Digital marketing
What Is Digital Marketing?

What is digital marketing? Digital marketing is advertising by integrating all digital channels and techniques, such as email marketing, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and other channels to generate leads and turn them into customers. Let’s dive deeper into digital marketing and discuss common marketing strategies of today and how you can use them to improve your communication with digital audiences, regardless of your business type or experience level.

The concept of marketing as we know it came about as during the Industrial Revolution when mass production, transportation infrastructure, high demand, mass media, and increased competition created the need for marketing techniques. Advertising was critical to a business’s survival in a competitive selling landscape even in the mid-1800s! At the time, brands gained exposure through magazine editorials, newspapers, billboards, radio ads, and other forms of traditional media.

When the internet emerged in the 1990s, it opened up a whole new world of possibilities for marketers, giving brands the opportunity to gain global recognition. While web design was still in its infancy, the online trends of the decade like Hotmail chains, pop-up ads, and blogging made it easier for leading companies to target their audiences across the web.

Today, you can use internet for nearly anything from shopping to social networking to online learning and beyond. Approximately 4.57 billion people around the world use the internet for these and other purposes — which, as of April 2020, is 59% of the global population. The convenience of the web has influenced consumer habits to go digital, which is why brands that want to be competitive must establish and/or strengthen their online presence — cue digital marketing.

instagram ad examples

Digital Marketing, Assets, and Channels Defined

Very simply put, digital marketing is any kind of marketing done on the internet. If you’ve ever interacted with a relevant Instagram ad, signed up for commercial email offers, Googled the best plumbers in your city, or read a blog on what kind of boat to buy, you’ve participated in digital marketing before.

There is an entire arsenal of tools at a digital marketer’s disposal. We refer to them as assets, which can be used to help you market your brand effectively online. These assets include (but are not limited to) online reviews, written content, social media pages, company websites, branded assets, videos, images, and so on.

Digital marketing is all about choosing the strategy and assets that will best help you to attract, connect, and engage with your target customers and convince them to buy your product or service from wherever they’re spending their time on the internet. When you turn to a digital marketer for help formulating an online marketing strategy, they will look at your presence across all the digital channels (listed below), identify weaknesses, and determine ways to fill these holes and increase your ROI.

  • Content marketing: Content can include written or visual content, such as blogs, ebooks, website copy, product demos, infographics, video ads, or any other assets that establish authority, provide information to the target audience, and/or generate leads.
  • Social media marketingEveryone who is anyone these days has some form of social media presence. Social media marketing can be done on all the major platforms (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc.), and you can choose to take the paid route or the free, organic route (which tends to take longer to get results). Both ways help you build brand awareness and yield affordable, qualified leads.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): A slow but cheap way to help your business appear in the top Google results for a query is search engine optimization. SEO strategies help companies increase the flow of traffic to their websites and attract new business over time through keyword optimization.
  • Pay per click (PPC)If you’ve got the budget and you don’t want to wait to see results on a search engine, you can pay for your ads to appear at the top of Google’s first page. Paid search allows you to test the most effective ad words so you can implement them immediately and drive new business sooner.
  • Marketing automation (MA): MA is a tool that allows a company to target customers automatically across various digital channels. This strategy is one that sales and marketing departments use to automate their campaigns to increase efficiency, generate and nurture leads, and ultimately grow revenue via social media, web, email, and text.

Digital Marketing for B2B Vs B2C 

The assets and channels you focus on in your strategy will depend on your business type (business-to-business, B2B, or business to consumer, B2C), as no single strategy will work for all companies.

For example, B2C companies tend to focus on getting leads through the sales funnel by placing their brand in front of their target customer in an attractive way. As such, businesses like this tend to benefit best from paid and organic social media strategies, as it positions their product or service to be seen by those who weren’t previously aware of it and are likely to buy. The rest takes care of itself.

B2B is a bit more complicated, as B2B products and services usually have higher price points. Their marketing funnels are more intricate and their sales cycles longer, so they would do well to utilize paid search and email marketing to capture the attention of business clients and close the deal faster.

Again, no one solution fits all, so it’s a good idea to work with a qualified digital marketer to help you test a variety of strategies until you land on the most profitable for your business.

How Do I Get Started?

