Frequently Asked Questions About Digital Marketing for Businesses
Welcome to your introduction to all things digital! The world of digital marketing can be confusing, but we’re here to simplify it. We’ve compiled answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive from clients.
The Digital Marketing Basics: Learning the Terms
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing encompasses all forms of advertising and marketing using the internet, from search engine optimization (SEO) to content marketing, social media and more.
What's a digital marketing agency?
A digital marketing agency is a business (like us!) which assists other companies with their online marketing efforts. Agencies can be as involved as the client would like. For some of our clients we handle all digital projects but for others we only provide ideas and recommendations through consulting. Our goal is to be an extension of our clients’ teams, support internal marketing teams with specialized digital services.
What's the difference between B2B and B2C digital marketing?
B2B stands for Business-to-Business. This type of marketing refers to businesses who sell products or services to other business. For example, at Blue Compass we work with other businesses to produce stellar digital marketing campaigns. B2C stands for Business-to-Consumer, or businesses that sell their products or services to individual consumers. While all facets of digital marketing can apply to both B2B and B2C, the strategy will differ.
The Ins-and-Outs of Digital Marketing
What goes into digital marketing?
There are a variety of tactics which make up digital marketing. At Blue Compass, our digital experts tackle:
Not every business will benefit from each type of digital marketing, so it is essential to think about your audience. That being said, one area of digital we think every business should take advantage of is performance reporting. Whether you’re doing SEO, content marketing, SEM or social media, you can’t make data-driven decisions if you’re not analyzing the metrics.
What is the purpose of digital marketing, and how can digital marketing help my business?
Do you have an audience that spends time online? Nowadays, the answer is yes for just about every business. Digital marketing will help you reach your target audience online and drive valuable conversions. Digital marketing is so versatile, it can be tailored to suit just about any brand!
What are the benefits of digital marketing?
There are so many benefits to digital marketing! The underlying goal of digital marketing is to bring more qualified users to your website. Through a mix of digital marketing tactics, you are able to guide users through their online journey, resulting in more conversions for your business.
The beauty of digital marketing is that all of the tactics work together in harmony. An effective digital marketing strategy will also reinforce your traditional marketing, providing your target audience with cohesive messaging.
There are also a number of benefits to digital marketing over traditional marketing. Digital marketing is flexible. With digital, you have the ability to make changes over the course of a campaign, unlike traditional where you’re locked into long campaigns that are set in stone.
Digital campaigns are also much easier to track because you can set up tracking pixels, create robust event tracking across your website and develop trackable links using utm parameters, which all tie your success directly back to specific campaigns. These pixels allow for remarketing campaigns which target users who have previously visited your website based on the actions they took.
How do you start digital marketing?
We recommend starting digital marketing by thinking about your audience and your priorities. This will help you decide which digital marketing tactics will be the right fit for you. For example, if you’re selling a service aimed at individuals nearing retirement, Instagram and Snapchat probably don’t make sense for your business, while LinkedIn and Facebook would be a better fit for your audience.
Next, it’s time to think about your priorities as a business. The digital marketing tactics you choose should align with your business goals. If your main goal is to spread the word about your local business, then local SEO is for you! If you’re more interested in understanding why users are leaving your website, you should think about UX testing.
If you have the time and the manpower to take on multiple tactics at once, go for it! But if you can only devote attention to a few tactics, then we recommend you start strong with those and add more to your marketing mix as you can.
Can digital marketing increase online sales?
Absolutely! The goal of digital marketing is to improve website traffic and online conversions, thus helping you reach your overall business goals. If you’d like to ultimately increase online sales, we would recommend a variety of tactics to reach this goal. These may range from UX research and conversion rate optimization to advanced product schema to social media. When we’re developing a campaign for a client, we get to know their business and objectives, then propose plans to align with those goals.
Planning Digital Marketing Campaigns
What's a digital marketing strategy?
A digital marketing strategy is a plan of attack for your digital efforts. We start our strategies with goals and KPIs, then we decide which tactics will lead us to success.
What types of digital marketing tactics should I implement?
SEO: If you want to rank higher in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) or get more users on your website, then you should start with SEO.
Content Marketing: If you want to build an audience through sharing valuable information, content marketing is the best way to do that. Content Marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand, so for many businesses, this will be a two-fold approach.
SEM: Do you want to advertise your service or products? SEM is a great way to target user searches and get your name in front of them near the top of search result pages.
Social Media: Social media allows you to give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your business, share valuable content and build relationships. If your audience is on social, you should have a strategy designed to meet them where they’re already spending time.
UX: Concerned about why users are leaving your website? Unsure of why your form is never filled out? UX testing can help you understand user behavior and develop a plan of attack for improving your online user experience.
Research: If you want to understand what your audience thinks about certain topics or about your business, research is a great approach. Develop online surveys and then analyze the data for statistical significance.
Of course, we can help with all of this and more, so let us know if you want to learn more!
What’s the secret to a successful digital marketing campaign?
You might think digital marketing can’t be successful unless you come up with a crazy-creative idea. That can certainly help, but the real secret behind success in digital marketing is optimizing your campaigns.
When we say optimizing, we mean testing small changes over time to continuously create better results.
At Blue Compass, we actively monitor all of our campaigns. It’s nearly impossible to find the perfect combination of keywords or targeting right off the bat, so that’s exactly what we do! We’ve found that it’s these campaigns that perform the best because they’re consistently improving.
What are digital marketing platforms?
Digital marketing platforms are other websites or software used to execute digital strategies. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all digital platforms which provide marketers with the tools to share their messaging with a desired audience.
What are some digital marketing tools we should use?
