What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is advertising and content distribution via a variety of digital channels.
Digital marketing includes online channels such as search engines, social media, email, applications, websites, and any new digital channels that might arise with the possibility of advertisement. It also includes offline channels that include digital media as well.
The growth of digital media and digital platforms has made digital marketing the most potent form of marketing. Even traditional channels are changing to fit more digital media into them, and that emphasizes its importance in a modern-day marketing strategy.
We will go more into what is digital marketing by exploring examples and the benefits it can provide you.
10 Digital Marketing Benefits:
- Global online reach and visibility
- Effective targeting
- Increases results of offline marketing tactics
- Variety in digital marketing strategies
- Multiple content types
- Increased engagement
- Analytics and optimization
- Easy to start
Global Online Reach & Visibility
Digital marketing is global, and the reach you can achieve with it is immense. Compared to traditional marketing, which is mostly restricted by geography, coordinating an international marketing campaign can be hard and labor-intensive.
Even a small local business with an online store can reach an international audience that fits its target customer group all over the world. The online accessibility has opened many growth opportunities for traditional businesses to explore.
Companies willing to tackle and indulge themselves with digital marketing can overcome obstacles of growth boundaries set by their outdated business models. A modern business utilizes global audiences online to grow and scale their businesses.
Digital marketing has democratized international access for smaller companies willing to grow online. Enabling the strategies in your business plan will help you discover more profitable avenues.
The combination of reach and visibility that search engines and social media platforms can achieve even for a niche product or service is an opportunity for any business.
While global reach is one of the most significant benefits of digital marketing, the improved local visibility companies can achieve online with it is important, especially if your business relies on nearby customers.
As your customers, more often than not, are starting their purchasing journey online through searching through on either Google or discovering services on social media. Being found at the right will be essential for any company, and especially crucial for local businesses trying to survive declining offline visibility.
Local online advertising and local SEO can be beneficial, and a low-cost strategy for local companies trying to bring more converting customers to their doors.
Compared to other forms of local advertising, local online advertising can be more affordable than their counterparts. Sometimes you can even reach a whole neighborhood with less than it would take you to print out the flyers for it.
Every digital marketing tactic uses highly efficient targeting methods to its benefit. Even if you don’t have a clear idea of what your target audience is, with digital marketing, you can extract data to see which audiences have worked the best for you and optimize your campaign with the learnings.
The targeting limitations of traditional marketing methods will increase your marketing costs overall as the audiences might not be as defined when compared to digital marketing methods.
With digital marketing, you’re always on top of which audiences work the best and have the ability to reach the best audiences when you’re creating campaigns to target them.
Whether targeting through keywords for search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) or through demographic information on social media, the many options of targeting at your disposal make sure every campaign reaches the wanted audience.
The benefit of digital marketing for targeting is the opportunity to develop better and more targeted audiences for future campaigns. With optimizing audiences, you can always be on top of who is the best customer for you.
As the business is in total control of targeting, it can develop more engaging campaigns to improve results from marketing. The static audience is a thing of the past, and customers create new behaviors and interests all the time.
Understanding the changes quickly and modifying campaigns for those changes is a robust digital marketing strategy.
The ability to understand customers’ needs fast is a way to future-proof a company.
Targeting is a crucial difference when compared to traditional marketing.
Anyone can start utilizing complex targeting options within online advertising platforms. With or without data, it’s possible to have an idea of your target audience.
Let’s say you want to build a sales-based campaign for your online store with Facebook Ads, but you lack the data, therefore, the confidence in what would work. With Facebook, for example, you can start by testing broader interests that are relevant to your business and scale ad budgets with a deeper understanding of your target audiences.
Digital Marketing Increases Results Of Offline Marketing Tactics
Offline marketing strategies, including TV, radio, telemarketing, billboards, and more, all benefit from the use of digital marketing. It can increase their results when you have optimized your online presence so your target audience can find you easily again after first hearing about you from an offline source.
For instance, when you’re running tv and radio commercials, easy-to-remember brand names, catchphrases, and hashtags are a way to find you again online. Optimizing your SEO with those campaign parameters makes your website and social media profiles easily findable at the right time when your customers are searching for you.
You can track these offline-to-online actions to improve your conversion on your target websites and landing pages.
As most offline advertisements tend to be more local to cater to local needs, using local online advertisements in tandem with local offline ads can bring more results from both.
Running local Google ads and Facebook ads to target a local area when combined with offline ads, you’re maximizing your potential reach and brand awareness in that place.
Digital Marketing Cost
Digital marketing is a cost-effective form of marketing. Using digital marketing strategies to promote your business, whether local, international, small, or large, the strategy offers a cost-effective solution to grow your business.
You can lower your overall digital campaign costs by optimizing them as every result is measured.
Even the smallest of companies can use highly targeted strategies to start growing their business to compete with larger companies whose ad campaigns could be larger than the small businesses themselves.
The results of digital marketing are what make it cost-effective. Some strategies even are free to start, like search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and content marketing.
