What Is Digital Marketing?

What Is Digital Marketing?

Marketing is all about connecting with the customers in the right place and at the right time. A few years ago, when there was no Internet and smartphones, information used to be shared through television, radio, newspapers, and word of mouth. These also used to be the most preferred mediums for marketing. However, in today’s time, it is the Internet that brings most recruiters and potential customers to the same platform.

If the figures are to be believed, there are approximately 4.95 billion active Internet users in the world. Businesses and services are now making sure that they reach this target audience with the help of digital marketing.

So what is digital marketing? Digital marketing simply refers to the use of the Internet and electronic devices to connect with customers worldwide. It uses digital mediums, such as smartphones, computers, tablets, and laptops, to advertise a brand’s message and its products.

Businesses generally ask how many types of digital marketing exist. What are the modes of the same?  There are many forms and modes of digital marketing, including content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, mobile marketing, and online public relations.

What is Digital Marketing?

It is simply online marketing where your brand is promoted using the internet and digital communication. It employs the internet and electronic devices to connect with your potential customers. 

It uses digital mediums to disseminate your brand message and advertising and also measures your brand’s impact. Typically, it refers to marketing campaigns that appear on mobile devices, computers, tablets, or other devices. This includes video advertising through channels like YouTube, image advertising through Instagram, search engine marketing on Google, social media advertising on Facebook, content marketing on different channels and platforms, paid advertising campaigns, and many others.

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Brief History of Digital Marketing

Marconi used a radio to publicly demonstrate the transmission of wireless signals in England in 1896. After this pioneering act, others were quick to follow in his footsteps and do the same across long distances. Not long after, a Met opera performance was broadcast on radio, leading to a ticket-buying frenzy among the general public who wanted to catch the next show. This was the very first time a digital marketing strategy was employed to further sales. Yes, you read that right: the earliest use of a digital marketing plan did not involve smartphones or Facebook or the likes. If you are both shocked and confused, read on to understand how digital marketing entails the use of more than just modern digital media, including digital billboards, radio and TV.

Importance of Digital Marketing

The ROI for Google Search Ads is around 200%, where over 63% of search engine users are likely to click on a paid ad. Digital marketing is not just here to stay, but to settle as the foundation for all evolutions that would happen in the marketing space in the future.

With customers increasingly becoming silos with personalized experiences, only digital marketing can deliver personalized advertising based on the preferences and tastes of individual customers.

 

 

Benefits of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing has rewritten conventions as far as advertising and branding are concerned. While traditional marketing channels and techniques allowed brands and businesses to reach mass audiences, there were hardly any ways to actually track impressions, ROI, visibility, user sentiments and more. Data and its visualization are amongst the biggest advantages of digital marketing. Here are some of the other pros of digital marketing.

  • Cost-Effective

Digital marketing is cost-effective. The traditional marketing techniques were (and still are) expensive and are reserved for seasoned market players and big organizations. However, digital marketing disrupts these dynamics by allowing small and medium businesses to target and reach a wide spectrum of audiences, generate leads and spread the word about their brands as well.

  • Data-driven 

Data-driven decision making is one of the other major advantages of digital marketing. Marketing agencies and businesses can know if their strategies are working in the market if they are targeting the right audience groups if their email subject lines are effective and more. There are several touchpoints in digital marketing that allow marketers to track KPIs and metrics and ultimately take corresponding actions. 

  • Precision Targeting

It’s never a blind approach with digital marketing. Similar to how your product or solution is not for all but exclusively reserved for people with specific requirements, your marketing strategies are as well. With digital marketing, you can conveniently tap into such market segments and target audiences and reach out to those who are actually on the lookout for solutions like yours.

  • Campaign Optimization

If your marketing budget for a quarter is close to $10,000 and the initial phase of your campaign is not performing as expected, you can stop the campaign immediately and optimize it for the remaining budget. It’s never a massive loss, unlike other traditional campaigns and marketing techniques.

  • Global Reach

Digital marketing allows a business owner in Rwanda or Australia to target a particular user in Norway or India. This can never be possible with conventional marketing unless heavy investments are pumped into campaigns.

  • Target Multiple Buyer Personas

The onset of the internet and its evolution has allowed marketers to classify buyers into different segments based on their journey in purchasing a product or service. Digital marketing allows brands to target different buyer personas and engage them uniquely. For instance, customers in the awareness stage could be targeted through blog articles or YouTube videos and those in the consideration stage could be nurtured through email sequences. 

  • Direct Engagement and Interaction with Consumers

Digital marketing also enables businesses to engage directly with their customers through social media pages and respond to their concerns and opinions. Also called Online Reputation Management, this humanizes a brand and creates a positive online image for it. From addressing complaints and engaging with positive feedback to running giveaways, digital marketing is a great way to develop good sentiments and value among customers. 

