We live in a world that revolves around the increasing usage of the internet. In such an environment, it is necessary for businesses to find ways to engage with their potential customers via trendy and effective marketing methods. One such method that has precedence over traditional marketing is digital marketing. Marketers need to actively make use of various digital platforms to reach out to as many consumers as they possibly can in a timely and impactful manner. So, what is digital marketing and how do you make use of it to promote your business?
Read on to find out!
1- What is digital marketing and how does it work?
Digital marketing involves a bunch of online marketing strategies that companies and businesses use to identify, categorize, and target an audience segment. It also involves keeping in touch with and incentivizing current and old customers to get more involved with your brand.
Digital marketing entails using channels such as search engines, websites, e-mail, social media, and mobile apps to reach as many people as possible. With digital marketing, marketers are able to effectively promote and sell their services and products to the parties that are most likely to engage with their brand.
The crux of digital marketing is that it allows brands to make the right offer at the most opportune of times. It does so with the help of tailored content that is designed to rank high on search engine pages and relevant ads of different online platforms. It places your content front and center for the ideal prospects to see and engage with.
Simply put, digital marketing is about:
- Attracting prospective clients
- Nurturing long-standing relationships with customers – both new and old
- Making the right and undeniably attractive offers that your target audience will not just appreciate, but readily respond to
So, now that you have the lowdown on digital marketing, let’s take a closer look at everything about digital marketing.
2- How Does Digital Marketing Work?
In a lot of ways, digital marketing is pretty similar to traditional means of marketing; organizations compete with each other to generate leads and form mutually beneficial, long-standing relationships with their consumers. However, digital marketing works much better because it is designed to cater to today’s potential consumers.
So, how does digital marketing work?
Today, internet users who are also potential consumers spend an average of 6 hours and 42 minutes online every single day. Here’s an overview of just how many people use the internet in one form or another:
Looking at this massive number of users, it’s no wonder that companies all over the world are actively trying to engage with their online audience as much as possible. Many people are constantly looking on the internet for any sort of purchase they want to make or service they want to avail.
The first thing you do is to look up companies that sell the product or offer the service you want. Next, you read online reviews and the features, pricing, etc., before deciding which company you want to trust. In fact, around 82% of consumers say that they read online reviews of local businesses before buying their products or availing their services!
This vast number makes it pretty vital for businesses and brands to have an online presence. The key strategy is to spread your presence in a way that you cover as much digital ground as possible. You want to try every avenue where your target market frequents regularly. Next, you need to use ads and content across different channels to keep customers and leads engaged with your business via social media marketing, targeted advertising, e-mail marketing, and SEO integration, among other things.
If you utilize all of these marketing methods in tandem, you will have a comprehensive and effective digital marketing strategy at your hands. So, let’s take a deep dive into all you need to know about digital marketing methods.
3- Benefits of Digital Marketing
Why is a digital marketing business vital for your company’s growth?
Let’s take a look at some of its key benefits:
- Global Reach– Digital marketing allows you to expand your reach and connect with a massive global target audience. It helps you create brand awareness and generate leads across the world.
- Cost-Effective– Digital marketing is significantly cheaper than other forms of advertising. If you use your digital marketing knowhow correctly, then you can generate a massive ROI for your company. Make sure to use profitable avenues, such as Facebook and YouTube, where people spend most of their time online.
- Viral Content– If your digital content is helpful, creative, and engaging, you increase the likelihood of viral fame. It doesn’t take long for a shared Facebook or Instagram post and Tweet to get viral. This significantly increases your chances of generating more leads for your business.
- Personalization– The digital market offers you a delightful opportunity to personalize your content across different digital marketing channels for your target audience.
Measurable and Quick Results – With digital marketing, it’s quite easy to track your progress and the overall success rate of a marketing campaign. Even before you use digital tools such as Google Analytics to help you track your web traffic, you can gauge the response of your target audience by the number of likes and shares your digital content got on various social media and digital sites.
4- Types of Digital Marketing
Wondering how to do digital marketing? Well, here are some common types of digital marketing strategies that are used by businesses all around the world:
4.1- Paid Search or Pay-per-Click Marketing
Pay-Per-Click advertising is an umbrella term that covers all types of digital marketing, in which you pay for every user who clicks on your ad on different platforms. It’s typically the sponsored content that you see on the top of the SERPs. As the name suggests, you are only supposed to pay up for your ad when it gets clicked.