Before you jump headfirst into digital marketing, you need to know your goals, your budget, and your audience.

  • Are you wanting to make sales, generate leads, increase clicks, or see a return?
  • What kind of people fit the persona of your buyers?
  • What do your sales trends tell you about the behavior of your customers?
  • How much does it cost to acquire different lead types?
  • How much do you have to invest in your strategy?

Knowing your general digital marketing goals will guide you as you decide how much to spend and which goals you have the budget to achieve.
If you’re feeling directionless, our enthusiastic marketing strategists are eagerly waiting to help you formulate a plan. Give us a call today and we’ll construct a custom proposal for your long-term business success.

Searching Engine Optimizing SEO
The Benefits of Using One Agency for SEO and PPC Management

Developing an Integrated Strategy for Your PPC and SEO Campaign

One of the most common questions clients digital marketers get is whether a search engine optimization (SEO) or a pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaign is the more advantageous strategy for gaining visibility on a search engine. The answer? You need both for maximum impact; SEO and PPC are most advantageous when you run them together. While they are distinct strategies, SEO and PPC fall under the same umbrella of “search” because of how much they influence and support one another — and because Google and other search engines are starting to combine them to provide a better user experience.

So, in order to see the results you’ve been working toward, you need to get SEO and PPC working together — and you need the help of an experienced agency to design and implement a comprehensive strategy for optimal results. In this article, Cool Ideas Marketing breaks down the ways in which an integrated PPC and SEO campaign may benefit your marketing strategy, why you need one agency overseeing this coordinated approach, and how working with one agency is the best way to accomplish your visibility and conversion goals.

The Benefits of Running SEO and PPC Together

  1. Strong organic and paid visibility increases consumer confidence and awareness, which leads to higher conversion rates and ROI.

When a company is at the top of its organic and paid search game, it gains a strong and reputable presence on a search engine. Ranking for both paid and organic ads means that your brand is taking up at least the top half of the first results page. Visibility is invaluable in the competitive marketing realm, which is why high keyword rankings and effective PPC ads will help a company earn maximum conversions and cement its credibility.

You might think that ranking first on Google for an organic keyword means that it’s safe to give your PPC efforts a rest, but paid ads are usually the top results on a search engine results page (SERP). So, you should always aim to rank for both paid and organic content. It’s PPC and SEO together that boost your visibility and help you earn sales.

  1. You can use PPC ads to test keyword strategies before deciding on a long-term strategy for SEO.  

When you know which terms people are using to get to your website, an agency can unify your SEO and PPC campaigns with greater ease. Organic keyword testing can take a long time to start showing results, but thankfully, PPC ads yield instant keyword and conversion data. If you know the title tags, meta descriptions, and page content you want to use, you can test their effectiveness by running them in PPC ads, which will provide instantaneous data that illustrates the strength of those keywords. PPC search terms with high conversion rates will usually work when implemented on the SEO side as well.

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Once you’ve discovered which organic terms are performing the best in your PPC ads, you can include them in your organic content strategy.

Running PPC and SEO simultaneously also gives you twice as much keyword data to use to your advantage. The more data you have to analyze, the deeper an agency can dig into the search trends of your brand and fine-tune your strategies accordingly.

  1. Running SEO and PPC together widens your audience and captures your target customer in every stage of the buying process.

SEO and PPC strategies tend to produce two different groups of leads. Those who are still researching a particular product or service usually generate more organic traffic. SEO campaigns are normally catered to long-tailed inquiries and the common topics people are researching.

On the other hand, paid ads usually attract customers who have already done their research and are returning with the intent to purchase a product. As people get closer to being ready to buy, PPC ads become more important.

To be successful, you need to attract both organic and paid leads as you guide your customers through their buying journey.

Why Use One Agency for SEO and PPC?

To Keep Marketing Goals and Messaging Aligned 

It used to be a challenge to find an agency that could handle all of a brand’s needs under one roof and provide an all-encompassing marketing strategy. Digital marketing agencies specialized in one area and stayed exclusive to that area of expertise.

Thankfully, this is no longer the case. Today, you can have your social media, paid ads, SEO, design, and content all done by a single digital marketing agency. By turning to an SEO and PPC agency for both strategies, you prevent conflicting messages and ensure the consistency of your brand across organic and paid results. Consequently, you’ll be able to capture more sales opportunities and bring in quality leads that convert.

