What Is Digital Marketing?
The promotion of brands or products or services through the use of electronic media or digital technologies i.e.Internet. Digital marketing covers promotion of brands through online channels such as websites, email, search engines, social media etc. to connect with current and prospective customers.
Internet is an ever-growing source of entertainment, news, shopping and social interaction, and consumers are now exposed not just to what your company says about your brand, but what the friends, media, relatives, etc., are saying as well and they are more likely to believe them than your wordings.
Digital Marketing Channels
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is the process of optimizing your website to “rank” higher in search engine results pages, thereby increasing the amount of organic (or free) traffic your website receives. The channels that benefit from SEO include:
Social Media Marketing
This practice promotes your brand and your content on social media channels to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads for your business. The channels you can use in social media marketing include:
This is a type of performance-based advertising where you receive commission for promoting someone else’s products or services on your website. Affiliate marketing channels include:
- Hosting video ads through the YouTube Partner Program
- Posting affiliate links from your social media accounts
Marketing automation refers to the software that serves to automate your basic marketing operations. Many marketing departments can automate repetitive tasks they would otherwise do manually, such as:
- Email newsletters
- Social media post scheduling
- Contact list updating
- Lead-nurturing workflows
- Campaign tracking and reporting
Inbound marketing refers to the “full-funnel” approach to attracting, engaging, and delighting customers using online content. You can use every digital marketing tactic listed above throughout an inbound marketing strategy.
This term denotes the creation and promotion of content assets for the purpose of generating brand awareness, traffic growth, lead generation, and customers. The channels that can play a part in your content marketing strategy include:
- Blog posts
- Ebooks and whitepapers
- Online brochures and lookbooks
This term refers to advertisements that are primarily content-led and featured on a platform alongside other, non-paid content. BuzzFeed-sponsored posts are a good example, but many people also consider social media advertising to be “native” — Facebook advertising and Instagram advertising, for example.
Companies use email marketing as a way of communicating with their audiences. It is often used to promote content, discounts and events, as well as to direct people toward the business’s website. The types of emails you might send in an email marketing campaign include:
- Blog subscription newsletters
- Follow-up emails to website visitors who downloaded something
- Customer welcome emails
- Holiday promotions to loyalty program members
- Tips or similar series emails for customer nurturing
It is the practice of securing earned online coverage with digital publications, blogs, and other content-based websites. It’s much like traditional PR, but in the online space. The channels you can use to maximize your PR efforts include:
- Reporter outreach via social media
- Engaging online reviews of your company
- Engaging comments on your personal website or blog
This method is used to drive traffic to your website by paying a publisher every time your ad is clicked. One of the most common types of PPC is Google AdWords, which allows you to pay for top slots on Google’s search engine results pages at a price “per click” of the links you place. Other channels where you can use PPC include:
- Paid ads on Facebook
- Promoted Tweets on Twitter
- Sponsored Messages on LinkedIn
Text messaging: Besides, the aforementioned online marketing components, it is the widely used Digital marketing type. Especially, with the exponential rise in usage of smartphones around the world has enhanced the dependency on them for quick and timely information.
Why digital marketing is important?
Digital media is so pervasive that consumers have access to information any time and any place they want it. Gone are the days when the messages people got about your products or services came from you and consisted of only what you wanted them to know.
Digital media is an ever-growing source of entertainment, news, shopping and social interaction, and consumers are now exposed not just to what your company says about your brand, but what the media, friends, relatives, peers, etc., are saying as well. And they are more likely to believe them than you.
People want brands they can trust, companies that know them, communications that are personalized and relevant, and offers tailored to their needs and preferences.
Manage customer relationships across all channels
Digital marketing and its associated channels are important – but not to the exclusion of all else. It’s not enough to just know your customers; you must know them better than anybody else so you can communicate with them where, when and how they are most receptive to your message.
To do that, you need a consolidated view of customer preferences and expectations across all channels – Web, social media, mobile, direct mail, point of sale, etc. Marketers can use this information to create and anticipate consistent, coordinated customer experiences that will move customers along in the buying cycle.
The deeper your insight into customer behavior and preferences, the more likely you are to engage them in lucrative interactions.
Challenges facing digital marketers
Proliferation of digital channels. Consumers use multiple digital channels and a variety of devices that use different protocols, specifications and interfaces – and they interact with those devices in different ways and for different purposes.
Intensifying competition. Digital channels are relatively cheap, compared with traditional media, making them within reach of practically every business of every size. As a result, it’s becoming a lot harder to capture consumers’ attention.
Exploding data volumes. Consumers leave behind a huge trail of data in digital channels. It’s extremely difficult to get a handle on all that data, as well as find the right data within exploding data volumes that can help you make the right decisions.
What Are the Benefits of Digital Marketing?
Unlike most offline marketing efforts, digital marketing allows marketers to see accurate results in real time.
On the other hand, with digital marketing, you can measure the ROI of pretty much any aspect of your marketing efforts.
Here are some examples:
With digital marketing, you can see the exact number of people who have viewed your website’s homepage in real time by using digital analytics software, available in marketing platforms like HubSpot.
You can also see how many pages they visited, what device they were using, and where they came from, amongst other digital analytics data.
This intelligence helps you to prioritize which marketing channels to spend more or less time on, based on the number of people those channels are driving to your website. For example, if only 10% of your traffic is coming from organic search, you know that you probably need to spend some time on SEO to increase that percentage.
With digital marketing, you can identify trends and patterns in people’s behavior before they’ve reached the final stage in their buyer’s journey, meaning you can make more informed decisions about how to attract them to your website right at the top of the marketing funnel.
Content Performance and Lead Generation
Imagine you’ve created a product brochure and posted it through people’s letterboxes — that brochure is a form of content, albeit offline. The problem is that you have no idea how many people opened your brochure or how many people threw it straight into the trash.
Now imagine you had that brochure on your website instead. You can measure exactly how many people viewed the page where it’s hosted, and you can collect the contact details of those who download it by using forms.
Not only can you measure how many people are engaging with your content, but you’re also generating qualified leads when people download it.