How Does Content Marketing Support Digital Marketing?

Content marketing and digital marketing. They go together like bed and breakfast. Copy and paste. Jim and Pam. Chinese food and chocolate pudding. The perfect pair. Inseparably awesome.

Well actually, if we’re being honest, content marketing is kind of a kook.

It totally plays second fiddle to digital marketing. Like a weird, nerdy sidekick that people find generally annoying but put up with because for some reason digital marketing is friends with it and keeps bringing it around.

But here’s the thing. There would be no digital marketing without content marketing. Or at least, digital marketing wouldn’t be so great. Content marketing knows what it’s about. It’s a supporting character there to make the lead look good. Sure, digital marketing gets all the fortune and glory, but without content marketing it wouldn’t be nearly as effective. Time and again, through persistence, latent badassery and a set of unique talents perfectly suited for the occasion, content marketing saves the day.

Your day.

Your digital marketing team’s day.

Your business’s day.

Making that day go from feeling like this….

….to this:

Or at least it should be doing this. Is it doing this? We hope it’s doing this.

If not, read on.

Just how does content marketing support digital marketing? Today, we’re going to look at the wonderful ways content supports and online business, and how your business can get in on the party.

 

Content Marketing — It’s What’s for Dinner

What is content marketing in digital marketing? You might think you know. And you’re probably right. Because it’s freakin’ everywhere. And everyone one of us is consuming it like a baby pig eating cake.

Blogs. Social media posts. Email newsletters. YouTube videos. Podcasts. eBooks. Infographics. Memes. Twitch streams. Whitepapers. Apps. Ryan Reynolds. All are very effective types of content marketing.

You see, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that involves the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant material online (like those mentioned above) to attract and retain a target audience with the goal of driving profitable interactions with your brand.

Or — in layman’s terms — it’s stuff you put online to get people to buy other stuff from you.

 

How Does Content Marketing Work?

Of course, driving sales isn’t the only reason why businesses use content marketing. They also use it for all other sorts of fun things. Nurturing leads. Generating analytics. Increasing brand awareness. Improving search engine rankings.

They achieve these goals through a number of tried and true tactics.

  • Audience segmentation
  • A/B testing
  • Engaging writing
  • Relevant writing
  • Targeting niche topics
  • Targeting trending topics
  • Hiring influencers
  • Creating educational content
  • Creating entertaining content
  • User-generated content
  • Native advertising
  • Getting Ryan Reynolds to buy your company
  • Social media content
  • Multi-media content like images, albums, video, interactive graphics etc.

Each of these is based on a fundamental content marketing principle — content should be suited to your specific business and audience that stays true to your brand and helps make your other marketing channels as effective as possible. Overall, a strong content marketing strategy simultaneously educates customers, nurtures prospects, informs businesses decisions, and closes sales.

Wait. Hold the phone.

What are we doing here?

This isn’t what you thought you were getting when you clicked on this post.

Here we are spitting out definitions at you like this is Wikipedia, when what you really wanted was us to show you the role of content marketing in digital marketing.

Well, you’re welcome.

Because we just did.

This post isn’t just about content marketing. It IS a piece of content marketing. And you’re currently in it.

And that my friends is content marketing in action.

But no time to loiter. Pick up the pieces of your blown mind because we’re about to show how to apply this same brilliance to your digital marketing strategy.

 

The Most Important Thing to Remember About Content Marketing

Content marketing and digital marketing are technically different entities. Though it might not seem so these days, given that the Internet has grown so powerful that all things business are quickly becoming digital.

But like we said at the start, in reality content marketing isn’t so much different than other types of marketing, as it is a supporting character to them. Other types of marketing are conversion driven. Content marketing — for the most part — is informationally driven. (Is informationally a word? Does it work here? Let’s say it is and does.)

Our friends over at the Content Marketing Institute put it best when they said:

“Content marketing is, and has always been, best served as an integrated infusion into a broader marketing strategy – a multiplier. Content marketing is the opportunity to make everything we do better.”

You don’t have to tell your content team this (they’ll probably start asking for raises) but remember it because implementing content marketing in this way will provide the maximum benefit to all your other types of marketing.

Here’s some stats about why content marketing in digital marketing is just so important. SEMrush 2019 research suggests that search traffic is the no. 1 source for traffic to blogs – across all industries. Plus 70% of marketers claim they are actively investing in content marketing – and no wonder, as much as 40% say it’s “very important” for their overall marketing.

Don’t Be Like Most Companies — Impotent

Only 42% of B2B marketers say they’re good at content marketing. Which means the majority feel inadequate about their performance. That’s sad. No one wants to feel impotent. (So we’ve heard.)

Then there’s these content marketing stats:

  • 65% find it challenging to produce engaging content
  • 60% say they can’t produce enough content

Yeesh. Content marketing sure sounds depressing, right?

