The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing for Businesses
Article by Nicole Serrano
Graphics Design by Ryan Rivera & Kirsten Tumbokon
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is defined by all the marketing efforts and digital strategies implemented to connect with customers online. Since marketing in general talks about the promotion or selling of products to an audience, digital marketing, as the name suggest, is the category under it that markets your digital channels and platforms.
Lyfe Marketing reports that according to Forbes, 82% of consumers conduct research online while Tech Crunch says 79% are online shoppers.
In the age of digitisation, more businesses are leveraging on digital channels to reach their customers and prospects. Unlike offline marketing, digital also means real-time scenarios, custom targeting of audience and measurable results. The interactive nature of digital marketing has proven to be an efficient and cost-effective way for companies to grow their business online.
Now when we say digital channels, we are referring to your website, Facebook page, Instagram business account, YouTube channel, and more. All of these fall under digital marketing, but without implementing the right strategy for each platform, they fail to serve their purpose.
This article aims to discuss each of these marketing strategies and the underlying benefits. Without further ado, here’s an overview of some the most popular branches of digital marketing.
“Poor distribution – not product – is the number one cause of failure.” – Peter Thiel
Branches of Digital Marketing
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing is the process of creating and sharing content specifically tailored to each social media channel, in order to meet business goals.
Gary Vaynerchuk once said that, “If content is king, then context is god”, seemingly referring to the importance of customising content depending on where it will be published and distributed. Likes, comments and impression are important, but “share” is the social currency in social media for this gives you the opportunity to increase brand awareness, get qualified traffic and eventually, generate leads.
Some of the social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and so on.
Content marketing is the process of communicating with customers and prospects, with the goal of building relationships. It’s a strategic approach focused on educating your audience with valuable information that interests them, eventually leading them to create a profitable action. In a way, it’s somehow an investment with the main purpose of nurturing relationships with prospects and existing customers, so as to get their trust and loyalty.
Some of the strategies under content marketing include blog articles, explainer videos, e-books, and infographics.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is the organic process of optimising content so that they achieve a high-ranking placement in search engine results. There are several ways to do this such as using the right keywords, internal linking, and other strategies that can favour the search engine algorithms.
By understanding how search engines work, you can adopt the best practices that can rank your website well in relevant searches. This will then drive qualified traffic to your site, eventually generating leads that can turn into potential customers. The best part about SEO is that it’s free, but keep in mind that it takes a lot of research and time to achieve your desired quality results.
Similar to SEO, PPC is also a method of driving traffic to your website. The main difference is that these are paid advertisements that guarantee immediate results. Not only will you be able to pay for top slots on the search engines, using this method also allows you to specifically target your potential customers.
Normally, PPC charges marketers an amount whenever a searcher clicks on their ad that links back to their page.
One of the most common types of PPC is the Google AdWords, allowing you to immediately get the highest-ranking placement in search engine results, where you pay every time a searcher clicks on your link. Other types of PPC include social media ads, display ads, and more.
Email marketing has long been utilised by businesses to nurture relationships with their existing clients and prospects. Often, it is used to provide updates on upcoming events, discounts, holiday promotions, newsletter subscription, as well as educate customers with valuable information that may pique their interest.
What differentiates email marketing from all the other branches of digital marketing is that you can customise and personalise each email to resonate with your audience’s needs and preferences. Emails are more personal for they are sent directly to your customers’ inboxes.
It’s best to start from your list of subscribers or those who have sent you an enquiry (so that they won’t be surprised to find an email from you in their inbox) and to go from there in building their trust in your brand. Eventually, you will be able to convert some of your audience into customers.
The benefits of digital marketing for businesses are becoming widespread day by day. Digital platforms are now often associated with different kinds of marketing schemes and the use of the Internet have become a huge part of everyone’s daily routine. While offline marketing still works for most companies, there are other benefits that you’ll only achieve when you go digital.
6 Key Benefits of Digital Marketing
Everyone is either on their smartphones, tablets or laptops nowadays. No matter what industry your business is in, it should properly invest in digital marketing because that is where your potential customers can be found. If a user is unable to find you online, this can lead them to think that your company may not be trustworthy and reputable.
According to eMarketer, around one-third of the population uses social media platforms on a daily basis. The social network penetration ha become more prevalent day by day, as major players like Facebook and Instagram are coming up with more ways to reach and entertain their users.
