Digital marketing refers to tools and techniques used for marketing through digital devices. This primarily means online marketing efforts executed through the internet. This encompasses the usage of websites, social media, and search engines.
This also extends to blogs, videos, email marketing, and other available channels to solicit or attract customers.
Traditional marketing was the norm for decades. It was often static and a one-way communication. Customers cannot interact with static elements like billboards and print ads. They can only receive communication.
Digital marketing on the other hand allows two-way communication between the business and potential or existing customers.
Screen time is high for a lot of people across all types of devices. Digital marketing needs to reap the benefit of this reality. It can promote its products and services across the internet. Thus, businesses can ensure that marketing efforts are more likely to target customers at places where they spend a lot of their time.
A comprehensive digital marketing approach combined with traditional marketing leads to enhanced commercial benefits. A good digital marketing strategy involves a combination of online advertising, SEO, search engine marketing, content management, and more.
Digital marketing is a very broad term. It involves a lot of channels for promoting business interests. It depends on the products and services promoted as well as the target group. Based on the objectives, there are multiple routes to execute digital campaigns.
Tools for digital Marketing Include:
Search Engine Optimization – SEO deals with constant improvement of ranking among search engines. The sole objective is to drive online traffic.
Search Engine Marketing – This uses paid online marketing to increase the visibility of the website within search engines.
Pay-Per-Click – This is a digital advertising format. They pay for ads when they get clicked.
Social Media Marketing – This encompasses the use of social media channels to promote business products or services. The use of social media influencers often referred to as influencer marketing, is prevalent in SMM.
Email Marketing – Email marketing includes sending branded and promotional content through email to target customers. Email delivery tools are used.
Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate marketing is a performance-based campaign based on incentives for sales accrued.
Content Marketing – Businesses can use blogs and videos to promote themselves.
Native Advertising – Native advertising is blending marketing information into a medium. Hence the message of the medium and the marketed content get equal importance.
Why Use Digital Marketing?
As mentioned before, digital marketing offers the following benefits compared to traditional options:
Campaigns can be Tracked and Measured
Technology has made it relatively easy to measure the efficacy of marketing campaigns. There are digital analytics dashboards one can use. These Google Analytics, Google Data Studio, and a host of others.
Using digital analytics, data is gathered over a defined timeframe. Each customer interaction with business touchpoints generates its own set of data. Hence all the data can be segmented and how each touchpoint contributes to sales can be plotted.
Conversions can be any kind of action that has been defined as part of the campaign objective. This can be clicks, likes, downloads, or sales.
Efficiency in Review and Optimisation
The new digital media buying platforms permit businesses to purchase ad spaces across multiple sites and platforms. Live reports can be generated within hours.
This enables businesses to monitor campaign performance immediately. They can modify the campaign and optimize the designs to improve audience interaction.
Broad and Targeted Reach
Internet and smartphone penetration has reached billions of customers. Social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube among others can offer unlimited reach. A business needs only a budget to plan the outreach.
Most of these platforms permit specific targeting. Demographics, interests, and behavioral patterns are used while planning campaigns.
Retargeting is also a popular tool. It targets users who have already displayed a particular behavior. A prospect user can visit an online automotive shop and buy tires. The shop can then target the prospect with ads related to tires on leaving the site.
The Genesis of the Campaign
When seeking business online, the number of visitors to the website or the promoted page equals the number of possibilities. This helps to increase business by acquiring new customers. It helps to nurture relationships with the existing ones.
And it is your conversion funnel that decides whether your website gets good traffic and if it converts more visitors.
Creating and implementing a digital marketing strategy needs planning and is based on several variables. The data, analytics, and all the research collated contribute to the impact of the implementation.
Identifying marketing goals and objectives is the first step. Sales, lead generation, brand awareness, etc. are some examples.
Target customer profiles need to be identified. Well-defined buyer personas help in focusing effort in the right direction for the best results. The best digital marketing channels to reach those ideal customers.
Very importantly, benchmarks for measurement need to be aligned. Monitoring progress and making the necessary adjustment is needed.
Three Pillars in Digital Marketing
User-Journey, Digital Channels, and Creative & Content are the 3 key pillars for a successful campaign.
The user journey can be described as the interaction between the business across all possible channels. These can be digital and non-digital. This journey forms opinions and perceptions about the business.
The journey commences from the awareness stage and ends at the purchase also known as AIDA. The customer is first aware of the brand. The customer then shows interest in the brand. The customer has a desire to buy and make a decision. This is followed by an action for purchase.
Advocacy (Loyalty): The customer spreads word of mouth and recommends the brand to his friends.
The user journey can begin from digital channels and end at the website. It begins with social media, search, or display ads. It can finally end on the website.
When he browses through your website or mobile app, your goal is to encourage him to take important actions which are referred to as conversions, such as filling in a contact form or adding a product to a shopping cart.
The digital marketing channels are the second pillar. A marketing channel can be any potential medium that a business uses. They are used to deliver messages to consumers.
Customers understand the products and services through these channels. Channels include organic search, paid search, display ads, etc.
Undoubtedly, social media is used in most campaigns. Email marketing is very popular to spread awareness or for leads, etc. Businesses need to understand the needs and digital habits of prospects. This helps to customize content to engage effectively.
Creative and Content
Content is a key part of the strategy. Compelling content showcases the brand in a professional and slick manner. How the content is placed within the channels is also important. Content is all about telling the brand story. A reassurance of expertise of the business. Customers need to know how the business is adding value.
The creative needs to engage with prospects. It can affect how they respond and what they respond to. It has to instill confidence in customers about making an informed decisionabout purchasing.
Undoubtedly, digital marketing helps a business reach a wide audience. It helps it to chase customers with a greater propensity to buy. It is more cost-effective than mainstream advertising. Above all, it is measurable and ROI is what all businesses ultimately judge success.