What is Digital Marketing?
Thanks to the booming prevalence of the internet, the virtual world over there can be described as a complete planet of its own. Information is constantly exchanged, products are constantly sold and bought, and people are constantly engaged in path-breaking communication. Though this has been going on for the past decade or so, ‘digital marketing’ (another fancy buzzword, huh?) has made it possible for people to connect to their audience from all over the world – at the right time and in the right place. Sounds dramatic, but it has revolutionized the manner in which people perceive and shop products. For in today’s tech-obsessed age, it is all about finding the right people on the internet.
Before you dismiss the term ‘digital marketing’ as another hi-fi word that doesn’t make sense to the common public, it’s only prudent that you know about it. In this article, we will be learning all about digital marketing and its various aspects, such as –
- What is digital marketing?
- What are the different kinds of digital marketing?
- What are the elements of digital marketing?
- What does a digital marketing specialist do?
- What are the different kinds of digital marketing?
- How does digital marketing work in a business?
- What kind of digital content must I work on?
- How long does digital marketing take to achieve the results?
- What is the budget for engaging with digital marketing?
- What is mobile marketing?
- How to begin with digital marketing?
Digital Marketing Overview
In simple terms, Digital Marketing refers to a marketing strategy (usually reserved for products or services) that uses the internet or electronic devices as a primary source. Users can make use of a number of digital channels to reach out and connect to different kinds of an audience from all over the world. The major reason for the popularity behind digital marketing goes back to the ever-increasing use of electronic devices (and the internet). Digital marketing works with a number of channels like social media, search engines, email and various websites to reach out to both prospective and current customers.
What Are The Different Kinds of Digital Marketing?
The term ‘digital marketing’ (or rather, ‘marketing’) isn’t really as brand-new as it seems to be. Though the modern term has been in existence since the early part of the 21st century, Guglielmo Marconi was the first human being to perform ‘a public transmission of wireless signals’ – way back in 1896. In short, he invented the radio. Soon enough, morse signals were transmitted in open water and it became a breakthrough in the contemporary communication industry. Ten years later, people experienced the first live broadcast of an opera performance at Met, and they flowed in to buy the tickets. This proves that you don’t always need the internet for digital marketing.
One can go back to a traditional (read offline) mode of digital marketing, that wouldn’t prove to be successful most of the time. The greatest example of this kind include billboards, which most people don’t even look at as they’re busy trying to make their way home through the road. On the other hand, we are stuck to our electronic devices for the major part of our day, which could actually take marketing up a few points. More often than not, you’d see online advertisements all over your social media feed, or even when you’re trying to order food online. The different kinds of offline digital marketing include –
- Radio marketing
As the name suggests, radio marketing refers to advertising products through the radio. Though the radio doesn’t remain to be as popular as it was in 1896, it is still very much in use. However, it can get difficult trying to attract people when there are no interesting shows to broadcast. For this reason, radio broadcasters advertise products right at the beginning or end of a particular show.
One can go back to a more traditional (read offline) mode of digital marketing, that wouldn’t prove to be successful most of the time. The greatest example of this kind include billboards, which most people don’t even look at as they’re busy trying to make their way home through the road. On the other hand, we are stuck to our electronic devices for the major part of our day, which could actually take marketing up a few points. More often than not, you’d see online advertisements all over your social media feed, or even when you’re trying to order food online. The different kinds of offline digital marketing include –
- TV Marketing
As compared to radio marketing, TV marketing shows no signs of decline at all. In simple terms, TV marketing refers to the advertisements regarding a product on the television itself. Due to its huge popularity, it is the industry where most companies would want to invest in. It is easier to combine text and image and create an attractive presentation of a particular product or the audience. Taking it a step further, people have invested in YouTube marketing as well as it’s become the ‘next best thing’. Now, many companies showcase their advertisements on YouTube as well, as much of the younger generation spends their time online. For example, nobody wants to watch a low-down show that they are not interested in, but they would love to watch their favourite YouTube channel. A popular YouTube channel would bring in more advertisements rather a television show nobody would watch. Apart from engaging in interesting content, people can like, leave behind comments and share their views and comments regarding the video.