The digital world has proven to be an effective platform in reaching out to your audience, with ways to target the customers who may be interested in what you have to offer. Aside from advertising opportunities, real-time engagement is also an advantage that can give you valuable insights for your brand.
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With offline marketing, you run an ad campaign in a public platform with no control on whoever sees this, as you hope that viewers will soon turn into leads or customers.
On the other hand, digital marketing allows you to precisely target your potential customers. The ads you create can be shown to targeted customers based on their demographic information, likes, follows and initial engagement with a brand. For example, if a customer enquires on your site, then it would be admissible to email them from time to time with updates on your newsletter and promotions.
By ensuring that you reach the right potential customers, this can increase the opportunity of sales and cut down your marketing costs.
The only way to know if your ad campaigns are working is to track every result in your marketing funnel. Unlike offline marketing, digital marketing campaigns are real-time, allowing you to keep track on its progress.
You’ll be able to see the number of people visiting your website, how many pages they visited and which pages land the most visitors, what device they are using, their location, and so on. These measurements will help you determine which tactics are working or needs more improvement, gaining you insights that you can also use for future ad campaigns.
Track Purchasing Behaviour
Many online shop owners integrate digital marketing into their ecommerce development strategies. Similar to measuring real-time results, digital marketing allows you to track your buyers’ purchasing behaviour. From their first interaction with your brand up until purchase, you’ll be able to identify trends and patterns that can gain your company a competitive advantage.
Optimise with the right tools to track a buyer’s actions, routine, preferences and biases so that you can get insight into how they behave. Not only will you get access on their path to purchase, you can also find out what advertisements are working that would often influence them to making a conversion. This can improve sales productivity and insights gained can lead to a better user experience for your potential customers.
Unlike offline marketing that may cost businesses millions without always guaranteeing successful results, digital marketing is a more affordable platform that can create as much impact.
There are several cost-effective ways to market your brand in a qualified audience at a lower rate than offline marketing. Cost-per-acquisition (CPA) generated with digital marketing won’t be as expensive, but can even get your business a higher reach and more leads. Strategies like social media ads and email marketing are digital marketing platforms that, if used wisely, can even generate more sales to your conversion funnel.
Compete with Bigger Brands
Several brands are spending huge amounts of money on traditional ads that it has been difficult for small businesses to level with them in the playing field. However, since digital marketing came around, other companies are now given a chance to grow their business and compete with bigger brands despite the limited budget and resources.
Digital marketing allows all businesses to reach bigger markets and gain exposure online, targeting audiences across the globe. Since most people are on the Internet nowadays, strategies under digital marketing have become more effective than ever, showcasing real-time data and measurable results. All of these can improve how you invest on the user experience for your customers
Does Digital Marketing Work for All Businesses?
The answer is yes. Whatever industry your business is in and regardless of what you’re offering, digital marketing is a good investment for your company.
However, it can be tricky to identify which tactics to implement in your digital marketing strategy. It’s not all the same for all businesses, as it will depend on what type of business you are in, the buyer personas of your target audience, company size, budget allocation, and so on. The kind of content you will be using will also depend on the different stages of your potential customer’s buyer journey.
For B2B, strategies should be focused on building leads whereas channels like LinkedIn can be used to boost your reputation online. For B2C, the goal is often to get customers to convert quickly so with online stores, you may want to use channels like Facebook and Instagram.
Again, it will still depend on a lot of factors and on where your customer is at in their buyer’s journey. Are they on the awareness stage? If so, it is important to focus on channels that aid visits and leads. Consideration stage? Nurture Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) by giving them supporting information through blog articles. Decision stage? Then, it’s time to clear their doubts and convince them into becoming paying customers by showing previous clients’ testimonials.
PPC should be part of your digital marketing strategy if you need immediate results. However, we still recommend for you to focus on building organic results for your long-term strategy.
In ensuring an effective digital marketing strategy, the key is to continuously engage your audience and to stay relevant in this ever-evolving competitive industry. Remember that strategies may or may not always work the way you hoped for, but you will always gain insights that you can use to further improve your efforts. To achieve quality results, you will need to invest in a lot of time to research and implement your strategies.
To identify which digital marketing strategy best works for your business, you may give us a call at 6841 1680 or you may also send us an email at [email protected] so that we can set up a free consultation for digital marketing and web design services.