Digital Marketing is promoting or selling products or services by business owners to potential customers via digital channels viz. social media, emails, search engines, company websites, and other online platforms.
Digital marketing has successfully grabbed the attention of a large consumer base. People are rapidly shifting from conventional modes to the online mode for shopping. Where e-commerce used to be a desktop activity, they are turning to their mobiles. Mobile advertising is growing faster than all other digital advertising formats worldwide.
In the modern tech-focused world, digital marketing is undoubtedly the best way to market your business. It helps you reach a large audience within a very short time as well as offers a lot of methods to reach your potential customers.
Why is Digital Market So Popular Today?
The last few years have witnessed a significant increase in online activities including social media and online shopping which helped digital marketing emerge as a more successful marketing technique than offline marketing.
Business owners have been able to reach a large number of prospective customers using digital marketing methods such as social media, search engines, etc. that keep a substantial part of the population glued to the internet.
Inbound Marketing, a very similar term often heard in this context, is a smart marketing technique to attract and create potential customers by content creation on various online platforms. There’s more on it later.
Here’s All You Need to Know About Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing involves a wide range of activities including website development for a business, advertising on various digital platforms, marketing via emails ie Email Marketing, creating online brochures, to name a few.
It can be explained as a gamut of resources and strategies which must be identified and executed in order to successfully achieve your targets. The resources that can be considered as assets for digital marketing are as follows:
- A website for your business
- Blog posts regarding products and services
- Ebooks and Whitepapers informing customers in detail about your business
- Interactive tools
- Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and many more
- PR exposures, social media, and website reviews
- Online brochures
- Branding assets like logos, fonts, etc.
Apart from the above-mentioned assets, the marketing technique also involves some strategies or tactics which are explained below:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a technique which involves optimization of business websites to feature more frequently in search results, thus boosting free traffic on your website. This technique can be termed as Search Engine Marketing when the method involves buying internet traffic via paid search listings to increase the visibility of your website.
Social Media Marketing
As the name suggests, Social Media Marketing involves advertising for your brands and respective content on social media platforms for lead generation and to attract consumers using social media channels, informing them about your products and services.
The creation and distribution of blog posts, videos, etc. targeted at informing the audience about the brand, identify prospective customers and increase website traffic is known as content marketing.
Inbound Marketing involves marketing strategies to grab the attention of customers, introducing them to the products or services, and consequently converting them into prospective consumers via online content creation.
The marketing strategy through which you get commission by advertising for another business or another person’s products or services through your own website is termed as Affiliate Marketing. It is performance-based marketing where rewards will be dependent on the number of visitors that are directed to the website.
Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
Pay Per Click or PPC method involves the advertising company paying the host website or publisher whenever any of their ads is clicked. The method essentially requires pertinent traffic to your business website.
Search Engine Advertising is a very popular method of PPC technique and Google AdWords dominates the field. It allows business owners to generate ads that can feature on Google Search Engine as well as other apps and sites belonging to Google.
The content-based paid advertising method where the paid content appears alongside the unpaid ones to match the hosting platform is known as Native Advertising. The most popular examples of this method are the ads promoted by BuzzFeed on its website and also the paid ads featured on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Marketing Automation is the method of involving technologies or software targeted at automating marketing processes by efficient use of online channels. They help to mechanize repetitive tasks like social media and emails.
Online PR is dedicated to influencing the customers through blogs, social media posts, digital publications and other types of content. The only difference between conventional PR and online PR is the platforms on which they are done.
Email Marketing is done by business owners to connect with the target audiences by sending newsletters related to brand promotion, offers, and concessions to attract customers towards their products.
Dissimilarities Between Inbound Marketing and Digital Marketing
There is a difference between inbound marketing, digital marketing, and internet marketing which is dismissed by many experienced marketers who are of the opinion that they are practically the same. But many business owners around the globe acknowledge the differences and have detected their separate effects.
As mentioned previously, Digital Marketing and Inbound Marketing are quite similar marketing techniques focussed on connecting with consumers via online platforms. But there are a few differences as well.
