Digital marketing, in simple terms, is plain marketing in a virtual platform. With the advent of the technological revolution we are witnessing, just about everything is going virtual. The number of internet users is on a constant rise tide, and the tide is not coming down anytime soon. Digital marketing is a branch of the vast internet tree, which has proved to be one of the largest contributing sectors of current times.

You may wonder how digital marketing is different or more advantageous than normal marketing. For one, it has a better reach and is devised to reach consumers in a more efficient manner. In other words, it is tailored or customized to each consumer-specific product or service. Another reason for the popularity of digital marketing is the consumer-oriented strategy that is designed to make the product more appealing to the consumer world.

The Internet’s becoming town square for the 
global village of tomorrow.
– Bill Gates

Conventional marketing Vs. Digital marketing

Even though typical marketing is still the go-to strategy and is still prevalent, certain aspects make it not such a reliable source of advertisement. Traditional marketing is restricted to a few media, such as print ads, door-to-door marketing, visual ads, etc. Only a particular form of marketing or advertisement does not bind digital marketing. It opens up multiple possibilities, much more than conventional marketing ever can. With these multiple marketing strategies, consumer reach is increased multi-fold and ensures reach the most basic consumer level.

With the popularity of social media and the viral-ness of videos across various social media platforms, digital marketing has become the mainstream marketing strategy for most big brand names. With one viral video, you will be able to reach thousands of consumers overnight. Hence, social media and the internet is used as an invaluable tool for marketing.
The topic of digital marketing is vast. Let’s dive deeper into it.

Digital is at the core of everything in marketing today—it has gone from ‘one of the things marketing does’ to ‘THE thing that marketing does.’

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is a culmination of various factors, which influence it, mainly the internet. Before we dig deeper into it and the strategies involved, we need to first understand the way the internet works and how it is used as a tool for our benefits, which will be covered in the consequent headers.

Digital marketing is more about the target audience than the product itself. It is more about engagement with the audience and the strategy used for engagement. Digital marketing is also coined as e-marketing, internet marketing. Be mindful; digital marketing is often consumed with e-commerce, which an entirely different stream.

Digital marketing is the delivery of marketing of a specific product through various channels. These channels are virtual or electronic or, in simpler terms, over the internet. These channels are essentially social media, phone applications, emails, websites, and search engines, to name a few.

The 5Ds of Digital Marketing:

  1. Digital Device: This could be your android phone to your smart Tv. It is any device with an internet connection through which an active audience can experience and engage with it.
  2. Digital medium: Social media provides an effective platform for digital marketers to target a specific audience. Almost 1 of 5 interaction that takes place on the internet is through platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. Thus, social media is one of the main pillars of the digital marketing realm.
  3. Digital Communications: Just like how a telephone used to be a tool for marketing, various communication media such as emails, e-flyers, etc. are used for marketing digitally.
  4. Digital Information: The vast network of the internet enables digital marketers to have immense knowledge of the consumer. Every bit of information, including consumer interaction with the product, is recorded and used as a tool for better marketing.
  5. Digital Technological Advances: Without technology, there is no internet, and without the internet, there is nothing. Technology facilitates the applications and search engine optimisation (SEO)needed to run the digital marketing dimension.

Digital Marketing: The Game Plan

Digital marketing often includes a strategic plan to target a specific consumer set. It is more about how to make the online presence of a brand influence the mind of the consumer in such a way that they keep coming for your service. A digital marketer has to efficiently manage different online platforms which require digital marketing on a large scale.

The strategic plan to market on a digital channel includes managing company websites, social media, and mobile applications too. Other communication techniques used to reach the target crowd include search engine marketing, online advertising, partnerships between brands, etc.

Benefits of Digital Marketing

Contrary to conventional marketing, digital marketing involves strategies to better understand the target audience you are dealing with in real-time. Hence, it is easier for companies to tailor their marketing campaigns to help them sell better. Regardless of the industry, digital marketing helps in working effectively to reach your target audience, no matter what you are selling. Digital marketing helps in growing your client base overnight as the interactive nature helps reach a wider audience in a short span of time. Also, the consequent result of marketing is seen in a much shorter time than you will in offline/ conventional marketing. Here is a brief list of the major benefits put together:

Cost Factor

Generally, if a company or an individual requires branding and promotion to reach a global audience, it usually leaves a huge hole in the pocket. But since digital marketing is done virtually over the internet, it costs way lesser than it should. A well-planned and tailored digital marketing strategy, if executed right, will reach the right audience and will cut your costs substantially.

