With the internet available across every breath and corner of the world and even in a developing country like India, Digital is the way to go. The prime importance of digital marketing can be understood from the fact that every brand either has a digital marketing manager in the house or they outsource this work. Digital marketing has come a long way in a very short time primarily due to the changes by Google and it’s out of world algorithm.
In this article, we will be covering digital marketing in detail.
In simple words – digital marketing is promotion through digital ways.
Any marketing effort that does not use the internet and online digital techniques can be fairly called non-digital and even offline. Considering that the level of human interaction has reduced drastically and that with technology through digital ways has increased, digital marketing occupies a central stage.
Digital marketing has tons of advantages as shown below which makes it one of the must-do things for every brand. When compared to traditional marketing, digital marketing offers a whole lot of advantages that you might have been missing.
Compared to traditional marketing, digital marketing is very cost-effective. You can spend as low Rs 100 to reach out to a large number of users online as compared to traditional ways of marketing. Marketing channels like TV, radio, print cost a bomb as compared to simply boosting a post on social media or doing email marketing.
Seen those hoardings on roads that look empty for months at stretch?
The only reason they are empty is that they are expensive for most brands to afford. This should give you a generalization of how traditional marketing or offline marketing is much more expensive than digital marketing.
There are lots of hidden costs involved in traditional marketing while time is the only hidden cost in digital marketing. You need to spend quite an amount of time on digital marketing which brings an insight on user behavior and perception.
Traditional marketing cannot be really measured properly and is often done in vague metrics. Some of the metrics are like the circulation of a newspaper, TRPs of a news channel or user base of the radio channel and so on. So these numbers are very vague as to whether the marketing effort did exactly reach the targeted audience or not.
On the other hand, digital marketing is very specific and measurable. It gives you the exact number of users who saw your communication, how they responded, what they said.
This makes a hell of a difference between the two ways of marketing.
Once you know how your digital marketing performed, you can choose the channels of digital marketing accordingly. You can even change your communication and its timing to suit the effectiveness.
Digital marketing provides two-way communications
Digital marketers get a chance to respond back to their users and engage them head-on. This builds a strong connection with the users. Product managers can understand the pain point of their users and align the products accordingly.
Traditional marketing is mostly one way. Users will not call you up or write down a mail or letter on seeing your hoarding, TV advertisement or on hearing on the radio. It will be too ridiculous to do so unless the user requires your product very badly. This makes traditional marketing one way and difficult to understand the pain point of the users.
Digital marketing has a long shelf life, unlike traditional marketing. Your social media post stays as long as you want. The website stays live and visible on search engines as long as you keep it.
Unlike digital marketing, traditional marketing does not last long. The shelf life of the newspaper, TV advertisement, newspaper or the pamphlet should explain everything.
Digital marketing leaves a footprint that users can follow in the future.
Through digital marketing, you can target your communication selectively depending on various parameters like demography or action. Social media platforms categorize users on various parameters that allow them to be targeted easily. You can select the age category, behavior patterns, gender, region they live in and so on.
Segmentation plays a crucial role in marketing as it allows you to focus your marketing very effectively.
On the other hand, traditional marketing is like a broadcast. If the user doesn’t miss the marketing effort, you do not know whether he was the right intended user or not.
Data consumption through mobiles has skyrocketed as users spend a lot of time on it especially while traveling. They check social media posts, read blogs and articles and love watching videos. All these are enough ammunition for digital marketing who can then target users even when they are mobile.
Traditional marketing on the other hand almost becomes useless when the user is mobile.
Digital marketing is for everyone and not just ones with deep pockets. If you are smart and are driven you can digitally promote your brand at minimal expenditure. This has created a level field wherein startups with little to no money can compete with big brands. The voice of a creative brand cannot be suppressed digitally and will definitely stand differentiated in the crowd.
Traditional marketing on the other is one hell of a wall that needs a lot of money to climb across. Most of the channels in traditional marketing require lots and lots of money thus creating barriers for not so rich brands.
We spend a lot of time surfing websites or checking social media through mobiles. This brings mobile to the forefront of digital marketing.
Every digital marketing manager focuses on making the websites mobile responsive and leveraging the pwoer of mobile. Apps, online games that have good users with them are leveraged for digital marketing.
