Digital marketing is not entirely all new, but these days it has been deemed as anything that is related to marketing efforts that use electronic devices or the internet. Marketers have since leveraged digital channels (by ‘digital channels we mean search engines, email, social media, and websites) in order to connect with both existing and prospective customers. The enhanced and constantly increasing accessibility to the internet has resulted in the constant increase in the volume of people that go online daily. Research has also revealed that internet usage among adults from different walks of life has actually increased by 5% since 2016 and this increase coupled with the way consumers shop and buy items that draw their attention has resulted in most traditional marketing efforts to become ineffective both in cost and sales generation. The fact that marketing has always revolved around the concept of connecting with an intended audience at the right place, at the right time, with the right product that has the right price has compelled marketers to look at ‘the right place’ in a digital sense. In other words, the best ‘place’ to meet potential customers is where they spend their time the most and that is on the internet.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing in its purest sense are digital tactics involving marketing channels that are founded on electronic platforms that may be used by marketers to connect/ interact with customers. Digital marketing is thus separated into two categories which are ‘Online and Offline’ digital marketing. Both these platforms are used by marketers due to the fact that consumers are exposed to them at almost a constant rate and due to this they are able to create ‘awareness’ enhance their brand presence and consequently increase sales. The motives or objectives of marketing are still the same as they have always been, but the difference arises between traditional and digital marketing in the form of ‘marketing vectors’. The difference between traditional and contemporary marketing practices varies significantly in terms of reach, cost and effectiveness.
Digital Marketing versus Traditional Marketing
Whilst as explained earlier that digital marketing involves the use of electronic dependent media, traditional marketing involved the use of print media, radio and television broadcasts. Traditionally, the cost of reaching a few thousand people via print media would cost thousands of dollars and radio/ TV or billboard advertisements would cost even more. These days through the use of digital marketing, marketers are able to reach millions of target consumers at a very low cost or if they are ‘savvy’ enough, at no cost at all. Good digital marketers have a clear and present perspective on how to reach their marketing objectives or the goal of their digital marketing campaign by careful selection of digital tools and platforms to keep their costs low and success rate high. These tools and platforms include:
- Content Marketing
- SEO or Search Engine Optimisation
- Social Media
- Pay Per Click (PPC)
Content marketers basically use high quality content that are intended to engage potential customers to get interested in products and services. This serves the purpose of generating leads. However, creating good content would not work its magic unless they are presented to potential consumers and this could be done by uploading the content to social media, sending the content via email, posting the content on blogs or on a website.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
To explain SEO simply, it is basically a process through which webpages get better ranking and the higher the rank of a page, the more likely it is to be presented on the first page of search results. This process of enhancing a websites rank among search engines such as Google, BING or Yahoo automatically increase the amount of traffic that flows to a website. This increase in traffic would in essence make a website more popular and subsequently increase the potential for better sales.
Having a good website is critical these days to the wellbeing of a business. Using templates and free sites that allow you to build your own site is not recommended for serious businesses as they automatically do not rank well among search engines and at times completely invisible to search engines. Hiring professionals to do it is critical towards SEO, content marketing and organic build-up of the sites online presence.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is the entire rave these days and people are constantly checking their social media pages and social media operators have managed to monetize this habit by allowing businesses to advertise on social media based on the interest of the user. Social media is effective in promoting brands and content which automatically increases brand awareness and consequently drive traffic to websites that have the potential to generate more leads for the business. Social media marketing channels include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snap-chat, Tagged and Google+ among others.
Blogs are basically created to promote specific topics and when a particular blog has a relationship or is somehow related to a business, they could be used effectively to enhance page ranking and also promote businesses. Again, interesting and quality content is a crucial component for using blogs to promote a business online.
PPC is another methodology for driving traffic to websites. However the cost of this is quite significant as payment is expected by the publisher each time the ad is clicked by a user. An example of this is Google Ad-Words which allows businesses to pay for the top slots on search engine results and payment is only viable when users click on the links and lands them on the website. PPC platforms are available on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn among others.
How to make digital marketing work for you?
Hire a good website developer who is well acquainted with SEO elements and ensure that any content that leads back to your business is of high quality and engaging. Make sure that a budget is allocated monthly for your digital marketing efforts and discuss your affordability with the web developer. A good web developer would be able to bring your website ranking to the first page within 6 months for as little as $300 a month and subsequently lower it $200 a month to maintain your ranking on search engines. These prices are a squeeze for the developer, nevertheless workable.