What is Digital Marketing?
This simple-looking question is trending throughout the world these days. Well, before jumping directly into the basics of digital marketing and even into its advanced techniques, let’s learn what digital marketing really is about.
With over 5.03 billion active internet users across the globe, the world with no internet is unimaginable in this age. The internet has become the main hub for sharing data, resources and information-whether it’s updates of the family, news in technology, education or entertainment passed between friends and relatives. The way businesses promote their products and services has also been widely changed by such a transition to the online world. The field of marketing has embraced the web and internet with advancements in technology by the creation of websites, online ads and social media advertisements are replacing the traditional marketing practices of radio, print ads, cold calls etc.
Digital Marketing Strategies
Digital marketing can be simply understood as the proper use of digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile applications to promote a product or a service. Since consumers heavily rely on digital means to research products, connecting with the customers online where they spend the most time seeking information or entertainment is the major aim of this methodology.
In today’s world digital marketing is a broad practice, not just because of the internets’ availability but also because there are so many online channels available for different sets of audiences. Posting content on social media is also a form of digital marketing, as are email marketing and blogging. Together, the promotional content on the various platforms builds a cohesive online marketing strategy, which is generally called digital marketing. Digital marketing can be taken as an incredible tool whether someone is focusing on event marketing or creating a product subscriber list.
Do Businesses Really Need Digital Marketing to grow?
As mentioned above, digital marketing is really a broad concept that covers a variety of practices and uses a wide range of online channels. Digital marketing is highly beneficial to businesses as it:
- Helps to create one’s brand awareness by publishing stamps on the web.
- Makes customers aware of the marketing funnel, from the first touchpoint to the sale.
- Allows businesses to engage their targeted customers and then generate possible leads.
- Helps to make better customer relationships and build a loyal customer base.
- Develops tools and techniques to increase the reach and perspective audience.
Examples of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is never just a single practice but, instead, is the sum of several elements. It is important for us to get familiar with them so as to get a better picture of which methods suit best our kind of marketing strategy. Here are some of the most common elements of digital marketing courses:
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of arranging and optimizing the technical setup, the reach and the content so that the pages of that particular website appear at the top of a search engine as a result of a specific set of keywords searched. In simple words, people are more likely to click on the link, or even become clients when the website appears as a top result on Google or some other search engines like Bing. It is nothing but a practice of increasing a website’s nobility in online search results, to attract organic site traffic, by using popular keywords and phrases.
SEO can be massively practised in order to increase visibility and begin a lasting customer relationship by using appropriate keywords and phrases. Since visibility is the first step to a lasting customer relationship, strong SEO approaches are hugely crucial in digital marketing campaigns.
Since SEO is a foundational element of digital marketing, there are three diverse to enhance the SEO of the websites.
- On-page SEO: This involves optimizing the pages on the website by conducting keyword research. When incorporated with strategic keywords throughout the site, it is possible to rank high on search engine results pages.
- Off-page SEO: It is a practice to make the SEO of a website better by adding inbound links called backlinks to the website. Similarly, off-page SEO of a site can be enhanced by proper networking with the publishers and providing information-rich content on the site.
- Technical SEO: This often deals with the backend elements of the website such as coding, structured data, image compression and more. The search engines can easily ‘read’ the contents of the site if the data and codes at the backend are fully optimized which then improves the site speed.
2. Content Marketing
Content marketing is also a cornerstone of digital marketing which involves producing and publicizing the content with the aims like setting-up brand awareness, increasing traffic to the website, bringing out the leads and converting customers. Content marketing is closely tied to SEO, it requires quality content and proper SEO in order to bring organic traffic and increase its rank in search engines. The content under this domain can take various forms, that include:
- Blog posts: Blogging (article writing) culture is slowly developing, by using strategic, long tail keywords in the articles and writing, it is possible to generate traffic to the site and engage the active customers.
- Videos: To better generate traffic, it is not necessary to only go for written based content. Instead, informative video clips can also be added to in the website to engage the targeted audience.
- Podcasts: Podcasts are the audible content format, which is getting more popular day by day. It helps to nourish the connection between the creator and the audience which then forms a loyal community.
- E-books and whitepapers: It is also possible to add in-depth, long-form content to the websites such as journals, research papers, news bulletins etc. as per the expertise in the industry of the content creator. Also, the creator can offer the download of such content for the readers’ contact information, which assists the creator to generate leads.
- Infographics: This is another form of visual content where complicated explanations and statistics are particularly well-suited to this content format. A creator can simplify theories, mathematical problems, history and related subjects using visuals and graphics on their website.
