Digital Marketing – Things You Need To Know
Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time. But with the rise of the digital era, you need to meet them where they are already spending time, which is on the internet.
So, how do you define digital marketing?
Let’s find out.
Digital marketing includes all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as email, search engines, social media, other websites, etc. to connect with current and prospective customers.
Today, we can catalogue digital marketing activities into a few general buckets:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Marketing Automation
- Inbound Marketing
- Search Engine Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising
- Social Media Marketing
- Video Marketing
Why is Digital Marketing so Important?
The reason digital marketing is so important to any business, no matter which type of business it is, is because today’s consumers are connected to the web 24/7 thanks to mobile devices like smartphones. Electronic devices like these are the first thing most adults use in the morning and they’re the last thing more than 95 percent of them see before they go to sleep.
Core Digital Marketing Channels
There is a core group of digital marketing practices which I have listed above and now let’s dive a little further into each one of them.
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance based advertising where you receive commission for promoting someone else’s products or services on your website. For example, you get a commission for hosting video ads through the YouTube Partner Program, for posting affiliate links from your social media accounts, etc.
Content marketing is the creation and promotion of content assets for the purpose of generating brand awareness, traffic growth, lead generation and customers. The channels that play a major part in any content marketing strategy include:
- Blog posts
- E-books and whitepapers
Email marketing is pretty much what it sounds like, marketing through email. It has a wildly high return on investment (ROI) when compared to other types of digital marketing and is one that can skyrocket your leads for each and every penny you spend on it, therefore, it approximately has a 4400 percent ROI i.e., a return of ₹440 for every ₹10 spent.
Marketing automation is a subset of Email Marketing that can include any form of messaging that is triggered automatically. This includes everything from email marketing to automated texts and messenger marketing on Facebook and LinkedIn. For example, suppose someone visits your website and enters their email address and name and then clicks on the subscribe button. That email address and name then goes into an automated system that automatically sends predetermined emails and messages to the user like “Thanks for subscribing!”
Your website is the mother of all online real estate and arguably your best marketing asset. If the web were a shopping mall, it would be your storefront. Having a website for the purpose of driving leads and sales is also known as inbound marketing, a strategy focused on bringing customers to you via company-created content on your website. But for this your website needs to be fast, secure, mobile friendly, optimized for SEO, clean and user friendly.
Search Engine Marketing
More than 93 percent of the time people find your website or your business via search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
Search engine marketing is a combination of techniques and marketing methods that aim to make your company dominate the search engine results page for a particular set of phrases, questions and keywords. This is done in two ways: with SEO and with PPC.
Search Engine Optimization
That first organic position on Google mobile search has a 31.35 percent clickthrough rate, which means it is incredibly valuable. So, how do you get your website to be in that top-ranking Google position?
The answer is, with SEO.
SEO is one branch of SEM and is the process of tweaking and updating your website code and content to get your web pages to rank higher in the search results organically. Here’s how search engines (like Google, Bing, and Yahoo) work: they use search crawlers to scan web pages and decipher what they’re about. That way, they can spit out the web pages that are most relevant to your search query. But, here’s the problem: search engine crawlers speak a different language than we do, i.e., HTML. They can’t just read the words on a page and they can’t see an image. So, what we do with SEO is write clues for crawlers in a language they understand which in other words is like adding subtitles in a foreign language movie.
Paid ads dominate the top half of the search results. Most of the time those ads are search ads, meaning they are triggered when someone searches for a particular set of keywords. On average, more than 40 percent of clicks go to the top 3 paid ads on the search results page.
Here’s how it works: when you create an ad, it goes into what is known as the Ad Auction which is an automated process that Google and other search engines use to determine the quality and relevance of your ad to the searcher’s query. You only have to pay each time someone clicks on your ad, hence the name “pay-per-click.”
So, how effective are PPC ads? Well, businesses make an average of ₹100 for every ₹50 they spend in Google Ads.
Do you ever feel like websites you have visited are following you with their ads?
No, you are not crazy if you feel like this because this is what is known as remarketing.
Here’s how it works: when someone visits your website from any device, a few lines of code from your retargeting partner (like Google Ads) drops an anonymous cookie in the user’s browser. This cookie is a small file that stores various bits of information and tracks the site visit without storing any sensitive personal info. Then, when this cookied user leaves your website, the cookie tells your ad platform when they land on another one and then boom your ad appears. It works too, visitors retargeted with ads are 70 percent more likely to convert on your website. You can retarget and remarket on hundreds of websites and platforms, including social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing refers to any marketing activity done via social media profiles and platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Currently, more than seven out of ten consumers expect a business to have a well-maintained social media presence and more than 20 percent of consumers actively use social networks when looking for information about a business. However, not all platforms are created equal and picking the wrong ones can tank your social media strategy and unless you have a dedicated team devoted to social media marketing, you should be on four social media platforms, at most.
That being said, organic reach on social media is at an all-time low, thanks to a combination of social media feed algorithms and the rising popularity of using the platforms for business. What this means is you cannot get by with only posting organically. You need to supplement your social media campaign with paid social media ads or else your message will die just a little while after you take it live.
Video marketing is exactly what it sounds like, marketing in the form of a video. It is incredibly effective because of the following statistics:
- a video is approximately 50 times more likely to get organic page ranks in Google than plain text
- more than half of the consumers who watch online product videos say it helps them make more confident purchasing decisions
- people who watch videos stay on a site two minutes longer on average and are more likely to make a purchase
- web video traffic is expected to rise to an all-time high by 2020
- studies show that web pages with videos have significantly higher average time on site than those without them
- YouTube is the second largest search engine, first being Google of course
- videos allow you to promote your brand and also to build trust
The best marketing videos are under sixty seconds. In fact, they should be under ten seconds for maximum impact because consumers prefer short videos and they are more likely to watch yours if they know you provide the necessary details quickly in a nutshell.
Tracking and Analytics
None of these matters unless you are tracking your campaigns and tweaking them based on metrics that affect your bottom line. However, thanks to the massive proliferation of data analytics capabilities, most companies are drowning in it. The vital thing here is to identify which metrics matter and to do that, you need to understand the difference between a metric and a Key Performance Indicator (KPI). A metric is a number whereas a KPI is a metric that is most closely tied to the overall business success.
While metrics are helpful in forming specific strategies, only certain ones can help you refine and tailor your business strategy and those are: bounce rates, page views, time on page, new visitors and search rankings whereas the KPIs that really matter to your digital marketing strategy are: total sales, leads, revenue, return on investment, lead-to-sale conversion rate, booking rate and cost per lead.
So, these are the things you need to know before you start with digital marketing.
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