Digital Marketing Level 1: Study Guide Purpose The purpose of this document is to help you prepare for the certification test within the Digital Marketing Level 1 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 Blog posts, videos, emails and really everything you encounter online, is content. Content marketing is when an organization uses this content, and customizes it for their brand, their customers’ education and where that customer is in their buying journey to move them through the sales funnel towards making a decision. Content Marketing is the best at engaging your audience with a relatable experience, telling a story that creates a relationship, attracting the best sales prospects for your product or service and providing a consistent customer experience by sharing content for a specific buyer persona at a specific stage in the buyer’s journey. The truth is that traditional media is dying. 86% of people skip TV adverts, 44% ignore direct mail and 91% of email users unsubscribe from company emails. Your content needs to be engaging to make it past their internal gatekeeper. The good news is that Content Marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generating approximately 3 times more leads. Some of the most popular content is videos. People love to watch and share videos, but make sure to keep them short, and to start with a hook in the first 5 seconds. Think of those YouTube ads that give you 5 seconds to skip. They do this based on data that proves people become engaged with a video in the first 5 seconds. Make sure your content is super engaging right from the start. Email is still the best revenue-generating content channel out there, therefore getting a customers email is often your first goal with them; you trade their privacy (their email) for your information, and this is often their first transaction with you. Keep in mind that when the email arrives in their inbox, it’s the subject line that makes the biggest impact. Once inside an email, imagery grabs attention next, with the thumbnail of a video often attracting the most clicks. A business blog can help expand your brand’s reach and increase recognition on a local, national, and even international scale. It truly gives your business a heartbeat and shows prospective customers that you’re in business and on top of things. It increases your organization’s search engine optimization efforts by leveraging targeted key words into every post, communicating details about upcoming events, announcements and thought leadership, as well as delivering a great ROI; blogs are notoriously inexpensive and efficient.
Search Engine Optimization Positions #1, #2 and #3 in the first page of search engine results get the bulk of traffic since most users don’t scroll past what they see when the results load; this is the goal of SEO. No matter what search engine evaluates your page, they all use automated technology that indexes websites called Web Spiders, Web Crawlers or Internet bots. These web spiders cannot view images and videos. They primarily read text content (and tags in the pages code) to understand what a web page is about. For this reason interactive content made using hard to read files (such as Adobe Flash or Java) cannot be easily indexed by search engine web spiders. According to Google the ideal user experience for search engine optimization should: • Load quickly, look good and work on most browsers • Get to the point quickly, with actionable and relevant information. • Be straightforward to use, navigate around and understand overall • Deliver great content that is real and credible Keywords are an essential component of any SEO effort. To save time, and discover which keywords will send traffic that actually gets conversions (i.e. signups or purchases) you should use paid ads first to test if a keyword is worth an SEO optimization effort. Another essential component for SEO is optimization itself. Off-page factors actually contribute most to ranking a page for search engines, such as natural links to your page. That said, 94% of participants in an SEO study revealed that a keyword used in the Title Tag of a web page was the most important place to use keywords to achieve high rankings. When it comes to on-page optimization, you do not need a specific density of the same keyword on a page you want to rank for; often 2-3 times is enough. Inside the code of your web page are META tags, which are instrumental to giving the web crawlers access to the content, and also include the pages title and description (maximum 160 characters) of the page itself. In the past stuffing keywords into the ‘Keyword Meta Tags’ of a webpage was said to boost results, but this is no longer the case.
Blogging for Business Blogs are a dynamic part of your website that are continually updated with the latest news, articles and promotions you have to offer. Blog posts themselves are an essential part of the nurturing of prospects and customers. Blog posts bring in leads, create value, build community, imply authority and grow brand awareness. Here is a quick six step plan you can take to get results with your business blogging effort. The first step is to choose a blog provider. The most popular blogging software is called Wordpress. The biggest advantage with Wordpress is not only the price tag (its free!) but it is designed to be SEO friendly from the start. Everything is structured the way Google likes a website to be structured. Step two is all about deciding on your target audience by profiling your customers to fully understand who they are and what they truly want from you. In the third step, you will focus on what your blogs theme (the topics it covers) should be about with topics relevant to your brand. Step four is all about your defining promotional strategy, including processes such as ensuring when sharing any content on social media that all links should be sent to a blog post with that content inside. As part of this strategy your organization will need to complete a blog policy focused on preventing any legal or branding issues. A blog policy outlines how your team should interact with your blog and social media overall. In step five, you will start connecting with others and taking the time to track what happens with the content you share. You’ll want to reach out to your audience, reply to comments and questions, and offer thanks for criticisms, praise, and advice. Start following other bloggers in your industry to stay on top of what’s current. In the sixth and final step, you will stay focused on writing blog content. Schedule blog writing so it becomes part of your routine. Stay current on your industry and discuss new trends and fads using social listening tools. Invite guest bloggers when you feel you don’t have enough to say – this is also a great way to gain new followers!
