Businesses all over the world have unconsciously applied digital marketing to their business and probably never understood its importance. Some businesses advertise their products and services on social media, some businesses use emails to communicate and market their products and services, and while some use influencers to market their products for them.
These are simple ways to apply digital marketing to businesses, but digital marketing goes beyond social media or email marketing.
To understand how to use digital marketing to upgrade your business, let me first define digital marketing.
Digital marketing is the use of online channels such as social media, mobile applications, websites, emails, and search engines to sell, promote, and market your products and services.
The keyword here is online and you can verify from the definition that digital marketing is more than social media and emails.
Now, let’s move on to the channels of digital marketing
DIGITAL MARKETING CHANNELS
Digital marketing channels are the ways through which digital marketing strategies are executed. These channels are all online and they are
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING: Organic Social Media Marketing And Social Media Ads
This is the use of social media platforms to promote, market, and sell goods and services. It is used to network with current, new, and potential customers. Examples of social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Myspace, and Tik Tok.
The two ways to use social media marketing
- Creating and sharing of engaging content such as video, audio or written content on social media platforms i.e. organic social media marketing
- Creation of social media ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reach out to potential customers to market, promote, or sell goods and services.
Consider your target audience and company goals when selecting a social media platform for digital marketing.
Tips to Boost Social Media Engagement Are
- Use hashtags.
- Use testimonials, reviews, and social proofs.
- Post at the optimal time, post when your audiences are online.
- Have a brand personality.
Email marketing is the promotion and marketing of goods and services through emails. Email marketing was formerly used for communication, but there are now upgrades in the uses of email marketing.
Email marketing is now used to generate leads, increase the number of potential customers, and communicate with customers about new goods and services. Email marketing channel has the highest return on investment (ROI) and with the right skill, knowledge, and tactic, email marketing is one of the best online digital communication channels.
What is Email Marketing Used For?
- To collect contact information from clients or customers.
- To send newsletters on new products and services.
- To send newsletters on discounts, promo or coupon codes.
- The use of email campaigns to increase customers and sales.
- To increase return on investment.
- Generation of leads: Leads are prospective customers.
- Engagement with customers/clients.
This is a broad channel of digital marketing in which advertisers pay a particular amount each time an advertisement is clicked on. Ads are viewed on social media, search engines, mobile applications, and websites. Pay –per-click has a few prominent forms.
Some Forms of Pay-Per-Click Marketing Are
- Search ads
- Display ads
- Social media ads
- Remarketing ads
- Google shopping
- Gmail sponsored promotions
- Instream ads
Importance of Pay-Per-Click Marketing
- Increases website visits and rank.
- Drive leads to businesses.
- Increases brand recognition and awareness.
Search marketing is the process of increasing traffic and visibility from search engines through both paid and organic or unpaid efforts. There are 2 main types of search marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing online content to increase visibility on search engines such as Google and Bing. SEO doesn’t require paid ads.
Search engine marketing (SEM) is the process of increasing traffic and visibility of online content through paid advertising on search engines.
To Increase Your SEO And SEM Results, Use
- An active website.
- Optimized landing pages with relevant content and a clear and concise call to action.
- Optimized social media pages.
- Optimized content on blogs, websites, and social media.
- Local online directories e.g Google my business.
- Content with relevant and quality keywords.
The Importance of SEO And SEM Are
- Increase in website rank and visitors.
- Drives organic traffic to your business.
- Builds a higher conversion rate.
- Increases click-through rate.
- Increases targeted marketing: Markets your products to people who need your goods and services.
- Generation of leads.
Affiliate marketing is simply paying an individual or business (i.e. — an affiliate) to promote and market your products and services on their blog, website, or social media page.
The affiliate is usually someone or a business that has a lot of influence on the product and services marketed.
Importance of Affiliate Marketing
- Increases sales.
- Increases brand recognition and awareness.
- Markets goods and services.
CONTENT MARKETING: Video Content, Audio Content, Images, And Written Content
This is the use of content to market goods and services. The various types of content are blog posts, case studies, checklists, news, video content, infographics, and white papers.