Greater ROI on your campaigns

Digital marketing companies use many effective strategies such as conversion rates to effectually optimise the Return on Investment (ROI) for companies. With better and smarter content for branding, promotion, and higher revenues, which can be, gained quickly, digital marketing can optimally grant higher ROI than you would get with traditional marketing. Steady traffic is guaranteed, which in turn results in higher sales and higher returns.

Create an effective game plan with real-time data

Since digital marketing is done over the internet and the internet has every bit of valuable information available, it enables you to have invaluable information on your target audience, which helps you to analyse and strategies a perfect marketing scheme to reach the audience. For example, you will be able to view the number of people who have viewed a video or your website along with their age, country, and sex in real-time. With tools such as Google Analytics, you will also have information on pivotal aspects such as how much time a person is spending on your website or the gadgets that most people are viewing your website from, website bounce rates, etc., which are extremely beneficial to your digital marketing scheme on your fingertips.

Brand reach and richer content

Let us compare a typical offline scenario to a digital one to understand how this works better. In a typical scenario, let’s say you are promoting your product through a well-presented flyer. And you are distributing this flyer door- to door. Even though you are presenting your product in person, you still have no idea whether it really reached the target crowd or not, just like how you wanted it to. This fuss of knowing whether it reached the target audience the appropriate way is entirely eradicated in digital marketing. Not only does it reach the target audience, but it also helps in boosting your brand in such a way that the customer keeps coming for more. Interaction and engagement are some of the other reasons why digital marketing is far advanced than conventional promotion strategies.

Information about your competitors

As digital marketing is based on the internet, not only do you have valuable information on your consumer market, but you also have a huge amount of information about your competitors and similar brands as well. This gives your company an extra edge over your competition and helps you promote your business accordingly. The competitive analysis carried out on social media, and other platforms is an important strategy in digital marketing. Brand promotion and competitor analysis go hand-in-hand.

Get results in real-time.

Yes, digital marketing gives you information and analysis in real-time, but it also gives you results in real-time as well. By results, we don’t mean the return alone, but the reach of digital marketing and consumer data. You will be able to analyse which method is working for your brand and how the audience perceives a promotion in real-time. This helps you devise a plan quickly, adapt to the consumer climate, and promote your business in a better way.

Continual Business presence online.

Since digital marketing provides the most optimal tool required to constantly promote your content, your company is sure to always have an online presence even if you are competing against big names. The reason being that with more optimal tools, a better strategy is devised to understand what the consumer wants to see and experience. This also helps to keep your business up to date with the latest trends. Effective strategies include blogging and interacting with the consumer on social media to promote your business and gain feedback to improvise your business. This helps in constantly creating better schemes to help sustain your business, both offline and online.

Customisation and transparency

Digital marketing creates a certain level of transparency between the consumer and you. When you are promoting your business online, you tend to add a personal touch, a humane touch to the promotion, which makes the customer feel closer to the product. Customer interaction and engagement also help create a certain level of openness and transparency, which is very insightful in gaining the clientele’ trust. Digital marketing is closer to the consumer than it seems, which is a great advantage to businesses, which use it as a tool to optimise their businesses.

The 7 Basic elements of digital marketing: The 7 horsemen of digital marketing

Now that we have a clear-cut idea of digital marketing, let us try to understand the main tools used to create this amazing feat. In other words, these are the main components required to run a digital marketing campaign. These effective tools have been well researched over the years, and now they are used as a powerful tool to drive this sector.

1. Search Engine Optimisation-SEO:

Although this concept is fairly new, it is the most important, the most critical component of digital marketing. It is used as a long-term strategy to build over the years so as to give your business a continual online presence.
So, what is SEO?
SEO, in simpler terms, is how your website or blog gets found on Google or other search engines. In technical terms, the search engine is optimised so that all the content is scanned, and priority is placed on the quality of the content and the placement of keywords within a given context. With this tool, a certain business can increase the reach manifold to the specific target audience within a short span of time. The key is to choose the right keywords and to provide rich content. As it is a priority-based technique, websites or blogs which have higher traffic and richer content are always on top.

Social media Marketing:

In an age where everyone is practically glued to their phones, what better way to reach the consumer than by through their phone. Social media is a significant part of our lives, and we spend almost 20 hours a week minimum on our phones. Creating an eye-catching promotion post on Instagram can fetch you, 1000 followers, overnight. Or creating a viral brand video can make people want to buy your product more and more. Social media adds the human touch and allows you to directly interact and connect with potential customers making it an impressive tool to market your business. Also, all the latest trends, customer feedback, and getting to know your competitors are all achieved through social media. Hence, social media is also a crucial part of the digital marketing sector, even more now than ever.

