What is Digital Marketing?
According to the dictionary, marketing is the action of promoting business products or services to make them more noticeable to the people and drive sales. The addition of the word digital to marketing means utilizing digital media channels to promote your products or services.
Digital marketing has to do with the combination of strategies, activities, and tools employed to facilitate the marketing of goods and services on the internet. In digital marketing, it takes advantage of the ubiquitous and convenient nature of the internet space to reach out to a much larger audience than it would if it were done physically.
In simpler terms, digital marketing talks about how you do business in the online space. It looks at how you can take advantage of every channel available to achieve your marketing goals or objectives.
The Digital Marketer is more of a Jack of all trades, a Master of ALL. He has a sufficient grasp of every tool, every possible method that could be employed to win the client over.
Why Digital Marketing is essential
Digital marketing is about the implementation of a variety of customized digital media marketing channels to achieve any of the following objectives:
- To grow your products or services sales and profits
- Create your brand awareness and build a strong relationship with your target audience
- Create and add value
- Promote your products or services or brand.
- And many more.
But then you’d probably wonder, wouldn’t it be near impossible to make a sale to some random individual you met over the internet. Well, a couple of years ago, I would have probably said Yes, but in today’s world. It’s the exact opposite.
Nearly half of the business transactions are done seamlessly through online mediums. Multinationals, SMEs, and regular entrepreneurs have all recognized the online space and are taking full advantage of it.
Digital Marketing offers so much more opportunities than physical selling just cannot imagine. Any forward-thinking business that has any dreams or hopes of staying relevant in the future will need to have a strong online presence.
6 Channels of Digital Marketing
In digital marketing, numerous channels can be incorporated to reach these objectives. But how well that mix is made is largely dependent on the business or digital Marketer. Digital Marketing is more of an umbrella name that talks about the different channels. Some of these channels are things like:
1. Content Creation.
2. Search Engine Optimization.
3. Pay-per-click advertising.
4. Affiliate marketing.
5. Social media Marketing.
6. Email marketing.
Let’s take a look at each of these channels and what they entail.
- Content Creation:
Content is a large part of our everyday life. It’s hard to avoid, but why would you want to? Content keeps us informed, answers our questions, entertains us, guides our decisions, and more. Content is something that is to be expressed through some medium, such as speech, writing, etc, for self-expression, marketing, or publication.
Because content can take many forms; a blog post, video, E-book, Tweet, infographic, advertisement, to name a few, the content creation process is nuanced and not always as simple as it might seem. But doing it well can truly impact your business.
Content creation is the process of identifying a new topic you want to write about, deciding which form you want the content to take, formalizing your strategy (keyword or otherwise), and then actually producing it. It is the process of generating topic ideas that appeal to your buyer persona, creating written or visual content around that idea, and making that information accessible to your audience.
In addition, most content creation publishing involves thorough rounds of edits with other stakeholders before content is ready for publishing.
When you create content, you’re providing free and useful information to your audience, attracting potential customers to your website, and retaining existing customers through quality engagement and also generating some major ROI for your company and/or business, as content equals business growth.
Examples of Content Creation are;
- Search Engine Optimization:
Search Engine Optimization is also known as SEO is a fundamental part of digital marketing because people make billions of searches monthly. Search is often the primary source of digital traffic for brands and complements other marketing channels. It’s also a valuable tool for brand awareness, building relationships with prospects, and positioning yourself as an authoritative and trustworthy expert in your field.
Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business in Google, Bing, and other search engines. The better visibility your pages (which every business should have) have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business.
The goal of performing SEO on any given web page is to improve the quality of your content, so search engines will choose to list your content within search results. This will increase the quantity of traffic that your web content receives from search engines each day.
There is a lot that factors into search engine rankings, but the content is always king. High-quality, authoritative content will make your visitors happy and attract links from other websites. Second to content are incoming links. The more websites that link to your content, the more Google and other search engines will trust and value your content and website.
Greater visibility and ranking higher in search results than your competition can have a material impact on your bottom line. Many different people can affect search engine optimization, including:
- Content creators like writers, Photographers, Videographers, etc.