3. Social Media Marketing
Another foundation of a powerful digital marketing strategy is social media marketing. The primary goal of a social media marketing campaign is to promote various brands on social channels in order to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to the website, and capture potential leads. Social media marketing has been a really handy tool to get leads and has increased direct sales channels. Sponsored posts or tweets are examples of social media marketing. This can be done by creating posts and advertisements on popular social media platforms such as:
The posts and contents on social media sites can include news & updates, insightful articles, videos of the product in action and almost anything. It is a necessity for growing businesses to choose the platforms where their targeted audience is most active; such information comes under their demographics, such as age and location, as well as their interests.
4. Pay Per Click (PPC)
Pay-per-click (PPC) is defined as an online advertising model in which an advertiser pays a publisher every time an advertisement link is “clicked” on. PPC is a type of search engine marketing (SEM) or cost-per-click (CPC) model offered primarily by search engines such as google, bing, yahoo and social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc. In this model, the goal of PPC is to steer human traffic to a website for lead generation and sales-making intention.
Pay-per-click advertising model can easily set apart the users based on their interests, demographic characteristics that include their gender or age, or can target their location or particular interests. This enables advertisers to reach Internet users on their desired digital platforms via paid ads. They can set up PPC campaigns on Google, Bing, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook to show their ads to people searching for terms related to the products or services. For example: google ads and Facebook ads.
5. Native Advertising
In simple words, native advertising plays a role where it guides and makes users click on content that will take them to the desired website or organization’s page. If the users find the advertised content unobtrusive and highly relevant to the material, they are very likely to click on it.
It is a popular online marketing model where native ads match the format and tone of the website or page on which they appear as large pop-ups and other intrusive ads. Native ads can be often seen on websites, and display content that matches neighbouring articles or posts.
6. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the digital marketing services where an affiliate or an influencer receives a commission for promoting or selling someone else’s services or products. This practice is getting popularity day by day as people are getting insights into the advantages of affiliate marketing. For both affiliate and seller, AM is advantageous as the affiliate gets his/her commission and the seller gets his sale and reaches the targeted audience.
7. Influencer marketing
This practice is very much like affiliate marketing where the affiliates or influencers on social media or blogs get paid by the promoter or a brand. But the difference is influencers get paid by the company simply for the promotion, it doesn’t matter whether people actually took the service or not. For example, various Facebook pages with huge followers can be seen promoting big brands such as ROE Network in Nepal.
In the present scenario, influencer marketing has been helping brands reach out to their active customers, which is why this model is highly effective. We often see a lot of YouTubers promoting brands and products, the influencers are paid well when they’re trusted among their followers. The content creators have the power to bring out their fans’ purchasing decisions by recommending a product.
For better growing businesses, the brands or promoters should choose those influencers whose audience matches your target market. Let us take an example, a company selling nutritious and diet foods would benefit most from collaborating with a well-known bodybuilder.
8. Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is a critical approach in order to establishing sound relationships with the customers while sustaining an organized and productive workflow. For example, let’s speak about auto-generated emails or random chats after visiting certain sites. Our mailbox often has a bunch of emails sent by the promoters or brands on the basis of predefined triggers including welcome emails, birthdays and reminder emails. This involves the automation of basic marketing tasks to lure the targeted audience to reach out to the products or services.
The idea behind marketing automation is to make repetitive tasks smooth and efficient which would save time, manpower and storage. Few tasks that benefit from automation are listed below:
- ‘Hello, how can we help?’ chats
- Thank you, confirmation and welcome emails
- Content scheduling on Facebook and YouTube
- Data Analytics
- Live chats
10. Online public relations (PR)
The practice of acquiring coverage and reach through various online publications and blogs is called Online PR. An online PR needs to require outreach to reporters and editors at relevant publications, which can be done via Twitter or LinkedIn or other social networking sites.
This sort of marketing is very useful when someone needs to look after the engagement with the comments on his/her blogs, random social media posts, and also respond to online reviews of his/her product/organization. Hence, online PR also plays an important role to monitor a brand’s values and reputation on the whole internet.
11. Conversion rate optimization (CRO)
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is an idea to increase the percentile of conversions from a website or a mobile application. In simple words, the motive of CRO is to convert the traffic driven by SEO encouraging more people to take action on it such as clicking on the link, purchasing, viewing etc. Conversion Rate Optimization helps to generate ideas for the elements on any site or app which need to be enhanced so that the visitors would engage with them directly. Following steps should be taken in order to increase the conversion rate of a particular application or a website.
- Adding a pop-up, testimonials, reviews, and logos to the site.
- Live chats can also be added to increase comments and discussions.
- Avoid distractions and remove unnecessary form fields from the pages.
- Make the initial steps simple and guide your visitors to better take an overview of the site.
- A third-party signup service can be added to access the demographics of the visitors.
This is all you need to know what digital marketing is about for now, however, refer to our other content on Informalguru about the types of digital marketing models to make your website or mobile application reach new heights.