What is digital marketing, how does it work and why is it needed?
A clear understanding of what and most importantly - Why we do is very important. If only to avoid wasting financial resources and time.
Digital marketing is just 1 component of marketing.
So, let's start from the beginning. For the sake of clarity, because there are a lot of different types of marketing strategies and strategies, and often not even the speakers themselves (strategies, plans, etc., salespeople) really understand what they are offering.
It all always starts with goals.
Long - term or short - term, strategic, tactical or operational, general or specific, precise or less precise.
Preferably well-defined and measurable.
Because that's the only way to gauge how successful you are in achieving them.
After all, it's always about money. How much do you want to earn? This year, next year, in 10 years? So what needs to be done to achieve these goals? How much time and money are you ready to invest this year, next year, in 10 years?
And here we are already approaching marketing, because in order to achieve the set goals will have to sell.
Today, sales are the foundation of everything. Even for non-profits, even charities… If a charity can't explain why I or someone else has to donate something (time, money, goods - whatever) - there will be no donation. Accordingly, there will be no charity.
Marketing is all about sales.
One of the most common definitions is:
Marketing (from English: market - 'market'), is a targeted activity of a product manufacturer or service provider with the aim of promoting sales.
And sales start with a strategy - a general description of how the sales goals will be achieved:
- What we will sell - this is also called positioning. This is the answer to the main question - why should anyone buy the product or service we produce? What makes it better, what makes it different from others like it? Is that enough to buy from us? Or, for merchants, why should you buy this product or service directly from us? However, it is offered by tens, hundreds, thousands of other traders. Will we sell the price? Maybe a discount? Feelings? …
- Who will we sell to - who are they, what do they need, or what problem is being solved with our product or service?
- How much will we sell - at the highest / lowest price on the market…
- Where to sell - in one country, in Europe, in the world? Let's create a network of stores, with an Internet application, by phone, let's create an online store…
- How to sell - how the product will be promoted, what channels will be used, how you will talk to potential buyers…
Any marketing strategy (even a very successful one) needs to be reviewed over time. It needs to be constantly improved and adapted to the changing market situation. That is very important to write and also anticipate exactly how the results will be measured.
In essence, a marketing strategy is a general plan for reaching and communicating with potential consumers of a product / service and turning them into buyers of our product / service.
Marketing strategy is also a great support in decision-making - does the specific event, offer, opportunity… correspond to the company's marketing strategy? If "Yes" - we can review it, if "No" - we do not waste time.
But working according to a general plan is difficult. It is also difficult to evaluate the results.
It is therefore divided into:
- Product / service strategy;
- Pricing strategy;
- Sales / Distribution Strategy;
- In the advertising / product promotion strategy:
- Media strategy;
- Public Relations Strategy;
- Event strategy;
- In digital marketing strategy
And each of these strategies already has very specific, time-bound and measurable goals. Tactics are defined - how these goals will be achieved. And plans for specific activities have been drawn up.
And as soon as time-limited and measurable goals are defined - you can start measuring the effectiveness of each specific event and, if necessary, make adjustments to the action plan or change tactics - to increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Let's start again with the definition.
Digital marketing is the purposeful activity of a product manufacturer or service provider in a digital environment to promote sales.
That is, marketing alone is the same. With the difference that everything happens in the digital environment. Depending on which channels are used, what is done and how it can be broken down:
- SEO marketing;
- PPC / PPI marketing;
- Email marketing;
- SMS marketing;
- Chat bot marketing;
- Push Notification Marketing;
- Social network marketing;
- Affiliate marketing;
- Content Marketing:
SEO (Search engine optimization) - a set of activities aimed at increasing the number of visitors to the site from natural search results. Technically, SEO is a marketing tool, not a form of marketing.
It is both an art and a science.
The art of creating interesting content for site visitors. Content worth referring to and sharing.
Science - Search, research, evaluate, and find factors that can help referrals to your content appear on the first pages of Google and other search engines.
Nowadays, the most important elements to consider when optimizing a web page are:
- Quality and searchable content;
- Level of user involvement;
- Website / specific friendliness for mobile devices;
- Page load speed.
Google and other search engines are constantly improving their algorithms, so it's impossible to make accurate predictions.
PPC / PPI marketing
It's basically about advertising. There are two types of ad placement that differ mainly from what you pay for:
- PPC (Pay-Per-click) - Pays for every time someone clicks on your ad, such as on the Google Search Network.
- PPI (Pay-Per-Impression) is also PPV (Pay-Per-View) - you are paid for each time your ad is shown.
In the case of PPC, you pay for clicks or actual visitors to your site, and for PPI, you pay for impressions or impressions.
Whatever the content of the e-mails you send, they are sent to promote your products and / or services. And this form of digital marketing is even very effective. This is evidenced by the amount of spam we receive.
Statistics show that only 1 to 3 percent of website visitors buy something the first time they visit the site.
And the question arises - what to do with the remaining 97% visitors? With those who are still searching and comparing - still thinking to buy or not to buy. And if you buy, where to buy?
Let them just go?
Most likely to not return.
Or try to attract some part so that when they are ready to buy - they already "know" where the highest quality goods are, the best price, the best service, the most competent employees…?
Email marketing is a proven and effective way to "stay in touch" with your site visitors. 89% Respondents Called Email Marketing Named Most Effective Lead Generator.
The concept of email marketing is simple - you send a message and expect a potential customer to:
- Will open;
- Its content will generate enough interest to go to your site;
- The offer on the site will be interesting enough to make a purchase or other action (such as putting a link to your social network account).
