Marketing remains an integral part of any company’s journey to success, as this essentially dictates the business’s branding and the way it approaches its audiences. So it’s reasonable to say that marketing hasn’t ever been “easy,” especially given its progress through the years. And given the rise of digital media today, marketing has evolved beyond simple television ads, newspaper spreads, and the occasional telemarketer. We now have concepts like SEO, link building, and social media presence that dominates the realm of marketing.
So if you’re a company – new or old – that’s looking for a new way to approach marketing for the new year, digital may very well be the way to go. How do you do it, though? And most importantly, why? This article tries to give you a basic but comprehensive quick guide on digital marketing.
Why Make the Digital Switch?
It’s not easy transitioning to or even making a digital marketing strategy from scratch. After all, it has a lot of marketing branches and disciplines related to them. However, this “switch” may prove beneficial to you in the long run if you consider these points below:
Flexibility of marketing tools improves methods to make a stronger impact.
One of the best benefits of digital marketing is access to much stronger tools for your brand to make an impact to your audiences and potential customers. A lot of digital marketing methods tackle different facets of digital and virtual life, enabling you to tackle different demographically-intensive problems and situations that may affect your brand. Likewise, the diversity of tools at your disposal will allow you to make better and more well-informed decisions as to how you can approach your branding and your sales.
- Digital marketing tools and analytics systems come in different formats and cater to different needs. For instance, content management systems and websites themselves can be modified to fit e-commerce, blogs, or even different forms of multimedia. If you’re looking for a reason to go “digital,” it’s also because of the many kinds of content you can also publish and create in the long run.
- These tools can also be altered to cater to your different needs. Another beauty held by these tools is the fact that they can often be adjusted depending on your goals, and they can work together with other applications and programs in providing accurate data and statistics.
- There’s also the fact that it’s much easier evaluating your progress in the long run. Most, if not all, digital marketing tools today offer some sort of data management system. This means you can use it to actively view your branding’s progress on a particular period of time, under different sorts of criteria. And the fact that some of these tools tend to be interrelated and integrated can be useful to you.
Easier access to audiences means easier potential for profit.
It’s perhaps helpful to consider that digital marketing lets you access today’s digital audience… which comprises a huge majority of people today. While people still do watch TV or listen to the radio, it’s still a different thing being able to access the internet and social media. You can access all sorts of demographics there and try out all sorts of campaigns, gimmicks, and PR stunts. Digital marketing gives you much easier access to this audience base, and this means you’ll likely see returns much faster given the right approach.
- A lot of people have access to digital media right now, meaning it’s much easier to get to audiences that use their mobile phones, tablets, and especially personal computers. It’s important to take advantage of their presence, as they are very likely to be able to see your content and your branding provided you also target them properly.
- Given the right content and the right exposure, you can easily rise to the top of your niche if you have a great website. People like quality products and quality content, and being able to provide these and the right approach to the advertisement can grab the kind of people you need for your business to bloom. No need to print out flyers and make expensive advertisements – just great content.
- Social media makes it much easier for you to look for different sorts of audiences, given the popularity of their platforms. This makes digital marketing for social media extremely popular for businesses. Aside from having platforms to reach them, a lot of social media websites do have capabilities of showing you the kind of people that view your site.
Cheaper but efficient marketing methods may prove useful in the long run
One of the best hooks of digital marketing today remains with the fact that digital marketing tools are in fact becoming better investments. While paid tools exist for monitoring and automating work processes, they do seem worth the while considering the returns. And seeing as you can pull off successful marketing strategies via free tools – given the right direction, of course – then you may want to consider giving this a shot. Imagine, tools like communication apps, workflow managers, scheduling programs, and even content platforms – all extremely essential to any marketing campaign – exist in either free of use or affordable formats.
- Most of the known digital marketing tools can be used for free, with premium options available for purchase. Social media platforms are free, and it’s perfectly possible for you to make a stellar digital marketing campaign by just making great content and manually looking for customers. You can even purchase the occasional advertisement for the extra boost. This makes digital marketing in social media very convenient.
- Likewise, the popularity of free digital marketing tools – be it free websites (like WordPress), free selling platforms, and even free management systems give you all the room you need to create a digital marketing campaign with minimal risks with the maximum rewards.
- Either way, you’re also perfectly capable of boosting your current “free-based” performance with a paid advertisement, a team of digital advertisers and marketers, and other paid apps you can use and have at your disposal. This helps you avoid making any unnecessary purchases and subscriptions, and reap the maximum profits.
Internet-of-Things (IoT) and another tech may slowly integrate gadgets and accessories with virtual networks anyway
If part of your hesitation to transition to digital has to do with the difficulty to “adapt” to new systems, you may want to make the switch now instead of later. That’s because accessories, gadgets, and appliances today – ranging from watches and speakers to bigger things like television and refrigerators – are becoming more in-line with the IoT framework. This is where everyday objects are starting to be outfitted with “smart” tech like AI and be integrated into networks, becoming accessible via smartphones and the cloud. Given how future ads and content may cater to these IoT frameworks, you may want to start getting the hang of doing marketing with these tools.
- We can take advantage of existing tech such as cloud technology in order to store and access a lot of information on our digital marketing campaigns that could be otherwise difficult to do so with manual methods. You can store relevant data securely on the ground and access it almost anywhere. Likewise, cloud-based servers themselves can also support the websites we’ll be using so there won’t be a hitch. This makes the digital marketing process much more personalized, especially if you can target specific audiences.
