Digital marketing in a broad sense refers to any kind of marketing initiative on a digital medium.
Current businesses are very profoundly dependent on the digital medium.
The online presence and the internet play a key role in business promotion.
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What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is nothing but the promotion exercise digitally.
The mention of the word ‘digital’ includes websites, mobiles, social media, email and what not.
Practically anywhere you leave a digital footprint, leaves you with a scope for digital marketing.
But then again, there is a big anomaly in this concept.
Though digital marketing covers all of these, different businesses interpret differently.
I think the most striking part is this is a more dynamic type of marketing.
Unlike conventional strategies, you can make a real-time analysis of what’s working and not.
If required, you can also undertake course correction to make the strategy more effective.
Moreover, unlike traditional strategies, these marketing strategies differ from organization to organization.
For example, my business may benefit from aggressive Instagram marketing but yours may not.
On the other hand, you may need a more focused LinkedIn presence.
So, marketing campaigns have to be extremely focused and tailor-made.
The conventional notion of one formula fits all has to be discarded completely.
Digital marketers have to keep their focus on the game at all times.
They have to continuously alter and adjust as per changing dynamics and requirements.
So when you are formulating digital marketing objectives, you have to delve deep into specifics.
Often the success of these strategies is in the minor details and the fine print.
This is also a reason why these strategies are so focused.
They differ depending on customers and other factors.
Why Do You Need Digital Marketing?
Well, I am sure you may raise your eyebrow reading this?
In an era where the internet overwhelms us you may think this is elementary.
Well, that is true, but that is not all.
The truth is no other marketing strategy is as pervasive as the digital ones.
Consumers have a ready access to a gamut of information at all times.
They no longer have to depend on conventional methods to get information.
There is almost a real-time interaction with the clients and the target customers.
The biggest challenge is perhaps the information overflow.
Customers don’t just get information from the company.
They also get information from other neutral sources.
As a result, a product or a service can’t be sold at face value any longer.
It has to create considerable value and consistent benefit for the customer.
This is both the power and the challenge of digital marketing.
This ever-expanding source of information is renegotiating the basics of branding.
A brand is no longer just about legacy or popular notion.
It is also an extension of significantly meaningful corporate endeavors to please customers.
The thrust is gradually shifting towards managing customer relationships.
It is a genuine impetus towards delivering value.
Simply knowing your target consumers is not enough anymore.
You have to know them a lot better and perhaps gain an edge over your peers.
So you have to manage customer preferences, expectations and considerations.
The deeper your insight is, the better your strategy will be.
Digital marketing is all about analyzing customer behavior and customizing promotion.
The idea is to peg the promotion in a way that it attracts the customer and gets their attention.
The entire initiative of this marketing is selling the idea of sustainable customized care.
How to Achieve Success in Digital Marketing?
Often the route to success is by maintaining this focus.
It can be encapsulated in following three concepts.
1. Effective management of customer relation
Managing the labyrinth of the customer relationship is complex.
But you have to remember that this is the key to success in digital marketing.
But you have to manage customer relations through traditional and modern channels.
In many ways, it is about uniting customer requirements under one umbrella.
You cannot look at any aspect in isolation.
You have to look towards adopting a broad and comprehensive perspective.
2. Interaction is crucial
Have you wondered why digital marketing makes such a huge impact?
Well, the biggest reason is managing customer expectation.
Customers get a big boost by the fact that a brand initiates interaction with them.
Whether it is portraying customers using products on the website or flashing their testimonial, this is very impactful.
The constant interaction with the customers creates sustainable recall factor.
People are more convinced about using a certain brand over another.
The constant interaction also creates a more meaningful and genuine thrust.
Customers also develop a sense of belonging with the entire product.
3. Look for value in data
Another reason why digital marketing is necessary is because of the data it gives access to.
From customer preferences to behavior, you get to know many different parameters.
You also get a scope to analyze the data real time.
Therefore, every single data point gives you the scope to extract rich value.
The trick is to identify the most pertinent points and use it to your advantage.
As a digital marketer, you have to work toward bringing a unified approach.
This data helps you add value to traditional marketing concepts too.
In that way, you can create long-term value.
Types of Digital Marketing
Given the wide range and ambit of digital marketing, you need to look for details.
This is exactly why there are different variants aimed at promoting different products.
You have to be careful about deciding what’s right for you.
Ultimately it is this decision that can make a big difference.
On the face of it everything looks great, but as they say, the devil is in details.
So a close analysis of the various types will make you make an informed choice.
Moreover, it can create the most conducive opportunities to promote effectively.
Each type of campaign has a specific purpose.
1. Affiliate Marketing
This is one of the earliest types of digital marketing initiatives.
In this, you are essentially relaxing while someone else is marketing your product.
They help you sell and also get a cut of the profit.
So if you don’t mind sharing a part of your profit, this is one of the easiest options available.
You search the internet and hire some recruits for your marketing campaign.
They are technically salespersons on the virtual medium.
Affiliate marketing is most commonly used by ecommerce and online retail giants.
For B2C companies, it becomes a simple way to track strategies and sale.
The advantage does not end just there.
Another big benefit is that you do not pay a penny for putting together this campaign.
The only expense involved is giving a share of profit.
But when you have a steady stream of new customers and additional sale, who bothers.
But you need to exercise some caution.
Remember these are complete strangers selling your brand.
Ensure that there is no dilution of brand value at any point of time.
Also, choose the sites and individuals you are associated with.
This goes a long way in building credibility and sustainable brand value.
2. Pay Per Click Ads
When you are surfing the internet, several ads pop up on your page.
