WHAT IS DIGITAL MARKETING IN 2019? TOOLS AND CONCEPTS

Image credit @trommelkopf at Unsplash.com

Digital marketing
 is to a business now what coffee is to a hipster. 
 
The hipster could survive without a coffee, but not for long. And what a miserable existence would that be! Meanwhile, armed with a coffee, a hipster is capable of turning the world over – not even a lever is required. 
 
So what exactly is this digital marketing, that seems to make the world go round, drives postmen crazy for full month before Xmas and generally works for business sales like doping for Russian athletes – systematically and undeniably? 
 
Look no further, we will shed some neon light for you on:

  • What is digital marketing?
  • 10 Digital marketing tools

 
DOWN TO BUSINESS: DIGITAL MARKETING IS..

So, the dictionary definition of a digital marketing is that:
 
Digital Marketing is marketing of services and products implemented via digital media and with the help of digital tools & technologies.

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Printscreen: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_marketing

So basically, any activity, that is performed by a business to establish, create, maintain, nourish, sustain the relationship with the customer via Internet is referred to as digital marketing.
 
Digital marketing managers came up with a great term to break down the marketing funnel into stages, so that to explain to the uninitiated:
 
RACE:
Reach
Act
Convert
Engage

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Digital Marketing RACE Planning Framework explained
 
During each of the stages of the process a digital marketing manager will use a diverse set of tools and platforms to convert an unsuspecting cyber passer-by into a paying customer, skilfully leading you from Reach stage to Act phase into Convert step to polish this all ritual with Engage touch.
 
Let us have a closer look into exact details and give this RACE planning framework a bit more flavour and nuance with the digital marketing processes & techniques, that are utilised at each of the phases:
 
Reach:

  • SEO /Search Engine Optimization/
    • Content marketing
  • SEM /Search Engine Marketing/
    • Search PPC
    • Display Ads

Act:

  • Website:
    • Home page
    • Landing page
    • Product page
  • Influencer outreach
  • Social media /Facebook – or RenRen.com in China and VK.com in Russia, – Linked In, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat/
  • Remarketing
  • Merchandizing

 
Convert:

  • Remarketing
  • CRO /Conversion Rate optimization/
  • User-Generated content
  • Multi-channel selling

 
Engage:

  • Loyalty program
  • Personalisation
  • More remarketing
  • Email Program to re-engage

 
Digital marketing media is subcategorized into:
 
Owned media

  • Company website /eg: www.UK.cool/
  • Company blog
  • Mobile website
  • Social media /Facebook page, Linked In account, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat/

 
Paid media

  • Pay per click
  • Retargeting
  • Social media ads
  • Paid influencers
  • Paid content
  • Display ads
  • Banners

 
Earned media /AKA the power of MOW = Word of Mouth/

  • Social media natural engagement /likes, shares, comments/
  • Forum mentions & reviews
  • Google business account reviews
  • Review platform mentions & critiques and discussions /Tripadvisor, Yelp/
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Digital Marketing Media types explained: Owned media, Earned media, Paid media
 
Some digital marketing experts will put social media in a separate fourth category, but this categorization of the digital marketing media is more accurate, as social media is part of all three depending on the nature of relation.
 
DIGITAL MARKETING TOOLS & PLATFORMS. THE BEST FRIENDS THAT KEEP YOU ON YOUR TOES – AND IN THE GAME.
 
But when it comes to digital marketing tools, this is where this is real easy to get lost for a digital marketing virgin. Your middle name might not be Excel yet, but in this job you got to loooooove this tool. Analytics, trends, digits, ups and downs all have to be converted to actions. 
 
   Downward curve? 
   Why?
   What brought us here? 
   Market?
   Aggressive campaign by a fierce competitor? 
   Newcomer in the niche? 
   Global recession? 
   Low season?
   New technological advancement making the product obsolete? 
 
Yes, a good marketer will know the product, the niche, the market, the macro and micro economics so well as to be able to pinpoint the why, the when, the how of it. The great marketer will know how to fix it and how to never get there again.
 
   Reached the life-time peak? 
   Why?
   Did the social media post grow viral?
  Did the Google ads campaign shoot to the sky because of the last-week tweaking of the ad?
   Did we make the right decision to advertise during boxing day?
   Did the influencer hit the sweet spot with her million followers with her Instagram post?
   How can we grow on this success?
   How can we make this a new norm but cheaper?
 
Yes, a good digital marketing manager will know the answers to all of the above even when woken in the middle of the night after a wedding party of a best mate. A great marketer will repeat and beat own records time after time.

