The advancement of technology has paved the way for the exponential growth of different digital media. It is evident that people are now consuming more digital content on a daily basis through ubiquitous mobile computing devices. Unlike probably about 10 to 15 years ago were these gadgets are deemed to be very expensive, today’s smartphones and other mobile devices, social media, and cloud services are now becoming more affordable and within reach to the mass consumer market. Thus, the growth of Digital Marketing.
What is Digital Marketing?
So what is digital marketing? As defined by Wikipedia, “Digital marketing is an umbrella term for the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium.” The term is also synonymous with Internet and Online Marketing.
Well in concept, any form of marketing done on the Internet through whatever channel is already considered digital marketing. Compared to the traditional marketing, Digital marketing has proved to have a lot of advantages in today’s market.
According to statistics, the average daily time spent on social networking by Internet users worldwide in 2016 was around 2hrs. And take note that social networking is just one activity people spend their time with online. And that gives us the picture of how vast is the possible reach of online advertisement campaigns.
The majority of the successful companies today managed to recognize the advantages of implementing digital marketing and online presence in their businesses. Early adopters are now authorities in their field which gives them the absolute advantage over their competitors.
However, the Internet and technology landscape is dynamic and continuously evolve. With innovative ideas, great product, and marketing strategy, businesses can still thrive and level the playing field regardless if they are new or just about to embark in the world of digital marketing.
With the primary goal of reaching audiences in as much as effective and efficient way possible, several known and proven strategies are available to consider.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Is known for being one of the first and still widely used strategies by marketing professionals, content writers, and web developers.
It is the processing of optimizing your website either on-page or off-page to rank higher in search engine results which in turn increases the amount of organic traffic. It is important that we should understand how search engines rank websites to optimize ranking for relevant searches. Staying up-to-date with search engine updates is critical as they continue to change their algorithms which have a direct impact on actual rankings.
Pay-per-Click (PPC) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
This method is known as paid or sponsored advertising wherein businesses pay a certain amount in exchange for traffic.
PPC/SEM works by paying a publisher, every time someone clicks the ad which we often see with Google searches and other search engines such as Yahoo or Bing. The ads can be in the form of sponsored ad links, keyword optimized search result, display banner ads, etc.
Unlike SEO, PPC/SEM is more likely advisable for short-term campaigns. The traffic it drives is limited to the set campaign budget. The moment you stop paying, the ads will stop as well.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
In other words, it is the creation, promotion, and delivery of consistent and valuable information to educate consumers while having the objective of generating traffic for brand awareness, lead generation and sales.
Content marketing is a hybrid marketing approach. It may combine different strategies such as SEO, PR, PPC, Social Media, etc. to deliver and reach the target audience.
Social Media Marketing
Social media has become part of every person’s daily life. The majority of the people especially the millennials spends more time on social media daily. These platforms have a lot of active users which is open to engaging with the different type of contents.
Aside from its free services, Social Media offers extensive paid ad services with various campaign objectives to ensure that your ads are placed right in front of your audience eyes.
With greater reach to a specific target audience, it is indeed a great strategy for businesses to build brand awareness, collect information, generate leads and drive engagement.
Refers to the end-to-end strategy of attracting target audience to products and services using valuable contents as lead magnets with the integration of funnel system to convert leads and eventually close sales.
Lead magnets are most commonly used tool to start engaging target audience on a specific interest or niche. These can be anything from an e-book, webinar, report, cheatsheet, trial accounts, video, etc. that may trigger the interest of the audience to continue working with you and see you as an authority within your niche.
Like any other strategy, website traffic and lead nurturing are vital to its success. Therefore it is likely to have 2 or more traffic generating strategies in the overall end-to-end process.
Once the audience opted-in, the funnel system will come into play to promote and ‘funnel’ the lead and offer tailored-fit products or services through as series of carefully crafted landing pages.
Email is considered the most basic way to communicate over the internet. Though it may seem basic, marketers still find email marketing useful in generating traffic, leads and sales for their businesses. Emails are often used to engage and nurture audience while at the same time promote content that drives the audience to take favorable actions.
Email contents can range from updates, newsletters, reminder, event invitations, reactions, promotions, polls, and much more. Email marketing today can now be automated to deliver tailored-fit contents to a particular set of audiences. Most commonly used email marketing autoresponders are Active Campaign, Aweber, MailChimp, Get Response, etc. which can integrate with most of the CRMs and Funnel systems available today.
Affiliate marketing is where merchants recruit ‘affiliates’ to generate leads or sales for their businesses. It is a type of marketing wherein affiliates are the salespeople leveraging their network, lists, blogs and other marketing strategies to promote some else’s products or services. The affiliates, in turn, are rewarded with commission based on agreed percentage by the merchant for every successful conversion made.
Some affiliate marketing platforms are readily available for both merchants and affiliates under specific terms and conditions. Some of the popular affiliate marketing sites are ShareASale, JVzoo, and CJ Affiliate.
Influence Marketing (Online PR)
Influence marketing is the practice of leveraging on a particular key individual or types of individual that has a lot of followers or have influence over the target audience. These are the authorities on a particular niche or famous public figure that can help businesses promote products and services on behalf of the business entity. This approach is somewhat similar to how advertisers leverage on known celebrities for TV, billboard, print ads, etc. The key difference is the is within the online and social media space.
The content may vary in the form of testimonials, social media posts, articles, or endorsement under earned or paid agreement.
Most of the time, a combination of two or more strategies is being used to drive more results and conversion. And using more methods correctly together can give a business the unfair advantage.
Though every strategy may appear as promising as it is, the success rate of each and every strategy will still depend on the campaign execution. Factors such as the advertisement creatives, target, and placement, timing, etc. may influence the overall campaign results.