When diving into the world of digital marketing to develop your business, there are some essential marketing channels that you should familiarize yourself with. Even if you choose a digital marketing agency to handle your online marketing, understanding the basic marketing channels, their strategies and lead generation potential can help you remain on top of things.
Digital marketing is multi-faceted. This is why learning about the basic marketing channels such as SEO, SMM, and SEM can help you increase your online traffic, improve your website’s SERP ranking, encourage visitor engagement, and generate strong leads for your business to grow exponentially.
In the world of digital marketing, SEO, SMM, and SEM are the most famous marketing channels, and for good reason too. Due to their targetability and ROI potential, they are crucial to developing any online business or company. But how do you know which one will work for you? Well first, you must start by understanding how each channel works.
1. SEO — Search Engine Optimization
Perhaps the most famous one, SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is the process of acquiring organic (free) traffic to a website from the search engine result pages. With SEO, you optimize your website with various optimization techniques so it can rank for relevant keywords whenever someone makes a search query related to them. If your website is equipped with excellent SEO strategies, it will appear in the highest ranks on a SERP because of the positive relationship it may share with the search engine’s algorithm.
2. SMM — Social Media Marketing
SMM or social media marketing is the second biggest marketing channel since it targets the enormous audience base that resides on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Social Media Marketing is said to be the center point of e-commerce and brand engagement for large demographics because consumers interact with businesses and with each other on these social networks.
For a business to acquire customers online, it must have a social media presence that mirrors its credibility with its website. By posting regular promotional content, running ads, and interacting with customers on social networks, a business can engage large crowds of prospective customers and build credibility and brand image simultaneously.
3. SEM — Search Engine Marketing
SEM or search engine marketing is often confused with SEO since they both focus on traffic outreach on search engines. But, while SEO deals with organic traffic acquisition, SEM focuses on online advertising done via paid ad campaigns. When you look up a term on Google, the first four search results will have a small green tab that says “ad” under the search title.
This is SEM or paid advertising in its active form, which means a brand paid Google to showcase their ads for that keyword you searched for. SEM is highly customizable when it comes to selecting the targeting features for paid ads. On Google Adwords, you can select a demographic type, location, preferences, etc to increase the targeting potential of your ads.
Now that we have cleared what each acronym stands for, we can move forward with some of the most common marketing practices and components for SEO, SMM, and SEM. Some essential practices and components for each marketing channel are:
First, let’s begin with SEO. Almost all SEO practices focus on improving your website and increasing its online visibility. Here are some common SEO practices and components:
On-Page SEO (on-site optimization of the front-end and back-end of a website)
- Relevant and engaging content
- Easy navigation
- Image optimization
- Website usability and accessibility
- Page speed and navigation
- Internal linking
- Meta descriptions and headers 1,2, and 3 optimization
Off-Page SEO (off-site optimization of the external sources outside the website)
- Brand mentions
- Influencer outreach
- Social bookmarking
- Fixing broken links
- Social networking
- Forum Engagement
- Guest author blogging
SMM is both paid and free, it all depends on the practices and components you choose to use in your campaign. Here are some common ones:
- Organic posts: Free posts that can be created and shared on a business’ social media.
- Ads: Similar to paid ads on SEM, social media ads can be customized and curated to meet target goals such as customer engagement, page likes, the website directs, etc.
- Boosted posts: Also known as sponsored posts, boosted posts are used to increase the post-performance of an ad or a normal post.
- Social networking: Posts that are created with the collaboration of two or more businesses to reach each other’s social media audience bases.
Lastly, paid advertising on SEM deals with targeting specific audience groups with specific intents. Here are the many components and methods of SEM targeting:
- Remarketing: Also known as retargeting, these are serving ads that are created using the previous search data of customers.
- Geotargeting: These ads are targeted to users that meet the location qualification of the ad.
- PPC: ads that cost a certain amount when a user clicks on them.
- PPI (pay-per-impression): ads that cost a certain amount when a user “views” them.
It is important to understand that there is no “which is better?” when it comes to SEO, SMM, and SEM. All the mentioned practices and components are equally important and necessary if you want to build an online presence, gain visibility, increase your website traffic, and eventually build a customer base. Some factors that you should consider when using these marketing channels are:
If you want results from your digital marketing campaigns, you need to set aside a budget of how much are you willing to spend. If you are a start-up business and still trying to find what works for you, you may not want to squander all your marketing budget on campaigns without even understanding how they work and their potential. First, you need to understand the marketing channel you selected, the competition market, and the practices that will work best for your business objectives, and then invest in a campaign.
The best SEO practices in 2022 have long-term benefits while paid marketing will be beneficial for you until you keep paying for them. The best approach may be finding a middle point and distributing your time, effort, and money equally between the marketing channels you use. In a general scenario, first setting up various basic SEO strategies and then investing in paid marketing as you wait for them to be lucrative would be ideal. It all depends on deciding on your business objectives and then molding your marketing channels to accomplish them.
Investing in a single marketing channel is as equally bad as creating multiple campaigns at the same time without testing them or doing market research. You may want to tread lightly and carefully so you don’t waste either your money, efforts, or time. Testing strategies out and then deciding to invest in them is a lengthy but wise choice.
If all this seems too overwhelming for you, you can leave it all in the hands of professionals. You can simply use a digital marketing agency’s services to learn more or curate a custom digital marketing plan for you. Get in touch with Search Boosters now and learn more about how we can manage it all for you.