Digital Marketing comprises a wider range of marketing techniques implementing methods like SEO, social media ads, online promotions, etc. without any target audience. It is dedicated to promoting the business to as many customers as possible without any specific niche audience.
It can be stated that digital marketing incorporates both inbound and outbound methods to reach its customers via online platforms. For example, the kitschy ads displayed on the top of some websites are meant for every person who visits that particular site, irrespective of their intentions and interests.
So digital marketing necessarily advertises the products or services to people who may or may not turn out to be potential customers.
Inbound Marketing, on the other hand, is focused on a specific group of customers and promotes the products or services to drive them towards the business. It mainly involves developing content and blog posts with an aim to inform the prospective customers about brands and products with specific information meant for them.
Thus, inbound marketing is essential to improve sales and drive more traffic to your business while digital marketing is used to create generic awareness of your brand or products. Digital marketing makes use of all the available resources and techniques to reach users on an online platform whereas inbound marketing attracts, satisfies, and consequently creates customers for your business with the help of the assets of digital marketing.
How Effective is Digital Marketing for Any Business?
With digital marketing growing in popularity and effectiveness, it is essential we understand how to get our messages across to these audiences digitally. Digital Marketing can be effective for any business, irrespective of the product. You can create digital content for promoting your brand.
While the approach should be the same, there are still some notable differences between consumers and businesses as customers, and these should be factored into your digital marketing strategy. These are namely: Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) markets.
Difference Between B2B And B2C Digital Marketing
B2B vs. B2C marketing tactics have always been a topic of debate. B2B vs. B2C marketing tactics have long been a topic of conversation.
There are major differences between the B2B and B2C digital markets. Let’s look at them now.
Digital marketing strategies for B2B companies are mainly targeted at generating as many leads as possible for your sales department as most of the communication happens through salespersons, through the business website and other digital platforms.
B2B is based on building reputations, showcasing potentials, and maintaining dependability, so focusing on a business-oriented digital channel like LinkedIn can be helpful.
For B2C companies, the digital marketing process should include techniques to draw customers to your website and make them interested in the products, without the involvement of any salesperson.
So the focus may not be on generating leads rather on the website content with information regarding the products and services to ease the customer’s journey through your website. The customer who started with just browsing might make a purchase.
B2C companies may require specific Calls to Action (CTAs). Online channels like Pinterest and Instagram can be more beneficial than the business-oriented ones like LinkedIn in this case.
Pros of Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing is beneficial as it enables you to assess the outcome of your marketing efforts unlike offline marketing methods where you cannot possibly determine the impact of your marketing on your audience.
The Return on Investment or ROI can be easily measured in case of digital marketing and some examples are given below to explain the same.
By Assessing the Traffic to Your Website
Digital analytics software like “Hubspot” can help you evaluate the number of visitors to your website along with other necessary data like their browsing preferences and interests in your website, to help you determine techniques to increase more traffic. This information can also help you decide how to effectively use your digital channels based on the maximum yield.
For example, if the analysis reveals that more visitors are directed to your website via SEO, you will be able to focus on the same to get better outcomes. This benefit is not associated with offline marketing as after posting an ad in a newspaper, you cannot determine the number of people reading it to know about your business.
Creating Content and Generating Leads
The online content and brochures created for digital marketing can be easily monitored unlike, offline marketing where even if you deliver brochures to people, you cannot guarantee that they will read them.
For digital marketing, you can measure how many people have checked out your online brochures and can also gather their contact information by introducing forms on your website for visitors to download. Thus, you can also contribute to lead generation at the same time.
Attribution Modelling uses effective techniques and software to help you trace back to a buyer’s earliest digital touchpoint with your company. This will enable you to determine their purchasing trends and accordingly take steps to alleviate their buying journey through your website. This information can subsequently help you upgrade your marketing strategies and focus on areas of your sales cycle that need improvement.