Social Media Marketing Social Media Marketing is about marketing in a social context. This means using the resources of Social Media and the Internet/web to offer products/services to prospective buyers, to build brand presence in the market and to use social connections to develop business relationships that enhance commerce. Social Media simultaneously and directly benefits three departments in your organization: ‘Sales’, ‘Customer Service’ and ‘Public Relations’ by giving them all better access to the prospects and customers themselves. Currently, in 2015 the planet Earth has 7.2 billion people, and from those there are just over 3 billion active Internet users (45% of the world's internet users). Nearly 2.1 billion of those people have social media accounts. To add to the mix, there are also 3.65 billion mobile users who have access to the internet via smartphones and tablets; with close to 1.7 billion people from that group having active social media accounts. The most active and popular social networks in order of popularity are Facebook, followed by Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Google Plus, and Instagram. The best social network for B2B (Business to Business) is LinkedIn, with Instagram and Pinterest primarily as B2C (Business to Consumer) social networks. On the other hand, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google Plus work great for both B2B and B2C organizations. Social etiquette is important to understand before getting involved with social media and representing your organization. For this reason you should have a ‘Social Media Policy’ written in advance that everyone agrees with, to protect your brand and prevent any legal issues. It’s also important to know how to communicate with others using social platforms. For example, hash-tagging has become widely used in most social media networks. You can place a hash tag next to your tweet to give it more context. For example if you are talking about dogs you could simply write #dogs at the end of your post and anyone who visits or clicks on that hashtag can have a specific thread of just tweets with that tag; this is often used to align a companies customers together into a single conversation that provides social proof. That said, there are some limitations with certain social media systems. For example, Instagram and Pinterest posts must contain an image (or video), and any Twitter post must be less than 140 characters. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus allow you to post text updates, images, and videos together, and allow you to mix the types of content you share.
Online Advertising Online Advertising often works like an auction, you bid to have your ad show up in the best position; so whoever pays the most usually gets the best position. 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. You can use Demand Metrics’ ‘Online Advertising ROI Calculator Tool’ to assess the campaign-spending strategy in your organization. If you don’t already have analytics data about a landing page, a very conservative estimate for conversion percentage on a landing page is approx. 0.05%. If you know what these ‘conversions’ are worth to you, such as every email subscriber is worth, you can easily see which ads are underperforming and which are not. With your conversion tracking setup correctly, online advertising becomes a very powerful way to measure ROI on your ad spend. In the online advertising industry there are a few terms you should know. Pay-Per-Click, also known as PPC, means you only pay if someone actually clicks your ad. CPM is short for costper-thousand impressions, which means you don’t actually pay for clicks, but for 1000 impressions of that ad showing up (whether it’s clicked or not). CPC is short for cost-per-click, which is how much each click actually ended up costing in your PPC or CPM ad campaign. Although regular banner display ads are horizontal, vertical display ads are actually called ‘Skyscraper’ ads. Ads can be placed on search engines, websites, social media and mobile. Some of the key considerations you should be looking out for include ‘product price’; you’ll need to know this to accurately calculate the ROI for any ad. Secondly, another key consideration is ‘cost of goods sold’. For each unit of product sold, what are your costs? Each product may have a different margin, but this margin is where you actually make your profit. Another consideration is ‘Lead Conversion percentage’ which is the number of web visitors who actually purchase. Some pages will ‘convert’ better than others. The higher you get this number the more results you will get from your ads. Your ‘Daily Advertising Budget’ is the max you are willing to spend daily which will affect the amount of ‘Daily Leads’ you can track. Lastly you’ll want to watch your ‘Revenue Per Month’ to understand how much incremental revenue was generated. In the end, how much revenue did you generate from your online advertising? This number is the ultimate result, and will make the biggest impact to your bottom line.