The digital era has simplified not only many of our daily tasks, such as communication, work, and information search, but also provided new opportunities for business promotion. Due to the convenience, speed, and popularity of digital channels, their use in business to communicate with the target audience has grown into digital marketing.
Probably, you often met this term on the World Wide Web. Perhaps you even use some of its tools to grow your own business. For everyone interested in this area, we decided to write an article to help you understand what digital marketing is, what opportunities it provides for enterprises, its promotion methods, and its advantages.
Definition of Digital Marketing
Let’s start with a definition. Digital marketing is the activity of a company aimed at attracting customers through digital channels. Companies can use search engines, social networks, email, and mobile applications to promote their brand. Popular digital marketing channels include TV, radio, and communication via text or multimedia messages.
Today’s consumers rely heavily on digital media to learn more about a product and purchase it. For example, market research thinks with Google showed that in 2022 the world of shopping has changed. Over the past year, eCommerce has grown by almost 30%, and there are new ways to make online content more accessible.
People can now shop directly through a social media post while watching their favorite YouTube shows and many other ways.
By engaging customers in the digital environment, a company is almost guaranteed to increase brand awareness, position itself as an industry leader, and bring its business to the forefront of interested users. At the same time, additional benefits open up.
By implementing a multi-channel with digital marketing strategy, specialists receive valuable information about the target audience’s behavior, adjust the process, and plan new interaction methods with potential customers. Collecting data on promotion results distinguishes digital marketing from traditional marketing.
Thus, in developing a strategy based on precise numbers, the marketer can make an accurate forecast and achieve greater efficiency.
History of digital marketing
Today we can observe how in 20 years, a new direction in marketing has appeared, grown, and gradually comes to the first positions in sales. The term itself first appeared in the 1990s.
The digital age began with the advent of the Internet and the development of the Web 1.0 platform, which allowed users to find the information they needed but did not allow it to be shared.
The launch of Yahoo in 1994 brought about a massive change in the digital marketing space as companies began optimizing websites to improve their search engine rankings.
Then the Internet experienced the birth of several more search engines, among which Google has become the most popular today. 2006 saw the first traffic spike in the digital marketing world when it grew from search engines to around 6.4 billion searches in one month.
Then came Web 2.0, where people became more active participants in the interaction on the Internet. As a result, the volume of information flows, including the channels used by digital marketers, has increased significantly.
Social media began to emerge. MySpace was the first, followed shortly by Facebook. Many companies have realized that these sites open up new opportunities for promoting products and brands. This marked the beginning of another era in the promotion.
Digital marketing is at its peak right now. From artificial intelligence in marketing to social media for customer service, data analytics, and multilingual SEO, the 2020s are characterized by major online innovations. The sheer variety and speed of digital technologies can be confusing, especially if you’re getting to know them independently.
Our specialists are aware of all the innovations and are ready to tell you about digital marketing trends and anti trends 2022.
Types Of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is a massive number of touchpoints that customers interact with many times. To properly use these channels, it is important to understand them.
To begin with, it is worth defining the concepts. All directions are divided into those used only online (SEO, PPC advertising, email marketing, and others) and those available without an Internet connection (TV marketing, radio promotion, SMS mailings, etc.).
In the following, we briefly describe each direction.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is technically a marketing tool and not a form of marketing in its own right. It is believed that modern SEO is the art and science of making web pages attractive to search engines.
The “art and science” of SEO is the most important thing. SEO is a science because the process requires analyzing and evaluating various factors that contribute to achieving maximum rankings. Today, the most important elements to consider when optimizing a website are:
- content quality;
- user engagement level;
- quantity and quality of external links Email
Although social networks are developing, email newsletters are still a practical and cost-effective online marketing channel. Companies use it as a way to communicate with their audience. With the help of letters, they inform about discounts and upcoming events and direct people to their sites.
Subjects email messages that can use in a marketing campaign include:
- newsletters when subscribing to a blog;
- welcome letters to new clients;
- promotions and special offers for members of the loyalty program;
- tips or letters on similar topics to keep in touch with clients.
Digital email marketing is a means of connecting potential customers with people interested in your brand. Many successful companies use this channel to grow the email base and a series of funnels to turn users into customers.
PPC (Pay Per Click Advertising)
Paid search promotion, or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, is commonly referred to as results that appear at the top or side of a search results page (SERP). Ads in these places are charged per click. They can be configured to appear when specific queries are entered, so they target an audience looking for something specific.
This method of promotion is very effective because it is based on data obtained from the analysis of behavioral factors. Used it to increase site traffic by showing relevant ads to the right people at the right time.
You can use enable retargeting in the display settings. This means that marketing automation tools can create unique personalized cross-platform ads for return to the site, to the abandoned cart, etc.
