DIGITAL MARKETING – ITS SIGNIFICANCE & IMPORTANCE

Today we are living in the age of rapidly evolving consumer behavior. So unpredictable it is that businesses struggle to keep pace with their aspirations and preferences. Thankfully that seems to be a thing of the past with the arrival of Digital Marketing a few years back.

With more and more consumers referring to digital content on a daily basis, on devices from mobile phones to laptops, desktop computers, tablets and more, businesses were compelled to adapt swiftly and change their marketing tactics and ways from offline to online.

With digital marketing, its possible to not only keep a tab on the preferences and tastes of consumers but its also possible to bridge the divide between what the consumers expect and what they actually get in the end.

DIGITAL MARKETING – WHAT IT IS & WHAT MAKES IT SO IMPORTANT?

Broadly, Digital Marketing is referred to as the usage of various digital technologies for the promotion and marketing of products or services wide one or more forms of electronic media. To put it simply, Dave Chaffey’s book ‘Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation & Practise’, describes Digital Marketing as ‘achieving marketing objectives through applying digital technologies and media.’

Apart from the internet, digital marketing is also used widely vide wireless text messaging, mobile instant messaging, mobile apps, podcasts, electronic billboards, digital television and radio channels, etc. Further Digital Marketing through internet can be integrated with traditional media such as print, TV and direct mail as part of multi-channel marketing communication.

BENEFITS

With Digital Marketing, businesses can monitor things and extract the following output benefits:

  • What is being viewed?
  • How often it’s being viewed and for how long?
  • Sales conversions, how many viewers got converted after watching the digital work?
  • What kind of digital content precisely works and what does not work?

IMPORTANCE

What makes Digital Marketing so important?

As a rapidly growing force in the world of marketing, its importance stems from the following factors:

  • More affordable than traditional offline marketing tools. For instance, email or social media campaign can effectively transmit marketing campaign message to consumers faster and more effectively and most importantly, at a lesser cost than a TV Ad or a print campaign.
  • Potentially can reach a wider spectrum of consumer audience.
  • Marketing campaign results can be tracked and monitored much more effectively. Consumer response rates can be quickly viewed and its success ratio can be measured in real-time. This allows organizations to plan more effectively for their next marketing campaign.

Internet Marketing

Simply , digital marketing is faster, more versatile and streamlined than other forms of marketing methodologies.

WHY ADOPT DIGITAL MARKETING?

Here are some vital factors as to why Digital Marketing should be adopted by organizations today.

  • 80% of consumers use the Internet to make their search for information more convenient;
  • Business owners can reach targeted customers who spend as much as 23% of their online time looking for information.
  • Digital marketing helps increase conversion rates by 24%.
  • 40% of small business owners report saving money with digital marketing as opposed to traditional marketing.
  • Enables real-time customer service to generate bigger revenues, retain more customers, and create new satisfied consumers.
  • Connects companies and organizations and other sources more effectively to greater number of people through Smartphone’s and mobile devices.
  • Digital Marketing strategies can generate as much as 2.8x better revenue growth for businesses. Further, a digital strategy helps improve ROI by up to 300%.

By the year 2020, it’s estimated that there will be a projected 26 billion gadgets that will be interconnected in a global online ecosystem. In line with this scenario, many brands and businesses are ramping up their digital marketing campaigns to meet the situation that will evolve in the next few years.

If you’re not one of them, here is a warning – Don’t get left behind your competitors for DIGITAL MARKETING can help your business function like a truly big business.

KEY FORMS OF DIGITAL MARKETING

Currently the following are the key forms of Digital Marketing:

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization);
  • Social Media;
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising;
  • Banner Ads;
  • E Mail Marketing;
  • SMS Mobile Marketing; &
  • Article Content Marketing.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION (SEO)

Just having a website does not mean that things are going to turn around the corner. No net user would be aware of such a website unless it ranks higher on search engine result pages. To make that happen, it’s important to optimize the website which in turn will enable it to ‘rank’ higher in search engine result pages thereby enabling the website to attract greater number of organic (or free) net traffic.

Its here SEO comes into play. Search Engine Optimization or SEO, as its popularly called, is a proven technique that helps a Website attract net traffic from ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ search results on search engines. All major search engines including Google, Yahoo, Bing, Lycos, etc, generate primary search results that showcase web pages and other types of content like Videos or local listings. All of these are ranked in line with what the search engine recognizes as being most relevant to the net users. There is no kind of payment involved unlike what it’s with paid Search Ads.

