CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing - Digital Marketing Essentials
By Stephen Hudson - Digital Marketing Consultant.
Over the past 3 months, I have been writing about my experiences studying for the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing. Back in April, I shared my thoughts on the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour module, and in May I delved into the world of Digital Marketing Planning. Since my last blog, I am happy to report that I passed the course. However, that doesn't mean my learning is over: the skills I have learnt from this valuable course will help me face the exciting future challenges in SEO and the digital marketing world.
This month, I’ll be writing about the third and final module in the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing, called ‘Digital Marketing Essentials’. Unlike the previous two modules which were primarily theory-based, the Digital Marketing Essentials module focused on the practical aspects of digital marketing, such as SEO, PPC, website design, social media, QR codes, affiliate marketing, viral marketing and new & emerging advertising media.
The main tactics available to digital marketers
The Diploma in Digital Marketing focuses on the digital world (the clue is in the title) and therefore the tactics used in an online marketing campaign will be mostly digitally-based, although some tactics can overlap. Below, I take a short look at some of the key tactics available to digital marketers.
Search Engine Optimisation is perhaps the most useful tactic available to digital marketers, and yet it’s surprising to hear about the number of organisations which don’t utilise it properly, if at all! SEO is essentially the process of promoting a website on search engines by making sure the website is fully optimised for the keywords used by a target audience. However, there is much more to it than that: a good SEO campaign will see digital marketers build quality backlinks, ensure a website is user-friendly and create relevant and interesting content – which takes me onto my next point.
You can email 1,000 companies every day asking for backlinks and you can ensure that your keywords, meta descriptions, titles, Alt tags and headers are optimised, but if the content on your website doesn’t offer users something fresh, your site is likely to rank poorly. In the digital marketing world of 2014, content is king; Google has already revealed that a website which promotes healthy, unique content is likely to see an improvement in organic search rankings. However, great content is not just written, it can also take the form of videos and infographics.
Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising is extremely beneficial to organisations wanting to promote their business to hundreds or even thousands of customers quickly. Indeed, it can deliver fast, relevant and good ROI when implemented property. However, PPC can become quite expensive, especially if the campaign is poorly set up. Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, using AdWords doesn’t directly improve the organic ranking of a website, so don’t expect to see an improvement in your website’s organic search rankings after a PPC campaign.
There is a long-held belief that social metrics (likes, +1s, retweets, etc.) directly influence a website’s organic search rankings. Google has frequently stressed that this isn’t the case and that social metrics actually have little to no effect on website rankings. However, by utilising social media properly, a business can see the content it generates shared around the Internet, acquire social referral and develop its brand image while establishing little by little a customer base. All of these factors can naturally - over time - influence organic rankings while helping a company achieve its ROI targets.
Even if a website is full of great content, ideas and products, a poorly structured site navigation is a sure way of losing visitors and potential customers. Therefore, an organisation will need an experienced team of developers to make sure a website is built and maintained properly. A well-designed website will deliver naturally lower bounce rates, increased interaction, higher sales numbers (depending on the nature of the website), and will aid Google’s bots and spiders (also known as crawlers). Moreover, businesses shouldn't neglect responsive design; with so many customers increasingly turning to mobile devices as their primary browsing device, a responsive website is now virtually essential for any digital marketing success.
I'm sure many of you have noticed these barcodes on the back of business cards, magazines or leaflets. They are called QR codes, and while they are technically an offline marketing method, they are actually very useful for attracting visitors to your website if placed in the right location. People scan the code using their mobile devices and are redirected to a designated page on a website, where - if the website is mobile ready - they can complete one or more of the website’s goals. Typical examples of this include ordering a product, enquiring about a service, signing up for a membership or sharing content on social media.
People who work in the digital marketing field need to frequently develop their skills and stay ahead of the curve, which is why I would highly recommend the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing for anyone looking to improve their digital marketing skills and gain a valuable qualification.