Buzzsumo (Also offered as a Chrome extension) - Buzzsumo is great for seeing social shares of individual pages. Now, we've found that higher social shares do not necessarily equate to higher traffic or engagement as many people will like and share posts without reading them straight away or at all, but it's a great free tool that gives you a rough idea of how your post is performing on social media. However, if you're looking for more advanced social insights it also has a paid subscription which allows, social monitoring and alerts, Industry and key influencer research, content analysis, and backlink analysis (as previously discussed). 
Affiliate marketing - Affiliate marketing is perceived to not be considered a safe, reliable and easy means of marketing through online platform. This is due to a lack of reliability in terms of affiliates that can produce the demanded number of new customers. As a result of this risk and bad affiliates it leaves the brand prone to exploitation in terms of claiming commission that isn't honestly acquired. Legal means may offer some protection against this, yet there are limitations in recovering any losses or investment. Despite this, affiliate marketing allows the brand to market towards smaller publishers, and websites with smaller traffic. Brands that choose to use this marketing often should beware of such risks involved and look to associate with affiliates in which rules are laid down between the parties involved to assure and minimize the risk involved.[48]
To build your digital marketing strategy, you need to decide what content is going to help you reach your goals. If your goal is to generate 50% more leads via the website than you did last year, it's unlikely that your 'About Us' page is going to be included in your strategy -- unless that page has somehow been a lead generation machine in the past.
That's exactly how the three can work together to help you meet your goal. Of course, it's not compulsory to use all three. If your owned and earned media are both successful, you might not need to invest in paid. It's all about evaluating the best solution to meet your goal, and then incorporating the channels that work best for your business into your digital marketing strategy.

Digital marketing activity is still growing across the world according to the headline global marketing index. A study published in September 2018, found that global outlays on digital marketing tactics are approaching $100 billion.[41] Digital media continues to rapidly grow; while the marketing budgets are expanding, traditional media is declining (World Economics, 2015).[42] Digital media helps brands reach consumers to engage with their product or service in a personalised way. Five areas, which are outlined as current industry practices that are often ineffective are prioritizing clicks, balancing search and display, understanding mobiles, targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic, and cross-platform measurement (Whiteside, 2016).[43] Why these practices are ineffective and some ways around making these aspects effective are discussed surrounding the following points.
Thanks to these tactics, you'll be able to create workflows that will allow you to create hundreds of campaigns with mere clicks. You’ll be able to personalize messages based on your buyer persona, increasing your chances for success; not only that, you’ll be able to take them, depending on their interactions with the brand, towards the moment of purchase.
To engage customers retailers have shifted from the linear marketing approach of one-way communication to a value exchange model of mutual dialogue and benefit-sharing between provider and consumer.[23] Exchanges are more non-linear, free flowing, and both one-to-many or one-on-one.[7] The spread of information and awareness can occur across numerous channels, such as the blogosphere, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and a variety of other platforms. Online communities and social networks allow individuals to easily create content and publicly publish their opinions, experiences, and thoughts and feelings about many topics and products, hyper-accelerating the diffusion of information.[24]
As email marketing is getting smarter, marketers have started to care more about sending emails to subscribers who are active on their lists. For instance, if a contact highly engages with your emails, he should be regularly nurtured with content and updates about your company until he converts into a loyal customer. On the other hand, if a subscriber hasn’t opened an email for a certain period of time, he will be considered as a dormant contact and will no longer receive additional emails.
The heart of a great digital marketing plan is a great website. What makes a great website? It’s when a visitor intuitively knows where everything can be found. Plan your web content with the “WIIFM – What’s In It For Me” mindset. Don’t hide the price, the dates, or any other important information. After all, this is the first thing that people see before they opt to sign up for your event or register for your services, and you want to make sure that what they see responds to their specific needs and interests. Want to position your organization ahead of the curve? Enable a chatbot on your site to assist any potential attendees in real time, via automated responses.