Maybe it’s because 63% of B2B marketers aren’t using a consistent content marketing strategy, or even have one at all. Maybe it’s because they don’t fully realize the role content marketing plays in digital marketing. Maybe it’s because they had too much to drink the night before and haven’t been getting a lot of sleep lately and are really stressed and it’s not easy to just do it on command like an animal.

Or maybe it’s because content marketing is hard.

But man, does it feel good when you do it right.

Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, yet generates about 3 times as many leads. Companies on average see conversion rates 6x higher from content marketing than those that don’t use it. And 70% of customers feel closer to a company as a result of content marketing.

Fortunately, content marketing impotence is not permanent. And can be easily avoided.

One of the best things you can do to overcome performance issues is communication. (So we’ve been told.) So up next we’re going to share with you how content marketing can best support each of your other digital marketing strategies.

 

How Content Marketing Benefits SEO

Content is a crucial element of SEO. In fact, we’re willing to bet the majority of what you, your customers, and your target audience use search engines for is to find content.

SEO is the most successful form of digital marketing there is. Data from BrightEdge shows that search engine traffic makes up 51% of all online user flow – and it accounts for more than 40% of online revenue! To take advantage of the more than 5 billion searches that happen every day on Google – you need content that can drive keyword/algorithm based SEO traffic.

Just think how often you spend time reading posts as opposed to visiting homepages. Have you ever even seen the homepage of some of your favorite blogs or YouTube creators or podcasters? Perhaps not. But you’ve found them in searches, regardless. Because of their content.

Here just a few of the ways content marketing will boost your SEO rankings:

  • Higher E-A-T: Ever since Google’s epic Search Quality Rater Guidelines (seriously it’s 175 pages long. Don’t worry. We read it so you don’t have to.) and their continued algorithm updates purporting the role quality content plays in high rankings, conveying E-A-T (“expertise, authority and trustworthiness”) has been a priority for SEO. Websites that demonstrate lots E-A-T about specific subject matters do better than those that don’t. And what’s the best way to show you’ve got lots of E-A-T? You guessed it. Content marketing.
  • Stronger Relevance: Other algorithm updates (we’re looking at you BERT and Passage Indexing) have tried very hard to ensure Google understands content the way humans do. This means that they will display results with passages that most precisely answer a user’s search query. As search engines gravitate away from keywording to convey relevance and rely more on understanding the intent, informative content pieces — like blog posts, case studies and white papers — will dominate results over shallower conversion-driven pages.
  • Better Keywording: Few things can deliver keywords with as much proficiency than content pieces. The longer nature of content pieces can improve keyword density, provide easy opportunities for adding striking distance keywords, and make updating anchor link text to strengthen the SEO of other pages and content on your site a breeze.
  • Grow Backlinks: Let’s face it. No one wants to backlink to your boring service page. They’d much rather link to your delightful post about laser cats or that time you proved science doesn’t suck or your thesis on why we all need to act more like ninjas or when you made Ray Tomlinson (yeah, the Ray Tomlinson) proud. Backlinks are a huge deal in SEO. Thing is, people usually only backlink to interesting, informational and or entertaining content. Not branded sales pages. That’s where content pieces shine.
  • Provide Value: Google’s dream (read:diabolical plot) is that the most valuable results appear at the top of SERP. So they care less about how many times you can stuff the same keyword into your headings and more about whether or not you’re providing valuable content that focuses on the user’s needs. What better way to provide valuable content than with actual valuable content? By its nature, content marketing focuses on value first. SEO second. Which, ironically, is great for SEO.

If you’re looking for some help writing valuable, relevant pieces with high E-A-T that people love backlinking to might we suggest these 10 tips for stellar SEO content writing. Or you can check out Google’s own Webmaster Guidelines about content for search.

 

How Content Marketing Benefits Branding

Who do you think your audiences would rather spend time with?

The brand that gets all in your face, thrusting itself into your space, and trying to make you like them in the most unbecoming of ways.

Or the brand that sits back and let’s its awesomeness speak for itself.

The first requires brands to chase after leads. The second has the leads coming straight to you, and lose their collective minds over the sweet ass vibes you’re sending out into the universe.

This is where content marketing in digital marketing gets involved. Branding through content marketing focuses less on selling products, and more on selling your values as a business. Trust us, the latter builds a far stronger, longer lasting and profitable business relationship than the former.

Brand content is where you can share all the amazing details about your company. What you’re about. What you do. Why you do it. What you know. And — most importantly — what value you provide. Hidden amongst all that context is a very enticing subtext for why consumers should choose to purchase from you. Without sticking your fingers in their mouth.

To achieve this check out 7 ways to use content marketing to increase brand awareness.

