Digital marketing (also known as online marketing) is here to stay. If you need to reach potential customers and spread the word about your business, you need to put your online marketing efforts at the forefront of any business strategy you develop.
We understand that online marketing is still relatively new and we realize that you may have questions about how it works, and where the ROI is. Below, we answer the 100 most commonly asked questions about digital marketing today.
1. Is Social Media Marketing Worth It?
Yep! Social media marketing reaches your target market right where they hang out: on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, etc. If you don’t, in some way, create a social media strategy you are missing out on the millions of people that use social media as a way to connect.
2. How Can Social Media Marketing Actually Help my Business?
Social media helps you find new customers through paid advertising, and it helps customers find you through search results. Social media also gives you a way to start a conversation and keep one going, with your target market.
3. Is There a Way to Measure How Effective Social Media Marketing Actually Is?
Measuring marketing success on social media is a snap (especially when you work with a marketing firm): social media companies provided detailed data and analytic reports to help you understand what’s working, and what’s not.
4. Is Social Media Marketing Too Expensive?
The beauty of social media marketing is that it can scale up or down depending on your budget at the moment.
5. How much does social media marketing cost?
The flat answer is: it depends. Even if you do it all yourself, you are still paying with your time investment. The key to truly effective marketing is to focus on the ROI: be sure your efforts (and dollars) are going toward results.
6. Which Social Media Platforms? Why?
The platforms you choose should be best aligned with your business goals. Instagram is a wonderful platform if you’re a photographer: it’s a platform designed for sharing photos. Facebook offers an easy way to connect directly with potential clients via messaging — and gives you a section just for client reviews. The answer to this question is: what does your business do and which platforms best allow you to connect with your target market?
7. Does Blogging Matter?
Blogging is crucial to any company’s search engine optimization strategy (SEO). Blogs provide search engines such as Google with fresh content that tells it that you are relevant to a searcher’s keywords. Also, a blog gives you a great way to connect with your target market and ongoing customers: use it to answer frequently asked questions, and so on.
8. Does Social Media Marketing Apply to B2B Businesses?
Yes. Social media marketing for B2B businesses should be all about sharing industry insights and trends. It’s an excellent opportunity to establish yourself as an expert in your field.
9. Should I be using YouTube?
It depends but the bottom line is: probably. YouTube is a video platform that gets billions of hits a day. You can use it to share how-to videos, humor, answer questions, and so on.
10. What is Influencer Outreach?
The online world has led to a great many new social media celebrities who have a very niche, and loyal, followers. Depending on what you offer as a business, connecting with a social media influencer could give your business real ROI. One of the best ways to get connected with the right influencers for your company is to work with a marketing company that understands how to evaluate the value of a potential partnership.
11. What is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging is writing a blog that another blog publishes. It gives you a great way to connect with a new market that may have similar goals to your current clients and customers. Guest blogging can be both free or paid, depending on whom you work with.
12. What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can both help customers find you and tell them the story of your business.
13. What are the benefits of Google My Business?
Once you enter the PIN and verify the local listing for your business, you are allowed to enhance your profile page to new heights. When you verify your business listing, you have the opportunity to greatly expand your brand reach and share much more information with Google and your prospective target audience.
14. Can You Control Your Image Online?
The truth? Yes and no. While you can’t control what online reviewers say, Google, you can respond and participate in the discussion. Proactively responding to both positive and negative feedback online shapes your online image in a far more positive way than just letting it sit there.
15. What Types of Social Media Should I Focus On?
It depends. Your target audience/market will differ depending on what you offer and where you are. The best way to learn what kinds of social media you should focus on is through practice and looking at the data: which posts do your audience respond to — which ones do they click on?
16. How Much Time Should I Be Spending on Social Media?
The time investment you should give to social media depends on two things: how much time you have to offer, and how much you want/need to get from social media marketing. Social media marketing indeed is what you make of it.
17. When Will I See Results?
The answer to this honestly depends on many different factors. How much time do you invest? Are you using paid advertising? Are you posting regular, relevant topic? Do you have a defined strategy? Though you may not see results overnight, over time your investment will pay off (primarily if you work with a digital marketing firm to help give you a solid foundation).
18. What are Common Social Media Marketing Pitfalls?
Not posting enough is mistake numero uno. You don’t want to build a great page and then just let it sit collecting dust. Mistake #2? Only posting your own content. Social media users are there to explore: give them your content and then display relevant content from other experts in your industry.
