I can’t believe another week has gone by so quickly! If you read last week’s blog post, it was about finding motivation and pushing through to achieve your end goals. This week I decided to bring it back around digital marketing for all of you small business owners and entrepreneurs out there! Whether you’re starting a new business or trying to become a new digital nomad, you’ll need to get down the basics of digital marketing (or at least until you can hire someone with the right expertise). In today’s digital landscape, there are primarily two different kinds of advertising to gain website traffic, brand awareness, and conversions. They are known as paid and unpaid (or earned). Now many of you might think, “Why would I pay for advertising if I can achieve the same results with unpaid?” Well, honestly it’s just not that simple. There are pros and cons to both approaches, but the best solution to having a thriving business or brand is to use a mix of each. So you know the drill! Let’s break it down a little further.
What is It?
Paid Media is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. This can include advertising in the form of SEM (search engine marketing), PPC (pay-per-click) ads, display advertising, sponsored content, native ads, etc. Anytime you have a daily budget and are either paying for impressions or clicks, or you are renting space on a website with an advertisement, you are using paid digital media. You probably see this a lot with trendy brands or new brands that need to get their name out there. This is a great way to spread awareness and to ultimately lead new and returning customers to your site.
There are many many pros to paid digital marketing. First of all you can control how much money you spend! I know this might sound like not that big of a deal, but you need to understand that traditional media (such as print and television) are very resource intensive and expensive. In most cases with paid media, you are charged by either clicks or impressions. This means that you are only being charged when your ads are actually viewed and/or clicked on, which ties into my next point. Secondly, the analytics you gain from the people who interacted with these ads is invaluable. Yes, this means that you are gaining all of these insights for no additional cost. Not only is this information helpful in knowing your audience, but it also helps you better target future campaigns. Last but not least, you can then use this data and create remarketing ads, which take the audience members that have interacted with your ad before and targets solely them.
So what are the actual cons of paid digital advertising? Well first of all, it costs money. Even though you can usually start out with a daily budget of $5.00 per platform, that budget can add up quickly when you are advertising on a consistent basis. Another con? Each platform has its own set of rules and limitations. Even though these platforms do this for good reason, it can possible affect your creativity. The last con in my opinion? There’s a big learning curve for getting a good grasp on these platforms. Some people get down concepts right away, while others need several tutorials and explanations. If you are good at googling things and looking up instructions on YouTube, you’ll be fine. I suggest taking detailed notes in the beginning if you’re not used to using these kind of tools. Many of these platforms update their systems and add new features, but try not to overwhelm yourself when this happens.
What is it?
Earned media refers to social advertising that is beyond the scope of traditional paid media. This tends to include areas such as SEO (search engine optimization), content creation, posting on company social media pages, and etc. These are all efforts done by yourself or your internal team without having to pay the guys over at Facebook and the other digital platforms. While this sounds like it would be an easier alternative, taking on the different forms of earned media can actually be quite daunting.
The main pro is that you tend to save a lot of money going the earned media route. You don’t have to worry about daily budgets and CPC (cost per clicks), which can be a huge relief. Another awesome thing about earned media is that you can still get a lot of the same audience insights like you would with paid media through analytics tools such as Google Analytics or the other main social media business platforms. One of the things I should mention before I forget, is the power of SEO! SEO refers to search engine optimization. Think about when you conduct a google search. You want your website to be one of the first listings up on Google. That’s where the optimization comes in. You can do this by tagging your pages with keywords, creating alt-tags for your images, adding meta data and so much more. You can find so many helpful resources on SEO online, and I actually encourage you to do so.
Now, the cons. Earned Media is an EXTREMELY time-intensive area of digital marketing. Things such as content creation, scheduling social posts, and SEO are a long, tiring, and constant effort. Once you start the earned media process, it’s not something that is ever really completed. It’s so important for you to stay relevant, and that’s where having a team of employees can really help. If you’re just starting out, I’d encourage you to start tagging your site pages with keywords and have a business blog on a page of your site. It’s a good way to get yourself out there without too much of a commitment in the beginning.
So now, you’re probably asking yourself where to start. Well a mix of both earned and paid is obviously the best! Now I know that many of you are not in that position, so I’d say start with light earned media in the very beginning. Once you become busier with your business but aren’t able to add too many people to your team yet, start experimenting with paid media on a low daily budget. I hope this helps you, and always please free to ask me questions in the comment section below!
Infographic of the Week:
Question of the Week:
What do you find yourself googling the most?