At a high level, digital marketing refers to advertising delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps. Using these online media channels, digital marketing is the method by which companies endorse goods, services, and brands. By implementing an omnichannel digital marketing strategy, marketers can collect valuable insights into target audience behaviors while opening the door to new methods of customer engagement.
Types of Digital Marketing
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing refers to informational, valuable content like blog posts, how-to videos, and other instructional materials. This type of marketing helps you connect with your audience and answer their questions. It can also help to generate leads and close sales.
Content should be published regularly with the target audience in mind. Ideally, your brand would become a trusted voice within the industry by publishing quality, reliable content. You want your audience to come to you first for information on the latest industry trends.
It’s free of cost.
Content is a highly versatile option. It allows you to build your brand by educating, entertaining and inspiring the audience.
It fuels all the other types of digital marketing.
The competition is high, it takes a lot of time to rank organically for target keywords.
Consistency and high-quality is vital to be effective. Your content must meet your customers' requirements while branding and achieving your business targets.
2. Search Engine Optimization(SEO)
Search engine optimization, (SEO), is the strategy of creating content in such a way that search engines like Google will rank your page high on the search engine results page (SERP).
Google uses algorithms to decide how relevant your page is to the keywords that the user is searching for. These algorithms update frequently, and SEO strategies must be adjusted just as regularly to remain effective.
It increases the brand visibility.
It is cost efficient, compared to PPC.
SEO depends on content and tech.
Google's changing algorithms might come in the way of your efforts.
It takes time for SEO to work.
3. Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing, or SEM, refers to paid advertisements that appear at the top of the SERP. The cost of these ads typically depends on the number of clicks the link receives, hence “pay-per-click.”
When you pay for these top SERP slots, the “Ad” label will appear next to your URL. Despite consumer knowledge that these are ads, many still click on these links, and it can be a very effective digital marketing strategy.
It helps attain a top rank quickly.
It is time efficient.
It can often be expensive to target popular keywords.
Most people are skeptical of ads in the search results and prefer to trust the natural search results.
4. Social Media Marketing
With social media marketing, social media platforms are used as a digital marketing channel. Ads can be bought to reach out to a new audience, or you can create a profile for your business on any social media platform and create posts to advertise new products, sales, or freshly published content.
Which social media platform you will use will depend on the type of audience you want to reach. For example, according to Pew Research, Instagram is best for reaching audiences between the ages of 25 and 29, while those 65+ can be best achieved through Facebook.
It has high conversion rates.
The efforts multiply quickly as people like, comment, and share your content.
Facebook/Instagram ads allow you to target specific customer segments and convey your message to the right people.
Social media is challenging. The algorithm changes every now and then. Along with that, new content formats are introduced frequently. You will have to gun for updates constantly.
Although it sounds simple to post on social media, you require strategic planning and dedication of enough time to do it consistently and efficiently.
5. Affiliate and Influencer Marketing
Working with an affiliate or influencer can help increase your audience reach by engaging with their existing audience. For an effective affiliate/influencer relationship, try to work with an individual who is well-known and respected within your industry. They can create content promoting your business or product and share a link to your website. Every time a sale is completed, or a link is clicked, the influencer/affiliate will receive a kickback.
You get the privilege of the influencer's existing audience. So, you need not wait to build one yourself.
Associating with a popular personality allows you to earn genuine followers and customers.
It is not just about paying a high amount to partner with influencers. You have to decide on the right influencer based on your audience and brand and figure out authentic ways to partner with them.
The distrust of influencers is rising, and you need to be careful and transparent about paying them for promotions.
6. Email Marketing
When someone visits your website or business, invite them to join an email subscriber list. With their permission, you can send emails about sales, special events, or product releases. Email marketing is often underestimated, and according to Lyfe Marketing, approximately $40 of revenue is brought in for every dollar spent on email marketing.
The most important part of this digital marketing channel is that it should provide value to your audience. Offer them exclusives that they would not receive anywhere else, and you can build a mutually beneficial relationship that will increase brand loyalty.
Amongst several types of digital marketing, this one is independent of any changing algorithms.
Staying constantly in contact with your email list allows you to strengthen relationships, and they are likely to keep you in their minds when they plan to buy.
Often customers do not open emails.
It gets difficult to find ways to add value so that the customers do not unsubscribe.
