Digital Marketing for Dummies
You’ve probably been bombarded with the term digital/online/internet marketing lately. Do you feel like you understand the term, but can’t figure out how to express what it means clearly? More importantly, how to build this into your business, and why?
In this article, we will fully explain what it is and how you can use it to scale your business today. Oh, and there’s no stupid jargon!
What is Digital Marketing?
Before we dive into the definition, it’s essential also to know that in this article, we’ll go beyond the meaning of digital marketing to help you learn about the way digital marketing works. This will include providing useful information to anyone who would like to participate in the digital marketing industry. For beginners, let’s start with the definition of term marketing first. Learning both a separate and combined meaning of the term will make it easy to understand.
Based on Hubspot, the term marketing is when you or a business promotes and sells products or services. That also includes engaging in market research and advertising.
Almost all industries do marketing because they want their product or service put in front of those likely to buy it. Simply put, digital marketing, also called internet marketing or online marketing, is defined as any activity you conduct by using the internet to bring customers to your business. Anything you do on the internet that draws someone’s attention by asking or attracting them towards buying from you is digital marketing.
What Digital Marketing Does
It markets products or services using electronic devices and this can be done either online or offline. Electronic devices have been around for many decades, and that’s why digital marketing was there before the 21st century. It’s just so much more popular (and way easier) to do now! Think about where you consume news, watch videos, or learn.
Most of it will be from your mobile device and this is why it’s a gold mine for companies as they have an opportunity to target customers 24 hours a day. It has nothing to do with content marketing, the internet, or Google. They are just some of the tools that do the job of digital marketing.
Types of Digital Marketing
There are two types of digital marketing; online vs offline. Online marketing is highly popular with today’s generation because of easy access to the internet and social media accounts which they find particularly fascinating. However, the previous generation likes what is no longer popular such as newspapers, billboards, and flyers.
Today’s devices are more sophisticated and have pushed competition among electronic companies pretty far. They widen their market by researching to know what is trending in different areas and age groups, and what many prefer. That’s how offline marketing is slowly being pushed aside. When did you last buy a newspaper or magazine??
Offline marketing has become inferior to online because it lacks the means to offer marketers with accurate, as well as, real-time results. Targeting products and services that give them more revenue and tracking the number of sales for those products or services is impossible in offline marketing. That’s the reason marketers prefer online to offline marketing nowadays.
The Primary Marketing Channels for Online Marketing
Here is the list of the main marketing channels you need to use to bring more customers to your business:
1.Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
1.Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO has to do with improving the visibility of your website in Google. Website visibility here means being seen by potential customers each time they search for the service you provide on Google. When people know that your business exists in Google, you get a lot of visitors that can, eventually, become buyers. It’s the same as in real life.
SEO is mainly about placing your business in a position that as many people can see as possible, and answers their questions. Become the authority, the go-to website, in your niche. Know what your customers want and give it to them. Simples!
Take, for instance, that you’re a local marketing company in Los Angeles, CA looking for new clients. To attract them, you’ll need to have a good SEO campaign to make your website visible to any client looking for the service you provide in Los Angeles. How would they search for your business since they don’t know your brand name, or that you even exist? Well, they’ll use the target words to search for particular website services and include the name of the location.
That’s known as a “keyword”. With that, your website will pop up among the first on Google. For example, the clients will search for something like“ Online Marketing Company Los Angeles”. The above “keyword” has been typed into Google 300 times each month. What a big number of marketing service clients you would have got if you had good SEO!
Imagine you targeted numerous other keywords, potentially now your website is seeing 1000’s of visitors every month. Expansion calling??
2.Social Media Marketing
You probably have a social media account. Have you heard of social media marketing before? It’s all about using social media to grow your business. This means using social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, Quora, etc.
Being on social media, you must have seen different products and services being advertised. Social media marketers use platforms to boost brand awareness as well as sales. Nearly everybody spends about two hours on average daily on social media. One of the main ways to have a winning social media marketing campaign is to provide the right content, and it differs depending on the platform!
