What is Digital Marketing? An Overview of a Complete Digital Strategy

Digital marketing refers to a form of advertising that promotes a brand or product through electronic media. It differs from traditional marketing in that its strategy involves more significant analysis of results to gain an understanding of what marketing campaigns will work best for your business. The role of a digital marketer is to study common searches, search frequencies, sales impact, cost-per-click analysis and the content that is going to be most beneficial to your digital campaign. Digital marketing utilizes many channels including search engines, websites, social media, mobile apps, and email. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are several of the common social media platforms digital marketers use to promote brands and products.

Online versus Offline

A connection to the internet defines the distinction between online and offline digital marketing. Search engines, websites, social media, email, and many mobile apps require an internet connection to reach their audiences effectively. Offline digital marketing still involves electronic devices, though its channels do not need an internet connection. Customer demographics often dictate which kind of digital marketing will prove most beneficial to the brand or product.

Online digital marketing can be achieved through the following:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the process of optimizing your content so that your website ranks higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). This increases the traffic to your website and encourages brand awareness. SEO generates organic search results through many creative and technical elements. These elements can include such components as keyword optimization, videos, links, page speed, and original content- all of which should reflect the personality and values of the brand in a user-friendly website layout.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Whereas SEO generates search results organically, SEM includes the purchasing of paid ads in your digital marketing campaigns. In other words, the practice of SEM means you are paying for traffic to your website (via pay-per-click, display, or retargeting ads).  A combination of SEM and SEO can be exceptionally beneficial to a marketing campaign. While SEO can take up to six months to see the results, SEM speeds up the process as ads can be purchased immediately.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)

With PPC advertising, the advertiser pays each time a user clicks on the business’s ad. These ads receive their ranking from what is known as the “ad auction” in which the search engine employs an automated process that determines the relevance and validity of the specific advertisements that will show up on their SERP. The most common PPC advertisement is a paid search ad that it appears when users are looking for an item or service they want to purchase.

Content Marketing

The purpose of content marketing is to create and distribute valuable content that appeals to a specific audience, spreads brand awareness, increases sales, promotes customer relationships, and creates topical authority. Content marketing is used in a number of components in your digital marketing campaign. It is used on web pages, blogs, infographics, social media posts, and emails. The goal of content marketing is to create topical authority while providing literature that interests and entertains an audience.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

As a form of internet marketing, SMM involves the creation of content to be shared across social media networks and create brand awareness. SMM utilizes text, images, videos, and ads to promote audience engagement with your brand or product. SMM uses different social media networks to reach particular demographics based on age, interests, location, and more. Ultimately, SMM can increase website traffic, brand awareness, and customer interaction.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing involves an arrangement in which an external website or individual is paid commission by the online retailer to refer readers or followers to the business’s page, product, or service. Beyond driving traffic to a retailer’s website, affiliate marketing creates brand awareness, increases sales, reaches specific customer demographics, and displays brand values.

Email Marketing

In this form of internet marketing, a business utilizes email lists to advertise products and services. Email marketing works best (and avoids ending up in the spam folder) when it is tailored to the interests and needs of potential customers. Using email marketing to offer individual customers special discounts and news based off of unique details, such as an upcoming birthday or a flash sale, allows a business to build customer relationships, and brand reputation.

Digital marketing allows businesses to effectively reach and engage target audiences, promote brand awareness, increase sales, and build customer relationships all while optimizing campaigns. A successful digital marketing campaign achieves these business goals by utilizing search engines, social media platforms, websites, and mobile apps. To enhance your digital presence and overall success, your campaigns should be highly customized to your brand’s values and target consumer.

Ready to start your next digital marketing campaign? Let’s Talk!

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What is Search Engine Marketing?

Like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a form of online marketing strategy used to generate traffic to a brand’s website. While SEO is used to make it easier for search engines to read web pages in order to drive organic traffic to websites, SEM relies on purchasing paid ads in brands’ digital marketing campaigns to increase clicks to web pages. The best digital marketing strategies incorporate both SEO and SEM implementation to maximize a brand’s visibility and expand its reach.

What does SEM include?

SEM is essentially a process of buying traffic to your website through pay-per-click (PPC), display or retargeting ads. PPC advertising means a business pays a fee everytime a user clicks on the ad. Display ads are directed advertisements found in banners on the side or at the top of websites aimed at generating fast and easy conversions. Retargeting advertisements are ads targeted specifically at internet users based on their interests, past searches and internet activity.

Why is SEM so important?