PPC advertising is used on Facebook and Instagram. Here, businesses can pay to display videos, images, or slideshows that will be visible in the news feeds of the people who make up the business audience.
This term means creating and promoting content to increase brand awareness, increase traffic, and attract potential customers.
Essential digital marketing tools:
- Blog posts. Writing and posting articles on a company blog helps showcase your industry expertise and generate organic search traffic. As a result, this gives more opportunities to turn site visitors into potential customers;
- E-books, step-by-step instructions, checklists. Such voluminous content helps to educate the visitors of the web resource. It is possible to “trade” the content for the reader’s contact information;
- Infographics. Sometimes readers want to be shown a graph or chart, not told. Infographics are a form of visual content that helps visitors visualize the concept you want to offer them;
- Educational videos, podcasts. Today, such formats are at the peak of popularity. Using them can significantly expand your potential audience.
Effective content marketing is not overtly promotional. It serves to educate and inspire consumers who are looking for information. When you offer content relevant to your audience, it can make you an opinion leader and a trusted source of information. And this reduces the likelihood that your other marketing efforts will be lost. In the age of self-shoppers, content marketing generates far more leads than paid search advertising or other digital marketing channels, so the extra effort is well worth it.
SMM (Social Media Marketing) Marketing
Social media is one of the important tools for increasing brand awareness, expanding reach, and attracting new customers.
The key to effective social media marketing goes far beyond just having an active business account. It would help if you tried to create as many opportunities for sharing information between users as possible. The more engaged the audience, the more likely people are to share a post that could potentially inspire users in their circle to become your customers. This is the principle of the viral campaign.
Among other possibilities of SMM marketing, our specialist’s name:
- The definition of the features of your target audience. Social media platforms contain considerable user data: primary (location, education, etc.) and demographic information (gender, age), information about interests, and behavior. Want to target single men aged 18 to 24 living in India who love cats but don’t like dogs? No problems! It’s just a few clicks away;
- They were analyzing and optimizing. You can measure everything on social media. How many people watched the video, liked it, commented, shared it, or clicked on the link? This allows marketers to track conversions and optimize their spending to increase their ROI.
Today, online marketing has become much more difficult. The fight for the client is demanding. But, social networks have a huge potential for brand promotion.
This direction came to the Internet from offline. Practice shows that mutual assistance in terms of information is beneficial for both partners. Affiliate marketing is based on the fact that you receive a commission for telling on your website (YouTube channel, social network account) about the goods or services offered by your partners.
Building a campaign using influencers with a large following/customer base can be a very effective form of outreach. Finding these content creators will take your digital campaign to the next level.
Inbound marketing is a strategy that uses the power of digital marketing to attract customers and become helpful to them.
Outbound tactics aim to showcase information to as many people as possible in the online space, whether relevant or people like it. For example, the bright banner ads at the top of many sites try to offer a product and tell people about promotions, who are not always ready to take advantage of the offer.
Inbound marketers use online content to drive targeted customers to a site by providing people with helpful information. One of the most straightforward and powerful assets is a blog. It helps you build long-term relationships with your customers. It’s about appreciating your readers, allowing them to achieve goals at any stage of interaction with you. When your clients succeed, you grow with them.
This is a multi-channel strategy aimed at reaching the target audience on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices through websites, SMS, social networks, and applications. In this direction, finding new customers in various mobile application stores is of paramount importance – Google Play and Apple App Store. The ads placed on these platforms can range from banner ads to videos and other advanced forms.
Suppose you look at the issue of promotion through mobile devices more broadly, i.e., taking into account that more than half of the traffic goes through gadgets. In that case, it is worth highlighting the following components of mobile marketing:
- adaptation of sites for viewing on mobile devices;
- creating letters for email newsletters using adaptive design;
- development and improvement of our mobile applications.
To study the latter, you will need to determine their performance, commercial value, and engagement retention. They must fulfill one or more business acquisition goals, customer engagement, and conversion.
This channel uses video to promote and sell a product or service, increase user engagement, educate consumers, and increase audience reach through new media. The popularity of this format continues to grow today. In addition to the ubiquitous video hosting YouTube, many other platforms are being developed that can be used to launch a marketing campaign. For example, these are Facebook Videos, Instagram, and others.
Among the types of videos popular today, experts call:
- demo videos (unpacking and product testing);
- branded videos that tell about the mission and values of the company;
- video about events;
- expert interviews;
- instructional videos;
- animation videos;
- video with customer reviews;
- Live Videos, which give a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the company;
- 360° video and VR. Spectators “twist” the object, examining it from all sides, which allows you to clarify all the information about it;
- Augmented reality (AR) video. Videos in this style add a digital layer. For example, the camera is directed to the living room; AR allows you to see how the sofa will look in space.
