What are the most popular digital marketing services right now?
With over 4.5 billion people actively using the Internet and just under a whopping 4 billion social network users, digital marketing services are growing in popularity amongst businesses, influencers and pretty much anyone that sells a product or service.
As Covid-19 also hammered offline marketing efforts, requests for digital marketing services spiked even more – from small & localised businesses to large enterprise-level companies.
With so many options to choose from, it becomes difficult to know what you should look for when you’re seeking digital marketing services.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is a broad term that covers the marketing of a product or service by social media, search engine marketing, SEO, mobile advertising.
Quite literally, any marketing channel that is done via electronic devices, or ‘digitally’, if you will.
As more people flock to using smartphones, tablets and smartwatches, print advertising is continuing to decline as it becomes less efficient in comparison to digital. As digital marketing is far easier to track the ROI for & more eyeballs are on devices, this comes as no surprise.
Who needs digital marketing services?
Localised businesses that rely on footfall in their local area still need to drive online users to their physical location.
Even large wholesalers that sell to retailers have realised that due to growing competition, they also need to be able to connect with their customers digitally.
Whether it’s to ensure new product lines receive attention or providing a greater level of customer service – businesses must have at least 2 to 3 digital marketing channels active to keep their online presence strong.
Unless you rely on government contracts (B2G) or you have no need to acquire/retain customers, there’s absolutely no reason for you to dismiss digital marketing.
The Most Popular Digital Marketing Services in 2021;
1. Paid advertising/PPC (Facebook/LinkedIn/Quora)
One of the most sought after digital marketing services as of 2021, the acronym PPC is shorthand for ‘pay per click’. This means that the advertising channel will usually charge you for each click through to your site/landing page. Some ad platforms also charge based on CPM which means ‘cost per mille’ (thousand), meaning you’ll be charged for every 1,000 impressions/views.
As organic content marketing becomes difficult to gain traction/engagement with, businesses are heading to paid advertising to supplement their sales as well as brand awareness.
While the recent iOS 14 update has caused issues with targeted advertising to iPhone users, Facebook is still one of the most popular advertising platforms, especially for e-commerce/retailers.
LinkedIn is another great advertising platform and while the customer acquisition cost (CAC) may be higher than other channels, it can work well if your average order value (AOV) or customer lifetime value (LTV) is high.
2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Targeting users who are at the bottom of the funnel (high intent to purchase) means you can utilise SEM for users who are actively searching.
Under-utilised channels such as Bing may even give better results and a lower acquisition cost & cost per click than channels such as Google Adwords.
If your product/service has a learning curve, the cost is high or is B2B based, you may need to focus on retargeting as your target users will need multiple touch-points before they purchase.
SEM can work extremely well for hyper-localised small businesses. From selling double glazing to accountancy services, the cost per click is far lower than nationwide search terms. A caveat here is that in densely populated areas or large cities such as London, you may still face some serious competition.
3. Content Marketing
Getting great information, assurance or insightful data – this all counts as content marketing.
You’ve probably heard the term ‘content is king’ many times but this old saying does hold water. As ideas and beliefs around marketing change over time, this principle has always prevailed.
The goal isn’t to market or sell to users but to provide value through content, if done correctly, sales will follow.
It’s a long term strategy to aims to supplement the user journey, while it doesn’t bring immediate results, it adds credibility to brands as they can be seen as a source of information or thought leaders.
The great thing about content marketing is that it doesn’t go away. The content you create helps add authority to your brand as a thought leader and sends a signal to your readers/viewers that you know the industry well.
Just be sure to update your website’s content regularly for two reasons;
1 – Content can become outdated quickly, especially if it’s technical.
2 – Search engines crawl for frequently updated content; you’re signalled their algorithms every time you update content or increase the word count.
Many brands use content marketing as their primary marketing channel; good content works well but great content will keep bringing in interested or curious prospects. The other awesome thing about this digital marketing service is that it’s not contingent on technology, it’s about great content will always be shared, repurposed, reused and ranked higher.
The acronym for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’.
SEO is optimising your site and web pages for search engines (usually refers to Google but also Bing) to rank them higher using three points; Technical, On-Page and Off-Page.
This is by far the most long-term strategy in marketing and one of the most time-intensive digital marketing services, based on how many months (even years) it can take to reach a high position. Once your rankings increase, you tend to hold that online ‘real estate’ (as long as Google’s algorithm updates don’t affect your ranking).
Having your pages rank high usually results in higher click-through rates which considerably lower your customer acquisition cost (assuming you can convert these users to customers with your content).
5. Email marketing
We’ve seen the incredible success of email marketing for e-commerce businesses and online retailers. Hitting trends (reactive marketing) and being highly relevant can really help you retain or even acquire customers.
Segmenting your audience and approaching each segment with targeting messaging is a simple yet powerful strategy.
Many are using cold-email marketing strategies, while this may work, it’s highly unethical and can potentially harm your email accounts if they’re seen as spam. Not to mention that in the UK, GDPR laws require users to opt-in before you can send them any form of marketing.
6. Video marketing
As Facebook and Google hold their duopoly on advertising, Facebook has proven to garner amazing results for product sales through video ads. It can also work for B2B marketing but the content needs to be engaging and highly targeted. We’d definitely recommend this channel if you’re selling directly to customers (D2C).
Many B2B companies are also taking to YouTube to target small business owners who are searching for informational videos. This way, although these video ads are disruptive, they can still be relevant.
While video marketing is one of the highest performing digital marketing services as of recent times, the channel used is just as important as the medium. If your target market is hyper-localised, such as potential customers for a vehicle repair centre, using channels like TikTok may not be the best solution. It can work if your aim is brand awareness but high engagement still won’t necessarily translate to sales.
Which digital marketing service do I need?
Once you’ve identified your target audience, this is an easy one.
Agencies can quickly identify an appropriate digital marketing service based on your ideal customer profile.
- We recommend building some persona types based on either market research/feedback or based on your current customer base.
- Once you’ve got this, submit it along with the rest of your brief to a handful of digital marketing agencies and assess/ask their reasoning behind the service(s) they select.
How can I find digital marketing services near me?
For small businesses and startups in the UK, we’ve got an awesome platform that matches you to experts providing digital marketing services, in less than a minute.
After working with marketing agencies all across the UK, we’ve partnered up with some of the best we could find.