- Technical staff like the front-end and back-end developers.
Along with content and links, here are some other important SEO factors:
- Number of incoming links
- Quality of incoming links
- Keyword phrase usage
- Page loading speed
- User experience
- HTML and schema markup
- Domain authority
- Social media signals
- Mobile optimization
- Key usage metrics
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
After building a great website for your business or company, if nobody clicks on your website, all the effort will be worthless. That is why the knowledge of PPC advertising is very important to a digital marketer. Pay-per-click advertising is one of the best ways to attract visitors online.
Pay-per-click advertising is a method of online marketing where you can place ads in strategic places online, and pay a fee only when the ad is clicked by a visitor. It’s a way to buy visits to your site rather than attract them organically.Pay-per-click is commonly associated with first-tier search engines such as Google Ads, Amazon Advertising, and Microsoft Advertising.
After building a strong niche as a business owner, you can leverage PPC advertisement to grow your audience. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target and pay when ads (text-based search ads or shopping ads that are a combination of images and text) are clicked.
In contrast, content sites commonly charge a fixed price per click rather than use a bidding system. PPC Advertising is important to digital marketing because;
- It’s extremely targeted
- It allows you to retarget previous visitors.
- It’s cost cost-effective fast
- It’s trackable
- Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an advertising model in which a company pays others to advertise their products and services and generate sales. There are a lot of different ways to track affiliates these days, but all are based on someone clicking your special tracking link.
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.
Businesses that choose to use this marketing often should beware of such risks involved and look to associate with affiliates in which rules are laid down between the parties involved too, assure and minimize the risk involved.
In Nigeria, the top paying affiliate programs you can use your website, blog,g, or social media pages to market for online, include:
- Jumia affiliate
- Conga affiliate
- Wakanow affiliate
- PayPorte affiliate
- VConnect affiliate
- Web4Africa affiliate, etc.
Although affiliate marketing requires a lot of effort, you must have a basic understanding of how it works;
- Promote products
- Customers find products
- Customers buy products
- You make commissions
- Social Media Marketing
Digital Marketing has several marketing funnels as it supports different channels used. One of these channels is Social Media. We use social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, etc., to market a product or service, the strategy is Social Media Marketing.
Social Media Marketing is a procedure wherein strategies are made and executed to draw in traffic for a website or to gain the attention of buyers over the web using different social media platforms. It provides companies with a way to engage with existing customers and reach new ones while allowing them to promote their desired culture, mission, or tone.
Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools, enabling companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of ad campaigns. Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, creating devoted brand advocates and even driving leads and sales.
Strategies for developing effective social media marketing are;
- Use chatbots.
- Create a personalized experience for your customers
- Create a community for your audience.
- Create an efficient content marketing strategy
- Use brand advocates.
- Email Marketing
Email marketing, in comparison to other forms of digital marketing, is considered cheap. It is also a way to rapidly communicate a message such as their value proposition to existing or potential customers. Yet this channel of communication may be perceived by recipients to be bothersome and irritating especially to new or potential customers, therefore the success of email marketing is reliant on the language and visual appeal applied.
Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations. The term usually refers to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing a merchant’s relationship with current or previous customers, encouraging customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, and sharing third-party ads.
In terms of visual appeal, some indications using graphics/visuals that are relevant to the message which is attempting to be sent, yet less visual graphics to be applied with initial emails are more effective in creating a relatively personal feel to the email. In terms of language, style is the main factor in determining how captivating the email is.
Email marketing strategies commonly seek to achieve one or more of three primary objectives, to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. Using a casual tone invokes a warmer, gentler, and more inviting feel to the email, compared to a more formal tone.
There are two kinds of emails used in Email Marketing;
- Transactional Emails
- Direct Emails this involves sending an email solely to communicate a promotional message.
Email marketing is popular with companies for several reasons:
- It is significantly cheaper and faster than traditional mail
- Businesses and organizations that send a high volume of emails can use an ESP (email service provider) to gather information about the behavior of the recipients.