19. Are There Any Basic Rules for Social Media Marketing Success?
Post often. Post engaging content people want to read (and share). Ask your audience questions — and when they answer, respond to them. Stay away from hardline sales pitches: keep your social media content light, upbeat, and informative.
20. What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is, simply put, any marketing efforts you conduct through email. Email marketing could be as simple as an annual holiday email thanking your current customers, or it could be as involved as reminding someone that they left a product in their cart.
21. Is Email Marketing Worth It?
Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Email marketing is actually considered the ‘king’ of many digital marketing channels when it comes to direct conversions. Why? You’re marketing to people that you know are interested in your business (or businesses like yours).
22. Is Social Media Marketing Taking the Place of Email Marketing Today?
Truth be told: there’s more than enough users (who all want different platforms) in the online world for everyone. In general, though, digital marketing is taking the place of traditional marketing — and that means the efficacy of social media and email marketing just continues to rise.
23. Should I Buy an Email List to Get Started?
This is a common question. You’ve heard email marketing has impressive conversion rates, so it’s only natural to want to hit the ground running. That being said, one of the reasons email marketing has such fantastic conversion rates is because you’re directly marketing to folks who have self-selected or opted in, to receive marketing material from you.
24. What’s the Best Way to Get More Email Subscribers?
First and foremost: the best way to grow your email subscriber list is organically (as in not paying for a list). Next: offer your audience an incentive that makes signing up for your emails worth their while (think: coupon code or a free guide/ebook). Ask for emails for every order — and, if your business also has a brick and mortar presence, collect emails in person.
25. What Kind of Content Should I Be Emailing?
You should engage with your email database regularly — and send them content that relates to your business but also engages them to take action. Invitations to webinars, coupon codes, videos, blogs, eBooks, and industry news are all great content ideas.
26. Should I Send Email Newsletters?
Maybe. You can certainly send newsletters with content that relates to what your business does. Think of a newsletter like a news show on television: they can cater to different interests (Today Show vs. Larry King, for example). The content you include in newsletters can vary: you can include new blogs, the latest industry news, tips and tricks, videos, and so on.
27. How Frequently Should I Send Emails?
There are no hard and fast rules here. The more you send emails, the more likely you are to have subscribers end up unsubscribing. That being said, the more emails you send, the more you have your target market engaging with you. A certain amount of subscriber drop-off isn’t a bad thing if the payoff is a more highly engaged core group of subscribers. One rule of thumb? Don’t be that company that sends one email at the holidays each year and that’s it.
28. Is There a Certain Day or Time That’s Best for Email Marketing?
The answer to this question indeed varies from company to company. A general rule of thumb? Mornings and the weekends perform well across industries. The best way to discover your optimal times and days is through experimentation and practice.
29. Can I Prevent My Emails from Being Labeled as Junk?
Yes and no. How email providers sort through emails is intricate, and hard to decipher – however, specific tactics such as all caps in the subject line should be avoided at all costs. A basic rule of thumb is to keep your emails content-rich — without the heavy sales pitch.
30. HTML Emails or Just Plain Text?
It depends. Again: you’ll need to practice and experiment. Some audiences will love beautiful graphics; some audiences will want just the cold, hard facts and nothing else. You’ll be able to find out what your audience likes best through sending emails and seeing which ones they click through to and which ones they unsubscribe from.
31. Should My Emails Be Novel-Sized or a Haiku?
To write a long email or not: the eternal question. In general, folks spend no more than 30 seconds reading an email. If your email is long (meant for your more engaged subscribers), ensure the most crucial information is in the top of your email.
32. How Can I Write an Effective Email?
A writing rule for emails is this: write with one purpose, and one goal only: to strengthen your relationship with the person you’re emailing. Write to your subscribers like you are a friend, not a salesperson who wants them to act fast.
33. What About Segmenting My Email Lists?
If you have an extensive, and varied, email subscriber database segmenting can deliver powerful results. When you segment your email list, you can deliver different types of emails to different types of people. Segmented lists have some of the best ROI in all of marketing, traditional and digital.
34. How Do I Measure the Success of My Email Marketing Campaigns?
Always look to see how many folks opened your email, how many people clicked through to your website, and how many folks unsubscribed from your email list. Open and click rates vary by industry — the best place to turn for answers on if your emails are effective is a digital marketing firm or expert.