With a slew of professionals working together in harmony under one roof, you won’t need to worry about two different companies coming up with conflicting goals for your campaigns. When you’re only working with one agency, it’s easier for their marketers to agree on a strategy and make decisions that align with your company goals rather than their own interests and agendas. If your marketing focus requires a shift, an agency will take care of it with your best interests in mind instead of their own, since they don’t have to worry about losing your business. So, if the majority of your campaign needs to be focused on PPC, that’s what the agency will hone in on. When SEO efforts need to be ramped up, their SEO team will seamlessly take the reins.

To Promote Better Communication Between SEO and PPC Teams

Experts in the marketing profession agree that SEO and PPC strategies are merging, which means that the teams running these campaigns need to communicate effectively and share data with one another in order to achieve the best results. Unless these teams are under the same roof, this is a difficult feat and is unlikely to be successful. A coordinated marketing effort from an SEO and PPC agency prevents you from spending money on services that compete against each other.

To Increase ROI

Keeping SEO and PPC management under the same roof has the potential to result in significant ROI, and it makes the most of your marketing budget. When teams are actively sharing insights, working collaboratively, and swiftly executing integrated SEO and PPC strategies, they will identify the ideal routes to conversion, and a revenue increase will naturally follow.

Create an Integrated Marketing Plan for SEO and PPC 

Every company needs a coordinated search strategy to succeed amid tough industry competition. If you’re in the market for a new agency or you just aren’t seeing results in your SEO and PPC campaigns, it’s time to find an agency to help you rethink your strategy and implement an effective and coordinated search effort.

Cool Ideas Marketing is home to experienced, world-class SEO and PPC teams who actively work together to bring about outstanding results for clients. Contact us today for a free consultation to discover how our teams can combine your search strategies, increase your SERP visibility, and help you make better marketing decisions.

Searching Engine Optimizing SEO
15 Questions That Will Define Your Target Audience

Your target audience: They’re the ones who need, want, and eventually purchase your product or service. If you’re in the process of defining your business—or even if you’re looking to redefine your current company—identifying your target audience is a great place to start.

In fact, defining your target audience is one of the most important aspects of your company’s digital marketing strategy. Read on to learn more about the importance of having a target audience, as well as 15 questions that will help you identify it.

Why Define Your Target Audience?

Business is not just about creating a valuable product or service, putting it on the market, and seeing how well it sticks. These three things are useless if the right people know nothing about your company. Defining your target audience can help you broaden the scope of your business strategies, narrow things down, and focus on the right parts of your company.

 It sounds simple, but defining your target audience is probably the most difficult and overlooked aspect of digital marketing strategy. Why? Companies tend to focus most on developing their actual product or service. But in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter what you’re selling—more so, it matters who you’re selling to.

If your target audience is clearly defined and you know it well, they’ll most likely buy your product or service because they’ll see the value of what you’re offering. If you’ve done your research, your product is something your audience will want, something they’re willing to pay for, and something that will help solve their problems. Plus, as you help solve their problems, you’re building a business relationship—and that’s what successful business is all about.

How Can You Define Your Target Audience? 

Most businesses, especially small businesses, can’t afford to target every single consumer on the planet—and often, it’s not wise to do so. Targeting a niche market is a smart way to identify exactly the type of people who will want to buy your product.

If you’re looking to define your target audience, take a look at this list of target market questions to help you nail it down.

