What is Digital Marketing
Marketing relates to all activities that a company uses to promote its products and services and increase its market share.
In digital marketing efforts, digital channels such as search engines, social media, mobile devices, e-mail and websites are utilised by organisations to engage current and potential customers. Generally, the term digital marketing refers to all marketing activities that take place digitally, mostly online. This also includes communication via text or multimedia messages. Digital marketing is not the same as internet marketing, which is only conducted on websites.
Compared to traditional methods, digital marketing is a new way for companies to reach consumers and understand their behaviour. It incorporates some of the same principles as traditional marketing. Traditional methods include marketing via print, television and radio. Traditional and digital marketing techniques are often combined in business strategies. Digital marketing can be interactive and is often used to target specific customer segments.
How Digital Marketing can help companies
Today digital marketing is a vital part of companies’ marketing strategies. Companies are expected to have an Internet presence in the form of a website and/or social media. There are many ways and different channels to conduct digital marketing. This means that companies can get creative and find own ways of branding themselves digitally.
It's helpful to have a firm understanding of how each digital marketing campaign supports the company's overall goals. Depending on the goals of their marketing strategy, marketers can support a larger campaign digitally across the channels available to them.
Benefits of digital marketing include:
Can be focussed to a specific target group
- In digital marketing methods, specific target groups can be established to focus communication to people, who are more likely to buy. Allows to market to sub-groups within larger target group to sell different products/ services to different buyer types.
- Traditional ads such as TV ads are targeted to a much wider audience that cannot be further specified.
- Allows refining of marketing strategy over time to ensure reaching potential customers who are most likely to buy.
More cost-effective than traditional marketing methods
- Campaigns can be tracked, costs can be decreased or increased according to the success of the campaign – traditional marketing methods usually must be paid for, no matter if goals and conversions are reached or not.
- Digital marketing enables companies to choose exactly where and how much money is spent
- Even with a limited budget, a high return on investment is possible
Able to compete with larger brands due to more even playing field
- Larger companies usually have more financial resources available
- Small companies can still compete with larger brands through quality of content that enables them to be ranked higher than competitors, regardless of financial spend
Metrics can be measured
- Digital marketing provides access too all metrics that matter to determine the success of a campaign
- Metrics such as impressions, shares, views, clicks, website traffic, time spent on page, etc. can be measured – this is usually not possible with traditional marketing channels
- Accurate results can be viewed in real time
Easy to change and adapt strategy
- Digital marketing can be adapted or paused in real time if they are not working according to plan – no need to start over from the beginning.
- Traditional marketing channels generally cannot be changed or adapted instantly but take more time to adjust or need to be completed first
Can improve conversion rate and quality of leads
- The simplicity of measuring digital marketing efforts makes it much easier to improve conversion rates – every factor that forms the conversion rate can be adjusted and optimised
- Through real time data, better strategies can be formulated more easily and quicker
- Digital marketing allows companies to specify their target groups and improve the quality of leads – targeting campaign to people who are more likely to make a purchase decision – this directly improves the conversion rate
Can engage audience at every stage
- Contacting potential leads early in their buying process is very helpful
- Digital marketing allows companies to contact leads at every stage of their process, making it possible to accompany them from start to finish
- The complete buying process can be tracked – Buying process can be analysed
- If the conversion rate is low, the reasons can be easily established through analysing at which stage the potential buyer decides against completing the purchase
Digital Marketing channels
Since the emergence of digital marketing, it has been evolving constantly until today. There are several digital marketing channels available to companies, that can be used in combination with each other.
Digital marketing channels include the following:
- A core element of all digital marketing activities.
- Enables execution of other digital marketing efforts
- Website should be fast, mobile-friendly, user-friendly and represent the brand in a clear, memorable way
- Reaching potential customers through suitable content that fits the brand image
- Can be published on a website and promoted via social media, emails, search engine optimization or paid ads
- Tools include blogs, e-books, online courses, infographics, podcasts and webinars
- Paid ads
- Campaigns can be set up on several platforms such as Google, Bing, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Meta (Facebook)
- Campaigns can segment target groups according to demographic characteristics, interests, location. This enables companies to target specific groups of people or organisations.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Optimising content, technical setup and website reach
- Goal is to appear at the top of search engine results, for a specific set of keywords and phrases that fit the brand
- Has a huge impact on the ranking in the search results and on the organic website traffic
- Helps increase visibility
- One of the most effective marketing channels
- Does not mean spamming
- Used to contact potential customers and interested people
- Other marketing channels can be used to add leads to the email database
Social Media Marketing
- Used to establish brand awareness and social trust
- Applications include generating leads and acting as a direct sales channel
- Can include paid or promoted ads or posts
- Sharing video content on platforms such as YouTube, Facebook Videos, Instagram or TikTok
- Can be informational content, reviews, advertising, etc.
