All that you need to know about digital marketing.
We all know how accessible the internet is these days and we also know that the number of people using the internet every day is increasing every day.
According to a recent study on internet usage, it has been found that there is a 5 percent increase in constant internet usage over the past 5 years.
As a result, people these days believe in and use online markets rather than offline markets. We can also say that the time of offline markets is gone and the era of digital marketing has arrived.
Marketing is all about connecting and delivering services and products to your audience in the right place. Before a few years, we could have said that the perfect place was shops or shopping complexes but now that is not the case. These days you can engage with a maximum audience only through the internet. Almost everyone is using the internet at almost any time of the day.
This led to the growth of digital marketing.
Digital marketing is nothing but marketing done online. It is all about advertising and providing your services by online means.
Many are still new to the world of digital marketing and few still are clueless. Today, we will talk about the basic questions that people have about digital marketing and will provide you with so much information that you will no longer be new to the world of digital marketing.
Starting with the basic questions, we have :
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is cumulative marketing done by means of the internet or any electronic device like a phone or computer. Different platforms of social media and other leverages such as emails, search engines, and other websites are used to connect with the audience and possible customers.
Role of digital marketing in a company.
Traditional marketing in the early days meant marketing done physically or via phone calls or by ads you would see on the walls of streets. Digital marketing, on the other hand, can only be done digitally, i.e. by means of the internet or electrical devices. If you carefully think about it, you will see that the amount of reach that can be achieved by digital marketing can not be reached by physical marketing. This is because the maximum population of the world is always present on the internet. Also using social media and search engines to carry out marketing is easier and more efficient, both for the marketers and the consumers.
During this era, it is very crucial for your business to carry out digital marketing to increase awareness about your brand. You can see every other business having their websites on the internet. Most business owners have already seen the importance of being in digital marketing. Even the customers believe in digital platforms and rely on the content to know about new services, brands, and products.
The sheer amount of strategies and options available in digital marketing makes it a strong weapon in a businessman’s arsenal. Digitally you can also monitor the performance of you and your competitors. This gives you an idea about how you and your competitors are performing and what changes you need to bring into your marketing strategy. You can also endorse and advertise your brands over the internet which will help you reach a vast audience.
Types of digital marketing.
As mentioned earlier, the options available in this area are vast and there are many strategies and options you could use to carry out digital marketing. Few such are given below :
Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your website in a way such that it ranks higher when searched on a search engine. The organic traffic in your website is impacted by SEO and optimizing it will increase the organic traffic on your website.
There are three basic ways to approach SEO. These are :
a) On-page SEO :
This focuses on content available on the pages of your website.
b) Off-page SEO :
This focuses on activities on your website or activities done off the page.
c) Technical SEO :
Technical SEO is based more on coding and factors in the loading speed of your website.
B. Content marketing.
Content marketing is creating audience-based content to increase awareness about your brand, to increase the traffic in your website and potential customers. There are different channels in this strategy, such as :
a) Blog posting: writing and posting blogs about your services and products on your website can help you increase awareness about your brand and also organic traffic.
b) ebooks and white papers: ebooks and white papers can be used to educate your audience about your company and its services. In this strategy, you can exchange your content with the viewer’s contact which will help you generate leads and get customers.
c) infographics: few readers are more interested in watching rather than reading. These are visual content just like videos on youtube. With infographics, you can relay your information to your visitors in a more imaginative and more eye appealing way.
C. Social media marketing.
Promoting your brand on social media will increase the growth speed of your business. The reach in social media is very high and people always share products with their friends and family.
The various social media platforms you could use are.
In a few of the above-mentioned platforms, you can even opt to promote your content to reach more viewers. Another advantage of social media is that you can directly interact with your audience and see your consumer group.
D. Pay Per Click.
It is a way of advertisement where you pay the platform every time your ad is clicked by a viewer. There are various PPC channels available. For example :
E. Affiliate marketing.
It is a type of marketing, where you can get commissions for promoting other companies. Few channels are :
a) video ads on youtube.
b) affiliate links via social media.
