Digital Marketing Level 2: Study Guide Purpose The purpose of this document is to help you prepare for the certification test within the Digital Marketing Level 2 Training Courses at DM University.
How to Use this Guide Read through the information below before you take the certification test to help you review best practices that are essential to your understanding of Digital Marketing. Each of the following topics below has a separate review section for your reference: • Content Marketing • Search Engine Optimization • Blogging for Business • Social Media Marketing • Online Advertising Reviewing this guide should prepare you for the test ahead, as well as act as a summary of the best practices for Digital Marketing overall.
Content Marketing To succeed in Content Marketing you will need to take the time to think out who your ideal buyers are, define several buyer personas before creating any content as well as identifying your unique buying process. Here is an example of a simple three stage buying process. The first stage is ‘Discovery’, where you will want to detail your competitive difference. You could start with an analyst report on the top software vendors. Next you could share a blog post about new product features you have, followed by an infographic about what software small business owners are using today, and ending with an animated video that describes who you are (i.e. explainer video). In the ‘Consideration’ stage of the buying process you should focus on ease of use. You could share an eBook on how to succeed with limited resources, a case study on how one small change made a big difference, a webinar on how to find one extra hour each day or a demo video on how your solution works. In the final stage, ‘Decision’, you need to prove a return on investment to get them to buy. You could start with a customer testimonial that shares what your customers are saying, a pricing sheet, a business case template to save even more time and perhaps even an interactive ROI calculator to figure out how much they’ll save. In terms of most effective content formats, interactive content (quizzes and surveys) are 2 times more effective than passive content (articles and white papers) for generating conversions. This is a great way to capture leads at the start of your funnel, or learn more about them deeper inside the marketing funnel to help the sales team plan their follow-up. In the end, landing pages should be the #1 destination for all of your content marketing efforts, since this is where you can collect information from your prospect to further segment them for future lead nurturing. If you can get someone to a landing page your goal will be to get them to sign up with their email so you can automatically drip content to him or her over time and build a strong relationship that adds value. Ensure your call-to-action is ‘Above the Fold’ on any landing page, which means visible before anyone needs to scroll.
Search Engine Optimization One of the most important components of SEO is the links to your content. There are three main types of links: Natural links, Manual Links and Homemade Links. Natural links come from other people sharing your link and are by far the most powerful overall. Manual links are links that you get by asking someone to link to your content, and which can also be very tricky to get. Lastly, Homemade links are those that are placed within online profiles such as social media, and are the least powerful. Although you generally don’t need more than 2-3 keywords in your web pages body copy, the actual amount of times you need to place your target SEO keyword in your web pages body copy actually depends on the length of the content itself. Longer body copy may require more mentions of the keyword for the purpose of the content itself. Either way, duplicate content should be avoided, as the search engines will not reward content that isn’t unique. SEO Canonicalization essentially ensures no duplicate content if utilized correctly. With mobile devices becoming more and more popular, mobile search ads are beginning to threaten mobile SEO efforts because they are often the only item to be seen on a limited screen space (before a user scrolls) and they also offer more engaging options to click on (such as click-to-call). Google’s Play Store (Android) also allows for its most popular mobile store apps to show up on mobile Google results near the top, which places preference on apps over page results. On the other hand, Apple’s App Store (iOS) handles keywords differently. Apple allows keywords to be associated within an apps store page for optimization purposes directly. In either case, when optimizing a mobile store app page, it’s a good idea to fully leverage app screenshots by showing images of both the application in use as well as telling a sequential story over several images. A great title and icon also are important best practices for you to employ, for maximum effectiveness. Search engines also pay attention to social media, and social sharing as a sign of popularity. In fact Google uses Twitter more then any other social media platform to find new content. Another popular social media resource, which Google also owns, is YouTube. YouTube videos show up directly in Google’s search results. Keyword phrases that help you understand how to do something are more likely to show videos in its first page results. For maximum effect, you should put your URL at the at front of a YouTube description, so a potential customer or prospect can easily get to your website for more information.