 

How Content Marketing Benefits Paid Advertising

Content marketing can improve your PPC performance — and vice versa. Leverage creative content to craft a unique experience that nurtures inbound leads and optimizes ad budgets.

There are several ways this can be accomplished:

  • Optimized Landing Pages: Consider your buyer journey. Someone who clicks an ad is likely to investigate your site further before converting. Spur Awareness with lead magnets (one of the greatest content marketing “tricks” ever devised) to encourage email signups and enable newsletters. Add links to relevant articles, demo videos, case studies and testimonials within your landing pages to guide leads from Consideration to Decision. Not only will these tactics improve the effectiveness of your PPC campaigns, but they will provide analytics to better hone your ads and landing pages.
  • Higher Quality Scores: If your paid ads link to your content pieces, you will likely have more chances to better align the content of your page with the content of your ads. That means higher PPC quality scores. That means lower costs per click. As a bonus, the increased traffic from ads to those pieces will improve their organic rank. And just like that, you’re using an omnichannel marketing strategy. Thanks content marketing! You’re the best!

 

How Content Marketing Benefits Social Media

Social media marketing and content marketing were made for one another.

Literally.

Nearly every social media platform in existence was purposefully built to share content. And those that weren’t — like Facebook — came around to the idea pretty quick.

The ways in which the two benefit one another is very simple:

  1. Content marketers produce content
  2. Social media marketers distribute content

It doesn’t take a genius to connect the dots.

In no area does the line between content marketing and digital marketing blur more than social media. Really, they are two sides of the same coin. To paraphrase our friends at Marketing Solved, the goal of content marketing is consumption THEN behavior. The goal of social media is participation THEN behavior. Or, put far less succinctly, content marketing creates the items that elicit participation on social media online to drive conversion behavior. Which is basically the definition of digital marketing to the tee.

According to SEMrush data, 94% of marketers claim to use social media for content distribution – nearly 80% of marketers use Facebook for distributing their video content (more on that below). Plus nearly 9 out of 10 marketers also say that LinkedIn is an effective platform for video content! With more than 250 million users in the U.S. alone – social media is a whole brand new universe for shopper engagement – which is why top platforms are crucial for social media content marketing. It’s why as many as 20% of marketers claim that social gives them the most ROI!

Just remember to avoid these social media mistakes when distributing your content, and the sky’s the limit with what you can achieve.

 

The Role of Video Content in Digital Marketing

From demo videos to branded videos, expert interviews, animated videos, VR videos, AR videos, live streams, Charlize Theron eating the hottest wings you’ve ever seen and Jean Claude van Damme doing a split between two moving Volvo trucks there’s seemingly no end to the type of video content at your disposal to enhance your digital marketing strategy.

According to video marketing statistics, one-third of all online activity is spent watching video. It increases organic traffic by 157% and boosts landing page conversions by 80%. It’s like a miracle pill without all the nasty side effects and shame. HubSpot research says that video is now the most commonly used format in content marketing (more than blogs and infographics). As much as 87% of marketers say video has increased website traffic, and 80% say it’s directly boost sales! It’s the golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, if that factory was your customers’ living rooms and that chocolate was butt loads of money. It is the piece of content with the highest ROI, as reported by digital marketing pros everywhere.

Quite simply, video is king.

Just ask Ryan Reynolds. Who these days is putting on a masterclass in video content marketing.

He’s doing it with traditional ad videos:

He’s doing it with testimonial videos:

He’s doing it with demo videos:

He’s doing it with celebrity (kind of) videos:

He’s doing it with a docuseries. And trailers about his docuseries:

He’s doing it with the handspring Arabian double front twist of marketing by combining social media, native advertising, and influencers all in one majestic piece of video content that promotes not one, but two completely different products at the same time:

It’s all very impressive.

And yeah, sure it doesn’t hurt that Ryan Reynolds has unbridled access to Ryan Reynolds for his video content. And yeah sure, other pieces of content marketing exist out there other than the ones that pour out of the bountiful brain of Ryan Reynolds. But if you’re looking for a place to get ideas and see the profitable role video content can play in digital marketing there are worse places to start.

And who knows. Maybe if your team clocks in enough views of his videos, he’ll buy your company.

 

Seal the Deal with Your Content Marketing

And here’s the final — and perhaps most vital — way content marketing supports digital marketing: the handover.

Your content pieces need to deliver. They need to achieve “the goal of driving profitable interactions with your brand.” Content marketing can do this through a few methods.

 

Method 1: The Long Play Handover

Your content piece sells nothing. You don’t try to entice your audience into converting with you. You don’t ask them for their email, them to contact you, to buy something from you, or anything else needy like that. You simply end your content piece with the satisfaction that comes from providing value to others.

It’s the good Samaritan approach to marketing.