It is increasingly advantageous for companies to use social media platforms to connect with their customers and create these dialogues and discussions. The potential reach of social media is indicated by the fact that in 2015, each month the Facebook app had more than 126 million average unique users and YouTube had over 97 million average unique users.[29]
Micro-moments are moments when we turn to a device—often a smartphone—to take action on whatever we need or want now. People generally make instant decisions on what to eat, which restaurant to choose, what to purchase or where to go. This tactic looks to take advantage of showing a relevant ad at the right place at the right time to the right audience.
With the benefits of big data comes the need for companies to leverage this data better to “significantly simplify tasks that formerly could only be completed by data scientists.” More importantly, “This continued democratization will lead to new use cases that are closer to the needs of business users and will enable faster time-to-market for AI applications in the enterprise.”
#4 Big Data (including market and customer insight and predictive analytics) - It's good to see big data in the top five since we believe in the power of data-driven marketing. Big data analysis such as predictive analytics typically requires larger budgets, so will be restricted mainly for larger organisations, but the use of market and customer insight using the tools shown in our Martech tools wheel is open to all businesses and I think is why this is a relatively popular choice.
Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of marketing publisher and learning platform Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. To learn about my books, see my personal site Digital marketing books by Dr. Dave Chaffey. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.
#3 Marketing automation and email marketing - This is also a perennial feature in our top five and it's no surprise since, like content marketing, it's effective for both B2C and B2B marketing. While some more mature organizations will make improvements through use of AI, other less mature businesses will benefit from improving the relevance and timing of their emails through using rules-based automation and personalisation.
Carolanne Mangles Dig DipM is the Digital Marketing Executive for Click Travel, an award-winning corporate travel booking platform. She is a specialist in B2B SaaS and enjoys planning and optimizing the full customer journey across all digital channels to create brand awareness, great user experience and copy that really sells the benefits of the product. She was previously Digital Marketing Executive for Smart Insights where she was involved with multiple digital channels to manage fully integrated membership campaigns to boost new customer acquisition and current membership retention. She has spoken and given masterclasses at B2B Expo on Search and Content Marketing, holds an IDM award in GDPR and loves a glass of red wine. Connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.
For my full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.
Digital marketing is defined by the use of numerous digital tactics and channels to connect with customers where they spend much of their time: online. From the website itself to a business's online branding assets -- digital advertising, email marketing, online brochures, and beyond -- there's a spectrum of tactics that fall under the umbrella of "digital marketing."

By using Internet platforms, businesses can create competitive advantage through various means. To reach the maximum potential of digital marketing, firms use social media as its main tool to create a channel of information. Through this a business can create a system in which they are able to pinpoint behavioral patterns of clients and feedback on their needs.[32] This means of content has shown to have a larger impingement on those who have a long-standing relationship with the firm and with consumers who are relatively active social media users. Relative to this, creating a social media page will further increase relation quality between new consumers and existing consumers as well as consistent brand reinforcement therefore improving brand awareness resulting in a possible rise for consumers up the Brand Awareness Pyramid.[33] Although there may be inconstancy with product images;[34] maintaining a successful social media presence requires a business to be consistent in interactions through creating a two way feed of information; firms consider their content based on the feedback received through this channel, this is a result of the environment being dynamic due to the global nature of the internet.[31] Effective use of digital marketing can result in relatively lowered costs in relation to traditional means of marketing; Lowered external service costs, advertising costs, promotion costs, processing costs, interface design costs and control costs.[34]
Influencer marketing has evolved into to become more personalized. As it becomes more authentic, 92 percent of people trust other consumer recommendations over corporate advertising. For this reason, marketers from a leading gaming company launched their highly successful influencer marketing campaign #Superlord on the social video app TikTok, which took Germany by storm:
With the benefits of big data comes the need for companies to leverage this data better to “significantly simplify tasks that formerly could only be completed by data scientists.” More importantly, “This continued democratization will lead to new use cases that are closer to the needs of business users and will enable faster time-to-market for AI applications in the enterprise.”