- Phone marketing
Due to the prevalence of smartphones, people have found it easier to advertise products and services through the same. Smartphones have become nothing short of necessity, and most people access the internet via their phone rather than from a laptop or desktop. Being the age of mobile marketing, the amount of smartphone marketing has only increased over the years. All you need for phone marketing is a good smartphone and a strong internet connection. Some of the common marketing techniques when it comes to phone marketing are as follows –
- Texting and calling – Sometimes, you might receive calls trying to sell you something – referred to as cold calling. Though it’s considered to be an important mode of phone marketing, it doesn’t have the measurability of email and social media. However, it can’t be deemed as the most successful tactic when it comes to B2C companies selling services to prospective customers. When it comes to texting, it is seen that mobile applications are available on every device and are downloaded easily. Text messages are considered to be more successful rather than MMS, and they are almost always read. You can include special discounts, deals and coupons in the package to attract more customers. Loyalty programmes work well with customers as well, as they can earn points that get collected in an application or when they pay using their phone.
On the other hand, QR codes should be pretty much avoided by today’s digital marketing professionals. Though everyone knows about them, it’s an open secret that most mobile phone users do not have a QR code. You might even to download certain applications to work with a QR code, which would often not be optimised for mobile phones. However, QR codes weren’t very successful in the long run, so it’s wiser to not depend upon them.
The modern (read online) mode of digital marketing involves digital techniques to connect with people who spend most of their time on electronic devices. For example, a content marketer creates content that generates leads for a particular business or company. A social media marketer promotes the content through free and paid channels on the company’s social media accounts. To take it a step further, the email marketer starts an email campaign to persuade people about the particular service and to download the ebook based on the business organisation. Such tactics include email marketing, digital advertising, online brochures and much more. The most successful digital marketers have a goal in mind when creating a plan to sell their services. As per the goals of their strategy, they engage smaller or larger campaigns with the help of free or paid channels.
What Are The Different Elements of Digital Marketing?
As with everything else, digital marketing incorporates a number of digital tactics in order to reach out and connect to its audience. These can be categorized into ten major categories, each of which has its own importance in a marketing strategy.
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to optimising a website (blog or infographic) to improve its ‘ranks’ on search engine result pages, which can automatically increase the amount of traffic. This can be done in three simple ways –
- On page SEO
– It focuses on the content that is present when you’re on a website. As a
user, you can research up common keywords for their search volume and answer
them accordingly. This can make your website rank higher on search engine
results pages (SERPs) produced by the questions.
- Off page SEO – It focuses on the offstage work of optimising a website, and what could affect your SEO ranking. Backlinks (or inbound links) refer to the number of publishers that link your website, and they affect the ranking of keywords. You can work on your backlinks by writing guest blog posts (and add a link back to your own website) and collaborating with bloggers and publishers.
- Technical SEO – It focuses on the technical details that are part of the backend work when optimising your website. Technical SEO includes elements such as structured data, image compression and CSS file optimisation that can drastically increase the website’s loading speed.
- Content Marketing
Content marketing refers to the creation of digital content to generate leads, traffic growth, customers and brand growth. The major channels that help in creating your own brand content are as follows –
- Whitebooks and e-papers
– Long-form content such as whitepapers and ebooks are created to educate the
website visitors. You can even exchange content in return for a visitor’s
contact information to generate leads for your own company.
- Blogs and articles – One of the most common forms of content, creating and publishing content on a company website is evidence of your own expertise and generates leads. Thus, you can easily convert your website visitors into a part of your marketing team.
- Infographics – If visual content is more your thing, you can create infographics that show-and-tell people all about your company and its offered services.
- Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing refers to promoting your content and brand on social media channels to drive traffic, generate leads and increase brand awareness among your customers. The common channels used for social media marketing are Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
- Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing refers to a performance-based form of advertising where you promote someone’s website and get a commission for the same. You can engage in affiliate marketing by hosting video ads on the YouTube Partner programme. You can even post affiliate links of products from social media accounts.