The hope being that if your audience found this piece of content useful, they’ll seek out more from you. And more. And more. Say, for example, a piece of content on how to better drive leads or one on how to define your ideal customer. The intent is that they become so awash in the E-A-T that your brand is sending their way that they eventually decide of their own volition to interact with your business in a more profitable way.

 

Method 2: The Soft CTA

Your content still doesn’t seek to sell something outright. Rather it softly nudges your audience in that right direction with another piece of content requiring slightly more engagement. It’s a subtle call-to-action that promotes one of your micro CTAs, like an email signup or form submission.

For example, you could offer them more in-depth information related to the topic, such as a guide on leveraging AI to automate your digital marketing in return for their contact info.

The hope being that they will move down your sales funnel and go from an inbound lead to a marketing qualified lead.

 

Method 3: The Hard CTA

This is when you come in hot. You don’t hold any punches. You end your content piece with your macro CTA. You go all in, whether it’s asking them to buy your product, register for your service, or get in touch.

For instance, you could say something like “now that you have a firm understanding of how content marketing supports digital marketing, give us a call to take everything you’ve learned and implement it for your business.” Something like. A little heavy handed? For sure. But it’s not called a hard CTA for nothing.

The hope being that they will go from being a marketing qualified lead to a sales qualified lead.

Which of these methods you choose depends on:

  • The type of content piece
  • The topic and tone of that content piece
  • The goal of that content piece
  • Your brand

If you want help figuring out how to get the most out of your content pieces using these methods give us a call.

See what we did there?

We just used a type of content marketing (this blog post) as part of our own digital marketing strategy.

Because together, they make one hell of a team.

Like Cocaine and waffles.

Why You Need An SEO Agency Now – Why SEO Is Important!

How can you effectively and efficiently drive interest and revenue for your business online? More importantly, what’s the best modern way to drive revenue and increase growth for your business overall?

As online shopping, mobile-browsing, and online-first business practices continue to explode, search engines are the new normal for businesses across the world. A huuuuge portion of internet traffic happens in search engines, meaning that having an edge there is crucial for revenue growth. SEO is one of the biggest, most successful forms of marketing there is – since search engines account for more than half of all online site traffic, and a huge portion of eCommerce revenue. It’s crucial to catching shoppers along the conversion-funnel in order to get more customers, faster, and more easily.

So here’s why you need an SEO agency now! And why SEO is so important for online business growth for the foreseeable future.

 

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Search traffic is one of the biggest traffic driving channels in the world. And SEO is the only way to effectively capture it.

Data compiled by BrightEdge shows that search engine traffic makes up 51% of all online user flow. Google alone gets 5.6 billion searches per day. Plus, search engine traffic ends up accounting for more than 40% of revenue online – nearly half! In fact organic traffic is so important that 44% of companies now make SEO a part of their marketing strategy – and many of those same brands will tell you it offers the best ROI out of any digital marketing strategy there is. A Search Engine Journal poll found that up to 48% of brands say SEO gives them the best overall ROI (that’s more than email marketing, paid ads, or social media)!

Other polling claims that at least 32% of marketers say that out of all their strategies, SEO offers the highest return on investment. In fact it’s cost-to-revenue ratio is one of the top benefits of SEO for business! For example, lead-generation via cold-calling can cost as much as 61% more than SEO!

Additionally, the top 3 spots in a Google results page account for 75% of all clicks. On mobile, the #1 spot gets as much as 27%. And as much as 3-in-4 people never even visit the #2 page of Google search results!

This is why you need an SEO agency now! To take full advantage of your eCommerce presence and the raw numbers that are exploding in internet commerce.

 

Lead Generation & the Conversion Funnel

For SEO that provides good cost-per-conversion value, it’s important to focus on lead generation that targets actual marketing qualified leads (MQLs).

Part of this is focusing on search optimization that helps you target shoppers all along the marketing funnel. This funnel describes the path which customers take as they go from first browsing to when they finally click “buy now.”

This means everything from site structure, to keyword research, to content should address what users actually want/need as they move along the funnel. As well as help to ease them along to each successive step. From “awareness” to “research/interest” to the “sleep on it” stage, before finally getting to the “add to cart” stage. Good SEO will feature optimizations and content designed for all of this, including FAQ pages, multi-media content, categories, filters, and good content in general. Understanding the complexity of SEO and the shopping funnel is a big part of why SEO is important for online business, and why hiring an SEO agency is so tempting. They know how to do it!

Afterall experienced search optimization professionals can use tools, data, time, and experience to get the best results day in and day out!

