Marketing specialists can use all electronic devices to get their marketing message in front of potential customers, increasing their impact while taking their customers on a valuable journey. Typically speaking, the term digital marketing refers to creating marketing campaigns that take place on digital devices like tablets, phones, and computers. This type of marketing can take place in numerous forms including paid social media ads, posts on social media websites, display ads, SEO or search engine marketing, and video marketing to name a few.
Many people compare digital marketing to traditional marketing like placing ads in magazines, direct mail, and billboard advertising. Advertising on television is usually considered a form of traditional marketing as well.
Believe it or not, roughly 75% of the American people spend time on the Internet each day. And even more interesting, 26% of the US population spends nearly all of their time online, and 43% of people in the US are online multiple times during the day.
When you factor in mobile Internet users, the numbers jump up even higher. 89% of the American people are online via mobile devices throughout the day and more than 30% of Americans spend nearly the entire day on the Internet.
Marketers need to take full advantage of the digital space by developing a presence on the Internet. They need to build their brand online, provide an amazing experience for their customers, and use this resource to bring new customers into the fold by creating and developing a digital strategy.
The Real Truth about Digital Marketing
Another name for digital marketing is online marketing. This activity is designed to promote brands over the Internet to connect with current and future customers via digital communication. This type of communication includes social media posts, web advertising, email marketing, videos, text-based messages, and more.
Principally, if a form of digital communication is used for marketing purposes, it is considered digital marketing.
Digital Marketing vs Inbound Marketing
Many people confuse inbound marketing and digital marketing. Digital marketing consists of using a number of identical tools as inbound marketing including online content and email. Both of these marketing styles exist to grab prospects’ attention and take them on a buyer’s journey that flips them from potential customers to actual customers. But each of these approaches has a different way of viewing the relationship of the goal and the tool used to achieve said goal.
On the one hand, digital marketing focuses on using particular tools and how they can convert prospects into customers. A digital marketing strategy for a brand consists of using numerous platforms in many cases, or they will focus their entire effort on a single platform.
Inbound marketing consists of a much more holistic concept. First, it takes the overall goal into consideration. Second, it considers the available tools and uses the ones that will most effectively target potential customers. At this stage, inbound marketers can begin developing a proper sales funnel.
More importantly, it’s important for marketing professionals to remember that inbound marketing and digital marketing aren’t mutually exclusive. You can choose to use one or both at the same time. Believe it or not, they actually work better in conjunction with one another. You’ll receive purpose and structure with inbound marketing that add it to your digital marketing efforts, while creating a digital marketing channel that achieves your overall advertising goals.
B2B vs B2C: Digital Marketing Differences
Using digital marketing for business-to-consumer and business-to-business companies is very effective, although the best practices for each strategy are significantly different.
- In B2B, the decision-making process is much longer, so the sales funnel must remain longer as well. For these clients, it’s best to utilize relationship building strategies because they work better. On the other hand, with B2C customers, they typically respond better to short-term messages and offers.
- Transactions taking place in a B2B marketing strategy are mostly based on evidence and logic, which is presented by skilled B2B marketers. Content in the B2C space typically focuses on emotions, making potential customers have good feelings about their upcoming purchase.
- Decisions made in B2B situations usually rely on the input of one person. It’s best to use downloadable and shareable marketing materials to facilitate the decision-making process. Alternatively, B2C customers like connecting with a brand in one-on-one scenarios.
As you can imagine, every rule has exceptions. Business to consumer companies selling high ticket items like computers or cars would benefit from providing their customers with serious, information driven content. No matter if it’s business to consumer or business-to-business marketing, the digital marketing strategy must focus on your specific customer base.
Digital Marketing Types
Many digital marketing specializations exist. Some powerfully effective examples include:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Believe it or not, SEO is basically a tool used for marketing instead of an actual marketing method. It’s ultimately looked upon as the artistic and scientific way to make webpages look more attractive to search engines.
It’s important to focus on the scientific and artistic part of search engine optimization. It’s considered a science because specialists must weigh and research varying factors to rank as high as possible in the search engines. The biggest and most important elements to study for web page optimization include:
- User Engagement Levels
- Content quality
- Quality and number of inbound links
- Mobile-friendly web pages
Using these factors strategically turns search engine optimization into a science, but the unpredictability of it all also turns this tool into an art form.
