Marketing is getting more and more difficult, as consumers grow increasingly wary of being "marketed to." Stories have a way of cutting through the clutter and helping to create an emotional investment in your business or product. Being able to envision and articulate the story behind your brand will be a defining characteristic of successful marketers as consumers become more and more cynical.
Word of mouth communications and peer-to-peer dialogue often have a greater effect on customers, since they are not sent directly from the company and are therefore not planned. Customers are more likely to trust other customers’ experiences.[22] Examples can be that social media users share food products and meal experiences highlighting certain brands and franchises. This was noted in a study on Instagram, where researchers observed that adolescent Instagram users' posted images of food-related experiences within their social networks, providing free advertising for the products.[26]
Digital marketers monitor things like what is being viewed, how often and for how long, sales conversions, what content works and doesn’t work, etc. While the Internet is, perhaps, the channel most closely associated with digital marketing, others include text messaging, instant messaging, apps, podcasts, electronic billboards, digtal television and radio channels, etc.
When writing this guide, we reached out to the marketer community to collect case studies and learnings about creative marketing strategies. Most of these examples are included throughout the guide, but some didn’t quite fit. So we included those loose ends here, from the perspective of four awesome marketers. What better way to wrap up this guide than with you, our community?
DisabledGO, an information provider for people with disabilities in the UK and Ireland, hired Agency51 to implement an SEO migration strategy to move DisabledGO from an old platform to a new one. By applying 301 redirects to old URLS, transferring metadata, setting up Google webmaster tools, and creating a new sitemap, Agency 51 was able to successfully transfer DisabledGO to a new platform while keeping their previous SEO power alive. Additionally, they were able to boost visitor numbers by 21% year over year, and the site restructuring allowed DisabledGO to rank higher than competitors. Their case study is available on SingleGrain.com.
Connecting the dots between marketing and sales is hugely important -- according to Aberdeen Group, companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve a 20% annual growth rate, compared to a 4% decline in revenue for companies with poor alignment. If you can improve your customer's' journey through the buying cycle by using digital technologies, then it's likely to reflect positively on your business's bottom line.
Thanks for a great post, love your point about continuing with what drives traffic and dumping what doesn’t. From your experience, how do you determine if a strategy really isn’t working, or if it just hasn’t been put in place persistent enough to see the results? I anticipate some strategies are more long term and won’t show effects immediately, so without the benefit of hindsight, how do we decide whether to keep going or not when we are trying something new?
Online marketing requires a willingness to put in hard work now, even though you may not see the results for months (or even years) to come. There are no quick fixes when it comes to online marketing, so you must be prepared to continually work toward your goal without losing steam. A lack of short-term results may be disheartening, but if you’re patient, the results will be well worth the wait.
Just out of curiosity, how did you first start practicing SEO? Did you just pick some other topic a lot of people where searching for, such as dog training for example, and then create a blog on that topic so you could practice getting that blog ranked higher? I would love to know your story of the initial strategy you used for practicing SEO, social media, etc. when you were first getting started learning it/them.
The biggest problem that most people have when trying to learn anything to do with driving more traffic to their website or boosting their visibility across a variety of online mediums, is that they try to do the least amount of work for the greatest return. They cut corners and they take shortcuts. Because of that, they fail. Today, if you're serious about marketing anything on the web, you have to gain Google's trust.
Our SEM team has been managing paid search since its inception and is driven solely by analytics and financial data. Our core focus is to expand our clients’ campaigns, drive quality traffic that will foster conversions and increase revenue, while decreasing the cost per acquisition. IMI’s PPC team members are recognized thought leaders, active bloggers and speakers and major tradeshows, and care deeply about each and every client. We manage our client’s budgets as if it was our own, tracking every dollar and optimizing towards very specific milestones and metrics.
Our digital agency offers both traditional targeted online display advertising as well as behavioral retargeting. Through an intense discovery process, our team will determine the most optimal marketing mix for your online media plan. We will leverage ad network partnerships for planning the ideal media buys and negotiating the best possible pricing.
SEO should be a core tactic in any marketing strategy. While it might seem difficult to understand at first, as long as you find the right course, book or audiobook, and devote your time to learning, you'll be in good shape. Considering that there are over 200+ ranking factors in Google's current algorithms, learning, digesting and successfully implementing good SEO tactics is essential to the success of your website or blog.

Hey Neil – you continue to impress and I love you even more. I have a strong theory that 95% of what you need for SEO you can get for free through blogs and Moz and now Quicksprout. What’s rare is for everything to be grouped into an easy to use beautiful video series. I’m glad you used Brian Dean as well because he tends to give very actionable advice like you as opposed to that high level vague strategy stuff.

Much like SEO specialists, Internet marketers analyze their clients’ websites and use a variety of tools and sources to create effective marketing campaigns. They often manage various projects at one time and employ a variety of different marketing techniques, such as paid search marketing, email marketing, banner ads, blog implementation, organic optimization, and link building. Internet marketers must know which websites to place banner advertisements on and use various SEO and SEM techniques to make sure their implementation is effective. Some Internet marketers are also involved in managing everyday client relationships, both through casual correspondence and formal presentations. Others create and deliver training courses to a variety of client groups. As you are beginning to understand, Internet marketers are flexible and can work in a variety of industries and capacities.