So, what do marketers use in order to monitor progress, pick up on trends, analyse achievements, scrutinize failures? Here come some major digital marketing tools no manager lives a day by without:

1. First things first: Google analytics
an abyss of data delivered in an easy-to-use intuitive interface, that is absolutely free, has free step-by-step courses and impeccable customer service.
 
Google Analytics is like a carcass, that you can build on for ever, but you cannot do without. The service provides a myriad of data regarding:

  • real time website visitors /locations, traffic sources, events/
  • audience /geo, age, interests, demographics, technology etc/
  • acquisition /channel, medium, Google Ads data, Search Console Data/
  • behaviour /behaviour flow, site content, site speed, site search, events/
  • conversion /goal conversion, attribution, e-commerce etc/
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Google Analytics account screenshot

As google analytics academy
 is an absolutely free educational resource, it does no harm to complete all the courses available for a better-rounded self. Indeed, you will be sent a certificate too – so that your Linked In profile looks more solid.
 
Google Analytics, unlike Google ads, provides data points across all channels and media – paid and unpaid. So you can use it to optimize a number of processes in your digital marketing plan: SEM, SEO, content creation and optimization, backlink building, SMM /Social media management/.
 
2. Google Ads is a tool no marketer can enjoy their data-crammed life without. It gives one an idea about all things paid to Google for being featured in the Google Search, display network and Youtube. Just like with most Google products, this resource has an extensive step-by-step video tutorial course on how to interpret each and every line in their reports – as well as a small “?” icon next to each of the terms – so you can hover over it to get a definition. 
Some of the major Google Ads parameters are:
 

  • Impressions /how many times Google algorithm picked your ad to be shown in users search results/
  • Clicks /how many times the user clicks on your ad when shown/
  • CTR /click through rate = impressions / clicks, which signals how attractive and relevant your ad is vs competitors/
  • CPC /Cost per click = cost / № of clicks/
  • Cost /$$ spent on ads in specific period/
  • Cost per conversion /how much $$ you paid per each of the conversions = cost /№ of conversions/
  • Average position /where was your ad shown on average in chosen period/
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Google ads account interface

All of the parameters are available across account, campaigns, ad groups ads, keywords, search terms and more. So the actual drill down potential is a favourite rabbit hole of all marketers and Google Adwords managers.
 
The regular Google practice would be to try and give you a sample of how beneficial it is for your business to do business with Google AdWords. What happens is that sometime after building a website and connecting a Google Analytics account to it, users are offered a trial 30$ in Google ads spend to start a Google Ads account. Ironically, such an offer sometimes catches up with you in – Tadah – Facebook feed!
 
If you are looking to deep-dive into Google AdWords – this is a great place to start this exciting journey.
 
3. Google Search Console is another must-have tool of a Digital Marketing manager as well as SEO specialist. The service helps users to analyse content of a website from the point of view of Google-algorithm friendliness. 
 

  • Google Search Console will alert you, if the page is unavailable with 404 error.
  • Google Search Console will alarm you if your canonical links got all messed up during HTPP to HTPPS switch.
  • Google Search Console will tell you if a specific URL has been indexed by Google yet and has a function requesting that very indexation for newly-created content.
  • The service allows to create a site map – to precipitate Google bots indexing your site quicker and more efficiently.
  • The tool will signal its users about the links that have errors or are excluded from indexing – and will let know the reason behind it.

Google Search Console account – Digital Marketing Tools 2019

Quite frankly, the Google Search Console is not a tool of a Digital Marketing Manager per se. It is a tool for a SEO specialist. But knowing its fundamentals is indeed a vital skill for a digital marketing manager. A DMM is supposed to be able to read the trends off the panel and instruct the SEO and webmaster to fix corresponding issues – or task a content manager to re-write an article on the blog to improve its search position.
 
Being smart as you are, our dear readers, you guessed it right: there is an extensive body of learning materials available on the topic of Google Search Console.
 
4. Facebook Business Manager & Facebook Analytics is so far from its free front store user version, like a 2 week-old fluffy kitten is far from its distant relative black panther, the mom of 12 cubs from 5 different litters and the creature you naturally resist messing around with. Just as a black panther comes across intimidating, all the multiple functions of a Facebook Ads interface are equally scary and frightening to a novice.  

The good news is – one can start with mere Facebook Post Boost option – that is pretty intuitive and can be mastered within an hour to perfection. Once you have done that, it is much less nerve-racking to start approaching the Facebook Business Manager. 
 
