This is a guest post from Sreeja Burgula at Simplilearn Solutions.
If you want to succeed with your digital marketing efforts, it’s essential to study and understand all the channels and tactics available to you.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing includes all marketing efforts that use the internet and electronic devices, connecting audiences and customers wherever they may be online.
Professionals can gain expertise in digital marketing and improve their digital marketing efforts through courses and content.
A few of the critical parts of digital marketing are as follows.
- Search engine optimization (SEO). Channels that benefit from SEO include: websites, blogs, infographics
- Content marketing. Channels that benefit from content marketing include: blog posts, ebooks and whitepapers, infographics, online brochures
- Email marketing. Including emails that contain follow-up, customer welcome, promotions, tips for customer nurturing, blog subscription newsletters, etc.
- Social media marketing. Including marketing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest
- Pay-per-click (PPC). For example, paid ads on Facebook, promoted Tweets, sponsored LinkedIn messages, etc.
- Affiliate marketing. For example, affiliate links on social media accounts and video ads on the YouTube Partner Program
- Native advertising such as Instagram advertising and Facebook advertising
- Marketing automation. For example, the automation of lead-nurturing workflows, email newsletters, contact list updating, social media post scheduling, campaign tracking, and reporting
- Online PR. Channels that benefit from PR efforts include: reporter outreach via social media, engagement through blogs or websites, and engagement through online reviews
- Inbound marketing. Includes a full-funnel approach to attract, engage, and delight customers using online content through any or all of the methods mentioned above
Why do businesses adopt digital marketing?
Digital marketing benefits the marketer and the customer in several ways. However, businesses adopt digital marketing strategies and tactics mostly because it’s quantifiable, results-driven, adaptable, and faster than any other form of marketing available to any company no matter its size.
That said, there are several specific reasons why businesses adopt digital marketing. These reasons include:
- It provides an equal opportunity (competitiveness) for all business regardless of size and available resources
- It’s more cost effective than traditional marketing
- It allows targeted conversion of audiences and prospects to leads, subscribers, supporters, and customers
- It enhances revenue growth by reaching larger and niche markets (global and local) in a more efficient way
- It facilitates interaction with targeted audiences, wherever they may be online, including on mobile devices
- It helps build brand reputation
- It allows businesses to earn their audience’s trust
- It influences prospects to take favorable action through CTA
- It quickly provides analytics that enables businesses to grow
Recent trends in digital marketing
Digital marketing trends are constantly evolving as marketers find better ways to reach their audiences and as audiences demand better ways to interact with businesses.
Several trends have carried over from previous years, but the skill sets marketers need are constantly evolving. Just look at this research from McKinsey:
As you can see from this research, digital marketing is both important and growing in scope. This means you should not only grow your own skills, but you should hire employees with a diverse group of abilities.
More resources to consider for digital marketing efforts
Skills are important, but digital marketing goes beyond knowledge: Resources are also vital to your digital marketing efforts.
Read on to learn about aspects you can add to your future campaigns.
1. Artificial intelligence. AI can be used in an unlimited number of ways to power customer segmentation, push notifications, retargeting, click tracking, etc., depending on your chosen goals and channels.
Source: Business Insider
2. Chatbots. Companies can have basic conversations with customers through chatbots at any time and get referred to a customer care representative when necessary.
3. User-generated content, like customer reviews, are not only convincing to other users, but they also cost the business almost nothing.
Source: Social Media Today
4. AdWords spending has been on the rise since 2016 and continues to grow today. With the right strategy, businesses have managed to optimize and increase their ROI on paid advertising.
5. Omnichannel marketing. It provides a consistent and seamless communication process for customers across all channels. It’s an upgrade from multichannel marketing.
6. Accelerated mobile pages (AMP) and progressive web apps (PWA). These technologies provide faster loading time, better web experiences, and lower app development costs.
7. Email and marketing automation eliminates time-wastage, minimizes error, is cost-efficient, and increases collaboration between sales and marketing.
8. Voice search is increasingly being used as the technology improves and becomes more available to consumers through several gadgets including mobile devices.
9. Video. Audiences are spending more time watching videos. Advertisers and marketers have noticed this and are building marketing campaigns to reach these audiences.
Source: Top Rank Marketing
10. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are both used by marketers in different ways to give audiences immersive experiences that’ll help them connect and engage with products and services.
10 ways businesses can achieve success in their digital marketing efforts
By combining the channels and tactics mentioned above, while keeping in mind recent trends and technologies that make it easier to connect, businesses can achieve success in their digital marketing in the following ways.
1. Be flexible and open to change.
Embracing the fast-paced changes in the digital marketing world and tweaking the new tools, strategies, and tactics accordingly, is a must for businesses to succeed and thrive in today’s world.
2. Set SMART objectives.
Setting Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound objectives that are consistent with your digital marketing plan is critically important. For example, a conversion objective can be to increase the average value of orders in online sales from $30 to $40.
3. Execute perfectly.
Once you create an objective plan for achieving your SMART objectives, you need to execute the plan on schedule. Executing perfectly will allow you to collect data and make changes to your plan to fit customer feedback. These changes also need to be executed quickly.
4. Exercise creativity throughout the process.
Right from the planning stage, be innovative and creative in using the content, as well as different integrated channels (omnichannel marketing) to reach your audience and target customers.
Content can include images, infographics, video, modernized websites, elegant designs, etc. Integrated channels can consist of mobile, social, web, phone, and physical stores.
Source: Multichannel Merchant
5. Target audience with market segmentation.
Understanding your target audience and reaching out to them wherever they may be is crucial for digital marketing success. Marketing segmentation is useful in helping marketers do this by studying audience behavior/characteristics and grouping similar traits, so that audience needs can be prioritized accordingly. Using AI and automation can help marketers achieve even higher levels of granularity and accuracy in an efficient way.
6. Diversify your channels, tactics, and strategies.
By understanding that no single digital marketing strategy is perfect, you become open to the idea that experimenting with different channels, tactics, and strategies is a critical part of achieving success.
One benefit of this mentality is that you’ll come across different audiences and customers that you didn’t know existed. These new audiences and customers can help you find new revenue streams.
7. Integrate your sales and marketing.
Integrating sales and marketing allows businesses to maximize every aspect of digital marketing because these teams will be working with a focused purpose as opposed to working against each other (knowingly or unknowingly).
Areas of maximization include the use of data, tools, seamless customer hand-over to different teams, etc.
Source: Digital Deepak
8. Collect, measure, track, and analyze data.
Today, data is crucial not just to provide your customers with a level of service that they expect, but also to keep up with the competition. As such, collecting, measuring, tracking, and analyzing data in real time to get insights is simply a must for businesses to succeed in their digital marketing efforts.
9. Always stay connected to your audience.
Customers today want to communicate and know what’s happening with their chosen vendors at all times. Businesses must, therefore, create an always-connected environment to nourish this desire by not only providing up-to-date content, but also by availing tools (e.g., chatbots) that make it easier to receive and send the content.
10. Collect feedback and respond to it accordingly.
Use surveys, polls and comment forms to collect feedback from audiences and customers. You can use one of our handy free feedback email templates.
Once you get customer input, use it to inform which strategies are working and which ones aren’t, and then adjust accordingly. The constant improvement will lead you to digital marketing success.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for success in digital marketing. However, by incorporating different facets of digital marketing as mentioned above, you can achieve success in digital marketing.
Take a digital marketing course or two, read all the content you can, and most importantly, start testing campaigns.
Sreeja Burgula works as an SEO Specialist at Simplilearn Solutions. He has a keen interest in writing research-driven articles on IT Service and Architecture.