Digital Marketing strategies involve two approaches; organic and paid digital marketing channels. Organic strategies in digital marketing utilize free channels such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Social Media, and Email Marketing. Although they can be less impactful compared to paid digital marketing, using the right method and strategy, these organic channels can help SMEs boost their brand awareness and sales leads. Meanwhile, turning to paid digital marketing channels can be a great alternative if you want to reach a wider audience quickly. Depending on the quality of your advertisement, paid digital marketing can be the best marketing investment for your business.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
SEM is a digital marketing channel where you pay to have your advertisement show up in search engines. The main advantage of this channel is that your ads will appear above organic search results. This means you’re engaging searchers before they even have a chance to see other options – mostly competitors who aim for the same keyword.
According to Spiralytics, SEM can help your brand:
- Increase brand awareness. Your website appearing on the top of SERPs means instant brand exposure and recall for target users.
- Lead generation and conversions. Just like any other search engine user, prospective leads are looking for solutions to their problems. With SEM, you can target your ads to appear in front of motivated buyers based on their demographic or location.
SMM (Social Media Marketing)
SMM is the digital marketing channel that allows you to advertise content on selected social media platforms. Available channels for this strategy are including Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Twitter Ads, and basically in any social media platform. According to Statista, social ad impressions are up 20%, year over year. With 52% of all online brand discovery happens in public social feeds, you have a better chance to boost your products or services visibility among social media users.
SMM is one of the most powerful marketing channels of our time. Facebook Ads reach 1.95 billion of the platform’s 2.5 billion monthly users, while 928.5 million people can be reached by ads on Instagram. On top of the guaranteed reach, SMM will ultimately help you generate highly qualified leads using its feature which allows businesses to target specific demographics for their ads. A study shows that SMM accounts for driving 80%, 13%, and 7% of qualified B2B leads, from LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook respectively.
Display Ads is a marketing channel that puts your advertisement on websites, email platforms, social media, and other digital channels with ad placements, usually in the form of a banner. This banner format ultimately gives you more specific and targeted communication with your potential leads. And since these ads are distributed via the Google Display Network (GDN), your business will gain access to millions of sites.
Similar to SEM, Display Ads can help your business increase brand awareness and lead generation, as well as conversions. However, one of the features that is unique to Display Ads is their ability to track users for retargeting. Retargeting also referred to as remarketing, is a type of digital advertising that keeps track of people who visit a website by accessing their cookies and follows them with banner ads as they visit other sites online. As potential leads keep seeing your ad banner more and more, their familiarity with your brand will increase and hopefully they come to a decision to make the first purchase.
Given that these paid digital marketing channels require capital investment to run, business owners are recommended to complete their research before putting the ads online. This includes deciding the goals and budget for your marketing campaign, deciding the primary target audience, and observing (in some cases also benchmarking) the competitors. On the other hand, if your business has a limited budget and resources, you can still run a marketing campaign through organic channels which you can learn here.