Not every form of online marketing is suitable for every business. Other tactics have more costs involved than others, but every business can find appropriate solutions within digital marketing.
Generally, online marketing offers a higher return on investments.
For example, a medium-sized company wants to build a local campaign to promote its new location, and its competitor seemingly has overwhelmed the local market with traditional media. What they can do even with a low budget is to target the closest and relevant customers to be active locally, but digitally to increase sales with lower costs than their competitor is spending.
Elements of digital marketing costs:
- Management and labor
- The cost of online advertisement (i.a. Pay-Per-Click)
- Content creation
- Price of digital marketing tools
- Cost of landing pages and other website-related technical services
- Agency fees if outsourced
Variety of Digital Marketing Strategies
The beauty of digital marketing is its ability to develop new strategies quickly to suit your specific businesses’ needs. A B2B business interested in gaining international leads, a B2C online store selling clothing or a local business selling roof repairs, all have very different needs when it comes to optimized digital presence.
It doesn’t mean digital marketing strategies won’t overlap with each other often. Methods and tactics used by others can be a telltale sign that something is working well.
While other companies can expand more easily with their content marketing in a more profitable way to gain more traffic with SEO, others can utilize conversion-based ad campaigns. One approach won’t take away from another strategy. The key is always to develop better tactics and methods when trying to achieve specific goals. Because of the variety, the goals and scale matter most.
A well-executed digital marketing strategy is alive that morphs over time as the needs of business transform. A new or small business might still be in the testing phase of their product-lines and need advertising to prove a concept before scaling, or without a sufficient budget, a new company requires more careful planning to gain the most of every dollar spent.
For example, achieving product-market-fit after the testing phase, you figure out that you’re ready to roll out your products to the masses. In that case, your digital marketing strategy has had to change to fit your new needs as the initial testing phase can’t help you scale so well.
As the benefit of digital marketing is the data, it provides between every step, and through analyzing every tactic and their results, you can start building unique approaches for every stage of your business goal requirements.
Growth marketing is a digital marketing strategy worth noting, as many companies can benefit from its quest for growth. Learn more about growth marketing.
Common Digital Marketing Strategies
- SEO-based content creation (For your website)
- Video marketing with Youtube (+ Youtube Video Ads)
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Local search
- Search engine marketing (i.a Google, Bing)
- Social paid ads (i.a Facebook, LinkedIn)
- Influencer marketing
- Forum engagement (Quora)
- Conversion Optimization with analytics
- Lead generation
Variety In Content Types For Branding Opportunities
A crucial benefit of digital marketing is the ability to use different content types to express your brand online.
For many platforms, you can use a wide range of content types to keep your branding fresh to build effective online campaigns to achieve your digital marketing goals.
Producing a cross-platform online campaign utilizing the most relevant content formats that fit your branding is a powerful tactic of digital marketing.
When compared to traditional marketing, in online marketing, you can more easily reproduce content to fit as many platforms as you want in your overall strategy, and the restrictions are far less of a burden.
With digital marketing, your content distribution strategy is vital: Where to publish, to whom to publish, what to post, and what are the underlying goals of the content. Online marketing allows the creation of full content experiences to increase engagement in your customers. The more engagement your brand receives online, the better your results are.
For example, you are generating B2B leads to grow your business, and your primary method would include paid ads in Google Search and LinkedIn. You’ve found that your best-performing campaigns have some similarities between them, and you want to expand the best campaign to lower the lead costs. You could study what type of content the best campaign had and try to reproduce it in other channels as well.
Let’s say from the highest performing ads and landing pages; you’ve found a couple of topics that your target audience likes. Now you can use the same topics to build a blog around those topics to gain traffic through search engine optimization, use the topics in your email marketing or even create engaging videos to be shared on Youtube.
The important part is to isolate what content types work and where to publish to fill your target audiences’ needs.
Digital marketing, by default, is a highly engaging medium, whether users sharing your content on social media, engaging with a long-form article, or engaging with your website after a paid ad click.
As every action by visitors and customers in digital marketing can be measured, it enables you to create even more engaging forms of advertising to boost sales and brand awareness.
The benefit of increased engagement is more loyal customers and increased repeat business. The more engagement, the more it raises the opportunity of harnessing the power of word of mouth.
If your business has as much as possible coverage online and the interactions with your business are engaging, all of it produces a more wholesome brand online. Brands that effectively use engaging formats in their online strategies have an easier time to convert even cold traffic into loyal customers.
Only through online advertising, retargeting advertising is possible. Utilizing retargeting campaigns to maximize engagement within your ad campaigns is a powerful strategy to gain more from online activities.
Companies utilizing digital marketing can reach as many visitors as their budgets allow fast. When using strategies that involve online advertising methods such as Google Ads, or LinkedIn Ads, you can reach your target audiences very quickly.
The benefit of speed is that you can test new marketing ideas quickly to see which of them would work the best in your situation. The speed allows emerging profitable tactics to appear to your business. No need to wait for a long time, just to see that a marketing campaign isn’t working as intended.
