With the boom in digital technology and the spread of computers and smartphones, businesses began experimenting with new marketing tactics. Hence, digital marketing emerged.
A general definition of marketing is the efforts to identify and satisfy customers’ needs. Marketing is essential in a business context, given that successful marketing can drive inbound leads and attract a large customer base.
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A traditional marketing cycle involves the study of market orientation, product mix, and industry environment. Even though marketing has profound roots in business history and culture, digital marketing is one of the newest marketing tactics.
The world as it is today relies heavily on digital marketing, just as much if not more than traditional advertising methods. This divide is destined to grow as more and more businesses divert their funds to digital marketing. As a whole, companies need to develop and deploy an effective digital marketing strategy.
Digital Marketing: What Is It?
Digital marketing is advertising brands through the Internet and different forms of digital communication to connect with potential customers. The term ‘digital marketing’ also refers to all marketing efforts that are conducted on the Internet.
Businesses use digital media such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to communicate with their customers, including text messages, multimedia, and email.
While inbound and digital marketing may seem almost identical, some essential differences exist. Through my conversations with marketers and business owners in the U.S., U.K., Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, I have learned how those differences are observed internationally.
More than three-quarters of Americans access the Internet every day! Furthermore, 43% go online more than once daily, and 26% are online “almost constantly.”
Mobile internet users have even higher numbers. 89% of Americans go online daily, and 31% are online almost constantly. As a marketer, you need to take advantage of the digital world by creating a brand, providing a great customer experience, and bringing more potential customers with a digital campaign.
Importance of Digital Marketing
Given the variety of digital marketing approaches, there is also a range of benefits available for digitally savvy businesses. An overarching use of digital marketing enables companies to reach customers during day-to-day activities, such as browsing social media, reading online articles, watching videos, etc.
When these activities are handled naturally and regularly, it offers businesses a range of opportunities. Let’s explore these benefits:
Global Reach – Digital marketing is not necessarily confined to a specific geographical area. As the internet is accessible worldwide, businesses can market and sell to customers who live in different states or countries, removing many barriers to a traditional advertising strategy.
Low Price of Entry – With traditional marketing channels, there would be a steep price tag attached to the global reach of digital marketing. As an alternative, certain aspects of digital marketing can be achieved for just a tiny investment of time and money. For instance, small or startup companies can design a website, manage social media, and publish blogs without spending a fortune.
Measurable ROI – Companies must carefully assess return on investment (ROI) before committing resources to a marketing campaign. With traditional marketing, ROI is difficult, if not impossible, to measure.
Meanwhile, digital marketing gives business leaders real-time insight into each campaign’s effectiveness, allowing them to make well-informed decisions to maximize profits.
Enhanced Targeting – With digital marketing, businesses can reach particular demographics through advertising. Companies increase their chances of getting their target demographic by engaging customers in a specific location, industry, or social media platform.
Dynamic Adaptability – Digital marketing strategies are flexible and malleable, allowing businesses to change course when necessary. Unlike traditional marketing efforts that require long-term planning, digital marketing will enable firms to pivot on the fly to take advantage of commercial opportunities.
Immediate Connection – Modern customers generally conduct online research and evaluate reviews before buying. The first step in this process typically begins on a search engine. By tapping into SEO, SEM, and PPC strategies, businesses can instantly connect with their customers.
Relationship Formation – With social media’s rise, it has become one of the dominant communication platforms for many customer demographics. Moreover, consumers want to interact with businesses on their terms and their preferred platforms.
Consequently, companies implementing effective SMM practices can build long-term, loyal relationships with their customers.
With so many advantages available for just about any budget, it makes sense why so many industries are growing with digital marketing efforts.
Furthermore, the expense of digital marketing can be customized to each specific trade, removing many barriers to entry typically associated with traditional methods. Again, these reasons are why many companies succeed with digital marketing.
Types of Digital Marketing Channels
An outline of some digital marketing tactics and digital channels follow to enhance visibility include:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization enhances your website’s ranking on search engine results pages, so it receives more organic (or free) traffic. Search Engine Optimization can be done through websites, blogs, and infographics.
To generate qualified traffic to your website, you can approach SEO in several ways.
- On-page SEO: This type of SEO focuses on the content found “on the page” when viewing a webpage. By researching words for their search volume and intent (or meaning), you can help readers find answers to their questions and rank higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Off-Page SEO: This type of SEO involves all the activities outside your website when optimizing your website. “What activity that is not on my site could affect my ranking?” you might wonder. Inbound links, also known as backlinks, determine how high you rank for the keywords you care most about.
