Marketing is an integral part of a business that is as old as the term “business” itself. Business marketing is basically making people aware of your business, what you do or sell.
If you don’t market your business, a lot of people may not be aware of what you really have to offer and you would be in a disadvantaged position as against those who market theirs.
This is why big businesses are patronizing digital marketing agencies, or even sponsoring their workers on a digital marketing online certificate program.
Marketing and Sales are often mixed up and used interchangeably by newbies- they are different but quite related. While marketing gives you an idea of what to produce after making due research on what the customers need, it also helps to create awareness around these products.
Sale, on the other hand, is the process of persuading the customers to purchase what is being offered to them.
A general introduction on Digital Marketing and the benefits to businesses
Marketing is groundwork for sales. A good marketing strategy plays a BIG role in how well a product will sell and how easy it will be to sell them. Sales are hardly made without a well laid out plan on marketing.
Firstly, how did marketing start?
THE EVOLUTION OF MARKETING
Over the years, before the advent of the internet, marketing has always been a common phenomenon in the world of business. Businesses had to make people come in contact with what they produce and the services they render, etc.
These were mostly done through the words of mouth and every other means that are not digital, which is called Traditional Marketing.
Traditional marketing itself evolved too, passing through various phases of change. Since time immemorial, one-on-one marketing, word of mouth, signage, sign spinners, flyers, etc. were used to market their products.
Then, traditional marketing took a new turn and methods like Direct mailing, Print media, Broadcast media, Referral, etc. became the hot cake.
But immediately the internet came up, a lot of things changed, including how humans behave and interact, as a result, the way marketing was done had to change too.
That was what brought the concept of Digital marketing or Online marketing. Digital marketing is basically any form of marketing that is done using any of the means available online; like Search Engine Marketing(PPC), Search Engine Optimization(SEO), Content marketing, Influencer marketing, E-Commerce marketing, Affiliate marketing, Email marketing, Social media marketing(Facebook advertising), etc.
ADVANTAGES OF DIGITAL MARKETING OVER TRADITIONAL MARKETING
- Less Expensive: Digital marketing is all about doing MORE advertisements with LESS finance. The cost of launching a digital marketing campaign is not expensive as against the traditional form of marketing that gulps a large sum of money. Small businesses cannot really afford the traditional form of marketing due to its high cost.
- High Return on Investment: As a result of the low amount of money being invested in digital marketing and because of its wider reach, businesses realize a high return on every penny invested in the digital marketing campaign.
- Measurability: One of the requirements for determining a SMART goal is the ability to measure what has been achieved. There are various tools that can be used to assess how well your marketing campaign is faring.
- This feature gives businesses the opportunity to readjust their campaigns if it’s not performing up to expectation.
- Targeted Audience: Traditional marketing is done broadly and not really targeted to the right audience, but Digital marketing is able to market the business to a specific set of people who are actually interested in what is being offered. This alone is one of the reasons why an effective campaign can be done even with low funds.
CHANNELS FOR DIGITAL MARKETING
Quite a number of channels are available for use during any form of digital campaign, but the channel to be used must be suitable to aid the achievement of the marketing goals that have been set.
For instance, products that will be best marketed with pictures are publicized on sites like Instagram. Another example is a professional consulting company; a channel like LinkedIn will be more suited for this purpose.
Some of these channels are:
1. Email Marketing
It is a marketing technique mostly used for keeping in touch with existing customers and can also be used for converting new leads into frequent customers by periodically sending out customized mails to them(leads nurturing). The mail must be something that will be of value to them.
There are hosting services that take care of this type of marketing, by fully automating the process, enabling customization of the mail, and ability to track how well the mail has performed.
What’s interesting about this channel of digital marketing is that it is way cheaper than the rest of the channels available and it does not perform any less than the rest too.
Email marketing has a ROI of 4,300%. And since 91% of consumers check their email at least once a day, it is definitely a good channel through which businesses can be marketed.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engines, no doubts, are responsible for the majority of the traffic generated online. In fact, 51 percent of all website traffic comes from search engines result pages (SERP). The world has shifted from the regular brick and mortar physical store to an online based presence.