Organic methods such as SEO, content creation, and organic social media might not be viable when it comes to speed. Still, they offer other benefits such as long-term visibility with a lower cost when created correctly.
The combination of the speed of online advertising and using its results in your organic strategies will lower the cost of the advertising as a whole.
For example, you’ve created a successful and profitable campaign with Google ads; now, you could use the data to improve your SEO and content marketing.
If you have a campaign goal of maximum visibility in the shortest time, say for the holiday season, digital marketing allows you to reach as many customers as you can afford in your budget.
Content creation and suitable content for the right audience might take time, though, but for search-based Google Ads, the time it takes to create the necessary copy for the ads is fast.
Digital Marketing Analytics: Measurement and Optimization
Web analytics is an essential digital marketing benefit. The use of web analytics allows the measurement of the result of digital marketing campaigns in real-time.
In online marketing, everything, like actions and strategies, can be measured and therefore optimized for better results. Measuring everything makes optimizing plans more precise, and any possible mistakes can be fixed sooner rather than later.
Utilization of analytics in your marketing campaigns enables you to have total control of your sales funnels and the ability to pinpoint every source of traffic and how they are performing.
Whether using tools such as Google Analytics on your website or measuring ad campaign results directly from the ad platform, results are mostly measured the same way, which makes comparing results between platforms easier to make better data-driven decisions.
For instance, understanding how different target audiences react to your marketing communication early-on will be a defining factor of a successful online campaign.
The flow of data that web analytics allows you to change your strategies in real-time.
Isn’t your campaign converting the way you thought? Looking through the data will tell you where something could’ve gone wrong.
Let’s say you’re building an online marketing campaign that will use a variety of platforms to distribute your ads, and you would start by equally spreading the budgets according to initial preferences.
As the campaign starts and data will come in, you will soon realize that some platforms are outperforming others. Two options arise: You would either change the budget to favor the best performing campaigns or even cancel the worst performing ones.
There’s a case to be said that too much data, which includes too many variables that can lead to you making bad decisions if your goals are not the best for your business.
Digital marketing is goal-driven marketing, where carefully conducted business goals should drive online marketing decisions and chosen strategies.
Every online marketing campaign requires a goal and set of subgoals to achieve and to allow benchmarking results. A set of relevant KPIs helps you decide whether you have completed your goals or not.
A goal in digital marketing doesn’t have to be barebones as just sales, clicks or leads, but having more intricate goals can provide a business owner a more in-depth understanding of their current situation in the marketplace and how to improve their position against competitors.
In the end, whatever the chosen goals are, the right web analytics tools are necessary to keep track of progress. For example, setting up the right goals in Google Analytics can provide insight for goals and their subgoals.
An essential part of goal-driven marketing is the opportunity to learn, adjust, and keep testing for new ways to improve results. It’s also necessary to keep in mind that priorly set goals can be wrong, and it’s crucial to keep updating goals when it’s become clear the chosen targets are not providing the business what it needs.
Easy To Start
Within digital marketing, there are many individual skills needed if you were to apply every single idea and strategy out there. More importantly, it would be best to plan out your abilities and other resources when creating your company’s digital marketing strategy.
For example, if your company relies on foot-traffic to generate most of its sales, then improving local search engine optimization and optimizing Google My Business would be a relatively straightforward start.
An online store, on the other hand, could learn by doing small scale online advertising with Google and Facebook while maximizing their SEO efforts. The key is to focus on what is producing the wanted results. If you’re focused on sales, focus on sales-based conversion campaigns. If you’re maximizing brand awareness, then maximizing visibility would be better.
The complexity of digital marketing comes from increased budgets, the nature of the goals of campaigns, and the wanted scale. A higher budget will require more work and expertise if the goal is to build a profitable campaign.
Any company that wants to future proof themselves will need to understand the basics of digital marketing to some extent, whether that’s with an employee or the business owners. As strategies and budgets get complex and multifaceted, the need to build a digital marketing team or hire an agency grows.
Getting discouraged by bad results, early-on can hinder your interest in digital marketing. Still, it’s crucial to understand that every company, no matter the industry, service, or target audience, can grow further online.
It’s more a matter of finding the right strategy, the right people to implement them, and isolating the best and most relevant goals for your business.
Digital marketing is a must nowadays for building a successful modern business. The many digital marketing benefits can improve your business to be the best it can be. Whether growing sales and leads or brand awareness.
Digital channels are going to keep growing their audiences, and being knowledgeable about where to promote your business most effectively are questions you need to answer.
By understanding what’s coming ahead in the space of digital and online transformation, companies who take advantage of growing online audiences will be miles ahead of their competition.
Keep ahead of the game by reading different digital marketing statistics from an article from financeonline.com
The democratization of marketing through online channels has expanded the opportunity for many businesses to compete where in the past, it would’ve been harder and more expensive.
In today’s businesses, small and large compete on a more level playing field. In contrast, others have more opportunities with significantly more substantial budgets, but it doesn’t mean that they won the competition with just a bigger budget. It comes down to how well a strategy will be implemented in every unique situation.
Digital marketing allows for growth.