Sharing various content on websites, social media, ads, and emails will increase visibility and increase the number of customers and sales.
To enjoy the full benefits of content marketing, the content has to be relevant, of high quality, and has to relate to your targeted audience.
Other Benefits of Content Marketing Are
- Content help generate leads.
- Increases website traffic and visitors i.e it increases the number of people who visit your website.
- Builds brand awareness.
- Drives click-through rates.
- Increases sales.
By now, you should have understood what digital marketing is and the channels involved in digital marketing. Next, you should understand the factors to consider when choosing digital marketing channels.
FACTORS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING DIGITAL MARKETING CHANNELS
1. WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS/TARGET AUDIENCE?
Know who your customers are by creating a buyer’s persona. A buyer’s persona is a description of your target customer, a buyer’s persona is categorized based on
- Geographical location
- Personal interests
- And any other specific description
To know your buyer’s persona, ask the sales or marketing team, ask customers to fill survey forms or search through customer feedbacks and comments.
2. WHAT ARE YOUR BUSINESS GOALS?
No matter what your business goals are, they have to be SMART — Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Examples of business goals and the appropriate digital marketing channels are:
- To drive brand awareness by 20% in the 2nd half of 2020. Examples of digital marketing channels to use for this goal are:
a) Social media marketing and ads: Facebook, Twitter
b) Content marketing
c) Digital campaigns
2. To increase sales of boots in shop A by 20% in the next 3 months. Examples of digital marketing channels to use for this goal are:
a) Affiliate marketing
b) Social media marketing: Facebook ads
c) SEO and SEM
3. WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET?
Your budget will depend on a lot of things such as what type of digital marketing channel you want to use, the talents you need to hire, and your SMART Goals. The factors you need to consider when creating a budget are
- Budget for pay-per-click marketing, search engine marketing, social media ads.
- Fees for digital marketing manager and staff
- Payment for content creation services.
- Budget for talents such as writers, videographers, social media managers, graphic artists, and other talents depending on your digital marketing channel.
- Budget for tools and resources such as content management tools, social media tools, and writing tools.
Digital marketing is not a luxury, it is a necessity and it is designed in such a way that you can use your everyday tools like your smartphone and laptop. Some other tools used in digital marketing such as Hootsuite- social media monitoring tool and Hemingway app-a writing tool are free. You can also take free classes on writing, social media management, and digital marketing to reduce your budget.
Now that you understand the channels and factors to consider when choosing a digital marketing channel, it is necessary to know the importance of digital marketing to your business.
IMPORTANCE OF DIGITAL MARKETING TO BUSINESS
Digital marketing has proven to be of crucial importance to small and large scale businesses, some of its importance are:
- Provides a communication route between you and your customer: Digital marketing creates an easier communication route with customers, you can communicate with your customers through social media, websites, emails, and mobile applications. Through these communication routes, you can offer solutions to customer’s problems through social media, and emails, you can have a live chat on your website, and on other channels, customers can fill online survey forms and you can read reviews and comments online.
- Promotion of your product, services, or brand: Promotion of products, services, and brands are achieved on all digital marketing channels, some channels are free such as search engine optimization, email marketing while some are paid for such as social media ads, search engine marketing, and Pay-per-click advertising.
- Increases audience reach: Digital Marketing can target hundreds, thousands, and millions of customers. Audience reach is increased through social media ads, Google ads, blogs, website optimization, and so many other channels. To efficiently increase audience reach, make sure you create social media posts, emails, ads, and blog posts targeted to your preferred customer.
- Digital marketing can help you establish a brand reputation online. A good brand reputation will increase people’s knowledge about the goods and services you offer.
- Increases brand awareness and loyalty: The use of digital marketing for your business can help increase brand awareness and loyalty. Brand awareness is how familiar your target audience is with your product and service and how well they identify it. Brand loyalty is when your customer continues to purchase your goods and services over time. A few ways to improve brand awareness and loyalty are the use of social media to improve customer service, incorporate SEO in your content marketing strategy, use of social media to promote the importance and benefit of your product or services, use ads and social media campaigns, and share reviews and comments from customers.
