order to attract these qualified leads. That’s where quality content and digital assets come into play.
Digital assets are considered:
- Media kits
- Blog posts
- Landing pages
- Case studies
- Email series
Your marketing won’t be as effective if you do not have engaging content to promote. Buyers today do not want to be sold. That’s why you develop assets for your ideal buyers and promote those assets through the various digital marketing channels.
Business Owners Are Focused on the Bottom Line: More Sales
If you’re a business owner, you know this is true. You don’t care what the marketing does, but you care how it impacts your business. The end goal isn’t to get more followers on Facebook; it is to achieve more sales to grow your business.
That’s a great goal to have, but where a lot of businesses fall short is considering this hybrid approach to their marketing. They don’t think they need paid ads, or they don’t think they need a high-quality website. Hate to break the news to you all, but that couldn’t be more untrue.
Think quality over quantity. You need to have a quality website with quality content to attract each buyer type within the various stages of the buyer’s journey. Otherwise, your marketing strategy is flawed and you won’t get the results you want.
Final Thoughts on the ‘Pay to Play’ Era
Your business has a huge opportunity to succeed with today’s digital marketing strategies. The tools are literally at your fingertips.
The landscape has changed dramatically throughout the years, and it requires a team of professionals to accomplish this task. It isn’t something to push aside or consider as a small tool for your business; it is the primary driving source of leads today.
Get on board with the changes, or risk not growing your business. It’s up to you, but it’s really that simple.