The sheer number of people who use the internet in today’s times may not come as a surprise to most. As per the latest statistics, there are over 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide.
If your potential customers are spending their time on the internet, you need to catch hold of them there. Marketing to them in the very channels they spend their time in will surely help you generate more business.
But how can you do this? Through Digital Marketing, of course!
According to HubSpot, “digital marketing” is any form of marketing that takes place through online channels. It is the act of selling services and products via channels such as SEO, social media, mobile apps, and email. The benefits of digital marketing are multi-varied in that it directs more people to your business and also gets you an increased amount of leads.
Read on to know what digital marketing is, its importance, and its basic components in detail, below.
What is Meant by Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing encompasses every marketing effort that utilizes the internet or an electronic device. Businesses use different digital channels such as social media, email, search engines, and other websites to connect with existing as well as potential customers.
A Brief History of Digital Marketing
A Digital marketing 101 guide simply cannot be complete without discussing the history of digital marketing. But first, let’s get acquainted with a brief history of marketing itself.
It was in the 1940s that marketing became what it is known as today. Then, as the years passed, competition started to take a more intense form in the business world. As a result, businesses started to invest more in marketing and advertising to draw a large number of people towards them.
Fast forward to the 1990s and access to digital media started to become easier. This was the time when people began to hear about digital marketing. This decade also saw the birth of internet giants such as Yahoo!, Google, and web banner ads which further contributed to the growth of digital marketing.
Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing
Establishing a comparison between traditional marketing practices and digital marketing is important to ensure that people understand the two terms distinctively.
Traditional marketing is when you undertake marketing activities in a conventional fashion (through magazines, newspapers, TV commercials, billboard advertisements, etc.). It is the form of marketing that utilizes traditional media and channels for marketing communication.
Digital marketing, on the other hand, is defined as any form of marketing that involves electronic devices that can be connected to, and used to browse, the internet.
It’s also interesting to know that digital marketing is more cost-effective and efficient as compared to traditional marketing. It also provides quick and real-time results, something that traditional marketing practices can’t boast of. The engagement obtained through digital marketing is also relatively higher when pitted against that of traditional marketing.
Understanding The Importance of Digital Marketing
If your customers are on the web, investing in digital marketing is crucial for your business. It helps you reach your potential customers where they are most likely to be. You can connect with them on their smartphones, tablets, and computers as they browse the internet for services and products.
If you need even more convincing, here are some notable benefits of digital marketing:
- You get to compete with bigger corporations for similar services/products
- It helps you turn relevant leads into customers
- You get an impressive ROI (Return On Investment)
- Success in Digital Marketing is all about the right timing. Start today, and realize your goals in no time!
Different Components of Digital Marketing
Now that we know what digital marketing is and its importance, it’s time that we discuss the different components of digital marketing. Let’s begin:
1. Website And Web Design
At the core of your digital marketing strategy is your “website.” You will be directing leads back to your website when running different digital marketing campaigns. Therefore, you need to work especially hard on creating a website that your potential customers will love and find useful. After all, it is at your website that they will browse through your services and products while they decide whether to take the leap or not.
Tip: Your site doubles up as your business’s online storefront. Make sure your it is secure, fast, visually appealing, and mobile-friendly to ensure maximum visitor retention.
All in all, ensure you invest in smart website and web design practices to achieve success in your digital marketing efforts.
SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, is also one of the important components of digital marketing. It is the process of improving the quantity and quality of internet traffic to a web page or a site from a search engine. It can also be defined as the steps to take to help a piece of content or a website rank higher on Google and other search engines.
To begin creating a successful SEO campaign, you must choose the right keywords. Keyword selection will help boost your site’s ranking and bring in more qualified traffic. A keyword is defined as a word or a group of words that an internet user uses while searching for something specific in a search engine. Find and use long-tail keywords in your SEO campaigns to reach quality leads most interested in your offerings. Long-tail keywords can be defined as keywords containing three or more words.
Note: An effective SEO campaign is one that works in tandem with other digital marketing methods to increase your site’s search engine ranking and help you get more quality leads.
One such method to improve website traffic quality and reach your target audience is content marketing.