- Provides a better knowledge and understanding of your target audience: Digital marketing can give you better knowledge and understanding of your target audience. For instance, you are a new business owner who sells clothes online and you want to know what will make your customers buy from you and how to increase your customers and sales.
What do you do?
Check your analytics and take note of which content customers engage with the most and through which digital marketing channels do people order for your products or services the most.
Email marketing, for example, check your email analytics; which emails do customers open the most i.e. open rate, which emails do customers click on a link to buy your products or services, i.e. click-through rate, and which emails have the least engagement.
Through these analytics, you will have a better understanding and knowledge of which emails customers engage with the most and you will understand and know which methods you can use to increase the number of customers and sales. By understanding and knowing your customers’ needs, you can reduce your marketing costs while bringing in more sales and profit.
You can also check for analytics on social media, blogs, Google ads, and SEO.
All these mentioned above are referred to as digital marketing analytics. Analytics is the interpretation of customer behavior to data and it allows you to make better business decisions. Simple analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Google search console, Moz Pro determine digital marketing analytics.
With digital marketing, you can target your website content, social media posts, blogs, and digital ads to your potential customers based on the buyer’s persona.
Digital marketing is one of the best investments for businesses. Return on investment (ROI) is a ratio that compares the net profit to the cost of the investment. A high ROI means the net profit gained is much more than the cost of the investment.
So, Digital Marketing ROI is the ratio of profit or loss to the cost of investment generated by digital marketing strategies. One of the valuable importance of digital marketing is a high ROI, most businesses invest in digital marketing for the sole purpose of generating a high ROI.
Email marketing is the best digital marketing channel to use to generate a high ROI. However, you mustn’t only rely on email marketing, other digital marketing channels such as pay per click, content marketing, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, and social media also generate a high ROI, using these digital marketing channels together efficiently and effectively will also return high profit or investment in the long run.
- Cost-effective compared to traditional marketing methods
Compared to traditional marketing, digital marketing is cost-effective and affordable. Digital marketing doesn’t require printing materials, social media ads don’t cost as much as billboards and with digital marketing, you spend less while gaining more.
- Levels the playing field for small businesses: Before digital marketing became widely used and popular, traditional marketing was profoundly used, traditional marketing costs a lot and most small businesses couldn’t afford it. So, traditional marketing was done majorly by big companies, and these big companies stayed ahead in sales, profit, and brand reputation because they could afford the use of traditional marketing to promote goods and services. But, ever since the emergence of digital marketing which costs less, small businesses have been able to market their products and services effectively and on a large scale without breaking the bank and this helped to level the playing field.
- Customers come to you: With digital marketing, you create channels or means for customers to meet you at any day, time, or geographical location.
Additionally, before I leave, these are a few valuable digital marketing tips to use to ensure business success
- Know your customers and know what is important is them.
- Speak your audience’s language.
- Learn more about each digital marketing channel and choose the best that suits your business.
- Don’t just write about your products or services, write about how your products and services can benefit your customers.
- Engage with your followers on social media.
- Incorporate SEO in your content strategy.
- Remain consistent in design when running campaigns.
- Have a unique selling point (USP).
- Check up on your competitors: this allows for improvement and change in a better strategy, you will learn from your competitors and know what works and what doesn’t work.
- Always have a Call to Action (CTA): examples are; buy now, call now, visit our website.
- Make use of various content management tools and strategies.
Digital marketing is of benefit to businesses and individuals. It has a lot of channels, factors, and importance that help achieve business goals and objectives. The processes listed above are effective and efficient and if you ever want to start digital marketing as a career or for your business, follow the steps listed above, use the tips and start now.
About the Author: Esther Ilori
Esther Ilori has been a content writer since 2017 and she currently works as a digital marketing manager at WayMaker Digital. She brings her years of experience to her current role where she is dedicated to educating and inspiring the world on how to effectively use content writing and digital marketing in various companies, careers and to achieve various goals. Links to her published articles can be found here. You can find Esther on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.