This depends on your goals, but there are a few digital marketing tools which are relevant for every business: Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Google Analytics is a website analytics platform that allows for robust reporting and tracking. Even if you just want to know how many people are visiting your website each month, and which pages they look at, we recommend getting GA set up!
Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is the direct line of communication between your website and Google. If you’re diving into SEO, you need to have Google Search Console set up so you can understand how Google is interacting with your website. If you’re not going full force into SEO yet, you still need it for some simple website management features such as submitting sitemaps.
Measuring Your Digital Marketing Success
How do I measure digital marketing campaigns?
Reporting! We love reporting because it’s the best way to see the results of digital marketing efforts. Each platform has its own analytics feature, but we always verify the data with at least one other analytics platform. What do we mean by that?
Well, let’s say you’re reporting out on a Facebook ad which got 60 clicks, according to Facebook Ads Manager. Now, when you cross reference that data with pageviews on Google Analytics, you only see 40. This doesn’t mean one platform is wrong, but it does show they’re tracking different metrics and that each platform has its limitations. We like to see the data from multiple perspectives, so we combine the metrics to get a holistic understanding of the campaign. Another great tool to cross-reference social media metrics is Google Tag Manager. This tool which tracks events on a website will help you verify conversion data. Want to know more about GTM? We’ve got an entire section on GTM below.
Below is a list of the analytics tools available within each social platform.
- Twitter: Twitter Analytics and Twitter Ads
- Facebook: Insights & Facebook Ads Manager
- LinkedIn: Analytics (accessible from your page) & Campaign Manager
- Instagram: Insights (accessible from your posts on mobile)
Why is it important to use Analytics to track my website metrics?
Google Analytics provides essential, in-depth data about the people who are visiting your website, which pages are most popular, the path people take on your site, how often you’re meeting your online goals and so much more! You can use this information to determine which content and campaigns are most effective, increase conversions and optimize your website for a better user experience.
What are Google Analytics “goals,” and why should I use them?
Goals in Google Analytics let your team track conversions on your site. Whether it’s a form submission or online purchase, you want to keep track of marketing efforts that lead to online conversions.
What is the most important thing to look at in Google Analytics?
Besides goals and conversions, our team looks at website traffic and behavior metrics and how these metrics are changing month-over-month and year-over-year. Traffic metrics (such as sessions, users and pageviews) tell you how many people are coming to your website and how often they visited your site.
Behavior metrics (such as pages per session, average time on page, bounce rate and new sessions) show how people interact with your website, how long they spend reading your content and if they’ve been to your site before. The most important metric to look at will vary for each site. We recommend taking time to determine which metrics drive your marketing decisions and look at those going forward.
What can I find out about users visiting my website?
While Google does not allow you to collect personally identifiable information, you can learn a lot about your online audience using Google Analytics. You’ll have access to extensive aggregate data about your visitors, including:
- New or returning visitor
- Device used
- Channels and sources they came from
What is GTM, and why do I need it?
Google Tag Manager is a tool which provides a user-friendly interface to implement tags and pixels on your website, such as AdWords conversion tracking or Facebook pixels. Using GTM, you can implement a wide variety of tags, scripts and code snippets that you would otherwise need to install on your website. GTM makes implementing and changing tags easier since they are all stored in one place.
With GTM, you can track a variety of actions on your website such as clicks on navigation elements, clicks on call-to-action (CTA) buttons or form completions. Yes, you can see similar data with Google Analytics, but it’s not nearly as detailed as the data from GTM. With Google Analytics, for example, you can see the number of pageviews on a page and infer people are clicking on that element in the navigation. With GTM, you can see exactly which buttons were clicked on that led them to the next page and which page users were on when they clicked on that element.
Some of the elements we recommend tracking include navigation clicks, form starts and completions, clicks on social icons, PDF downloads and queries in the search bar.
We’ve just scratched the surface of what you can do with GTM and Google Analytics. For instance, you can also use GTM to implement tags for third-party vendors.
What is a tag in GTM?
A tag is a tracking code you implement to collect information. Google Analytics tracking and Facebook Pixels are examples of tags you can implement through GTM.
What is a trigger in GTM?
A trigger is an action you define in GTM. Each tag has a trigger which tells the code when to fire. When the preferred action is completed on your website, such as a button click, the code fires based on the trigger you define. For example, if you’re tracking pageviews in Google Analytics, a tag would trigger on a page load for every page on your website. On the other hand, if you’re tracking a form completion, a tag would trigger when someone clicks the submit button or lands on a thank you page.
What is a variable in GTM?
A variable is a special condition that must be met and is set up within a trigger to track events that meet more specific criteria. For example, you want to track any time an item over $100 is purchased on your site, so you set up a special variable to collect that specific data. You can set up a trigger to track all sales, collecting purchases under $100, but only sales over the specified amount will count as a variable.
What reporting tools are available besides Google Analytics?
Our digital marketing team likes to use Google Data Studio - a reporting tool which integrates with other Google products such as Google Analytics and Google AdWords. Community Connectors also allow you to include data from social media platforms and other marketing tools you may want to report on. One time-saving benefit: you can set up a report that will automatically update when you change the date range.
In addition to Google Data Studio, there are many other tools which provide supplemental analytics such as RavenTools, Kissmetrics and HubSpot.
What resources do you use to stay up-to-date?
Some of the best sources for new information about Google Analytics and other reporting updates are SEMRush, Moz and Search Engine Journal. Google regularly sends out news about their algorithm updates and other new functions they offer in their Analytics and reporting tools.
Learn More About Digital Marketing
Do you want to learn more about digital marketing tactics? Check out our other FAQ pages:
Blue Compass Can Move You Forward with Digital Marketing
Are you ready to revamp your digital marketing and start seeing online growth? We’re here to help! Contact the experts at Blue Compass to see what we can do for you.