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What Is Digital Marketing? The Short Guide

Marketing is essentially connecting with your target audience in a given place and time, with the advent of technology that place has increasingly become the internet. In a nutshell Digital Marketing is any sort of marketing that is conducted online and uses online technology to do so.

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing pertains to all marketing endeavours that utilises the internet as a medium and leverages digital channels such as search engines for e.g. Google, Social media and any other website or electronic device to generate leads create, connect with existing and potential customers.

Why Do We Need Digital Marketing?

Traditional marketing methods such as telephone communication, adverts in publications/newspapers, or offline marketing such as pamphlets still exist but they can also occur online in a more scalable manner leveraging a potential audience of millions through video, social media and web 2.0 marketing opportunities. The reach and opportunities for new brands, products and services is therefore so wide that it is almost a necessity for any brand to be competitive.

Digital marketing can be explained as the utilisation of various digital strategies and channels to connect with potential and existing customers wherever they spend a significant portion of their time on line. The best digital marketers therefore have a clear understanding of where their customer or target market resides, how they can reach them and what they must to do to potentially convert them in to a long-term customer.

For example a content marketer can create a list of blog posts that offer value and insights and use them to generate leads. A social media marketer can help to promote these blog posts via paid or organic online social media marketing. Whilst an email marketer can create an email campaign to send to those who downloaded various blog posts or content.

There Are Two Types of Digital Marketing.

  • Inbound Digital Marketing or Pull Marketing seeks to engage and attract audiences via various means to one online space. For example, the use of blogs for lead generation or a quiz.
  • Outbound Digital Marketing or Push Marketing seeks to put the message directly in front of the audience. For example, Banner ads.

Digital Marketing Works For All Businesses.

Digital marketing is diverse and can work for most businesses. That said, different digital strategies must be employed per business. One hat simply does not fit all.

  • B2B Digital Marketing

Business that work directly with other business are called B2B businesses their strategies tend to work around online lead generation, providing engaging content with the ultimate result being for someone to speak to a sales person or an important contact within a company. Thus, it is important that the marketing strategy focuses on converting the highest quality of leads via your website and other digital mediums. Beyond online efforts can be focussed on community or professional hubs like LinkedIn

  • B2C Digital Marketing

A B2C or Business to consumer marketing technique focuses on the efforts to attract various people of various demographics to your website to have them become customers and purchase directly from you without ever having to speak to a salesperson. A typical case scenario would be an E-Commerce website. Therefore, lead generation will be less focussed on as opposed to creating to a smooth sales funnel with strong CTA’s call to actions to encourage potential customers to convert. Such companies will use Instagram and Pinterest as opposed to business focussed platforms like LinkedIn

What Benefits does digital marketing provide to a company?

Online marketing techniques enable marketers to see results in real time and adjust their strategy accordingly. Whilst offline strategies take a significantly longer timeframe with difficulty knowing fully how many customers bore an interest at all. With online strategies via use of tags and cookies we can see in real time how an audience responded, who responded, where and when. This offers predictive information to allow a marketer to design and align digital strategies that will most like yield results longer term. We are also able to measure return on investment for any digital marketing strategy out there. This has immense implications for companies with the need to adhere to budgets and maximise profit

Here are some examples of how a company can leverage digital marketing technique for their benefit.

  • Increasing website visitation/Traffic

Traffic is essential for the survival of any online business and with digital marketing it is easy to see the number of people who have visited or viewed your website using digital software like google analytics which displays how many pages were visited, at what time, where and using what device. These data insights can help marketers to prioritise which channels to use and where to spend more time. For example, if there is a bounce rate greater than 30% on certain pages then it infers that maybe more time needs to be invested in keeping prospective customers on the platform, by changing the design or adding more enticing content. With offline marketing techniques it is difficult to understand how individuals are engaging with your online platform and brand. It is, therefore, difficult to understand the sales funnel process and how to create informed decisions to drive long term growth.

  • Lead Generation

Lead generation is the process of generating and securing potential customers online using several techniques such as offering something of value in exchange for an email address or contact details. For example offering viable content via blogs or eBooks, encouraging participation in quizzes or surveys or offering a gift for a sign up. This process can be carried out online using social media thereby leveraging millions of people globally and gaining insights into engagement with brand. If this is done offline using brochures and pamphlets there is no mechanism to measure engagement throughout.

