Good news, you can! Gone are the days of expensive traditional marketing costs that might help you break even on your return of investment. Now, through the power of the Internet, you have access to millions of potential customers at a price that dwarfs what traditional marketing charges.
After reviewing our successes we’ve brought to our clients over the years, we sat down one Monday morning and wondered how we could make it better. As a result of our efforts, we’ve updated our Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ down in the Cobalt Digital Marketing laboratory to take full advantage of current digital marketing strategies while maximizing your earning potential in the online space through many new and different avenues. Let’s check them out below.
1. Social Media
Let’s get down to brass tacks. Social media platforms are a popular way to connect with both family and friends, but it is absolutely crucial for business owners to realize the potential social media has on how you can market yourself and/or your products and services.
The beauty of social media from a business perspective is that it opens up sales opportunities to a worldwide audience, something that advertising through a local TV ad agency can’t do. The world is—quite literally—at your window by utilizing this effective method of advertising that can increase your business revenue exponentially.
Let’s analyze the facts. According to the Pew Research Center, 72 percent of adults in the United States use at least one social media site, whether it is Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or Twitter. As per the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. population falls around 329,638,702 individuals at the time of writing this blog. Put two and two together and you get a social media platform that enables you to reach millions of potential customers.
That is if you know how to optimize social media to do so. Luckily, your friendly catalysts at Cobalt Digital Marketing make a living off of doing just that, giving you the opportunity to make large returns on your investment.
2. Content Marketing
Blogging isn’t only about documenting your feelings anymore, so you don’t have to dust off the ol’ LiveJournal to rake in all of that internet revenue. In fact, blogging is just one area of practice within content marketing that digital marketers like us have perfected.
What is content marketing? At its base, content marketing is an inexpensive strategy that builds relationships between businesses and consumers through engaging storytelling. In detail, content marketing embraces long-term marketing strategies that focus on the development of strong relationships with consumers through high-quality content that is designed to attract them to your website, establish you as an authority figure in your particular niche, and, ultimately, entice them to purchase your product and/or service.
In actuality, content marketing isn’t only employable through written word like blogs. Content could mean any medium in which you distribute high value, relevant information. For example, you could create video content that shows how a certain popular dish is prepared at your restaurant with alluring visuals and a solid call to action that prompts viewers to stop by there and eat.
Regarding content marketing’s success, don’t just take our word for it. Demand Metric conducted a study that found:
- Content marketing generally costs 62 percent less than outbound marketing and generates around three times as many leads as traditional marketing.
- On average, a company increases its lead acquisition by 67 percent per month through company blogs produced.
- Around 60 percent of consumers actually enjoy reading relevant blog content from the brands they do business with.
- Most importantly, about 90 percent of consumers found that content produced by brands useful.
3. Web Design/Creation
According to Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility, approximately 75 percent of consumers who visit business websites claim that they will judge its credibility based on the design of their website. If anything is certain in digital marketing, it is that first impressions mean everything, and simply using default templates on your website won’t cut it.
Web design encompasses the overall planning, creation, and maintenance of a website. It may seem like a simple process, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth.
Like content marketing, web design includes a bevy of different skills and disciplines that web designers use to make websites pop, such as:
- Web Graphic Design
- Interface Design
- Authoring (i.e. Publishing Content Tools)
- UX Design (i.e. User Experience Design)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The most visually appealing website may intrigue a visitor, but it won’t make them stay. In fact, designing a website that is poor in legibility (e.g. spelling errors, poor choice of font style and color) and is lacking in usability (e.g. hard to navigate, broken links, etc.) is one of the primary reasons why visitors leave websites.
Improving the aesthetic of the website by streamlining the user interface (UI) with the visitor in mind is what keeps them coming back. In an online marketing space where looks matter, poor web design is essentially wing clipping your business from soaring to more profitable skies.
The best content, website design, and social media campaign will do little for your business and conversion rate if you aren’t adhering to the rules that search engines enforce. All websites must follow numerous rules, which, in some cases, number up to the hundreds—looking at you, Google.
The thing is, search engines keep their ranking algorithms a secret, so digital marketers must analyze industry data, ranking fluctuations, and analytics in order to determine how our websites are “graded” and subsequently ranked in the search engine results page (SERP).
Search engine optimization (SEO), a big part of search engine marketing (SEM), is the digital marketing process where digital marketers implement these rules onto their websites in order to lead-free traffic from the SERP to your website.
To illustrate this process, let’s assume that a user is searching for gourmet coffee online, and you own a gourmet coffee retail business. In order to rank up and place on the SERP, you have to make sure that your website is optimized for/with:
- Mobile Usage
- Page Load Speed
- The Value Visitors Get From Your Content
- User Experience
- Time Spent on Your Website
If your online gourmet coffee business is significantly lacking in any of these areas—or the over 200 (and possibly over 10,000) other SEO ranking factors that Google enforces—these visitors looking for your product may not see your website as it won’t be designed in a way that Google deems acceptable to place on the first results page. If it is really bad, Google won’t even index your website, meaning that Google won’t pull it up at all. In all, this could lead to lost business.
5. Local Search Marketing
If you’ve got a brick-and-mortar establishment, local search marketing is definitely something that you want to take advantage of. Why? Because—according to SEO Tribunal—88 percent of consumers that did a local search on a mobile device called or visited the store within a 24 hour period.
In fact, the report states that 97 percent of people learn more about your business online compared to any other place.
These statistics signify that implementing local search marketing into their digital marketing strategy is a recipe for success, driving more foot traffic into your business and increasing revenue. A lot of the clients that we service—including us—are local to the Rio Grande Valley
To effectively accomplish this for our clients, we have improved on this aspect of our Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ to optimize your business information with accurate local information so that search engines will have no trouble placing them within the right searches.
Also known as pay-per-click, PPC uses ads that entice users to visit your website by clicking on the ad, and in the process, a small fee is charged each time someone clicks on it. Think of it as buying traffic to your website instead of earning it organically through sound SEO practices.
When we say ads, we don’t mean your standard pop-up. By bidding on these ads, you are getting a front row seat on the first SERP, placing a sponsored link when someone searches for your particular keywords related to your business. This could be a blessing to a business looking to make a profit, as according to WordStream, the top three paid ad spots on Google’s SERP get 41 percent of clicks on the page.
In fact, PPC is so successful that, according to research, 50 percent of users that click on a paid ad are more likely to make a purchase than a user who arrived at your website through an organic link. If that visit led to a sale, it would well cover any fee paid to the ad and still provide ample amounts of profit to your business, granting a solid return on your investment.
7. Data Analysis
Data analysis is the majority of what we do. Every day, we must read the stats provided by Google Analytics to help us make better, well-informed decisions that can steer a struggling digital marketing strategy into a more profitable pathway. It requires a trained eye and some good ol’ fashioned digital marketing terminology know-how.
Yet, doing this part of our Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ isn’t as much hassle as you would think. Intuitive designs and easy-to-use interfaces within Google Analytics gives us more insight into what aspects of your website are doing well and which ones need improvement.
This is what makes digital marketing so much more effective than traditional marketing. We get results in real-time, giving us the reaction time necessary to stymie any detriment to our strategy and devise one that nets your business more revenue. By doing this, we waste little time, money, and resources, which means the savings get passed back to you.