Digital Marketing Made Simple
Businesses all over the world exist primarily to make a profit. They manufacture products or offer services and venture to sell them to customers. The more customers you have, the more goods or services they purchase. And, invariably, the more goods or services your customers purchase, the more money you take to the bank.
So, it is agreed that having customers, lots of customers, and, preferably good ones, is vital to the survival of any business. But then, how and where do you find these customers? And when you do find them, what do you “say” to them to arouse their interests in your products or services and, hopefully, to patronize you? And after they make a purchase, how do you keep them returning back for more purchases and spreading the word to their friends and other contacts?
With traditional marketing, these are challenges that are not easy to manage, not to mention overcoming. But, hello Digital Marketing, and we have a completely new story and song.
What is Digital Marketing?
Our world is now technology driven. Compared to some decades ago, everyone is more or less just a few clicks away on a smartphone, iPhone or iPad. As geographically huge our Mother Earth is, with people, communities and countries physically far from each other, that distance is literally virtually reducing every day.
The world’s population is put at 7.69 billion while the world’s number of internet users is put at 4.17 billion. That means that 54.23% of the world’s population can be reached on the internet or through other digital means, and that number is literally growing every second. With that percentage of the world’s population easily at your reach, it is easy to see and understand why digital marketing is gaining more and more prominence in the world.
Put simply, Digital Marketing is buying and selling of products and services using digital technology platforms such as the internet, mobile phones, billboards, TV, radio, and many more. But digital marketing is not limited to products and services alone. Religious organizations, charities, NGOs, celebrities, educational institutions, in fact, literally everyone that has an online presence, can make use of and benefit from digital marketing.
Because the internet is the largest digital technology platform, we shall be focusing on the internet in discussing digital marketing in this article.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing gives you some added peps that are not available or even possible in traditional marketing. These include:
With digital marketing, you can reach a wider audience. As already stated, over 54% of the world’s population (and counting) are easily at your reach. Traditional marketing was limited mostly to a select geographical area. Reaching out beyond that area was not only challenging but also costly and ineffective.
Relatively Cheap and Affordable
Try imagining sending fliers of your products or services through the mailman to every home in your county, not to mention your country or the world. Not even the biggest corporations in the world will embark on such a task. But with digital marketing, you can literally do just that – with a few mouse clicks and at a significant fraction of the cost of traditional marketing. In fact, some methods of digital marketing do not cost you anything at all.
Analysis and Reports
How do you measure and analyze the success and effectiveness of your advertising in traditional marketing? So, you sent out 10,000 product fliers. How many got delivered to a person? How many people read the flier? How many are interested in the product and how many actually made a purchase because they saw and read that flier?
Digital marketing gives you instant and accurate data analysis and reports on your marketing campaign which allows you to measure, monitor and analyze your campaigns. You can observe and evaluate every step potential customers are making and take actions to encourage and support them along that sales conversion path.
Traditional marketing has no system for analyzing customer’s interests, hobbies, demographics, shopping habits and many more. Digital marketing does. You can target a specific niche of persons based on certain interests or criteria. For example, a gym can target persons who have shown interest in or purchased sports equipment, wears, and accessories. You can also limit your advertising to a particular demographic or geographical area.
Digital Marketing Funnel
As earlier said, finding customers is a principal function of any organization. So, how do we go about finding customers through digital marketing? The process of taking a total stranger through a series of business actions that would lead them to become your customer with an established relationship is known as the “Sales Funnel.” This path comprises of the following:
This involves making your business known and bringing your products and services to the awareness of potential customers. You can achieve this through a number of mediums, such as social media marketing, search engine optimization, and Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising.
Creating awareness of your products or services can spur a desire for potential customers to develop an interest in your offers. They begin to examine their needs and desires, evaluating if your products or services match those needs and what options are available to them.
At this stage, they are have decided to make a transaction but are still considering who and what to buy from.
Here, the potential buyer takes an action. This could be an outright purchase, subscribing to an email newsletter, sharing your page or product, downloading an eBook, participating in a giveaway and many more.
Once they have taken an action, you seek to establish a relationship with them. You may provide them with impressive customer support or get them to subscribe to your email list.
- Retention and Advocacy
Ensuring that your customers continue to patronize your products or services is a crucial factor in digital marketing. You may present them with discounts, special offers, coupons, or giveaways on other products, invite them to review your product or give referrals. They may also subscribe to your mailing list for news updates, promos and special offers.
