Time is money, and this is especially regarding the ways of digital marketing. You’re reading this because you want to get the best return on your time and marketing budget.
After all, it’s far too easy to blow up your marketing budget with all the different ways of digital marketing that just don’t seem to work.
You’ve tried blogging. You’ve tried Facebooking. You’ve tried YouTube. You feel like you’ve tried everything under the sun.
But still, your sales aren’t going up.
And then you tell yourself those words that you’ve felt inside all along, but never wanted to say aloud: “I don’t like marketing.”
Your blogging schedule slips. Your Facebook page lapses into obscurity. Your YouTube video views stop going up.
You throw up your hands in despair. You’re ready to close up shop.
Stop right there! This doesn’t have to be you.
How To Choose The Best Ways Of Digital Marketing
If you’re really serious about your business, then stick around as we show you how to discover the best ways of digital marketing for your business.
But if you’re new to digital marketing, you might wonder if digital marketing really is better than traditional advertising.
We’ll let the numbers speak for themselves.
As you can see, you’ll reach a far greater number of people for less money with digital marketing.
But that’s not all. Digital advertising is just as effective too, if not more so.
As you see from this graph, there are untapped markets for digital marketers to tap into. The digital marketing pie is still there, just waiting for you to take a slice out of it.
So the million dollar question is: what are the best ways of digital marketing for your business?
To answer this, businesses must ask and answer these 3 questions for each method below:
- How much does it cost?
- What is the return on investment?
- How much time does it take to see returns?
These can be difficult questions to answer without doing an in depth analysis.
Fortunately for business owners strapped for time, we’ve done this already. Below you’ll find the Cliff Notes version of the answers to these questions, for 7 of the most popular ways of digital marketing.
Let’s get started!
1. Your Website: The Crown Jewel of Your Digital Marketing Empire
It all begins with your website. Likely the first thing you learned about digital marketing is the importance of having a website.
And there’s good reason for that too.
According to a Vocus digital marketing survey, websites are among the most effective ways of digital marketing.
So how much does it cost to utilize your website as an effective digital marketing channel?
Unfortunately, there’s no cut and dry answer to that question. Asking how much a good website costs is like asking how much a good car costs. The answer really depends on what you’re looking for.
For more concrete answers, we can simplify the question by splitting it into two more questions.
- How much does website design cost for WordPress websites?
- How much does website design cost for drag and drop websites?
WordPress websites require more skill and knowledge to put together. On the other hand, drag and drop websites like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly are easier to put together.
Here’s a price comparison from websitebuilderexpert.com:
As we can see, creating a great WordPress website costs more. Either in time spent learning how to use WordPress, or in money spent hiring a WordPress website developer.
We highly recommend business owners use WordPress. WordPress offers greater flexibility with more options.
You should let a professional company handle the technical aspects of creating and maintaining your website, that way you can focus on the more important stuff.
Now that you better understand the costs, what can you expect your ROI to be?
Website design ROI is hard to measure because it’s connected to all the other ways of digital marketing. But we can’t overstate how important it is to your bottom line.
This infographic shows why good website design is so important.
Isn’t that amazing? In a medical survey 94% of participants said that they disqualified a medical website based on the website design alone. A medical website! Medical websites are the type of sites where content should matter above all else. But only 6% of those surveyed disqualified a medical website based on the actual content. Let that fact sink in.
Now you realize the importance of website design.
So how long does it take to design a good website?
The answer varies and it depends a lot on your specific needs. But according to WordPress developer Bill Erickson, a typical website will need 14 weeks of work minimum from start to finish. The timeline he sets is:
- 2 weeks to analyze your business needs
- 3 weeks of design time
- 3 weeks of design revisions
- 3 weeks of initial development
- 3 weeks of modifications
2. Don’t Stop Blogging!
After you’ve your website, the next thing you’ll want to do is setup your blog. This is important for SEO and for attracting and maintaining your target audience.
There are free blog platforms and there are paid blog platforms. The most popular free ones include Blogger, WordPress, Weebly, and Wix.
If you want your own domain name, you need to hire a hosting company to host your website. Hosting service costs around $10 a month, more or less. It depends on what you want your URL to be (.com, .org, .net).
The cost of content is another question altogether. You can work with freelance writers on an individual case by case basis, or you can work with one professional company offering complete SEO services. The latter is easier and more effective.
Measuring the ROI of a blog isn’t too difficult. That’s because there are specific metrics for blogs that are easily accessible. Here are some examples of blogging metrics:
- Social Shares
- Landing Page Views
- Blog Subscriptions
- Leads Generated
- Customer Engagement (for B2C companies)
Despite the easy to measure ROI, there’s still a danger.
A trap that many would-be bloggers fall into is not placing enough value on consistent blogging. This is an easy trap to fall into when you’re not seeing the results you want fast enough.