- Pay-per-click (PPC)
Pay-per-click (PPC) refers to a technique of attracting traffic to your personal website by paying a commission each time your ad is clicked. Google Ads is one of the simplest examples of PPC, which enables the user to pay for the best spots of Google search engine results page per click. You can work with PPC on other channels such as –
- Sponsored messages on
LinkedIn – Using the Premium plan, users can
directly send messages to certain LinkedIn members according to their
background and other specifications.
- Paid advertisements on Facebook – Members pay to customise an image, video or even a slideshow, which will be published by Facebook on people’s newsfeed that pertains to your business idea.
- Twitter ad campaigns – Users pay to assign profile badges to a certain audience’s newsfeed to achieve a particular objective for your particular business – gaining Twitter followers, more website traffic or app downloads, to name a few.
- Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is the software that works to automate basic marketing operations, which would be normally be done manually. Such tasks include –
- Campaign tracking and
reporting – Marketing campaigns involve a huge
number of people, content, email and webpages. Marketing automation helps you
track the performance of your business campaign and make decisions accordingly.
- Social media post-scheduling – Social media can go a huge way in promoting your content. Scheduling tools help in pushing forward your content to the public so that you can spend more time on creating good content.
- Email newsletters – In simple terms, email automation enables you to send emails to your followers and subscribers. However, it can increase your following as well as only the people who are interested in your content will receive these emails.
- Lead-nurturing workflows – A user can automate the process of converting leads into loyal customers by sending emails and other content, persuading them to download an ebook.
- Online PR
Online PR refers to the execution of online secured coverage with the help of blogs, digital publications and other website content. Users can use the following channels to implement online PR –
- Comments on your
website/blog – If people find your website content
to their liking, they will leave behind engaging comments. You need to respond
to them and build a network to increase your brand name.
- Reporter outreach through social media – Conversing with journalists over social media platforms such as Twitter can be a way to engage with the media and press, and increase your online opportunities.
- Online reviews of your brand – Company reviews (whether positive or negative) can be daunting for a user. However, such reviews work in favour of your company image, as more and more people get to know about it.
- Native Advertising
Native advertising refers to are paid content-based advertisements that featured with other non-paid content on social media. Common examples of native advertising include Facebook advertising, Buzzfeed-sponsored posts and Instagram advertising.
- Inbound marketing
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy where you can attract and engage customers throughout their shopping journey. Clever digital marketing specialists use all of the techniques mentioned above to design a marketing plan that delights the customers when they are buying a particular product. The idea is to create something that will automatically perk up the interest of the audience through animation, images and videos. Some of the common examples of traditional marketing versus inbound marketing include –
- commercial advertising
versus video marketing
- email spam versus email contact list
- blogging versus pop-up advertisements
What does a Digital Marketing Specialist do?
Digital marketing specialists work with improving generating leads and increasing brand awareness through digital channels (paid and free) for a particular website. They involve social media, search engine rankings, the company website, display advertising, blogs and email – to name a few. The marketer emphasises on a particular key performance indicator (KPI) for every channel. This helps them measure the progress of each channel in comparison to the next one. For example, an SEO digital marketing specialist measures the number of traffic from visitors who discovered the webpage through a quick Google search. Of course, the digital marketer of a smaller company may be adept at many techniques, while a larger company might have different specialists for different tactics. Some digital marketing specialists can be experts in certain techniques, such as –
- Content Marketing Specialists
KPIs – YouTube channel subscribers, Overall blog traffic, time on page,
Content marketing specialists create content according to the organisation’s blogging calendar, sometimes including images and videos as well. They may collaborate with professionals from various other departments to make sure the campaigns that are launched by the business are substantiated with the content on every digital channel.
- SEO Manager
KPIs – Organic website traffic
SEO managers use a variety of SEO techniques to improve search engine optimisation of website content. They check whether the content created by the content specialists receives enough traffic on Google, even if the organisation posts the same on its social media accounts.
- Social Media Manager
KPIs – Impressions, follows and shares
As the name suggests, a social media manager manages the social media accounts of an organisation. They chalk out a schedule for the company’s visual and written content and associated with the content marketing specialist regarding the posting on their social media accounts.
