Before we take you through the nitty-gritty of digital marketing, let us tell you why it is the ultimate success strategy for your business.
The year 2020 accounts for more than 284 million internet users in the United States. It clearly indicates how swiftly the world is moving online.
What are these people doing online?
People are looking for information, shopping for products and services, interacting with like minds, and communicating with their favorite brands.
Coming back to our point, where we stressed on digital marketing being the ultimate success strategy – these statistics are evident for the fact that the only technique to gain traction and business growth is reaching your audience where it is actively present.
When your audience is online, your customers are shopping online, and your leads are seeking knowledge over the web, what else can be better than approaching them then and there?
Hence we termed digital online marketing to be the supreme success strategy for your business.
So, let us define the term and dig deep into the basics of this strategy.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing refers to all the forms of marketing in which digital channels are involved to promote a product or service. These channels include social media, web applications, mobile, search engines, and more. It is executed by advertising your business through electronic devices that consume 10+ hours of Americans every day.
But here’s a twist.
Every one or the other source that talks about digital marketing basics fails to reveal the most underrated secret of this strategy. Digital marketing is a hundred years old. Yes, the time when there was no sign of mobile phones in the world. That means, it can be done offline too. It’s hard to believe but we have proof!
In 1896, Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of radio, demonstrated a public transmission of wireless signals in England and soon after that, the opera performance at the Met happened. It was the first live broadcast and it made people buy the show tickets.
You see, how digital marketing was born – an advertising technique that sells through electronic devices, and radio is among them. However, in this post, our main focus is to explore digital online marketing into detail. So, let us dive deeper into it.
Types of Digital Marketing
Stressing on the online aspect of digital marketing, it is categorized into the following eight marketing types.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The battle for success begins here – getting an online space for your business. You have a website and you know the audience. But how do you invite them to your website?
SEO is the process of driving organic traffic to your website while outperforming the competition in terms of high rankings. The aim is to generate as much free traffic as you can for your business. It is done by creating search engine friendly content that include relevant keywords and information required by your audience. For example, blog posts, service pages, home page, and infographic content are the major contributors to a website’s SEO.
Three main types of SEO govern your website’s ranking:
2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM refers to the practice of marketing a business through paid advertisements. It allows the businesses to put their products and services directly in front of their buyers.
When an online user specifically searches for a product or service, SEM helps the relevant businesses to show their digital marketing ads on the search results along with website URLs. These ads can then entice a user to make a purchase from the most suitable brand.
The best part is, you never get to show your digital marketing ads to a dull audience who is not likely to buy from you. SEM can be executed in various formats, including text-based ads, product listing ads, product-based advertisements and more.
3. Content Marketing
Content marketing forms the major part of a digital marketing strategy. It refers to creation and distribution of high quality content along with the strategic use of different marketing channels. The aim is to generate brand awareness, increase traffic, generate leads, and convert them into customers.
Since content is the universal king of any marketing strategy, it has to be the best no matter what the channel is. However, the most common ones include, blog posts, eBooks, whitepaptes, and infographics.
Content marketing is all about educating your audience and making meaningful connections with them for a long-term relationship with your brand.
4. Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Social media is at the heart of every business that moves to online marketing.
It is the practice of promoting your products and services or your brand as a whole on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Pinterest. Social media marketing entirely focuses on traffic growth and lead generation with help of audience engagement.
You can win through social media in two ways:
5. Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising
PPC refers to a digital marketing technique that involves paying for every click that your ad gets. That means, when a customer clicks on your ad while looking for products or services, you have to pay for that click even if the customer skips buying your product.
Google Ads, being the most common PPC technique, allows businesses to show their ads on the top space above the search results. Only the highly relevant brands get to show their digital marketing ads in this space.
Apart from social media ads, LinkedIn also allows you to send sponsored messages to specific people on the platform whose industry and background match your buyer persona.
6. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a buzzword in the contemporary world. Unlike paid advertising, the affiliate model works on the basis of your product’s performance. You get to advertise your product on other websites or blogs in exchange for commission.
Similarly, if you promote someone else’s product or service on your website, you will receive a commission from them. Affiliate marketing is mostly done through review articles that list products and services from different companies along with their performance description. Every product has an affiliate link associated with it which when used for purchasing the product gives commission to the promoter.
7. Email Marketing
According to a myth, email marketing is dead. But the facts report that 86% of businesses still use emails for communicating with other businesses. Emails are not only a medium to communicate with your audience but also a fair means to promote your content, send discounts, inform about events, and even invite your audience to your website.
Depending upon the purpose, emails can take the form of newsletters for subscribing to your blog, follow-up emails to leads/clients or customers, onboarding emails to customers, holiday promotions, or a series of information content to share with your audience and build a brand.
Okay! So now that we know about how online marketing transforms a business’s journey, let us find if it suits your business.