As usual, the reality is a little more complicated because:
- You need to find a way to get the email addresses of your site visitors;
- Understand exactly what each particular visitor was looking for on your site in order to produce email content relevant to that interest;
- This content of interest to the visitor must be created and sent to him;
- It is necessary to anticipate the actions that the visitor could take after reading the e-mail and to prepare the relevant pages (landing pages) On your site.
It all takes time. With marketing automationBy collecting and analyzing consumer information, segmenting your audiences, and scheduling and sending out emails, you'll spend significantly less time.
Remember that most emails open on mobile devices today, so it's important that all emails you send out are "mobile-friendly."
SMS marketing is the sending of advertising or business messages via text messages (SMS). These reports are mainly for information only:
- Notices of time-limited offers;
- Update notifications;
- Order status notifications;
- Various types of warnings, surveys or invitations to express opinions, etc.
Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives and text messaging is the most direct and fastest way to communicate. As a result, SMS marketing has become one of the most effective marketing tools because:
- Smartphones are for almost everyone, so SMS is a great way to reach customers directly. By including a link to your website in the text, you can redirect the recipient of the SMS to your website and provide more information about the specific topic or offer;
- It complements other marketing activities well, especially email marketing. While there are many similarities between email and SMS marketing, they work best together. SMS is useful for sending instant notifications, while email is ideal for longer and less up-to-date content;
- SMS engagement rates are astronomical - 90% SMS are read within 3 minutes of receiving them. This makes SMS a very useful tool for providing urgent information.
Do not abuse the benefits of SMS, because if the communication is not mutually beneficial, your text messages will be deleted without even reading them.
Chatbot marketing is a way to promote your products and services through chat robots - computer programs that talk to your site visitors according to a predetermined scenario or through AI.
Chatboti are compatible with messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, Snapchat, etc., or you can only activate them on your site.
In essence, chat bots are virtual assistants used to conduct online conversations to:
- Provide quick answers to frequently asked questions;
- Provide detailed answers to specific questions;
- Resolve complaints or problems;
- Arranging meetings;
- Find out the needs of the potential buyer and connect with the most suitable / competent customer service specialist.
As you can see, chatbots can automate many processes and save both time and money.
But it must be borne in mind that these are not "one time authority and forgotten" programs. They need constant adjustment and testing, so you shouldn't rely entirely on chatbots.
Push Notification Marketing
Push Notification marketing promotes the sale of products and services by sending browser (Chrome, FireFox, Opera…) or application notifications.
Essentially Push Notifications SMS / MMS are very similar, except that you can send Push Notivications not only to your phone, but to any device with one of the most popular Internet browsers or your own application.
Social network marketing
Or social media marketing. Directly, sales promotion is less important. It is used more to promote brand awareness, build opinions and build relationships between the brand / company and existing / potential customers.
Social media today is one of the most effective free channels where you can:
- Increase brand awareness. Social media is the media of the eye - it allows you to spread the visual identity of your company to a wide audience, thus improving brand awareness. And better brand awareness means better results for all your other activities;
- Introduce yourself and get to know your existing and potential customers. This is very important, because how will you be able to communicate with your existing and future customers in a language they understand if you do not know what they are thinking about? You can have discussions, gather feedback, and also communicate directly with your followers in person;
- Humanize your business. Your profile, news, and user interaction make your business more humane. Creates an easily accessible "personality" that you can meet, communicate with and trust. And it is easier to buy from acquaintances than from "strangers";
And, of course, also:
- Increase traffic to your site where you can turn visitors into buyers. It is already much easier to do this with your followers than with those who come to your site for the first time and do not know anything about you yet;
- Generate purchases and customers directly on these platforms with features such as Instagram / Facebook stores, instant messaging, CTA (Call-to-action) button profiles, and appointment booking capabilities.
You provide the product or service, its delivery, etc., but the sale is made by others who receive a small or large commission for each product / service sold.
This type of marketing is very common for products such as:
- IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) - the service provider provides basic computing, storage and network infrastructure (for example - DigitalOcean, AWS, Google Compute Engine);
- PaaS (Platform as a service) - the service provider offers not only the infrastructure, but also the OS and middleware, such as databases, etc. (e.g. AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Google App Engine);
- SaaS (Software as a Service) - The service provider offers everything you need to perform a task. Users simply log in and use an application that runs fully on the service provider's infrastructure (e.g. Google Apps, DropBox, Canva).
As with other forms of digital marketing, content marketing aims to attract potential customers who eventually become buyers.
But content marketing works differently than traditional advertising. Potential buyers are not attracted by the value of the product or service, but by offering free content (guides, reviews, opinions, interesting facts, etc.).
Content that demonstrates the company's competence, interest in cooperation…
Content that strengthens / builds knowledge, promotes brand awareness, trust and visits to your site (their articles are fantastic, looking forward to the next one).
Consistent use of content marketing builds and maintains relationships with your potential and existing customers. If your audience trusts your business and sees it as a partner who is interested in their success. If your site is considered a source of valuable / useful content, the goods or services they need are likely to be purchased from you.
However, content marketing is also a bit more complicated than it looks at first because:
- Promises must be kept. In terms of content marketing, this means creating new, high-quality content on a regular basis. At least once a month, preferably more often;
- Content must not only be created but also promoted. That is, you should also invest at least in SEO and social networks.
Before you start, be sure to formulate (for yourself) - Why are you doing it?
"Because everyone does it" or "we can do it now for a good price" and so on. - no correct answers. Well, even if something is offered for free, it will definitely take your time. The time we always miss…
It is important to understand what each specific activity will bring to your business. If there is no clear and reasonable answer to this "Why" - do not waste your time and money.
Don't be afraid to experiment. And be sure to analyze the results of your experiments. If the result was better / worse than your other activities - try to understand why. Try to repeat your most successful activities if you succeed - you have a new "weapon" that others may not know yet.
That is an advantage.
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