Blogging for Business A well-written and informative blog can increase your website traffic and brand awareness. Including a blog in your list of marketing channels will increase your outreach and help to keep your customers and prospects informed; making them feel more included in the conversation thus improving brand loyalty. But you need to be listening and monitoring your blog, and its effect on the world of social media if you want to truly leverage this opportunity. Your organization should benefit from knowing what other bloggers, competitors and colleagues are sharing to find ideas for future blog posts, or places to engage. The best way to listen and monitor blogging related conversations is to use automated solutions such as email alerts (i.e. Google Alerts) and Social Listening Software (i.e. Hootsuite) which allow you to watch how your blog posts make an impact in the world of social media, and keep track of open conversations. Using these tools you can prioritize promoters of your brand to ensure you see what they have to say first. Using these tools you can quickly tag and mention relevant people to pull them into your conversation, and then monitor the conversation that ensues. Your goal as a blogger is to get the word out about your blog posts by engaging with others, and hoping they will see value in what you say, so they share it with their audiences. You should also ensure that you follow good blogging etiquette. For example, when you share someones content in your blog post (also known as curating the content) you should contact them via email or Twitter, and link to their content on your post using the name of the source (in brackets). In fact you should spend 80% of your blog post writing time curating others content; it not only makes creating great content fast but also helps build relationships. Curating content is when you use others work as the basis of your blog post. Make sure to optimize your blog posts for SEO by including a custom META description (150 characters) that is manually optimized to encourage people who find your blog post via a search engine to read on further. You should also try to keep blog posts under 350 words, and give each post a catchy title that entices your ideal buyers to click and read further. When someone exits your blog post a popup offering something free for his or her email address should appear to get maximum signups possible. In fact, blogs are a great way to build and segment your email-marketing list for future lead nurturing and follow-up. If possible set popups to only occur the first time people visit your site, so it doesnâ€™t become annoying.
Social Media Marketing It is important that you optimize your social posts before you submit them. For example, in Twitter you should prevent using a full URL in your posts, and instead use a short URL service (i.e. Bit.ly) to reduce the characters used for the URL itself and leave more room for your message. Itâ€™s also a good idea to add a call to action at the end of the post to encourage clicks and engagement. Alternatively, you could entice them to engage by asking a question or getting them to share the content if they find the content exciting and interesting. The most popular types of social media posts are (in order of popularity) are photos, text status updates and videos. When it comes to most shared forms of content you should consider Infographics (both image and video based versions) which are a popular form of sharing information in a way that is visually entertaining, and informative. Another great form of shareable content is Surveys and Quizzes; people want to know about themselves, and quizzes provide the opportunity for them to discover something and then share it with others. Friends may be interested in seeing what their own results could be, and the cycle continues. These kinds of shared interactive content have better chances of going â€˜viralâ€™. Lastly, you could share a social contest. For example, during a social contest, when your prospect or customer engages the campaign others in their network can also join, and this continues until the sharing ends or the contest is over. Contests allow you to dangle a prize that the audience may really desire, such as one of your products or services, or something generally exciting like an iPad or a special trip. Ensure you follow rules to keep contests legal. Surveys/quizzes and contests are also great forms of shareable content that could directly help you segment your audience in your social CRM based on their response. Your CRM system (which organizes your customer and prospect records) can also use social triggers to help with marketing automation and overall record keeping if the system supports this functionality. The most important parts of a social CRM strategy include monitoring, responding, posting and audience management. If you want to grow your social audience you should re-target your website visitors with social ads to keep adding value to them, and nurture the relationship. Anyone who has visited your website is more likely to click on a social ad, and join your social tribe for future nurturing campaigns. You could also use what pages they did (or did not) visit to segment further.
Online Advertising A compelling ad is both engaging and relevant, and should be based on getting your audiences attention. Your hook should be short, and to the point. If you’re advertising to a specific demographic, call them out. In the end, all traffic is sent to a landing page. You want landing pages that convert your visitors into customers, or subscribers, or whatever your goal is to achieve from your advertising. It’s vital that your landing page is extremely relevant to your ads, and very focused. No matter what you pay for your ads, you will need to track conversions (i.e. transactions based on visits) to calculate ROI (return-on-investment) for ad spend, and to see which pages are the best at getting results. To make your life easier, you can spy on your competitions successful ad copy, split-tests, landing page URLs and the length they placed an ad for using specialized software platforms designed for this purpose. This can give you ideas you can leverage (not directly copy!) for your campaigns, to help them get a good head start. In any case you should always split-test your ads and landing pages to discover which ad or page variation gets the most clicks and highest conversions. When split testing, you should test only one ad element (text, headline, image etc.) at a time for your winning ad or landing page. You can tests anything but some popular tests include having a smiling female face in your ad or landing page, which has been proven to help boost conversions considerably, especially compared to non-smiling or male faces. With ‘Re-targeting’ you can literally follow your prospect across the internet by placing a special code on your landing pages and website to capture their visit, and then using this list of possible visitors to retarget new ads. It is important to understand that you can only retarget people who have been to a page on a site that you own and have control over. Retargeting people who have already been to your site is an incredibly cost effective way to advertise. With retargeting sales follow-up is automated for you, and you can present different ads for each stage of the buying journey, including ads to customers of a specific product, knowing they did not purchase an upgrade yet, you can offer that upgrade at a discount.