However, just like with workout routines, persistence and discipline pays off!
Of course, we all want some idea of when to expect a ROI from our blogging efforts.
But unfortunately, when we hold that desire, we wrongly assume that our blogging results are independent from ourselves.
But the truth is that the results of your blogging depend entirely on you.
Admittedly, this answer is terribly unsatisfying. So how long will it take?
Our answer is: do a good six months of consistent blogging before thinking about throwing in the towel. Ideally, you should never give up on your blog, because it can take even longer than 6 months before your older blog posts start to pick up any traction.
So now that you’ve got a blog, you need to spread those posts far and wide with…
3. Social Media: Not Just For Kids Anymore
Maybe you’re a person who has never used social media before. Maybe you always thought that social media is pointless for you. Maybe you don’t even own a smartphone yet!
If so then you know you’ve got a lot to learn!
But don’t feel overwhelmed by it all. We specialize in social media advertising, and we’ll help you get up to speed.
And if some part of you still doubts the value of social media for your business, just look at these graphs from Statista.com:
Now let’s look at ages…
Those numbers really put things into perspective don’t they?
70% of Americans use social media. So can you afford not to take advantage of social media?
One of the best parts about social media is that it’s cheap to get started. Creating standard accounts on the most popular social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, is free. Creating standard posts and updates on your social media account pages is also free, which is why social media is wildly popular in the first place.
But if you want to take your social media marketing campaign to the next level, there are also paid options.
We’ll list a couple examples here for Facebook advertising to give you an idea of the possibilities of paid advertising on social media:
- Facebook business pages have the option to “bump up” posts for a fee. The bumped up post will appear on the top of your target audience’s news feeds.
- Place your own ads on Facebook. For example, let’s say that your target audience is men ages 30-40 living in Atlanta, GA. You can place an ad on Facebook that specially targets that group. Your ad will show up above your target audience’s news feed, which is where Facebook users see posts from their friends, groups they’ve joined, pages they receive updates from, etc.
Other social media sites will have their own options for paid advertising.
With an audience of more than 1 billion people, Facebook is one of the best places to advertise. Their ads are surprisingly affordable AND extremely targeted. Your ads will reach the right people.
Most people’s first instinct for measuring social media marketing ROI is to look at vanity metrics, such as “likes” on Facebook or the number of Twitter followers.
However, measuring social media marketing ROI goes much deeper than that. To truly measure the effectiveness of your social media marketing campaign, you need to set quantifiable goals and track them. There are many tools for doing this, but there’s a learning curve. But not to worry, because we’re here to help.
Similar to blogging, there’s no cut and dry answer for how long social media marketing takes to work. It all depends on your strategy. With social media marketing, you get what you put into it.
4. Is Paid Search Advertising Effective?
Paid search advertising is another option. A big advantage of this method is that you know exactly how much money you’re putting in. And, the advertising platforms will help you calculate the ROI.
One of the main forms of paid advertising is in the form of the banner ad.
So how much do banner ads cost?
The cost is often measured in one of the two ways below:
- Cost per thousand (CPM) impressions
- A flat rate each month, quarter, or year
As for how expensive they are, here’s a general rule of thumb: the more targeted your audience is, the more you’ll pay. So in short, consider your marketing budget, not costs. Because, the better targeted your ads are, the better your ROI will be. So in the case of banner ads, a higher cost is a positive, not a negative, as long as you correctly identify your target audience.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Google AdWords. Basically, Google AdWords is based off an auction system. The system rewards businesses that have high-quality ad campaigns. The rewards include lower costs and better ad placements.
With Google AdWords, you control how your AdWords budget is spent. This is through features such as device targeting, scheduling and geotargeting.
Tracking ROI for paid advertising is easier than tracking ROI for other methods. For Google AdWords, it’s very straightforward – Google can educate you about the ROI of its program.
Banner ads are also relatively simple to track ROI for, but the trade off is that it’s harder to achieve good ROI with banner ads.
According to ComScore, users in the US were exposed to more than 5 trillion display ads in 2015.
And according to MediaPost, 45 million internet users in the US (15% of internet users in the country) were using an ad blocker during that same year.
To cut through the heavy opposition to online ads, hiring professional help to create engaging and effective banner ad designs is a must.
5. The Reality Of Video Marketing
Video marketing is one of the most effective ways of digital marketing.
And just like with any other kind of content marketing, consistency is key. Not consistently posting new videos is one of the biggest reasons why businesses fail to reap the benefits of video marketing.
One big reason why businesses fail to post videos consistently is the costs.
There are different levels of video marketing, each one with its own costs. It all depends on the equipment used, talent of the team, and the time put into the project.
An amateur can create video for free with just some basic equipment that everyone already has nowadays.