Will Digital Marketing Work for YOUR Business?
There’s a common misconception about digital marketing being effective for specifically B2C companies.
The truth is, be it B2B to B2C, if your audience is online you have to be there to market your product and services. However, the way you approach a B2B audience is different from that of a B2C audience. The reason is, you talk to a corporate while dealing with B2B buyers. In contrast, B2C buyers are more inclined towards an easy-to-understand and trust-infused communication.
Take a comprehensive look at both the marketing strategies.
B2B Digital Marketing
In a business to business model, the buyers are sophisticated and have a clear understanding about what you are offering. Most often they are interested in your services to fuel their business growth.
Hence, your digital marketing campaigns must address how your services can actually help them trigger their profit levels while saving money. Everything channel that you invest into for advertising your services must walk them through a well-researched strategy to make their business successful.
Also, when targeting a B2B audience, you need to be highly specific about the people you are talking to. Perhaps, you will be communicating directly with the founders, CEOs, or the top decision makers. Hence, your content has to reflect thought-leadership in your industry while proving that you are the master of your niche. Since a B2B audience is a more educated persona, your content has to provide information that is useful for them and they are actually seeking it over the web.
Talking about content distribution channels and the sales cycle, it’s always about the right information for a B2B audience. All your buyers need is the right reason to do business with you. It starts with driving them as visitors to your website and when they show their interest, it gears up with converting them into loyal clients. Advertise your content on the right channels like LinkedIn and Twitter and turn your business into a reputed brand.
B2C Digital Marketing
In case of a B2C audience, the trust factor plays a crucial role in starting a conversation. No matter how deep is your treasure of knowledge, they will talk to you only if you can build trust and offer cheap services. That said, they are aware of the competition and will listen to businesses who have been loyal to their previous customers.
In the business to customer model, your digital marketing campaign must be designed to win the trust of your audience. Since you have a larger sector to address, your content must appeal to all of them. Not to mention, you have to create personalized content for each audience segment, but again, you cannot exclude specific audiences.
When it comes to content marketing, a B2C audience expects the exact opposite of what a B2B audience does. Content is all about entertainment for B2C buyers. If you talk only about sales or promote your products without actually creating the need for them, your audience is not going to listen to you.
Your content has to provoke interest, emotions, and fun in your audience throughout its existence. Hence, the sales cycle is very simple in the case of B2C audiences. Create a need for your product in the minds of your audience and induce emotions that they will experience after fulfilling their need. And, the product is sold already.
Therefore, when content distribution is discussed with regards to B2C buyers, social media is the first choice of every digital marketer. Specifically, the social networking sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are ruling over the hearts and minds of your audience. Create content that suits these platforms and engages with your followers.
Let us take the concept of creating content to a deeper level.
What Type of Digital Content Should You Create for Your Audience?
The virality and success of every digital marketing campaign depends on the type of content you create and the audience segment it is created for. A customer is always an information-seeker in the beginning and hence you have to walk through the entire buyer’s journey before they make a purchase.
That said, your marketing campaigns must address each stage of the buyer’s journey effectively and here’s how you can do that.
Your content must align with the following three stages of the buyer’s journey:
In this stage, your customers are seeking answers to specific questions. They have a problem and they are looking for some solution for it. Here, they need a lot of research to educate themselves completely about the problem and how to find a solution.
You need to create content that helps them understand their pain points better and discover ways to eliminate them. Blog posts, social media posts (231.47 million social media users in America), whitepapers, eBooks, and videos are among the top content types that perform well in the awareness stage.
In the consideration phase, a customer evaluates the solution available to them from different viewpoints. They take into account different brands and their products/services and compare them with each other to find the best fit for them. They approach various sources to gather information about each of those brands.
Hence, at this stage, your content must revolve around presenting your products and services as better than any of your competitors’. Case studies, free samples, product comparison guides, and customer testimonials do a great job in positioning your brand as the industry leader.
It is the final stage of the buyer’s journey that needs a special trigger to make them purchase from you. All you need is to open the trump card to show them that you are the perfect solution for their problem. At this stage, your customer finally looks for a link to purchase from you.
Now, it’s not just content that will suffice. You have to offer something real. A free trial, a discount coupon, or a free consultation call can actually train their minds to buy from you. For example, spin-the-wheel coupons do the great job of entertaining your customers while enticing them to make the purchase.
So here’s the crux. Digital marketing works right when you design the right strategy, create the right content, and market to the right people. Above all, when you don’t know how to do things right, you approach the right digital marketing companies.
Vateko, for example, is a leading digital marketing service provider that thoroughly understands what works for a business and what not. Our marketing campaigns are well-researched and designed only to attract business growth.
Don’t trust us! Get in touch with us to know exactly how we will do it for your business.