Can I do Digital Marketing myself?
24th Aug, 2021
This is a commonly asked question to us at Ideation Digital. Many businesses and business owners ask this question due to a myriad of reasons:
- Their internal marketing department lacks in digital marketing skills, experience and/or certifications
- They are transitioning their marketing budgets from traditional media to digital media
- They have had bad experiences with previous marketing agencies or even digital marketing agencies, and the list goes on.
However, the simple answer is YES, you can do digital marketing yourself, if you have the right knowledge, certification and understanding of the numerous platforms available to you and how they interact and work together, to give you the results you are looking for. And of course, the biggest factor of all – time.
In order to establish whether you have the necessary skill sets to successfully run a digital marketing strategy yourself, ask yourself the following questions:
Digital Marketing Knowledge Needed to execute Digital Marketing:
- Do you actually know what is required to achieve a return on investment for digital marketing?
- Do you know what SEO is?
- Do you know where you currently rank on Google Organic Search Results?
- Do you know what the different SEO ranking factors are?
- Do you know how to perform technical SEO?
- Do you know that technical SEO alone will not achieve the best results?
- Do you know how to optimize campaigns for search engines?
- Do you know how to audit a website for possible problem areas that may affect the performance of your website?
- Do you know how to perform a website audit?
- Do you know how your competitors are performing?
- Do you know how to conduct keyword research?
- Do you know the difference between organic search and paid search?
- Do you know how to develop valuable content across all digital platforms for search?
- Do you know how to optimize content?
- Do you know how to repurpose content for the various platforms?
- Do you know how to integrate the content across the various platforms in order to achieve the best possible results?
- Do you know how to develop and implement a Google Ads campaign?
- Do you have time to manage social media campaigns for your business? (This is not simply posting on social media or even boosting posts, but rather the combined efforts of effective posts, boosted posts and objective-based campaigns that can be run through multiple social media platforms.)
- Do you know the best practices for social media content and how to track and report on campaign results?
- Do you know how to reach the audiences you need to target?
- Do you know how to develop a strategy for each of the platforms that will achieve your digital marketing objectives?
All digital marketing strategies can only be executed with the use of digital assets. The best digital asset a business can have, is a website. However, without the process of Search Engine Optimisation, which ensures that your website complies with Search Engine best practice standards, in order for Search Engine’s to index your site and offer it as a result to an online search query, there is no point in having a website at all.
When digital marketing is done correctly, your website can become your no.1 marketing tool and sales asset. It is important to understand the following when building a website and embarking on a digital marketing journey:
- Who your typical customer is and how you would target them?
- Does your website answer frequently asked questions about the products/services your business sells/offers?
- Does your website deliver a quality user experience that encourages people to engage with your brand and the content you have placed on your website?
- Does your website have basic SEO requirements implemented? Like, XML sitemaps and meta data for Search Engines to read what your website is about, or is your website mobile friendly as now more than 90% of Google’s searches happen on a mobile device?
- Are your contact details available on your website or are there contactable options available on your website?
- Are there CTA’s (Call to Actions) on your website pages so customer know what to do next?
If you are confident that all of the above is in place, then running digital marketing campaigns targeted to specific products/services on your website, is as simple as:
- Google Ads Campaigns: Building & Implementing Google Search Ads, Display Ads, Shop Ads or even Video Ads.
- Building & implementing consistent social media cross channel content calendars, so that you are regularly posting on the applicable social media channels for your business.
- Building objective-based paid social media campaigns aligned to the marketing objectives you would like to achieve.
- Regularly producing and repurposing content, in both written and video format, for your website, paid campaigns, social media platforms and even direct marketing campaigns like email or SMS.
Ensuring that all of your digital assets and campaigns align to your overall marketing objectives and are targeted to the specific audiences that you have identified as typical customers, and you are guaranteed to generate a ROI.
A few more questions you should be asking yourself if you know…
Diversification of digital marketing platforms:
- Do you know all the ins and outs of the different platforms available? Every platform has a different set of set up requirements, usage criteria and best practices for optimum results.
- Do you know that a company website is a critical element to include in any integrated digital marketing campaign?
- Do you know that Google Ads Campaigns cover Search, Display, Video and Shop options?
- Do you know how to manage social media campaigns?
- Do you know how to increase social media follower growth?
- Do you know how to drive engagement on social media?
- Do you know how to run a successful paid social media campaign?
- Do you know how social media impacts on a brands value?
At Ideation Digital we believe in sharing our knowledge with our clients, so let’s start with an explanation of the digital marketing platforms and tools available, to assist you with your digital marketing efforts or making a decision to make use of a professional:
In Sub-Saharan Africa, Google owns 95,15% Search Engine Market Share, as of July 2021, according to Stat Counter. So, it makes sense that most digital marketers in South Africa SEO websites according to Google’s best practice standards. Below is a list of tools to help with SEO from Google:
- Google Search Console
- Google Analytics
- Google Developers
- And to assist with Local SEO, Google My Business.