With search engine optimization, there isn’t a specific rule or set of tasks that make it possible to rank highly. The algorithm is nearly constantly changing at Google. This makes exactly predicting a set of step-by-step instructions almost impossible. Basically, it’s best to manage the performance of your page and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Search engine optimization plays a huge factor in content marketing, which is a strategy based on creating relevant and valuable content that gets distributed to your target audience.
As an overall strategy for marketing, the main goal is to attract leads that can be converted into customers through content marketing. But it attracts these leads very differently than traditional advertising would. Instead of attempting to entice prospects with a service or product at a lower value, it provides value by sharing free and insightful written information to customers.
Content marketing is incredibly effective and the stats can prove it:
- About 84% of today’s consumers feel that companies should deliver helpful and entertaining content to their customers
- Around 62% of today’s companies with 5000 employees or more produce content each day
- Nearly 92% of all marketers believe that businesses recognize content as an incredibly valuable asset
Just understand that content marketing is often tricky yet it can be very effective at the same time. Writers producing marketing content need to make sure it ranks highly within the search engines to get the best results and also engage with customers who want to read the material, interact with the brand, and share on social media. When you share relevant content, it creates a pipeline to establish a strong relationship with consumers.
Social Media Marketing
Increase brand awareness and drive traffic by engaging with people on social media sites including popular platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and more.
Since marketing on social media requires audience participation, it’s a great way to certainly grab people’s attention. And it’s currently the best business to consumer content medium for marketers with 96% sharing content on social media sites. Business-to-business companies are also starting to join the fray. In fact, it’s believed that B2B companies have increased their social media marketing by 61% in the past year.
Marketing on social media is excellent because the engagement metrics are already built-in, which is useful to help companies better reach their audience. You can determine the interactions that best suit your business, and determine if it’s comments, shares, or website clicks.
Your social media marketing strategy might not have direct purchases is your ultimate goal. Plenty of brands like to use social media to engage with audiences and start dialogues instead of asking them to spend money immediately. This is very common with brands attempting to target older audience members or products that aren’t necessarily impulse buys. The company’s goals are what matter most to determine your social media marketing strategy.
PPC marketing is a method of posting advertisements on platforms that drive clicks to a particular webpage. You are required to pay for each click.
Determining when and how your ad is seen is definitely more complicated. When a spot opens up on the SERPs, the search engine will fill the spot instantly via a bidding system that operates as an auction. The algorithm will prioritize available ad space based on certain factors that include:
- Quality of the landing page
- Relevant keywords
- The amount of the bid
- The quality of the ad
Each pay-per-click campaign has one or more actions that the user is expected to complete once the ad is clicked. The actions in question are known as conversions, and they can be non-transactional or transactional, depending on your needs. One example of making a conversion is a customer making a purchase. Another example is someone calling your office. And finally, a final example is signing up to your newsletter.
It’s always best to track your conversions to properly monitor your campaign to learn how it is succeeding.
By marketing as an affiliate, an individual can earn money by promoting products or services of another business. You could either act as the promoter, or act as the business working with other promoters, but it’s a similar process in either situation.
It works by using a model of revenue-sharing. If you are the affiliate for another company, they will pay you a commission anytime someone buys a product through your affiliate link. If you are the merchant, you will pay an affiliate a certain percentage every time they make a sale through their affiliate link.
Some affiliate marketers stick to one company and only review their products, by putting them on a third-party website or blog. Others like to promote products of many different merchants.
Whether you’re looking for an affiliate or you are one already, the initial step is to connect with the other party to get started. Use a platform designated to connect retailers and affiliates together, or you can join or start a program for single retailers.
You can do many different things as a retailer looking to work with affiliates directly, which will allow possible promoters to find your program very appealing. You must provide affiliates with all the tools necessary for them to achieve success. This includes things like excellent incentives, support for marketing, premade marketing materials, and more.
Another way to name native advertising is to call it marketing in disguise. The overall goal is to create less obvious marketing content that blends in with its surroundings.
This type of advertising was developed to target cynical consumers because of their negative reaction toward advertisements. Many consumers believe a particular ad is biased and they will ignore it when they know that a Creator pays to run the ad.
Native ads have a way of circumventing the bias by providing entertainment or information before getting to the promotional part, which ultimately downplays the ad.
The most important part is to create native ads that are clearly labeled. Make sure it’s obvious that “sponsored” or “promoted” is clearly visible on the content. If you conceal these indicators, you can upset viewers if they spend a lot of time with your content only to find out that it’s advertising later on.
When a consumer knows what he or she is getting into, they typically feel much better about your brand and content. Native ads are typically designed to be more unobtrusive than traditional ads, but deception isn’t the name of the game.