All channels that use the internet and related technology can be considered as its channel. These channels can then be further clubbed and some of these channels of digital marketing are:
In this channel, people (Affiliate) build their own platforms or means through which they create traffic (Customer) on them. This traffic is then directed to the brands (Merchant) website for the final purchase or viewing of the product or service. The merchant then pays to the affiliate as per their understanding or pay system.
For example, you might be looking to buy a phone and somehow land up at a website that compares different phones. After checking, you might have made your mind to buy a specific phone and click on the buy now. The website then takes you to, let say amazon website where the final sale takes place. Once you buy the phone, the affiliate gets paid by the merchant.
This channel requires clarity and is highly subject to cheating through technical means. Finding a good honest affiliate can be pretty difficult to find and differentiate.
It basically requires sending emails to people with the offer or the product information in it. Users then click on the links in the email to land up on the website.
Challenges in email marketing are:
Finding a good email blast service provider
IPs of email marketers get blocked by email service providers in order to provide a good user experience. If nothing, these emails land in spam where they are lost in-crowd.
Finding a good email database
Unless users have registered on our website, email data that you might buy somewhere will have lots of problems in it. People use their official email id for buying and when they leave the organization, the email is removed from the server. As the email is not valid anymore, the emails sent to such ids bounce back. Email marketing service providers generally have a quality check and once the bounce rate exceeds the boundary, these email campaigns are stopped.
Sales conversion for this channel has always been found to be static between 2- 3%.
This channel of promoting digitally through the video is one of the most engaging as you hold the user's attention for a pretty long time. Brands can show their product or service at length and also roll out their offer which users can avail.
Unlike any other channel of marketing, video advertising requires users not to apply a lot of their brain in absorbing the message.
Factors like the use of colors, music, creativity, length of the video, positioning of the product, choice of channels to promote the videos come in place.
Social Media marketing
The use of social media marketing as a channel of digital marketing needs no introduction.
The challenge here is to create highly engaging content and to stay active on thee platforms. Brands will either need full-time social media marketing or a digital marketing agency to follow the social media platforms. Anyone handling social media marketing of a brand needs to live and breathe social media for every minute of his waking life.
Search Engine optimization and marketing
Google has been the go-to answer for every question. Brands aim to be the answer to the questions asked in their space for which they need to do search engine optimization (SEO). If Google does not present the brand as the answer then digital marketers can run AdWords campaign on them. These AdWords campaigns come under search engine marketing (SEM).
Both SEO and SEM play the most crucial role in digital marketing and in fact occupy the top slot for almost every brand.
The budget for digital marketing depends on the objectives of the marketing, brand capabilities and the demography of users being targeted among other factors.
Our minimal package of digital marketing is of Rs 20, 000 without including media budget for AdWords and promotions. We do below activities on a monthly basis in the package:
We take complete ownership of digital marketing for brands and deliver results
Digital marketing requires 3 months plus to start showing improvements in ranking. If the keywords are very competitive, this time can go up to 6 months.
With aggressive digital marketing, this time can go down but will require a lot of effort from the digital marketing team.
Content plays the most crucial role in digital marketing as it is the main driving engine behind it. Content is crucial in the form of blogs, guest blogging, social media, email marketing and everything else.
High engaging content can do wonders and improve the engagement of users which further impacts SEO rankings. As users engage with the content, Google identifies the page to be good for users and then improves the ranking of the page.
Without good engaging content, any website however good it might be will face a lot of challenges in getting ranked.
Digital marketing is for every business, period.
It not only takes your product and service to the users but also builds your brand. You can showcase the features of your products to the whole world by one activity.
What else one would need?
Simply understand the questions a user can possibly ask or information that he might be looking for and provide the same in your digital marketing. This can be through the website, social media promotion or even email marketing. Once the communication is done, users absorb this message; the interested users then show their interest either through filling a form or by commenting on the social media post.
Simple steps bring you big dividends through digital marketing.
The basics of digital marketing remain the same for both B2B and B2C. At the end of the communication, you are targeting people behind the businesses who will decide whether to use your brand or not.
Just your communication will change depending on the sector you are in and the channels of digital marketing will remain the same. Your communication can include messages like how your business gets impacted by the product you provide. It will be more on the lines of functional advantages of the product rather than an emotional one.
Functional specifications that create differentiation of the product would be clearly highlighted to make the decision making easier.
For example, if you are selling kitchen equipment to B2B, you would highlight how your equipment increases the speed of operations. You can even focus on how the product improves the storage or shelf life of products.