- You can earn backlinks to your website with the help of writing guest posts on other publishers’ websites (and linking to your website) and generating external attention so that your website ranks higher in search engine results.
- Technical SEO: Technical SEO focuses on the backend, how your pages are coded, and how your images are compressed. Structured data, image compression, and CSS file optimization can increase your website’s loading speed, which is vital in ranking in search engines.
Content marketing directs to developing and promotion of content assets for brand awareness, lead generation, website traffic growth, and customer acquisition. Among the possible channels for your content marketing strategy are:
- Blog posts: By publishing content on your company blog, you can demonstrate your expertise within your industry and help generate organic search traffic to your website. That ultimately enables you to convert more website visitors into leads for your sales team.
- Infographics: Readers often prefer to see content rather than read it. Information graphics help website visitors visualize a concept, making it easier for them to comprehend.
- Audio or visual content: Video and radio are popular channels for digital marketing, so generating content that can be viewed online as a video or listened to on the radio can significantly expand your target audience.
Social Media Marketing
In social media marketing, you promote your brand and content on social media channels to expand brand recognition, develop the website traffic, and generate leads for your business.
- Pinterest, and much more.
Marketers will use these social media platforms to create viral digital marketing campaigns. By participating in a trend that’s resonating with a broad target audience, they will be able to work with a popular content creator to create a shareable campaign. The ultimate goal is to have it spread organically across social media channels.
Pay Per Click (PPC Campaigns)
According to Webfx, 65% of small to mid-sized businesses have a PPC campaign. A PPC campaign involves paying publishers for clicks on your ads, one of the most popular types of PPC is Google Ads, which lets you buy top positions on the search engine results pages of Google for a cost “per click” of the links you place. Other channels include:
- Paid ads on Facebook: Users can pay to customize videos, images, or slideshows that Facebook will post to the news feeds of people who match your business’s target audience.
- Twitter Ads campaigns: Users can pay for a series of posts or badges to appear on an audience’s news feeds to accomplish a specific goal for their business. For example, Twitter Ads could generate website traffic, gain followers, increase engagement with tweets, or even generate app downloads.
- Sponsored Messages on LinkedIn: Here, users can send specific messages to specific LinkedIn users according to their industry and background.
Affiliate marketing is performance-based advertising in which you receive commissions for promoting someone else’s products or services on your website. Some examples include:
- Hosting video ads
- Posting affiliate links
Finding suitable content creators for your digital marketing campaign can take your drive to the next level. This is part of the moderately new surge of influencer marketing.
“Native advertising” refers to advertising that is mainly content-driven and inserted alongside other, non-paid content on a platform, such as BuzzFeed-sponsored posts. Still, social media advertisements such as those on Facebook and Instagram are also often considered native advertising.
Inbound marketing involves attracting, engaging, and delighting customers throughout the buyer’s journey. You can use all of the digital marketing tactics listed above throughout inbound marketing plans to give customers an experience that works with them rather than against them. Here are some examples of classic examples of inbound marketing:
- Blogs vs. pop-up ads
- Commercial advertising vs. video marketing
- Email contact lists vs. spam emails
Digital Marketing: The Best Approach
Digital marketing steps are like these employees who work in different departments for the same company. All employees have one goal: to make the organization successful. So let’s deep dive into the steps of making digital marketing work:
Identify Your Goals
In the beginning stages of your digital marketing journey, you must identify and define your goals before crafting your strategy. For example, if your purpose is to increase brand awareness, you might focus more on reaching new audiences through social media.
As an alternative, perhaps your goal is to increase sales on a specific product – in that case, you should focus more on SEO and optimizing content to attract potential customers to your website.
In addition, if sales are your goal, you might look into PPC campaigns to drive traffic through paid advertisements. Regardless, you can shape your digital marketing strategy most effectively once you know your company’s top priorities.
Determine Your Target Audience
Digital marketing offers the possibility of targeting specific audiences, but you can only take that benefit advantage if you have identified your target audience first. Of course, relying on the channel or goal for any given product or campaign, your target audience might vary.
You may have noticed that most of your Instagram audience has a younger demographic and prefers quick videos and funny memes – but most of your LinkedIn audience is older and is looking for more tactical advice. Therefore, you will need to tailor your content to these target audiences.
Create A Budget For Each Digital Channel
When it comes to digital marketing budgets, it depends on what elements you want to incorporate. For example, if you focus on inbound techniques like SEO, social media, and content creation for existing websites, you will not need a large budget.
This is because inbound marketing primarily focuses on developing content your audience will want to consume. Unless you plan to outsource the work, the only investment you will need is your time.