Skilled implementation of SEM is essential to earning more conversions for your business because these ads are primarily linked to landing pages and increased sales. Search ads can also be used as a consistent traffic source for specific keywords even when other marketing tactics shift. Additionally, while SEO can take up to six months to see results, SEM implementation expediates this process because ads are purchased instantly which generates immediate results.

Search Engine Marketing and a Digital Marketing Strategy

A business’s digital marketing strategy is one of the most powerful tools it has to expand its reach and improve its brand identity. The best digital marketing strategies are multi-faceted, customized to the business’s values and target customer, and include the implementation of several different forms of online marketing. Of these different forms of internet marketing, search engine marketing (SEM) is a useful and necessary approach to increase traffic to your website. Your business needs a talented digital marketing agency to optimize your brand’s SEM strategies and elevate your brand’s digital presence.

Bearpaw Partners is a digital marketing agency in the Atlanta area filled with a team of the most talented SEM experts and creative marketing specialists who can give your brand an unbeatable digital presence. In the market for a digital agency to help develop your brand’s SEM strategy and digital marketing plan? Let’s work together!

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What Does A Social Media Marketing Agency Do?

Having a social media presence is essential in order to compete with the ever-expanding market of modern-day businesses. Not only does it implement brand recognition and draw in more customers, but a social media presence aids in projecting the values and personality of the business to the public. That being said, initiating a social media presence is not quite as simple as the occasional Tweet or Instagram post. Social media agencies know that your business’s social media presence relies on consistent upkeep, research, and connections, and they exist in order grant your business the chance to allocate those tasks to an outsourced professional. Social media marketing agencies are able to analyze and comprehend the needs of your business in order to project your business’s values and draw in the customers you want. Here are a few of the services a social media marketing agency offers.

Content Publishing

Social media agencies use thorough research and analytics to provide your business with optimal content based on the most beneficial and popular topics. Your social media agency will design a content calendar dividing up the allotted number of pieces your business agrees upon. The content calendar will allow for consistent posting at optimal times to maximize your targeted audience. By enlisting an agency to create your business’s content, the stress of devising content for your business is removed from your team and given to an agency designed to build that work for you.

Brand Projection

For widespread recognition, it is important that the personality of your brand be obvious and up-to-date to cater to the current trends. A social media agency knows which platforms draw in the audience you want to target, what kind of content appeals most to those target audiences, and what values best align with your target audience. By utilizing an agency, your business’s social media can be better geared towards attracting the customers you want.

Finding Your Audience

One goal of a social media agency is to make your brand as accessible as possible in order to maximize audience. Social media agencies are able to formulate posts, tweets, activities, sharing, and likes to increase your businesses social media traffic and therefore bring in more customers.

Expanding Your Platforms

Social media agencies recognize that when customers search your business’s brand, you want to control that conversation while addressing their questions and concerns. The more social media platforms your business is present on, the more reach you have over your audience. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are a good place to start, but a successful social media agency will utilize these and more, such as Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest, and Medium to drive traffic to your business.

Analyze the Competition

Following careful examination of your business’s social media presence, a social media agency evaluates who your competition is and strategizes to outrank them. Additionally, an agency can study the failures and successes of the competition to supply your business with knowledge it needs to overcome your competitors. By knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the competition, an agency can better evaluate the direction to take your business.  

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4 Questions to Ask a Social Media Marketing Agency

Social media is the crux of modern marketing, and therefore your company’s ability to reach its consumers is dependent on this presence. In 2017, social media advertising generated $11 billion in revenue, nearly double what it generated in 2013. Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Medium are just a few of the platforms that can boost your business’s social media presence, but a social media marketing agency can take you one step further by implementing new strategies in your business’s marketing course of action through these platforms. Social media marketing helps to increase brand awareness and reach your target consumer in a more refined, beneficial way.

Your consideration of a social media marketing agency is the first step in the process of bettering your business’s marketing strategy. The steps to follow should be geared towards finding a social media marketing agency whose personality, goals and values are synonymous with your business’s own. Asking these four questions can help you gain a better understanding of the social media marketing agency you are considering hiring.

How will your agency help me meet my business objectives?

A key indicator of how a social media marketing agency is going to handle your business is if they have taken an in-depth look at your business’s marketing objectives before presenting you their proposal. A generic spread of few marketing stats, some key benefits of their strategies, and universal tactics meant to enhance your business is a major red flag, as no singular marketing strategy is applicable to every business. By nature, your business has unique needs, goals, and parameters that deserve an exclusive approach to bettering the quality of your business’s craft.

