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Today’s Digital Marketing: Looking Past Paid Media

 

 

 

 

For decades business owners have associated marketing with advertising. Some of the most popular (and successful) tactics to market your business have been through TV ads, radio ads, and print ads. With the digital shift, most business owners instantly thought about how they can improve their ad spend with search ads, display ads, and social ads.

What your business may be missing online is all of the facets of marketing that are not advertising. Outside of traditional paid media, you probably also partake in networking, events, cold calling, door-to-door sales and other non-ad tactics. The same methodology holds true online – while ads are a great way to bring in new business, there are many ways to acquire customers and build brand awareness outside of paid media.

Planting Organic Roots

When a consumer is looking to find a company to do business with, they often pull out their phone or laptop and search for a business online. When this happens, the search engine browses thousands of websites in a split second to decide which to put first, second, third and so on. If you want your business to appear higher in the results, you will need to step up your organic game.

Chances are you have heard the term “SEO” or “Search Engine Optimization” before, but what does that really mean?In short, search engines like Google and Bing look for certain signals from a website that communicate why it should appear in the search results. Think about it like this: The search engines are interviewing your site, so they will need the following things to hire your for the job:

  1. Trust – Is your website secure and functional?
  2. Competence – Does your website load quickly and without error?
  3. Experience – Does your website have a history of generating engaged traffic?
  4. Relevance – Is what your website offers in alignment with the search?

“Siri, . . .”

Picture this: You are downtown and spontaneously decide to get a haircut, but cannot see one in your immediate surroundings. What do you do? More and more people would pull out their phones and say something along the lines of, “Cortana, find a hairdresser near me.”

Many businesses are unaware of how or why their business may appear in voice search results. By investing in the time to create, update and maintain certain business profiles and aspects of your website, you can drastically increase your likelihood and frequency of appearing for these searches. This process is called “Answer Engine Optimization”.

Social Media as a Search Engine

As information online becomes more readily available, consumers are expecting two things:

  1. To find your business wherever is easiest for them.
  2. To be able to become “private investigators” and scope you out across the web.

This phenomenon has resulted in your potential customers using social media platforms as a search engine. If a user is on Instagram and wants to see your brand, it is easier for them to search on Instagram then to open up a search engine. Meanwhile, another user is doing a fact check on your brand to see if your business is up-to-date and savvy online, so they are searching for you in Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin. Much like how you would do a background check on a new employee, they are looking to see that you are active and professional across the web.

What is the best thing you can do to appear favorably? Invest in having a presence across all of the platforms where a user may search for you. This doesn’t mean you need to be chatting on Twitter every hour or posting to Facebook five times a day. Depending on your target demographic and industry, posting once a day, week or month may be adequate to show your consumers your business is alive and engaged. More importantly, having an assigned employee to respond to comments and messages promptly is critical.

One Second Referrals

How many times have you done the following on Facebook?

One of the newest fads in social media is what we like to call “one-second referrals”. As people become more efficient online, social media users have adapted to simply tagging a friend in a post they think they would like or forwarding it to them in a messenger. The platform and the post itself give the receiving user enough context to understand why the sender has chosen to tag them in that content.

The result? Word-of-mouth has never been so accessible.

By producing or boosting content that people are likely to tag/send to their friends, you can increase the reach of your posts dramatically without additional cost.

How to Play the Game

“Nothing in life is free.”

– The Accurate Pessimist

Whether you are thinking of using social media or site optimization tactics to gain new customers, spending the money to do it right will help you see a much higher return than shooting in the dark. Because organic clicks and unpaid social media is free to acquire, it means that almost every market has people playing the game. A digital agency can help set you up with a proven strategy, that will drive the results that achieve your targets.

Ready to find your strategy? Let’s talk!