 

Why Hire an SEO Agency for Your Site:

So here’s why to hire an SEO agency:

  • SEO is too important to ignore, the stats on SEO’s returns prove it.
  • SEO companies offer more expertise with pro-strategies.
  • You can directly grow sales/revenue and not just
  • A good agency can offer SEO case studies based on experience with companies just like yours.
  • You can garner data/analytics to fine-tune all areas of your business and to improve multi-channel marketing.
  • Get long-term help to improve technical/advanced SEO.
  • They’ll have proprietary digital marketing software.
  • Get peace of mind with full account management, communication, and liaison services.
  • Regular reporting on site performance, ranking growth, traffic, click-through-rate (CTR), etc.
  • You’ll get fully customized meta title-tags for brand relevant search keywords.
  • You get meta description optimization for better CTR.
  • They can perform anchor text analysis and optimization.
  • Fully optimized content with keyword targeting and density.
  • You’ll get constant monitoring for site problems, errors, and algorithm penalties.

 

The reason why hiring an SEO agency is so important is that they can help businesses optimize for the most important search ranking signals. There are a lot of ranking signals used by search engines like Google or Bing – but some are more important than others.

 

Pro Strategies & Expertise

Plain and simple: an agency that specializes in search optimization is going to know better than you about what to get right. Because of its massive ROI we already know why SEO is important for your business. But where do you even start?

SEO is such a fast-evolving industry. SEO experts will be able to exploit the best tools, resources, and strategies to keep up with the changing landscape of SEO.

Plus, search engines like Google and Bing are constantly rolling out new updates which sometimes leave businesses struggling to keep up. In 2020 alone Google released 12 major updates to their search system, and those were just the big ones. They normally implement small adjustments to their algorithm dozens of times a month. Experts can keep up with fast evolving industry changes, new platforms, and wily competitors!

 

Turn Traffic Directly Into Actual SALES

Here’s maybe the main reason why you need an SEO agency now. Sales and revenue!

By performing keyword research that focuses on industry language and searcher behavior, SEO agencies and digital marketing companies are able to focus on bringing in the right kind of traffic.

Consumers now do 70% of their research online before getting into any sort of sales conversation. In the aftermath of the Covid 19 pandemic, online shopping/eCommerce is the new normal for business. That means that being able to discover and target “intent-driven” keywords means gaining traffic specifically for people who know what they want and are ready to buy now. Professional SEO will help online businesses to target keywords that gain concrete sales and ignore keywords that don’t.

Plus, strategies like conversion optimization (CRO), and CTR optimization tactics will help squeeze the best results out of your existing traffic. The experts can read and understand the data coming from tools like Google Analytics and Search Console – and they’ll know how to exploit it for better sales!

 

Data That Can Help You Pinpoint Even Better Results

Most businesses know about the importance of statistical information for understanding their customer base and site performance.

So why hire an SEO company to read your data for you?

Google Analytics offers detailed funnel reports, visualizations, and multi-channel traffic information that expert SEOs can digest and turn around into a more efficient marketing approach. Ecommerce tracking allows you to track data like the amount of sales, number of orders, billing location and more. Expert SEOs can track which products/pages/content are performing the best – as well as which keywords they are performing best for – and then optimize these areas with custom meta-data and content.

Plus you can take advantage of metrics and personalized KPIs like new/return users, session duration, shopping events (like adding items to carts, filling out forms, etc), most-visited pages, most popular products, and more! Data driven SEO is even helpful in expanding multi-channel marketing campaigns across ads, social media, and more.

 

Fully-Custom Optimization for Ranking Signals Like Title-Tags & Meta Descriptions

Another reason why to hire an SEO agency, is that they can do all the legwork for you. Optimizing your site can be time intensive, requires a lot of research, and there’s always the chance you can get it wrong.

But experts can write custom, descriptive title tags and meta-descriptions that can drastically improve page #1 rankings and SEO traffic.

The importance of these signals is yet another reason why you need an SEO agency now!

Page Title Tags: HTML title-tags have always been a huge SEO signal. Optimized title-tags should be written with humans in mind as well as with your target SEO keywords. With relevant and accurate keyword focus, webpages will rank higher for those target keywords and search engine click-through-rate (CTR) can increase drastically over time. Title tags should be unique, accurate/descriptive, and should be no longer than about 60 characters.

Meta Descriptions: Meta descriptions are actually not a direct SEO ranking signal, but they are very important since they help to improve CTR – so they can still play a significant role in eCommerce. They act as a sales pitch or ad to persuade readers to click on your link, and to boost clicks. Good descriptions will include keywords, be descriptive, accurate, and to-the-point. Similar to meta title-tags your meta description can be truncated if it’s too long. This is why hiring an SEO agency can be a life-saver – the 5-10% increase in traffic requires a lot of re-writing/optimizing. And a lot of time!

 

Content Keyword Optimization

Content is king – everyone knows that now. But why is it so important? And why hire an SEO agency to help optimize your content?