So, the functionality takes center stage and hence your communication and the channels of digital marketing will be aligned accordingly.
For the B2C segment for most products and services, aesthetics occupy the center stage. This is also further exploited through branding and engaging users on a mass scale. Usage of the product and the dire need of the product in the lives are played on.
For example, if you are selling kitchen equipment, you would focus on stylish and cool a user’s kitchen will look after they use your product. You might think of showing how every housewife uses your kitchen equipment to make the user believe that this must be must-have equipment.
Once purchased, the product takes over the marketing and speaks for itself to create the word of mouth marketing every brand needs.
Social media plays a very crucial role in digital marketing is taking the brand communication to masses. It creates a strong story going around you and even Google takes this as an indication of the relevance of the brand. Hence your SEO ranking too gets impacted through your social media efforts.
Through social media, you can take the product or service to users and engage them. The usage of videos through social media is a big hit for brands. Show your creative side or build an emotional connection with users.
Social media should always be a big part of your digital marketing efforts.
Digital marketing being a vast subject requires a lot of people to work on different aspects of it. Some of these roles are too specific and the tasks involved in executing them too broad. The digital landscape has created new and specific roles in corporate and particularly the digital marketing agencies. Some of the new roles that did not exist 10 -15 years earlier are:
In organizations, he is the final guy with whom the results of digital marketing rest. He ensures that all people below him work in harmony and towards the common goal – promote the brand digitally. Some of the parameters on which this digital marketing role is judged are – ranking, traffic, sales conversion, growth in customer base and more.
He is the one who works on the digital marketing strategies that the brand will be employing. Hence his knowledge and experience in digital marketing have to be really good. He must be willing and able to run these campaigns himself if it comes to that.
He is the one that executes campaigns and works on the tasks assigned by the digital marketing manager. Depending on the organization structure, he might have a small team of himself. The campaigns executed by him to drive traffic and ranking can be on Google, social media or his own website.
The role requires one to be technically sound and have a good understanding of how websites work and. They have to work with developers to get the changes required for their work.
The prime role of the search engine optimizer is to get ranking with an eye on the traffic structure on the website. A strong understanding of how Google works and adapting to it is required. His task can then be further be broken down into:
His prime role is to combine the brand’s digital marketing efforts with social media management. The role requires creating engaging content for social media and then engages users on social media. The role requires good knowledge of consumer behavior, wants and desires. Based on this he aligns with social media strategy accordingly.
A good understanding of various social media platforms and the kind of users they have is required.
The role should not be confused with the content writers. There is a very minute and strong difference. A copywriter, for example, will write a few words that can go with the blog you will share on social media as a part of your social media marketing. The content writer will write that blog.
In other words, a copywriter brings his creativity or ingenuity to writing though those few words. He might write – “Chicken is tastier than chocolate”.
A content writer brings his knowledge on the subject matter. For example, he will write a blog – “How chicken is preferred to chocolate by teens now”
Once a user lands on the website or the social media page, they have to be converted to sales. The main task of the role is to get those conversions. Tricks used are like – A/B testing, analysis of conversion paths, efficiency of the marketing funnel and aligning other activities that get those leads.
It’s a very crucial role that stands between the make and breakpoint for any brand.
This role is generally used in brands where the budget for marketing is pretty good or in digital marketing agencies that handle a good many clients. The role requires the SEM specialist to use the provided budget efficiently and generate leads or sales for the brand. Their work is generally measured by the ROI they bring on the table.
The role of the inbound marketing manager is to bring traffic to the website and convert them to lead or sales. Activities like blog posting, social media creative, publish whitepapers, email marketing and whatever else may bring inbound traffic are required to be executed.
As the name suggests, the role of content marketing manager is focused around content. The content can be of any kind – blogs, video, email marketing, guest blogging, whitepaper, etc. Their task is to create content that can then be further used to bring traffic.
An analytics manager analyses data to bring insights into traffic, their conversions and finally how the result of the complete digital marketing team came out to be. Google Analytics, IT systems, and data handling are essentially required.
Roles in digital marketing can be more than this depending on the organization.
Digital marketing becomes very interesting when you start getting the results and the ROI graph goes up. With all of its advantages, digital marketing also has lots of challenges which we will cover in another article. If you are looking for a digital marketing agency in Gurgaon, feel free to connect us.
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