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If you are new to the realms of digital marketing, you may be a little overwhelmed and it’s understandable why. There’s a lot to marketing and the further you dig, the more you’ll discover.

But worry not. We’ve put together this A-Z guide to give you a great starting point. Having a basic understanding of what’s involved and what things mean, will make it far easier to get results, whether you choose to do it yourself or outsource to an agency.

A – Analytics

Analytics is at the core of every marketing strategy. You need to track every avenue to ensure you are getting results for your investment, whether it’s time or money.

Luckily, most services have tracking and reports that allow you to see how that service is performing. Social networks, email services and other marketing tools will have at the very least a basic report.

Keeping track of everything can be difficult, but pulling everything into a spreadsheet can help you get your head around each channel and how you are performing.

B – Branding

Branding helps your company become instantly recognisable.

Amongst other things, branding mainly consists of:

  • Colours
  • Fonts
  • Shapes
  • Slogans
  • Language
  • Design styles
  • Logos

Creating a consistent brand strategy will keep your marketing consistent across all areas. If you align your brand with your target audience, your prospects and customers will feel more trust and positivity towards you.

C – Content

Content is king. It’s a phrase you will hear a lot on the internet. Content touches every part of the marketing strategy. Your content marketing helps with all areas of your marketing, from building your email list to improving your SEO.

Content consists of things such as:

  • Blogs
  • Infographics
  • Video
  • Podcasts
  • News articles
  • Magazines
  • Ezines
  • Ebooks
  • Whitepapers
  • and more!

Your content should aim to build trust and authority for your audience. You need to prove to your audience that you know them inside out, understand them and that your product or service can help solve their problems.

Create content that does at least one of three things: inform, educate and entertain. These three things will help build your audience, help them to trust you and ultimately convert to sales.

D – Decision Making

You must be clear and concise when planning your marketing strategy. You must decide on a path to take and stick to it.

Constantly changing direction will muddy your message and confuse your audience. But that isn’t to say you can never adapt.

When you’re starting out, decide what you are selling and who you will be selling it to. Make informed decisions by researching relevant facts and data. Choose your audience wisely. Stick to your branding and guidelines. Ensure everything stays on track to hit your goal. Consider decision making as having a sniper rifle rather than a shotgun.

E – Engagement

Engagement is a vital metric in any marketing analysis. You need your audience to interact with your marketing messages and this metric measures exactly that.

Engagement could be a like, comment or share on your social media posts, or it could be a subscriber opening and clicking on an email.

Your business needs the engagement of your audience. You need that interaction. Marketing is a two-way stream. By tracking, monitoring and improving your engagement, you can build an audience of loyal fans.

F – Funnels

We all know that funnels are designed to control large amounts of liquid and channel it through a smaller opening. 

Similarly, with your marketing you’re aiming to move a vast audience (your prospects and leads) through to purchasing your product or service (buyers and customers). the process of them moving through this process is know as your sales and/or marketing funnel.

Although many marketers split these into many sections, there are three main stages to a marketing funnel:

  • Top of funnel (ToFu) – Where your audience is introduced to your brand.
  • Middle of funnel (MoFu) – Where your audience are enticed by your product and decide whether to buy.
  • Bottom of funnel (BoFu) – Where your audience decides to buy.

Targeting content at customers in all three parts of the funnel will help move them from one stage to the next. There are many pieces of software out there that can help make this process easier to manage, but you can also do it for free of course.

G – Growth Hacking

Growth Hacking is a bit of a buzzword recently. Essentially, it consists of growing your company as fast as possible, by gaining as much traffic as is possible, testing the best results and investing heavily on the most successful route to drive the conversion rate.

The concept is to grow as quickly as possible while overlooking budget or short term profit.

Growth Hacking is a good concept to understand and potentially implement in small controlled doses to help grow your company.

H – Heatmaps

Knowing whereabouts on your website your audience is clicking is a critical report in marketing. It’s all well and good rearranging your home page to move all your important things to the right, but if your audience is only clicking on the left, then you’re going to have an issue.

Although at times appearing pricey, some fantastic heatmap solutions are available that can help you map your clicks. You could also hire an agency as many already have this functionality in place. 

