The speed at which the world is going digital is a thing of concern for every businessperson. As a businessperson, you must fine-tune your business through digital marketing. Internet usage has doubled over he past decades. And this shift has affected how people purchase products, and how they interact with businesses.
Whether internet advertising, online marketing, social media marketing or whatever you call it, it is necessary that your business has an online presence. To clear your confusion, we will explain what digital marketing is, how to start and all you need to know.
WHAT IS DIGITAL MARKETING?
In simple words, digital marketing refers to the use of virtual marketing efforts or assets to increase your sales. It can be email marketing, pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing and even blogging. These are all great examples of digital marketing.
Here are some of the most common digital marketing assets and strategies businesses use to reach people online:
DIGITAL MARKETING ASSETS
Almost anything can be a digital marketing asset. It simply needs to be a marketing tool you use online. Although most people do not realize how many digital marketing assets they have at their disposal. Here are just a few examples:
- Your website
- Branded assets (logos, icons, acronyms, etc)
- Video content (video ads, product demos, etc)
- Images (infographics, product shots, company photos, etc)
- Written content (blog posts, eBooks, product descriptions, testimonials, etc)
- Online products or tools (SaaS, calculators, interactive content, etc)
- Social media pages
However, this list just scratches the surface. Most digital marketing assets will still fall into one of these categories. However, clever marketers are constantly coming up with new ways to reach customers online, so the list is not limited.
DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGIES
The good news is, getting started with digital marketing is fairly easy. Most online advertising platforms make it easy to sign up and create your first campaign (it is how they make money, after all). However, the list of digital marketing strategies is also constantly evolving. But here are some of the strategies most businesses employ to increase their sales:
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising
- Paid Search Advertising
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Paid Social Media Advertising
- Social Media Marketing
- Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
- Content Marketing
- Native advertising
- Email marketing
- Affiliate marketing
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is actually a broad term. It covers any type of digital marketing where you pay for every user who clicks on an ad. For example, Google AdWords is a form of PPC advertising called “paid search advertising” (which we will discuss too). Facebook Ads are also another form of PPC advertising called “paid social media advertising.”
Paid Search Advertising
Google, Bing and Yahoo all allow you to run text ads on their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Paid search advertising is one of the best ways to target potential customers who are actively searching for a product or service like yours.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
In cases where you do not want to pay to show up in the SERPs, you have an option. You can also use search engine optimization (SEO). This will help you rank pages or blog posts on your site organically. You don’t have to pay directly for every click. But getting a page to rank usually takes quite a bit of time and effort.
Paid Social Media Advertising
Most social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Snapchat allows one run ads on their site. Also, paid social media advertising can imply you paying someone with great online audience to market your product online. With that, you can also reach out to people who might not be aware that your business, product or service exists.
Social Media Marketing
Like SEO, social media marketing is also free. It is the organic way to use social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter to market your business. And, just like SEO, organically marketing your business on social media takes a lot more time and effort. But in the long run, it can deliver much cheaper results.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is simply the art and science of improving your online user experience. Most of the time, businesses use this option to get more conversions (leads, chats, calls, sales, etc) out of their existing website traffic.
This is another fairly broad digital marketing term. Content marketing covers any digital marketing effort that uses content assets. It could be blog posts, web articles, infographics, eBooks, videos, etc. You can use any of the assets to build brand awareness or drive clicks, leads or sales.
If you are very observant, you get to see a list of suggested articles. These articles are always at the bottom of a website or blog. That is native advertising. Most native advertising falls under content marketing because it uses content to attract clicks. Most times, native advertising can be a bit hard to spot, since it is usually mixed in with non-paid content recommendations.
Email marketing is the oldest form of online marketing and it’s still going strong. Most digital marketers use email marketing to advertise special deals, highlight content or promote an event. This is often part of content marketing. It is also one proven way to boost your sales.
Affiliate marketing is simply paying someone else (a person or a business) to promote your products and services on their website.
As you can see from the list above, there are a lot of different ways to market your business online. This is why many businesses either hire an agency to manage their digital marketing efforts or pay for an in-house marketing team. You can also get a marketing automation software to cover your marketing needs.
DOES DIGITAL MARKETING WORK?
Digital marketing, as we earlier said, is a great option for any business. With digital marketing, you can grow from mom-and-pop shops to internationally recognized business and beyond. That is the beauty of advertising online. If you know who you want to target, you can use digital marketing to target anyone, anywhere.