You can think of this online traffic as the normal visitors that come to your physical store to do one thing or the other, same way online traffic come to your online habitat wherever it may be located on the web and check you out, mostly to see what you offer.
The big advantage of Search engine optimization (SEO) is that, only relevant traffic- that is, those who are more likely to purchase from you- are directed to your online store and they are determined through the kind of information they seek using search engines.
The importance of SEO can never be over-estimated and that is why majority of businesses online spend over $5,000 on SEO monthly.
3. Social Media Marketing (SMM)
The fast pace at which social media has penetrated into the daily lives of people in the world is astonishing. In 2019, it is estimated that there will be around 2.77 billion social network users around the globe, up from 2.62 billion in the previous year (2018).
Any business that wants to succeed must tap into this large customers’ pool to fish out those who need the kind of products or services being offered.
An advantage of social media marketing over the rest is the availability of various social platforms with uses that vary. Some of the most popular platforms are:
• Facebook: Facebook alone garners more than 2 billion monthly active users and it is the most popular social network worldwide. The kind of audiences that are seen here are heterogeneous and widely diverse.
As a result, any marketing campaign here must be carefully structured to reach the target audience that will be of relevance to the business.
Thanks to the tools available on Facebook advertising that enable businesses to show their ads campaign to a carefully selected kind of audience.
• LinkedIn: This social hub is widely known as the spot for professionals in various fields and from all walks of life. If your business is on the lookout for professionals, or other businesses (B2B), then LinkedIn is the perfect place to host your marketing campaign.
• Instagram: This social network is the best when your method of promotion depends on visuals. As of October 2018, 50.4% of the users on this platform are females, so businesses offering products that are common to females will thrive well on Instagram.
Although, marketing campaigns targeting males will do well too.
The social platforms where you can launch your digital marketing campaign are not limited to just those three, there is a lot of them left like, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube etc.
4. Google AdWords (Google Ads)
The search giant, Google, offers a kind of paid advertising to businesses to help them pop up once any of their chosen Keywords are used by potential customers while searching for products or services.
These keywords must be carefully chosen and only the ones that are relevant to your business should be picked. Basically, what Google adwords does is to show your advertisements to potential customers who searched for words or phrases related to what you do.
This form of advertisements is cost effective and better because your ads are only shown to people who are looking for your business. Although, there are some factors Google consider before displaying your ads (Ad Auction).
5. Content marketing
Content is King, and this has been incorporated into the concept of digital marketing. Businesses regularly dish out content on their website, blogs, social media pages, etc. to engage potential customers.
Usually, a call-to-action is included in the content to make them do a particular thing that is the goal of this form of marketing campaign. They may be asked to buy a product, give out their contact information for subsequent interaction, take a survey, etc.
Generally, content engages the user and compel them to take actions that will be favorable for the business.
BENEFITS OF DIGITAL MARKETING
Awareness: Digital marketing can be used to create awareness about the
business brand. The most suitable
channel for this are the various social media platforms where users interact
with one another and also get to interact with brands
- Generation of leads: Leads are potential customers and they are very important to a business. Using channels like Search engine optimization, Google adwords, etc. can help bring potential customers (that is, new leads) in contact with businesses.
- Sales generation: Most businesses are after sales, which is alright. In fact, the end goal of most digital campaigns is to make more sales. E-commerce and Real estate businesses, for instance, can make use of channels like Amazon Resellers, Affiliate Marketing Networks, Facebook Storefront, etc.
- Generate Traffic: Some websites are not up to sell anything in particular; in fact, they give out various resources for free and even put up valuable information for their audience. They use digital marketing to increase the number of visitors to their websites to see and click on the ads hosted on their websites.
The world and everything therein is evolving, including humans. Since we are at the center of the world and determine how things go, everything that wants to resonate and keep contact with humans must evolve and adjust their strategies to suit the way humans think, behave, act, etc.
Digital marketing or online marketing is as a result of the evolution of the business world and the world in general. For any business to succeed, it must tap into these unlimited resources.