Gary Vaynerchuk once said, “Content is King, but marketing is Queen, and runs the household.” If you’re an aspiring blogger, you should keep this piece of advice in mind, and apply it whenever necessary. But what exactly is digital marketing, and how should you use it? In this article, we will go through the answers to these questions and provide some digital marketing tips for freelance bloggers.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing involves using the internet and anything online to promote your products, services, and overall brand. In 1941, the first digital marketing campaign was launched – an advertisement on the TV. Although it wasn’t called digital marketing back then, it was becoming a trend. It quickly caught on with big companies all over the world.
Nowadays, many people despise advertising. I mean, who likes those 15-second YouTube ads that you can’t skip? Due to the immense unpopularity of ads, does this mean that digital marketing is a bad idea?
In fact, digital marketing is evolving into providing more useful and valuable content, rather than being purely commercial in nature. For freelance bloggers, this is the perfect opportunity to venture into the world of digital marketing. There are a few key types of digital marketing that you can make use of. Before we go over our top digital marketing tips, let’s take a look at four types of digital marketing.
Types of Digital Marketing for Bloggers
For discussion’s sake let’s say you’re starting a cat blog. You also happen to sell cat products, so your blog has a built-in store as well. How do you promote your cat products and your brand name?
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is content that is informative and adds value to the reader, enticing your audience to read on, and ultimately steering them towards a certain action. This is the most relatable type of marketing for bloggers because this is just like writing a blog post!
If you’re talking about “10 Types of Cat Foods to Try”, you should provide factual, valuable content for your readers. Then, within this content, you can use calls to action, or CTAs. These come in the form of buy buttons, affiliate links, and various other things that make your readers take some form of action.
2. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Marketing
Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, involves producing content and configuring your website in particular ways in the hopes of ranking higher in search results. SEO is one of the most important aspects of blogging, as it drives organic traffic to your blog.
The more you optimise your content for SEO, the higher it will rank in the search results. As such, more people will see your content and click on it, driving more organic traffic to your website. More, high-quality traffic means higher chances of selling those cat products and making your brand a household name!
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing involves notifying your current customers and subscribers about new products, services, or even content, through emails. Although emails may seem pretty outdated or inefficient, there are over 4 billion email users worldwide. This is a huge market you can take advantage of.
However, a setback is that rookie bloggers may not have the customers to start sending emails to in the first place. You need at least one subscriber for your email marketing campaign to work, but there’s no harm in familiarising yourself with email marketing in advance!
4. Paid Digital Marketing
Finally, there is also paid digital marketing. This involves buying advertising space on websites or on Google itself. You can also pay for display advertising on social media sites, with Facebook being one of the largest markets. This isn’t the best strategy on its own, especially for beginners. You shouldn’t spend loads of money on paid advertising if you don’t have value to offer your potential readers when they click on the ads!
These are just three of the main types of digital marketing, and we have generalised things quite heavily here. If you want to find out more about the different types of digital marketing, check out this article here. But what are some top digital marketing tips to make the most of these strategies?
5 Digital Marketing Tips for Freelance Bloggers
1. Content Is King
Remember that quote at the start of this article? Content is still King.
When you’re trying to incorporate digital marketing into your writing, you must not forget about the content itself. Many rookie bloggers try to market themselves too much, to the point that readers feel they’re simply not reading any useful content. Too much digital marketing is often worse than too little!
Your number one priority should be to give value back to the reader. You can think of it as rewarding your audience with useful knowledge, just for taking their time to read your piece.
If the marketing part doesn’t fit into your blog post naturally, don’t force it in. Marketing cat food in a post about theme parks just does not work. So, instead, try to find a link between your non-marketing and marketing blog posts. You can insert such posts under a “similar posts” section, so there’s still a chance to market your products, indirectly.
In summary: create valuable content, and find ways to link these pieces of content to create a web of value for the reader. Within this web lies your marketing, and if done correctly, it should pay off!
2. Avoid “Salesy” Language
Salesy language encompasses aggressive words, a hyped-up tone, and an overall exaggerated writing style to commercialise your product. This makes you sound like nothing more than an advert. For rookies, it can be difficult to promote a product or service without sounding salesy. If you’re struggling with this problem, you could try out these specific digital marketing tips to get the right tone in your posts:
Avoid “Scammy” Words
Words and phrases like “Guaranteed”, “Best in the world”, or “Once in a lifetime” sound scammy and exaggerated. Unless you know for a fact you are the best in the world (chances are you’re not), don’t say that you are.
Most readers are smart too. They will question if you really are qualified to make such claims. To avoid having your audience call you out as a “scam”, use more subjective words instead. Instead of saying you’re the best, just put a focus on the fact your products are high-quality. Rather than saying it’s a once in a lifetime experience, just say that it’s unique.
Honesty Is the Best Policy
Your audience hates it when you’re not upfront with them. For example, don’t advertise some cat food for £9.99, when it actually costs three times as much when you include shipping costs. Such things just make potential customers frustrated, inevitably losing you valuable business.
Keep it Brief
When marketing, try to keep it short and sweet. Just an attention-grabbing one-liner will do, as you don’t need to write pages and pages about your product. This increases the chances of even just remotely interested readers clicking on your link. If you make your ads too long, nobody will make it through them.
3. Optimise for Mobile Devices
With an increasing population using mobile devices to browse online, optimising your content for these devices is essential. This involves a range of things, from cutting down your paragraphs to inserting smaller photos. A good way to test if your website is optimised for mobile devices is to use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool.
Another reason to optimise for mobile devices is social media. Since more than 4 billion social media users use their phones to access their favourite platforms, blog configuration for mobile is vital. Furthermore, by sharing your content on social media, your readers are helping you with digital marketing!
What better way to get free social media marketing than to simply add a few “share” buttons to your posts and optimise your content for mobile devices?
4. Watch Your Conversions
What’s the point of digital marketing if you don’t see any conversions? Take a look at your analytics and figure out which type of digital marketing best suits your audience. A useful way to do this is to use Google Analytics, and you can install various plugins to your WordPress site as well.
When promoting your cat products, you might find more people bought your products after watching a particular video. Or you might find that you get most of your readers from social media shares. These are the things you should look out for. When you’re a beginner, the chances are you don’t have the time or money to focus on all types of digital marketing at once. So, you should only put your focus on the ones that work.
Once you’ve got a good feel of where you’re getting conversions from, you should focus on developing that digital marketing strategy further. This is more cost-effective than trying to do everything at once. However, this doesn’t mean you should only use one digital marketing technique!
5. Combine Techniques to Create the Ultimate Digital Marketing Strategy
We have discussed content marketing, SEO marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing. However, to create the ultimate digital marketing, you have to take all these aspects and fuse them together.
Going back to the cat blog, let’s say you’re creating an “Ultimate Cat Product Guide” for your audience. You can use content marketing to craft a valuable article. Not only should you have high-quality content, but also content that is optimised for SEO. You then optimise this guide for mobile devices, and perhaps create a video to go alongside it. Finally, you market this to your email list and perhaps pay for some digital advertising on social media platforms.
By combining multiple digital marketing strategies, you’ll have a far more effective, easy-to-read, and high-quality post for your audience to enjoy. Plus, it will hopefully be more profitable for you in the long run too!
These are just a few of our top digital marketing tips, and there is definitely a lot more to it! If you want more tips and tricks for starting a website, make sure to head over to the Sophical Blog.