Offline digital marketing channels
Television has been the preferred advertising channel for many years. In our time, it has retained its advantages. While you can’t use it to target specific user groups, this offline digital marketing channel is excellent for promoting consumer products.
The older audience still retains confidence in the transmitted information. Therefore, we cannot discount TV marketing. The development of OTT platforms can become a new vector in this direction.
Although the popularity of the SMS message format is declining, if you have a database of phone numbers, then you can keep in touch with potential customers in this way. Delivery of messages, as a rule, is combined with sending push notifications with shipping by email.
Radio is traditionally considered a channel that users loyally perceive. People don’t find these ads too annoying. Experts recommend using it for local promotion.
In the television business, where advertisements appear during the show, some companies choose radio to advertise their products or services. It costs them significantly less. Advertisers also use this channel to engage their audience through interactive content.
On busy highways, intersections, in crowded places, you can often find electronic billboards. Videos are shown on them; static ads are replaced. So you can increase brand awareness, surprise, and delight your consumer.
How digital marketing is can differ from internet marketing
Digital marketing is a broad term that describes marketing processes that include all available digital channels to promote a product (service) or build a brand. Digital marketing has replaced traditional marketing. This is the transition from newspaper offline advertising to Facebook campaigns, contextual advertising, and SEO promotion.
Although there is not much difference between the two terms, it is generally accepted that online marketing is one of the critical areas of digital marketing. Most marketing channels overlap, but some of them are unique to the latter. In particular, this is a promotion on TV and radio, with the help of SMS mailings and information on electronic billboards.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
Over time, people have become more reliant on the digital environment – whether it’s keeping in touch with old friends through social media, ordering food through delivery platforms, or finding the right products and services.
This reliance on the masses and increased screen time have forced businesses to adapt and integrate digital marketing strategies into their existing business model. And why not? Digital marketing offers many benefits of digital marketing here.
Can you engage with your customers through traditional marketing such as TV ads? Probably no! Such traditional marketing methods offer only one-way communication.
However, digital marketing allows customers to engage and engage with a brand in real-time. They can comment on your posts and send messages or emails. Similarly, brands can host live sessions to engage with their audience and get real-time feedback.
More Detailed Targeting
Traditional marketing strategies cost more but generate fewer sales because they reach a broader demographic. For example, an ad placed in the local paper or on a billboard will only see people in the area, many of whom may not be the target market for that particular product or service.
In comparison, digital platforms allow companies to run targeted campaigns to promote their products or services to specific groups or publish ads that target an exact demographic using age, gender, and location filters.
The cost of advertising is one of the most significant financial burdens a business faces. Some large companies will not find it challenging to spend millions on marketing and promotion.
However, for small businesses, this can be their worst nightmare. Marketing through traditional channels such as billboard advertising, television advertising, or radio requires a lot of money and effort. By comparison, advertising through digital platforms offers a more competent replacement for flyer and billboard marketing.
They create the same impact and effect on the target audience at a much lower cost.
More Measurable Results
How do you know how many people saw your billboard ad or came to your store after seeing your ad on TV? You can not! Perhaps the most significant risk in traditional marketing is how uncertain it is to evaluate and measure marketing strategies.
You don’t know how well a campaign or ad is received until a week or more has passed, and even then, you don’t have complex numbers to rely upon.
On the other hand, digital media marketing initiatives offer more measurable results – you get quick access to analytics, which allows you to make more informed decisions about upcoming campaigns and change your current strategy in a different direction if necessary. For example, by advertising on social networks, you will immediately know.
Improved Brand Image
In truth, digital marketing can improve the performance of any company—brand image. Traditional advertising revolves around the main ways of promoting a business, which may or may not reach a wide range of people.
In contrast, marketing through social media platforms using methods such as SEO or PPC can turn a company into a well-established brand. Companies can use digital media to build their brand and build a good reputation.
An example of a successful digital strategy
Each business is unique and is at a particular stage of its development. We bring an example of how an online furniture store achieved its goals using various digital marketing tools.
Step 1 . Create a fast and convenient site with an extended catalog. , should pay much attention to the technical work of the web resource.
Step 2 . SEO The implementation of this strategy allows you to increase the site’s visibility in search engines and its authority. Over time, an increase in organic traffic will lead to an increase in revenue.
Step 3 Contextual advertising. With the help of this tool, you can influence the consumer pointwise and achieve higher conversion results.
Step 4 SMM marketing. Advertising in social networks allows you to spend the allocated budget wisely and make interaction with potential customers more durable.
I want to emphasize that there are no universal methods for promoting a business in the vastness of the World Wide Web. Digital marketing has a huge potential to form a unique strategy and achieve ambitious goals. If you do it regularly, the number of customers will steadily grow, and the business will scale.