More and more consumers are going online and it’s for this reason that many business owners are transitioning their businesses online as well. Similarly, entrepreneurs are finding new opportunities in the world of ecommerce. So these past few years, the importance of digital marketing has grown too. It’s no longer just a choice that business owners make when they want to target new audiences or if they want to do something new. With people all over the world populating the internet, digital marketing and digital marketing services are now a crucial part of business growth.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the business, activity or process of promoting and selling products and services to consumers using the internet, computers, mobile devices, search engines, and other digital channels.
Unlike traditional marketing where it uses traditional media like newspapers, televisions, billboards and magazines, digital marketing uses digital media like websites and search engines to reach customers. Here are some differences between digital and traditional marketing.
- Communication and feedback is instantaneous
- Results can be viewed real-time
- Audience can be more targeted
- Audience are easier to reach
- Can be more personalized if needed
- Campaigns are easier to track and measure
- More cost-efficient
- Less versatile
- More on one-way communication
- Results can’t be tracked real-time
- More costly
- Target audience are less targeted
Both are effective in promoting a product, you just have to dig deeper and determine which one really targets your consumers.
Why do you need Digital Marketing?
The question that will always be asked is, why is digital marketing important? In April of 2020, there was an estimate of 4.6 billion active internet users around the world. On the other hand, social media users were recorded to have been 3.8 billion. These numbers show that more than half of the global population is currently online.
The whole point of marketing is to promote and sell products and services to more people. So the aim is to go where the majority of your target audience is, and right now, that’s online. It cannot be stressed enough how the internet has evolved drastically to the point where everyone who has a smart device, laptop, or desktop computer will be online. So, why is digital marketing important?
Gives you a more targeted audience. Over the past few years, digital marketing has quickly evolved too, as businesses are now transitioning online to reach the online market, digital marketing is a way to reach and engage people. One of the unique aspects of digital marketing is its ability to take a huge demographic and separate the group that it targets so that the digital marketing strategy can focus more on that group of individuals. In turn, those individuals will most likely purchase what you sell.
Levels the playing field. Digital marketing is important not only for enterprises but for small businesses as well since it levels the playing field. When it comes to digital marketing, the battle isn’t necessarily who you can use to represent your brand, it’s a battle of who can collect and analyze data the best, and who can come up with the most creative strategy to engage the target audience.
More personalised approach. Consumers now expect the best kind of service from companies of all sizes and they also expect to feel special. Personalisation is one of the best approaches to this as you can observe from Spotify, Netflix and most brands today. Research showed that 71 percent of consumers tend to express frustration when the experience isn’t on a personal level. While 44 percent said that they will more likely become repeat buyers after a personalised shopping experience. Email marketing is apart of digital marketing that enhances this experience and the best part is that you can also take this approach to a more individual level.
Data and Analytics. With traditional advertising like billboard and television ads, you only get the data and information about its performance from the agency. The data tend to be limited as well when it comes to brand awareness, reach, buzz and sales. When it comes to digital marketing, more advanced tools are able to track and monitor your campaign’s performance.
Here are some data you can gather in digital marketing:
- You can know, first hand, whether they saw your campaign, whether it’s blog, social media post of PPC ads.
- You can determine how many people interacted with it and who they are.
- You can determine how long people were acting with your campaign, whether it’s a blog or a product.
- You know if they like it.
- You know instantly what they think of it.
- You’ll know if they shared it with other people.
- You’ll know if they took another action aside from lingering on a page or seeing your ad.
- You know if a particular campaign is the reason they purchased a product. If point A led them to point B.
- You learn who’s interested in your campaign.
- You learn where they’re located.
- You learn what other things interest them and what they like.
- You learn about what other things they do online.
- You learn who’s the easiest to target.
Types of Digital Marketing
The internet became publicly available on the August of 1991, it’s safe to say that from then, digital marketing has evolved and branched out in many forms. The good news is that as digital marketing conitnuse to grow and develop, digital marketing campaigns are easier to set up and run, especially if you have a professional digital marketing expert guiding you along the way.
For a business in the road to digitisation, internet marketing can seem a little intimidating at first. There are terminologies, technical aspects and tools you have to learn. Even if you’re working with a digital marketing agency, you still have to be savvy about these elements. Investing in digital marketing will be a huge leap for your business. But, before you take the plunge, you have to know what your needs are and what digital marketing services are available in the market that match your needs.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is the process of optimising your website so that it is primed to rank high on search engines like Google through organic search. Unlike PPC, SEO doesn’t require constant payment to stay visible on top. However, you do have to always update important pages so that it continues to be relevant.
It’s fair to say, that when it comes to digital marketing, SEO is a must. There’s more to a website than looking good, having the best web design and posting high-quality images. If that’s all it takes then a majority of websites will be shown on the first page of Google.
To understand the impact of SEO, we first have to understand how Google works. Google holds 92.27 percent of worldwide market share when it comes to search engines. It means that out of the 4.6 billion people using the internet, 92.27 percent of that number uses Google to conduct searches. It’s also important to know that about 75 percent of people will not go past the first page of search results. Your goal is to put your website on top of the search results so that when a user types in a search query, for example ‘Pizza delivery in London’, your business will be positioned right there at the top where the user will first see it.
If you want to generate business from online searches then a long-term SEO strategy that’s tailored for your business is the way to go.
