Digital marketing is one of the modern trends in marketing. It involves using the internet and other digital channels to reach your actual and potential customers. It’s also called web marketing, internet marketing, and online marketing.
In this article, we will help you understand the concept of digital marketing and how you can use it to grow your business.
Digital marketing is broader than you think. It involves both paid online and non-paid online channels. We discuss more of these various digital marketing channels later in this article.
The term digital marketing is not as recent as it sounds. It was first used in the 1990s, but its methodology has improved with advancements in technology and the invention of different marketing platforms.
The Importance of Digital Marketing
By now, you understand the concept of digital marketing. This section will discuss the importance of digital marketing and how you can use it to grow your business in the 21st century.
So, here are some of the reasons why digital marketing is essential to your business;
#1. It Provides A Level Playing Field for All Businesses
The good thing about digital marketing is that it provides a level playground for all businesses to compete.
It was not easy for small businesses to compete with more established brands in the past. Most small businesses couldn’t afford to buy TV spots or newspaper ads. That was why it was tough for small businesses to grow.
The emergence of digital marketing changes everything. It’s no longer about how much you spend on TV and Newspaper ads. But how strategic you are with your campaigns across multiple digital marketing channels and social media platforms.
With the right strategy, you can grow your business through social media, search engine optimization, video marketing, and content marketing.
Digital marketing results may not manifest immediately unless you are willing to invest in paid ads,
But after a few months of consistency, your digital marketing efforts should start yielding the expected results.
It all starts with a perfect understanding of the concept of digital marketing. You need to know how these digital channels work before using them.
#2. Digital Marketing Helps You to Target Your Ideal Audience
Compared to traditional marketing, it’s easier to target your ideal audience on digital platforms.
With the right techniques, you can target your audience through digital marketing. It doesn’t matter whether they are high-powered CEOs, stay-at-home parents, etc.
And the more niche your campaigns are across social platforms, the better results you will get.
But you can’t get this narrow targeting option when using traditional marketing like magazine articles, TV ads, etc.
#3. You Easily Reach Your Customers Where they are;
The emergence of the internet and other digital platforms brought about a paradigm shift in the business world.
For instance, fewer people now read magazines, newspapers or listen to the radio. In 2018, the newspaper circulation in the United States reached its lowest level since 1940. It’s because customers are spending more time online.
A similar report revealed that 90% of American adults use the internet. Almost 70% use Facebook regularly, and nearly 75% use YouTube routinely.
That explains why most media companies went digital. Digital marketing channels enable marketers to target their audience based on their demographics, interests, and devices.
#4. It Helps You Track and Monitor Your Campaign’s Success
Unlike traditional marketing, it’s easy to track the results from digital marketing campaigns.
You can tell how many times people responded to the ads, the number of people who bought something and you can retarget those who have yet to purchase.
#5. It is Easy Scale and Adapt Digital marketing
The concept of digital marketing will help to adapt your strategies to fit into the latest trends.
In digital marketing, you are in complete control of your promotional activities. That means you can test new ideas, and if you are comfortable with the result you get, you can scale them up.
However, if you aren’t convinced with the result your new ideas yield, you can tweak the ideas or stop the entire campaign.
#6. Your Competitors Are Already Doing It
Regardless of your niche, your competitors are already leveraging digital marketing to grow their business. And you are only shortchanging your business for not embracing it.
A recent report by HubSpot, Litmus, and Wistia revealed that 70% of Marketers are already using content marketing, and about 75% are using social media.
Similarly, about two-thirds of marketers invest in Search Engine Optimization, while nearly half use email automation.
So, marketers and business owners across all niches leverage digital marketing to grow their businesses.
If you understand the concept of digital marketing, you can easily create more awareness for your brand, increase sales, and boost revenue.
#7. Build your Brand Reputation
One of the important factors of digital marketing is that it helps you build a reputation for your brand.
Creating awareness for your brand is crucial if you want to remain in business in the long run; it doesn’t matter whether your brand is new or a startup.
Have you ever wondered why reputable companies like Coca-Cola, Google, Facebook, etc., still create awareness across different digital channels?
It’s because creating constant awareness about your brand helps to position your business in your audience’s mind.
So, digital marketing exposes your brand to a relevant audience and builds a positive reputation over time.
