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It all started in the 1990s when the term “Digital marketing” was first used as a descriptive word. In this article you will learn what is digital marketing, its types and applications.
But as the years go by, it has evolved to now become the #1 driving force of virtually every sector of the 21st-century marketing industry and we now have various types of digital marketing.
It is such a huge part of consumers’ decision making behaviour that over 80% of consumers say they do “a lot of” online research before making any significant purchase decisions.Milkwhale
This search for information prior to purchase makes digital marketing a no-brainer for online users.
It provides extensive information, suggestions, reviews, and guidelines necessary to make an informed decision.
Introduction to digital marketing
Digital marketing has remarkably redefined marketing as we know it and continues to do so at an astronomical level.
Traditional marketing, on the other hand, is no longer as effective as it used to be a few decades back.
And nowadays, the number of people who go online in search of information is increasing like never before.
The likes of blog posts, social media marketing, search engine optimization, website, email marketing, and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, amongst others, stem from the roots of digital marketing.
These different platforms present businesses with ample opportunities to reach a wider audience and scale tremendously.
This just explains why smart business owners are pouring more resources into their digital marketing endeavors.
People spend an average of 7hours per day online according to Hootsuite.Hootsuite
In addition, studies show that digital ad expenses worldwide will grow from 39.7% to 53.9% in the year 2022.Statista
This brief history of digital marketing invariably pops up some interesting questions in everybody’s mind, like:
What is Digital Marketing?
Why is it so important that every marketer must know how it works and how to integrate it into their overarching marketing goal?
In the paragraphs that follow, these questions and many more will be discussed to give you a crystal clear understanding of digital marketing and all the nuances involved.
So, without further ado…
- What Is Digital Marketing?
- What exactly is digital marketing?
Digital marketing, obviously, has an infinite number of definitions (both online and offline.)
Of course, it has to because there’s no doubt it is now the buzzword of the century. It’s everywhere and everybody is talking about it, right?
Unfortunately, people tend to overcomplicate the meaning more than it ought to be.
However, for the purpose of this article, I’d prefer to keep things short, simple, and digestible for you.
Digital marketing is basically marketing with the use of digital channels on the internet.
Yes, that’s it!
But let’s take it a step further:
Digital marketing is also an avenue by which brands connect with existing and potential customers to sell their products and services using electronic media and the internet. This includes text and multimedia messages as well.
It is a form of marketing where marketers or business owners make themselves visible to their audience by offering valuable content in diverse formats (Ebook, video, blog posts, images, podcasts, etc) to first of all build relationships and brand trust,
To sensitize new customers on relevant topics of great interest.
Also, ultimately pitch their products and services as a solution to be considered.
Therefore, marketing, in general, involves communicating and delivering value to your customers, current and otherwise….
Digital marketing can as well be seen as communicating value using digital tools to ultimately convert strangers into happy customers.
Now, you’ve learnt what is digital marketing. Let’s dive deeper.
Why Digital Marketing?
Why should you pay attention to digital marketing as an opportunity to grow the influence of your brand?
Should you focus on it as a medium to attract your target audience and generate quality leads?
Because it works for any business in any industry! Let me explain…
Digital marketing is a great marketing channel worth investing in and experimenting with.
The world we live in is now a global village. Everyone is connected on one digital platform or the other.
People no longer look for information like they do in the past. With just a swipe and click of a button, you can literally have access to tons of information online.
What digital marketing helps you to do is it strategically positions you as an authority. In a way that when people search for any information pertaining to your product or service, they can find you.
That’s essentially what digital marketing is all about anyways. It’s all about getting your target audience to find you in the right place and at the right time.
It goes without saying that the goal of every business is to acquire more customers, scale, and turn a profit.
Digital marketing, if done right, is how you get there. It is the vehicle that drives every business of the 21st century.
What About Traditional Marketing? Is it dead?
No, of course, it is not. It’s just that with the rapid development of technology and consumer exposure to unlimited internet access. Traditional marketing is gradually fading out of the picture.
That doesn’t mean it’s not still being used.
Some big establishments still use traditional methods of advertising- billboards, phone calls, Magazines, Newspapers, Banners, etcetera to promote their brands.