A study by the Aberdeen Group revealed that companies can grow annually at the rate of 20% with better synchronization of sales and marketing whereas a company lacking the same can face almost 4% drop in its profits.
Content Creation for Successful Digital Marketing
For successfully marketing your business via digital channels, creation of proper content should be according to the buyer’s requirement at different stages of their buying cycle. You have to understand the customer’s preferences and the issues faced by them when visiting your business sites and make the necessary changes.
Moreover, to create effective online content for your business, you have to determine the stage or phase of your customer’s journey through the business site and create appropriate content for the same. This method is termed as Content Mapping and it has to be based on the purchasing nature of your customers and the possibility of actually buying your products or services via your website.
The phases of your buyer’s digital journey and the suitable content methods are explained below.
This stage is to make the buyer aware of your business and the products offered to them. This can be done through creating content through the following methods.
- Blogs: Blogs are effective for creating brand awareness and grow website traffic with the help of powerful SEO tools and keyword techniques.
- Videos: Short videos can be published on popular platforms like Youtube to be viewed and shared by the audience and to create awareness about your company.
- Infographics: Infographics are effective too as they can be shared on social media platforms and help to connect to a greater audience whenever they are shared.
This phase will determine if your audience is considering to proceed with a purchase from your website. The following content formats can be good for influencing the audience.
- Ebooks: Ebooks are more inclusive than other online content formats and helpful for generating leads when a visitor downloads them from your website after sharing their contact information.
- Research Reports: Research Reports are important to create brand awareness and also to make your audience consider your products and services when they are promoted via news reports or media. They can generate leads for your business by making them available to your customers in exchange of their contact details.
- Webinars: Webinars are videos that provide in-depth information on your business to the audience. They are an effective content tool in the consideration phase as they offer more extensive information than short videos and blog posts.
This stage signifies the customer making a decision to proceed with a purchase. The content for this phase should be such that they can make a well-informed positive decision. The following formats will be effective for the said purpose.
- Case Studies: Case Studies and analysis related to your brand and its development can positively influence the buyers to go ahead with their purchasing decision.
- Testimonials: Brief testimonials can be put on your website to help the buyers with their decisions. They can get information about other users of the products or services. Thus, testimonials can help them incline towards buying the similar products from your company.
Digital Marketing Upshots for Your Business
The outcomes of your marketing efforts depend on your resources and strategies. The results can be measured with the help of ROI tools. Outcomes of online marketing can be observed faster than offline marketing’s.
Faster outcomes can be expected by creating appropriate content-based online buyer personas to identify the customer’s requirements. Strong SEO tools and marketing on social media platforms can help to achieve significant positive results.
Paid search listings or paid advertising to drive traffic to your websites can also yield faster results, however, strategies dedicated to driving free traffic is more important to prolong your success rates.
Budget Required for Digital Marketing
The budget for marketing your brand digitally will be based on the resources and techniques used in the process.
Inbound techniques using SEO strategies, social media, and other online platforms to create appropriate content will not require much investment as the emphasis will be on the quality of the content generated. However, if you opt for paid content then you have to invest some amount.
The initial investments for outbound techniques like purchasing email lists and paid online advertisements will depend on the amount of exposure you are looking for your business. You can focus on driving more free traffic to maintain your budget.
For example, using PPC technique via Google AdWords can be expensive or inexpensive based on the keywords you are willing to use to feature at the top of the Google Search Results.
Digital Marketing via Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are considered as an effective digital marketing tool due to the increase of smartphone usage among masses. Since most consumers are connected to the digital platforms via their mobile phones, you need to optimize your website including social media pages, and other online resources for the mobile users.
A mobile app for your business can be a good option as customers will be able to browse and purchase products with the help of the app. Optimizing your images and social media content for mobile users is important as dimensions of images on the desktop are different from the ones on a mobile screen. To make their experience better, you should optimize forms used for generating leads so that customers can access them quickly.
Digital marketing is a powerful tool to promote your business. As a business owner, you have to implement ideas and strategies to effectively use the digital platform for marketing your brand using all the available resources.