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Thu Feb 27 2020

The Pros & Cons of Digital Marketing Types

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Digital marketing is essentially advertising delivered through any digital channel. Digital marketing has a lot of advantages when compared to more traditional ‘above-the-line’ marketing, including its ability to reach niche and/or highly-targeted audiences, the availability of immediate interactions, the ability to track and measure progress almost instantaneously, and it is often a more cost-effective solution too.

There are many, many forms of digital marketing, so here is a quick synopsis of some of the key players you may want to consider.

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SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

SEO is about optimising your website to become a more favourable choice for search engines. The aim of SEO is always to increase the ranking of your website for specific keywords that your customers would be searching for. For example, this might mean moving from page 5 on Google to page 1 for a keyword in a certain period of time. SEO work includes technical, on-page and off-page optimisations which, when paired together, can achieve significant and long-lasting success for your business. 

Pros of SEO:

  • Investment in SEO can reap huge rewards over time by increasing sustainable organic traffic to your website
  • Some SEO (particularly content optimisations) can be easily completed without the need for external assistance
  • SEO generally has longer-lasting effects than other forms of digital marketing

Cons of SEO:

  • Some SEO optimisations will require a developer’s assistance
  • SEO takes time – changes made today might not see any effects in search rankings for a few months
  • SEO needs to be ongoing as search algorithms are continuously updated 

Google Search Ads

Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) are the results in Google search that primarily appear above and below organic search results for specific queries. Google Ads is a powerful digital marketing tool when optimised correctly as it allows niche targeting by things like location, age, device and time/day. This means you can really effectively allocate marketing spend to a highly targeted customer group, which ultimately will save you money compared to other forms of marketing which are less targeted in nature. The other benefit of using Google Ads is it generally engages prospective customers who are further down the sales funnel. For example, someone searching for “plumber near me” is probably looking for a business that services their area that they will contact that very same day.

Pros of Google Ads:

  • Highly targeted
  • Cost-effective when optimised correctly
  • Generally speaking, targets customers with an active intent to buy/convert

Cons of Google Ads:

  • Costs for media spend vary between industry – more competitive words can be pricey to target, and some industries are willing to pay more for a lead
  • Ineffective setup and poor ongoing management can cost the business a lot as it’s easy to ‘waste’ dollars on unoptimised accounts and on irrelevant search terms

Google Display Ads

Google Display Advertising refers to image-based ads that can appear on the selected Google Display Network (GDN) Partners’ websites when your prospects are online. You have the ability to target prospects through image ads using targeted topics or placements, and can also target prospects who have previously visited your site (through a Remarketing campaign), who previously searched for a product or service similar to yours, and even target prospects that visit a specific site.

Pros of Google Display Ads:

  • Image-based, making it a good option for products/services that are visually appealing
  • A broad range of websites that make up the GDN, so can be useful to build awareness

Cons of Google Display Ads:

  • Not as targeted as other forms of digital marketing
  • Is more relevant to the top-of-the-funnel building – not a great option if you are looking for prospects lower on the sales funnel
  • As it is image-based, it requires some design work to complete setup

Google Shopping

Specifically designed for eCommerce stores and online retailers, Google Shopping enables you to push your products in front of consumers by having them appear on Google Search results. These campaigns are based on product feeds which connect all the products listed on your website to Google. Used correctly, Google Shopping can be a phenomenal digital marketing type for eCommerce stores as it basically acts like a second store, listing all your products in front of prospects who are towards the bottom of the sales funnel.

Pros of Google Shopping:

  • Enables all the products on your online store to also appear on Google search results
  • Highly cost-effective if set up and managed correctly

Cons of Google Shopping:

  • Setup can be tricky as you need to connect your website to Google
  • Errors in Google Shopping (for example, bringing products over from your website) can be hard to diagnose and fix if you are inexperienced with the platform

Social Media Advertising

As with Google Ads, social media advertising can be a great way to reach a highly targeted audience. Targeting works a little differently to Google Ads and is best done through building custom audiences using current customer data. Ads can be created to target different stages of the sales funnel, making it an effective way to grow awareness through to boost sales/leads. Facebook also offers to remarket so you can keep the conversation open (and continue selling to) customers who have visited your website or web page before.

Pros of Social Media Advertising:

  • Niche targeting based on current customer data
  • Cost-effective when optimised correctly
  • Can target different stages of the sales funnel

Cons of Social Media Advertising:

  • Most businesses will require the assistance of an external agency to setup correct audience building/targeting
  • Ineffective audiences/targeting can cost the business a lot due to wasted spend on the wrong people

Email Marketing

If you have an email list of past, current and/or prospective customers, email marketing should be a digital marketing channel to consider. Email marketing can take many forms and can be used in various ways depending on what you want to achieve from it. Some of the main ways to utilise email marketing are:

  • Weekly/monthly newsletters to help keep a general conversation open with your clients and remain top-of-mind
  • Abandoned cart emails to assist eCommerce stores in re-engaging customers who have added to cart but failed to checkout
  • Email journeys can aim to engage prospects at various intervals after some form of initial engagement with the brand (usually built to assist in encouraging the customer journey through to a conversion)

Pros of Email Marketing:

  • Most email marketing platforms are relatively easy to use
  • Cost-effective (many platforms are free under a certain number of email sends, and even over that amount are reasonably priced)
  • Generally speaking, are easy enough to content manage in-house

Cons of Email Marketing:

  • Setup is usually where businesses will require assistance as platform-supplied templates are typically quite bland (many businesses will prefer to opt for a custom build template that meets their branding more closely)
  • Needs to be ongoingly managed – if customers are expecting an email each week or each month, you need to make sure this happens

Choosing the Digital Marketing Channels for your Business

Now that you have some idea of some types of digital marketing available, you’re probably trying to decipher which might be best for your business. Luckily, we have simplified this decision with our 8 steps on choosing the digital marketing that’s right for you.

Want to Chat?

Sometimes digital marketing can be quite overwhelming. We understand that, so give us a call and let’s catch up (over a coffee, of course!) and talk through your business. We can help provide some clarity and direction into what digital marketing solutions might be best for you. Contact us today

Get in touch

We’d love to hear about your digital requirements. Even if you don’t quite know what you need, get in touch as we can help formulate a whole digital strategy to meet your business objectives.

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03 9090 7070

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