Being able to optimize your site’s content with the best, most accurate keyword and search friendly language is crucial to expanding SEO rankings across Google and Bing. An expert SEO team will be able to perform extensive keyword research, edit content for ideal keyword density, keyword placement, and identify opportunities for better search-query friendly language, keyword synonyms, latent semantic indexing (LSI), etc.

Plus, it’s possible that bad content optimization, and poor keyword strategies could be hurting your SEO performance. Yet another reason why you need an SEO agency now is because spammy “black hat” practices could be actively dragging your business down!

 

Expert Link Growth & Anchor Text Link Optimization

Links are a huge part of SEO. They’re one of the most important search engine ranking signals, and the quantity and quality (though mostly quality) of links pointing to your site is crucial to improved page #1 rankings.

Similarly, internal links are also very important. Internal linking structure is what search engine bots (like Googlebot) use to discover pages, index URLs, understand site-structure, and determine SEO rankings based on site hierarchy.

Likewise search algorithms also use “anchor text links” (ATLs) to understand page content, keywords, topics, etc. Overall, this means that SEO optimized ATLs can help improve your search performance and keyword rankings – plus, a reason why you need an SEO agency is that they can use site-crawling software, expertise, and keyword strategies to know where to put ATLs, where to remove ATLs, what keywords can improve algorithm performance, and what language works best for your business’s target audience in order to improve CTR!

Finally, hiring an SEO agency means they can naturally grow your site’s backlink profile – boosting search rankings even more. Good keyword research, content keyword optimization, meta-data optimization, and client/marketer co-ordination can improve user interactions, brand-recognition, and help grow backlinks over time.

To put it another way: the more visible your website and content – the more people will share your stuff!

 

Monitoring Technical SEO & Preventing Site-Killing Mistakes

Complete search engine friendliness is just as much about good “technical” SEO as it is about content, keywords and user friendliness.

Nothing can tank a site’s search traffic faster than an underperforming site that’s not mobile friendly, loads painfully slowly, doesn’t load properly/at-all, can’t be crawled by Googlebot, or worse: is riddled with spam, harmful content, or viruses. Site’s that have errors and are poor-performing are at risk of being removed from the search index, suffering from increased user exits/bounce-rate, being hit with algo updates, or even suffering a manual action penalty.

All of this is maybe the biggest reason why you need an SEO agency now! Digital marketing experts can used tools like Google’s Search Console, Google Analytics, PageSpeed Insights, and Bing Webmaster Tools to monitor your site for errors, penalties, shifts in traffic/sessions – and more! They can catch 404s and server errors using crawling software. They can track and advise on UX search optimization factors like Google’s new page experience algorithm update… and a lot more!

 

Learn More

Interested in learning more? Or want to get more info on hiring an SEO agency? Fill out the form below to get in touch or to stay up-to-date on the latest info.

Traditional vs Digital Marketing – What Are the Advantages?

What is the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing? Does one have an advantage over the other? Can digital marketing replace traditional marketing? If they drank too much Jägermeister at a bar, started insulting each other’s mothers, and ended up in a street fight, who would win?

Today we find out.

Today, we finally determine the best marketing method of all.

Two methods enter. One method leaves.

Welcome to the Titandome.

 

Obviously Digital Marketing Wins, Right?

Not so fast.

Did you know that only very recently people started spending more time on their mobile devices than watching TV. Which means that even though it seemed like smartphones and social media have been dominating the marketplace, a traditional marketing method like TV commercials still had the potential to reach more people. In fact, digital ad spending only just surpassed traditional in 2019, with 54.2% of the total US ad spend. That means 45.8% of ad dollars still go towards traditional methods.

That’s nothing to balk at.

So while digital marketing budgets are definitely going up (by nearly 15% yearly), traditional marketing budgets aren’t dropping by as much as you’d think (by as little as 1-2% yearly).

Yes, digital marketing generates 50% greater interactions with customers than traditional, while costing far less to implement. A schism that is only shifting wider in favor of digital in a post-COVID world. And yes, based on these stats, it’s looking like digital marketing has the edge.But there’s a reason why 36% of marketers seek to integrate traditional and digital marketing efforts.

So let’s not crown a winner quite yet. Because the advantages of digital marketing vs traditional marketing may not be so clear cut.

 

Traditional vs Online Marketing: What’s the Difference?

In the beginning, there was only traditional marketing.

Traditional marketing is any form of promotion we see or hear in the real world. You know — the real world — that place where grass grows, fresh air exists, and pants are usually mandatory. Broadly speaking there are four types of traditional marketing:

  • Print – advertising in paper form. The oldest form of marketing (circa 3,000 BC), includes billboards, brochures, and ads printed in newspapers, magazines, newsletters, etc.
  • Broadcast – advertising over the air and cable waves. Includes radio, television, and pre-movie advertising in theaters.
  • Direct Mail – advertising mailed directly to people. Includes fliers, postcards, letters, catalogs, and other things you never asked for but can’t stop getting delivered to you.
  • Telemarketing – calling people over the phone. Also known as telephone marketing. A controversial form of marketing that isn’t as controversial as you might think.