  • Zero-Investment Campaigns

Digital marketing is also beneficial for those looking to invest less money and more time to promote their products and services. Aspects like content marketing and SEO (with technical knowledge and expertise) allow brands to sell their products and generate buzz around their companies with minimal investments. Organic sales and marketing are both game-changers for small and medium businesses. 

  • Device-specific Targeting

Apart from customer journey classification, customers are also divided depending on the device they access the internet from. For instance, the experience a customer has when accessing a website, app or the internet from a smartphone is very different from the experience delivered by tablets or personal computers. Digital marketing allows businesses to target such diverse user groups conveniently. 

Does digital marketing work for all businesses?

  • Digital Marketing for Business to business (B2B)

B2B industries and organizations can make great use of digital marketing since their top target is to generate as many leads as they can. Most B2B organizations require the right tools to keep up their repeat purchase and referral systems, but they can do so much more once they understand digital marketing. It provides several benefits to your business like building a brand image while saving time and money searching for new customers. Influencer marketing, mobile-friendly content and engaging with the audience are a few ways to start.

  • Digital marketing for Business to Consumer (B2C)

The digital marketing definition also includes the business to customer (B2C) sector. It refers to the strategies and best practices to promote products and services to consumers, mostly for personal use. A B2C digital marketing strategy focuses on driving more traffic to the brand’s website, where leads can be generated to be converted down the sales funnel. B2C marketing leads always focus on redirecting a customer to the site or product page. In turn, such an audience ends up associating the quality of your products/services with your brand name. B2C  digital marketing depends on highly engaging, interactive and useful content.

What Makes an Effective Digital Marketing Campaign?

The importance of digital marketing has increased exponentially since the 1990s and 2000s with the increased presence and influence of the internet. There are certain characteristic details of any campaign that are crucial in the understanding of what is digital marketing. Some of these details are as follows:

Planning

Planning is the first step in forming a digital marketing strategy for the overall digital marketing network. A part of digital marketing revolves around effectively using digital communication tools and technology in advertising and marketing. Depending on the type of product, business opportunity, resources available, customer demographics, etc. communication tools can be used optimally through proper planning. 

Stages of planning:

  • Opportunity

Research is essential when one thinks about seizing opportunities while planning the use of different digital marketing options. Firstly, a firm must understand its client’s image, vision, and available resources. Reviewing one’s own outreach and a few competitors’ outreaches is an effective practice to find marketing and sales opportunities. Market analysis, along with specific and time-bound objectives based on ability and performance are essential when looking for opportunities.

  • Strategy

While planning its digital marketing strategy, a company needs to possess clarity in its communication. When a company proposes exactly what they are offering customers online, they build relationships and trust. Basing one’s digital targeting approaches after reviewing the product, price, promotion, place, people, process, and physical appearance (the 7Ps of Marketing Mix) will yield the most favourable results. 

  • Create an Action Plan

The final step is setting up a budget and management systems with measurable reference points like the audience reach achieved across platforms, etc. The integration of paid, owned, and earned media of the company is also important. Setting up content creation – oral, visual, or written, for online media falls under this step. After the digital marketing plan has been finalised, a scheduled format of digital communications must be distributed throughout the internal operations of the company.

Understanding the Market

There is no way forward in digital marketing without understanding the market first. Unless marketers can put themselves in the shoes of the different people from different demographics and interests, planning different digital marketing strategies is impossible. The trick to answering the question ‘what is digital marketing’ is this – understand the market’s desires and help companies fulfil them. Listed below are some aspects that can help in the process – 

  • Consumer Behaviour

Consumer behaviour and attitude is the key to planning a digital marketing strategy. The entire digital environment is created for customers based on these patterns, and therefore this raw data is key to determine the course of action for marketers. 

  • Buyer Persona

Creating a buyer persona means profiling prospective customers into different types, based on the consumption habits of customers and their demographics. Therefore, not only understanding the market but also using that knowledge to imitate prospective business opportunities is an important task in deciding digital marketing types to be used in a particular situation.

  • Marketing Strategy

This strategy is specifically planned and used by brands to determine possible positioning in the market and target audience. It may be divided into two key elements – segmentation and positioning. It is used to plan out the marketing and buying processes of a company.

Why do You Need Digital Marketing for Your Business?

Given the sheer number of people that are on the internet these days, trying to find relevant information about local businesses that best suit their buying needs, not having a digital brand presence can prove to be a death sentence for upcoming brands. And if prospective customers are not on a desktop, they are navigating a sea of content on either a mobile electronic device or the television, radio or even an electronic billboard. Even magazines, books and newspapers are accessible on either a smartphone, tablet or an e-reader.