#8. Expands Your Reach
It’s easy to expand your business reach with digital marketing. With the right strategies, you can reach your audience anywhere globally.
The business world has gone digital. So, you need to understand the concept of digital marketing and how to create a viable digital marketing strategy.
Types of Digital Marketing
This section will discuss the different types of digital marketing you can use to reach your audience online.
#1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the pillars of digital marketing. It allows brands to sell their products online through third-party publishers (affiliate marketers).
In this scenario, you are the advertisers, and those promoting your products or services on their platforms are affiliate marketers.
You have to provide a personalized referral URL (affiliate link) to your affiliate marketers. They will use these links in their website content, blog articles, YouTube video description, social media posts, email messages, etc.
And if someone clicks on those links on your affiliate marketers’ content, you have to compensate that marketer for any lead or sales returning from that click. The commission you are paying depends on the terms you agreed upon with your affiliates.
If you know how affiliate marketing works, you will understand the concept of digital marketing and how it can help you grow your business.
A survey conducted by PepperJam and Forrester revealed that affiliate marketing was the top-ranked digital marketing channel for customer acquisition in 2019.
If you aspire to transform your loyal customers and fans into referral partners who can boost your revenue, affiliate marketing is a winning strategy for you.
Here are 5 things you need to start your affiliate or referral program;
5 Things You Need to Start Your Affiliate or Referral Program
Have a Product or Service People Want to Buy
Don’t just jump into affiliate marketing for the fun of it. Ensure that you have products or services that people would want to buy.
It’s easier for your affiliates to promote your products or services if they offer solutions to people’s problems.
You Need a Target Market for Your Product
Ideally, you need to have a target market before you start promoting your products or services. Once you narrow down your ideal customers, it’s easier to find the perfect affiliate marketers to sell your products.
You Need a Website to Sell Your Products
Your affiliate marketing or referral program can’t exist in isolation. You need an online platform where traffic from your affiliate partners or publishers can be directed to.
Preferably, you should consider designing a website with eCommerce functionality. If you can’t do it yourself, the Tycoono team can help you develop a responsive e-commerce platform that stands you out from the rest.
An Affiliate Marketing and Referral Platform to Keep Track of Everything
You need a different platform (it can be an extension of your website) to keep track of all your affiliate marketing and referral programs. It’s like the administrative aspect of your partnership program.
On this platform, your affiliate partners can quickly see how many people have bought your products through their websites and how much they have earned so far.
You can also use this platform to vet your affiliate partnership applicants, monitor your sales, payout commissions, supply marketing materials, etc.
Affiliate Publishers to Promote Your products
The affiliate marketing equation won’t be complete if no affiliate partners or publishers promote your products.
You need affiliate publishers to complete the cycle once you have a product to promote, a target market that needs the product, the website to sell it, and a platform to keep track of your affiliate activities.
Ensure that your affiliates’ partners are influencers or content creators in your niche. Your affiliate program tends to get better results if your affiliate publishers are creators in your niche.
#2. Content Marketing
Content marketing is one of the most common types of digital marketing. You can use this digital marketing strategy to attract, engage, and retain your audience by creating and sharing relevant content like articles, videos, podcasts, etc.
Content marketing plays a vital role in digital marketing. It helps individuals and brands establish expertise, create awareness for their businesses, etc.
If you understand the concept of digital marketing, you can easily leverage content marketing to grow your business. It allows you to communicate marketing messages through different formats.
According to a report from Statista, more than 60% of B2B and 40% of B2C content marketing budgets increased in 2021.
The report further revealed that 69% of companies invested more in content creation and production in 2021.
Content marketing is a universal strategy that can work well for every business. However, the format of your content and the tone you use depend on your audience.
Undoubtedly, content marketing is the center of most digital marketing activities. You need content marketing for your email campaign, SEO, and social media marketing.
Why is Content Marketing Important?
You may be wondering why content marketing is an important variable in the digital marketing equation. Well, it’s an effective strategy with a proven success track record.
Even if you don’t understand the concept of digital marketing, you can easily outsource your content marketing activities.
So, here are some of the reasons why content marketing is important;
- Businesses that create content for their audience get 67% more leads than their competitors.
- About 47% of customers read an average of 3 to 5 pieces of content from a brand before engaging with the sales team.
- 72% of B2B marketers confirmed that content marketing increases leads and engagement.
