The short answer, which I am going to kick this blog off with is; longer than you think!
It is unusual for me to start a blog like this, but the fact is that there is so much misunderstanding and misconception around digital marketing. I feel like it is necessary in this to simply get straight to the point and avoid the long introduction we are all used to in these.
The fact of the matter is, digital marketing is a long, highly intensive process. There are tons of cogs that make up this machine. There is a lot of long, continued work that needs to go into your marketing efforts.
In short, it is months and months of continued content being put up and changed and posted and promoted for you to actually start reaching audiences organically. And this is an important element that you need to understand. Organic audiences.
But, before I get away with myself, let’s answer the question. How long does it take?
In short, around six to 12 months, before you will actually start getting regular business from your efforts.
It all depends on how much you are doing, how much content you are posting and how much money you are putting behind actually being seen.
So, let’s delve more into why it takes this long, what you can do to reduce the amount of time and what exactly all of this really means.
Digital Marketing is Not an Overnight, One-Time Effort
So, you have your website up, your social platforms up and ready to go and mailers going out once or twice a week. Why have you not had business yet?
Well, the fact of the matter is that you will need to keep feeding these channels with content.
And, good content at that. You will need to be constantly creating content to be posted and shared every single day.
The more regular the content, the more your chances of being seen.
And your site, well, that’s not automatically going to be picked up and placed on the front page of Google.
Yes, you can get all the elements right, and get the right keywords placed properly and all the technicalities of SEO done (and this is VITAL and the first step in the right direction), but you are going to have to push this every day to be ranked higher and higher.
Remember, you are investing in your future, so you need to be focussed on long-term strategies.
Forget quick wins. Forget the notion of “it’s up, why isn’t it working?”. Digital marketing is months of continued work to get that big win in.
Several Factors Increase or Decrease the Length of Time it Takes
So, we know you are asking; “what can we do to shorten this process?”.
The fact of the matter is that digital marketing is a multi-levelled process. There are numerous factors that go into digital marketing, and the fact is that one is not more important than the other.
Yes, getting your site up and heightened for SEO is step one, but that will only get you so far. You actually need to get things like backlinks, Google ads and regular content out continuously to be seen organically.
Now, I promised to talk about organic traffic, because it is really important.
Essentially, organic traffic should be your highest level of traffic coming to your site. It has the highest ROI and usually has the highest conversion rates.
Organic traffic is the traffic that finds you. Not the other way round.
These are people that are searching for your types of products and services and actually come across your site.
They do so because of three things:
- The savvy use of keywords in your content;
- The fact that you are backlinking to and from sites so much that you start popping up more regularly on search results;
- You are putting money behind actually being found and paying Google to rank your keywords.
So, yes getting those keywords up in content is key, and getting regular content up is important, but, you need to put money behind it and your need to work on sharing and being shared to increase the chances of being found.
If you only have one page on the internet with a few keywords of your products and services, you will be lost! There are over a BILLION websites out there. You can get lost!
Keep putting that effort in and a budget behind it and Google will find you, categorize you and keep ranking you.
Think of it like reminding Google that you exist and reminding them what you do so you can pop up higher and higher on the results!
Yes, you may have just forked out a few thousand for your brand new site. But this is only the start. And a very important start. Your site is your sales pitch, your calling card and the face of your brand.
But, you need to get your brand in front of audiences outside of your immediate circle.
We mentioned paid ads earlier. Having a monthly budget is absolutely key, especially for those keywords that you want your audience to see.
So, if you sell helicopters in South Africa, for instance, and want to show up when people type that in, you will need to put money behind it and make sure that that content is going up all the time for you to pop up on the first page in Google results.
At least you know that you will be placed in front of qualified people who are actually searching that.
A lot of the time, you are simply casting a net into a wide audience, instead of spearheading people who are actually interested!
The same goes with your social media.
Constant posts on your platforms are great.
But, you are talking to the same audience over and over.
If you have a list of followers, that’s great. But you want to extend your reach and find new, interested potential customers.
There are two things to do:
- Keep posting content;
- Put money behind your posts.
By doing this, you are able to place your posts in front of people outside of your immediate followers and actually target qualified, interested audiences.
When you promote ads, you are able to ask Facebook or Instagram to place it in front of people who are interested in your products and services.
Yes, you can actually say- this audience should be interested in aviation, helicopters and aircraft.
So, when your ad pops up in their timeline, even if they don’t follow you, they will see it!
I have mentioned this several times before, but I am going to go back to it one more time.
In order to be top of mind, you need to be in front of your audience AT ALL TIMES.
There is a lot of noise out there.
You have competitors. There are tons of companies vying for people’s attention.
The fact of the matter is, you need to be posting content continuously. And, I’m talking about all kinds of content.
- Social posts;
- Mailer content;
- Paid ads;
- Affiliate marketing.
In some cases, brands will put together hundreds of blogs and content pieces for their site even before they go live! They want that content out there.
So, be patient, yet consistent with that content.
Keep it coming. Keep it informative. Keep it educational. Keep it entertaining.
You will see it working.
The Bottom Line
In wrapping up, the key takeaway here is to go into digital marketing knowing that it is a long-term strategy.
You will need the right people on your side. You will need the expertise of people who know what works and what doesn’t. You will need a company who has the capacity to create all of this content. And you will need partners that know how to get the most out out of your budget when promoting your content.
Don’t give up after a few months. Don’t think that a new site will change your luck in business. It’s the start. There is plenty of work with great rewards coming up in the next six to twelve months.