In today’s internet world where a large portion of human activities and interaction happens virtually, it is only appropriate that every forward-looking business that seeks to thrive think digital.
Gone are the days where a large percentage of advertising was print and broadcast-based. Right now, the world is shifting and anyone seeking to stay ahead must consider and deploy various options open within the digital marketing space to leverage the abundant opportunities available on the internet.
To put this in proper perspective, according to Statista, as of January 2021, there were 4.66 billion active internet users globally, this comes to a staggering 59.5 percent of the world’s total population.
Out of this number, about 4.32 billion accessed the internet via mobile devices thus effectively making mobile king in terms of internet consumption globally. This in turn makes it just strategic for any business person either as a small-scale entrepreneur or even a large business enterprise that seeks to thrive in today’s world to target consumers digitally.
According to MailChimp, as much as 3 quarters of Americans go online daily with as much as 43% there more than once a day while 26% are online almost constantly!
This makes digital marketing the next frontier of advertising.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing refers to any form of advertising campaign done on the internet and targets users via their mobile phones, tablets, or PCs. It takes different forms such as videos, graphics, email, and social media posts. Essentially, any form of promotion done online be it through apps, email, and search engines is a form of digital marketing.
Digital marketing is categorised into 7 major categories namely:Content marketing, Search engine optimization, Search engine marketing, Social Media Marketing, Affiliate marketing, Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) and Email marketing.
In order to derive maximum benefit and impact on your business, you need to understand how each of these works and which is best suited for your business. Let’s take a look at each one below:
Content marketing: Content marketing refers to the approach of providing your audience with valuable content that goes beyond just selling your product but seeking to engage and enlighten them. With content marketing, even though the aim is to get your audience to buy from you, you however provide them with invaluable information that empowers them and in the long run engenders them to your brand such that by the time they are purchasing a product, they are already won over. These are people who become very loyal to your brand because they’ve come to trust the brand.
Search engine optimization (SEO): You’ve probably heard this term being thrown around on the web and wondered what exactly it means. Well put simply, search engine optimization is that process of ensuring that your website content is written in such a way to rank high on Google’s search result when a keyword is being searched for by users on the web.It also means setting up your website to be search engine friendly such that they can easily crawl contents from your website.
Search engine marketing: You’ve possibly noticed the two, three ‘Sponsored’ links at the top of a search page when you type in a search for something on Google. The idea is, if you can’t get your brand to the first page of Google, you probably can buy your way there. Search engine marketing involves paying to appear on search results when internet users are researching on a particular keyword.
Social media marketing: This basically involves paying for reach for your ads on different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. With social media marketing, you specify the demography and target location of users you want your ad to be displayed to.
Affiliate marketing: Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing which basically involves you generating revenue by promoting other peoples products.So let’s assume you are just starting out online, one good way of earning some quick bucks is to promote products of established brands. This is usually done through an affiliate network, and you get to earn a commission when people get to buy those products through your link.
Pay-per-click marketing: Pay per click marketing is a form of advertising and marketing which helps you pay only for each engaged user generated by your ad.Unlike other regular forms of advertising, pay-per-click ensures that your ad spend is highly maximsed and you pay for only clicks gathered by your ad.
Email marketing: Electronic mail has been around for as long as we all can remember since the advent of the internet. Email marketing, therefore, involves you leveraging the power of email to pitch your product and service to potential customers. One of the advantages email marketing still has over other forms of digital marketing is that its conversion rate still ranks high among them all. With email marketing, however, you have to do the dirty work of first building up your email list which may not be a one-day affair but a gradual and consistent drive to attract subscribers via your website or link. Alternatively, you can opt to buy email addresses from online marketers.
Now as you can see from the above, these seven types of digital marketing all have their pros and cons and each may be better suited for you depending on what you aim to achieve and how fast you want conversion.
It’s important when deciding to settle for anyone to ask yourself what your goal really is and weigh each one in terms of their merits and demerits. Not all types will work for every business the same way.