How Content Marketing Works (Understanding the Concept of Digital Marketing)
Content marketing is more comprehensive than you think. You can leverage it to attract more leads and make a case for your product or services when your potential customers research what to buy.
However, your content marketing effort will only yield the expected result if you deliver the right content at every stage in the sales cycle.
Here are steps to use a content marketing strategy in every stage of the sales cycle.
Awareness is the first stage of the sales process. Your potential customers are looking for content that addresses their challenges at this stage.
So, your focus during this stage should be writing about your audience’s pain points and challenges and answering some of the frequently asked questions.
Your audience tends to engage with you better when you create high-quality content they can relate to.
Content during the awareness stage should be educational, how-to advice, etc. Don’t attempt to sell anything during this stage.
You should write articles, blog posts, ebooks, videos, newsletters, etc., during this stage.
Examples of content you should write during the awareness stage are;
- An SEO company writes a blog post on how to do extensive keyword research.
- A restaurant company writes a blog post on how to plan the perfect menu for a birthday party.
- Real estate firms create e-books on related topics like – Important Things to Consider Before Buying a Property.
During the consideration stage, your audience already knows you. They know that content from you is valuable and helpful.
So, you will start creating a blend of information and marketing content at this stage. Your content should address your industry, products, how to buy, things to consider when purchasing, etc.
And ensure that whatever content you are creating is geared towards your niche and talks passively about your business offers.
During this stage, your content should be more of case studies, how-to articles, how-to videos, checklists, etc.
For instance, if you are an SEO company, you can create case studies about “The Biggest SEO Mistakes Most People Make”.
Content marketing plays a vital role in the closing stage of the sales process. By now, you have already established your expertise, and they trust valuable tips and industry opinions from you.
At this stage, you can focus on selling your product or services. But always remind your audience how amazing your products are and how your services can help them overcome their challenges.
#3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a crucial element of digital marketing. You can use this strategy to reach prospects who agree to receive marketing messages by email.
You can also use email marketing to promote your business offerings and incentivize customer loyalty.
It’s easy to sell new products, discounts, and other services to customers on your email list with email marketing.
Email marketing can help you educate your audience on the value your brand creates and it engages them.
If you want to grow your brand or sell your products and services, email marketing is a great strategy to deploy.
Email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing tools. It’s inexpensive and has a high ROI.
Recent research from Litmus revealed that brands could expect to receive $42 in return for every dollar spent on email marketing.
But what exactly is Email Marketing, and How Does It Work?
Email marketing is a form of direct and digital marketing that uses email to promote products and services.
You can use email marketing to create awareness of the latest products in your catalog, your discount offers, and any other event happening in your company.
Whether you are a startup or an established brand, you need to integrate email marketing into your overall marketing strategy. It will help with lead generation, brand awareness, and building relationships with your audience.
If you want to convert your web traffic, email marketing is essential to position your brand in your prospects’ minds until they are ready to patronize your brand.
#4. Guerilla Marketing
Guerilla marketing is among the types of digital marketing. But most people don’t know much about it.
Guerilla marketing is an unconventional marketing technique that creates awareness about your product among a large audience without interrupting them.
The term was coined in the early 1980s by Jay Conrad Levinson. He wrote several pieces of literature on guerilla marketing tactics. But the methodology of guerilla marketing is changing.
Of course, Guerilla marketing is entirely different from traditional marketing. It’s budget-friendly and focuses on smaller promoters who will get the word out in a particular location.
In a nutshell, the marketing technique relies on personal interaction to promote your products or create awareness for your brand.
Guerilla marketing connects to your audiences’ emotions and makes your product promotion seems like a regular interaction.
However, this strategy effectively promotes edgy products, and it focuses on younger audiences who are likely to respond positively.
The whole idea behind Guerilla marketing is to gain public relations for out-of-the-box viral marketing campaigns that people want to talk about.
Although guerilla marketing campaigns often happen offline, people are likely to talk about and share their experiences online. That is why it’s regarded as a digital marketing strategy.
Types of Guerilla Marketing
There are different types of guerilla marketing that you can leverage to grow your business. Some of them are;
- Viral or buzz marketing
- Projection advertising
- Event Ambush
- Wild posting
Guerrilla Marketing Mistakes
Before launching any guerilla marketing campaign, ensure that it won’t become counterproductive.