  • Attribution Modelling:

A digital marketing process that utilises the right technologies should enable the marketer to locate the source of all sales from the first digital footprint within any given business. This process is called “Attribution Modelling” and it enables marketers and businesses to ascertain sources of sales, identification of trends and the methods in which people research and buy a given product. This enables companies to make key informed decisions about what portions of sales strategy via marketing needs to be altered or be tweaked. Research has shown that companies that employ attribution strategy techniques achieved on average 20% revenue growth longer term.

What Type Of Digital Content Works?

The type of content that a marketer creates should be a direct alignment to an audience’s need. Creating buyer personas can drive content creation decisions and is a proven strategy. This process involves identifying an audience’s needs as opposed to wants, what problems do they have, what are their pain points, what are their goals and challenges, what results do they want and how can you solve them. All content created should therefore help your potential customer to somewhat solve a given problem and help them to achieve their goals. Ultimately, all content should be customer centric.

Another imperative factor should be to consider and understand what stage of the buyer journey a potential customer is at enabling the marketer to map their content to the type of person who will be consuming it. This is called content mapping essentially mapping content to the persona and by understanding what type of content they will consume at a given time in the buyer’s journey. This journey can be divided into three areas Awareness, consideration and then decision stage. Each stage has their own respective content format.

  • Awareness stage:

Blog Post: These are great for increasing engagement and traffic organically. Especially when combined with keyword and SEO strategy.

Infographics: These are a collection of imagery or charts with minimal texts that give the reader an easy to understand overview of a subject. These are shareable and enhance the ability for you to be found on social media.

Short videos: Shareable informative videos help your brand to get found by audiences. In fact, video is known to garner the highest engagement of all content formats

  • Consideration Stage

eBooks: These are very good for lead generation and are very comprehensive in that they give more detail than a blog. A person is more likely to offer an email if you offer them in depth content value.

Reports: This is valuable content which is also good for lead generation these are great also for the awareness stage as they can sometimes be picked up by the media or relative industry.

Webinars: These are more detailed and offer interactive, teaching based video content. Effective for consideration and lead generation.

  • Decision stage

Case studies: Detailed case studies can offer validation of a business as they show the reader and potential customer that you bear the experience and knowledge encouraging purchasing decisions.

Testimonials and social proof: Case studies may not be the best fit for all. Brief testimonials or reviews around your brand and website is a very good alternative.

On Average How Long Will It Take to See Results From Content?

There is no definitive timeframe to say how long it will take. However, if time is spent focusing on the needs of your audience, focusing on customers and building content that matches personas. Then on average, results from viable content work usually takes around six months to see organic results. Paid advertising yields immediate results however it is temporary, and this will dissipate once you stop paying. Therefore, it is recommended to spend time building your organic reach via SEO, Social media and content to maintain long term success

Will I need a big budget for digital marketing?

This is wholly dependent on what areas of digital marketing you wish to add to your marketing mix of strategies. If you are focussed on inbound marketing techniques such as SEO, social media and content for an existing website this will not require a large budget and time is the only investment required unless this function is intended for outsource.

For outbound techniques such as online advertising and purchasing email lists this inevitably results in cost accretion. PPC will vary depending on the competitiveness of the keywords you are bidding for; this can be expensive or relatively affordable.

Will Mobile Marketing Be Needed For Digital Marketing Strategy?

Mobile marketing is essential for any digital marketing strategy. Recent research has shown that smartphone and mobile usage accounts for over 70% of time spent using digital media in the US and over 50% in the UK and Europe. This therefore tells us that it is a must to optimise all ads, webpages, social media and all other digital presence or assets for mobile device usage. All engagement with a company online via mobile devices needs to provide a positive seamless experience as it would do on a desktop device. Google bots favour a mobile-friendly responsive website, ranks them higher and so this should be a pivotal part of any website design process

Conclusively, digital marketing has now become a staple to design, build and scale and business, this is fast becoming the norm and as we discover new technologies the more dynamic processes will become. All enterprises therefore need a comprehensive and functioning digital marketing strategy and plan that works not only to remain relevant but to grow their customer life time value and increase their revenue streams. Are you a company that is looking to start your online digital journey, perhaps you are just curious to find out if it will work for you? We are happy to help, and can offer you a free consultation to assess your needs or even to offer you a free website audit.