These are primarily sponsored links on Google or any other search engine.
This is primarily a short-term digital marketing initiative.
You pay for these ads to appear, the moment you stop the advertisements stop too.
These are essentially links to your website and impact site ranking.
So you are paying a search engine to push your ranking.
Unlike SEO initiatives, there is nothing long-term about this one.
The moment the payment stops, it also stops.
Normally these ads have sponsored mentioned somewhere in the link.
Normally this can be used by just about anyone trying to create the online presence.
It is a straightforward and direct profiteering initiative.
But the targeting, in this case, has to be very precise.
You will otherwise end up spending a lot of money for nothing.
This is why you must choose the keywords carefully.
It will create right kind of target base for your audience.
It will also ensure better optimization of your page.
You can also monitor the traffic trends a lot more closely.
The price of these ads varies from product to product.
So you have an ad for dog food for perhaps 30p, but one for insurance can cost £100 for every click.
On an average, you can make anywhere between £2 – 3 per click.
The size of your business and the time period will also impact expenses.
However, the choice of an agency is crucial here.
Don’t appoint anybody who promises a cheap deal.
You have to continuously look for a perfect balance of value and cost.
Otherwise, you are better off saving the £100 instead of spending them.
Also, you need to be careful about potential misuse of these clicks.
3. Search Engine Optimization
This is perhaps one of the most talked about digital marketing initiatives.
It is a long-term strategy aimed at gaining meaningful traction online.
In fact, it is considered to be the most impactful form of digital marketing.
However, SEO or search engine optimization is terribly dynamic.
Both the method and the approach have undergone series of changes.
Over the years the methodologies have evolved and helped in churning out meaningful content.
The main purpose is to tweak content in a way that your site ranks high on a Google search.
So it will not be wrong to say that the cardinal goal is to push up page ranking.
Businesses across the world use this system quite frequently.
Several tools have been created to specifically help this initiative.
The Google Adwords is perhaps the most popular ones.
But SEO does not come easy.
A SEO agency can charge anywhere north of £1000 a month.
The amount of competition in your sector and the business prospects also impact.
Your personal goals also make a huge impact.
By this, I mean how aggressive you are in terms of marketing your site is crucial.
Content marketing is one of the primary ways to achieve SEO.
But you must be clear that this is a gradual process.
It will never happen overnight.
Neither can you do it without any alteration in your content.
These are the two primary truths about this digital marketing initiative.
If an agency promises results without these, there is a chance of foul play.
SEO can be very effective but only when you approach it scientifically.
The detailed study needs to be undertaken on the ways and methodologies.
That alone will be able to guarantee meaningful and long-term returns.
Continuous updating of content is also a very important step.
4. Content Marketing
That brings us directly to this key format in digital marketing.
In very simple words, content marketing is promoting on a digital medium using the content.
For example, I sell a slimming product.
But I don’t go and tell people to buy my product.
Instead, I post relevant articles on slimming.
They outline the advantage of certain chemicals that I may be using in my cream.
The result is, the readers will instantly create the connect.
Those who are convinced will start looking for contents with it.
My website will then pop up on the customer’s search page.
So in many ways, it is the best element of digital marketing altogether.
It is informative, entertaining, forceful and indirect.
You are practically making the user believe that they are making the choice.
That gives them much greater confidence in their decision.
They are able to stick to the calls that they make with much better clarity.
The best part is this is a very flexible type of content marketing.
From YouTue posts to podcasts, from a tweet to a Insta share, you can drive traffic anywhere.
Almost any business can use this technique to their advantage.
The trick is how effective and focused you are?
5. Social Media Marketing
This is by far the most common and popular approach.
The ease of use and convenience is also a major factor.
The rise of a huge number of social networking sites has also contributed meaningfully.
Most importantly here you have direct one-on-one connect with the customer.
You can easily use this medium to win your customer’s trust and loyalty.
In the bargain, you can win yourself some permanent customers at a nominal cost.
That too is an important trigger.
Smartphones and tablets have ensured almost every second internet user is on these sites.
As a result, reaching out to these audiences do not involves additional cost.
This a gradual relationship building process.
Depending on the focus and purpose of the marketing campaign, you can strategize.
Moreover, it is one of the fastest ways to connect with your user base.
This is often the first kind of digital marketing initiative.
Like I mentioned, the ease of use and low cost convinces businesses to target these.
But depending on your business, you will choose the site.
For example, if you are marketing cosmetics, you will target Facebook and Instagram users.
However, if you are promoting a brand new software, Twitter and LinkedIn are better bets.
Something for singles will get a better view on Tinder while Snapchat is more of a teenage hub.
You don’t have to hire professionals for this kind of marketing.
If you are a StartUp, you can even look at doing it yourself.
Just by devoting a couple of hours each day, you can look at getting the meaningful impact.
Watch out for the kind of response your customers are getting.
See how often they are discussing your product on their timeline.
That will determine the extent of your success in a meaningful way.
Conclusion: Digital Marketing Is an Effective Form of Promotion
Different types of campaigns yield different results.
While affiliate marketing increases sales, SEO mostly enhances traffic.
The price per click campaigns are more for diverting search engine traffics.
Social media marketing, on the other hand, helps you create the dialogue and interact with customers.
So together they help businesses in achieving better success.
The brand awareness increases through digital marketing.
As a result, conversion rates also grow higher.
In the longer term, you can envisage getting a bigger pie of the market share.
Based on your objective, you can employ the right type of digital marketing for best results.
You can easily tie your broad goals and advance in a focused way through digital marketing.
The results are guaranteed in most cases.