Traditional marketing once was the preeminent form of marketing. Mostly because it was the only type of marketing.

But then the 1990s hit, and with it the development of the Internet.

And with the Internet, came digital marketing.

(Fun Fact: Kids today talk about the 90s the same way kids in the 90s used to talk about the 60s. If you’re of a certain age that’s enough to keep you up at night.)

Digital marketing is the promotion of goods and services via the Internet. Digital marketing can be loosely grouped into seven categories:

  • SEO – optimizing a company’s content and online branding to appear at the top of targeted search engine results pages (SERPs)
  • PPC – paid advertising that uses a pay-per-click model to show promotions on websites, search engines, social media platforms and sites like Amazon
  • Social Media – advertising to users on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram via ads, posts, videos and other native content
  • Email – advertising mailed digitally to people. Includes newsletters, drip campaigns and promotional messages
  • Content Marketing – creating websites, blogs, videos, infographics and other assets, often shared via the other types here, to drive consumer awareness, sales and loyalty
  • Affiliate Marketing – enlisting others to promote your business in return for a commission
  • Influencer Marketing – paying others outright to promote your business

The main difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing is that the latter takes place online, and the former doesn’t. Who knew?

Everybody, that’s who. None of this is a revelation.

But it’s still good to set the ground rules. Now with that out of the way, let’s get to why we’re really here — to see two forms of marketing duke it out like grannies over a bench.

Can digital marketing replace traditional marketing altogether, or is there still a place for the elder method in your marketing strategy?

To score this fight we’ll look at how well each perform in five key areas:

  1. Infrastructure
  2. Cost-Effectiveness
  3. Reporting
  4. Immediacy
  5. Customizability

In the end, one will stand victorious while the other is left for dead in a pile of back alley trash bags ruing the day they ever tried a Jägerbomb.

 

1. Traditional vs Online Marketing: Infrastructure

Traditional and digital marketing require vastly different infrastructures. By infrastructure, we mean the facilities needed to implement marketing strategies and engage customers.

Of the two, traditional marketing requires a lot more physical infrastructure to be effective. Which can be kind of a drag.

If you want to send a mailer, you need to have the machinery to print those mailers and an efficient means for delivery at scale. If you want to perform telemarketing, you have to have a network of phones and, more importantly, trained employees to man each of those phones. If you want to have a billboard, you need a really big board. If you don’t have the means to do any of this in-house, then you’ll have to outsource.

Digital marketing on the other hand exists entirely in the digital space. Which means, you can get a full-fledged omnichannel marketing strategy in-place with nothing but a laptop, computer whiz, and family size box of Bagel Bites.

We recommend putting a little more effort than that into your digital marketing, but it’s still viable. A lot of companies run very profitable marketing campaigns on little more than that. Plain and simple, digital marketing makes it easier for your business to have the necessary infrastructure to access marketing channels, and by extension your customers.

This round goes to digital marketing.

 

2. Traditional vs Online Marketing: Cost-Effectiveness

Digital marketing wins this one, hands down.

With traditional marketing, all that added physical infrastructure mentioned above equates to added costs. Not cool. Especially when you consider printing an ad in a magazine can cost upwards of $20,000, a billboard can cost $2,500/month and a 30-second TV commercial on a small local station will run $1,500 (not counting production costs). Worst of all, you have no idea what kind of hard metrics you’re getting from that spend, if any at all.

Source: image.slidesharecdn.com

Compare that to advertising on Facebook, which provides an average cost-per-click (CPC) of $0.25 and cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) of $7.19. That’s very strong metrics for a very small price.

Traditional just can’t compete.

The fact digital marketing can utilize a CPM or pay-per-click model makes all the difference. With traditional marketing you typically pay upfront for the possibility of reaching your target audience. It’s a sunk cost. But with digital marketing (using CPM or PPC) you pay only when your promotion has been engaged by your target audience. It’s a prospective cost.

 

3. Traditional vs Online Marketing: Data Reporting

Data is the lifeblood of your business’s growth. The more data you have, the more benefits you’ll gain, like being able to optimize future campaigns or pinpoint your ideal customer.

Without accurate reporting, you’ll be left in the dark. And yet again, digital marketing is miles ahead!

It’s very difficult to accurately measure traditional marketing campaigns. And the few data metrics offline tracking reports provide are nowhere as in-depth or intelligent as the analytics tools available for digital media. Modern digital marketing platforms and tools give businesses a huge range of feedback data and metrics that they can use to build out every area of their marketing. Tools like Google Analytics, Google Ads Manager, Microsoft Advertising, Search Console, Facebook for Business – and more – all offer an incredible range of data. Plus all of these tools provide businesses with information about how they are performing, how successful their marketing is, and how their visitors behave.

