Marketing 101: Your Crash Course in Digital Marketing

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Digital marketing is a sweeping subject. But it has some serious fundamentals which CAN be tackled in a 1500 word blog. Don’t believe me? Read ahead, and tell me if I didn’t cover all the bases.

Marketing is and always was, in its rawest form, speaking to people’s desires. talking to them in a way that compels them to see the value in the product or service you’re selling. You need the same things as you did back since marketing began in the form of “advertising”. A compelling message. While sales is a dialogue, marketing can only aspire to be a one sided dialogue so convincing, that the buyer buys without a 2nd guess.

To make a marketing campaign work, you need to start with the fundamentals. This begins with insight into how people see things and feel about them. Develop a message with great wordcraft, and wonderful visuals. A message that speaks to your audience in a way suited just for them.

The rest is just some technical stuff that can be picked up fairly quickly.

So let’s get to that technical stuff:

Get Your House In Order

It all starts with your website. Your website can be a stunning work of art but if it has no relevant keywords or not enough of them, search engines won’t be showing it to many people. 

Conversely, you can try and make your search engine your audience. Putting in lots of text and content so Google knows you are the right guy for that thing you’re selling. 

But if it’s too wordy, and not visual enough, people won’t stick around. The search engines will see that they’re showing the page but people are leaving right away so they won’t be showing that page much after the poor experience people had.

If your website takes too long to load, people will also leave. Or if it’s buggy or has issues with its code it can hurt rankings.


This is what it means to get your house in order or in other words:

  1. On Site SEO

    – This term is the idea of striking a balance between your actual audience and the gatekeeper to that audience. The dreaded search engines. It’s not that hard. Think of them as politicians. Each wanting their agenda. You are the chief executive that must strike a deal. Like the analogy? Well… while I could have been more clever, it’s fairly accurate. 

 

But in practical terms:

  • Make sure your code is in order ( there are tools which will give your website an audit, tell you what’s wrong, and how to fix it.) You don’t have to be a programmer.
  • Have text on the page with keywords in mind – to let the search engines feel its a source of information. If you over text, you’ll ruin the next point
  • Make sure that site has an excellent user experience – Just imagine, more time visitors spend on the page, the more search engines favor your site

 

  1.  Off site SEO – So ever wonder why certain things get on the front page of Google, and Bing? Get ready for another political analogy… VOTES!.. Yes that’s right, there’s a way search engines count votes for your website.
  2. Search engines want to show people websites that are trusted by many people. The way they can do it is to count how many mentions or (Backlinks) are directed at your site. Now this is not a democracy where all votes are equal. Each website has a Domain Authority. Domain Authority a term for a score that  factors in hundreds of things but basically establishes which sites have more authority. If you were to get a backlink from a low domain authority site like a small movie review blog, that may count as half a vote. While if you’re mentioned on CNNs site, that would be like 50 votes.So the question that is definitely on your mind right now… how do I get these Backlinks, or votes?.Tricky thing to do. There’s lots of ways to cheat. Some people just pay sites which only have a good domain authority, but no real value to put it up there. This is frowned upon and called Black Hat SEO and if Google catches you, you’ll be at the bottom of their search engine.The right way to do it is to network with people who have blogs on social media. Offer to write them a guest post. Create great content and use social media to distribute it. People may link to it on their blogs if they really like it.SEO is probably the most in depth subject. So if you’re serious about digital marketing, take a masters course in SEO. SEO Expert is a job in high demand all over the world as well. It’s worth investing in the knowledge.


Now we need to get our blogs visits from a relevant audience. The best way to do this is through Social Media. As the name suggests, is media where people connect based on friendships, connections, and interests. To climb to the top of the Google ladder, you need people visiting your site and keeping up interest in your content. What better place to find them, than the ultimate marketplace of ideas and interests. As a true crash course in digital marketing, where would we be without learning a bit about Social Media.

 

Social Media

First let’s define what social media is. It’s supposed to be a place where people hang out and express themselves, make themselves look way cooler than they are, and creeply watch the people we envy. Why? It’s a mystery but we all do it.

 But how to bring business from it is a vast subject. So let’s break it down.

 

Paid Advertising

As straightforward as it gets. When someone signs up on social media, they are the product for the social media company. They gather vast amounts of information about their users. From what food they like, to some of their deepest desires and dreams, it all stored in a godlike cloud ready for marketers to reach up and pluck out some dream.

Couple things to keep in mind. 

  • To Social Media companies, the users twitter feed, or facebook timeline, is like valuable real estate. And your competitors want in. A bidding begins to access that property.
  • Social media companies want their users clicking on those ads because they get paid per click. If the ads don’t connect with the user, the price of that real estate (cost per click) for you will go up, as someone else may have a better chance at connecting with their users and they’ll get more clicks at a faster rate.
  • Not all platforms are right for your product. Linkedin for example, is probably best not to advertise on at all. But your B2B sales team could definitely benefit from its sales tools.

Learn how social media advertising works, and learn what makes a good ad. It’s a whole component of digital marketing, and a world for you to explore. While organic outreach can be free and fruitful, paid advertising gets results. All companies need to sell and most don’t have. the luxury of waiting for an audience to grow at an organic pace. For this reason, masters of Paid Social are much sought after, and very well paid.

 

Organic Advertising

Organic social is writing and connecting and writing some more and connecting some more. The idea is to build up a following.

Once you’ve built up a following, you can drive customers with a well timed post. People will pay you to mention others products. The goal of organic social is influence. But real influence can not be bought. Although it’s free for the most part to build a following on social, it’s time consuming, and your appearances have to be carefully crafted. 

There’s a whole art to organic social media, and it’s worth taking a course or two to learn more.

 

Influencer Marketing

Short and sweet: you pay people with a large audience or following to talk about your company, your services, your stuff, or just you… whatever you want really, just depending on the price and the person you can get what you want. This is a very effective way to market. You will need tools to know who’s who in your niche.


Google Ads

Last but not least, we have Google Ads. You give them money, you jump the line to the top. However just as I said before, Users screens are real estate and there are many of your competitors bidding on the top spot.

Make sure you’re targeting EXACTLY the right people with the precise keywords. Keyword research can be learned but you should really study this method of advertising before you begin. And just as in social platforms, the price you pay will depend on that ads performance. 

Google gets paid per clicks, so if people aren’t clicking, you’ll be paying through the nose before you know it. So make sure you use that limited word count to draw people in.

While many writers can write something compelling if they are allowed the freedom to write endlessly, it takes someone extremely talented with speech to get people to invest their time based on just a few words. But that is a skill you can master by learning Google Ads.


Final Words

Look, there’s a lot of YouTube videos out there and other guides like this that will give you some information to get a good feel for digital marketing. But you will really need to dive in with a few online courses in social media marketing, AdWords, and of course SEO. And while you’re learning in depth the technical ins and outs, learn sales copywriting. Learn some graphic design. Those are the fundamental elements of any platform from 1950 until 2050 when the ice-caps will melt, and people will start using dirt for currency like in Kevin Costner’s Waterworld.

 Thanks for reading, and I hope you got something out of the ‘Marketing 101: Your crash course in digital marketing’.

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