By the year 2000, more and more companies started having an online presence, and by 2007 the seriousness of this online presence started escalating. By the time this article is being published, Digital Marketing has become the cornerstone of every enterprise, big or small.
Google Trends for “Digital Marketing”
Trends by Region for “Digital Marketing”
Today, every organization and even individuals want to be discovered online. Customers do a thorough research about a company even before approaching them. Employers do the same before approaching a prospective candidate.
And, it’s just not about discovery anymore. More and more organizations have started selling online too. For the least, even the most traditional brick and mortar companies have a website that accepts customer inquiries to generate leads.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital Marketing is the science and art of promoting a company, or a product, or a service, or even an individual via online channels. It also encompasses analysis of the marketing efforts using exact performance metrics to understand which marketing effort is working and which is not, mostly in real-time.
Digital marketers monitor things like what is being viewed, how often and for how long, sales conversions, what content works and what doesn’t work.
More and more prospective customers took to Searching for their desired content which led to a tremendous focus on Search Engine Optimisation.
With the growing popularity of eCommerce, Digital Marketing has become an inevitable need in today’s fast growing markets. Organizations into the Subscription Businesses rely 100% on Digital Marketing alone.
Traditional Marketing Vs Digital Marketing
As per Phillip Kotler, Marketing is the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential.
Advertising is a subset of Marketing. Once a marketer has identified their market potential, has created a customer persona, understood competition, advertising kicks in. Advertising is a form of marketing communication that employs sponsored content in various formats based on customer personas.Many confuse Marketing with Advertising, many jump into advertising without getting into marketing. Click To Tweet
The fundamental principles of Digital Marketing do not change from the traditional Marketing landscape. All marketing tenets still apply, except that the channels of communications move towards the digital arena. And one of the biggest difference, which is getting more and more evident by the day, is that the thin line between Marketing and Sales is fast fading for digital companies. Many modern and progressive digital marketers are now responsible for conversion and revenue generation as well.
Digital Marketing is definitely far less expensive than traditional marketing, which has allowed even small and micro businesses to be able to promote and reach out to prospective buyers, something which was a formidable barrier earlier.
None the less, this ease of promotion has eventually led to very serious competition and the race to be found at the right time and the right place.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing has impacted the lives of all organizations and individuals across the globe. Consumers and buyers can now take a better-informed decision before purchase without having to step out of their home or offices.
Companies and sellers have been able to reach new sets of customers without having to invest more than what they can earn.
The reduction is marketing and advertising spend, or put in other words, the increase in the Return on Investment for marketing, has resulted in more affordable products and services. A win-win situation for both consumers and sellers.
- Lower Marketing Investments.
- Bigger Prospect Reach.
- Easy and accurate Marketing Performance Measurement.
- Easier and quicker to fine tune and improvise marketing efforts.
- Lower costs of products and services.
- Faster Lead to Conversion sales cycles.
Vices of Digital Presence
Recently I was having a discussion with an Internet Service Provider. Their CFO was really concerned about their Digital Presence, especially the fact that consumers were able to publicly complain and provide negative feedback on social media channels, and other online forums.
This is no doubt the biggest known vice of a Digital Presence, which of course has created an entirely new profession for Online Reputation Management.
While you cannot afford to reduce your digital footprint, which can nearly cost your direct revenues, online reputation management can save your company from negative impacts of digital presence.
Q: Why did the marketer get fired as a tap dancer?
A: She wanted to get paid per click.
Components for a Digital Presence
To have a holistic Digital Presence for your organization, you need to have the following components to the minimum.
- Get a Website and Blog with a Lead or Subscription Capture Form.
- Connected Social Media Accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google Plus, and Pinterest.
- An email marketing automation tool.
- A YouTube account with Explainer Videos, Customer Testimonial videos, and How to Videos.
- An online Forum or Community for customer interaction.
- An online Support Help Desk with a Knowledge Base of useful articles.
Digital Marketing Job Prospects
With the boom in the Digital Marketing Space, every organization needs Digital Marketers. The need is an only growing one year on year and is not anticipated to fall down in the next 5 years unless there is a major upheaval in the way the world consumes information and technology.
You may invest in a formal digital marketing training program. These days most of the training is offered online which adds your convenience. Online Digital Marketing courses help you to take the lessons at your own pace and free time.
This report from Delhi School of Internet Marketing shows the number of jobs in India for Digital Marketers totaling to 796,588. A clear signal of the fast growing digital marketing trends.
Digital Marketing Process Simplified.
I have articulated my years of experience to simplify the process of Digital Marketing. Before you start your digital marketing campaigns, you need to have an answer to these questions.
- Marketing Strategy: How will your marketing plan support your business goals?
- Mission Statement: What are you trying to accomplish, and why?
- Target Market: Who are you trying to reach with your marketing activities?
- Competitive Analysis: Who are you up against, and where do you rank?
- Unique Selling Proposition: What makes your business unique?
- Pricing Strategy: What will you charge, and why?
- Promotional Plan: How will you reach your target market?
- Marketing Budget: How much money will you spend, and on what?
- Action List: What tasks do you need to complete to reach your marketing goals?
- Metrics: How are you implementing, and where can you improve?
Follow these quick guidelines and you will never have to look back again. Once you have your marketing strategy and target in place, start with a competitive research.
Understand your customers from all possible perspectives – whom are they selling to, how much traffic are they getting to their website, how engaged is their social media channels, what feedback have their customers given, what are the keywords that they rank for, what are the videos they have on YouTube, subscribe to their newsletters, how quick is their support response time, and more.
To begin with, find keywords that are less competitive and have a high volume of search. Build your website even before you build your product and start collecting early birds waitlist customers.
Start creating content relevant to what your customers will appreciate. Distribute this content on your social media pages, promote your content before promoting your product or service. Use other content distribution channels like OutBrain.
Get a marketing automation tool linked to your website and start sending drip campaigns with your content to those who subscribe or are on the waitlist.
Keep your wait list customers engaged with relevant content, if you do not have enough content of your own, distribute content from non-compete websites and blogs. You can even hire freelancers to write content for you.
Preferably start a CPC campaign once your product has launched.
Start with Influencer Marketing. Reach out to influencers to write about your upcoming product or ask them to share your content on their social platforms.
Start an Affiliate or Referral marketing campaign only after you have your critical mass of first customers happy and satisfied.
Pillars of Digital Marketing
- Competition Research
- Customer Personas
- Email Marketing
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Pay Per Click Advertising
- Influencer Marketing
- Affiliate / Referral Marketing
- Online Reputation Management
Digital Marketing can bear quick results if you follow a simple strategy and sequence. Research is very critical which many of us skip and expect results from mere social media postings.