The core aim of every successful digital marketing campaign, however, isn’t a guide. Regardless of which strategies you choose to use, here are 4 questions you need to answer before you start employing digital marketing efforts:
How Much Do You Need to Make?
To figure out what you need to spend on digital marketing, you first need to clarify what your goals are. How you approach digital marketing can vary quite a bit. Your approach largely depends on whether your ultimate goal is to drive clicks, conversions or leads, sales, revenue or a certain return-on-investment (ROI).
Before you dive into it, the ultimate goal of any marketing effort should be ROI. However, if your digital marketing spend is not driving profitable revenue for your business, why are you marketing online?
Clicks and even conversions are great, but your company doesn’t make money from clicks. In fact, you actually spend money on clicks or conversions. Your business makes money from sales. So your goal should be to make sales.
With that in mind, the first thing you need to determine before you decide what your digital marketing budget should be is to decide how much revenue you want to drive. Once you know that, you can use that information to determine how much it will take you to reach that revenue goal.
Who Are You Marketing To?
After you have decided on how much money you want to make from digital marketing, you need to identify who you are marketing to. This is critical, because different buyer personas require different marketing tactics. And, even more importantly, different buyer personas turn into different types of buyers. Are your products for students, fellow businesspersons, government workers, children or the aged. This you must consider before employing any strategy.
In other words, If you do not understand your buyer personas, you can’t create an effective digital marketing strategy.
If you have got a sales team, talking to sales can be one of the fastest ways to get a decent buyer persona together. Because they are the ones who talk to your customers the most.
However, even talking to your sales team and doing a little research is not enough to really get at the level of detail you need to put together an effective digital marketing plan. To do that, you need to get on the phone and call your actual customers. Interact with them, reach out to them. That way, you are not only building your business, but also connecting with your customers. There are chances that when you have a good rapport with your customers, they will go out of their way to advertise your products even without payment or permission from you.
Ask to start a conversation, you can ask how they found you, why they converted and what convinced them to pay you. This information will give you a ton of insight into your marketing and sales process that you can use to both improve the performance of your advertising and choose your marketing budget.
What are Your Customers Worth?
Typically, people look at buyer personas as a good way to craft an effective marketing strategy. You must understand the financial ability of your audience before pitching a product to them. Buyer personas are great for this, and they are also an important part of putting together an effective digital marketing plan.
Is Digital Marketing Different on Mobile?
As you can probably imagine, digital marketing on mobile is very different from digital marketing on desktop. These days, these differences are particularly important because smartphones are now the primary device people use to interact with the internet. Both you the businessperson and your potential customers are easily accessible with their smartphones.
With 60% of internet activity taking place on mobile devices. The shift from desktop to mobile has had a profound effect on digital marketing.
Last year, Google Ads got rid of the sidebar ads on their results pages to create a consistent experience between mobile and desktop. Facebook Ads still shows sidebar ads on desktop, but only shows in-stream ads on mobile. Shorter blog posts outperform longer blog posts on mobile. And the list of differences goes on and on.
To be honest, in today’s digital marketing world, it’s a good idea to assume that people will encounter your marketing on mobile and then adapt your strategy for desktop as needed.
In addition, while optimizing your ads for mobile, it is also important to think about your site and landing page experience. Sure, your website might look beautiful on desktop, but if it’s impossible to navigate on mobile, you will end up alienating a significant percentage of your web traffic. Make sure your website has a good user experience. So you will not have to stress your customers while trying to buy from you.
At a minimum, you should have a mobile-responsive website, but ideally, your mobile display should be specifically designed to facilitate an effortless mobile experience (not just an adapted version of your desktop experience).
Whether most advertisers realize it or not, digital marketing is primarily a mobile experience now. The good news is, if you are relatively new to digital marketing, you don’t have to worry about reinventing the wheel. You can start by coming up with compelling mobile advertisements and then adapt as needed for desktop.
This is undoubtedly the marketing of the future. In addition to all of the benefits we have discussed throughout this article. You can track the results of your digital marketing efforts with incredible accuracy. Which means it is easy to see which strategies are producing profitable results and which ones need some work. Employ these strategies, and watch your business experience massive growth with ease. Go digital. Build your business.
We are sure this article has convinced you that you need digital marketing (or need to up your digital marketing game). But if you would like some help identifying the right approach, let us know here in the comments. We love helping businesses grow with digital marketing.
Related article: Affiliate-marketing-make-money-with-ease