You can customize your PPC ads according to different keywords. This allows you to create targeted ads for particular audiences that are likely to be interested in them. This way, you can create brand awareness and generate leads for your business.
The best bit about PPC ads is that they are entirely flexible, utterly visible, and effective for a wide range of organizations and businesses. Different platforms create target audiences based on their demographics or interest that are relevant to your industry. This allows you to drive massive traffic to your site. The typical PPC ad is Google Ads or AdWords, which allows you to pay for the top-most slots on Google’s SERPs. Other effective PPC channels include:
- Ads on Facebook: On Facebook, you can pay to customize your video or image posts and slideshows. These paid-for or sponsored posts are then posted by Facebook on the newsfeed of people who are most likely to be interested in your business. It allows you to generate leads for your business. Facebook advertising works because of the massive number of users that this social networking platform enjoys. As of late 2019, Facebook had around 2.7 billion monthly active users:
- Twitter Ads Campaigns: On Twitter, you can pay to post profile badges or a series of posts to the timeline of your target audience. This allows you to create great opportunities to generate traffic to your site and to increase engagement with your brand.
- Sponsored Messages on LinkedIn: On LinkedIn, you can send direct messages to specific users on the basis of their background and industry.
4.2- Search Engine Optimization
In simple terms, SEO or search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your website reach, content, and technical set-up, so that your website ranks higher and appears in the first few search engine results. It requires the usage of the specific industry-related set of keywords that are commonly searched on the internet. The purpose of using SEO is to attract more and more visitors to your site when they search for services, products, and information relevant to your industry.
SEO is to be best viewed as a set of the best practices for solid digital marketing. It ensures that your website is user-friendly and well-constructed and that you produce engaging, informative, and readable content. Additionally, the more SEO-friendly, informative and credible your content is, the higher are the chances that other websites will link to your content to increase their credibility. This will only help you generate more leads for your business.
The importance of SEO in terms of successful digital marketing is clearly highlighted in these stats:
Here are three ways in which you can approach SEO to generate organic traffic to your website:
- On-Page SEO: As the name suggests, this version of SEO is focused on the content that appears on your webpage. This involves adding well-researched industry keywords in your content. The idea is to use specific keywords and long-tail questions and phrases that searchers often lookup on Google to tailor blog posts and other content around it. This allows you to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Off-Page SEO: Again, as suggested by the name, this type of SEO is about the activities that take place off the page. This involves factors outside of your own content and website that could impact your ranking. The number one factor is inbound links or backlinks. The number of websites that link to your website and the comparable authority or credibility of these sites all affect your ranking. To ensure that you rank high on SERPs, network with other websites, write guest posts on their website and link back to your own site.
- Technical SEO: This faction of SEO is designated to the technical backend of your website and how your pages are coded in HTML. You can increase your website loading speed by compressing the images, structuring your content according to the HTML headings format, etc. This will help you rank higher on Google.
4.3- Content Marketing
Content is of vital importance when it comes to understanding how digital marketing works. Great content is the crux of a strong digital marketing strategy. It is what enables you to rank high on SEO, helps your brand get noticed on social media platforms, and allows you to grab the attention of potential and loyal customers in paid search ads and e-mails. In fact, about 86% of B2B businesses used content marketing to create brand awareness in 2019. Here’s a deeper look at their usage of content marketing to achieve different goals:
Content marketing involves creating smart content that is centered on educating and inspiring the reader into action rather than as a promotional gambit for the company. If you offer content that is highly relevant to your audience, it will help present yourself to them as a valuable source of information. What’s more is that the higher the resourcefulness of the content you create, the likelier it is that your reader will read it till the very end. Here’s an overview of some factors that B2B marketers take into account when creating content for their audiences:
Content marketing is all about creating content that helps you generate brand awareness, leads, and traffic. Here are some common content marketing channels that you can use to your advantage:
- Blog posts and Articles: Writing and uploading blog posts and articles on your company’s official website gives you the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your clear expertise in your industry. It also helps you generate loads of organic search traffic for your business, which ultimately provides you with more opportunities to convert your visitors into potential customers. Using targeted keywords and internal links in your blog posts helps you rank high in search engine results.
Infographics: At times, companies prefer to show visual representations of their content to visitors rather than written ones. This doesn’t come as a surprise, considering the fact that the human brain processes visual information about 60,000 times faster than textual information ! Companies use infographics to present their content to their audience. They are a form of visual content that helps your visitors visualize and learn a concept that you want them to learn faster.
