Digital Marketing

What is Digital Marketing & Why Is It Important For Your Business?

August 10, 2020

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In this era of digitalization, people are constantly searching for information online. A majority of the users are trying to make informed decisions when it comes to buying a product or availing a service. Google says, today around 460 million Indians are online watching, sharing, engaging with businesses and with each other. This shows how digital mediums could help with increasing our business opportunities.  

Boosting sales and promoting your brand has become easier and cost-effective with the advent of digital marketing. A digital presence has become inevitable for modern businesses to grow. With the rapid increase in smartphone users, there are huge opportunities available for business owners to tap more customers online. 

What is Digital Marketing?

In the simplest terms, Digital Marketing is utilizing different online channels to attract an audience to your brand. The two most important features that digital marketing offers to a business is the ability to target a specific audience and the robust tracking options available to understand how effective different mediums are in achieving your marketing goals.

To know more check out this short video:

Every business owner might know the importance of branding in the modern-day market but many of them do not understand the importance of having a good digital presence. Websites and social media pages are the digital faces of your brand and hence require the same level of attention as you give for the physical stores and offices because digital is where the first impression occurs, where your potential audience gets their first experience.

Digital Marketing involves managing all aspects of the online presence enjoyed by a business. This includes the company’s websites, search engine rankings, content marketing, social media handles, e-commerce portals and all kinds of advertisements.

Why Digital Marketing?

Times have changed with more than half of the world as an active digital audience. With over 2.6 billion active users on Facebook alone, the digital space is rapidly becoming the busiest space in the modern world where conversations happen between brands and audience. It is not a one-way communication method like the way it was in the traditional mediums. The modern brand messages need to be dynamic, meaning it has to be conceived and conveyed using all the available mediums and platforms in a different version, such as video ads, display ads, blogs along with the proven mix of traditional media.

Digital marketing is driven by the persona created by businesses using power packed digital channels and attractive content. The identity of your brand on the internet is not based on the size of your office or the number of employees you house but the content you deliver and your level of engagement. Digital Marketing enables small and large businesses alike to wield the power to draw masses through an analytical and creative approach. 

What about Traditional Marketing?

The marketing environment is more alive today than it has ever been, but traditional marketing methods are becoming ineffective. All the popular marketing acts of the yesteryears – print ads, TV commercials, brochures, email blasts, pop up ads and all those ideas that fuelled companies to success right until a few years ago are now constantly underperforming.

The reason is simple – the internet and digital technology have fundamentally altered buyer behaviour making people smarter & sophisticated consumers. It has created better ways for people to interact with brands they like, something that was unimaginable a decade ago. This along with people’s natural instinct to selectively ignore uninteresting advertisements have made traditional marketing challenging.

Traditionally, marketers simply thrived on every opportunity to spam, cold call and cram people’s minds with a million brand names, taglines and jingles without much context. Presently these old school traditions are quite inefficient compared to the highly contextual & targeted digital marketing options. 

Being said that, traditional mediums like Print & TV are consumed by a large audience, a business needs to do their marketing investments in those mediums to benefit from the broadcasting opportunities it offers, but it is high time that every business should have digital marketing as a part of their marketing strategy and increasing the investments into digital by analysing results.

What Are the Different Types or Channels of Digital Marketing

The digital marketing channels can be mainly divided into two groups:

  • Paid Channel
  • Organic Channel

Lets’s look at both of these in detail.

Paid channels

As the name says, it is a paid promotion of your business. Here you need to pay the media channels in the form of advertising or sponsorship to reach the audience that you want. Some of the paid channels are Search Engine Ads, Social Media Ads, Display ads in news and entertainment websites, Remarketing, Paid Influencers etc.

Most paid channels offer a great control over how you show the messages. For example, you can target your ads to a specific age group, geographic location or device type. Essentially, paid media allows to reach a new audience more quickly than other mediums.

Here are some of the paid channels of digital marketing you need to know about:

1. Search Advertising

Search advertising, also known as pay per click marketing, is the most effective and direct way of advertising to your target audience. Search ads allow you to display your search ads in the search results when someone searches for your products or services.

Search Ads
Search Ads

Since the searcher has already made up their mind to buy a product or avail a service, search ads have the potential to make a user choose for your service.

All you have to do is bid on your service or product keywords people might be searching for, and based on your ad score and relevancy Google will show your ads in the search result.

2. Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is a type of digital advertising where you focus on advertising to your target audience on different social media platforms. The major social media platforms where you can run ads are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter to name some.

Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads

Though social media ads, you will be better able to target your audience based on demographics, interests, and engagements.

3. Display Advertising

Display ads as the name suggests is a type of digital advertising where you can use visual media such as texts, images, or videos to advertise about your product or service to attract and spread brand awareness about the same all over the internet.

Display Ads
Display Ads

You can advertise your product or service through networks like Google Display Network and Facebook for better reach.