But if you want a high quality video that will actually help your business, you’ll need to pay more for it. A video made by a professional team with the right tools can run more than $1,000 for a two minute video.
Impressions, views, shares, and click-throughs are a few ways to measure the ROI of videos. Here’s a nice infographic from Hyperfine Media that lays out more ways you can think about ROI with video marketing.
There’s no doubt about the effectiveness of video marketing when data like this is out there.
If you want to see a great example of consistent and successful video marketing, look at PewDiePie. He rose to popularity on YouTube publishing 5 to 8 videos a week about gaming. He has more than 61,000,000 subscribers, which makes his channel the biggest on YouTube in subscriber numbers.
5-8 videos a week is a lot to ask for many businesses, but at least one video a week can help business growth.
6. Dissecting Online Events
Like video marketing, online events are another one of the ways of digital marketing that’s effective but expensive. Online events include video streaming, podcasts, and the most powerful one of all, webinars.
Readytalk did a fantastic job of breaking down the costs and ROI of a webinar.
According to ReadyTalk, the average number of registrants for a webinar is 260 people. Of those registrants, there’s an average 42% registrant-to-attendance rate, so that’s 109 people. Furthermore, 20% – 40% of those people will turn into qualified leads.
So if 30% of those 109 people turn into leads, then that’s about 33 people. If we divide the average cost of a webinar by 33, then the cost per qualified lead is $97.70. That’s not a bad cost for most businesses.
As for the return on investment, that number also doesn’t take into account the people who may watch the recorded webinar in the future. So your cost per lead should actually be lower in the long run.
According to a report by multinational market research firm Millward Brown, webinars are the most difficult marketing channel for measuring ROI. In fact, 74% of those surveyed in the report said that they would invest more money in webinar marketing if it were easier to measure ROI.
One way to measure ROI of webinars and other online events such as streaming is to use a multi-touch marketing attribution software system. However, the learning curve is quite high.
Webinar marketing software provider BigMarker has some interesting numbers for us regarding viewing habits of webinar audiences.
- Webinar audiences prefer attending webinars that run between 30-40 minutes long.
- In addition, most people will only commit to one webinar per week. This holds true for webinars across all industries.
- There’s also an ideal time of day for hosting webinars – 10am or 11am are the times most people prefer. 26% preferred 10am and 32% preferred 11am.
- The best days of the week to hold a webinar are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Avoid Mondays and Fridays because these are the days that most people take a holiday off from work.
To sum it all up, competition for webinar viewers is fierce, and you’ll have to work within a smaller time frame. Therefore, webinar promotion is extremely important.
So, don’t expect online event marketing to be cheap. It’s one of the more expensive ways of digital marketing.
7. Email Marketing – The Intimate Closer
Can I have your phone number? Can I have your email? Can I drive you home…?
Okay, you get the picture. Email marketing is one of the most intimate ways of digital marketing. That means it should be used only when a prospect is already comfortable with you.
After all, you don’t usually meet someone for the first time in their home (their email inbox) – you meet them in a more comfortable public place first (i.e. your website or on social media).
So why is email marketing more intimate than the other digital marketing methods?
Because if it’s done right, then you’re in like Flynn. Your prospect has given you an intimate piece of their personal information. As long as you get their permission, you can email them any information you want about your business.
Wait… getting permission? “But that’s a lot of work,” you say. Is email marketing really worth the time?
The answer is a definitive YES. We explain why below:
How much will an email marketing campaign cost? Well, that’s an extremely loaded question. There are tons of different factors that will affect the cost, such as
- how many products you’re offering
- quality of your email leads
- template email design complexity
- email campaign analytics required
- quality of the email service provider
But the key thing to remember is that an email marketing campaign will almost always be an investment, not a cost. A cost is an expense; an investment is something that makes you money.
According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) the average ROI for email marketing is $44 for every dollar spent. In effect, this means that you can run a mediocre email marketing campaign and still see a respectable return on your investment.
When you maximize the other ways of digital marketing, your email marketing ROI will shoot up even higher!
The tradeoff with email marketing is obvious. It’s one of the most effective ways of digital marketing, but first you must bring them in through your sales funnel. This means that they must first come through your social media page, paid ad, or website.
Now that you’ve reached the end of this post (congratulations if you did!), you’re on your way to mastering the most popular ways of digital marketing.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be. You don’t have to employ every method at once. Take the information you learned and then decide what ways of digital marketing will work best for your specific business.
But don’t fall into indecision paralysis. Take action, any action. Reading this post was a good start, but sometimes it’s better to talk to someone who has been through the journey already. You can always contact a member of our team to schedule a meeting. We will take you by the hand and guide you every step of the way.
So, what are you waiting for? Continue blogging. Continue Facebooking. Continue YouTubing. Do it now!