According to eMarketer, digital ad spending worldwide is estimated at $441 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $485 billion in 2023. There is undoubtedly some expense involved with outbound techniques like online advertising and purchasing email lists. In addition, the kind of visibility you want through advertising will affect your decision.
For example, suppose you use Google AdWords to implement PPC. In that case, you’ll compete with other businesses in your niche to rise to the top of Google’s search outcomes for keywords related to your business. It can be relatively affordable or costly, depending on how competitive the keyword is, so it’s a good idea to also focus on growing your organic reach.
Maintain A Balance Between Paid & Free Digital Strategies
For a digital marketing strategy to be compelling, you will probably need a combination of paid and free components. For instance, if you spend time making comprehensive buyer personas to understand the needs of your audience, then you can produce quality content to attract and convert them.
As a result, you’re likely to see strong results within the first six months, even with minimal ad spend. However, if paid advertising is a part of your plan, you might see results even faster.
Make Engaging Content
After you identify your audience and determine your budget, you can start creating content for the various channels you will use. This content could be social media posts, a blog, PPC ads, sponsored content, email marketing newsletters, and more.
Of course, any content you create ought to be exciting and engaging for your target audience because marketing content aims to increase brand awareness and improve lead generation.
Perform Keyword Research
In digital marketing, it’s all about engaging targeted audiences through personalized content – something that cannot be done without effective keyword research. Keyword research is integral to optimizing your website and content for SEO and ensuring people can find your company through search engines. Additionally, social media keyword research can help market your products or services on social channels.
Even without an SEO strategist, you’ll want to conduct keyword research. Create a list of high-performing keywords related to your products or services, and look for long-tail variations for tremendous SEO success.
Iterate based on Metrics
Understanding how to pivot based on analytics is crucial to creating an effective long-term digital marketing strategy. For example, let’s suppose, perhaps after a couple of months, you find that your audience isn’t as curious about your content on Instagram anymore, but they love your tweets.
Maybe this is an opportunity to re-examine your Instagram strategy, but it could also suggest that your audience is consuming brand content differently than before. Alternatively, suppose you find an older web page isn’t getting the traffic it used to. In that case, you should update it or eliminate it to ensure visitors are discovering the freshest, most relevant content.
The power of digital marketing allows businesses to grow continuously – but it’s up to you to seize these opportunities.
Digital Marketing Strategy: What is it?
A digital marketing strategy is a technique for making an internet presence through online channels such as organic search, social media channels, paid advertisements, and other web-based digital marketing channels such as your website. A successful digital marketing strategy aims to increase awareness of your business and attract new customers.
“Digital marketing campaign” and “digital marketing strategy” are often misused like “marketing strategy” and “marketing tactics” are. An excellent digital marketing strategy will help your business achieve specific digital goals through carefully chosen media.
Digital Marketing Strategy vs Tactics
The objective of your plan is a strategy, which is something you can achieve – it is the way to reach your goal. Tactics are the concrete and definable steps you take to complete it. Marketing or not, all best digital marketing strategies are made up of these three components:
- Diagnosing your issue
- Developing a plan for dealing with it
- Implementing the policy by taking targeted actions
It may be necessary to break your marketing strategy into several moving parts, each with different objectives. With that said, creating a marketing strategy can be daunting now and then, so here are three steps to help you stay focused on reaching your goals. Now, let’s examine digital marketing strategy.
Digital Marketing Strategies
Blogs are one of the most convincing ways businesses market their products and services online. While some critics claim that blogging is a massive waste of time, for companies who wish to get in front of potential customers, blogging is a significant play.
Why? In addition to providing valuable insights through well-written, well-researched blog posts, Zensuggest writes blogs specifically for small, medium, and enterprise companies. Based on this, the topics we write about directly address different consumer needs:
Don’t blog just because; a blog with the intent to solve for the customer. Understanding your target audience and their pain points is essential to reaching your audience effectively. That way, you can write highly targeted content that’s genuinely helpful for readers.
Creating an organic blogging strategy is only part of the story. It’s also essential to have the means of promoting your content non-organic, like paid advertising. Paid ads will drive more brand awareness and reach target audiences who can’t find you organically.
It is crucial to grow your blog and not get as much traffic as you’d like. Here’s what you must consider when designing your digital strategy:
- Social Media Advertising
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
- Google Ads
- Online Advertising
You don’t need to create content or a search engine marketing strategy to launch an advertising campaign. Instead, write a few lines of copy, choose imagery, and launch your campaign.
According to TechJury, digital ads can boost brand awareness by 80%. However, to ensure that your campaigns are successful, you’ll need to create an advertising plan detailing who you’re targeting and what channels you will use.