4. Video Advertising

Video Advertising
Video Advertising

Video advertising is a type of digital advertising where you advertise your product or service in the form of a promotional video that plays before, during or after streaming of video content. It allows you to reach your target audience at a much faster rate.

5. Native Advertising

Native Advertising

Native advertising is a type of paid advertising where the ads match the form (user interface) & function (user experience) of the platform on which it appears. Unlike banner ads, native ads look like a part of the interface and are placed in such a way that it doesn’t look like paid content.

6. OTT Platform Advertising

OTT Advertising is a form of paid advertising where companies pay to advertise on over the top streaming platforms. It’s similar to advertising on TV, the only difference here is that the ads shown in streaming platforms or devices, such as smart tv are more relevant and targeted.

Organic channels

You can also promote your business and attract potential customers through organic channels such as your website, social media pages, blogs, etc. The main difference with organic channels is that you don’t pay media channels to reach new audiences. 

Organic channels offer significant flexibility in terms of usage and are unique to your brand. For example, you can improve the user experience of your website for the customers, you can add keyword-optimised content to your website (search engine optimization) to attract free traffic to your website and also update social media pages to spread your brand message. 

If used well, organic channels can help you establish a sustained relationship with your customers.

Here are some of the organic channels of digital marketing you need to know about:

1. SEO

Search engine optimization aka SEO is a method of increasing the online visibility of a website by following specific ways to improve the quality and quantity of traffic to the site through organic search engines like Google and Bing.

2. Content Marketing

Content marketing is a type of organic marketing where you focus on sharing and creating highly valuable content such as blogs, videos, infographics to attract a targeted audience to create brand awareness and interest around your product or services.

3. Social Media Management

Social media management involves creating and promoting your social media content across various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest. You will have to consistently create and publish content and engage with your targeted audience to eventually improve your brand reach and visibility.

4. CRO/UX Optimization

CRO/UX optimization is the process of designing and optimizing your website for your targeted audience to improve their overall user experience in the site. You should ensure that your website is focused on the usability and user experience as UX is directly related to your conversion rates. Greater the UX, better the conversion rate.

We suggest you to use a perfect combination of both paid and organic mediums in your marketing mix to get the maximum benefits out of your business.

Benefits of Digital Marketing for Businesses

The below given points details the advantages of using digital marketing for your business.

1. No entry barrier

Traditional marketing channels like print, TV and hoardings will cost you a huge amount of money and thus only bigger companies will be able to invest in them. On the other hand, digital media offers you the opportunity to market your products or brand online at a very lower cost. It’s the best marketing option for medium to small-scale businesses and start-ups. Even with a daily budget of Rs.100, you can initiate digital marketing for your brand.

2. 24/7 marketing channels

Another major benefit is that digital marketing can happen round-the-clock. You will have complete control over the ad campaigns that you are running in Google or social media pages. This will ensure that your campaigns are reaching more customers from different time zones. Digital Ads will continue to display 24/7 until the moment you stop the campaign.

3. Precise demographic targeting

With sophisticated targeting options of digital marketing you can reach out to the audience you wish, for example, if you are a brand that sells women’s hygiene products you can reach out to a women audience who are searching for similar products. Such is the convenience of digital marketing.

4. Personalized messaging

User data collection is a unique characteristic of digital marketing. It is highly beneficial in finding the preferences of your target audience. Using various digital marketing tools, you can fetch user’s data such as demographics, search intention and purchase patterns, etc to create personalized ads. You can also use the data to retarget the users who visited your website but left without completing the purchase.

5. Instant feedback

Digital marketing provides real-time, measurable results unlike traditional marketing methods. For example, when you run a digital ad campaign, you can get quick feedback regarding the performance of your ad. By generating weekly or biweekly customer engagement reports, you can analyze the quality of your Ad and make changes if necessary. This helps you to understand more about the users and their preferences.

6. Robust tracking options

Being a data-centric ecosystem, every effort you put into the digital medium can be deeply analysed to understand what works and what doesn’t. And whatever the result of your effort is, your audience will let you know it! . Systems like analytics & CRM will help you track their reactions too.

7. Higher ROI

Digital marketing helps your business to generate higher ROI (return on investments) as compared to traditional marketing. A smart digital marketing plan can bring down the business costs and thus generate more profit. Effective tracking of data and rectifying the errors can contribute to increase in sales through digital media.

8. Cost effective

Though this is the last point, I am sure this is a favorite for all business owners. It is an honest fact that businesses are on the lookout for newer cost-effective marketing tactics that suit the needs of these tough financial times. This is where internet marketing turns out to be an effective strategy. Almost all internet marketing campaigns require businesses to invest more time and much lesser money when compared to its traditional alternatives.