- Whitepapers and EBooks: Whitepapers, e-Books and other such long-form content help to further cement your authority and expertise in the eyes of your website visitor. Such content also often requires interested visitors to share their information with you, which helps you generate new leads for your business.
4.4- Social Media Marketing
There’s so much more to social media than people connecting with their friends and watching and sharing funny videos and memes. Increasingly, people are looking at social media to investigate whether a brand that they heard about is worth the hype or not.
They are actively researching reviews, testimonials, and information about different brands on their favourite social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. Moreover, people are also utilizing social media to engage with their favourite brands. As a marketer, this gives you the perfect opportunity to capitalize on the power of social media via social media marketing.
So, have you ever thought about how social media marketing works and how you can effectively utilize it?
Well, social media marketing is all about reaching a large audience on various social media platforms via content marketing campaigns, videos, paid ads, etc. The main goal of this vast category of digital marketing is to create brand awareness and establish social trust.
However, as you go deeper into social media marketing and establish yourself as a trustworthy brand, you can work to generate leads and even use it as a direct sales channel. Every piece of content that you come up with and share needs to be the perfect blend of engaging and informative, which makes it worth sharing. The more your audience engages with you and shares your content, the likelier it becomes for you to generate more leads and customers.
Here’s an overview of how influential social media marketing is:
Different social media platforms present different marketing opportunities for marketers. Take, for instance, Facebook. It has a sales funnel built on 3 key levels. The first is built on awareness. At this stage, you need to use targeted Facebook ads to introduce your brand and business to your potential customers, aka Facebook users. Your primary goal at this initial stage is to build your following and gain as many new customers as possible by increasing the visibility and range of your ads.
The next level is based on consideration. At this level, you want to encourage people who showed an interest in your brand to actually engage with your Facebook page, visit your website, install your app, reach out to you, and so on.
The third level is conversion. As the name suggests, this final step involves trying to convince the people who actively engaged with your brand to convert into your customers. Conversions entail anything that has some sort of value to your business, for instance, a simple visit to your store or a sale of your product.
4.5- E-mail Marketing
Many people make the mistake of confusing e-mail marketing with the thousands of spam messages that you get in your e-mail every month, but that’s not what e-mail marketing entails at all. It is the perfect medium to reach out to potential consumers, people who are actually interested in your brand and business. They are the ones who look forward to hearing from you, which means that you are not hijacking their e-mails.
You would be surprised to know that e-mail marketing is as relevant today as it was a few years ago. In fact, the number of e-mail users just keeps increasing with each passing year. In 2020, it stands at more than 4 billion users!
Moreover, about 93% of B2B marketers use e-mails to distribute their content. Despite new and emerging ways of marketing, e-mail marketing holds its position due to the fact that it’s still one of the quickest and effective ways to reach customers.
Many businesses and marketers use other relevant digital marketing channels to add more and more leads to their e-mail lists. Then, they use e-mail marketing to create numerous funnels to convert those leads into loyal consumers.
Companies use e-mail marketing to promote their online content, including blog posts as well as their upcoming events, sales and discounts on their services and products. The types of e-mails you might send in an e-mail marketing campaign include:
- E-mails welcoming new visitors to your website or business
- Blog subscription newsletters
- Follow-up e-mails to visitors who downloaded some content or bought a product from you
- Holiday promotional e-mails with promo codes to loyal and old customers
- Industry-relevant tips for customer cultivation
However, only the most successful e-mail campaigns are able to generate more customers for companies. Your e-mail needs to be interactive, informative, and relevant to pique the interest of your leads. Here are 5 must-have attributes of an effective e-mail:
- Relevant – your content needs to be as relevant as possible to your industry
- Reliable – you need to put reliable and trustworthy information in front of your customers
- Conversational – if your content is not engaging and conversational, it won’t hook potential customers into reading the whole e-mail.
- Coordinated across multiple channels – make sure that your e-mail content is in line with the content of your other digital marketing channels, such as AdWords and social media posts.
- Strategic –your e-mail must have systematic text patterns and strategic nuances that allow you to link them to other content.
4.6- Mobile Marketing
Today, mobile phones have become an integral part of our lives. We simply cannot even think of leaving our house without our phones.
