Digital marketing is the most heard and searched term in the current times, isn’t it? Be it businesses or professionals – everyone is opting for digital marketing services to amp their game in the industry. This new age marketing technique is undoubtedly a sure way to make a mark far and wide without much investment and effort. What? You don’t think so? Well, then we believe you aren’t really aware about the whole concept of digital marketing. Allow us to explain what digital marketing is, how it works and how it can benefit your business!
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What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing, as the term suggests, is a way to promote and market products and services on digital platforms. This includes marketing on any electronic device or internet. Some of the most common digital platforms used in the current times include social media, email and websites. Branding as well as marketing activities are conducted across digital platforms to enhance the visibility of brands so that they remain on the top of the consumers’ mind.
The Significance of Digital Marketing in the Current Times
Digital marketing is highly relevant to the current times. This is because people, these days, spend most of their time surfing through different digital platforms. And effective marketing is all about being where your customers are and hitting the right note at the right time to grab their attention.
Digital platforms do not just help in creating brand awareness and increasing brand visibility but are also a great medium to connect with the customers as well as prospects. They allow innumerable opportunities to run personalised marketing campaigns that help in establishing a bond with the consumers. It makes them feel valued and this proves to be a major deciding factor while making a buying decision. Besides, digital platforms such as social media and online forums facilitate two-way communication. This gives the consumers a chance to voice their opinion and raise their concerns about the brand. The feedback given by the consumers is a good opportunity for the brands to improvise.
Additionally, digital marketing is quite cost effective. Any business – be it big or small can use it to establish a name in the local market and embark upon the journey to move beyond it. So, this new age marketing technique is particularly helpful for small businesses and budding professionals who cannot afford to spend much on branding and marketing activities.
Different Mediums/ Methods of Digital Marketing and the Way they Work
Now that you know what digital marketing is and the significance it holds in the current times, let us understand the different mediums and methods of digital marketing:
A website isn’t just an online face of a business. It is not just a means to provide information about a brand but a full-fledged medium to promote it. An attractive website loaded with interesting content about your products and services as well as the industry you are catering to goes a long way in creating the right impression. Consumers love going back to such sites to gain more insight into the industry and also to learn about your products. The information gathered influences their purchasing decision.
A website must thus be updated with the latest and most relevant content. Any new offer, product launch, discount scheme as well as latest happenings in the related industry must be covered extensively on your website to help the consumers take better purchasing decisions.
Email marketing is another effective means of digital marketing. This is being used ever since the inception of online marketing and still proves to be an effective digital marketing medium. Branded emails are sent to the target audience to make them familiar with the brand’s products and services. These are also used to send communication about upcoming events and offers. Besides, personalised marketing and hyper personalised marketing is a breeze using this digital medium.
Effective email marketing involves sending welcome email to new customers, providing information about upcoming events, sales and discounts, sending newsletters periodically and sharing exclusive information about products your consumers may be interested in based on their buying pattern. Reports suggest that emails with personalised subject lines get 50% greater open rates.
With the number of global email users reaching a 4 billion mark, e-mail marketing is indeed a great way to enhance brand awareness and follow a customer centric marketing approach.
Social Media Marketing:
Social media has become one of the best ways to create brand awareness among the masses. This involves promoting brands on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. The branding and marketing campaigns run on social media gain instant attention as the majority of people are active on these platforms. Research shows that social media is the most popular lead generation tactic used by brands across the globe.
Social media handles are being used to provide quick information about the brand, drive traffic to the website, create brand awareness and ultimately generate leads. They offer a great opportunity to engage the target audience and create trust among them. It has been observed that around 71% of the consumers who have a positive brand experience on social media likely recommend it to their known ones.
73% of the marketers claim that their efforts to promote brands through social media marketing have been quite effective and have benefitted the businesses a great deal.
Search Engine Optimization:
Search engine optimization forms an integral part of digital marketing. This is because search engines are one of the most popular means to search anything online. Statistics reveal that around 71% of consumers begin their online shopping by keying in the name of the required items in search engines. If your website is optimized for search engines, it will rank high during the searches. Now, it is common knowledge that users don’t see beyond the first 5-6 search results. So, you can drive traffic to your website and increase your online visibility if you adopt effective search engine optimization techniques.
Thus, creating content that appeals to the search engines should be of top priority for anyone trying to establish a strong online identity.