Digital Marketing Trends For a Successful Digital Campaign

Whether your digital strategy is to focus on SEO, social media, content marketing or digital advertising, the infographic given below will give you a clear picture on choosing a primary marketing channel for lead generation and conversion for your business.

Digital Marketing Trends
Source: Serpwatch

How to find the perfect digital media mix for your business?

It’s often seen that businesses find it tough to start with digital marketing or are not able to achieve the full potential of their investments in online mediums. This mostly leads to businesses keeping digital on the sidelines.
Some of the main issues businesses face in digital marketing today are:

  • Inefficient lead generation
  • Poor online presence and branding

Every business will require a unique marketing mix depending on their product/service, target audience and business goals.
Working with various industries like real estate, healthcare,education and more, we suggest the ideal marketing mix for our clients.

  1. Paid Advertising in Google & Facebook – creates leads and brand awareness in a short period of time.
  2. Creative Content development – for social media profiles, blogs, emails etc to engage with the audience consistently.
  3. Search Engine Optimization – brings visibility to audiences who are searching for your products or services.

Before you plan a digital marketing strategy for your brand keep in mind these two points:

  • Diversify your digital media activity – Don’t just jump into executing on any single media activity like Google ads, SEO or Facebook ads, take a step back & think about the ways people could find your business online. Conduct a study of your website traffic with the help of Google analytics or take a look at the CRM data to understand the sources from which your customers come.
  • Identify the most effective mediums – Look for the most effective medium that you need to start your digital activities depending on your goal and industry. Once you start seeing the impact of your selected media mix, iterate and add or remove mediums to the mix as you move forward. After executing an optimum digital media mix, we have seen a major share of the business happening through digital media, where in some brands have achieved 70% business growth driven through digital marketing. So go ahead and create a perfect digital strategy for your brand.

Frequently Asked Questions About Digital Marketing

1. Does Digital Marketing Work For All Businesses?

Digital marketing works for all businesses and industries irrespective of its size. You just have to build a solid digital strategy which includes creating buyer personas, identifying their pain points and creating valuable content that addresses those problems. This way you bring prospect customers closer to the buying funnel.

2. What’s a Digital Marketing Strategy?

A digital marketing strategy is a customized digital plan you develop for a business using a mix of different online marketing mediums such as paid and organic marketing to help businesses achieve their digital goals be it to increase sales and revenue or improve brand presence. 

The strategy needs to be realistic, and achievable, depending on your budget, available resources and business goals.

3. How To Create a Successful Digital Marketing Campaign?

A good digital marketing campaign revolves around the following:

  • Define the business goals, KPI’s and budget of the campaign
  • Define your buyer personas by understanding their pain points
  • Develop a theme based campaign that addresses their problem and deploy it on the right marketing platform – social media, Google Ads or organic.
  • Measure and track your campaign results using analytics 

4. How Long Does Digital Marketing Take to Work?

It depends on the type of marketing you choose to focus on. If you do organic marketing or SEO, it will generally take 6-9 months to improve the ranking of a website if you’re in a competitive niche. Whereas if you do paid digital advertising such as Pay-per-click ads, through Google or Social Media, you should be able to generate traffic and subsequent leads as soon as the campaign starts.

5. What Are Some Digital Marketing Tools You Should Use

1. Keyword Planner

Keyword planner is a powerful keyword research tool provided by Google that helps you identify relevant keywords to your business or brand.

2. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a web analytics service provided by Google to help you track the efficiency of your marketing campaigns. It helps you know the no. of visitors coming into the site as well as the top visited pages among other marketing metrics.

3. Search Console

Search Console is a similar tool provided by Google that helps you measure your site’s Search traffic and performance, fix any usability issues that allows you to better rank in search results.

4. Screaming Frog

Screaming frog is a website crawler tool for auditing websites to find common SEO issues. 

5. Yoast SEO for WordPress

Yoast SEO is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that helps you handle the technical optimization of your site & assists with optimizing your content.

6. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a powerful online tool that helps you in finding contents and influencers that are popular in a particular niche.

7. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a social media management platform, that helps you manage your social media channels and measure your campaign results.

8. Ahrefs / Semrush

Ahrefs or Semrush are tools to perform keyword research, grab competitor data and get stats for your website to understand how to easily target keywords within your authority range.

9. Canva

Canva is a design tool for creating social media graphics as well as other creative media quickly without the help of a graphic designer.

10. Mail Chimp

Mailchimp is an email platform that helps you to create and manage mailing lists, newsletters, automated marketing campaigns among others.

We hope this article has given you valuable insights about the importance of digital marketing in today’s world. If you have any queries related to digital marketing, feel free to post your comment below so that we can get back to you.

Thanks For Reading !

Author - Akhil Alappattu

Akhil is a Search Engine Marketing specialist at Webdura Technologies. He is a Bing Ads Accredited Professional with AdWords, Analytics and Hubspot certification.


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