Learn Digital Marketing in 3 Easy Steps: Social, Search, Content

A Simple, Holistic, User-Based Approach to Understanding Online Presence

By Ryan Crockett, 29 November 2015

Are you new to the complex, ever-changing world of digital marketing? Do terms like search engine optimization, content strategy, and social advertising sound like useless jargon? Does learning this strange, always changing, critically necessary advertising approach seem like an overwhelming, daunting, or frustrating task?

You’re not alone, and the Emergent Digital team is here to help.

You may have a fresh new business idea, currently manage a vibrant young startup, or run a large company with decades of experience under your belt. Online marketing novices come from every walk of life and exist in every industry, from 1st-year architecture students to real estate CEOs at the top of their field. You’re in diverse, respectable company.

Putting Digital Marketing in Perspective

Martin Jones (@martinjonesaz on Twitter) is an adept social content influencer and experienced digital marketer who recently tweeted a beautifully succinct description of online advertising that explains our seemingly convoluted business with brilliant, unblemished clarity:

“Social is how customers hear about you, search is how they find you & content is how they’ll remember you.”

Genius. This concise statement takes a complex profession and gets at the essence of our daily efforts as advertising professionals The art of digital marketing today can be broken down into 3 distinct general activities, each of which is directly related to the online user experience. When we see through the eyes of the customer, our world of SEO and SMM suddenly becomes natural, simple, even sensible.

Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Advertising, & Sharing Content of Value

It’s important to remember that digital marketing is not a 3-step, one-way process. Successful brands are engaging in all of these activities at once, and customer acquisition does not often occur in a linear fashion in our world. However, the social-search-content framework for understanding the art of online advertising makes perfect practical sense, because we’re looking at this subject through the eyes of the digital consumer, our audience.

Social media is how online users and new customers find your company because sites like Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram have become the nerve centers of digital activity in the modern age. It’s where we obtain our news, express our opinions, and digitally interact with friends, loved ones, the greater internet community across the globe. We discover new brands, creative products and innovative services on social media more than anywhere else in the modern era, and this is where users will likely learn about your brand as well.

Search engines are where your customers find you. SEO has been made out to be a convoluted practice in the public’s eyes as statistical, context-free numbers and black-hat tactics have taken away from the true essence of this aspect of digital marketing. When a consumer needs products or services but lacks loyalty to a specific brand, they search for a general term on a search engine like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. However, once they’ve engaged your brand identity on social in a positive way, something special happens: they search for you instead. Now users are actively engaging your business in the digital world, browsing through your virtual storefront, maybe even taking that first step towards a lifelong business relationship.

Finally, perhaps most importantly, content is how your brand is remembered by the digital community. You’ve likely heard that “content is king” at some point in the past few years, and this statement remains resoundingly meaningful, a key to online growth. The words posted on your website, the images and videos you’ve contributed to the digital world, every action you take and share online is a piece of an all-important puzzle as you share your own story with the consuming digital public. When your brand offers something of value to users, you become indispensable and unforgettable… and this pivotal connection is the final key to the world of digital marketing and achieving success in the modern age of online business.

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