35. How Can I Get Good Open Rates for My Emails?
The subject line is the key to getting good email open rates. Think of it as a headline in a newspaper, or the title of a movie. Your subject line is what garners interest in what your email may have to say so make it a good one.
36. OK: How Do I Write a Compelling Subject Line?
Good subject lines are short and sweet. They should give an idea of what’s in the email but still leave something to the imagination. There are various online generators that can help measure how strong of a subject line you’ve written.
37. Is There a Way to Boost My Click Through Rate?
Yes: use direct action verbs such as “click now” or “order now” or “start shopping.” The data shows people respond to directives (aka call-to-actions) that are directly placed in emails. Ideally, include more than one call-to-action (CTA) in each email.
38. How Do I Write a Powerful CTA?
Short is powerful: keep it simple. What do you want your email subscriber to do: click, shop, read? Find the main verb for whatever you want your subscriber to do and just use that.
39. What Do I Put in the ‘From’ Email Line?
Ensure your ‘From’ line is easy to recognize. If your subscribers don’t know who is emailing them, they must just label it as ‘spam’ and never read it…or future emails.
40. What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing focuses on the customers’ needs: traditional marketing focuses on what a company sells or offers. With content marketing, the focus is on how a customer’s pain points can be solved. Content marketing is an effective way to build trust over time.
41. What Determines What, Exactly, ‘Content’ Is?
Content goes far beyond just blogging – although blogging is a large part of it. To be clear: content is any kind of information-rich post, blog, slide deck, video, webinar, podcast and so on.
42. How Do I Begin Content Marketing?
To start marketing with content you create, first draft a strategy. What is your goal? What are your customers’ pain points? Where do you want to focus (i.e: blogging, social media, email, and so on). Don’t jump in until you’ve charted your course.
43. How Do I Develop an Effective Content Marketing Strategy?
Since content marketing is all about the consumer, first figure out what they are struggling with that your business can solve. Next, focus on style: what colors represent your brand? What tone of voice (or narrator)? What kinds of content do your prospective customers want (videos, blogs, white papers, etc.)?
44. Will I Need to Make New Content Every Day?
It depends. You will need to ensure you are regularly creating new content — however, you can also upcycle content. A well-written blog, for example, can easily be turned into a webinar, podcast, or infographic to share on social media.
45. How Regularly Must I Post New Content?
The jury’s still out on this one, however new content posted at least twice a week is a good rule of thumb. Beyond that: it’s up to you. You can post as much content on your website as you want — it will only make you more visible on Google and other search engines.
46. Do I Need to Share My Content on Social Media?
Yes! That being said, your content will still deliver results in just search engine optimization (SEO) alone. To entirely put it to work, however, you’ll want to post it across your social media platforms every single time.
47. What About Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging gets you powerful SEO links back to your website…and it exposes your services to a whole new set of people. On top of that, you can use your guest blogs as more content to share on social media: it’s a win-win!
48. What are Editorial Calendars?
If you’ve been around the social media and content marketing block long enough, you’ve probably heard of editorial calendars. Editorial calendars are, in a nutshell, a way to keep track of what you plan to post and what you’ve posted in the past.
49. Do I Need to Use an Editorial Calendar?
It depends on how often you post — and what you’re posting. Using an editorial calendar can keep you on task and can help you avoid duplicating posts. The downside is that an editorial can just create more work if you are just managing your own account and don’t need to micromanage every last detail.
50. What are Keywords?
Keywords are the words that tell search engines what your content is all about. They are an essential part of getting a search engine like Google to put you on the map. Every piece of your content should contain your keywords — but you shouldn’t stuff your content with so many keywords that it makes it meaningless.
51. What Makes Content Marketing Engaging/Interesting?
To answer this question, first ask: what does your particular audience care about? Find out and create content along these lines.
52. I Want to Be an Industry Expert: Is Content Marketing Key for Me?
Yes. Establishing yourself as a go-to within your industry is key to building the trust and name recognition you need to be competitive today. When you regularly create unique, and engaging, content, you are setting yourself apart.
53. How do B2C and B2B Marketing Differ?
The audiences for each are what makes these types of marketing differently. While B2B marketing tends to be far more about business goals and ROI, B2C is about sparking conversations with your customers.
