Digital marketing is an umbrella term for all of youronline marketing efforts.

Businesses leverage digital channels such as Googlesearch, social media, email, and their websites to connect with their currentand prospective customers.The tools availablefor digital marketingSocial mediatypesSocial media sites allowmembers to keep in contact and, in doing so, share details of their lives.There are many types of social media and many ways in which these can bedescribed. The following are suggested descriptions.• Publishing: not only can blogging sitesand wikis publish the written word, they can also be used to publish artwork,photography and music.• Sharing:music, video and image files, for example, may be transferred from one personto another, while other sites allow the sharing of ideas.

• Networking: these sites enablemembers to make contact with each other. For example, on LinkedIn, members canshare CVs and other information about their work skills.EmailEmails are electronic messagesdelivered to electronic devices ranging from computers to smartphones. Thebasic message may be in text form, but other digital items, such as images, maybe included with the email. Links to the company website, Twitter account orFacebook page may also be included in the body of the email.When used as part of a digitalmarketing campaign, emails can be used in many ways, both internally andexternally.

Within the business, sales sheets may be sent to members of theteam, while externally, customers can be sent links to online brochures.Landing page optimisationThe landing page is the firstweb page that you land on from an external linkThere are five main techniquesof landing page optimisation. Three are based on targeting the audience usingdata, usually supplied either directly or indirectly by the visitor to thesite, to change the content of the page to draw the visitor in.• Associative content targeting: thecontent is influenced by data associated with the general profile of thevisitor. For example, geographical data about the visitor can be used toprovide information about special offers that are limited to the geographicalarea where the visitor is based.• Predictive content targeting: this method is based oninformation that is already held about the visitor, usually from previoussales.

This information may be held as cookies on the user’s own machine, or asa profile that has been uploaded once the user logged on.• Consumer directed targeting: content is based on generaldata, such as reviews from customers and others. Where reviews suggest that anelement is not effective, it will be removed from the site. If that item wasperforming a key task, a new element will be added, hopefully carrying out thetask more effectively.• Closed end experimentation: usersare given a range of options from which they can choose their favourite.Eventually, a final structure is arrived at, based on the views of many users.For example, different versions of the landing page could be used and the onewith the highest success rate (measured by sign ups or sales, for example),could be chosen as the final version.

• Open ended experimentation: in this method, a finalversion is not settled on. The advantage of never ending the process is thatthe landing page continues to develop, and so changes as the needs andinterests of the users change. There are different versions of the landing pagebut no assessment is made of which one will be the final version.Banners and popups/undersWeb banners are advertisementson web pages. The owner of the web page will usually be paid a small fee foreach person that clicks on that web banner.The content of the web bannerwill be targeted at getting viewers to click on it and will use traditionalmethods of advertising, including coercion, persuasion and appealing to theviewer’s basic needs.

As with landing page optimisation, the content of a webbanner may change to suit the information held about the person who has loggedon to the web page.Popups can often be a sourceof irritation for visitors to web pages, as they interrupt the viewer’sexperience of the site. This can have a detrimental effect on the amount oftraffic that the original site attracted.

As a result, popunders are becomingmore frequently used, as they are not immediately apparent and so the user doesnot know which site included the trigger.SEO (search engine optimisation)Search engines are specialistwebsites that allow the user to find websites based on criteria that the userenters. The list that is returned is called ‘natural’ or ‘organic’. It ispossible for a website to pay to be included at the top of the list, but wewill consider this later. Results that are paid for are not considered’natural’.Research suggests that userswill only look at no more than the first three pages of any list returned by asearch engine.

A website that is not on those first pages will be very unlikelyto attract any visitors via search engines.ChannelsDigital marketing channels arethe tools used to get the message from the advertiser to the customer.One channel is to use paidadvertisements on search engines. This is where a website will appear at thetop of the natural listing returned by a search engine.

This is subtler than abanner heading, and is also ‘hidden’ among the sites returned naturally. Somepeople are not aware that the site has been artificially placed at the top ofthe list, and so they will assume it is the most relevant site for their searchand click on the link. The site may not be the most relevant and may leadthem to make a purchase they would otherwise not have made. However, this isthe fundamental aim of advertising!Other forms of digitalchannels include Facebook, where brands and businesses encourage as many peopleas possible to ‘like’ their page and share their posts. When an item is sharedby a Facebook user, this item appears on the homepage of their Facebook friends.

Users who receive this shared post are able to ‘like’ it, which is tracked byFacebook so that users receive similar posts on their home page. The businessmay use the number of likes and shares as a measure of the post’s success. Reference: https://my.dynamic-learning. accessed 17th January 2018. 

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