Are you a bit lost at sea when it comes to digital marketing? If you are a business owner, you already have a ton of fish to fry; and if you are a marketing manager, it can be time-consuming, and maybe a bit overwhelming, to sort through all the potential advertising channels out there.
There are still some companies that cling to traditional marketing channels such as radio and newspapers, and are reluctant to branch out into the world of online advertising. While traditional marketing certainly has its benefits, we know that you have greater ambitions for your business. After all, fishermen go where the fish are; you want to go where your customers are, and nowadays, that’s the vast ocean we know as the Internet.
Okay, hold on a second. How do we really know that digital marketing is better than more traditional methods? And what are some digital marketing channels that can yield a massive ROI for your company? Let’s dive into the world of online marketing and see what gems we can discover.
The Old Way
For decades, advertising departments poured a steady stream of money into the old guard of communications and media. Radio spots, TV commercials, full page advertisements in the Sunday paper.
Over the last few years, however, two problems with this approach have emerged. First of all, more and more people receive their news through online sources. They communicate with the outside world through their smartphones and Wi-Fi connections. Traditional media is just not “where it’s at” anymore.
Secondly, traditional advertising can be both ineffective and cost-prohibitive. Here’s an example: as of 2017, the estimated cost to place an advertisement in the Sunday edition of the Washington Post, (to be clear, an advertisement that only takes up 1/8 of a page), comes out to $20,428! That means that for the roughly 551,000 readers of the Post, you’d be paying a CPM rate of $37 per 1,000! What if you went for a full page ad? Your CPM rate would skyrocket to $296 per 1,000! That means you would be paying 30 cents per individualsubscriber to the Washington Post. Moreover, you would be completely unable to target specific subgroups in the paper’s broad base of readers.
Well, that’s an example of the old way of doing things. Let’s see how the new, digital way stacks up.
The New Way
There are several options in digital marketing that your company can leverage to great advantage. Very often these are inexpensive, targeted, and effective advertising methods. Here are a few to consider.
Facebook is not only a social media giant, it is a rich source of profitable advertising. After all, Facebook has its tentacles in just about every piece of the World Wide Web’s pie! As of the third quarter of 2016, the average CPM rates to advertise on Facebook come out to $7.19 per 1,000 impressions – far more cost-effective than placing a newspaper ad!
Facebook advertising also allows you to target a specific audience, or audiences, in the consumer base. If your objective is simply brand exposure, then Facebook assists you to reach out to a large pool of potential customers. On the other hand, if you want to focus more on lead conversion, Facebook will narrow the pool of users to which it shows your ad, based on factors such as relevance and users’ past behaviour. While this will limit your brand’s overall exposure, those who are targeted are more likely to become your customers.
Instagram, one of Facebook’s “child” companies, also offers wonderful marketing opportunities for savvy businesses. At about $5 per 1,000 impressions, Instagram CPM ratesare typically lower than Facebook. However, the ROI on Instagram advertisements can be significantly higher than results from Facebook. In March 2017 over 120 million Instagram users actively sought out more information on a company as a result of an Instagram ad!
Just like Facebook, successful Instagram marketing depends on knowing your specific objective, and then targeting the right subgroup of users to maximize your return on investment. Even though it may take some time to find your “perfect audience” on Instagram, the potential benefits far outweigh the expenditure of time and resources.
Google, Yahoo! and Bing
If the Internet is the brave new world of marketing, then the big 3 of search engines are the gateways through which you must enter. Google, of course, is the predominant search engine, but the marketing potential of Yahoo! and Bing should not be discounted offhand.
One way that businesses try to leverage search engine results to their advantage is through pay-per-click (or PPC) marketing. This is like fishing for salmon during one of their yearly runs: you don’t have to chase your customers, they’ll come to you!
But is the cost of PPC marketing worth it? According to one source, companies who use Google Ads (which is basically a PPC service) generate $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend. Clearly, PPC and other forms of search engine marketing can help you haul in a big catch!
Optimizing your website’s content to make it more “attractive” to Google and the other search engines is another effective digital marketing tool. It is actually possible to implement limited SEO without paying a dime; however, for the best results it is a good idea to hire a firm with expertise in SEO methods.
There are many analytics tools available that will help you determine how effective your SEO is. One thing is certain: if you want to be competitive, then SEO is not optional, it is mandatory.
Many companies tend to view an email newsletter as an embarrassing and ineffective relic from some past life. However, nothing could be further from the truth! An engaging and well-crafted newsletter can generate tons of revenue for your company, and drive customer retention and loyalty. If you want to look at some examples of successful email marketing, and their benefits, click here.
Navigating the Digital Seas
The seas of digital marketing may be treacherous waters indeed for the unwary. However, with a reliable guide and a sturdy business plan, you will be able to reach your marketing objectives, (and do so faster than through traditional channels).
At Octopus Creative, we want to be your marketing sidekicks. We’ve already helped dozens of our clients successfully navigate the seas of digital marketing, with increased traffic, customer retention, and profit as the result. Don’t be afraid! Climb aboard our ship, and let’s start our journey together.
Oh, and PS, we’re recognized as a top Inbound Marketing Company on DesignRush!