54. What is Evergreen Content?
Evergreen content is content that rings true regardless of the season, or the year. It’s content that’s always relevant — and search engines love it. That being said, search engines also love topical content that’s blooming in-season. Do a mix of both.
55. What is Big Content?
Big content is content that’s longer than say, a typical blog. Examples of ‘big content’ include eBooks, white papers, email courses, and slide decks.
56. What’s Better: Short or Long Content?
As with the difference between topical and evergreen content — a mix of both is ideal. You want some messaging that’s direct and concise — and some that give your target audience some real meat to sink their teeth into.
57. How Can I Make Content That Drives Sales?
A blog doesn’t directly translate to a sale. Ongoing blogging, and ongoing content creation and sharing, will result in building a healthy relationship with your target market that will lead to sales.
58. What Should I Avoid with Content Marketing?
Avoid treating your content marketing like its print or traditional marketing. Don’t be heavy-handed with your sales pitches and don’t focus on products over pain points.
59. Where Do I Find Readers for Our Content?
Use social media to find readers. Ensure you have a strong title for every piece of content you write. Build keywords into your content so that search engines can find it. Readers may not come overnight, but if you build it, they will come.
60. How Can I Make Sure Our Content Marketing is Working?
You can measure the success of your content marketing based on your conversions (sales, contact requests, new email subscribers, and so on). Tools such as Google Analytics can help you see the data.
61. What is a Target Audience?
Your target audience is whom you want to reach with your marketing: for example, do you need to market to people between the ages of 40 and 60 in London, Ontario who are homeowners?
62. How Do I Select a Website Design?
You should select a website design that makes your business look professional, friendly, and different (in a good way). Your design should be as user-friendly and easy to navigate as possible.
63. Do My Online Marketing Materials Need to Match?
Yes and no. There should be some level of consistency across all of your materials – such as the same logo, and general color scheme. You don’t, however, have to treat your marketing materials as though they are wedding save-the-dates and invitations!
64. Does My Website Need to Have Videos?
It depends on how your target audience will be using your website and what they want to know. If they need to see something in action — the answer is yes, your website needs videos.
65. Should My Website Link to Other Sites?
In general, it’s a good SEO idea to link to relevant websites with similar keywords as yours. You don’t, however, have to go overboard.
66. How Do I Choose a Website Host?
You can shop around online and find a host that has competitive pricing — and reliability. Reading online reviews is a good place to start for this.
67. How Expensive is a Website?
It depends on if you hire a designer, work with a marketing firm, or build it yourself. The bigger question here is how expensive is it if you don’t build one (and lose business as a result)?
68. Is it Possible to Move to a Different Web Host?
Yes! You can move to a different web host but it’s not something you should do without proper planning and guidance.
69. How Do I Choose a Good Domain Name?
Find a domain name that’s catchy, contains your company or key product names, and not too expensive. Your domain name won’t be the #1 thing that drives traffic to your website but a memorable domain name can only help.
70. How Do I Craft a Good Tagline?
A good tagline tells people what your company does and how it solves your customers’ pain points; it also says people what makes your business different (aka better) than your competitors.
71. How Many Pages Should My Website Be?
Your website (not including your blog, which is ongoing) should be as many pages as it takes to communicate everything your customers need to know.
72. What’s a Favicon?
A Favicon is a shortcut icon — or small icon — that appears in the browser search bar for your website. It’s an easy visual way of telling your visitors they are at your site. Typically, you’ll want a professional designer to make one for you (although online generators do exist).
73. How Do I Learn How to Update My Website?
There are countless online tutorials for learning how to keep your website current; you can also hire a professional to manage your site on an on-going basis.
74. What Does Mobile-Friendly Mean?
A mobile-friendly website is one that’s easy to read and navigate from a smaller screen – such as a smartphone.
75. How Do I Make My Website Mobile Friendly?
The best way to guarantee your website is truly mobile friendly is by working with a professional designer or marketing firm that is experienced in designing for smaller screens.
76. Does Mobile Friendly Even Matter?
Yes. Search engines like Google take into consideration how mobile friendly a website is. Your customers, too, may leave your page in the dust if they are accessing it from a smartphone and can’t really see anything.
77. What is SlideShare?
SlideShare is a powerful way to share business presentations with a large audience that may be interested in your content. You can tag your presentations with your keywords to ensure people find you.
