Digital marketing is just another buzz word that has been around for a while. Every day, every moment we encounter some or the kind of digital marketing. For example, a push notification from an online marketplace telling you about the sales on your favorite item or the food delivery app stimulating your hunger with some discount coupon or when you hit a search query on a search engine or in your e-mail or anything else in the digital world.
But what actually is digital marketing?
Just like the traditional form of marketing, digital marketing is the process of taking all such activities over the internet. Traditionally, we define marketing as a process of creating, communicating and delivering value and to retain existing customers and acquire new ones. Digital Marketing, is simply the process of taking all these activities over the vast world of the internet.
But why should a business go digital? Well, there are enormous reasons for a business to go digital. Some of them are:
- It is economical.
- With the huge penetration of the internet, it is easy to reach out target audience, say through social media.
- Marketing through E-mail, not only reduces cost but also significantly reduces the time of communicating the value.
- It is easier to make long term relations with consumers.
- one can easily measure the effectiveness of the ads or campaigns through analytics tools such as google analytics.
- and yes, there’s no better time than today to enter into the digital world.
It has also lead to showrooming, a process in which consumers sees a product in a retail shop or other offline channel and make a purchase online.
How do I begin?
When entering the digital world, it really important for a business to have its own digital marketing strategy.
Content is the king:
In digital marketing, remember that content is the king. Great content is not only a pleasure to read but may also help you in acquiring a huge set of people. It can also be crucial in positioning your business better than the competitors. So, it really becomes important to have good quality and high-value content.
Once, the content is ready it must be posted on the blog sites, social media, your own website, etc. After the content is available to read, it can create interest in the potential customer and may lead to engagement followed by the sale of the product or service.
After the content is ready to go online, the next step is to find your target audience and where they can be found. By knowing exactly who you want to reach out to, you can communicate your value proposition directly to them.
Once the target audience is identified, it is really important to reach them. So to reach the target audience, various strategies such as SEO, PPC, E-mail marketing, social media marketing, etc can be used. However, a combination of 2 or more is recommended.
How do you know which strategy is performing the best and which one the worst? One of the biggest advantages of digital marketing is that you can easily track the effectiveness of your campaigns and strategies.
By measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns, you know the performance of your strategy i.e. which strategy brings the maximum number of conversions. By knowing the weaker parts of your strategy, you can further improve your strategy.
Types of Digital Marketing:
To promote a business online, there is an enormous number of ways. However, some of the most widely used digital marketing techniques are:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Every time you enter something in the google search box (search query), have you ever wondered why a particular website is ranked at the top?
Well, here is your answer. It is because the website has optimized itself better than the other ones. So, SEO may be defined as the technique or tactic that ranks the site higher on the SERP (search engine result page). It does not involve any cost. Typically, a search engine, per se google, employs 3 steps when ranking a site:
- Crawling: when bots and spider hover over the internet to search the pages, most relevant to your search query.
- Indexing: bots or spiders or crawler identifies the most relevant pages to show on your SERP.
- Ranking: Based on the relevance of the website to your search query, websites are ranked on SERP.
SEO involves optimizing your websites to such an extent that they are identified by the search engines and ranked higher on the SERP.
However, there are certain rules and regulations to be followed while optimizing your website. When it is done under the rules and regulations, it is called White-hat SEO. When optimization is done without following the rules, it is called black hat SEO.
Backlinks, keywords, and original content help in optimizing your sites and rank them higher on SERP.
Search Engine Marketing:
It is very much like SEO but with the difference that it involves cost. The SEM technique involves a strategy called PPC (Pay per click). So you pay for the click only when the user clicks your ad on SERP. The amount paid by the website/business for a click made by a user, it is called cost per click, that is CPC. Bidding of keywords takes place. Most used keywords cost higher.
However, the relevance of the keyword plays a crucial role here. Ad rank = CPC * Quality score
The quality score is dependent highly on the relevance of your website. Say, Alpha pays $2 for a click and has the relevance of 100. So ad rank= 200. Beta pays $3 for a click and relevance is 60. So ad rank = 180. So, despite low CPC, Alpha will rank higher in SERP.
An SEM page looks like this. And an SEM result has an “ad” written along with the website. The first page that a user lands on after clicking it is known as a landing page.
Social Media Marketing:
Certain technology is first witnessed by common people and later by businesses. Social media is a very good example of this. With the increasing number of people on social media, businesses find it a very useful platform to promote their businesses, as they can easily find their target audience.
A social media can also be industry-specific (for example Trip advisor). Websites such as Facebook also provides an option to analyze the data called “Facebook insights”. Social media marketing is popular because it increases customer engagement and also, users can write about the product in the comment box complain about it, thus improving customer support. As mentioned, great content is the king here. Also, make sure that the message conveyed must be consistent across various social media platforms.
It is a different way of connecting and engaging a customer to a business. Email may be an old way of communication, but it is one of the best ways to communicate value to the customer. Generally, most of the emails received by us remain unopened. So, in order to prompt a customer in opening an email, the subject line of an email must be catchy and attractive.
Secondly, there should be a link attached to the picture in the email so that when a user clicks on it, they land on the same page as that of the product. The businesses also provide the option to opt-out email, although they don’t mail you frequently. To choose which email is to be used for mass communication, businesses use A/B testing. In this, they email 2 or more different kinds of emails to a different batch of people for a period. The email which is opened most of the time is considered.
Content marketing is another type of digital marketing you can use to promote a business online. In fact, content marketing is an indirect way of marketing, as you publish content that the audience finds naturally while browsing the web.
The main goal of content marketing is to make viewers interact with the content by reading, sharing, and commenting on it. You can use it together with other types of digital marketing such as SEO or SEM as well. For instance, you can build the content around targeted keywords in order to achieve an optimal result.
High-quality content also allows you to persuade an audience about the expertise of a business in a certain niche. Gaining the trust of customers is one of the most important long-term goals of digital marketing. You can publish shareable content either in the form of blog posts, white papers, reports, or webinars or by guest blogging in popular publications in the same niche.
Display advertisements are the digital form billboards that we see across the internet. Business generally prefers to place these ads on the websites or blogs which are related to their product and services.
In the display advertisement, the owner of the websites rents out space to businesses to promote their products or services. This space is known as ad space. So the display ads involve 2 parties, one seeking to rent out the extra space on the website and the other willing to take that space.
For example, when you decide to purchase something on an online marketplace, but you don’t make a purchase, you see display ads on the other websites your surf. This is called retargeting. Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a form of online advertising that can help you keep your brand in front of bounced traffic after they leave your website.
So, there are a lot of different styles of doing digital marketing, but businesses see a better result when they use a mix of them. Also, a business must make a digital strategy keeping in mind that, they have great content, a well-defined audience to target, and tools to measure the effectiveness of digital campaigns and strategies.