Provide Free Educational Resources
The objective of digital marketing isn’t just to get people to visit your website or click on your ads – you’ve also got to offer them more value in exchange for their email address. In contrast, the gated content is free, and users “pay” with their email addresses. This practice is known as lead generation, which is vital if you want to turn visitors into loyal customers.
Your landing page should include an educational resource: an eBook, a guide, a template, or a kit. Think about the skills and knowledge your customers need to succeed daily, and offer them a downloadable resource that will help them do that.
Implement landing page best practices so visitors are urged to download the educational content for free. Limit navigation menus, remove unnecessary information, and remove links and buttons that lead to other web pages. Visitors should have only one choice: download the educational content.
Optimize Your Digital Content For Search Engines.
When it comes to digital strategy, SEO is one of the essential elements you can implement. It will support your rank for keywords connected to your products and get more eyes on your blog and educational content.
If your product pages aren’t getting traffic, SEO is your best bet to get them in front of people exploring those products and services. In addition, investing in on-page SEO will ensure that your content engages and converts users.
Run An Online Contest Or Giveaway.
Contests & Giveaways are among the best ways to raise brand awareness online and boost your digital marketing strategy. In trade for the complimentary product, you can gain hundreds or even thousands of new followers and subscribers who can eventually become customers.
The method is beneficial if you sell consumer products or offer services with physical deliverables. For example, a beauty brand might give away beauty products, or a portrait photographer might provide a free session.
For B2-B businesses or manufacturers, this strategy might not be as effective. Still, you can certainly adapt it to meet your needs, such as offering one free box of products to customers who subscribe to your mailing list.
Plan A Webinar
You should consider webinars as an alternative to contests if you’re unsure if they suit your company – especially if you’re a B2-B enterprise. In addition, Webinars are great for introducing the public to your products and services and giving leads a chance to ask questions.
Do you have a complicated product to sell? Therefore, it is wise to create a dedicated webinar page on your website that lists future and past webinars. As a result, your customers can access educational content they will benefit from, and prospects will gain a deeper understanding of your products than they can through a simple case study or blog post.
Set Up An Email Marketing Campaign
It’s one of the best digital strategies you can use today, as it allows you to nurture consumers who are favorably interested in your products. After all, you wouldn’t subscribe to a brand’s newsletter if you didn’t like it, and businesses aren’t supposed to send emails to customers who haven’t signed up.
Not unless it wants to risk diminishing email deliverability, You can gain subscribers through blogging, contests, and even webinars. Every time somebody provides you their email address – or confirms their consent to receive communication from you – you have their permission to use email marketing to target them.
After you have compiled your research up to this point, it is time to write a digital marketing strategy document outlining the steps you will take to achieve your marketing goals.
Who Is A Digital Marketer?
A digital marketer’s job is to drive brand awareness and lead generation through all available digital channels – free and paid – that are at their disposal. These channels include social media, a company’s website, search engine rankings, email, display advertising, and a blog.
Digital marketers usually focus on a specific key performance indicator (KPI) for each channel to monitor the company’s performance across different channels.
For example, an SEO professional may measure organic website traffic, while in small companies, one generalist may simultaneously manage many of the digital marketing tactics described above. Several specialists in a large organization often focus on one or two of the brand’s digital channels.
Here are some examples of these specialists:
Organic traffic is the primary KPI.
SEO managers optimize a business’s ranking on Google by using various techniques to optimize content. They might also work directly with content creators to ensure the content they produce performs well on Google, regardless of whether it is posted on social media.
Content Marketing Specialist
The main KPIs are time on page, overall blog traffic, and YouTube channel, subscribers.
As stated by the content marketing institute, 63% of B2B marketers have succeeded in building loyal relationships with clients, 53% have generated sales, and 75% use content to develop trust through content marketing.
Content marketing professionals plan and develop a content strategy that includes video and keep track of the company’s blogging schedule. In addition, they often work closely with other departments to ensure that the marketing campaigns and products launched by the business are supported with promotional content across all channels.
Social Media Manager
Follows, Impressions and Shares are the main KPIs.
Typically, social media managers manage social networks for the company, but the same networks operate depending on their industry. Above all, social media managers implement a posting schedule for the company’s written and visual content.
Furthermore, the social media manager often works with the content marketing specialist to determine what kind of content to post on social networks.
Marketing Automation Coordinator
The main KPIs are open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate for leads.
The marketing automation coordinator helps the marketing team choose the software that allows them to comprehend their customers’ behavior and estimate the development of their business.
Therefore, because digital campaigns may be executed separately, it is essential to have a coordinator who can pull these digital activities into campaigns and track their performance.