Several guerilla marketing campaigns went wrong in the past, and the brands didn’t get the intended results.
Cartoon Network Marketing Mistakes
The Cartoon Network promoted a show in 2007. They placed LED signs that look like a character from the show all over Boston. And the reaction didn’t go as the company expected.
The signs were scary and turned into a full-blown terrorism scare. Sadly, the stunt cost Cartoon Network Head – Jim Samples his job. And parent company of Cartoon Network (Turner Broadcasting) paid a fine of $2 million.
#5. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is one of the most popular types of digital marketing. Although it’s expensive, it’s worth every dime you invest in it.
It’s a marketing practice that uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers. Influencers are individuals with a dedicated social following and are considered experts in their niche.
This strategy is effective because influencers have built trust with their audience. So, any recommendation from them is considered social proof.
You can leverage popular social media users to reach new audiences with influencer marketing. It’s one of the trends in digital marketing.
A report on the State of Influencer marketing revealed that sponsored posts received an average of 7,806 impressions in 2020. It was a 57% increase over the 2019 report, 4,827 average impressions.
What is the Value of Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing plays an essential role in the digital marketing industry. To most people, influencer marketing focuses only on Instagram. But that is not true.
There are several other social networks where you can reach out to influencers to create awareness for your brand.
Social media platforms like Snapchat, YouTube, and Tiktok also have influencers with different audience demographics.
According to Statista, the influencer marketing industry is snowballing, and it’s valued at about 13.8 billion US dollars in 2021.
A survey of marketers conducted by Mediakix at the end of 2018 gave the following overview about influencer marketing:
The survey revealed that 89% of marketers believed that the ROI from influencer marketing was relatively higher than that of other channels.
The survey further indicated that about 65% of marketers planned to increase their influencer marketing budget for 2019 and beyond.
How to Create an Influencer Marketing Strategy?
If you want your influencer marketing campaign to yield the expected results, you need a strategy. I mean, all your influencer marketing activities must be well-targeted and planned.
So, here are a few tips to help you create an influencer marketing strategy;
#1. Find Influencers in Your Niche and Determine What to Pay Them
The whole concept of influencer marketing revolves around social media influencers. So, the first thing you should do before starting your influencer marketing campaign is research influencers in your niche.
Try to know more about them, their degree of influence over their audience, the platforms where you are more likely to find your audience, and how much they charge per sponsored post.
An established brand can use several influencers across different social platforms. But if you have a startup with a limited budget, you can begin with one influencer.
And if you realize that the ROI is outstanding, you can gradually expand your presence on other platforms.
Furthermore, your niche determines the social media platform to leverage. For instance, if you are a beauty and fashion brand, influencers on Instagram and YouTube tend to help you engage your audience better.
#2. Set a Budget and Management Strategy
Once you have an idea of the influencers to hire and how much you are paying them, the next step is to create a budget.
Don’t just create your budget. Ensure that you make provisions for planning, executing, and reviewing your influencer program.
Influencer marketing programs require careful monitoring and follow-up. You have to ensure that your sponsored posts perform as expected and your audience reacts positively to them.
#3. Decide on Your Influencer Marketing Goal and Message
Before you venture into influencer marketing, ensure a well-defined goal and campaign message. Most times, your goal could be to create awareness for your brand and boost sales.
But it will be better to narrow your goal by either increasing your customer base in younger demography, increasing new user groups, or making your audience understand the value your brand is creating.
Whatever your goals are, ensure they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
#4. Decide on How to Contact Your Influencers
Contacting an influencer on any social media platform may not be as easy as it seems.
So, before you consider any influencer, take note of the following things;
- Ensure that the influencer is already posting content similar to your business offering.
- Check if they are legit. You can do this by scrolling through their feeds and reading through what people are saying in their post comments or the engagement level of their audience. You can easily spot a fraudulent social media account if the engagement ratio to follower count is poor, and the comments on the posts seem like spam.
- Be sure to ask them if they have worked with similar brands before.
#6. Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing is one of the types of digital marketing. It’s a multi-channel strategy tailored to reach your audience on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
It could be through their websites, emails, SMS, MMS, social media, or push notifications. People now spend more time on their mobile devices than in the past.
So, marketers are targeting these devices to create an Omnichannel engagement. Marketing activities and strategies go hand in hand with tech advancement. And when technology becomes fragmented, marketing follows.