If the comparison with panther didn’t do the trick, let us just suggest, that to get a full command of all the nuances of a Facebook Marketing Specialists requires months of training and months of on-the-job practice. Facebook Marketing Specialists are capable of commanding higher price tag, than SEO or SEM specialists – as Facebook conversion is usually times cheaper, than Google ones.
 
So if the niche you, your client or your employer decided to do business in, is a Facebook- and Instagram-friendly niche – lucky is your marketing budget – you basically are capable of getting more conversions for your buck.

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Facebook Ads Manager print screen
 
Speaking honestly though, Facebook ads do great in B2C segments and are not so well for B2B industries. So if we were to reduce it to amoeba levels of simplicity: it is kinda challenging to sell iron and coal in Facebook, but if your niche is in FMCG, fashion, cosmetics and the like – Instagram and Facebook are your best friends.
 
Targeting in Facebook is as developed as it is in Google with some parameters even more expanded. Facebook and Instagram advertisers may target their audience based on:

  • Geo /continent, country, region, city, down to address + X Miles/
  • Gender /male, female, other/
  • Age group 
  • Interests /arts, sports etc. – drill down can get quite specific/
  • Profession /this is pretty general for some niches and is limiting, as people don’t tend to bother to keep their professional data updated in Facebook/
  • Employer /those who have linked their employer’s company profile to their profile will be targeted/
  • Device /iPhone 8, iPhone XR, iPhone X etc/

 
5. Canva– free designing tool for simple marketing outlays: Facebook posts, banners, presentations, cards and more. 

The interface is intuitive, based on drag & drop principle. Even though Canva features a freemium model, the basic features and templates in free range are sufficient to keep a small & medium business designing needs catered for.
 
When combined with photography from resources with copyright free imagery, like Unsplash.com, Canva may well be sufficient for many smaller businesses.

Canva.com account print screen
 
The user can compile own design playing with templates, uploaded images, shapes, texts – as well as colours, fonts, layers, transparency and positions.
 
If Photoshop is just too much for you to both: master and pay for – Canva is free and easy to grasp command of.
 
6. When touching upon a PR realm of paid content marketing and backlink building – content markeplace platfroms like PRNEWS.IO are a real find. 

Journalist hunting is a total different level playing field with top names having a huge socail media following and having price tags starting from 2-3K for an Instagram post. If you want to get a journalist interested in writing a piece about your product – this woujld previously involve a lot of manual work, time, efforts and resources. 
 
Journalists are picky as to what they want to cover, having your link with “dofollow” parameters used to be as hard as having your name tatooed on David Beckham’s shoulder. No longer.

PRnews.IO and similar platfroms turned the industry upside down. If you need to build some backlinks and create a network of linked mentions to your website – noew you get to do it with few clicks.
 
The system is transparent and fool-proof. Choose your press-release, actricle or advetorial placement by:

  • Region
  • Country
  • Language
  • Category / arts / financail / ICO / legal etc
  • Follow link / no follow link
  • Type: article, advertorial, press release, native ads
  • With / without video
  • By delivery time: 24 hrs – 3 days

 
Rates start from as low as $30, but it the choice is better in the 100-500 price range, where resources with low spam rate, high Alexa ranking and high monthly audience views are abundant.
 
7. Medium– when it comes to blogging and your website has not yet gotten as much traffic as you wish – Medium could be the way to boost that slow-growing traffic curve. 

The plafrom is free to join and anyone can write an article in Medium. What is not so well-known though, is that it is possible to make sure all the traffic weight goes to your own website, not to Medium. So that you mark your website as the one having canonical link.
 
Sharing your industry knowledge with the world might be costly, but when it comes to blogging – once you have found your reader, the loyalty is rewarding indeed.

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Medium.com Home page screen shot – Digital Marketing Blogging Tool

Digital Marketing has been on the rise and there is no way to stop it. Tools are emerging day in day out to ease the hectic job of a Digital Marketing Manager. Top tech giants compete for marketing budgets. Social Media platforms get better and better at reaching the very closely targeted audience, with virtually 0% of budget spent off the target. 
 
For all we know:
 
Digital marketing is the NOW
Digital marketing is the TOMORROW
Digital marketing is the HOW
Digital marketing is the HOW MUCH
Digital marketing is the CLIENT
Digital marketing is the TRAFFIC
Digital marketing is the MONEY 
 
Keep an eye on our blog for more fun & informative pieces. We love putting those letters together for you in an orderly string of hopefully enterntaining thoughts.

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