F. Native advertising.
These are advertisements available on platforms along with other non paid contents. While BuzzFeed is a proper example of native advertising, people also consider social media as native advertising. For example, Facebook and Instagram advertising.
G. Email marketing.
Most companies use this strategy to reach out to their customers. The emails are mostly sent for promoting, advertising, and to notify the consumers about the latest events and discounts they might be interested in. Email marketing strategies include :
a) blog subscription newsletters.
b) follow-up emails for website visitors.
c) welcome emails.
e) Tips for customers.
H. Inbound marketing.
In this type of marketing strategy, you attract and engage with the customer throughout their buying journey. Some examples of inbound marketing are :
b) video marketing.
c) email contact.
I. Sponsored content.
In this strategy, you pay another company to create content for you or to promote your brand. A general example is influencer marketing. In this, a company can employ an influencer to publish content about the company on his or her social media. Another example is blogs written to highlight a particular service or brand.
What is the work of a digital marketer?
Digital marketers are responsible to generate awareness about a brand through all the channels available digitally. All the free and paid methods are tried based on the company’s wishes. This means that the digital marketer must generate awareness through social media, in the company’s website, in the search engines, by emails, by advertisements, and my blogs.
To measure the company’s performance in all the above-mentioned channels, a digital marketer uses KPI. The KPI or Key Performance Indicator varies according to the channels and the marketer can use it to track the company’s performance in the various channels.
Different companies hire employees based on how big and small they are. The same goes for digital marketing too. For example, a small company may have one particular marketer who performs all the strategies given above. Whereas a larger company may hire specialists for every other channel.
Few examples of such specialist are given below :
a) SEO manager.
The main job of an SEO manager is to gather organic traffic. This means the SEO manager’s job is to make sure that their website ranks higher in the search engine. Using various SEO techniques, this person may directly work with the content creators to ensure that the content they create ranks higher in Google.
b) content marketing specialist.
Their main job is to track the time spent on pages, track YouTube subscribers, and also overall traffic in the blogs.
Their job is to keep track of the company’s blog calendar and to come up with different ideas about both blogs and videos. They often work with people of the other departments to ensure that the contents are being promoted well on each digital channel.
c) social media manager.
The social media manager, as we can recall from their title itself is responsible for the company’s posts on social media. Their job is to keep track of the followers, impressions created and shares and also to make sure that it increases over time. A company may have managers for different social media platforms or even a single manager for all. Another important job that they do is that they create a designed posting schedule for the content. They define when to post what kind of content. They also work with other departments such as the content marketing department to know about the type of content to be produced.
Digital marketing and inbound marketing. What is the difference?
On paper, both digital marketing and inbound marketing sounds similar. Both of them are carried out online and both of them are based on creating content for the viewers but what is the difference?
Two different methods fall under digital marketing, these are inbound and outbound methods.
The outbound method is used to put up ads in front of as many viewers as possible. This method does not care about if the ads are relevant to the viewer or not. It is just based on getting as many views as possible. For example, you might have seen banner-like ads on many websites. This pushes people to see an ad they might not be interested in.
The inbound method on the other hand believes in attracting targeted users who might be interested in the services or products of a company. This is done by producing online content that can attract customers. This method is used to attract, engage and delight the customers and all this is done by means of digital marketing.
Therefore it’s safe to say that inbound marketing is a method that falls under a category of digital marketing.
Does digital marketing work for every business?
We all can see how the market has evolved in the past few years. We have all seen the food industry getting digitized, for example, Zomato and swiggy. We have seen hotel bookings get digitized, for example, OYO. We have even seen cabs get digitized, for example, Ola and Uber. We have seen such businesses going digital that we might have never thought of. So, yes, digital marketing can work for any type of business. No matter what you have to offer, people online are always looking for the latest trends and services.
With digital marketing, you will know the needs of your customers, and knowing that can help you create valuable content for them which in turn will help you get more consumers in your business. Although every business can implement digital marketing, few can even make do without it.
B2B digital marketing.
B2B means business to business. In the B2B type of digital marketing, your focus is to get leads with your final goal being, the consumer speaks to your salesperson. This is the reason why your strategy should implement the attraction and conversion of leads for your salesperson by means of your website and digital channels.