I – Influencer Marketing

You may have heard of the rise of the ‘Influencer Marketing’. Influencers are social media users that have a large number of followers and command high engagement rates, so having them promote your product or service can be effective. However, this type of marketing holds an element of debate, as it can be difficult to track the effectiveness.

Many online influencers, such as “Instagram-famous celebrities” and YouTubers have devoted fans, who will often follow their lead. Using the right influencers for your product or service can come with significant effect.

Before starting any influencer marketing campaign, make sure you define what success means for that campaign and what you are wanting to achieve. Is it sales? Is it brand awareness? Is it more email signups? Make it clear and make sure the influencer understands implicitly.

J – Jargon

Marketing is full of jargon. That’s why we’ve made this handy guide for you, as we understand sometimes it can be hard to keep up with it all! 

As you are hopefully finding, most of the time they are easy to understand.

Keeping track of jargon and the latest buzzwords will help keep you current, and you may even find some new strategies to try out.

K – KPIs

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) help keep you on track. KPIs are metrics that help define success for your brand. These could be anything such as sales, traffic, email signups, or time on a website. You can have one KPI or many and as such they are closely linked to your analytics.

Defining your marketing KPIs early can help shape your strategy. Asking “How will this blog post increase my KPIs” can help keep you aligned to your business goals.

L – Live Streaming

Going Live is all the rage! From Instagram Stories and Reels to Facebook Live, SnapChat and TikTok every social media service is embracing live streaming.

Going Live helps confirm there are humans behind your company and helps you show off your company’s personality (think branding!). It gives you nowhere to hide and proves you know your stuff. While this may sound scary, it will actually be advantageous.

M – Mailing List

Your mailing list is one of your most important business assets. Whether you’re sending physical mail or emails, having a list of subscribed customers that you can contact is a fantastic way to drive sales.

Email has excellent conversion rates and can be a powerful sales tool; in fact it outweighs any other form of digital marketing for Return on Investment. But that isn’t all. You can talk directly to your audience, and personalise the experience.

Most email software allows you to tag users with their interests based on their previous clicks. This means you can segment your audience and send fine-tuned information relevant to them directly to their inbox.

N – Networking

You need to talk. Marketing these days is about opening conversations with your audience. This could be through networking events or chatting with people through social networks.

While there are a lot of people who claim it doesn’t work, for the right industries network marketing is critical. Meeting people in real life naturally has a fantastic benefit.

Networking online is no different. Get commenting on social networks through your brand and your personal channels. Meet people, discuss interests and chat.

You don’t need to just network with potential customers. Network with other people in your industry and meet other marketers. Why? You’ll learn new tricks and trends that may not have reached your company yet.

O – Organic

Organic marketing is anything where money isn’t exchanged for results. For example, a social media post with no paid spend, or SEO results are both considered organic.

Organic reach is generally decreasing as corporations are more recently looking to increase their profits from planned and targeted online marketing results, rather than the potential from using, the often haphazard and uncontrolled organic routes. However, you can still get a good return from organic marketing promotions if you get it right.

P – Pay-per-Click

Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising is any marketing channel where you pay every time someone clicks on your advert. The term is usually one of two options for online advertising, the other being Cost-per-Mille (CPM) where you are charged a fixed amount for having your advert appear a determined number of times (‘mille’ meaning ‘thousand’ in French).

Probably the best-known example is Google Ads, which appear at the top of search results within Google’s search engine.

Other examples of Pay-per-Click routes include:

  • Banner adverts
  • Social media adverts
  • Related article links (sometimes sponsored)

Q – Questions

When running marketing campaigns, asking questions is always important. You need always to be asking:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • Why
  • How

With everything you do, you need to ask these questions. For example, with a social media post it may be:

  • Who am I targeting?
  • What do they want to know
  • When will the need to know this?
  • Where can they get my offer?
  • Why would they want to use this information?
  • How can they take action?

By having these questions running through your head, you will continue to improve your marketing messages.

Questions shouldn’t be one-sided though. You should be using surveys and polls to help learn more about your audience and what their views and wants are.