- Marketing Automation Coordinator
KPIs – Campaign click-through rate, email open rate and lead generation rate
The marketing automation coordinator selects and works with the required software, which enables the marketing team to interpret the customer’s behaviour and determine the progress of the organisation. These marketing operations may be executed individually from the other, which is why an expert is needed to classify the work into separate campaigns and measure their performance.
What are the different kinds of Digital Marketing?
Fortunately, digital marketing is perfect for any kind of business in an industry. No matter what your organisation promotes, digital marketing greatly assists in identifying the audience’s requirements and creating online content. Each company follows its own unique marketing strategy, which can be divided into two separate categories –
- B2B Digital Marketing
If you work in a B2B (business-to-business) organisation, you would focus on generating leads online in order to attract the attention of an audience. The next step is to convert such high-quality leads through your website and various digital channels. You can choose to work with business-oriented websites such as LinkedIn as you will find many customers online as well.
- B2C Digital Marketing
If you work in a B2B (business-to-consumer) organisation, you will focus on attracting more traffic to your website and converting them into customers. For this reason, you need to hold the audience’s attention right from when someone views your page to when they buy a product. Thus, your service or product should be featured many more times on your website. You need to market your goods much more than you might need for a B2B company which even stronger calls-to-action (CTA). In terms of B2C companies, professionals might find more social-oriented channels like Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram to be of greater use than LinkedIn.
How does Digital Marketing work in a business?
We have already talked about how offline digital marketing techniques work in the modern day, and where they lack. For example, newspaper and magazine advertisements have become questionable as most people don’t even read the complete details. However, you measure the progress of your marketing strategy by measuring the ROI (return on investment). Some of the major examples of digital marketing in a business are as follows –
- Performance of Content and Lead Generation
Creating viral content can take many forms – one of them can be attaching a brochure with a newspaper. Now, you cannot guarantee the number of people who have actually read the brochure. However, you can analyse the number of views and clicks the same brochure has received on a particular website. You can attain contact details of those who have downloaded the brochures, thus generating leads into customers.
- Measuring website traffic
When it comes to offline marketing, users can’t always interpret the amount of traffic and interaction with a brand unless you’re dealing with a salesperson. With the help of digital marketing, you can actually measure the number of people who have visited your original website using data analytics. Using digital analytics, you can find out which devices the visitors were using, the number of pages they have visited and where they have come from. Thus, it can help you identify patterns in the audience as they make a purchase on your website. These statistics help you analyse and prioritise those market channels which bring in more or less traffic. As a digital marketing professional, you can take decisions about attracting and retaining customer traffic right up to the purchase of the product.
- Attribution modelling
Attribution modelling refers to identifying and analysing patterns in the manner people search for, research and purchase a product. This helps the user to make decisions about the aspects where your digital marketing strategy needs to be prioritised, and how to make it possible with the help of the right tools and right people. According to research, companies that have a good sales and market strategy attain a 20% annual growth rate, where companies with a weak marketing plan suffer a 4% decline in revenue. As a modern-day company, it is important for you to engage in the right digital marketing techniques to make your consumer’s purchasing journey a smooth one. If things go right, you will enjoy more positive results that will reflect on your marketing team and organisation as a whole.
What kind of digital content must I work on?
The type of digital content entirely depends upon the requirements of your own website and consumers. You could begin your journey by using free templates and other buyer personas to experiment with what your customer needs. As per the company’s aims and challenges, you need to conceive a proper digital marketing plan to meet those goals. Content mapping refers to designing a plan which aims to attract and retain traffic to your website according to their stage of the buyer’s journey to purchasing a product. It aims to target the right kind of content at the right kind of people, such as –
- The kind of people who
come to buy the product
- How far along is the person on the buyer’s journey
- Awareness stage
- Blog posts – If you’re going the traditional route, blog posts are helpful in acquainting the audience to your product. However, you need a proper keyword and SEO strategy to attract more traffic to the website.
- Infographics – If you believe in visual content, infographics are a great way to advertise your service with the help of images and videos. As compared to blog posts, they are much easier to share among friends.
- Short videos – As the name suggests, shorts videos are helpful in explaining a product. As with infographics, even these are easier to share and read as compared to long-form blog content.