Linkedin is an important platform for this strategy because there you can find many interested people online searching for services.
B2C digital marketing.
B2C refers to as business to consumer. This strategy means directly dealing with the customers without needing a salesperson. Here, the main focus is to attract customers to your website based on the products you offer. You might also attract them with special prices but the end goal here is to turn those viewers into customers.
For this reason, your company should focus less on leads and more on customer satisfaction. Your goal here is to create an excellent user-friendly design that would help the viewer go through the journey of visiting your page to buying a product with ease.
For such businesses, social media and Pinterest are platforms they must focus on.
Why is digital marketing important?
Why most people have turned to digital marketing from traditional marketing is because digital marketing can help you generate a greater audience. It helps you to get a targeted audience who are interested in your products and services. Also, it is more cost-effective as compared to traditional advertising.
Few benefits of digital marketing are :
A. You can target an audience that can turn into potential customers.
By using traditional methods like advertising in television, radio ads, or magazine ads you have no control over who sees your ads. Certain aspects like typical viewership can be measured but it does not help your target audience.
By using digital marketing though, you can specifically target your audience and send them personalized messages to attract them to your services.
For example, you can use social media to target your ads to a specific audience based on age, sex, location, and interests. Also, you can implement an SEO strategy in your blogs to attract people interested in your services or the people who searched for a particular keyword from your SEO strategy.
So basically, digital marketing allows you to research about people who might be interested in buying your products and lets you filter accordingly. This will help you create a Marketing strategy by which you will reach people who are interested in buying your products leaving aside the ones who are not likely to buy them.
B. More cost-effective as compared to traditional marketing.
In digital marketing, you can track your campaigns on different platforms on a daily basis and make changes accordingly. For example, if on a certain channel you are not able to generate a good rate of income you can decrease the money invested on it and spend it on a channel where you are getting a good rate of income. The same can not be done in traditional marketing. You have to pay the same even if your billboard or TV ads do not perform.
Also, with digital marketing, you have control over where you spend your money. For example, instead of paying for any commercial campaign, you choose to invest in highly engaging social media content. Thus, Digital marketing helps you to channel your money to your desired platforms making sure you’re not suffering any losses.
C. Digital marketing can help you compete with the big players of the market.
Competing with major brands can be difficult if you are a small business but it is not impossible. The major brands have millions of dollars to invest in social media campaigns and television commercials which you don’t have but in digital marketing, there are several ways you can give competition to those major brands.
Search engines don’t differentiate between the big businesses and the small ones. They show results according to their algorithms. By studying these algorithms you can prepare a list of keywords related to your services and create engaging content from it. High-quality content with those keywords can help you rank much higher in the search engines.
Search engines show results to the targeted audience based on their algorithms and if you create content that can attract those algorithms, you can easily compete with the major brands.
With social media, you can reach more people with the help of influencers. Some people don’t follow any major brands but do follow certain influencers who occasionally promote products on their accounts.
D. Digital marketing is measurable.
With digital marketing, you can perform analysis based on the data important to your company. These may include shares, views, clicks, time on page, etc. This can not be done with traditional marketing, thus giving digital marketing the upper hand.
Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing can help you see real-time results.
For example, you post an advertisement in a magazine or a newspaper. It is impossible to know how many people went to the page where the ad was posted or how many people read the ad. You won’t even know if your ad led to any customer buying something or not.
This does not happen with digital marketing. Here, you can measure every aspect of your marketing efforts.
For example, you can measure :
a). Website traffic :
Using different analytics software you can find out the number of people who visited your website.
You can also see the device used by the viewer, the pages visited, their location, and other such data.
The information produced can help you prioritize the channel you would like to invest in based on the number of viewers. For example, if you are generating 5 percent traffic from the search engines then it is time to improve your SEO.
All these can not be achieved by traditional methods of marketing. Only in digital marketing can you identify the consumer’s needs to actually attract them into buying your products.
b). Content performance and lead generation.