With good digital marketing businesses can understand: their revenue/sales numbers, landing-page performing, search engine click-through-rate (CTR), keyword rankings, return user metrics, time-on-site, conversion rate, overall traffic, return-on-ad spend (ROAS), cohort data, and more – and with all of this they can pinpoint where in their marketing campaign they can improve even more.

You can’t do this with traditional strategies. That is, unless you’ve got a dude standing under your billboard counting everybody that looks his way.

 

4. Traditional vs Online Marketing: Immediacy

The speed with which brands can directly engage with customers (aka immediacy) is a key component of marketing. The golden rule is to reach consumers where they are, when they’re there. Digital has an obvious advantage in that regard. Especially thanks to pixels and retargeting.

Not to mention, they generate an instant touchpoint.

Although technically the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing lies in offline vs online, the real difference (read: advantage) is that digital provides immediate direct contact with your audience. Traditional does not. Paid online advertising (like search engine PPC and social media PPC ads) can begin driving results practically immediately. A small ad campaign can pretty much be set up in a single day and begin driving site traffic or conversions within a few days. They can drive sales/conversion practically over night, and as ad campaigns run longer they can perform even better by using the campaign’s performance history.

Once again, traditional marketing isn’t able to engage certain touch points as rapidly. That is, unless that dude standing under your billboard has a really long stick and pokes every car that drives by.

 

5. Traditional vs Online Marketing: Customizability

Digital marketing campaigns are easy to set up. They can start and stop on a dime. You can change copy, graphics and targeting on a whim. And it’s incredibly easy to redistribute budgets. Digital marketing can be tweaked, adjusted, micro-targeted, and pretty much undergo any other changes you see fit when you desire. Search engine ads and social media ad campaigns can be setup, cancelled, and modified within minutes – and once approved, changes start displaying to audiences immediately.

In other words, it’s very customizable.

Which is why digital excels at expanding market share even during economic downturns.

Traditional marketing on the other hand is not so easy to pivot.

Traditional marketing is more set-in-stone. Less flexible. A direct mail campaign takes weeks, sometimes months, to work, and once it’s started there’s no stopping it. Unless you’re cool with stealing people’s mail. Commercials have to be created way in advance, and air-time schedules are put in contract weeks or months ahead of time. Print ads have to be created, printed, and distributed way ahead of time.

Digital takes another round, and with that, if you’re keeping score, knocks out traditional with a roundhouse kick to the face.

You know when we said earlier that the advantages of digital marketing vs traditional marketing may not be so clear cut. Well, turns out they are. They’re very clear cut.

In favor of digital.

Which begs the question…

 

Can Digital Marketing Replace Traditional Marketing?

Yes. And no.

Sure, traditional marketing just took a beating. In the age of the Internet, it clearly cannot compete with digital marketing. But the best (and most successful) marketers don’t really distinguish between offline and online campaigns.

Two methods enter. One method leaves.

Remember that? Well, we meant it. But not because one marketing method would destroy the other. But because after they entered the Titandome (and digital marketing got in a few good licks) the two would stop fighting, stare into each other’s eyes, and realize they have more in common then they originally thought.

Traditional and digital can live harmoniously together, as one. (So long as they don’t drink Jägermeister.) It shouldn’t be digital marketing vs traditional marketing — it should be digital AND traditional marketing.

We’ll even go so far as to say there’s no such thing as “traditional marketing” or “digital marketing.”

There’s just marketing.

Multichannel marketing.

Does that mean you need to do it all?

No.

You need to implement what is most effective for your business.

You need to:

  • Define your business’s goals/KPIs
  • Choose the most cost-effective channels
  • Pick a medium with the best reach
  • Use the methods that convert the most

All this can be accomplished with digital techniques. Which is why most of the time, we recommend digital strategies as the way to go. But depending on your business and ideal customer you may want to take things offline. For instance, if you target an older demographic or local regions.

So don’t totally discard “traditional.”

Sure, traditional marketing feels about as old as a discman, beeper, Tamagotchi, Blockbuster card, backwards baseball hat, and chain wallet — the coolest things from the 1990s — to a kid today. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t all still valuable. (Except that Blockbuster card. That thing’s completely useless. Unless you’re in Bend, Oregon.)

But when we hear people say things like “digital is the new traditional” we want to drink some Jägermeister and punch them.

Can digital marketing replace traditional marketing?

Without a doubt.

But that doesn’t mean you should let it. The real question you should be asking is: How can digital marketing and traditional marketing methods work together for my brand? If you need help finding the answer, contact our team, we’ll help connect you to the right strategy. Just like a chain bought at Hot Top safely connecting a wallet to a pair of JNCOjeans.