The use of the internet, social media, mobile apps, and other digital technology is now part of the daily activities of billions of people across the globe. Social media is a growing industry that has maintained the daily use of the internet. For example, the Facebook app has about 1 billion active daily users. Besides, people now consume a lot of time online especially youths and young adults.
This shows how digital connectivity has spread and how imperative it is in our society. People across the globe are exposing themselves to the digital and social media world which has opened new marketing opportunities and doors for businesses to communicate with millions of people about their products and services.
The internet is the most powerful tool for businesses and it is changing the brand, pricing, distribution and promotion strategy. It has become a search engine that provides information for consumers as they search for information about products, and also share their experiences about products to other consumers who are in search of the same goods and commodities.
This medium has made marketers respond to this fundamental paradigm by increasing their use of digital marketing channels. This is largely portrayed in the number of resources put into the advertising of the goods and services they are ready to offer to the general public. Social media and other different digital channels have become important hubs for consumers and marketers.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is often intertwined with online marketing. The process of promoting a brand, service or product on the internet is referred to as digital marketing. Digital marketing is different from traditional marketing in the sense that it uses online channels and methods that enable businesses and organizations to monitor the success of their marketing campaigns in real-time. This helps them to understand what does and doesn’t work.
It refers to a wide variety of advertisements delivered to potential consumers through digital platforms such as search engines, social media, emails and mobile apps. Brands and companies endorse their product through these digital methods and create a great consumer network since a huge number of buyers depend on digital means to gather the necessary information about products.
The term digital marketing has become widely spread in certain countries like the United State of America (USA), Italy and the United Kingdom where it is known as online marketing, web marketing and digital marketing. Digital marketing, in simple terms, refers to product or service marketing using digital technologies – mainly the internet but could also include mobile phones, display advertising and other forms of digital platforms.
Digital marketing involves applying all market techniques to digital channels. Emails, SMS, search engines, websites, social media, and mobile phones are all diverse sources that can be used to publicize products and services. Thus, the digital nature of this marketing method makes it a cost-effective means of promoting one’s business.
Types Of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing can be broadly classified into seven (7) types which are as follows: Content marketing, pay per click, email marketing, mobile marketing, search engine marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing.
1. Content marketing
Content marketing is the process of creating valuable and relevant content to attract, acquire, and engage your audience. In Content Rules, Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman define content as “anything your organization creates and shares to tell its story”.
It could be an inspiration that takes many forms, but it only qualifies as content marketing if it, according to the Content Marketing Institute, aims to drive profitable customer action.
Content marketing allows marketers to become publishers, build their own audiences, and attract their own attention. Examples of content marketing include Ebooks, Cheat sheets, Templates and worksheets, blog page, video, infographics etc.
2. Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC)
The PPC markeitng is based on competitive bidding among commercial advertisers. This type of digital marketing strategy is also referred to as cost-per-click advertising (CPC). The owner of a webpage, also known as the web publisher, allows businesses to advertise products/services on the owner’s page.
Each time a visitor on the publisher’s webpage clicks on that advertisement, the business will pay a certain amount to the publisher which is why it is called pay-per-click/cost-per click advertising. PPC is a rapidly growing advertising sector that has now become a major revenue source for corporations such as Google and Yahoo.
3. E-mail Marketing
This refers to the use of email to send a commercial message to a list of potential customers. With effective email marketing software, business owners can maintain email lists that are segregated based on several factors, including customers’ likes and dislikes and spending habits.
4. Mobile Marketing
Mobile users are growing day by day and it is the most effective way of marketing. This refers to the two-way marketing communication between the company and customers which takes place on mobile devices. This is the reason why many websites, apps and content are now customized for mobile devices.
5. Social Media Marketing
This involves driving traffic to your sites or business through social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.
6. Search Engine Marketing
This includes Display Advertising, Search Retargeting & Site Remarketing, Mobile Marketing and Paid Social Advertising. Google Ad Words (on Google Network) and Bing Ads (on Yahoo Bing Network) are the most popular on search engine marketing.
7. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is a performance-based marketing program where business owners pay publishers who bring customers to them. The performance may be based on conversions – promotions, leads or simply sales.
Affiliate Marketing is essentially useful for start-ups as it will bring more traffic to their business through high-traffic sites. In essence, affiliate Marketing is a win-win situation for both the merchants and publishers. Sites like Expertnaire, Amazon, eBay, LinkShare and Flipkart run affiliate programs.
Learn more about affiliate marketing by reading top 11 affiliate blogs you should follow.
Roles Of Digital Marketing
More than ever before, traditional marketing techniques like print ads, phone communication, or physical marketing have been overtaken by online marketing.
In today’s world, the function of digital marketing is phenomenal as the world is growing fast in the information age. When a business invests in building a website and advertises the brand name through different digital platforms such as social media, emails, and search engines, it creates more possibilities to reach desired clients.
The roles digital marketing will play for such a business are outlined as follow:
1. Larger reach
It helps the business to reach a larger audience both locally and internationally. Digital marketing enables a business to target a specific audience and demography such as gender, age, location, interest. It helps you to get the right kind of audience for your product and services, thereby helping your advertisement to be effective.
2. Audience segmentation
Digital marketing creates choices for your audience on how they want to receive your content. The choices of audience differ in the sense that while one prefers to read a blog, another prefer to watch that same information on youtube. Digital marketing gives the online population a choice to either opt-in or out of the communication. This is important because they were the ones searching for the information in the first place.
3. Online Interaction
With digital marketing, interaction with your audience is possible with the use of social media channels. Followers are encouraged by marketers or business owners to visit websites, read about products and services, rate them, buy them and provide feedback that is beneficial for the market. Blogs, as a tool for digital marketing, have successfully created a medium for increasing sales revenue especially for products customers can read, review and share their personal experiences.
Digital marketing gives business owners a great opportunity to build a brand image of their product on the web. A well-maintained website with quality content that aims to meet the needs of your audience adds value. This will provide significant opportunities for you to sell to your audience.
Digital marketing promotes brands, businesses, and companies etc. The use of social media share buttons on a website enables messages to go viral quickly.
6. Cost reduction
Digital marketing helps reduce costs. Unlike traditional marketing which costs a lot of money, digital marketing is cost-efficient. By paying for ads online, millions of people can be reached in seconds.
7. It produces real-time results
The numbers of visitors on your website or social media pages such as Facebook or Instagram can e tracked and you can influence subscriptions to the business page to increase. This will further impact your sales by the touch of a button.
8. Record keeping
When businesses are promoted on digital channels, they keep a track record. Data and results are easily recorded online. For example, Google analytics and the insight tools offered by most social media channels enable you to check your level of advertisement progress at any time.
9. Updated Information
Digital marketing technologies allow consumers to stay with the company information updates. Today, a lot of consumers can access the internet at any place, at any time. This makes companies continuously update information about their products or services.
10. Competitive analysis
Finally, easy comparison with others is one of the roles of digital marketing. Since lots of companies are trying to promote their products or services using digital marketing, it is becoming a great advantage for customers to make comparisons among products or services by different suppliers in a cost and time-friendly way. Customers don’t need to visit a number of different retail outlets in order to gain knowledge about specific products or services.
The unprecedented growth of the internet has provided enormous opportunities for marketers to foster interactive relationships with consumers. This advancement of the internet and digital communication technologies create opportunities to reach out to target markets and inaccessible markets. Hence, digital marketing has bridged the gap of information sharing between the marketer and the consumer.
Through digital platforms such as websites, social networks and other channels, consumers learn about everything they consume and use. The internet has also influenced and impacted the way marketers communicate and develop relationships. A lot of businesses are using this opportunity given by the internet as a competitive advantage over other businesses. Indeed, digital marketing is cost-effective and has a great commercial impact on businesses which you can take advantage of it as a marketer.