The world has shifted to everything digital – email, ebook, online news portal, online shopping and more. In the digital age, how do businesses rise above and leverage on what these digital platforms have to offer?
Everything changes at the speed of light in the digital world, and before we know it, the definition of digital marketing has once again evolved. To simplify it, digital marketing is the act of promoting and selling of products and services through online marketing platforms like content marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, mobile marketing, and email marketing. These platforms redefined the way businesses connect to their prospect consumers in the digital age.
If marketing aims to connect with its target consumers, by communicating the 4Ps or the Product, Pricing, Place and Promotion through the means of mass media to target a large number of audience, digital marketing reaches the consumers by communicating with them where they spend most of their time nowadays – ONLINE.
This is your ultimate guide to digital marketing, whether you’re a beginner or just catching up:
Content Marketing – Digital marketing evangelists often say “Content is King”, but why is it? Content Marketing is the counterpart of “word of mouth” in digital marketing. It does not only give your audience first hand information about your brand, but it also establishes your credibility by becoming a source of vital and relevant information to them. Quality content makes a brand’s presence in top searches, creates a good following in social media and encourages subscription to email marketing efforts because what the audience read is worth their while. Therefore, content really is king.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – this type of digital marketing is equivalent to a trade secret. Not everyone knows it and not everyone can learn or decipher it. So everyone is talking about your brand, but how will you reach those who may still be clueless about you and just about to type “Best perfume for women”, will your brand be a potential answer? Search engines and its algorithms are complicated and SEO ensures that no matter how complicated these algorithms are, your brand is of relevance to a particular search. It takes a lot of work, yes, but it is not impossible. To make SEO work for you, put yourself in your consumers’ shoes, identify the “buzz words” that are related to your brand and will most likely be first-handy them, put these buzz words into a good content which can be a blog or article for your website, and repeat. Once your brand has become a relevant word of mouth through content marketing, you will eventually become famous through SEO.
Social media marketing – word of mouth can start small. It can actually start with a few good lines or a few interesting images. That is what social media marketing is for, to capture the first 10 seconds that your audience might be able to spare in this fast-evolving world. Social media marketing is where good content can start or it may also be where good content can spread. It is the most accessible type of digital marketing because social media is available in different types of screens – PC, mobile, tablet, etc. If 47% of internet users are using Facebook, who would not want to be there? Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are quick and easy tools to gauge the relevance of your content to your audience through Likes, Comments and Shares, also known as interactions. These interactions can directly translate to website visits, email subscriptions and clicks on your ads on the internet.
Email Marketing – if your clients asked about you, mentioned you, talked about you at length, would you not want to get to know them better? Email marketing is a comprehensive and personalized approach to reach your audience. In an ideal setting, these people are on your mailing list because they want to know more about you, ensuring that they remain on your list and they do not unsubscribe is your next responsibility. Making sure that your content is relevant and personalized is easy with email marketing. Email marketing platforms usually have tools to analyze which emails you sent were opened, which links were clicked and more. It is an easy and inexpensive way to understand what your clients are interested in and further improve your craft to make sure that you create a lasting relationship with them that would eventually translate into business.
Pay-per-click (PPC) – engaging in business entails investment, especially monetary. Similar to traditional marketing, digital marketing also has a way to promote your brand by advertising it. Most people who go to search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo, to find the most relevant answers to their questions. Being on top of the results is not easy. If you have not mastered search engine optimization (SEO) yet, PPC is your friend. Just like SEO, you need to know the keywords you would like your brand to be associated with, bid for these keywords or phrases and voila! You are already on the top of the search results as a search engine ad. Every time your ads are clicked, you pay a small amount to the publisher or the search engine. This type of digital marketing is a supplement to your organic search efforts in SEO. What you pay for these ads will translate into your website’s foot traffic, social media following and email subscriptions. Monitoring and analyzing periodically can help you develop better keywords for your future SEO efforts.
There is no one sure-fire type of digital marketing effort to fuel a business. A combination of two or three would not hurt as long as you stick to the ideals of your brand and make sure you communicate it to your audience clearly and constantly. Digital marketing is all about habit – establishing it, understanding it and encouraging it. In digital marketing, where face to face interaction rarely or does not happen, it is vital and valuable for the consumers to feel that your brand is something they can depend on within fingers reach.
Author’s Bio: Usman Raza is a marketing specialist at PSDtoWPService.com and co-founder of Christian Marketing Experts. He has been writing for magazines and newspapers since 2001, and editing and managing websites since 2006. A generalist, his most covered topics are business and technology. Follow him on Twitter @usmanintrotech.