  1. When you came up with your idea for your business, product, or service, who did you think it would help? Answering this question will help you get back to your roots of why you created your business or product in the first place.
  2. Does this audience currently purchase products similar to yours, or from businesses similar to yours? Current purchasing patterns can give you an idea of how your target audience will engage with your product or company.
  3. Why specifically did you choose to create your business, product, or service? Some motivations can be as simple as seeing a need and bridging the gap. Other motivations can be as complex as having a personal connection with a product or service, or even with the audience to which your company appeals.
  4. What problems are you attempting to solve with your business, product, or service? Every target audience has a problem, and every product, business, or service seeks to remedy that problem. Identifying the problem can help determine the messaging of your digital marketing strategy.
  5. What are your target audience’s demographics? (Age, gender, income level, education level, marital status, occupation, etc.) These core elements are fairly basic, but determine the most important aspects of your strategy.
  6. Where does your target audience live? This is similar to identifying target demographics, but can be relevant if you have a brick-and-mortar store or a product or service especially valuable to people in a specific geographic area.
  7. How do you currently determine who buys your product or service? Your current determinations might be sufficient, but there could be some room for improvement or further development.
  8. What specific things do your buyers have in common? Every person is different, but their motivations for buying your product or using your service are usually quite similar.
  9. What are your marketing psychographics? (Personality, attitudes, values, interests/hobbies, lifestyles, behaviors, etc.) These elements determine how your target audience reacts to your marketing methods, and the types of campaigns that might interest them.
  10. How does your target audience engage socially online? There’s no point in spending marketing dollars on platforms that don’t appeal to your audience. You target market’s current social habits can determine where you devote ad spend, and how much you allocate.
  11. How do you determine if there are enough people that fit your target market? If there is a need for your product or service, chances are there are enough people in your target market. Before you launch a new company or product, be sure to do adequate research beforehand to ensure you don’t run into any problems.
  12. What drives your target audience to make buying decisions? Ideally, your marketing strategy will ensure your product or service enters into your audience’s decisions.
  13. How can you best reach your target audience? There’s a very fine line between annoying your target audience and appealing to them in a way they’ll appreciate. Gaining a better picture of what your audience likes will help ensure success.
  14. Where is your target audience “hanging out” online? A younger audience will be more likely to hang out on Instagram, while an older audience will be more likely to hang out on Facebook. You can also identify if there are fan sites or forums centered around products or services similar to yours.
  15. How does your target audience engage with other brands? Brands similar to yours might have strong social media presences, influencing how consumers purchase from them. If your target audience is actively engaging with your competitors on these platforms, you might want to try a similar approach.

Each of these questions deserves some serious thought on your part. Once you’ve answered each one, you’re closer to defining your target audience and creating a successful business strategy.

You’ve Defined Your Target Audience—Now What?

After you’ve thoroughly answered these 15 questions, your next step should be creating an effective strategy to target your market through PPC and SEO campaigns. These methods can help put your product or service in front of the right set of eyes, leading to more sales and a better bottom line.

At Cool Ideas Marketing, we pride ourselves on helping our clients identify their target audiences and develop comprehensive digital marketing strategies. No matter the size of your company or the industry you’re in, we can help you get your product or service in front of the right market.

Stages of a SUCCESSFUL Marketing Funnel

Research estimates that 80% of new leads will never result in sales, and companies that excel at lead nurturing will generate 50% more revenue with 33% less cost. How well are you nurturing your leads?

When we think about lead nurturing, the first things that come to mind are to be friendly to your leads and answer their questions. However, implementing a campaign that makes people want to convert takes much more thought and creativity. How can you connect and engage with consumers and convince them you’re the solution to their problems? That’s where the marketing funnel can help.

What Is the Marketing Funnel?

The marketing funnel is a model that shows you how to appeal to consumers as they travel through the customer journey. It includes several stages designed to build brand awareness, engage with audiences, and ultimately lead to customer conversions. As consumers enter each step of the marketing funnel, marketers try to capture as many leads as possible to create a loyal customer base.

Marketing Funnel Stages

Successful marketing strategies cater to all funnel stages to reach users. Understanding each stage of the funnel helps you create individual touchpoints and appropriately interact with your audience wherever they are in the customer journey. Below are the marketing funnel stages and each stage’s goals.


Awareness is the first and most crucial stage of the marketing funnel since it’s where customers first get to know your brand. The awareness stage encourages interaction and engagement. In this stage, leads are drawn in for further nurturing in the rest of the funnel.

The critical question during this stage is how will you attract your audience? How do you get your content out to them? You can build brand awareness through content like blog posts, social media posts, and infographics. Webinars, special events, and advertising can also attract the right audience.

The main goals of the awareness stage include

  • Finding your target audience
  • Learning more about their goals
  • Discovering their pain points
  • Getting your brand in front of them

Interest and Research

After becoming aware of your brand, people move on to the interest and research stage. In this stage, they spend time researching and learning more about the company, its products or services, and any other helpful information the company shares. Companies now have the opportunity to develop a relationship with their new audience through classes, emails, and newsletters.