Content marketing comes in different forms and includes a wide range of content like ebooks, blogs, infographics, and videos. When you produce rich, quality content, your potential customers are able to find just the information they are looking for. This leads to an increase in both the traffic to your web page and the time individuals spend on those pages.
A content marketing funnel and SEO when paired together, increase your website’s ranking, drive more traffic, and help you capture more leads for your business.
3. Email Marketing
Once you succeed in bringing traffic to your page and capture quality leads, how do you nudge them towards conversion?
We know the answer — “email marketing.” It works as an amazing opportunity to nurture leads towards purchasing your services and products through a series of pointed, targeted emails containing the right amount of information needed to make the final decision.
To begin using email marketing, make sure you have a list of relevant email addresses. Place an email marketing bar on your website — either at the bottom or at the top of the web page — to make it easier for your audience to find it.
Next, simply begin sending emails that contain valuable content to help engage your audience with your business. You can also use email marketing to engage with your existing customers.
4. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is also one of the components of digital marketing. You should put in the required work in your social strategy and develop carefully curated social media campaigns. Social Media increases your brand awareness among your target audience and helps you develop a relationship with your potential customers.
When you utilize the right social media strategies, your fans and followers can gradually but surely become your subscribers and customers.
Note: The benefits of Social media are multifarious. Some of these include:
- Increases traffic to your website
- Boosts your brand awareness
- Generates new leads
- Improves brand engagement
- Increases revenue
You can read more about the benefits of social media marketing for businesses by clicking on the hyperlink.
5. Marketing Automation
Marketing automation lets you concentrate on more important aspects of your business by streamlining some of the most arduous business processes.
Examples of marketing automation include an embedded calendar to book a call with a sales rep, automated follow-up email sequences, and paid advertising campaigns that run 24×7 without any prompts needed, among others.
Marketing learning and digital marketing will eliminate the need for a massive sales team and capital. It simply reduces the cost of doing business while increasing output efficiency.
6. Online Reputation Management
Nowadays, consumers have become experts in market research. They thoroughly research a service or a product before deciding to purchase it. That’s why you need to focus on your online presence and keep an eye on the reviews posted about your services/products on various online consumer forums. This is where Online Reputation Management (ORM) steps in.
ORM means controlling the online conversation and forging a narrative that is beneficial for your business. It includes strategies and techniques to ensure that individuals find only good things about you when they search for your business on the web.
You can always follow the best practices for ORM to ensure a solid brand reputation. For instance, if you find a negative review about your business, make sure you follow the below-mentioned process:
- Reply in a prompt manner.
- Craft a reply consisting of an apology along with a resolution for their problem.
- If the mistake is from the customer’s end, gently point it out.
- Do not use sarcastic or foul language in your reply or put down the customer in any way.
When you reply to negative reviews in the right manner, it paints your brand in a positive light. It depicts you as a brand that acknowledges its mistakes and shows initiative to rectify those.
Read this guide on Online Reputation Management to know about it in more detail.
7. Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising
If you wish to increase your rankings rapidly, PPC can help drive qualified leads to your website once your ads go live. It is regarded as an affordable option for businesses across almost all industries.
In addition, the great thing about paid advertising is that you only pay when individuals click on your ads. So, you don’t end up unnecessarily wasting money trying to reach individuals who are not interested in your offerings.
Another interesting fact about PPC is that it also offers advanced targeting options that let you zero in on your target customers. With PPC, you can target individuals on the basis of location, the type of device they use, and even demographics.
All in all, PPC is an important component of a successful digital marketing strategy due to its budget-friendliness and the precise targeting options offered.
8. Mobile Marketing
Another component of digital marketing is mobile marketing.
Mobile marketing is defined as any advertising activity that promotes your business through mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. It uses modern mobile technology, such as location services, to tailor marketing campaigns based on a person’s location.
Mobile marketing can include promotional messages sent through downloaded apps using push notifications, MMS multimedia, SMS text messaging, and mobile websites.
Finding an answer to the question of what is digital marketing for beginners is important to reach a wide audience pool online and attract new customers. After knowing what digital marketing is and its importance, you should be able to appreciate it as a great opportunity for your business to soar high and reach your stipulated goals efficiently.
We hope this digital marketing 101 guide helps you create a digital marketing campaign that puts you on the path to success. Now, get cracking!