Before you start investing on SEO services you have to get some idea of how SEO works. SEO begins with analysing your website, your brand, your business and then conducting thorough keyword research, This will determine the opportunities, weaknesses and help you analyse how your business compares to others. The next step would be to optimise all the aspects of your website, this includes, off-page SEO, on-page SEO and technical SEO.
Optimising these three major aspects of your website allows Google bots to crawl and collect data, then store it in their archive. This way, when a user searches for a term that matches your content, Google will recommend your site at the top of the results page.
SEO is highly effective and it’s sure to generate sales, however, this doesn’t happen overnight. It’s highly analytical and involves a lot of trial and error when it comes to content.The longer you have SEO onboard your digital marketing campaign the more positive the results become.
Paid Ads or Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
Also called CPC, Google Ads or SEM, this is the type of digital marketing where you use paid ads on search engines. Unlike SEO, you don’t need organic traffic to rank on top of search engines, you just have to pay for it. As long as you continue to pay and bid on a keyword then you’ll remain visible on top position. This is a great move for new businesses who doesn’t yet have that much traction on their website and wants to immediately go out there and be seen.
For example, you see that a competitor website is ranking high on search engine results pages (SERPS), in order to rank higher, you need to find out which keywords they’re using to rank, then you go and bid on that keyword. Bid price will change depending on the keyword or who else is bidding on the keyword.
What you get from Paid Ads is instant visibility. You can pay for keywords you’re not found for and then get traffic for it.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the process of creating different types of content and using social media platforms to distribute them. Social media is now a powerful platform and that’s where most people (from all kinds of demographics) can be found. In the U.S. alone, over 70 percent of the have a social media account. That’s about 240 million Americans.
The saying ‘content is king’ still rings true today. Consumers are all about information and consuming content. Content marketing is a type of digital marketing strategy that creates and distributes content that's tailor fit to target a particular audience, eventually pushing them to take a particular action. Examples of content marketing are blogs, videos, images, newsletter, whitepapers, ebooks and more.
An effective content marketing strategy involves knowing who your target audience are, what their buyer’s journey is like, and creating content that targets their pain points in a way that aligns where they are in their customer’s journey. It also includes choosing the channels that you will be using to distribute your content.
You don’t always have to write the content or come up with the content marketing strategy on your own if you’re not too savvy with it yet. There are content marketing services available to you that will help you build authority and provide valuable content to your audience.
Email marketing has been around for a long time. One of the most popular forms of digital marketing. It’s an effective way to reach out to your customers on a more personal level. It’s a also a powerful strategy as it enable you to target every buyer’s persona wherever they are in the buying process. This is an effective strategy for capturing high-quality leads and convert them.
Every business is unique, and every business has a storyline. If you’re not yet too savvy with coming up with a solid strategy for content, there are content marketing services that are able to provide your business with
Affiliate marketing is other online businesses, personalities or individuals to promote your services, provided that they be paid commissions. They can publish your products and services on their websites and when a visitor clicks on the link that they posted, they automatically get a commission.
Digital Marketing: Customer Journey
Now that we’ve tackled the different types of digital marketing channels, let’s now delve deeper into how to approach customers in digital marketing. It’s important to know the customer lifecycle or the customer journey so that you have a clear idea what your customers go through before they reach that stage of purchasing your product. After that, you can then formulate a strategy that’s tailored for each stage of the cycle. This includes choosing the digital marketing channels, targeting keywords and creating content. Here are the four stages of the customer journey.
Awareness Stage. The awareness stage is about your product and how you’re going to introduce it to customers. This is about addressing your customer’s pain points and aligning it with the solutions that your products or services can provide.
- What are your products or services and why are they important?
- Why would a customer need your product or service? What are their pain points?
- How can your product help solve their pain points?
Consideration Stage. The consideration stage is the point in the customer journey where they are already aware of their problems and they already know your products, but they’re still weighing their options. Maybe they’re comparing your product with a competitor, or they probably have another solution in mind and they’re wondering why your product or service is the better option.
- What makes your product or service unique or more valuable compared to others?
- What part of your product or service will the customer find most engaging or valuable for them?
- What are the other perks of using your products and services?
Decision Stage. The decision stage is that point where the customer is already aware of you, aware of what your products or services can do for them and they’re already considering you. They just need more push.
- Do you have a competitive price? How do you compare to other brands?
- What additional information can you give about your brand and your processes that will make your business better and more credible than competitors?
Delight Stage. Delight stage is the point where you nurture your customers. It doesn’t end with just them purchasing a product. You have to make sure that they return, that they see value in what you’re offering them that they don’t just return but they spread the word to other people. This can be done through simple emails, or giving them rewards or vouchers. There are so many ways to make your customers feel special and come back. You just have to know them enough to learn about what they like.
To Wrap It Up
Digitisation is happening and evolving drastically. It’s not enough to just get on with the trend, it’s putting effort and carefully thinking about how your business can gain edge. Before you jump into getting any digital marketing services, you first have to set your goals. Make it clear why you should start an ecommerce business or transition your business online, and then set the goals that you want your business to achieve. Is it to gain more followers, to gain more website traffic, to increase sales or to increase foot traffic to your physical store? Different businesses need different digital marketing strategies. This is a journey that will involve tests, trials and errors and a lot of experimentation to really find the right formula for your business. You will find the right solution and the right strategy fit for your business. One thing is for sure, as long as the internet exists, digital marketing will always be a crucial commodity for the growth of your business.