It is worthy to note you use it if it is affordable to you. Traditional marketing is way more expensive compared to digital marketing.
It’s not really measurable as you’d expect. You might get a sale or an interested buyer calls your office to enquire about your product or service.
But at the end of the day, it will be extremely difficult to trace where they came from.
You don’t want to go about asking callers or prospects how they came in contact with you, right?
Because that will not only be a waste of time but also make you sound unprofessional and send a wrong message about your client documentation system.
That’s one of the major challenges businesses face when it comes to the traditional method of marketing. You can’t monitor and document the client’s journey effectively.
So, it’s less of a surprise to see digital marketing outrun traditional marketing.
The truth is, that businesses are constantly looking for ways to reduce customer acquisition costs while still increasing the flow of qualified leads into their backend funnel(s).
And digital marketing does exactly that- It is cost-effective, efficient, measurable, flexible, and scalable.
Types Of Digital Marketing
There are several types of digital marketing strategies out there. You can deploy any to grow your brand awareness so that more and more people can see what you offer.
These strategies are similar to those of traditional marketing. Although, digital tools are used instead of traditional mediums in this case.
The different types of digital marketing channels include:
- Website Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (AKA SEO)
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Online Video Marketing
- Pay Per Click Advertising
- Social Media Marketing
These are the various types of digital marketing. Now, let’s consider each one of them and how you can leverage them to grow your online presence.
This is a type of digital marketing that is fast, easy to use, mobile-friendly website with exceptional user experience will always be a huge asset to every business looking to leverage digital marketing as a growth hacking medium.
Your website is the hotspot for all your digital marketing campaigns.
It is a great avenue to showcase your products or services, build brand awareness, drive organic traffic online and ultimately make sales.
It serves as a focal point for virtually all digital marketing efforts. Data shows that 93% of online transactions start with a search, according to digitalthirdcoast.
The first step to online branding is having a website people can visit to learn about your offerings. If you don’t have one, you are leaving a lot of potential customers on the table.
With a well-designed online presence, you can get more eyeballs on your brand.
If the content you have published on your website answers their questions, addresses their objections or reservations, or solves a particular problem they have, they instantly become qualified leads because now they are interested in what you have to say, and more importantly, you have them in your court.
When creating a website, ensure you optimize it for visitors as this improves the user experience.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO for short is one of the best forms of online marketing because it gets you highly qualified traffic 24/7 without you paying a dime.
This is one of the most popular and rapid-growing types of digital marketing
How SEO works is it helps your website rank better on search results when users actively search for a specific keyword related to your business.
With search engine optimization you are sure to appear in the search results of your target audience.
And if your content gives them what they want, they won’t hesitate to sign up for your newsletter to enjoy more info about buying your product.
Although SEO takes a lot of work and requires some deep research into the specific keywords your target audience use when searching for information related to your business,
It is still a surefire way to build brand awareness and connect with potential customers.
If you’ve been in this online space for a while, you probably must have heard the statement “Content Is King.” Yes, it definitely is.
Things like blog posts, social media posts, video content, and the likes, are what stop scrollers in their tracks, capture their attention, and stir up their interest in your brand.
Content marketing is the primary means of communication in the other digital marketing strategies.
Search engines with a constant change in algorithm now promote websites not only based on SEO but on the quality and relevance of the content.
That means, your content marketing must be spot on in providing visitors the best value.
So, this types of digital marketing focus on producing content that users love.
The clicks and engagement you get on your website send a message to the algorithm whether or not people enjoy your information and the algorithm in turn then help you push it out so more people can see it.
The truth many people don’t know or probably choose to ignore is that the majority of these search engines prioritize user experience over everything else. They want people to get the best result for every search they make.
So, if the content on your website isn’t delivering on that premise, the algorithm would stop showing your website in search results to avoid losing their users due to poor user experience.
Tell them everything they need to know about your brand, the topic they are searching for, or better, the solution you are offering.
Doing that will make visitors see you as an expert and a destination for anything related to your industry. And that’s how you establish the Know, Like, and Trust factor that eventually turns leads into new customers.
A lot of people (even marketers surprisingly) claim email marketing as a type of digital marketing is dead.