7. Mobile Marketing
As per Google research, 27% of people worldwide use mobile voice search. The mobile consumer journey is on an exponential rise. Digital marketing requires immediacy as much as loyalty, and smartphones are one of the most immediate problem-solving partners anywhere, anytime.
Mobile marketing is mandatory for brands who desire to be with their customers, side by side. It requires the marketer to adapt everything he is doing on the desktop to mobile. You must also be efficient in mobile-specific tasks such as in-app advertising, texting, and social messaging apps. It is significantly important for brands that target a younger audience.
Customers spend more time on mobile phones than on their desktops/laptops these days. So, mobile marketing helps in reaching where they spend most of their time.
It can be super-targeted with geo-fencing or specific audience segments.
The space is small as compared to computers.
Mobile ads have a low click rate.
People often dislike interruptions by marketing messages when they are communicating.
8. Video Marketing
In today's fast-paced scenario, short and quick videos are quicker than texts in attracting customers. Be it educational or entertaining, live or pre-recorded video content is a reliable digital marketing option. Today, over 2 billion people look for something or the other per month on YouTube. It is a promising opportunity to reach new customers, and video marketing strategies drive results throughout the marketing funnel.
80% of customers opt for search engines and videos to learn about products and check reviews. 55% of consumers do it before buying.
Videos can create an emotional connection with the masses and effectively spread your message.
They are more memorable than text or images.
Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn—all channels are pushing video content to enhance reach and engagement and thus rank higher in search results.
It gets challenging to grab the viewers' attention in seconds. Users quickly shift to the next content in their feed.
Creating high-quality video content consumes time, money, and skill.
9. Audio Marketing
Radio has been customers' favorite since the Golden Age of commercial broadcasting. From the 1920s till today, a section of people still listens to the radio regularly switching from traditional radios to internet radio. Channels like Spotify help advance audio marketing. Audio marketing is much broader as it includes podcasts and smart home assistants such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa.
Podcasts are increasingly consumed, and they take the audience off the radio. People prefer them when working out or doing other mechanics. To ace audio marketing, you must understand the habits of your target audience. Think about the activities they might do while listening to your audios. This way, you can make audio marketing a big sales opportunity for your brand.
Be it radio or podcasts, audio marketing offers a convenient medium for on-demand and on-the-go for a busy audience.
It is easier and cheaper to produce audio content than video.
Multitasking listeners can get busy and might not take the next step.
Marketing via smart home assistants is still in the experimental stage, and there is a steep learning curve.
Lower chances of immediate return on investment.
Advantages of Digital Marketing
Global reach - a website allows you to find new markets and trade globally for only a small investment.
Lower cost - a properly planned and well targeted digital marketing campaign can reach the right customers at a much lower cost than traditional marketing methods.
Trackable, measurable results - measuring your online marketing with web analytics and other online metric tools makes it easier to establish how effective your campaign has been. You can obtain detailed information about how customers use your website or respond to your advertising.
Personalization - if your customer database is linked to your website, then whenever someone visits the site, you can greet them with targeted offers. The more they buy from you, the more you can refine your customer profile and market effectively to them.
Openness - by getting involved with social media and managing it carefully, you can build customer loyalty and create a reputation for being easy to engage with.
Social currency - digital marketing lets you create engaging campaigns using content marketing tactics. This content (images, videos, articles) can gain social currency - being passed from user to user and becoming viral.
Improved conversion rates - if you have a website, then your customers are only ever a few clicks away from making a purchase. Unlike other media which require people to get up and make a phone call, or go to a shop, digital marketing can be seamless and immediate.
Disadvantages of Digital Marketing
Skills and training - You will need to ensure that your staff have the right knowledge and expertise to carry out digital marketing with success. Tools, platforms and trends change rapidly and it's vital that you keep up-to-date.
Time consuming - tasks such as optimizing online advertising campaigns and creating marketing content can take up a lot of time. It's important to measure your results to ensure a return-on-investment.
High competition - while you can reach a global audience with digital marketing, you are also up against global competition. It can be a challenge to stand out against competitors and to grab attention among the many messages aimed at consumers online.
Complaints and feedback - any negative feedback or criticism of your brand is can be visible to your audience through social media and review websites. Carrying out effective customer service online can be challenging. Negative comments or failure to respond effectively can damage your brand reputation.
Security and privacy issues - there are a number of legal considerations around collecting and using customer data for digital marketing purposes. Take care to comply with the rules regarding privacy and data protection.
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