The content you display plays a vital role in marketing and promoting your brand in the digital space. High quality content shared on the right digital platform at the right time can increase the odds of attracting readers and keeping them hooked thereby bringing greater visibility to your brand. Reportedly, around 70% of consumers like to know about products/ services by reading content about them rather than viewing advertisements.
Content is a part of every digital marketing strategy and activity. You require it for your web pages, blog, social media posts, videos, case studies, testimonials, podcasts, marketing campaigns, infographics and more. Thus, it is imperative to get it created by highly skilled professionals. Statistics reveal that, successful marketers around the world invest a whopping 40% of their overall marketing budget on content marketing.
This is another digital marketing strategy that is being used by brands around the world. It has been observed that as many as 81% of the brands rely on affiliate marketing programs.
As a part of this marketing technique brands collaborate with professionals who promote their products and services on their websites/ blogs/ social media handles. The collaborators are paid based on the profit they generate. Research reveals that revenue generated by affiliate marketing programs is growing by around 10% each year since 2015. The trend is likely to continue for the next few years at least.
Pay per Click:
Pay per click ads have been an important part of digital marketing since years and still prove to be an effective way to promote brands online. This technique basically involves paying the publisher of the ad each time your ad is clicked by a fresh lead. One of the most effective PPC ads is Google Ads. It helps your business rank high on the search engine results. It has been observed that Google display campaigns reach greater than 90% internet users worldwide.
If you are wondering as to why you should invest in SEO as well as PPC when the purpose they serve is the same then let us tell you that PPC is a much faster way to take your website high on search engine results page. It, thus, helps gain instant recognition. SEO, on the other hand, takes time but drives organic traffic to your website. So, both the techniques should form a part of your digital marketing strategy.
Integrated Digital Marketing Approach – The Need of the Hour
As mentioned above, there are several kinds of digital marketing methods and mediums that promote brands effectively. All these methods have the capacity to draw the attention of the target audience, engage them and influence their buying decision. However, choosing one, two or even few among these is not a good idea. While they will undoubtedly promote your brand and bring in leads however they wouldn’t render as strong an effect as integrated digital marketing.
Integrated digital marketing involves bringing together various digital marketing methods and combining them strategically to strengthen your brand’s online image.
As we have seen above, all the digital marketing tactics are interconnected. They support each other to create effective branding and marketing campaigns. Missing out on any of these can weaken your campaign. Thus, it is crucial to follow an integrated multi-channel marketing approach. This is a great way to connect with more and more consumers belonging to different segments. Not convinced? Well, let explain this with the help of an example. For instance, while using social media marketing strategy, if you just stick to Facebook or Twitter, you will not be able to reach consumers belonging to different segments. You can widen your reach and increase brand visibility if you actively promote your business on all the popular social media platforms including LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr to name a few. Similarly, integrated marketing approach ensures greater exposure. Top players in the market are following this approach to boost their business.
Seek Professional Help for Digital Marketing
If you have been reading this piece carefully, by now you must have realised how much you are missing out on in case you aren’t promoting your business on the digital platforms. The power of digital marketing cannot be undermined in the digital era. Running branding and marketing campaigns on digital platforms has become necessary for businesses across industries. And it is equally important to get this task done by an expert in the field rather than handling it on your own.
So, you need to promote your business online and you should get it done by a professional digital marketer/digital marketing agency. Sorted, right? No, there is one more step to it. With the increasing demand for digital marketing, the number of digital marketing professionals/ agencies has also increased drastically. Thus, you need to put some time and effort in looking for an established digital marketing agency that has experienced and qualified staff members as well as a proven track record. You will find quite a few of these especially in big cities in India. A well established digital marketing company in Pune, Mumbai or Hyderabad should be a good choice. So, conduct research online and strike the best possible deal to get your brand promoted efficiently on the digital platforms.
No business – no matter how big or small can survive the fierce market competition without adopting digital marketing techniques. Digital marketing promotes brands across digital platforms to increase their visibility among the masses. Digital marketing methods work on various levels. In addition to enhancing brand visibility, digital channels help brands connect with customers, get an insight into the customer psyche, establish goodwill in the market, influence customer’s buying decision and ultimately ring in profit. So, if you are still stuck with the traditional marketing methods or aren’t giving as much attention to marketing your products on digital platforms, it is high time you should consider this option.
Hrishikesh is a technopreneur who successfully leads software and digital marketing company named – DigitalSeed. He has 7+ years of experience in Digital Marketing/ Software development and has worked at various levels i.e. Digital Marketing Manager, Digital Marketing Head at various reputed startups such as CommonFloor.com, Wheelstreet.com etc.