Let’s take an example of brochures that a company has created. The brochures are distributed by letterboxes to different people. This is an offline method of content promotion. The problem with such content promotion is that you don’t have any idea about how many people actually read it, how many people are actually interested in it, or how many people sent it to the trash without even looking.
Now, imagine if the same had been done but instead digitally. For example, if the brochure was posted on a website. You can easily know how many people viewed the page where it was posted. Also, you have access to the contact information of the people who viewed the brochure. With this, you not only have the number of people who viewed it but also have leads to them.
E. Mobile access
Studies have shown that 77 percent of American adults use smartphones daily for news, social media, and other activities. If that is the number in America only, think about the rest of the world. With digital marketing, you can reach these people while they are using their mobile phones for daily activities. This could be done by ads, emails, blogs, infographics, etc. You can reach out to more people easily this way.
F. Digital marketing is more flexible than traditional marketing.
There are different kinds of strategies that you can implement for your marketing campaign such as banner ads, content, emails, social media posts, etc. The availability of this side range of creative options allows you to be flexible. You can implement any strategy you want to be based on the engagement you receive and can change from time to time. The same can not be done with traditional marketing where all you can do was post ads on TVs and radios and get billboards without knowing if that was actually going to benefit you or not.
G. Expanding your business.
Digital marketing is the most effective way to expand your business at this point in time. We all know that the maximum number of people these days use online shopping rather than physical shopping. You can easily attract these people with your products by means of digital marketing. With the help of ads from Google and brand awareness campaigns, you can easily expand your business and reach new heights. If you are on a tight budget you can work on your SEO and strategies keywords related to your products to generate more organic traffic. You can even use social media to do so. These methods provide long time results and are very much sustainable.
What type of content should I create?
The type of content that you need to create will largely depend upon the need of your viewers in the different stages of a buyer’s journey. Firstly, you will need to identify what your viewers want from your business. Identifying their goal should be your utmost priority here. To create content that would help them know what they actually want and how you can help them achieve it.
Secondly, you need to identify at what stage they are on the buyer’s journey. For this, you need to know when they are most likely to consume your services. This is called content mapping.
The goal here is to target content based upon :
● the characteristics of the consumer.
● how far they are from making a purchase.
There are different things that you can try in your content format such as :
A. Awareness stage :
● blog posts: when you prepare your content with strong SEO and keyword strategy, it can be used to generate a high amount of organic traffic to your website.
● infographics: infographics are shared more than actual blogs thus increasing the chances of reaching more people who may be interested. Infographics are shared a lot on social media too, which generates an even more audience.
● short videos: these are just like ads but are entertaining and thus making them shareable. By posting them on social media and platforms like YouTube, you can increase the reach of your content.
B. Consideration stage :
● Ebooks: these are more useful in generating leads as compared to blogs. Since these are comprehensive and a lot more detailed, people are willing to exchange their contact details with the ebook.
● Research reports: just like eBooks, research reports are also useful in generating leads. Research reports can work well in the awareness stage because they are often picked up by the media.
● Webinars: webinars are more detailed and are more interactive than normal video content. They are perfect for the consideration phase because they provide a lot more information as compared to a blog or short video.
C. Decision stage :
● Case studies: case studies can positively influence your viewers. Having case studies will help those viewers who are planning on buying your services. It is a great form of content for such viewers.
● Testimonials: case studies do not suit every business. For such businesses that do not suitcase studies, testimonials are the best alternative. For businesses to consumer brands, take the testimonials loosely. For example, if you are a clothing brand, your testimonial might add photos of people pulling off the clothes they got from your website.
How to do digital marketing?
- Define your goals :
The start is the most important part of your digital marketing career. When you are getting started, know what you want to do and have your goals set. It is crucial because you have to prepare strategies based on your goals.
For example, if your goal is to make people much more aware of the existence of your brand, you will want to pay attention to your social media to reach more people. Another example is if you want to increase the sales of any of your products, you would focus more on your SEO strategy and start implementing keywords that can help you achieve that goal.
Just like the above two scenarios, you have to strategize according to your goals. Therefore, have a goal set and then start strategizing accordingly.
