In Part 1 of our Digital Marketing Guide, we covered the components of a strong digital marketing foundation: a website, social media, great content and search engine optimisation (SEO). Digital marketing is a long-term game, it takes time and dedication to build up your search engine rankings and social media audiences. So, in Part 2, we discuss how you can support your marketing efforts with paid advertising to amplify engagement with your customers and drive more traffic to your website.

5. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the act of buying traffic through paid search listings. This is also popularly called pay-per-click advertising. You set this up through Google AdWords or Bing Ads. This allows you to show your website at the top of Google to people who are searching for your keywords. You can pay anywhere from $1 – $25/click on AdWords, depending on how competitive your keywords are. It’s a great way to get a search engine presence for companies that are just starting out or have not had time to build up their organic SEO. Below, you can see an example of a Google AdWords ad for Wilco Plumbing in Sydney.

TIP: Use Google Keyword Planner to plan out your keywords and get an idea of how competitive your industry is.

6. Paid Social Advertising

Paid Social Advertising is paying to boost or promote your content on social media. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn all have advertising platforms. Facebook is by far the most popular platform and for most companies, we recommend starting there.

The most important things to remember about social media advertising are:

  • Know your audience. It’s all about sharing content that is interesting to them. Don’t talk about your company or your products, talk about how it benefits them. Speak in their language. Social media advertising is about amplifying engaging content, not pushing something uninteresting down their throats.
  • Create a custom audience. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn can get very granular with the demographics, geographics, interests and habits of the people you target. Experiment with a few different audiences and figure out what works best for your company.
  • Have a purpose. Wow, your post got 1,000 likes… so what? If the people engaging with your content are not also engaging with your brand or product, then what’s the purpose? Remember your business objectives and let everything trickle down from there.

7. Retargeting

Have you ever been shopping for clothes online, found a shirt you liked, decided not to buy it and then had that same shirt show up in your feed on Facebook or on a random website you were visiting the next day?

That’s retargeting, also known as remarketing. It is the act of showing ads to people who have been to your website in the past. For most websites, only 2% of visitors convert on the first visit, retargeting helps companies reach the 98% of users who don’t convert right away. When done right, retargeting is a great way to:

  • Increasing brand awareness – awareness campaigns are great for when you want to re-engage website visitors in order to tell them about new products, specials, key brand messages or company announcements.
  • Increase conversions – retargeting is great for encouraging people to take that next step, whether it’s purchasing a product, requesitng a quote, making a phone call or sending you an email.

8. Display Advertising

Unlike text-based ads, display ads are made up of images, audio and video. They are shown to your target audience whenever they are surfing online, not necessarily while they are searching for your product or service. They are great for generating brand awareness as you can get a lot of impressions on a limited budget. You can also use display ads to retarget to people who have been on your website before. 

9. Email Marketing

Email marketing is often cited as the most effective digital marketing channel for customer retention.

Do you have an email database? If not, you absolutely, 100% need to create an email database. We recommend using MailChimp, Campaign Monitor or Drip.

The reason is clear. Email marketing produces the highest ROI of any other marketing activity. For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI. It’s inexpensive to do, it’s easy to implement and it’s a great way to keep your customers in the loop.

Here are our top email marketing tips:

  • It’s all about the subject line. Keep it to 35 characters or less and use magic words like new, now, introducing, discover, free, secret, sneak-peek or alert.
  • Use their first name, customise the content to their interests.
  • Be conversational. Write the email as if you were talking to a friend.
  • Include a call-to-action. Encourage your customers to visit your website and complete an action (email, phone).
  • Check it on your phone before sending and make sure your email is imobile-friendly.

That sums up our digital marketing guide There are a lot of moving pieces, but they all work together quite nicely. As the CEO of Hubspot, Brian Halliga, said “Today, marketing is more about science and less about magic.” It’s about knowing your audience, understanding the data and measuring the results. It’s a constant work in progress that we can all exceed at with a little trial and error.

Meet the author: Katie Grogan

Katie holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Marketing) from the University of Arizona, where she made the Dean’s List. She is a savvy digital native who blogs, snaps, tweets and engages in various online media and activities for fun, as well as for work. At the University of Newcastle, she managed market analysis and strategy, while coordinating all digital engagement for the GradSchool, servicing 7,000+ postgraduates and recruiting new students. She applies her energy and expertise to harness the power of digital marketing for gemaker’s clients as our Digital Marketing Manager.