- Digital marketing can take advantage of rising tech trends in order to reap benefits later, such as the growing popularity of vlogging, streaming, and even AI and automation to make marketing, operations, and sales much more efficient. It helps to start investing in these techs while they’re new and easy to get into, compared to when they become mainstream and the market will be too saturated (not to mention expensive) for us to avail of these advantageous tools.
Making the Digital Transition: How Do You Do It?
Alright, granted there’s really a lot of benefits towards getting into digital marketing. How exactly do you make the “switch?” This is a legitimate concern, as you’d want to make your company transition as smooth and as hassle-free as possible. While there are a ton of methods you can use for such a transition, it may help you best if you consider using these strategies:
Review the kinds of marketing available for you
When we say “digital marketing,” we’re talking about a huge field with a ton of subcategories. If you want to shift from traditional to digital marketing, you’ve also got to consider what kind of marketing approach you want to try out. This ultimately depends on what kind of audience you have, what impact you want to impart to viewers, and what suits your available budget, time, and resources. For instance, if you want to market multiplayer games, then you have to appeal to the video game community. This demands a different approach compared to other markets.
- Content-heavy marketing includes blogging, link building, and social media marketing. These are the kinds of marketing that heavily invest in getting the appeal of audiences via the content you release.
- Analytics-heavy marketing includes website marketing, advertisements, and search engine marketing. These focus on ensuring you get the right numbers to get better exposure to your target market.
- As you’ve noticed, the two kinds of marketing methods above seem to be related to one another. That’s true, great marketing campaigns use a mixture of the methods above.
- Choose platforms and tools you’ll want to start developing campaigns with
When it comes to building a digital marketing campaign, it’s essential that you choose the right kinds of platforms that can help you expand your reach to your audience, leads, and customers. These platforms can range from websites, social media accounts, and even paid advertisements. The key here is to build a set of tools you’ll be focusing on depending on what kind of marketing approaches and strategies you want to employ. These platforms should be able to “relate” to one another, and they should be used to create and disseminate content in similar methods.
- Basic platforms include social media, websites, and e-commerce sites. These can have various forms of content, which makes it much more exciting for you to tinker around and experiment with them. This handles the front end of your marketing campaign, and this is what people will see.
- Various tools range from communication tools, email tools, and analytics tools that you can use to improve the backend aspect of your digital marketing campaigns. This is what you’ll be doing in order to make sure front end content will be seamless.
Build a budget you can allocate for digital marketing
Regardless if you’re a small or a huge company, it helps to build a small marketing budget for various digital marketing concerns. This might sound counterintuitive, as the point of going digital is to use marketing strategies that are mostly free, right? That argument makes sense, but investing money in the right marketing team, the right advertisements, and the right training can be an investment in digital marketing strategies. Consider availing subscriptions and paid plans of marketing tools and platforms that provide a way to reach audiences faster, tools that can speed up the platform, and push through with marketing methods chosen by clients.
- You can check out free tools like Google Analytics (for data), Slack and Skype (for communications), and even Trello (for organization). However, you can rely on more paid services with a ton more features in order to make your marketing approach much more precise.
- While you can use a lot of social media for free, it helps to allot a budget for ads and improved reach of your content. This helps you get that added “boost” that can
Take note of the competition and other key players in the industry
If you want to compete in your chosen market much more efficiently, you should consider forming your digital marketing strategy with your competition as part of the main factors. It’s important to take note not just what your competition is doing, but what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong. This gives you an edge in building marketing practices that can help you in the long run. You should also consider looking into other key players in your industry, as they can help you assess how other related fields affect various aspects of your marketing approach.
- When we say to observe your competition, we don’t mean copy them. Rather, check what you think they’re doing right and how they do it, and see if you can modify this to your tastes.
- Aside from competition, observe other relevant players in your industry. These include suppliers, manufacturers, and even related fields that can affect your niche. This gives you the chance to see if they seem like a good investment and partnership opportunity.
Always consider investing in the long game
When you build a digital marketing strategy, especially for the first time, it’s important to build not just something you’re “going to try,” but rather something you’ve built to compete in your chosen industry for years. As a newcomer in a huge field such as digital marketing, it’s important to invest properly in your marketing strategies as you can’t rely on an extremely slow approach to “test the waters.” Even if you’re starting small, build a comprehensive strategy that’s built to be adaptive and flexible to various situations in the market. Try building a campaign for 3 months, 6 months, and a year-long campaign to give yourself adequate time to see the results of your efforts.
- When you make your first marketing strategy, make a plan that lasts you a year at most, complete with goals you want to achieve. A year of serious digital marketing can give you enough leeway to study whether your marketing methods actually work or not. This also allows you to explore your available strategies should you do this in the long term.
- Aside from a typical schedule, you can create a comprehensive digital marketing strategy with data points to check and directives to follow. This ensures you can immediately identify what functions and what needs improvement in your marketing methods.
Digital Marketing: Make the Digital Switch, but Think Carefully
With the above in mind, it’s important to remember that digital marketing is always a worthwhile route to consider for your company. This is especially if you’re looking into methods to help your company be more sustainable and profitable in the long run. Thing is, even if you’re a new or old company, digital marketing does demand a certain degree of finesse or attention before any effort pays off on your end. And it’s reasonable to expect any form of doubt on your end to its efficiency.
Hopefully, the above was able to help convince you of the potential digital marketing holds for your company at large, especially considering how companies today are gearing up to utilize more developments in digital marketing and technology to their advantage.
What do you think? Make sure to share your thoughts below!
John Salazar is a certified techie-at-heart, but he shares a love for all things science and technology, health and wellness, and even a bit of music on the side. As a creative writer, John makes sure to write both informative and entertaining pieces. He loves writing, and he plays the guitar when he has free time.