All You Need to Know About Digital Marketing
Digital marketing was born with the emergence of the internet in the 1990’s. The evolution of digital marketing has greatly impacted how businesses reach and convert clients, with some arguing it is the most important form of marketing in the 21st century.
With the recent COVID pandemic, many have had to create new norms by shifting common practices online such as connecting with family, working remotely, or reaching new and current clients. As more people are spending time online, now is the time to focus on digital marketing activities to stay ahead.
So, what digital marketing strategies should you invest in?
Let’s dive in!
What is Digital Marketing?
In a nutshell, digital marketing involves the advertising and marketing of products or services over the web. Many people associate this with digital channels such as social media, websites, emails, and mobile apps but digital marketing is actually anything connected to the internet via any electronic device.
Why is Digital Marketing Important?
Today we are surrounded by competition, creating a daily challenge to step up and get ahead. Your business needs to have a strong and engaging online presence to stay ahead of competition. This makes digital marketing vital for businesses as they can generate more leads and close sales online.
Digital marketing offers countless options and strategies that are flexible enough to be adjusted depending on your goals. You can create content that is specifically tailored to your audiences needs and track its performance whether it is a post, paid ad, or email.
Other digital marketing tools include analytics and SEO. The key is to use several digital tactics and channels to connect with customers.
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Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing
You might be wondering what kind of marketing existed before the internet. Before the digital shift, traditional marketing techniques were used to reach consumers; many of which are still popular today. Although digital marketing has the largest share, traditional marketing (aka offline marketing) is still used and can be very effective depending on the industry.
There are 6 categories under offline marketing:
1-2) TV and Radio Marketing – They are considered offline marketing because although these advertisements are delivered through electronic devices; these do not require being connected to the internet. TV and radio might have lesser profits but it’s still alive and still quite effective.
3) Enhanced Offline Marketing – These are regular marketing tools that are upgraded to become more engaging to the audience. Examples of these include electronic/LED billboards in Times Square and electronic tablets/iPads in restaurants for when a customer orders a meal.
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4) Phone Marketing – There are two types of marketing via the phone: Warm calling and cold calling. Cold calling is the most known type and involves pitching to prospective clients who have never heard of your product / service. Warm calling is when you call a client who has left an inquiry with your business and has shown some interest in your product / service.
This is a more effective and efficient form of phone marketing as clients are expecting a response. Although it has a bad rep, it was the biggest and fastest growing area of offline marketing before the introduction of email.
5) Event Marketing – Before COVD-19, events were a popular form of offline marketing where businesses could interact with prospective clients either at tradeshows, conferences, or networking events. Since the recent pandemic, there has been an influx of online events that are more easily accessible worldwide. There is a possibility that online events could phase out traditional events in the coming years.
6) Print Marketing – A form of advertising that is printed such as billboards, brochures, flyers, posters, or even ads in magazines. This form of marketing is still used as it is an easy form of medium that reaches a wide audience.
Types of Digital Marketing
Online Marketing, on the other hand, has 8 big categories according to Neil Patel. These are also considered as digital marketing strategies that can be used by many different businesses.
1) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO means optimizing a website to gain a higher rank in search engine result pages (SERP’s) and to increase traffic.
There are three ways to approach SEO:
(a) On page SEO – This focuses on the content that is directly on the page. It optimizes the channel by using keywords with high search volume and intent so it appears on the results page when people are searching for that specific topic.
(b) Off page SEO – This focuses on activities off the page such as inbound links, also known as backlinks. These are the links used or mentioned by other publishers through guest posts that direct to your page. They affect how highly you rank because you gain external attention which moves your website up.
(c) Technical SEO – This focuses on how your pages are coded. This is the backend of your website where you can find the image compression, structured data, CSS file optimization, and all other data that help increase a website’s loading speed.
2) Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
This refers to using paid advertising to ensure a visible spot for your business’ products or services on the SERPs. This is very effective to grow and reach new customers. There are several SEM tools that can be used to make sure you use SEM properly when you advertise your business.
3) Content Marketing
This refers to all creation and promotion of content assets such as blog posts, eBooks and infographics. Content helps generate brand awareness, traffic growth, lead generation and customers.
4) Social Media Marketing (SMM)
This refers to promoting your brand and content through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest. This helps in driving traffic, increasing brand awareness and generating leads.
5) Pay-per-click Advertising (PPC)
This is another approach to drive traffic to your website by paying a publisher every time your ad is clicked. You can use PPC in the following channels: Google Ads, Paid ads on Facebook, Twitter Ads campaigns and Sponsored Messages on LinkedIn.
6) Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
This is a simple metric that allows marketers to calculate the amount of revenue earned for every dollar spent on an advertisement. An optimal ROAS percentage is 200, meaning for every dollar spent on the ad your business generated two dollars in revenue.
7) Affiliate Marketing
This performance-based type of advertising refers to when you get a commission for promoting someone else’s products or services on your website.
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8) Email Marketing
This refers to promotional content, discounts and events that direct people to your website. Email marketing is a great way to communicate with your customers and let you stay relevant. Blog subscription newsletters, follow-up emails, customer welcome emails, holiday promotions are some of the things that are sent through email marketing.
Note that this information only scratches the surface of digital marketing. There are so many resources and digital tools available online that will help to grow and maximize your business’ online presence.
Digital marketing can work for any business, but it does not mean that every digital marketing tool will help you reach your target audience effectively. The key is to know your business’ goals and audience so you can plan a digital marketing strategy that is best suited for you.
The internet has allowed us to reach more customers without geographic limitations. With limitless reach comes enormous competition to reach your target audience. This is why it is important to track performance using various metrics such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), and many others. By tracking your marketing performance, you will be able to see if you are effectively reaching your audience.
There is huge potential in digital marketing, especially if you use it to your advantage. The internet is full of opportunities with success within reach.