“How do I get more traffic to my website?”

Digital Marketing Crash Course

We hear this ques­tion often. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, there isn’t a mag­ic switch we can flip to turn on a flow of traf­fic to your site. You may hear peo­ple say dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing is the answer. What exact­ly does that mean? 

On the sur­face, dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing sounds sim­ple: mar­ket­ing in its dig­i­tal form.

But once you dig a lit­tle deep­er, the com­plex­i­ty of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing starts to come into focus. The goal of mar­ket­ing has always been to con­nect with the right audi­ence, in the right place, and at the right time. But dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing brings brands into an entire­ly new are­na, redefin­ing tra­di­tion­al bound­aries while offer­ing up an excit­ing realm of opportunities.

Regard­less of the type, size, or age of your orga­ni­za­tion, you’re prob­a­bly well-aware of the impor­tance of reach­ing your tar­get audi­ence. After all, it’s that audi­ence where you find the mem­bers that sup­port your mis­sion, rec­om­mend you to oth­ers, and help you expand your reach. 

Digital Marketing Crash Course

Dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing is the full spec­trum of mar­ket­ing efforts that use the Inter­net to pin­point, build, and reach an audi­ence. Using a vari­ety of chan­nels and meth­ods, a well-round­ed dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy tar­gets both poten­tial and exist­ing members.

Even if you tend to be a tra­di­tion­al­ist, if you haven’t yet expand­ed your strat­e­gy to include dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, now is the time. Dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing ben­e­fits run the gamut from a bet­ter return on invest­ment to mas­sive cus­tomiza­tion capa­bil­i­ties, mak­ing it vital for vir­tu­al­ly every brand on the planet.

Types of Digital Marketing

Once you expand your mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy to the dig­i­tal world, you’ll have an impres­sive line­up of new chan­nels at your fin­ger­tips. Ulti­mate­ly, your strat­e­gy will be shaped by the tac­tics and chan­nels that best suit your unique goals – but there are a hand­ful of foun­da­tion­al types that are near­ly always worth considering.

Email Marketing

What bet­ter way to reach your mem­bers than to show up in their email inbox­es? With email mar­ket­ing, you can set up a straight­for­ward and effec­tive line of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, pro­mot­ing spe­cial events and dis­counts, high­light­ing con­tent, and point­ing traf­fic to your website.

Some of the most com­mon­ly-used email types are:

  • Newslet­ters
  • New mem­ber wel­come emails
  • Pro­mo­tions for mem­bers of your loy­al­ty program
  • Fol­low-up emails for site vis­i­tors who placed an item in their online cart, down­loaded some­thing or com­plet­ed a form
  • Use­ful con­tent for mem­ber nurturing

Email mar­ket­ing can be a great option because it is rel­a­tive­ly low-cost and isn’t sub­ject to the algo­rithms of Social Networks. 

Social Media

It’s no secret that social media has swept the globe, so it makes sense that it’s also one of the most promis­ing meth­ods for dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. By con­struct­ing a strong social media pres­ence, you can increase traf­fic, gen­er­ate qual­i­ty leads, and estab­lish brand aware­ness. Plus, social media gives you a one-of-a-kind oppor­tu­ni­ty to tell the sto­ry of your brand in a way that gen­uine­ly con­nects with exist­ing and poten­tial members.

There are many dif­fer­ent social media chan­nels to choose from, with the most pop­u­lar being:

  • Face­book
  • Insta­gram
  • Twit­ter
  • LinkedIn
  • Snapchat
  • Pin­ter­est

Social media is a great way to build and engage direct­ly with your audi­ence. It can be an effec­tive low-cost option to spread your mes­sage, but it takes con­sis­tent effort to inter­act with peo­ple to make a deep connection.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

When some­body search­es for some­thing online, search engine opti­miza­tion (SEO) is the behind-the-scenes mag­ic that can make your web­site pop up in the top-rank­ing results. Using SEO, you can opti­mize your web­site and boost its “rank,” direct­ly lead­ing to an increase in the organ­ic traf­fic arriv­ing on your website.

There are a few dif­fer­ent options for uti­liz­ing SEO:

  • On-page SEO: On-page SEO zeroes in on the con­tent that’s vis­i­ble to any­one view­ing your web­site. For exam­ple, you might place impor­tant key­words (words and terms often searched by online users) with­in the con­tent of a blog post, prod­uct page, or anoth­er part of your site.
  • Off-page SEO: As you’d prob­a­bly guess, off-page SEO is focused on activ­i­ty that’s “off” your website’s vis­i­ble pages. Inbound links, also called back­links, are one of the key pil­lars of off-page SEO.
  • Tech­ni­cal SEO: CSS file opti­miza­tion, struc­tured data, and image com­pres­sion are all tech­ni­cal SEO forms that can kick your website’s load­ing speed into high gear, which is par­tic­u­lar­ly use­ful for search engine ranking.

SEO can get com­pli­cat­ed, and a full SEO cam­paign is a lot of work. SEO is a great option if you like to cre­ate a lot content. 

Inbound Marketing

Inbound Mar­ket­ing isn’t a spe­cif­ic chan­nel, it is more of a phi­los­o­phy. The goal of inbound mar­ket­ing is to attract an audi­ence by being help­ful. You pro­vide some­thing of val­ue to your audi­ence, specif­i­cal­ly in the form of con­tent that serves their needs, answers key ques­tions, and solves their most press­ing prob­lems. An effec­tive inbound mar­ket­ing cam­paign will have a mix of SEO, Social Media and Email Marketing. 

Com­mon yet effec­tive inbound mar­ket­ing strate­gies include:

  • High-qual­i­ty blog posts
  • Down­load­able offers such as guides and e‑books
  • Visu­al con­tent such as webi­na­rs and videos
  • Inter­ac­tive con­tent such as surveys

Inbound mar­ket­ing is a holis­tic approach to dri­ving traf­fic to your web­site. When done right, it is extreme­ly effec­tive, but it can take a lot of time and effort to set up and maintain.

Paid Ads

Often referred to as pay-per-click (PPC) adver­tis­ing, paid ads let you score a cov­et­ed top spot on a search engine results page. In return, you pay a fee to the pub­lish­er every time some­one clicks your link. The most com­mon type of paid ads are the ones you see on Google, though chan­nels such as Face­book, LinkedIn, and Twit­ter are also excel­lent options for tar­get­ing spe­cif­ic users and dri­ving traf­fic to your website.

You will need to have a clear call to action if you want to  get the best return on your invest­ment with paid ads. PPC works well when paired up with an inbound mar­ket­ing cam­paign. If an inbound cam­paign is a fire, PPC can add gas to the flames. 

What do we recommend?

So what method is going to give you the best results at dri­ving traf­fic to your site? Unfor­tu­nate­ly, we don’t have a sin­gle rec­om­men­da­tion. There are a num­ber of fac­tors to con­sid­er when choos­ing the method that will work best for you. We find it is best to start with a goal and then craft a spe­cif­ic strat­e­gy that helps reach that goal. When we cre­ate a strat­e­gy, we con­sid­er time and mon­ey avail­able, as well as the audi­ence we are try­ing to reach. Almost all strate­gies pick and choose a mix of the dif­fer­ent options available. 

The fun starts when strat­e­gy ends. Rolling out your plan and see­ing the response you get is a great learn­ing expe­ri­ence. You will see the parts of your strat­e­gy that work and oth­er parts that may need adjust­ment. The key is try new things and see what gets the best response. And keep doing it. Con­sis­ten­cy is your friend when it comes to marketing. 

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