To complete the picture of digital channels, we need to review advertising and PR. We finish here, since although digital media are hugely important to demand generation and branding, discerning trends on cross-industry data is difficult in this sector where there is a reporting lag, which means that reports for ad types aren’t published until the next quarter. The most recent at the time of writing is this breakdown from the IAB.
Carolanne Mangles Dig DipM is the Digital Marketing Executive for Click Travel, an award-winning corporate travel booking platform. She is a specialist in B2B SaaS and enjoys planning and optimizing the full customer journey across all digital channels to create brand awareness, great user experience and copy that really sells the benefits of the product. She was previously Digital Marketing Executive for Smart Insights where she was involved with multiple digital channels to manage fully integrated membership campaigns to boost new customer acquisition and current membership retention. She has spoken and given masterclasses at B2B Expo on Search and Content Marketing, holds an IDM award in GDPR and loves a glass of red wine. Connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.
Businesses should also focus their outreach efforts on using voice engine optimization. Marketers must use a more natural language SEO to create content accordingly. This requires them to think what their target audience may use in their voice queries as well as focus on long-tail keywords because searchers are likely to be more specific when asking a question. For instance, in one question, a shopper may request information about time, price, location and other details which sound heavy for written search queries.
It is essentially designing marketing materials (including your website, ads, email campaigns and content) to evoke specific neurological reactions that trigger emotions or responses that are linked to purchasing. You can use this information to optimize your content accordingly and adjust your strategies, improving the effectiveness of your marketing.
Word of mouth communications and peer-to-peer dialogue often have a greater effect on customers, since they are not sent directly from the company and are therefore not planned. Customers are more likely to trust other customers’ experiences.[24] Examples can be that social media users share food products and meal experiences highlighting certain brands and franchises. This was noted in a study on Instagram, where researchers observed that adolescent Instagram users' posted images of food-related experiences within their social networks, providing free advertising for the products.[28]
Digital marketing planning is a term used in marketing management. It describes the first stage of forming a digital marketing strategy for the wider digital marketing system. The difference between digital and traditional marketing planning is that it uses digitally based communication tools and technology such as Social, Web, Mobile, Scannable Surface.[57][58] Nevertheless, both are aligned with the vision, the mission of the company and the overarching business strategy.[59]
Data-driven advertising: Users generate a lot of data in every step they take on the path of customer journey and Brands can now use that data to activate their known audience with data-driven programmatic media buying. Without exposing customers' privacy, users' Data can be collected from digital channels (e.g.: when customer visits a website, reads an e-mail, or launches and interact with brand's mobile app), brands can also collect data from real world customer interactions, such as brick and mortar stores visits and from CRM and Sales engines datasets. Also known as People-based marketing or addressable media, Data-driven advertising is empowering brands to find their loyal customers in their audience and deliver in real time a much more personal communication, highly relevant to each customers' moment and actions.[39]
Smart companies seeking that elusive competitive advantage online see the greatest successes with a strategy that employs optimization best practices. SEO Plus takes into consideration search engines, social network and online news media preferences while catering to your customers’ needs. Increase your online visibility and put your brand in front of the right audience, on the right channel, at the right point in their purchasing journey with our SEO services.
Your online content and properties are often the first impression your customers have of your brand. Creative, innovative and optimized content coupled with amplification best practices is a killer combination that helps your business easy attract, engage, and convert your target audience. Our content marketing services put your brand in front of prospects, then convinces them to take your desired action by catering to their needs and solving their pain points through highly targeted, creative, top quality digital content.
Understanding Mobiles: Understanding mobile devices is a significant aspect of digital marketing because smartphones and tablets are now responsible for 64% of the time US consumers are online (Whiteside, 2016).[43] Apps provide a big opportunity as well as challenge for the marketers because firstly the app needs to be downloaded and secondly the person needs to actually use it. This may be difficult as ‘half the time spent on smartphone apps occurs on the individuals single most used app, and almost 85% of their time on the top four rated apps’ (Whiteside, 2016).[43] Mobile advertising can assist in achieving a variety of commercial objectives and it is effective due to taking over the entire screen, and voice or status is likely to be considered highly; although the message must not be seen or thought of as intrusive (Whiteside, 2016).[43] Disadvantages of digital media used on mobile devices also include limited creative capabilities, and reach. Although there are many positive aspects including the users entitlement to select product information, digital media creating a flexible message platform and there is potential for direct selling (Belch & Belch, 2012).[45]

Off page SEO: This type of SEO focuses on all of the activity that takes place "off the page" when looking to optimize your website. "What activity not on my own website could affect my ranking?" You might ask. The answer is inbound links, also known as backlinks. The number of publishers that link to you, and the relative "authority" of those publishers, affect how highly you rank for the keywords you care about. By networking with other publishers, writing guest posts on these websites (and linking back to your website), and generating external attention, you can earn the backlinks you need to move your website up on all the right SERPs.
Ultimately, it is the business, marketing, and brand development strategies which drive the growth of a business, so it is important to have a sound marketing strategy and branding in place before working on the digital tactics. Otherwise, it’s likely your hard work on the digital tactics will be wasted if they are directed at the wrong audience and your value proposition isn’t strong enough.

This is both an opportunity and a worry for marketers. Especially for those that are reliant on Facebook as a way to reach a lot or most of their marketing audience. They will start seeing a steep dive in their ROI as fewer people use the social media platform. It is, however, a great opportunity to begin using up-and-coming social networks before they become popular.


Google Trends - A good tool for understanding seasonal content. It also displays results in a more visual way but presents much simpler results than Keyword Planner. It shows interest in keywords and search queries, but doesn't give you the exact number of searches or your organic position. It is definitely worth having with Keyword Planner, but I wouldn't recommend only using Trends. 
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