Everyone, literally everyone is online today. With the evolution of technology, people are more switched on now than ever before. The smartphone revolution has empowered people with information at their fingertips. Study shows over 78 % of internet users carry product research online before purchase. Which means failure to integrate digital marketing strategy to the overall business strategy could prove to be disastrous for brands. It’s is imperative for these brands to keep pace with digital dynamism and get digital expertise on board. More importantly this hints at the need to acquire Digital Marketing skills as an individual has never been greater than it is right NOW!
What is Digital Marketing?
Neil Patel lambasted Wikipedia for providing a crappy definition and gave this - Digital marketing is any form of marketing products or services that involve electronic devices. They can be done both online and offline and their importance cannot be neglected to formulate a well-rounded digital strategy.
Why Digital Marketing?
The highways and roads were and are always adorned by billboards. Who can forget the 2015 billboard war between Audi and BMW?
But do you really look at the billboards? “That’s the new Audi ….!” Before you finish reading the entire headline, the car would have already whizzed past. But be honest, how many times do you really look out? Aren’t we mere mortals trapped and stoned in the pleasures of the web?
Apart from the obvious, there are 2 main reasons why digital marketing is so important:
- Monitor: With well-integrated analytic tools on digital platforms it is easy to track and monitor customer behaviour. These tools deliver precise real-time data which makes it easy to convert into meaningful insights.
- Affordable: A campaign on digital platforms like e-mail or social media will set you back by just a fraction of a cost as compared to traditional methods like print or billboards.
Focusing on the online marketing technique, here are the 7 major ones TCF has listed to get you started in the field!
1.SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING (SMM)
23% of the total time spent on the internet is spent on social networking sites. 4 of the top 10 websites in the world are social media websites. Need we say more about the importance of Social Media Marketing? Putting it in layman terms, Social Media Marketing is as simple as marketing on social media platforms to drive desired customer action. A few examples of formats & techniques used in social media marketing are Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, YouTube Display Ads, Overlay Ads, Skip Video Ads, Re-targeting and plenty more which we will cover in a future blog.
The main reasons why a brand would use social media is
- Increasing Brand Awareness
- Building Brand identity
- Drive Website Traffic
- Personalizing the Brand
- Improving Communication with Key Audience
- Providing Better Customer Service
Unlike traditional market research methods, advertisers can use social media to obtain real-time granular information about consumer behaviour, helping with laser-precise targeting. The cost of advertising is the lowest on social platforms. These factors not only reduces the cost of acquiring a lead but also ensures marketing efforts are directed towards the right audience, hence improving ROI tremendously.
2. CONTENT MARKETING
Content Marketing is a hot topic but not a new topic. First signs of content marketing can be dated back to 5000 years B.C. reflected on cave paintings, which talked about ways to prevent a wolf attack. While our communication has progressed beyond cave paintings to digital platforms, content marketing still works on the same basis of driving value to the mass. By definition, Content Marketing is an approach of curating and distributing content - that is valuable, reliable and consistent - to attract and retain a set of customers - ultimately be able to drive desired customer action.
Great content with an opportune mix of timing, audience targeting, distribution channels, amplification, seeding, and cross-promotion on multiple platforms does wonders!
TE-A-ME, a Kolkata based tea company made the most of the content marketing by sending 6000 green tea bags to Donald Trump. We don’t know yet whether he drank the tea or not but #TeaForTrump went viral on social media like a frenzy! Here’s the link to the mastermind content marketing!
3. E-MAIL MARKETING
You must have heard the word email marketing been thrown around on the internet or eavesdropped on an intense conversation between two marketing students on the topic. What exactly is e-mail marketing? Email marketing occurs when a brand sends a commercial message to a group of people through E-mail. More than 35% of the world population uses E-mail. That makes it 2.3 billion people on earth. What makes it more astounding is that email is highly underestimated medium but the most cost-effective for marketers.