But nothing could be further from the truth, because this claim has been around for over 10years now and email marketing is still being used by almost every business online with no sign of it going out of style anytime soon.Bidemi Israel
Email marketing is one of the oldest channels of communicating with your customers, both current and prospective. It’s been around for a long time and according to Neil Patel, “Is a cornerstone of corporate communication.”
Statistics have revealed that email marketing has a 4400% ROI (Source: optinmonster.) How amazing is that?
Another study revealed that 72% of consumers prefer to be communicated by email over other channels (Source: serpwatch.io.)
These reports just show you how powerful email marketing is.
And if you are not using it to communicate with your audience yet, well, you are missing out on a lot of potential customers.
If you’ve done your relationship-building right from the first point of contact with your brand, email marketing can increase your customer base, boost revenue and build brand loyalty among your audience.
Businesses are now leveraging this channel more so than ever before because of what happened in late October 2021 when all the major social media networks experienced a massive server failure for an entire day!
It was unbelievable and terrifying at the same time.
Nobody saw it coming and as a fail-safe, businesses are now investing the necessary resources to build their email lists.
So that they can always be in touch with their customers and operate their business without ever having to worry about another “Social Media Apocalypse.”
The truth is, you do not own your social media audience.
If anything should happen to the servers today, maybe a server breakdown, or network failure.
Or, worst-case scenario,
The platform’s shut down all at once, and your business is bound to suffer a complete loss of connection to your customers, leads, followers, etc.
This is a commission-based marketing channel.
This marketing strategy involves paying marketers or promoters a commission to sell your products and services to their own audience.
This strategy is further divided into two:
- Low Ticket, &
- High Ticket
Low Ticket, as the name implies, involves selling products or services with a low price point.
Businesses use this approach to drive traffic and acquire leads and move them up the value ladder to their core offer.
High Ticket, on the flip side, is selling products or services with a high price point to interested buyers.
Both approaches deliver almost the same result but high ticket affiliate marketing is highly recommended if you want to scale rapidly.
Online Video Marketing
Video marketing has experienced significant growth and application over the years due to the upward trend of digital marketing via video outlets.
Platforms like YouTube can be a great traffic source for businesses that can produce detailed, entertaining, and valuable visual content for their audience.
People prefer and enjoy visual content to text and even audio content. The reason why is because video appeals to both the eyes and the ears making the experience dynamic and engaging.
Leveraging and investing in video marketing channels to promote your brand values and marketing message is an excellent way to get a huge ROI on your marketing budget.
Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay Per Click Advertising, popularly known as PPC, involves creating search engine optimized ad campaigns that appear on the top of google search results and on the thousands of websites that participate in the Google advertising network.
In addition, for every click that leads visitors to your website from that ad, the search engines and associate websites collect a fee. This ad will not be shown to all users but only to those who are actively searching for information related to your offer.
Your website appearing at the top of search results sends a positive impression that you most definitely have something valuable to share for the search engine to put you there.
Social Media Marketing
SMM is the most used form of digital marketing because it is where virtually everybody across the world hangs out.
Social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter, have billions of active users every single day.
This volume of traffic is what makes it a goldmine and blue ocean for digital marketers. People spend much more time interacting on these platforms than they do in real life.
Social media marketing is also divided into two categories:
Organic social media marketing
Organic is primarily using content marketing to build your audience, engage with them, update them on promos and offers and have real-time conversations with them without paying for it.
Paid social media marketing
Paid, on the other hand, is when you pay a certain amount to promote your brand to a segmented section of the platform’s users which defines your target market.
Targeting these people can be done via:
- Demographics (age, gender, etc)
- Geographics (City, country, state, etc), or
- Psychographics (Attitudes, interests, behaviors, opinions, etc.)
Digital marketing is a vast field that encompasses several tools for effective marketing using electronic media or the internet.
We’ve covered quite a few in this article and I hope you enjoyed reading it.
There’s more to digital marketing than we’ve laid out here but with the little knowledge you now have,
You can take one of the strategies and turn your overall marketing game around.
In this article, we you learnt what is digital marketing, why is digital marketing important, types of digital marketing and many more.