To answer the question 'What is digital marketing?', we have put together this new visual definition summarizing all the activities that form digital marketing that needs to be managed across the Smart Insights RACE Planning framework. It's used in the new, 6th edition of Dave's Digital Marketing book. We explain best practices for all of these in our Digital Marketing Elearning course.  The infographic is divided into activities to develop and manage digital strategy at the top to the marketing activities at the bottom.
Targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic: Targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic all are aspects used by marketers to help advocate digital advertising. Cookies are a form of digital advertising, which are tracking tools within desktop devices; causing difficulty, with shortcomings including deletion by web browsers, the inability to sort between multiple users of a device, inaccurate estimates for unique visitors, overstating reach, understanding frequency, problems with ad servers, which cannot distinguish between when cookies have been deleted and when consumers have not previously been exposed to an ad. Due to the inaccuracies influenced by cookies, demographics in the target market are low and vary (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Another element, which is affected within digital marketing, is ‘viewabilty’ or whether the ad was actually seen by the consumer. Many ads are not seen by a consumer and may never reach the right demographic segment. Brand safety is another issue of whether or not the ad was produced in the context of being unethical or having offensive content. Recognizing fraud when an ad is exposed is another challenge marketers face. This relates to invalid traffic as premium sites are more effective at detecting fraudulent traffic, although non-premium sites are more so the problem (Whiteside, 2016).[42]
Being able to work as an Internet marketer definitely sounds like a tempting idea. Why? Well, when you're exposed to hundreds and even thousands of success stories about Internet marketers, who achieved a lot in a very short timeframe, then it's understandable to wish to join. However, it's worth mentioning that catching this marketer's wave of success is much easier said than done. There's a handful of essential characteristics a truly successful Internet marketer has to possess or develop:
Businesses leverage various digital channels, such as search engines, social media, email, and their websites to connect with current and prospective customers. At a high level, digital marketing refers to advertising delivered through these digital channels. This term covers a wide range of marketing activities, such as paid search, organic SEO, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, content marketing, video marketing, and so much more.
After your site has been built out, creating a social media presence is the best second step for most businesses. All businesses should have a Facebook Page that’s fully fleshed out with plenty of information about your business. Depending on your audience, you can also start a Twitter, Instagram, and/or Pinterest account. Social media is a long-term commitment that requires frequently updating and monitoring, but it’s one of the best ways to build an online community around your business.
Organic SEO's flip-side offers up a paid method for marketing on search engines like Google. SEM provides an avenue for displaying ads through networks such as Google's Adwords and other paid search platforms that exist across the web throughout social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and even video sites like YouTube, which, invariably, is the world's second largest search engine.
In a well-integrated strategy, customer service and sales teams primarily need to have some insight into the facets of digital marketing, but there’s usually a lot of outdated information or prevailing myths concerning it. This can only create misunderstandings across teams or lead the non-marketing staff to miss out on viable solutions and opportunities in their work. In light of that, we’re here to debunk the 5 most common digital marketing myths.

Digital marketing's development since the 1990s and 2000s has changed the way brands and businesses use technology for marketing.[2] As digital platforms are increasingly incorporated into marketing plans and everyday life,[3] and as people use digital devices instead of visiting physical shops,[4][5] digital marketing campaigns are becoming more prevalent and efficient.


Content is king. It always has been and it always will be. Creating insightful, engaging and unique content should be at the heart of any online marketing strategy. Too often, people simply don't obey this rule. The problem? This takes an extraordinary amount of work. However, anyone that tells you that content isn't important, is not being fully transparent with you. You cannot excel in marketing anything on the internet without having quality content.
That doesn't mean you won't make any money at the outset. No, as long as you configure the right free offer to capture those all-important email addresses on your squeeze pages, and you build a great value chain with excellent sales funnels, you'll succeed. If all that sounds confusing to you, don't worry, you'll learn over time. That's what internet marketing is all about. It's a constant and never-ending education into an oftentimes-convoluted field filled with less-than-scrupulous individuals.

Your social media strategy is more than just a Facebook profile or Twitter feed. When executed correctly, social media is a powerful customer engagement engine and web traffic driver. It’s easy to get sucked into the hype and create profiles on every single social site. This is the wrong approach. What you should do instead is to focus on a few key channels where your brand is most likely to reach key customers and prospects. This chapter will teach you how to make that judgment call.
For example, what are the quality and quantity of the links that have been created over time? Are they natural and organic links stemming from relevant and high quality content, or are they spammy links, unnatural links or coming from bad link neighborhoods? Are all the links coming from the same few websites over time or is there a healthy amount of global IP diversification in the links?
Companies often use email marketing to re-engage past customers, but a “Where’d You Go? Want To Buy This?” message can come across as aggressive, and you want to be careful with your wording to cultivate a long-term email subscriber. This is why JetBlue’s one year re-engagement email works so well -- it uses humor to convey a sense of friendliness and fun, while simultaneously reminding an old email subscriber they might want to check out some of JetBlue’s new flight deals.
Professor Clarence Lee is an assistant professor at the Johnson Graduate School of Management, where he is a Breazzano Family Sesquicentennial Fellow. Professor Lee’s research examines the drivers behind consumer adoption, usage, and purchase dynamics of digital goods, where he models consumer behavior using Bayesian statistics, structural econometrics, and machine learning techniques. Digital products and platforms, such as the ones produced by many Silicon Valley and NYC tech start-ups, are increasingly present in almost all consumer interactions. In such settings, understanding consumer choice and the dynamics of engagement and usage become critically important in order to acquire, serve, and retain consumers. He currently teaches Digital Marketing and Data Analytics & Modeling at both the Ithaca and Cornell Tech campuses.

In addition to this, make use of as much free information as you can. There is a huge amount of great reference material online that can be found in books, eBooks, video and on blogs. It is often difficult to sift through conflicting information and ideas online, but again, ask your mentor and trusted associates for help in directing you toward informative blogs, forums and other reliable free resources.
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