What can you do to get me ahead of my competitors?

One of the most important strategies a social media marketing agency should offer is an extensive analysis of your competitors. By studying the competitor’s failures, successes, strategies, and stats, a social media marketing agency should be able to offer your business better insight into what needs to be done with your social media strategy. Asking your prospective social media marketing agency how they can aid you in not only understanding your competition but surpassing them is an essential component in deciding whether or not they are the right agency for you.

Who will I be working with directly on a regular basis?  

A social media marketing agency’s proposal is intended to be a collection of highlights pinpointing the key strategies they are going to use to better your social media presence. Often, the person presenting this proposal to you is not the person who you will be working with on a day-to-day basis. Taking a closer look at the members of your potential agency and which of those members will be specifically assigned to your business can help you depict what communication is going to look like between you and that agency.

How do you measure success?

The social media marketing agency you choose should be familiar with a collection of key performance indicators that they use as a standard. It is by this standard that they should be able to measure their success in improving your business’s social media presence. Some examples of the ways your social media marketing agency should be measuring their success include social media growth and reach, social media engagement and lead generation from social media. If your potential agency can attest to past success in these arenas, then they might be a good fit for you.

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7 Steps to Creating a Winning Social Media Strategy

Social media has become an essential integrated element in a successful marketing strategy. Designing a winning social media marketing strategy is unfortunately not quite as simple as a few tweets and witty Instagram captions. With over 90% of businesses on social media this year, integrating a winning strategy to place you above the competition is simply a must.

For a business to invest in their social media presence, considerable time and effort must be put in, along with extensive knowledge of strategies to optimize your business’s competitive edge. Social media marketing agencies can allow you to allocate this extensive strategizing to 3rd party professionals whose passion is understanding and improving your social media presence. Here are the 7 steps a social media marketing agency will take to creating a winning social media strategy for your business.

Evaluate your current social media presence

Your business is unique and is compiled of particular values, core goals, strengths, and weaknesses. With this in mind, your social media marketing agency strategy will not gain success with generic strategies. The first step in improving your business’s social media presence is analyzing your current state and decide what is working and what needs adjustment. At this stage, it is crucial to document your current stats on lead generation, social media reach and overall brand awareness.

Make a game plan

Once you’ve gained a clear understanding of where your business’s social media stands, it’s game time. Decide on the goals your business wants to accomplish, whether you want to amp up brand awareness, reach a new target customer, or add to your business’s social media platforms. A social media marketing agency will coordinate a detailed calendar laying out your goals, timed out content, and evaluation checkpoints to ensure your business is on the fast track to success. Forming these goals and assigning deadlines for reaching them will optimize your path to success.  

Get to know the team and define the personality of your business

To gain a better understanding of who your business is going to appeal to, you should evaluate what your key values are. Depending on what your business is marketing, you will be able to determine the demeanor of your social media, and even what social media platforms you choose to utilize.

Gain an understanding of your business’s audience

Where Instagram and Twitter may appeal to a decent amount of millennials, a more distinguished and business-oriented customer may be more drawn to LinkedIn and Google+. It’s possible your target customers are a diverse collection of individuals, or you might find they appeal to more condensed groups. Understanding the demographics behind your business’s audience will assist you in gaining a better understanding of who you are going to attract and why.

Do the research on your competitor

Following careful examination of your business’s social media presence, a social media agency evaluates who your competition is and strategizes to outrank them. Additionally, an agency can study the failures and successes of the competition to supply your business with knowledge it needs to overcome your competitors. By knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the competition, an agency can better evaluate the direction to take your business.

Layout your social media content

Once your business forms a game plan on the type of content, social media platform location of content and timing of content posting, you will start to see the initial signs of success. The content calendar will allow for consistent posting at optimal times to maximize your targeted audience. By enlisting an agency to create your business’s content, the stress of devising content for your business is removed from your team and given to an agency designed to build that work for you.

Measure your success

As the results roll in from your chosen social media marketing strategy, you should be aware of a few indicators that will help you best judge what is working for your business and what needs adjusting. Some examples of these indicators of success include social media growth and reach, social media engagement and lead generation from social media. If seeking a potential social media marketing agency they should be able to attest to past success in these areas.

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4 Reasons Your Business Needs a Killer Social Media Strategy

In today’s technology fluent world, a cutting-edge website and a detailed marketing strategy won’t give your brand the digital presence it needs to remain competitive. Your marketing team needs to focus on creating a social media strategy that aligns with your business’s message and escalates your brand. Social media channels are more than just platforms to connect with old friends. These platforms make it possible to share interests, build relationships, and interact with customers in a more personal way than ever before. Here are four reasons your business needs a killer social media strategy.