However, mobile marketing content must be strategic, relatable, and highly personalized. Otherwise, you can earn and maintain your prospects’ attention.
If you decide to leverage mobile marketing to create awareness for your brand and grow your business, it’s essential to keep your audience’s devices in mind. You should also utilize SMS/MMS marketing and mobile apps.
Whether you have a short-term or a long-term marketing plan, mobile marketing plays an important role. From email marketing to pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and content marketing, mobile marketing is a piece in the puzzle.
If you want your mobile marketing to be effective, you need to create an experience that your audience expects. It may not be easy, but with the correct technique, it’s possible.
#7. Podcast Marketing
Podcast marketing is one of the newest trends in digital marketing. It’s the creation and distribution of audio content to market yourself, your products or services, and your brand.
In podcast marketing, you share valuable information through audio content and gain your audience’s trust. Once you influence your audio listener, you can sell your products and services.
Benefits of Podcast Marketing
Podcast marketing has several benefits. Some of them are;
- It helps to increase your brand reach and awareness.
- Podcast marketing helps to improve your connection with your audience.
- It helps to heighten your authority.
- Podcast marketing is a great way to attract more traffic to your website.
- You can also get advertising revenue from podcasts.
Even though you don’t have a podcast channel, you can still promote your business on some popular podcast channels in your niche.
You can reach out to audiences who listen to podcasts on platforms like Spotify, Apple, etc. And you can also connect with listeners who may be interested in your products or services through podcast ads, participating in interviews, etc.
Don’t you know how? At Tycoon Talk Podcast, we help businesses like yours advertise their offering to our regional and national audiences.
#8. Search Engine Marketing (Pay Per Click Advertising)
Search Engine Marketing, or Pay Per Click Advertising, is one of the most popular digital marketing channels. It’s one of the most effective and reliable ways to grow your business.
Regardless of how competitive your niche seems, this digital marketing strategy can expose your business to a wide range of audiences.
Search engine marketing uses paid advertisements that appear on search engine result pages (SERPs) to promote your business.
In SEM, advertisers bid on keywords that their audience searches for on search engines like Google and Bing.
And when your audience search for those keywords, your business or services appear as part of search results. But, it will be under ads.
There’s a difference between SEO and SEM. While advertisers bid and pay for keywords for their products or services to appear in search result ads in SEM, SEO is completely organic.
In SEO, you don’t have to pay Google for your website to appear on SERPs; all you have to do is optimize your page correctly for particular keywords.
And if all the SEO elements (On-page, Off-page, and technical SEO) are well optimized, your website will rank high on search engine result pages.
In a nutshell, SEM (search engine marketing) and SEO (search engine optimization) are two sides of the same coin.
They are both crucial digital marketing strategies. Research from BrightEdge revealed that of the 68% trackable traffic, 53% is organic, and 15% is paid.
#9. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing uses social media and social networks to create awareness for your brands and boost sales of your products and services. It’s one of the digital marketing channels.
You can use social media marketing to reach your customers on different social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, etc.
The 2021 digital report from “We Are Social” revealed that 4.2 billion people use social media globally.
The report further buttressed that from social media users, 27.5% use social media to research before they buy any products or services.
That explains why most brands now have a social media presence to interact and engage with their audience.
Here are some of the benefits of social media marketing;
- Social media marketing helps to increase your brand awareness.
- It gets more inbound traffic to your website.
- Social media marketing can help improve your search engine rankings.
- It boosts your conversion rate.
- It brings about better customer satisfaction.
- Social media marketing improves brand loyalty.
- It gives more authority to your brand.
- And more importantly, it’s cost-effective.
The Bottom Line: You can leverage digital marketing to grow your business
Whether you are a startup or an established brand, embracing digital marketing is the easiest way to grow your business.
From affiliate marketing, content marketing, email marketing, guerilla marketing, influencer marketing, social media marketing, and search engine marketing, digital marketing can help you connect with your audience online.
It remains the easiest way to stay competitive in an ever-changing business world. And because digital marketing is highly customizable, versatile, and scalable, it can drive traffic and target conversion, thus, helping you achieve your business goals.
Suppose you think your digital marketing efforts are not yielding the expected results; Tycoono can help you connect with your audience online, and drive traffic to your website with conversion in mind.