At some point in your organization’s past, the decision was made to partner with a digital marketing agency. Smart move. Fast forward to where you are today. Do you feel like you are getting the most bang for your buck? One way to know is to look at all the channels your agency is hitting. The fact is that there is more than one way to market digitally.
Webtek Digital Marketing is a Utah-based marketing agency with headquarters in Salt Lake City. We also have a sister office in Austin, TX. We started out like so many others in this business: focusing primarily on search engine optimization (SEO). That was years ago. We have since expanded to offer all things digital marketing related.
One thing we have learned in the many years we have been at this is that successful digital marketing requires taking advantage of every available channel. So how about your current agency? Is it utilizing every channel, or just one or two?
How Marketing Messages Reach People
So many marketing channels exist because there are different ways to reach people. If someone asked you to name the top 10 sources of today’s marketing messages, what do you suppose they would be? We have data from Data Reportal’s April 2023 Global Snapshot. According to their data, here are the top 10 channels through which people learn of brands, products, and services – based on the percentage of consumers who report utilizing them:
- Search engines – 31%
- Television ads – 30.4%
- Word-of-mouth recommendations – 27.2%
- Social media ads – 26.3%
- Brand websites – 24.6%
- TV shows and films – 22.9%
- Website ads – 22.2%
- Online retailer websites – 22.1%
- Social media recommendations and comments – 21.7%
- Consumer review websites – 21.5%
Did you notice that just three out of the top 10 are not directly related to the internet? That’s right, those three are TV ads, TV shows and films, and word-of-mouth recommendations. The remaining seven are all internet related. Among five others listed in the report, four are internet related.
What does this tell us? Marketers are reaching people in more than a dozen ways. Wouldn’t it make sense for your digital marketing agency to hit all those channels in some way, shape, or form? Absolutely. Let us take a closer look at several of them.
Search Engines Are #1
As a Utah digital marketing agency, we are not at all surprised to see that search engines rank #1 on the list. It’s probably a safe bet that most of us have our mobile and desktop browsers set up to go immediately to a search engine upon launch. If we need a product or service and we don’t necessarily have a particular brand or seller in mind, what are we most likely to do? Run a Google or Bing search.
It goes without saying that every digital marketing agency should be putting considerable time and effort into SEO, even if it means an agency doesn’t handle SEO directly. Agencies can always contract the SEO portion to a third party.
The reality of SEO is that it drives a fair amount of all internet traffic. Any digital marketing agency attempting to reach new people must get the message out to them. One of the best ways to do that is through SEO.
Social Media Is Indispensable
Social media is often touted as the most important marketing tool of our day. That may be a matter of perspective, but it’s hard to deny how much influence social media has in most people’s lives. Billions of people around the world use social media daily. It is the de facto communication platform of choice in the modern world.
As any marketer can tell you, getting your message out means going where the people are. And today, that means social media. However, there are two things to consider here: social media ads and communication between users.
Social media ads are paid ads not unlike the pay-per-click (PPC) ads a company might purchase through Google. On social media, you pay to target certain segments of the audience with your message. It can be quite effective. But more important are the communications between users.
Successful online marketing in the social media realm is built on relationships. A company’s marketing team works on establishing and fostering relationships with followers and friends. Why? Because when those followers and friends have a good experience, they tell others. That is the power of social media.
Consumer Reviews Are Trusted
Although consumer reviews are utilized less frequently than search engines (by 10 percentage points) the fact remains that one in every five internet users learn of brands, products, and services through online reviews. What must be understood is that online reviews written by real, genuine users are trusted.
Consumers are fully aware of the fact that brands will always show their products and services in a positive light. They are fully aware that brands will push themselves to be superior to the competition; that they will never talk about their own flaws; that they will always insist consumers need what they have to offer.
Consumer reviews are considered more trustworthy because the people who write them are not trying to sell a product. Also note that people are smart enough to tell the difference between reviews written by real consumers and those written by marketers and paid reviewers.
You Need a Customized Strategy
There is so much more we could write on this topic, but we don’t want to get too long here. Needless to say, your organization needs a customized digital marketing strategy that takes advantage of all the available channels in whatever way is most suitable. Your organization may need to heavily concentrate on social while another needs to beef up its SEO for ecommerce purposes.
The point is that no online channels should be ignored. They all bring something to the table. They all add value to a comprehensive digital marketing strategy designed to maximize reach.