R – Responsive

Google is heavily promoting the move to mobile. Having a responsive website that works on mobile devices is going to be increasingly important. In fact these days it’s a must have.

Responsive websites are websites that resize depending on the screen that it appears on to improve the user experience. This means the same website appears consistently across mobile, tablets, desktops and TVs, but the layout might be tweaked for each.

If you have a website that is static, now is the time to redesign your website so it becomes responsive, as it will help your search engine ratings and improve your customer’s experience of your brand.

S – Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of tweaking and testing your website to boost its visibility in search results.

Google has over 200 search ranking factors and they are changing and being updated almost daily. These range from things like the number of backlinks (links from other website) your website has to having optimal keywords in your page titles.

SEO is a huge part of marketing – and it’s a huge job. It’s a lot of hard work, and it’s a long process. This will undoubtedly be an area where an agency will come in handy.

T – Testing

You should be testing everything. You’ll never know if something will work until you test it out and measure the results.

The most precise way of testing is A/B or Split testing. An A/B test is where you show two versions of a post, email, webpage or other medium and see the effectiveness between the versions. The results can be anything from higher click-through rates or more direct sales.

When A/B testing, it’s essential that you only test one theory at a time. Either test button colours or test different images. If you test too much at once, you will never know what the true outcome is.

It’s also essential that you are clear in what you are testing. If you are testing two different images, make sure you know what the difference actually is. For example, a smiling face vs stern face, a black and white photo vs a colour one. As crazy as it sounds, just changing the colour of a button can really make huge differences!

U – User Experience

If no-one can use your website, then you will certainly lose valuable sales. You need to ensure that your customers know exactly how to use your website and obvious easiness is the term to sum it up best. Make it obvious what you want them to do, what you want them to click on, what action they must take, and make it easy for them to do it.

User experience extends not just to website and marketing, but to all products and services that you offer. Making things as easy and intuitive for your users whilst interesting to keep them engaged all adds to their experience and is of high importance.

Effective user experience is complex so it may be worth bringing in an agency with experts for advice. 

V – Video

Video is a great tool and naturally drives engagement. Facebook and other social media channels favour video as they are easily digestible and increase time spent on their apps and websites. 

YouTube is so interwoven with Google search results that you can’t really ignore it. Having video in your strategy is vitally important.

When paired with blogs, you can ensure cross-pollination. Embedding videos from YouTube or Instagram can keep users on your page and gains more views and links which increases engagement on those channels. Win-win!

W – Webinars

Live Webinars are a fantastic piece of Content Marketing that can effectively introduce audience members into your sales funnels. Webinars tend to be in the form of informative, instructional or promotional presentations, building trust with the viewers by elevating your knowledge about a subject, service or product.

Work it well and when your viewers are ready to buy, they’ll remember you and make your business the first port of call for enquiries.

X – X-post

X-post is short for cross-post and is a term to define when you repurpose a social media post across multiple platforms. Usually used within automated social marketing, the regular, frequent posts, where a single message is required to be delivered. 

Y – You

You need to be at the centre of your business. As a business owner, your personality should shine through. Don’t just be another faceless business, people buy from people. By being at the centre of your company, people believe that you can be trusted. You are open, honest and human. That helps build your business.

‘You’ is also vital in your marketing messaging. Make sure you refer to ‘your’, ‘you’ and ‘you’ll’ at least 3-4 times for every time you mention yourself and make it relevant to the reader. For example, instead of ‘look at us, we make widgets’, say ‘you’ll love how our widgets will make your life easier’.

Z – Zeitgeist

You need to be at the moment, be of the times. Your marketing needs to reflect what’s going on around you and be current, and most importantly, be evolving.

If you try to stick to what worked a few years ago, you are missing out on a whole new way of doing things, and you’ll run the risk of being perceived as dead in the water. Keep an eye on trending topics and ensure your marketing reflects that.

Now you have an overview of marketing, it’s time to dig deeper and go get ‘em!

We’re ready to help you get your marketing focussed and effective. 

Email if that sounds just the ticket!

Doug Norman

Author Doug Norman

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