- Identifying your target audience :
You already know that digital marketing benefits you by helping you target your audience. However, how can you benefit from that if you don’t know your target audience? You must know that your target audience will differ based on your products and goals.
For example, if you are using Instagram as a means to target your audience, you may have noticed that they are of the younger generation and prefer funny content like memes. On the other hand, your audience in LinkedIn are professionals who are more interested in tactics and strategies. Therefore, you must prepare your content based on your targeted audience to get any results.
- Establishing a budget for each digital channel :
Your budget on each digital channel will determine what response you get from them.
For instance, you want to use SEO, social media, and content creation for your already existing website, you won’t have to worry about Budget at all. When you are using these inbound techniques, your focus is on creating informative content that the viewers are bound to consume. This way the only investment you are making is your time and not any money unless you are outsourcing the work.
You can easily get started by creating content for your website by using different platforms. Those new to it and on a tight budget can also use platforms like WordPress, where they can easily create a website without knowing how to code.
Few expenses can be made on advertising on different platforms. The expenses will depend upon the number of views you want to have.
- Implement both paid and free digital strategies.
To have an effective digital marketing strategy, you must implement both paid and free digital strategies.
Let’s imagine you are building quality content based on your targeted audience to attract them and convert them into potential customers. By doing so, you can achieve results slowly and you won’t be spending any money on it.
But, implementing paid advertising in your strategy can help you get good results in a short period of time.
You must always build your organic search results using SEO and social media. This will help you get results that are long term and will sustain.
In time, you should implement both paid and unpaid strategies or you can even shift back and forth from time to time and see which one is best for your business.
- Optimizing for mobile devices.
The ability of your content to be optimized into mobile devices with ease matters a lot in the organic search ranking. Studies have shown that most of the users who consume digital content use mobile to do so and if your content is not optimized for them then you are losing a large chunk of your viewers and maybe potential customers.
Therefore, optimize your digital content like website, images, and other such assets for mobile users. It is even better if your business has a mobile application. The users will have a better user experience and it will also boost your company’s image.
Always remember that mobile users are the majority of your viewers and therefore it is also necessary to have your website optimized for them. They should have a positive experience so that they can recommend the website to their friends and family.
Optimizing your Website, images are a few things that you can do to ensure a hassle-free mobile experience. Therefore planning the digital marketing strategy by keeping the mobile users in mind is a necessity.
- Conduct keyword research.
The goal of digital marketing is to reach your targeted audience by means of your informative content. You can not create such content for your audience without the effective use of keywords. Even if your content is top-notch, it won’t reach the people if you don’t implement keywords strategically. And to do so you must conduct keyword research.
Keyword research is important because it makes sure that the people using the search engines to search about a certain topic. This is because only after you have researched the keywords extensively can you implement them in your SEO strategy. Trending keywords on social media are great to work with.
Having a full-time SEO strategist is excellent but not necessary. Anyone can do it by searching for high performing keywords that are related to your business. After you have listed them, you can start creating content based on them.
- Change based on your analytics.
A long term digital marketing strategy should implement changes based on the analysis. It is very important to learn from the analysis and implement changes accordingly.
Imagine, you are posting content both on Facebook and Instagram and getting good engagement on both. After a couple of months, you notice that your audience on Instagram is not engaging your content anymore. This may mean that they might have lost interest in your Instagram content. On the other hand, your Facebook audience is still engaging and is interested in your content.
This means that you need to make changes to your Instagram content as it may be lacking engagement for its audience. This might also mean that Instagram is not the right channel for you and Facebook is where you should invest more of your time.
The same may also happen with an old website. It may not receive traffic like it used to. This means it is time to update your website or restart with fresh content.
Digital marketing will always provide you with different opportunities to make sure that you are constantly growing but it is you who has to grab those opportunities.
Maybe you are already started with digital marketing and are already starting to get viewers or maybe you are planning to start. In this article, we have covered all that you needed to know about digital marketing.
In this article we covered, what is digital marketing, examples of digital marketing, the job of a marketer, inbound marketing vs digital marketing, does digital marketing work for every business, why is digital marketing important, and how to do digital marketing.
Now you know all about it and can work on progressing your business with digital means.