What is Digital Marketing?
Definition of Digital Marketing
Marketing refers to reaching out to your customers at the right place and time. Marketers need to follow their customers where they go looking for the product. Traditional ways of marketing like TV and newspapers suited well when people went to physical shops for the purchases. Today the trend has changed drastically. More and more people are shifting to online shopping. Getting everything at the doorstep at the click of a button is far more easy than standing in queues to get the billing done. Moreover the time people spend online has doubled in the past decade. Marketers need to adapt their techniques according to these changing trends. They not only need to devise new ways of approaching the customer but also new ways of understanding the customer’s behavior. Hence businesses are moving to Digital Marketing to promote their brand online. Let’s learn more about Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing definition– Digital Marketing refers to marketing of products or services through various digital channels like internet, mobile phones, search engines, social media and online advertisements. Herein the efforts to promote a brand and reach out to customers go beyond the internet. The digital marketers leverage different forms of digital media to reach out to their customers. It is an interactive form which allows effective engagement with the audience.
Overview of Digital Marketing
To succeed in the competitive online world, marketers need to have a strong and well planned digital marketing strategy that uses the right set of digital marketing techniques. Here we present some of the most effective and result oriented tactics that you can incorporate in your digital marketing plan and create a powerful impact on your audience.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Increasing organic traffic to your website is the best way to increase the conversion rates. For this the business must show up whenever the customer does an online search for the kind of products and services it provides. Most customers visit a website through the search engine rather than typing the web address directly. But most people do not go beyond the first page of results. So if a business appears prominently on the first page of Google results, the chances that the customer will visit the website are high. Search engine optimization is a technique that optimizes your website so that it ranks high in the search engine result pages. SEO professionals know the ins and outs of the latest search engine algorithms. Through engaging content, targeted keywords, link structures, back links, image optimization and other techniques they enhance your website’s presence and ultimately your bottom line.
2. Search engine marketing (SEM)
This form of marketing uses paid advertisements to increase the visibility of the website in the search engine result pages. It is a powerful way of growing one’s business as the customer see’s the advertisement at the time when he is actually looking for it. Advertisers bid for the keywords that their customers will most likely use while looking for the offerings that they provide. When the customer searches using that specific keyword, the paid advertisement is displayed alongside the organic search results. These maybe small text based ads, videos or product based ads.
3. Content Marketing
Good quality content is the pillar of all your digital marketing strategies. It helps in creating brand awareness and lead generation. In order to effectively engage with the audience, a company needs to offer them relevant content. The customers must look upto you if they need any valuable source of information relating to the product or service that you are offering. Resourceful content on your website that educates and inspires them will help in building a good reputation and drive more leads.
4. Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Social media marketing refers to strategies used to promote the business offerings on the social media platform. Social media is not just used to post pictures and stay connected with friends. Today social networks are widely being used to research and find out more information about a product. By providing engaging content, marketers can stay connected with their audience. The more useful the content is, the more it will be shared and viewed by people, and more leads it will generate.
5. Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
Pay per click is the process of generating traffic by paying the publisher of your ad every time someone clicks on the advertisement. Google Adwords is the most popular form of PPC Advertising. The sponsored results that you see on Google result pages helps a business reach out to targeted customer base who are looking for the specific product or service that the business provides. The ad gets displayed when the user searches for some specific keywords. It is very cost effective as the business owner pays only when someone clicks on those ads. The best advantage of this form of advertisement is that you get sufficient data to analyze the performance of the PPC campaign. Based on that one can make changes to drive more targeted traffic and convert landings into sales.
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6. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is another digital marketing strategy used to promote business and gain sales. Here the business uses an affiliate program to drive more traffic to its website and generate revenue. Since it is a performance based strategy, the affiliates (who refer the potential customer to the seller’s product) are given a commission only when people end up buying the product.
7. Email Marketing
Email marketing is an effective method of communicating with your audience and informing them about special discounts, events and promotions. Direct communication with a targeted set of customers encourages them to visit your website and buy the products or services. The marketer needs to come up with engaging, relevant and informative email messages that are tailored according to customer’s preferences. He can gather the data to find out the effectiveness of the email campaigns.
Evolution of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing has completely taken over the traditional marketing techniques. It enables the marketer to reach out to a large set of audience in a short span of time.As more and more people move on to smartphones, tablets and computers, digital marketing has increasingly gained importance.