Content marketing:

Digital marketing and its entirety are based on the content you create and promote for your business. The richer the content, the better the reach. To reach your brand to new customers, a combination of SEO and rich content. Most content you put on the internet is found through searches. To ensure that your business is “found” in a humongous pile of millions of other websites, it is essential to create rich, appealing content with the perfect keyword density. Eye-catching content on social media or brand promotions or blogging with appropriate product promotion will lead your business to more new customers.

Quality content creation and promotion are essential to generate more traffic to your website and also to keep your customers interested in what you have to offer. The content you create is going to be the first-hand information basis for any client, and hence it is also important to have appropriate knowledge-based content when you are digital marketing.

Pay-per-click advertising:

Pay per click is the quickest way to generate revenue from your digital marketing promotion. It is a concept where you get to maintain your online presence in search results while boosting your traffic consistently. The icing to the cake in the technique is you get to pay only for the ads that people click. This saves a huge amount of capital and also ensures that those who are truly interested in your product end up on your page, thus saving time.

PPC also has an advantageous tool called “Advanced Targeting,” which helps you target your largest client pool without the hassle of going through small consumers who are not interested.

E-mail marketing:

Brand promotion over email is much like sending flyers to the homes of your trusted customers. While in conventional marketing, you do not know who is or who is not interested in what you have to offer. But in digital marketing, customers “opt-in” to receive emails. Hence, it is time-saving and easier to give your target audience what they need.
A great technique used by most businesses is to send customized mail-carrying tailored promotions in the form of newsletters that will also keep the customer interested. The greatest advantage of present-day email marketing is to automate your emails according to your needs. By automating emails, you can build your customer base passively while focusing on running your business hassle-free.

Affiliate marketing:

This is basically a promotion done by companies for each other. One organization pays one or more affiliates for the number of traffic generated. Various models used based on each individual company’s needs are often garnered by the type of businesses they promote. It is also called CPA or cost per action. The basic idea is as an affiliate, you promote a company’s product through a well-structured affiliate network and earn a commission on the number of customers you won for the company.

Market: Automation and Analytics:

Market Automation and analytics is an important tool to generate more traffic daily, eventually generating more revenue. By using analytics in digital marketing, you will be able to analyse Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which help in gaining more leads for your website or blog and also will help tailor a better digital marketing strategy.

Market automation is a tool used to run the entire digital marketing campaign smoothly. With automation, you will be able to integrate the various tools used and improve the effeminacy of all these tools. Automation also provides insightful data, which will be useful to improvise the performances.

How to Create a Full-Proof Digital Marketing Strategy

How is the internet the big daddy of digital marketing? Obviously, digital marketing is done on the internet, so yes, it is the major driver of the whole thing. But how is it used and manipulated to benefit the marketer and to reach the right consumer?

A few key factors govern the key to creating a foolproof game plan for your digital marketing campaign. However, there is no direct way to achieve an optimal digital marketing strategy. Here is a brief consensus summarising the key points:

  • It is vital to create a solid and realistic framework before getting into strategic planning for your business. It is important to analyse your target audience and sketch a scheme before getting into the game plan.
  • It is also important to identify and have knowledge about the KPIs very well before devising a plan. When you start digital marketing, you will need to understand what works best for your product and what doesn’t, and the key to understanding this is through thorough awareness of KPIs.
  • The key to a great digital marketing campaign is understanding the target audience and delivering the right clientele’s right promotion.
  • Since digital marketing is primarily based on the content you create, creating engaging, tailored content is of prime importance. The content you create can and will keep you in business and help in generating revenue.
  • Strategies in a way to create an effective and strong foundation in order to sustain the digital marketing strategy for the longer term.
    Having a clear-cut direction may sound simple, but it is the most effective way to ensure your strategy reaches to the right audience and help grow your business.

Conclusion

Digital marketing has obviously changed the way marketing takes place. For the better, it has replaced traditional marketing with more effective tools that help build businesses overnight. In comparison to traditional marketing, it has proved to be more cost-effective and efficient in promoting businesses. The internet of things is happening, and digital marketing is just one drop in a huge ocean, but, nevertheless, digital marketing is here it stays for the better good. Offline or online, always remember the basic:

Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.
– Joe Chernov