- Many people enjoy receiving information in form of videos rather than text
- Many people gather information on YouTube prior to making a purchasing decision
- SMS, MMS or in-app marketing
- Mobile devices are constantly being used or close by
- A traditional marketing method that can be applied digitally
- Influencers promote products and receive commissions for sold products
What to consider when implementing Digital Marketing
Through the different digital marketing channels, recipients are increasingly being swamped with content and advertising from competing organisations. This makes it difficult for marketers to capture their attention. At the same time, the amount of data that is collected from digital channels is enormous, which poses challenges of analysing it properly and using it to start new, better campaigns.
Digital marketing channels keep changing and multiplying. Companies need to stay ahead and keep informed on how the different channels work and how they might enhance the companies’ marketing efforts. They need to understand how these channels are used by the recipients to effectively market their brand and products/ services to them.
Successfully implementing digital marketing requires a deep understanding of customer behavior and the different digital channels. It is important to coordinate the different digital marketing channels and connect them to each other. This is called marketing automation. Without this, campaigns may seem unfinished or uncoordinated. Companies that are able to automate their digital marketing campaigns generally see a 10% or more increase in revenue in the space of six to nine months. Marketing automation software streamlines and automates marketing tasks and workflows, measures results, and calculates the return on investment. Additionally, it can help gain valuable insights into which campaigns are working and which aren't, and it provides metrics that allows assessing the impact of digital marketing on the company's bottom line
There are several channels available for applying a digital marketing strategy. In the beginning, email marketing was the most popular digital marketing tool. This focus shifted over the years and today search engines represent an important component of digital marketing. Working with search engines allows for keywords to be placed that will direct people looking for specific words right to the content that is tagged with these keywords. This way, companies can concentrate their efforts more directly to their target audience.
Social Media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram enable companies to more easily address consumers, track data and respond to consumer trends.
When utilizing digital marketing methods, the rising use of mobile devices needs to be considered. Digital content needs to be mobile friendly, meaning that it needs to be responsive to different screen sizes. This is especially important today as most people access the internet via their mobile phones.
How to successfully implement Digital Marketing
When implementing digital marketing into a companies’ strategy, some things have to be considered beforehand. The target audience and goals of the marketing campaign must be clear, metrics must be determined and assessed to ensure success and improvement of the campaign.
Identification of target audiences
- Buyers expect a personalised approach/ experience
- To achieve personalisation, the target audience characteristics must be determined
- After determining the target audience characteristics, the company must understand how to address their audiences’ questions and concerns
Defining goals and measurement strategy
- Determine personality types within the target group and understand their sales journey
- Set goals and measurement strategy according to their personal sales journey
- Goals can be, among others, acquisition, nurturing and building customer loyalty and branding
- Key metrics include impressions, reach, clicks, click-through rate (CTR), engagement rate, conversions, cost per lead (CPL), effective cost per thousand (eCPM)
- Back-end metrics include return on investment (ROI), return on ad spend (ROAS), first- and multi-touch attribution, and lifetime customer value (LCV).
Setting up channels and technology
- Setting up and getting full understanding of necessary technology can take some time
- Ensure that the right data management platforms (DMPs), demand-side platforms (DSPs), supply-side platforms (SSPS) and ad exchanges are set up before digital marketing campaigns begin
- Objectives of teams and team members must be clearly communicated to align the team and fit everyone’s’ objectives into the overall goal of the companies’ digital marketing strategy
Launch campaign and keep optimising
- After setting up all necessary components, the campaign can be launched
- Metrics must be reviewed regularly to ensure the success of the campaign and understanding where it is performing well and where it needs to be improved more
- Digital marketing is a highly competitive area, which makes regular reviews essential to its’ success