A good example is that on Facebook, people only like short content as opposed to long-form. On YouTube, they like both long and short videos. We all scroll and scan away on Facebook and so to get someone’s attention you need to have an impactive advert. It’s known as disruptive marketing.
To have a successful social media marketing campaign, you must:
- Create relevant content consistently
- Give responses to your audience regularly
- Provide value
- Be patient
The essence of content marketing is to keep providing as much valuable information as you can to your audience. It should be consumable content. For you to succeed, you have to be able to produce refined content, posts, and articles on your product/service pages, blog, website articles that help to make you an expert in whatever industry/niche you cover.
Content marketing is also closely related to search engine optimization. For example, as a local tax consultant, without a budget to pay for a massive brand presence, you can still make it big as a smart content marketer by publishing an article with a title that reads “10 Common Tax Mistakes That Hurt Your Business Dearly.”
Blog posts of this nature can drive a lot of potential clients to your website as customers are typing that into Google. They find you organically, potentially for years to come, and it’s not cost you a dime in ads! Without a doubt, this is my favorite form of marketing. Just have a rough idea of what people are searching for on Google, provide value, information and answer their questions.
You will need to be patient though, it takes 12-18 months to get traffic but each article you write will pay you back in droves in the years ahead.
Emails had been there for many years before these other platforms came along as other marketing channels. However, the use of email is still there and remains vital. A lot of entrepreneurs see their email as their most important valuable business asset.
The money is in the list!
Email marketing allows you to have direct communication with your target customers. It assists you to retain relationships for a long time instead of limiting them to transactional communications. For example, a “drip campaign”, allows you to use automated emails to follow up with users for years. Email marketing comes with multiple marketing tools that help improve your campaigns as well as monetize your list.
Imagine having a few thousand emails to reach out to when considering launching a new product. If you have kept them engaged, with at least 1 email a week, they will give you their feedback. Priceless!
So many people will tell you that email marketing is dead – total rubbish! What’s going to replace it? Each mobile device has access to Gmail, Outlook and it’s still the favorite way of being kept informed. To sign up for accounts with Amazon, Walmart, Facebook, etc., you need…. An email address!!!
As the name suggests, Pay Per Click, aka Paid Advertising, implies that each click you get, you pay for it. When it comes to the giants of paid advertising, Facebook and Google Ads are leading the way. With these platforms, you target your ideal buyer and pop ads up for them to see.
Facebook’s advertising is even more specific in targeting audiences. For instance, you can let women of a particular age group in a particular location to see your ads. Offline marketing can’t be that focused and specific. The online world makes ads extremely powerful in business. This is not advised for beginners as you can easily blow a wad of cash without getting any sales. Yep, I’ve been there!
When a company pays you for referring people to their product or service, it is called affiliate marketing. Big retailers are fond of affiliate programs with which they pay people who help them make sales. This means when a referral from your blog posts, emails, social media, or direct referral purchases a product, you get paid as an “affiliate” of that company.
A great example is Amazon’s affiliate program which many people sign up to and get links for their product pages. As their affiliate, you get paid from 3-10% of their purchases. People are earning lots of money via affiliate programs. It’s one of the best ways to start making money online and goes hand-in-hand with content marketing. Start reviewing popular products and you will see your audience grow.
Digital marketing is a really important subject to build and scale your business. Think of it as telling as many potential customers about you as possible, across the various platforms.
The big takeaway! Don’t get overwhelmed. You do not need to become an expert in all of these right off the bat. For example, you can’t do email marketing without people to email! Build your email list by concentrating on one of the other techniques. You do not even need to be an expert to be successful, but having a lot of knowledge about one strategy will stand you in good stead.
Depending on your new online venture you can choose one or two digital marketing strategies and, over time, optimize them. Once you and your business are ready, then you can scale up and pivot.
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