Digital marketing was not always the conclusive game-changer that is today – two to three decades ago, it would have been unheard of to set aside resources for it. Today, it is very easy to get a well-planned digital marketing strategy off the ground, run and even improve it. If you feel like a fish out of water when it comes to digital marketing tactics and do not know what exactly you need, you are certainly not alone. Many agencies will offer you a ‘complete package’ of various digital marketing services while making you think you need all of them. However, most online businesses do not need such a heavily loaded, not to mention a high-costing approach. A unique digital marketing strategy that takes your

Besides the aforementioned factors, digital marketing offers businesses one major edge over traditional marketing methods like print that are quickly becoming a thing of the past. With the former, you can gauge customer reaction, evaluate campaign reach and effectiveness, collect and analyse invaluable customer feedback and always come back stronger than before. You can control everything, right from the audience/customer demographic your campaign targets to the exact timeframe for which an ad is displayed. This, coupled with the conveniently economical ways of digital marketing make it a must-have for any marketer who wants to make their brand stand out.

How does digital marketing work?

  • Define Goals

It is absolutely vital for you to have long term and short term digital marketing goals. These could include (but not remain limited to) driving a certain amount of traffic to your website, increasing your click-through rate, reducing the bounce rate, and having better leads, subscribers, or customers.

  • Define Target Audience

Determining who you’re marketing to makes digital marketing strategies more effective. Hence, defining your target audience based on controls such as demographics, interests, location, online activity, and customer psychology is another necessary step. You can create custom audiences to present different content to varying age groups, genders, locations, and so on.

  • Define Budget

The budget of your digital marketing strategy can vary, but if you’re new to this, you could start with the minimum expenditure. Use different types of free digital marketing tools at first, and once you start seeing results, invest a certain sum in your daily, weekly and monthly budget.

  • Balance aid and Free Strategies

Maintain a fair balance between the free and paid strategies you use; as we mentioned earlier, there are plenty of amazing free tools and resources for various digital marketing types that will drive results. These can be used in combination with your paid strategies. Find what proportion works best for you and use them accordingly.

  • Optimize Your Digital Assets

Optimizing your digital assets can boost your ranking by a huge margin. Make sure to choose the best image format, set alt titles, have quick loading images that fit the exact dimensions of the format, and make an XML sitemap of your page to start with.

  • Conduct Keywords Research

Create a foolproof digital marketing strategy by conducting keyword keywords research to help your page and content rank better. This means using a combination of ranks so that you drive the maximum traffic to your site rather than using overcrowded keywords.

How to Craft an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy

As mentioned earlier, many businesses shy away from including digital marketing in their overall advertising/brand promotion efforts solely because they do not know what they can achieve with it, where to start or how far to go with it. If you too fall in the same category, you can simply draw up a lean or basic ideation sheet with goals or objectives you would like to reach, the budget you can spare for various marketing efforts, the customer demographic to be reached, market research requirements, possible digital marketing services you will need and so forth. Knowing the kind of results – long term or short term – each digital marketing category can bring in is imperative as it will help you decide where to concentrate your resources.

To simplify the entire process, we highly recommend that you answer the five important questions of why, where, when, how and what, i.e. why do you want to employ digital marketing, how do you hope to achieve your goals, when and where do you want to strike and what demographic are you targeting. Once done, you should sit down with your top management and decide if you would like to hire an in-house digital marketing team with managers for the different sub-teams (say, an SEO manager, a content lead, etc.) or outsource it all to someone like us. Whatever path you choose to take, remember that you can change strategies as you go while constantly evolving to suit your customers and carve a niche for yourself.

How Different is Inbound Marketing from Digital Marketing?

As far as online marketing is concerned, people (especially beginners) tend to misinterpret inbound marketing and digital marketing. From the outset, it could appear that both have overlapping functionalities and approaches but only when you look closely, you would realize that they are distinct.

Firstly, inbound marketing is a methodology. It has a systematic approach and well-defined steps and best practices for operations and implementation. The primary goal associated with inbound marketing is to generate leads and qualify them for sales. It is a perpetual process that sustains and optimizes the sales funnel of companies.

The part where it gets tricky is that inbound marketing uses digital marketing channels and avenues to achieve its goals. It could be the use of content marketing strategies, email marketing campaigns, and more but the association ends there. Inbound marketing puts customers first and solely focuses on educating them with the information they need to know to resolve their conflicts. It helps build trust and credibility systematically, ultimately pushing visitors to become consumers.

In Conclusion

It all boils down to one thing – constantly assessing where you are in terms of marketing objectives and where you want to be in both the near and far future. Whatever kind of digital marketing you favour, it is important to distribute your marketing efforts and track campaign results from time to time. Having a team of competent digital marketing professionals, whether in-house or otherwise, who are well-versed with the company mission and vision is also a must. If you have any questions about digital marketing or suggestions about future posts, do let us know. And for everything related to the latest in online marketing trends and news, keep checking our Digital Marketing blog.

FAQ’S

  • What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the practice of selling products and services and creating your brand awareness through digital platforms and electronic devices.

  • What is the Importance of Digital Marketing?

The number of people searching online is rising every day. So maximizing your digital presence is the key. Digital marketing helps you reach the right people at the right moment.

  • What is the Future of Digital Marketing?

As the number of people increasing on the internet. Not having a digital presence can be a downfall for upcoming brands. Digital marketing has become a game-changer for today’s world.

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