Digital Marketing

It used to be that digital marketing was a pipe dream for most businesses and that only the big boys could play due to the crazy-high costs.

But since we’re all now firmly in the eye of the digital hurricane, the advances in technology have made online progress attainable to everyone from small businesses to local mom and pop shops.

We take a look at the technologies that have made stepping into the digital world a lot less scary than it used to be for everyone but the big boys.

1) WordPress and Page Builders

At the beginning of the internet, it used to be that if you wanted a decent looking website, you’d either need to learn how to code (basically, like learning to read and write a new language) or pay through the nose for a web developer.

There were few alternative options. That is until the inception of WordPress, and even more recently, page builder plugins.

WordPress started out as an open source blogging platform, but the ability to add functionality through plugins, most of the time for free has made it the most popular CMS on the internet. Powering round a quarter of the websites online at last count.

WordPress made building a site as easy as choosing a theme and then just adding posts and pages through your admin dashboard. It was as easy as writing an article on MS Word.

More recently, it’s been taken to the next level. Plugins like Elementor and Visual Composer allow you to design your own websites as easily as dragging and dropping design elements wherever you like.

This is still not recommended if you don’t understand code and this can be seen with the amount of trouble newbies run into on Facebook support groups.

This has created the perfect solution, though, because now web design agencies can offer much more affordable development than they used to and it’s all thanks to this new technology streamlining the process for newbies and experts alike.

2) Engaging quizzes and calculators

For the longest time, we were stuck in the dinosaur age of digital marketing where every website you visited would throw a pop-up in your face to get you on their email list.

This worked somewhat and definitely still does, but at the cost of annoying most visitors. We’ve all been there. Reading an article when an intrusive pop up jumps up in front of us. Not a great experience.

People are now mostly blind to these pop-ups as they’re so expected.

But what if people actually WANTED to jump on your newsletter and engage with your offer?

Enter calculators and quizzes. Buzz Sumo research showed that a quiz is shared on average 1,900 times. That’s massive reach. OutGrow also show that calculators can improve traffic by 15%, conversion by 28% and generate more leads on a website. These are interactive tools that actually improves the visitors experience on a website and provides value.

Again, in the past, the coding required for this type of interactive tool would put it out of reach for most people. Now, there are calculator plugins, services and even page builders that can make this happen.

Like building a website, this isn’t always the best way if you want a more complicated solution, but the technology advancement has made it cheaper to hire a coder as their workload can now be streamlined.

This is what Altug, the creator of the macro and calorie calculator found when he wanted to host the most accurate nutrition calculator online.

“I knew what I wanted but there was no way I could code such complicated formulas.”, he starts.  “It took a few different developers until I found one who could do it, but I was surprised at how quickly, easily and affordably he was able to complete it. It ranks in the top 10 for many long tail keywords now and I know it will improve because it provides so much value.”

3) Artificial Intelligence for Pay-Per-Click

Pay-per-click has always been a very expensive game to play, even more so nowadays. If you don’t quickly optimise your adverts and kill the ads that are draining your budget while maximising the ads that are bringing in cash, it could be game over for your business.

PPC can quickly put a dent in your cash flow if you don’t know what you’re doing, but that’s where the latest AI technology comes in.

Artificial intelligence for PPC allows you to do so much to protect and optimise your ads. Way more than can be covered here, but here are just a few things:

–  use statistical intelligence to stop an ad if it’s underperforming.

  • Create rules to lower budget for low performing ads and increase budget on higher performing budgets
  • Think through more dimensions than before like geo-location, device, time of day etc and optimise ads accordingly.

This is still complicated stuff, and ideally you’d want a human eye managing things. You saw what happened with Skynet in Terminator 2…

A decent PPC agency should not be underestimated. Managing your account well could be the difference between making your ads profitable and throwing a huge chunk of money down the hole.

AI is helping but there’s nothing quite like the human eye and brain.

In closing, these are three among many new technologies that have brought the digital world much closer to the business owner and is not just a world to be explored by programming geeks. Don’t forget, they are probably still the masters of this land though.