People want to learn more about your brand during the interest stage. They want to know how your products or services can benefit them. The interest stage should focus on building trust with your leads.

The main goals of the interest and research stage include

  • Interacting with your target audience
  • Offering solutions to their pain points
  • Gaining their trust


During the consideration stage, leads are now seen as potential customers. Leads that reach this stage are interested in your brand and ready to choose you over competitors. At this stage, keeping the relationship going and guiding them to make a purchase is essential. Producing targeted content and having meaningful interactions can help you nurture the relationship. This is also an excellent time to offer free trials and case studies.

As part of this stage, it’s crucial to clearly demonstrate the differences between your brand and competing brands. What makes you stand out from the competition? How can your offerings better suit the needs of your potential customers? Automated emails offering more information about products and offers can encourage potential customers to purchase from your company.

The main goals of the consideration stage include

  • Continuing to build trust
  • Proving your brand’s value
  • Convincing your potential customers to make a purchase


The purchase stage is where prospects make their buying decision and become customers. During this stage, the most crucial goal is positioning your brand at the top of prospects’ minds. Demonstrate how you can solve prospects’ needs and how to choose the right products or services to meet those needs.

By this point, prospects have learned a great deal about your brand and feel confident in making a purchase. Make the purchase process as straightforward as possible. Ensure they know how to complete a purchase on your website or who to contact about a consultation. Include clear calls to action to direct people where they need to go to complete their purchase.

The main goals of the purchase stage include

  • Simplifying the purchase process
  • Making customers feel confident in their purchase
  • Offering product or service support

Benefits of the Marketing Funnel

Companies that spend time nurturing their lead relationships have a better chance of converting those leads into actual customers. The marketing funnel helps companies shift their strategies throughout the customer journey to target the right audiences and appropriately nurture their leads. Other benefits of the funnel include

  • Focus on the buyer persona. The marketing funnel helps you stay focused on the needs of your prospects and how your products, services, and content can relate to them.
  • Simplify the customer journey. The marketing funnel helps you quickly see the entire customer journey to find the right tools and techniques for every stage.
  • Better planning. By mapping out the whole customer journey, you can find any gaps in the system and fix them before they become a problem.
  • Easier tracking. The marketing funnel helps you measure where you’re losing customers to help you adjust your strategy.

The Customer Experience Funnel

It’s common for brands to flip the funnel after a purchase is made. This flip, commonly known as the customer experience funnel, defines the process for turning customers into brand advocates. Creating brand advocates can refuel the marketing funnel through awareness and referral. The stages of the customer experience funnel are outlined below.

Repeat Purchase

Once a customer has made a purchase, the next step is to convince them to return. Continue to nurture customer relationships through interactions and follow-ups after the purchase to prove to them why it’s worth returning.

Customer Loyalty

Customers develop a preference for a company during the customer loyalty stage and begin to identify with the brand. Building a personal connection is essential during this stage. The best way to build this connection is to develop a brand community, regularly engage with customers, and provide any needed support.


Customers loyal to a brand are more likely to refer them to others. They may suggest your brand or products when asked for recommendations or share the word of your business with friends and family.


Loyal customers have the potential to become brand advocates. They may write positive reviews about your brand or products or share your products on social media, which can generate more leads.

A recommendation from an outside source unaffiliated with the brand can influence prospects. To better support advocates, companies can build their communities, ask advocates to take part in case studies, and engage with them on social media.

The main goals of the customer experience funnel are to increase the number of purchases and encourage more awareness and referrals to fuel a new marketing funnel.


When people are ready to make a purchase, they’re more likely to choose a company they’re more familiar with. The more people know about your brand, the more likely they will convert into customers. Therefore, understanding your brand and how it fits into a marketing funnel is essential for success.

If you’re struggling to determine how to cater to consumers throughout the marketing funnel, Cool Ideas Marketing can help. We launch brands to their highest potential by walking them through specific marketing strategies and creating content that appeals to their audience. Visit our website to learn more about how we can help you navigate through every marketing funnel stage.