What is Digital marketing and how to get started

What Is Digital Marketing and How To Get Started? (A comprehensive guide)

“Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Consumers are transforming faster than we are, and if we don’t catch up, we’re in trouble.” – Ian Schafer. Well, that quote pretty much sums up what digital marketing is all about and the aim behind it. Using billboards, magazines, newspapers and direct mails were a successful means of informing the public about the value of a product or service until technology altered the way you and I get information. 

The change in consumer’s mode of acquiring information spurred the need for organizations to turn digital – that is, they attracted awareness to the existence of a product or service using promotional concepts and techniques through digital technologies and media.

In simple terms, digital marketing involves the use of digital technologies and media to promote a commodity or service to an internet presence audience. Hence, any profit-oriented organization without an internet presence in today’s digital world is inevitably heading towards oblivion. 

How can your business be successful when its potential consumers who are online 24/7 is unaware of its existence? As of January 2021, 4.66 billion active internet users were recorded – This record when looked at from a marketer’s perspective implies the presence of a large market waiting to be informed about the value of a commodity and only digital marketing creates the bridge needed to influence and connect with these millions of potential consumers. 

Source: DataReportal

Digital marketing, which could be used interchangeably with internet advertising and online marketing, is becoming a hot trend these days. Many organizations, having witnessed the massive decline in traditional marketing effectiveness, have taken a bold step towards promoting their business activities online. Perhaps it is not too late for you to join the bandwagon. Truth is, it is never late to join many other successful enterprises in digital marketing.

Brands such as Nike, Netflix, Tesco, and Airbnb, etc. are masters in the art of digital marketing and have set the trail for others in the business world. This feat is a result of the mixture of various accessible digital technology tools and well-developed digital marketing strategies. Thus, to take your business to a digital scale, you need to first understand the various digital marketing platforms as well as a marketing strategy suitable for your brand.

Types of digital marketing

There are different types of digital marketing that exist and understanding them will help you be successful in your endeavor.

How to get started with digital marketing?

First, you need to understand the ins and outs of each marketing tool and proceed to build an internet presence for your brand. A substantial digital presence doesn’t only function as a platform for consumers to visit for awareness, it also builds brand credibility. A strong web presence enables personal interaction between your brand and potential consumers. So, how do you build an online presence that fosters digital marketing? Here are some tips to get you started on digital marketing.

1. Build an attractive website

A captivating five-star website with substantial information about your brand is what builds consumer trust for your brand. A user-friendly website creates an avenue for consumers to interact with your brand on a personal level.

2. Develop a social media and digital marketing strategy

A social media or digital strategy is the step-by-step technique that leads to the attainment of your marketing goal. Usually, this step by step involves the use of digital marketing channels such as website ads, video ads, blog posts, social media pages, and email marketing. The strategy decisions you take, the digital marketing channels you choose, and the type of content you produce all join hands in determining the success of your brand.

Social media

Netflix and Nike are brands leading in digital marketing. Netflix’s personalization strategy is becoming a force to be reckoned with. Its strategy recognizes each consumer behavioural pattern and suggests similar content to that consumer making its marketing strategy feel like no marketing at all  – this strategy is the driving force behind its awe customer retention ability. Nike, on the other hand, with its chatbot strategy during its Jordan brand campaign, achieved great success. So what does that tell you? Find a digital marketing strategy that fits your brand perfectly, and you are good to go.

3. Paid advertising 

Creating an internet and social media presence are not only the steps in establishing awareness for your brand. Although developing a digital marketing strategy goes a long way to make your brand stand out, paid ads are still needed to increase your brand visibility.

paid advertising

There are several models of digital paid advertisement that are effective in bringing your product to a large internet audience. Some of these internet marketing models include pay-per-click where you pay a publisher when your ad on their site is clicked on and paid search advertising where consumers are informed of your product when they input related industry keywords in search engines.

To garner awareness of your brand digitally, marketing methods like pay-per-click and paid search advertising are one of the inexpensive ways to go about it. Search Engine Optimization, paid social media advertising, social media advertising, conversion rate optimization, content marketing, native advertising, and email marketing are several other ways of connecting to a large number of potential consumers.

The above mentioned are needed to market your brand online but just as Ian Schafer said, innovation needs to be part of the culture of your brand. Consumers are changing their purchasing style, hence, your digital marketing strategy needs to undergo change as well.

Regardless, there are certain questions you need to ask yourself and your brand before you speed off on your digital marketing journey such as:

  • What are my brand goals? What do I aim to achieve using digital marketing?
  • Who is my target audience? How can my digital marketing strategy attract their attention?
  • Who are my competitors? How are they coping using digital marketing? What are their flaws?
  • What unique characteristics differentiate my brand from my competitors?
  • How and where will I start marketing from? What are my digital marketing platforms?
  • How much do I intend to spend on digital marketing?
  • How can I keep track of the progress and downsides of digital marketing?

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a step. The path to success isn’t straight but narrow. However, with proper guidance and planning, digital marketing becomes easy. There’s more to digital marketing than creating an online presence. An active internet presence does little to attract consumers, sales, and brand awareness, hence, more needs to be done. A strategy that sets your brand on everyone’s feed is what you need to consistently work on. Cheers to success as you begin your digital marketing journey.

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