This is the reason why marketers everywhere are trying to come up with new and interesting ways to market their products and services to mobile phone users. They want to utilize this incredibly personal channel as effectively as possible. From SMS and MMS to in-app marketing, there are various ways to market on smartphones. You need to find the method that is most suited to your business.
The most pertinent and widely used method of mobile marketing is in-app marketing. It’s the process of reaching potential consumers via different mobile app stores, such as Google Play and App Store. Take a look at the information below— a massive number of apps that got downloaded in 2018:
App stores have a multitude of apps and millions upon millions of users use them on a daily basis. With mobile digital marketing, you can effectively promote your apps via paid advertising and other promotional methods such as cross-app promotions. This promotes your app’s visibility and increases the chances of users installing it on their phones.
It’s important to note that mobile marketing doesn’t involve making a mobile-optimized website. Even though having a mobile-friendly website is vital, mobile marketing is about creating an app and uploading it on app stores for mobile users to download.
4.7- Video Marketing
Although video marketing is a relatively new form of digital media marketing, it simply cannot be ignored due to its massive popularity.
YouTube is one of the most popular platforms for video advertising. Marketers use it for pre-roll or skippable video ads that pop up at the beginning of YouTube videos as well as display ads and non-skippable video ads. These ads help increase brand awareness and also help you attract potential customers. In fact, in the US, YouTube made $4.9 billion in net advertising revenues in 2019, and this number is expected to reach almost $5.5 billion in 2020!
4.8- Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marking is a form of digital marketing that involves promoting other business’s products and getting a commission with each sale or lead. Many renowned companies such as Amazon dabble in affiliate marketing. They pay out millions of dollars each month to have their content and ads displayed on other websites.
In fact, about 90% of marketers count affiliate marketing as a major part of their digital marketing campaigns. You simply have to set up an affiliate program where people can sign up and find different materials and resources they can use to promote your products on their sites. You have to give them a commission for their resources, but as a provider, you get to generate massive leads and sales.
5- What Does a Digital Marketer Do?
Now that we have discussed the different types of digital marketing, let’s look at what does a digital marketer do. Essentially, digital marketers are in charge of creating and sustaining brand awareness and generating leads for the businesses that hire their services via the different digital marketing strategies and avenues mentioned above.
The job of a digital marketer is to focus on individual key performance indicators (KPI) for each channel. This allows them to measure a company’s performance across different platforms. There are different digital marketing specialists that handle different marketing channels.
Let’s take a look at some of the jobs that fall under the domain of a digital marketer:
5.1- SEO Management
Simply put, SEO management involves optimizing your website and content so that it ranks higher on SERPs. The main KPI of SEO management is organic traffic – the higher it is, the more successful your SEO strategy is.
5.2- Content Marketing
Content marketing involves marketing digital content, such as blogs and video, across different platforms. The KPIs that content managers have to focus on include blog traffic, time spent by each user on a webpage, etc.
Content marketers ensure that your new campaigns and products are supported by promotional and relevant content on all digital channels.
5.3- Social Media Management
Depending on your industry, social media management involves dealing with the posting schedules for your written and visual content on your preferred social media platform. Their job is to keep track of and increase the number of shares and followers of your brand on social media.
The overall role of digital media managers is to create a solid media marketing strategy for your brand and to use the right social media channels that will generate the most leads and maximum brand awareness for you. They also need to know specific details about social media marketing such as the right time to post on social media for maximum engagement as detailed here:
5.4- PPC Marketing
Pay-per-click marketing involves running ad campaigns across different platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook. The main KPI of PPC marketing is to keep track of the clicks and engagement rates derived by your ads.
5.5- Email Marketing Management
E-mail marketing management involves ensuring that the e-mail leads your brand generates are timely entered into suitable e-mail funnels. It involves following up with old and new clients after each engagement and purchase and sending relevant newsletters in a timely manner. The main KPIs of e-mail marketing involves the number of opened e-mails, click-through rates, conversions, etc.
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6- The Bottom Line
We live in an increasingly digitized world, so much so that arguably the only effective way to reach out to audiences is via the online digital medium. This is where digital marketing comes in. We hope this blog post helped you understand the various aspects of digital marketing and how you can use them as part of your overall marketing strategy. To recap, here’s what we went over in this post:
- What is digital marketing?
- How does it work?
- Types of digital marketing
- Benefits of digital marketing
- What does a digital marketer do
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