- Consideration Stage
- Research reports – Research reports and other new data are a great option when it comes to high-quality lead generation. However, they work equally well for the awareness stage as well, as they are often recognised by the press or media industry.
- Ebooks – Generally more compact than a huge blog or infographic, users are more interested to give out their contact number in exchange for an ebook.
- Webinars – Webinars are described as more interactive and detailed video content, which are more informative than a conventional blog post.
- Decision stage
- Testimonials – Testimonials are a good way of bringing out the best in your company, as past clients may have had something good to say about the same. If you’re running a B2B brand, testimonials might come in useful as to how clients have been impressed with your works. When it comes to B2C brand, portray the brand image in a creative manner with images and videos, so that customers are quickly attracted to your products.
- Case studies – For B2B companies, case studies are a better way of showcasing the work done by your company. This will help prospective customers make better decisions when purchasing a product, as a successful case study will automatically influence their thinking in a positive manner.
How long does Digital Marketing take to achieve results?
When it comes to offline marketing, it could be difficult to measure website traffic progress as there is no foolproof way to do the same. Whether it is a newspaper advertisement, magazine advertising or even billboard advertising, you cannot calculate the number of people who have actually viewed the advertisement. On the other hand, digital marketing ensures that you are able to evaluate the number of people who have viewed your website. Though it measures your ROI (return on investment) online, much of it depends on your own digital marketing strategy.
In order to see great results, you need to focus on identifying the requirements of the audience and creating high-quality content to convert leads into customers. You can take the help of paid advertising as well, but experts recommend that you focus on your content, social media and SEO for greater audience rates.
What is the budget for engaging with Digital Marketing?
In simple terms, the budget spent on digital marketing entirely depends on what you need from your audience. For example, you may be looking for inbound techniques such as content, social media and SEO for a pre-existing website. In such a case, you won’t have to spend much on your fan following. When it comes to inbound marketing, you need to emphasise on creating superior-quality content your audience is interested in. On the other hand, if you plan to outsource your work, all you really need is time. How can you do this? One, you can either host a website and develop content using Hubspot’s CMS. Two, you can go for a WordPress website on WP Engine and use themes from StudioPress.
If you’re looking for outbound techniques, you can purchase email lists and online advertisement – both of which can get a little expensive. You can execute PPC with Google Adwords, which will improve your search rankings on Google You will need to use strong and competitive keywords for your particular business in order to attract the right kind of audience to your website. The affordability of this technique can greatly depend upon the use of keywords, which could get both affordable and expensive at times. Due to this, social media experts recommend digital marketing professionals to depend on high-quality online content, SEO and social media for greater lead generation.
What is Mobile Marketing?
Coming to the digital age, almost every person has a smartphone to consume various forms of digital media. According to research, desktop-based consumption of digital media has reduced by half, while most spend about 69% of their time on the smartphone. Apart from optimising your desktop website for your prospective customers, it is important to focus on the mobile aspect of your portfolio. It is as essential to optimise your website, social media, digital images, advertisements and webpages for mobile devices. For this reason, many companies now have a mobile application to help consumers download and engage with the brand in a better manner.
Therefore, digital marketing professionals have the responsibility to optimise the mobile website for consumers for the same engaging experience. They need to implement a mobile-friendly design to help users browse more easily on the website. Examples include placing image and text in an appropriate manner so that the user can view the same at the same time. Also, you can reduce the length of lead generation forms so that people find it easier to download content as needed.
When you’re considering a mobile marketing strategy for your product, it is essential to anticipate the effect on the actual mobile website. The text, image, video and font should be compatible with the smaller size on mobile devices. With the proper digital marketing tools and techniques, you will be able to create a mobile marketing strategy that is perfect for customers’ easy and download to your content.
How to begin with Digital Marketing?
If you’re interested in Digital Marketing, it’s time that you start engaging with the concept and reach out to your audience. Look for step-by-step guides on the topic on the internet or take online courses regarding the same.
Conclusion Every day is a chance to learn something new, why not give digital marketing a chance? Now you know that digital marketing is far beyond simply pasting advertisements all over the internet, using these marketing techniques will help you broaden your horizons and increase your lead generation. As a result, you will receive a more positive response for your website and increase customers.