Using software to create digital marketing campaigns is known as marketing automation. It’s designed to improve relevance and efficiency of advertising.
The latest statistics state:
- Around 90% of the consumers in the United States think personalized ads are somewhat or very appealing
- Roughly 81% of consumers around the world think their favorite brands should have a better understanding of them
- About 77% of companies feel that real-time personalization is valuable, yet roughly 60% of them are struggling to achieve it
Market automatization allows businesses to meet personalization expectations. It gives brands a chance to:
- Gather and examine consumer info
- Design marketing campaigns that are perfectly targeted
- Post or send messages at the correct time for your particular audience
Tools for marketing automation evaluate engagement or the lack of engagement to choose the next way to reach out to customers. This customization in real time means individualizing and creating effective marketing strategies to target each customer without investing additional time.
It’s a very simple concept. Send a promotional email message and hope your customer takes the desired action. But it requires a complex execution. First off, it’s necessary to ensure your customers want these emails. So, you have to have created an opt in list with the following abilities:
- Personalizes the body and subject line of the content
- Clearly specifies email types the consumer will receive
- Provides an option to unsubscribe
- Integrates promotional and transactional emails effectively
This is a proven strategy. Roughly 90% of surveyed marketers say that it’s their most effective way to generate leads. Incorporating marketing automation and other techniques makes it even more effective.
Digital Marketing Benefits
This marketing method provides a number of major advantages. A few of the biggest ones include:
Reaching a Broad Demographic
After posting an ad online, anyone can see it anywhere in the world as long as you haven’t limited the geography. You can grow your marketing reach much easier this way.
Using digital marketing gives access to a broader audience and typically costs less than traditional marketing. TV spots, newspaper ads, and other opportunities are very costly. They provide less control and you may not even reach your target audience in the first place.
Digital marketing, on the other hand, requires one piece of content that you can use to bring visitors to your blog or somewhere else. Or, you can create a campaign for email marketing that sends targeted messages to your customers via scheduled bursts, which you can easily change the schedule of as you see fit.
After adding it all up, you can see that digital marketing creates flexibility while engaging with more customers for less ad spend.
Results Are Quantifiable
to understand how effective your marketing strategy is, you need to know if it attracts consumers and how much revenue they spend because of it. How can you tell if the strategy is working in a non-digital marketing setting?
You can always ask your customers how they found you. But this doesn’t work in every industry. Many companies never speak to their customers in one-on-one conversations. Surveys never tell the full story either.
Monitoring results in a digital marketing setting is much easier. Software and certain platforms track conversions for businesses, sharing things like homepage visits, direct purchases, email open rates, and more.
Personalization Is Easier
Gathering data online is easier than off-line marketing. Digital data collection is usually specific and very precise.
Imagine sending out a special offer to customers in the financial services industry. You know your results will be better if you can send a targeted offer, so you prepare two different campaigns. One targets young families looking to purchase life insurance and the other is for entrepreneurial millennials considering retirement options.
Can you gather the data from these campaigns without automated tracking? In a traditional marketing setting, you send a brochure and it’s impossible to know if the customer read it or not. In a digital marketing setting, all this information is readily available to you.
Connect with Customers at a Deeper Level
Digital marketing communication happens in real time. And it makes it very easy for customers to communicate directly with you.
Think about your strategy for social media. When your audience is targeted and reads your latest post, they can share it, comment on it, and create a buzz around your service or product. This increases visibility and allows consumers to join the conversation.
This interaction is very beneficial for customers as well. The more they engage with your content, the more they become a part of the brand’s story as a participant. This gives them a sense of ownership and helps to foster brand loyalty.
Conversions Become Easy and Convenient
Digital marketing gives customers the ability to act immediately after viewing content or one of your ads. Traditional advertising, on the other hand, may or may not lead to a more immediate result. Will they pick up the phone and call you after reading your ad? If your prospect is driving the kids to school, doing the dishes, or working, it’s highly unlikely.
Digital marketing gives customers the ability to save blog posts, watch videos later, or move through the sales funnel at a different pace. They may not purchase right away, but it gives them the ability to connect with you much more readily.
Growth Creation through Digital Marketing
Businesses should primarily focus on digital marketing as their main marketing strategy. This opportunity has never been as consistent and easy to attract customers. It delivers a level of personalization unknown in the marketing space until now. Embrace this opportunity and use digital marketing to grow your company and achieve your highest potential in the future.