Let’s see how digital marketing has evolved over the years.In the early 1990’s the internet and world wide web allowed people to find information, but there wasn’t much relevance of using the digital platform for marketing. The year 1993 marked the beginning of the digital marketing era when the first clickable banner ad went live. In 1998, search engines like Google and MSN were launched and marketers began to realize the importance of high search engine rankings.
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5Ds of digital marketing
The success of digital marketing strategy depends on how well the business interacts with its audience. This interaction is not just limited to websites and emails. The marketers need to harness the potential of 5Ds to gain an edge over its competitors. Let’s see what these 5Ds are.
1. Digital devices– Today the customer has more than 1 ways to interact with a business website. Users not only use their personal computers, but laptops, tablets, smartphones and other digital devices to access the web. The marketer needs to ensure effective interaction for all these devices.
2. Digital platforms– User interactions take place through browsers or apps from major platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Youtube, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.
3. Digital media – Numerous digital channels like advertising, emails, search engines, social networks,messaging are used to reach out to the targeted audience.
4. Digital data– The browsing habits of the user are gathered and analyzed to gain insights into his preferences and tweak the strategies accordingly.
5. Digital technology– It refers to the technology used by the business to create an interactive experience for the user.
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Why Digital Marketing is Important
There are several reasons why the Digital marketing platform has become a preferred way of reaching out to customers. Businesses can make the information online at a much lower cost than what is required to place an advertisement on television or newspaper. This makes it affordable even for small business owners. The impact that digital marketing creates on the mind of the people while browsing is far more than the traditional ways. Here the advertisement can be targeted to a specific set of audience who have a greater chance of buying the company’s product.The success of the digital marketing campaigns can be easily measured. Valuable data relating to the performance can be gathered in real time and analyzed for further decision making. One can find out the exact number of people who visit the website. Digital analytics also enables marketers to find out the platform that the visitors used and for how long they stayed on the website. This is very unlike the other mediums like newspaper, where there is no way to find out whether the ad generated any sales or not. Because of these reasons, companies are increasingly shifting their focus to digital marketing. They are hiring experts in the field who can help them use the digital marketing platform to achieve their business goals. The career prospects in this industry are therefore very attractive.
Benefits of Having a Digital Marketing Career in 2018
1. Become an In-Demand Professional
It is estimated that by 2020 there will be more than 2 lakh jobs in the digital marketing industry.Currently there are not many professionals in the field to fill the gap. That is why the prospects of a career in this field are very attractive. If you decide to acquire the required skill set, you will be rest assured of a lucrative digital marketing career. With a formal training course that testifies your knowledge in this field youcan be rest assured of an attractive salary package.
2. A Wide range of Career Options
There are a wide range of jobs in this industry and you can choose the one that fits your interest. Companies are posting job listings for different kind of roles in the industry. They need social media experts who can use the social media platform to establish a two way communication with the customers. They also need SEO experts who can optimize their site for high search engine ranking. Candidates who are experts in SEM and have the experience of working with various advertising models are in huge demand. Apart from these experts they also require a digital marketing strategist who can formulate the overall plan and strategy that fits the business goals.
3. Embark your own Career
There is no prerequisite of a certain kind of degree or diploma to enter in this industry. One can gain knowledge about the various aspects that digital marketing covers and start practicing at one’s end. One can do various certification course that testifies that one has knowledge to work in the industry. Such courses add value to one’s resume and helps showcase one’s skills. To gain experience one can start one’s own blog, use SEO tactics to optimize the content and enhance visibility through social media presence. One can take up freelance projects to create a portfolio of work to showcase one’s ability to work in this area. Hence there are numerous ways in which one can kickstart one’s career before getting hired by one’s dream company.
4. Exhibit Creativity
This industry is ideal for a person who likes dynamism and creativity. New innovations and changes in technology require one to adapt fast and exhibit creativity.The digital marketing field will give you ample opportunities to exhibit your creative side.
As customers are moving online businesses too need to adapt themselves to the new and advanced ways of reaching out to them. An effective digital marketing strategy not only helps them to communicate with them but also increase their sales. Digital marketing experts who understand the online landscape well are in huge demand. Businesses are on the lookout of skilled professionals who can help them gain a competitive edge. As the demand for these experts is soaring high, the skill gap is widening. That is why a career in digital marketing is becoming lucrative.
Getting started with Digital Marketing?
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by ashok naidu,