78. What are Linkedin Groups?
Linkedin Groups are a great way to communicate with new people who have similar interests to your customers. You can find them on Linkedin and ask to join them. Once you’re in, you can start sharing your content.
79. Do I Need Share Buttons on My Website?
While you may not need share buttons on every page of your website (they can hurt usability), you definitely want these buttons on pages you specifically want shared — such as your blog posts.
80. What is Cross-Browser Testing?
Cross-browser testing means testing your website in different browsers. Why? Different browsers have different bugs or may read your website differently: it’s important to ensure everyone can see your website the way you intend it to be seen. If you are working with a designer or marketing firm, they should do this for you.
81. What is a Webinar?
A webinar is an online learning experience that’s built around how your business can solve your customers’ pain points.
82. How Long is a Webinar?
A webinar can be as long or short as you want it to be — 30 minutes to 1 hour tend to be standard for webinars today.
83. How Often Should I Hold Webinars?
Webinars are a great way to get potential customers to dive deeper into your products. Gauge how often you should hold webinars based on how many people are signing up.
84. Where Do I Hold Webinars?
There are various platforms for holding webinars: popular options include Webex and GoTo.
85. How Do I Promote Webinars?
Use all of your various marketing channels: email marketing, social media, your blog, and websites. You can also use online event listings such as Eventbrite for getting the word out.
86. Is There a Limit to How Many People Should Attend a Webinar?
The only limit is how many people are allowed by the platform you choose (such as Webex).
87. How Do I Make My Webinars Engaging?
Ask questions and keep your webinars as interactive as possible. You don’t want your lecture to be a straight lecture: keep your audience engaged and interested throughout.
88. Should I Offer a Giveaway?
If you have a service or product, you can give away; you should consider offering a giveaway. It can be a valuable way to generate more followers, and website traffic, for your business.
89. How Do I Get People to Enter My Giveaway?
Share your giveaway on social media, post it in different online community groups related to your location and/or topic, and email your subscribers to tell them about it.
90. How Can a Giveaway Benefit My Business?
With a giveaway, you can get more subscribers that otherwise may not subscribe. If they are interested in your product or service enough to enter a giveaway, they are worth marketing to.
91. How Often Should I Offer Giveaways?
You don’t necessarily want people to think there’s always a giveaway, so not every single day — you want your giveaways to be time sensitive. You could do one once a week, once a month, once a quarter, and so on. It depends on your goals and your ability to offer a free product/service.
92. Should I Create a Facebook Group for my Business?
Yes, if you have the time. Facebook groups give you a great, and low-key, forum for engaging with your customers. Ask questions about their pain points – and ask others to chime in.
93. Should I Create an Email Marketing Course?
If you can teach your target audience a new skill, yes! It’s a great way to keep engaging with your target audience and establish yourself as an expert in the industry.
94. What Should My Email Marketing Course About?
A great way to find course ideas is to look at the top keywords that are bringing traffic to your website…whatever those are, create your course’s topic around that.
95. Is There a Way to Automate Emails?
Yes, but it depends on the email service you are using. Many services, such as Constant Contact, allow you to automatically email new subscribers a welcome email or even a series of emails, as soon as they sign up.
96. What if Someone Unsubscribes from My Emails?
You win some; you lose some. A few unsubscribes when you send an email shouldn’t deter you from making the power of email marketing work for you. If folks are jumping ship in mass numbers, however, you may want to reevaluate if your messaging is as effective as it can be.
97. How Do I Create a Youtube Video?
Creating videos for Youtube can be as easy as using your smartphone and uploading directly to the platform or you can work with a videographer for a more professional, and high level, quality.
98. Does My Company Need a Linkedin Page?
The short answer? Probably. If you want to reach professionals, whether as customers or as potential employees yes, you need a Linkedin page.
99. What are Instagram and Facebook Stories?
Stories are a relatively new feature that allows you to update an image to share with your subscriber. Online, they are viewed as less formal (they disappear in 24 hours). They are a great way to get your customers and target market talking to you and about you.
100. Is Digital Marketing Worth the Effort and Money?
Yes and yes. Digital marketing is not only the wave of the future, but it’s also what’s happening right now. Even if your business is fully established, it will become more and more essential to continue to develop your online presence within your community of potential buyers.