Digital marketing is gaining momentum in India. Brands, Ad Agencies and companies are taking digital more seriously than ever before. One of the biggest advantages that Digital Marketing brings to the table is Measurement. We all have heard the old adage: “I know half my marketing works, I just don’t know which half.”
Digital marketing solves that problem with analytics and reporting and helps us optimize our ad campaigns. Display ads, social media ads, email ads etc. all are measurable and the computers don’t make mathematical mistakes. We can find out which banners get the maximum CTR, which ads convert the best and what subject lines for the emails get the highest open rates.
Display ads, email marketing, social media marketing, PPC marketing and content marketing are the digital marketing methods which has caught the most attention of the companies who usually invested only in traditional marketing.
Old-School SEO Can Hurt You!
SEO is also gaining momentum but because of the recent algorithmic changes by Google, marketers are confused about the right approach to it.
By now, I guess many companies have realized that hiring an SEO agency to do old school SEO stuff like link building, article marketing and directory submissions can do more harm in the long term than good.
Now that there are so many digital marketing methods available to be exploited, the question arises – how to use all of these methods in such a way that each digital marketing method complements each other?
[box type=”info” ]Investment in social media should help SEO, SEO should help content marketing, content should help in email marketing and in turn email should help in social media and SEO. The art of combining all the digital marketing methods into a single efficient system is called Integrated Digital Marketing.[/box]
Integrated Digital Marketing
Integrated digital marketing works in such a way that SEO, Email, Content and Social Media complement each other instead of trying to achieve the goal of increasing branding or sales on its own.
For example, it has been proved that Social Media advertising gives a poor ROI since the conversion rates are very low. But that happens only when marketers try to use social media ads to drive the sales directly.
But social media is best utilized when trying to build a following, spread the word about an idea or a brand and used as a listening tool instead of a sales machine.
The following diagram shows how each digital marketing method can complement each other and help build a tribe/following which helps in branding, lead generation, sales and getting feedback about the products and services of a company.
You can observe that content marketing is the central piece in integrated digital marketing. Content marketing helps build a brand online, build trust and authority in the market place.
Content Marketing is Crucial
When you publish good content, the search engines pick up quality signals through the user behavior. For example if a search result is clicked and a user spends a lot of time on the page without clicking the back button, then it is an obvious signal that the page is of good quality and also relevant to the search keyword.
Thus content marketing, or rather quality content marketing can help in SEO. In the above diagram, the orange lines mean signals and black ones means the traffic flow.
Social Media Marketing
Good content is also shared on social media. When new visitors come through the search engines and find the content very useful, they will be compelled to share it with their friends because by sharing something useful they gain credibility among their followers.
[box type=”info” ]Good quality content is a key to an effective social media strategy. Fortunately, the search engines also pickup social signals to determine the quality of a page. If a page is shared 100 times on Facebook, that information helps the search engines in ranking the page.[/box]
Off-Page and On Page SEO
SEO is not dead. But off-page optimization is dead. Because off-page signals have to be sent to the search engines through the user behavior and not the webmaster.
User behavior such as no social sharing and less time spent on the site is a signal that the web page is either of low quality or it is of low relevancy. You cannot off-page-optimize a website. There is no such thing as off page optimization now. There is only off page signals and a webmaster has nothing to do about it.
On-page optimization is the webmaster communicating to the search engines about the quality and relevancy of a website. On-page optimization has to be done properly because the search engines are robots and not humans.
The data has to be spoon fed to them so that they can understand what the site is about. This information combined with off-page signals can help them rank a website accordingly.
Now let us see how to integrate email marketing into this mix. To do email marketing, you need subscribers first. And these subscribers should be opt-in subscribers who are giving you permission to send them messages.
High quality opt-in subscribers can be gained only from a content channel. This content channel can be your own or it can be someone else’s. (You can advertise in other’s content channel to gain subscribers). But having your own content channel can help reduce cost per lead acquisition drastically.
You basically pull in subscribers from search and social media using your content as the magnet. Search engines do not send traffic directly to landing pages with forms and such landing pages are also not shared on social media. But both channels will send traffic to content from which you can get email subscribers.
How it all Comes Together
When you publish fresh content, you can update your email subscribers with the new content you have published and those subscribers will share it on social media. This sends user behavior signals and social signals to the search engines and new visitors will come to your content channel via the search engines – which can help in increasing you social media followers and email subscribers as well!
I hope this post gave you a lot of ideas about how content marketing can be enhanced using social, search and email. I have been using this method to gain footprint in a lot of markets and I have also been consulting a lot of companies to follow the integrated marketing route to get the maximum out of digital marketing. Every time, I am just pleasantly surprised with the results. This is content marketing 2.0!
If you have any questions, ask them in the comments below.
[box type=”shadow” ]About the Author: Deepak Kanakaraju is a digital marketing consultant from Bangalore, India. He has 5+ years of experience in digital marketing. He blogs about digital marketing tips at DigitalDeepak.com[/box]