Digital Marketing Examples
There are countless examples of digital marketing campaigns in today’s digital world. Here are a few of our favorites that will inspire you to ace your marketing game.
- APPLE #SHOTONIPHONE- Organic Social Media Marketing
An essential aspect of digital marketing strategy is to engage a large digital audience through social media platforms. The goals are to increase brand recognition and loyalty, boost sales and revenues, and drive traffic to your website.
Campaign Name: Apple #ShotoniPhone
Goal: The campaign objective was to create a viral campaign to showcase Apple’s new camera’s clarity and unmatched quality.
People submitted 77 photos from 75 iPhone 6 users in 25 countries for a campaign that included users from all over the world sharing their best iPhone 6 images using the hashtag #shotoniPhone.
Results & Key Takeaways:
In no time at all, the digital marketing campaign went viral. Apple leveraged this by selecting images from people of different ages and demographics and displaying them on 10,000 billboards worldwide, effectively making it a 360-degree campaign that included ads in magazines, newspapers, TV ads, and paid media ads.
Globally, the campaign impacted 24000 opinion leaders and received positive feedback from 95%.
It had 6.5 billion media impressions all over the world. 231 million iPhones were sold this year, an increase of 62 million units from the previous year, increasing brand awareness, loyalty, and engagement.
2. Nike Air VaporMax- Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing describes the practice of companies collaborating with influencers or opinion leaders to promote their brands. Their audiences already have a relationship with them, so they can be tapped to boost sales and awareness.
Campaign Name: Nike Air VaporMax + What’s Inside That
Goal: Promote the launch of Nike Air VaporMax by creating buzz and awareness
Nike is known for collaborating with celebrities and influencers around the world. In 2017, they teamed up with the YouTube Channel What’s Inside That, featuring Dan and his son Lincoln, who slice up everyday objects to find out what’s inside. We watched as they cut open a pair of Nike Air VaporMax shoes to find out what was inside.
Results & Key Takeaways:
Influencer marketing is critical to brands as it helps build buzz about their products and helps create awareness about new lines. The video reached 3.6 million people and led to sales and engagement.
3. Uber- Referral Marketing Example
Marketing through referral is word-of-mouth marketing in which a company encourages and rewards its existing customers for recommending their services to their friends, family, and colleagues.
Campaign Name: Uber Referral Program
Goal: Expand Uber’s presence in India
Uber developed refer-a-friend programs for riders and drivers, acted as salespeople of the company, and brought in more drivers – this was crucial as the company’s success depends entirely on its drivers. The referral incentive ranged from INR 2000-5000, based on the city, contributing to Uber’s success.
The user interface was also designed to make it user-friendly so riders could get a free ride or up to Rs. 600 for every new referral. Uber then offered referral incentives to riders.
Results & Key Takeaways:
By leveraging its referral program in India, the company grew by 400%. With 50 cities in India and 11 million rides per week, referral programs are a great way to encourage your user base to act as a salesperson for your brand.
Connecting with your target audience can be the key to converting a lead or acquiring a customer. Digital marketing allows you to communicate with prospective customers by using various channels to reach them. Whether it’s social media platforms, websites, or text messages, it’s a valuable marketing tool for your business.
This guide explains how you can successfully use digital channels for marketing the products and services you have created. Of course, it’s not magic, and you don’t have to know computer terminology to do it. But, if you offer a product or service the market desires, you can effectively market it through digital channels.
There’s no hype about the latest flashy tactics in digital or other forms of marketing in our guide. Instead, foundational disciplines like content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing are always within the context of the goals that matter to businesses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Digital marketing, also called online marketing, refers to using online marketing techniques such as mobile marketing, search engine marketing, and email marketing to promote and sell products and services.
There are many parallels between Internet marketing and traditional offline marketing, but they also contain many nuances. Perhaps the most obvious is immediacy. If you're keen to invest the time and money, you can get an advertisement on the Internet within a few hours. The Internet is undoubtedly fast, but that also applies to the rate at which it changes over time.
Multiple industries use digital marketing to interact with their current and prospective customers. This helps them to identify customer needs more effectively and establish trust and a sense of identity with their customers.
Search Engine Optimization ensures that your web page ranks higher by using on-page and off-page tweaks and tactics.
The first thing you should focus on is the multiple channels on social media platforms with the most active users, such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Next, you need to figure out where your target customers spend money and their time and take the time to educate yourself about their demographics.
There are a lot of opportunities to measure a lot in your Internet marketing, but that can make it more challenging to pick out the metrics that matter most. So rather than trying to do it all, focusing on a few key performance indicators or KPIs and monitoring them is better.