These steps discussed above is what gives digital marketing its importance in our world today. With the appropriate tools, all the steps listed above can be completely automated, leaving you to just analyze data and statistics from reports for marketing and management decisions.
Methods of Digital Marketing
There are two methods generally associated with digital marketing. These are Inbound Digital Marketing and Outbound Digital Marketing.
Inbound Digital Marketing
As the name implies, inbound digital marketing is a marketing method by which you lure and draw customers to you. Another name for this method is permission-based marketing, implying that the customer has already given consent to finding out more about your products or services. It is also known as Owned Marketing because interested customers are drawn to you through assets that you own. These are through blogs, search engines, websites, social media, and many more. These customers, having already expressed an interest in your product or service, are more likely to convert to a lead and, eventually, to a sale. This is the ideal, modern, productive and effective way of marketing.
Outbound Digital Marketing
This is pure advertising. It is doing things like in the old traditional way. It is you going all out to canvass for customers, pushing your products and services unto them, through digital technology medium such as email blasts, banner ads, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, and others. This method of marketing (also known as interruption-based marketing or Paid Assets) is outdated and not productive.
Types of Digital Marketing
Having said these, how then do we go about digital marketing? What are the various ways whereby we can carry out such marketing – be it inbound or outbound?
This is creating content that is intended to attract, capture, engage, and convert interested persons into customers. It is an inbound method of marketing, at least 50% cheaper than traditional marketing and can generate 3 times more leads. Types of content that can be generated includes:
- Blog Articles
- Case Studies
- Customer Reviews
- Customer Testimonials
- “How-To” articles
- Product Descriptions
For these content types to be effective, they must be search-engine optimized to enable them to rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Sending direct emails to potential customers continues to rank high among the various types of digital marketing. This is understandable considering that modern emails can contain a wide range of embellished features (such as gifs, images, videos, font types, and more) designed to capture the interest of the reader. Furthermore, emails can be tracked to find out those delivered, opened, forwarded, those the reader clicked a link within the email, and many other actions.
With Influencer marketing, you partner with a popular and well-known person with a large online presence in a particular niche. Rather than market directly to customers, you market to the influencer who in turn market your products and services. This they can do by:
- Providing a link to your website, product or service.
- Write about you on their website, blog or social media.
- Contribute to your website or social media.
- Share you on their website or social media.
Social Media Marketing
This is marketing on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and many more. One key advantage of social media is that most people on social media access their account through their smartphones, iPhone or iPad. This enables them to see your postings immediately and equally respond to it.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Most internet users engage a search engine when searching online for a product, service, or anything really. With the aid of “crawler bots,” search engines create an index of all online content and that index is continually updated. So, when a person types a keyword or phrase into a search engine, the search engine returns those pages with the most likely results in ranking order.
Search Engine Optimization means to ensure your website pages contain the relevant keywords that will enable them to rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs).
When your website pages contain the relevant and appropriate keywords to enable them to rank high on search engine, that page is said to have achieved on-page SEO.
This is when your website or web content is discovered indirectly through other means such as backlinks from other websites, shares from social media, and others. With a high number of such links and shares, search engines will interpret your page as important and rank it high in SERPs.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC)/Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Advertising
Facebook Ads, Google Ads or ads on other platforms, are normally displayed in members’ newsfeeds, timeline or inorganic search results. PPC is a form of advertising where you are charged when a person clicks on your ad, hence the name Pay-Per-Click. On some platforms (such as Facebook), your ad can be targeted towards a particular niche or demographic. Advertisers bid on a keyword or key phrase that will display or “trigger” their advert.
So, if, say on Google, the keyword for your ad is “wine drinking glasses,” when a person types that phrase into the search engine, your ad will be displayed with all other ads from other advertisers that match that keyword or key phrase.
Digital Marketing is here to stay and its use and influence will continue to grow every day. Improvements and revisions are continually being made to ensure that it remains accurate, reliable, effective, and accurate.
Whether you are selling products or services, promoting a cause or yourself, seeking followership, or simply passing out information, digital marketing is indispensable and evitable for your efforts and activities.
Have a digital marketing strategy in place and review it regularly. Decide which type of digital marketing is most effective for your needs and implement the same. Add other types as they become relevant and as your needs can accommodate them. Remember, that no matter how appropriate the type of marketing you have chosen is, if your content is not appropriate, well-designed and targeted towards your intended audience, it will not achieve the desired results.
A well-designed and organized digital marketing strategy can take your business to higher levels.