Marketing is a word that is thrown around a lot in business — especially when talking about ways to raise your profile, generate leads, and enhance reputation. To define digital marketing, we need to start at the beginning. Let’s define marketing.
What is ‘marketing’?
This is a term used to encompass all the activities that a business undertakes to get noticed and to ensure customers are interested in its products or services. Traditionally, this includes:
- Broadcast advertising – TV and radio adverts
- Print media – adverts in newspapers and magazines, as well as other printed literature
- Telemarketing – calling potential customers
- Events and networking – promoting products or services face to face
Essentially, it is about making people aware of your company and ensuring you are the go-to business in your field. The above techniques work and have worked for years. However, in the fast-paced digital age, businesses are missing out if they are not including a digital marketing strategy within their wider marketing plan. According to Forbes, more than half of the world’s population is online in 2019. That’s four billion internet users — all of whom could be seeing, using and benefiting from your product. By restricting your marketing strategy to ‘offline only’ you are missing out on billions of potential customers from the online market. No matter who your audience is, marketing is crucial for success — whether that’s B2C or B2B marketing.
Online marketing takes the fundamentals of marketing and moves them online. Here, things move much faster. A TV advert or brochure will raise awareness and spark interest, but the potential customer has much more time after seeing the marketing material to change their mind. Digital marketing, however, can be instant. Potential customers are only ever a click or two away from having all the information they need at their fingertips. And, as a marketer, your mission should be to drive potential customers to your website, where they should be able to find all the information they need. There are several ways to ensure they get there:
- Digital content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Online Advertising
What are they and how do they work?
While a brand’s messages, values and tone should always be consistent, the ways in which they tell their story should vary. Investing time and money into a multi-platform digital marketing strategy will make for an interesting, all-encompassing customer experience. The best strategies combine multiple marketing and digital marketing tools!
Digital content marketing
Posting content regularly should be a key part of your digital strategy. Producing shareable, educational content — like blog posts, videos and infographics — helps to position you as an expert in your sector. Additionally, the more quality content you post, the higher your website will rank on search engines like Google. The higher your website ranks, the more trustworthy and reliable your company appears, and the easier you are to find. This, in turn, makes consumers think of you when they need your services or product.
Social media marketing
Social media is no longer just about seeing what your friends and family are doing. Businesses should be taking advantage of the handy digital marketing tools that social media platforms provide. It is a great way to link to your website, share tips, advice and ‘inside’ knowledge, as well as offering several useful advertising options. Most importantly — it is where a lot of your potential customers are!
According to Hootsuite, in 2018, there were more than one billion active Instagram users; every second, LinkedIn acquired two new users, and Facebook was the second most popular website in the world.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When time is money, people and businesses want to move quickly. If your target audience is made up of decision makers with tight schedules, you need to act fast. Ranking high on search engines like Google and Bing not only makes you easier to find but also positions you as the best at what you do. SEO marketing sees a combination of using the right keywords, producing regular, reliable content and having a great user experience on your website all help bring you to the top.
Knowing who your audience is and where they spend time online is crucial to your digital advertising strategy. Whether they’re reading business magazines or watching Instagram stories, that’s where you need to be appearing. Eye-catching online adverts will help generate traffic to your website, and in turn, create potential customers.
How has digital marketing evolved?
Today’s consumers are more powerful than ever. Thanks to the internet, successful marketing is no longer companies shouting into the void and hoping someone will hear. It is a two-way conversation; a more engaged and switched on consumer who expects a personalized experience. The companies providing that experience are the ones that will reap the most rewards! Your products, services and the experience you offer should be as unique as each of your customers. Luckily, the ability to track and understand online behavior means it is easier than ever to do this.
“If we have 4.5 million customers, we shouldn’t have one store. We should have 4.5 million stores.” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon
Digital marketing enables a business to gather insights into their consumer. What are they interested in? At what point did they decide they do not need or want your product? Where did they go instead? What can we learn from their behavior to ensure that, next time, they make the purchase? While traditional marketing can offer you a readership, viewership or demographic – digital marketing can offer you an individual user.
How website personalization can take digital marketing to the next level
In an era of personalization, brands must take it to the next level to be successful in digital marketing. From understanding their demographic to targeting them by interest or intent, the consumer has more control than ever before.