Anybody can use proxies. But, as a digital marketer, you can use proxies in ways that will benefit your craft and further your digital marketing skills. Learn how digital marketers can take advantage of proxies in this short read.
What Are Proxies?
Though many businesses use proxies for their day-to-day operations, not many Average Joes know how proxies work and how they’re used.
There are many kinds of proxies. However, at their core, proxies are gateways. The dictionary definition of a proxy is someone or something with the authority to represent another person or entity. And this is pretty much the same function of a proxy when it comes to computer definitions. An internet proxy is an intermediary between a server and a client.
Sources of Proxies Explained
You might already be familiar with what proxies are and how most people often use them. Proxies are commonly associated with hiding IP addresses and unblocking geo-blocked websites. Other people use proxies like they use VPNs, but there are many differences between proxies and VPNs. And there are many other uses of proxies too.
A data center proxy uses a computer-generated virtual IP address. Their main benefit is speed, though it’s common for multiple users to share the same IP address. If someone who shares the same IP address as you was banned from a website, everyone who uses that IP address would be banned from the website as well.
Datacenter proxies come from data centers and are usually hosted on the cloud.
On the other hand, a residential proxy comes from a real, actual device. And whereas data center proxies are usually shared and public, residential proxies can be shared or dedicated.
It can be near impossible to detect a residential proxy because they look just like any regular user from a server’s POV. While you won’t be encrypting the data you send to and from your device like a VPN, you can still hide your actual location and IP address, and servers would be none the wiser.
Residential proxies are more expensive, though they are more reliable than datacenter proxies. Residential proxies are also considered “ethical” as ISPs or residential proxy providers safeguard their customers against data security threats.
4 Ways on How Digital Marketers Can Take Advantage of Proxies
Now that you know what proxies are, let’s get to the gist of the article. Let’s learn how digital marketers can take advantage of proxies!
Market and Competitor Research
An excellent digital marketer knows the value of information. It’s why they spend so much time and money on market research in the first place. Marketing efforts are bound to be more successful when marketers know their audience, their products, and their competition.
However, websites can sometimes be geo-blocked, making market research more challenging than it should be. Most websites would also block web crawlers, and that makes total sense! Your marketing campaign is the result of your own market research and analysis. You wouldn’t want your marketing information made available to your competitors, right?
This is where proxies come in.
See, data crawlers can use rotating proxies to ensure that their IP addresses change for every connection request. If you crawl a website 1,000 times, a rotating proxy will use 1,000 different IP addresses. This makes the requests less conspicuous and less likely suspected of crawling.
SEO campaigns are a digital marketer’s bread and butter. Nowadays, the success of digital marketers depends on how well they understand and apply SEO practices. But how does a proxy help with SEO?
If you think about it, many SEO activities can benefit from proxies because SEO isn’t just about content generation. For many digital marketers, content generation is just the tip of the iceberg. A well-ranking page is the result of hours of keyword research, competition research, rank tracking, outreach, and link-building, to name a few.
These activities and others like them can benefit from proxies. Large-scale campaigns would sometimes require multiple IP addresses when others get cloaked or blocked. Spoofing your location and accessing sites and search engines can prove most useful in local or target market analysis.
Sales, lead nurturing, brand awareness, engagement, and lead generation are important marketing goals. But, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 85% of B2B marketers believe that lead generation is the most important among all of them.
Web scraping is a crucial part of lead generation for digital marketers, and rotating proxies play a huge role in web scraping. Lead scrapers can cost a pretty penny, though, and many companies will build scraping bots from scratch, time-permitting. But, whether it’s manual or automated, web scraping is said to be the most effective way to generate leads.
Your competitors’ customers are your leads. Web scraping tools will allow you to get some information from your competitors’ public engagement, forum posts, and even social media interactions.
Social Media Marketing
Social networking sites provide businesses with a way to interact with leads and customers. And when learning how digital marketers can take advantage of proxies, you’re bound to see its benefits to SMM.
It is gaining popularity nowadays because of its ease to access. You can even manage your social marketing from your Android. This also opens new avenues for marketers to reach their audience.
If you’re handling business pages, there may be times when you get blocked from sending messages or posting content. This usually happens when a site detects way too many spam messages and interaction attempts from the same IP address. It won’t help that you’re managing multiple social media accounts, of course.
Companies will sometimes buy social media proxies for every social networking site and their accounts on the site. This helps digital marketing efforts by separating account activities, history, and behavior. It means that if one account gets banned on a social networking site, social media managers will still be able to connect to the site and use any number of their other accounts.
Are you thinking of using proxies for your digital marketing activities? An extra layer of protection from hackers and data breaches is always welcome. Faster connections, anonymity, and area spoofing are widely-known benefits of proxies too. But, for digital marketers, proxies can be used in a wide range of marketing activities.
Different kinds of proxies serve different purposes. They can help digital marketers with market research, SEO, lead generation, and social media management. Now you’ve learned how digital marketers can take advantage of proxies. It’s time to up your game and consider proxies in your marketing strategies!