If you are looking to do marketing on Google Search, and Google’s Display Network better known as GDN, then look no further than Google Ads.
However, if you would like to run Google Shop campaigns, you will need to register a Google Merchant Center account or if you would like to run Google Video Ads, then you will need to link your company YouTube account to your existing Google Ads account.
The amazing thing about Google, is that you can register for their certifications for free. Visit Skillshop with Google to register for and complete various certifications to use Google Products. There are 6 Google Ads certifications alone.
There are a multitude of social media channels available in South Africa: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest and more. As a business, you will need to decide which social media platforms are used most by your target audience and how often your audience is on the specific platform/s.
Once you have opened your pages/profiles, you will need to make sure that you are actively growing a community of “followers” who are actively engaging in your content and are genuinely interested in the information you are sharing and posting.
It is important to know, that if you choose to run paid social campaigns, only Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp Business are on the Facebook Business Manager platform. All other social media channels run their media sales through other platforms. For example, LinkedIn has LinkedIn Campaign Manager and Twitter needs to be bought through their Media Sales House: Ad Dynamo.
Last, but not least, if you want to run email or SMS campaigns, you will need to explore systems like Mailchimp or Everlytic as most email servers will block your account if you send more than one email to a maximum of 500 recipients in less than an hour.
However, direct marketing systems, like Mailchimp and Everlytic, integrate easily with Google Analytics and applicable social media channels, for further marketing opportunities and effective reporting.
Results and Reporting for Digital Marketing:
- Do you know how to access the data required to show you the performance of each activity on each platform?
- Do you know how to interpret a consolidated digital marketing report and take the necessary action to adjust my campaigns to achieve the set objectives?
The digital marketing tools available to assist with reporting are:
- Google Analytics: for website traffic and conversions
- Google Ads: for campaign reporting
- Google Search Console: for SEO performance reporting
- Google My Business: for local SEO rankings and consumer reviews and ratings
- Facebook Insights: for organic reach, engagement & followers
- Instagram Insights: for organic reach, engagement & followers
- Facebook Business Manager: For Facebook & Instagram paid social media campaigns
- LinkedIn Insights: for organic reach, engagement & followers
- LinkedIn Campaign Manager: for LinkedIn paid social campaigns
The trick is, to compile all the data, from all of the above platforms, into one report that makes sense and enables all decision makers to analyse the results easily and use the information to make better decisions or campaign refinements in the future. Google Data Studio is a wonderful Business Intelligence tool, that you can use for free. However, you will need to get a certification from Google Analytics Academy to use the platform.
Digital Marketing Certifications:
- Do you have the correct certification to qualify you to make informed decisions on the best performance across the various digital marketing platforms?
- Are you qualified to confidently spend money on a campaign and expect a positive result?
Over and above the range of Google Ads certifications, offered by Google Skillshop, there is also Google Analytics Academy that offers:
- Google Analytics for Beginners
- Advanced Google Analytics
- Google Analytics for Power Users
- Google Analytics 360
- Introduction to Data Studio and
- Google Tag Manager Fundamentals.
Then, there is the Facebook Blueprint certification and a range of content creation and social media certifications available online or in-class.
However, in order to really understand how digital marketing works and how all the digital channels integrate, it is recommended to at least also obtain a Digital Marketing Diploma from the Digital Marketing Institute (where you can then further your studies to degree or masters level) or a Digital Marketing Degree from Vega. Make sure that whichever digital marketing qualification you obtain, is actually on a qualification’s framework.
The time needed to effectively execute a digital marketing strategy:
- Do you have the time to do all of this and run your own business?
So, can YOU?
So, can YOU go ahead with confidence to run your digital marketing yourself and have the time to effectively run and manage your business?
Why not consider contacting Ideation Digital, an Integrated Digital Marketing Agency with an internationally and locally certified team, who have the knowledge and experience to achieve a return on investment and will show you how, with full reporting, on all your digital marketing efforts.
Ideation Digital builds a partnership with you to embark on or improve your performance on your digital journey and achieve your set digital marketing objectives, through a structured approach to strategy development and implementation. We offer a fully integrated digital marketing solution across all digital platforms, maximizing your marketing opportunities and ensuring that all your digital marketing platforms are specifically compliant with best-practice standards.
Our services include:
- Website development
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Social Media Management
- Content Production & Management – Written & Video
- Graphic Design
- Google Ads Campaigns
- Fully Integrated Monthly Reporting
We understand that the world of Digital Marketing can be extremely complicated and make it our mission to take every client through a hand-held educational journey.
Our promise to you: We will partner with you and guide you on your digital journey. We will improve your digital performance and increase your digital footprint. We will help your company embrace digitisation with the ultimate objective of delivering measurable results for a better future.