A social media strategy can increase your rankings on search engines

A strong social media strategy gives your brand more visibility and makes your business shareable across channels. The more content shared from your website, the more visibility your brand gets and the higher traffic your website receives. Increased engagement with your brand improves your business’s exposure and increases clicks and links from other websites, which boosts rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs).

A social media strategy can build stronger relationships with your customers

Social media outlets allow users to interact with their favorite brands in a more powerful and personal way than ever before. More personal connections lead to more authentic relationships with your audience and increased customer loyalty. Additionally, if your business is on present on social media, your team has access to valuable information about your customers’ interests and the conversations your audience has about your brand. Accordingly, your team can use this information to gain insight into how to continually improve the relationships you build with your customers.

A social media strategy can increase your brand recognition

A social media presence gives your business the opportunity to build and strengthen your brand personality. Your brand’s social media strategy should reflect your business’s culture and align with your brand’s story. An active social media presence builds your brand in a way that resonates with your audience and increases your brand recognition.

A social media strategy expands your business’s reach

Connecting with customers on social media platforms provides an easy and simple way for your audience to share information about your brand, which increases your discoverability and improves your business’s reach. By forming more authentic relationships with your users, your brand can build a more targeted audience and convert more leads into customers.

Your business needs a killer social media strategy to remain discoverable, shareable and competitive. Bearpaw Partners is the most talented digital marketing agency in the Atlanta area and is equipped with a team of social media enthusiasts who can give your brand an unbeatable digital presence. In need of a group of digital marketing experts to develop a social media marketing strategy for your brand? Let’s work together!

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How to Use Facebook to Improve Your Brand’s Audience

Facebook is a dynamic tool that businesses can use to advertise their brand and expand their digital presence. The social media website offers businesses insight into consumers’ interests and the conversations people have regarding their brand, so they can run more effective campaigns and create a stronger targeted audience. To optimize your Facebook Ad success rate, your brand needs to cultivate a targeted list of contacts and customers. Facebook provides businesses with valuable resources and information on user’s demographics, interests and location to build their custom audience list. Not sure where to begin when building a custom audience for your brand’s Facebook ads? Here are three ways to maximize the benefits of your business’s Facebook advertising campaigns by improving your brand audience.

Utilize the competition

Take a look at a strong competitor’s active Facebook page, engagement on the page and fans of the page. Use this list of people who are already interested in a similar product or service that your business offers to begin building a custom audience list. Because these people are already fans of a similar brand’s page, they are either in the market for or have previously demonstrated an interest in the service or product your brand offers.

Not sure which business would be the best competition reference? Perform your own search query by typing in a phrase that a potential customer would search for when looking for a product or service your brand offers. Choose the top brands that appear on the SERP to use as a reference list of competitor’s pages and fans to begin building your targeted audience list.

Target the market’s following

In addition to specific business Facebook page searches, the website also offers users the ability to search for a general market or industry. By searching for a broad field relevant to your brand, Facebook searches its database to show top blogs, articles, publications or relevant media website pages. Add these top results to your brand’s Interest targeting section because the people that already engage with topics in your industry are more likely to show interest and engagement in your brand.

Find the influencers

With the continual rise of social media and the influence it has on consumers and brands, certain social media accounts and users have cultivated a substantial following of people who are considered influencers in a particular space. These accounts may be public figures, celebrities or someone who has established credibility in a specific industry. Because of their large following base, social media influencers have access to a large audience and can sway consumers because of their authority, authenticity and reach.

To find fans of influencers or public figures in your industry, search Facebook for popular people or celebrities associated with your brand’s product or service. If you’re not sure where to begin searching on Facebook, perform a search query on Google to find influencers in your field. Take the top results to search for these public figures’ verified Facebook pages and add the fans of these pages to your brand’s Interest targeting section.

Facebook is a powerful tool to grow your brand’s reach and increase your following. Make sure you improve your customized audience for Facebook ads by using these three tips to cultivate a strong, authentic following.

Bearpaw Partners is a full-service digital marketing agency in Atlanta that understands the ends and outs of Facebook’s interest-based audience creation system to propel your brand’s online presence, optimize your reach and stay ahead of the competition. Our digital marketing philosophy is simple––we work with your brand to turn your ideas into a compelling digital presence that tells your brand’s story and turns customers into fans. Looking for a digital marketing agency to escalate your brand? Let’s work together!

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