Four basic types of emails found in email marketing are :
- Transaction Mails: These are the emails that arrive in a customers mailbox once they have made any kind of transaction with the merchants. These can be purchase order receipt, set up guide,
- Direct E-mails: The purpose of these emails are purely promotional with offers, discounts and product launch updates.
- Welcome Mails: These are emails that are sent on account of signing up to the brands mailing list. The main aim for these emails is to increase the brands’ credibility
- Newsletters: The goal of this email is to give consumers a sneak peek into the company’s products.
Email Marketing is a great tool to have in your digital marketing arsenal. And if you master it, your personal brand equity will surely hit the roof.
4. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION (SEO)
Do you ever check out web pages featured on the second page of Google? I guess the answer is a blatant no. A study shows that 98.3 % of search engine clicks (Google, Bing) comes from the first 4 links on Google or Bing. This is where SEO comes into the picture like a knight in shining armour. SEO is the process of using a set of techniques that help feature your website on the first page of Google - or other search engines - for the keywords or search queries typed by the user! There are two broader types of SEO:
- On Page SEO- On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages of a website. These are done adhering to Google’s ranking factors such as headlines, internal linking, content, page structure and page load speed.
- Off Page SEO- The technique of making your website more authoritative on search engines by linking to other websites. The various ways to do this is via social media shares of your content, influencers sharing your content and guest blogging.
To rank on the first page of Google and drive constant traffic to your website, you need to cater to both of these techniques. They are like Juno’s swan, inseparable!
Note- This is an organic method of optimizing your website. results may take time to materialize. On an average 6-8 months.
5. PAY PER CLICK ADVERTISING (PPC)
Pay Per Click just like SEO is a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) technique albeit a paid form. An advertiser can display ads about their goods or services - to people searching online - entering relevant search queries. An advertiser has to pay every time a user clicks on the ad. This paid technique is also known as keyword advertising since keywords play a major role in it. These ads can be placed on two mediums:
- Search Engines (Google Adwords): These ads mostly appear on top of search results which comes with a tag as sponsored suggestion whenever a user types a related keyword. Check out the image below to get an idea.
- Display Networks: These ads are placed on websites which are relevant to the advertisers’ product or retargeted on websites where the user frequents. The advertiser pays an amount to the host website, every time the user clicks on the ad.
For example, Imagine yourself reading about the new Padmavati trailer, an Amazon add pops up; selling you Amish’s Sita at a discounted price. You click on the add, purchase the book and to make the delivery free, add another piece! Amazon might have to shell out a few rupees for that one click but earned hundreds with your purchase. This is PPC. A lot goes into building a winning PPC campaign: from researching and selecting the right keywords, to sorting those keywords into well-organized ad groups and adding these ad groups onto meaningful campaigns . The more an add satiates the user, the lesser an advertiser pays for one click, to Google; this means profitable returns.
6. ONLINE PR
Online PR in its core sense is similar to traditional PR- influencing people but on the web! With online PR, traditional media brands may still be a target, but often online PR targets online properties, along with an array of other platforms and networks, from search to social. This online approach influences:
- Columnists & traditional writers (just like traditional PR)
- Bloggers: personal & professional
- Websites & brand sites
- Twitter users (based on their followings and interests)
- Social media users: Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, SU, Reddit, etc
Other online PR best practices incorporate real-time marketing efforts, reputation management, word-of-mouth marketing and influencers marketing.
7. AFFILIATE MARKETING
As Neil Patel explains it- “affiliate marketing can be seen as the process of spreading product creation and product marketing across different parties, where each party receives a share of the revenue according to their contribution.” It has 4 core players - ‘merchant’, affiliate’, ‘network’ and ‘customers’. The merchants pay the affiliates for successfully marketing its product which is done through an extensive network ( viz., Amazon) and the customer ends up paying everyone!
We are sure you are feeling all revved up and enlightened! Every perfect dish can give its credit, not only to the ingredients but also at what time they are added, the temperature at which it is served and the presentation! We say now is the perfect time to combine these variables and create your own digital ratatouille.