 

IMPORTANCE OF SEO

Here are a few specific reasons why your business needs SEO and should continue to invest in SEO capabilities:

  • RESULTS ARE LOW-COST: When compared to Adwords and PPC, the results still continues to be low-cost. With SEO, you neither need to pay Pay-per-click NOR need to allocate a separate budget for advertising. With just a little investment, your website can attract quality and consistent web traffic, which even when it stops will not drop to nothing.
  • QUALITY INCREASE IN TRAFFIC: With today’s sophisticated SEO tools like Analytics and reporting tools, your website will see a clear-cut increase in traffic. To learn about the traffic, SEO tools can be used to track the traffic and the kind of people visiting the website.
  • BETTER BRAND CREDIBILITY: If your website is on the first listing on Google, then people will instantly trust it as a company of quality. This way the company becomes a brand of repute. In case, Google provides the website with a top-tier listing with other sub-pages listed below the main home page, then it means that the website has even greater credibility which no ad can match or beat.
  • BETTER ROI: With SEO, the website can generate better ROI (Return on investment) than normal Ads. For instance, if the website gets 1000 or more clicks, it’s estimated that 4% of the clicks gets converted into a sale, leading to better return on investment. On other hand, if a paid ad attracts 1000 or more visitors, then it’s estimated that only 2% of them might convert into a sale.
  • LOCAL SEARCH OPTIMISATION: It’s an effective SEO technique that has enabled organizations to garner not only better local net traffic but also the amount of traffic delivered to mobile devices that is expected to exceed the numbers that is delivered to traditional desktop devices.
  • TAKES BUSINESSES TO NEXT LEVEL: With its enormous capability to lure thousands and thousands of visitors into a website every day, SEO helps companies and organizations to jump to the next level while compelling them to switch over to larger web servers to accommodate the web traffic and eventually sales to the website.

       RELEVENT FOR MANY MORE YEARS: SEO will continue to remain relevant for many more years thanks to better and more sophisticated SEO techniques. It’s also being speculated that in future even audio and video searches will depend on keywords like the traditional text-based content is doing currently.

Investing in SEO is more important today than ever before. More importantly, it’s essential to have a well-conceived SEO strategy for businesses and organizations to succeed in their online marketing blitz.

SOCIAL MEDIA

 Today it’s common to find businesses promoting their brand and content on social media channels in an extensive way. This is done for the simple reason today is the age of social media and being on social media means increased brand awareness, greater net traffic and eventually, solid leads for your business.

Social Media has been described as a medium that communicates well-enough to ensure that the audience pays attention. For this to happen, the right content with the right words and right presentation is extremely important.

Social media makes two-way engagement and conversation possible with consumers and brand having a healthy relationship putting across their views. The media part in Social media refers to an instrument of communication like the internet whereas Radio, TV and Newspapers are more traditional forms of media.

Some popular social media outlets include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

BENEFITS

  • PROVIDES QUALITY CUSTOMER INSIGHTS: Social media generates huge amount of data about customers in real time. For instance, every day there are over 4.5 billion likes on Facebook, 95 million photos and videos uploaded to Instagram and 500 million tweets, which means there is a staggering amount of information out there in the social media. This way, you can get to know your customer’s – what kind are they, what they like and dislike and how they feel about your business and products / services, etc.
  • HELPS BOOST WEBSITE’S TRAFFIC: Search engine crawlers look out for pages that consistently earn traffic. A well-crafted social media page or profile will be noted by a SEO crawler and earn top spot in search engine rankings, thereby driving traffic to the optimized pages.
  • ALLOWS TARGETTING & RE-TARGETTING: A customized social media Ad allows for effective targeting of target audience. For instance, Facebook Ads will help target users through pointers like customer’s name, location, occupation, purchase history, pages they have liked, etc. Installing a Facebook Pixel on the site can help in retargeting the users who visited the site earlier. This way, such people can be converted into solid leads and eventually customers.
  • FUELS GREATER BRAND AWARENESS & LOYALTY: By helping your business to be tracked easily and connected with customers, businesses can look forward to increased customer retention and brand loyalty.
  • HELPS GET NOTICED & GENERATE MEDIA ATTENTION: Social media page can be used to make known your or your business presence at social events like say a trade show / exhibition or fund raiser or charity events, etc.
  • GENERATES QUALITY ROI: Social media Ads is a good inexpensive way to promote business and distribute content, with powerful targeting options that will help your business reach the right audience. For instance, an Ad campaign in LinkedIn will work excellent results for it becomes possible to segment by factors like location, company, job title, gender and age-group.

Social media marketing has 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. No wonder an increasing number of B2B & B2C businesses are using social media in some form or the other.

This fact tells that Social Media marketing today is an integral part of doing business. If your business is not there on the social media then its time it is very soon else risk being left behind.

PPC CAMPAIGNS

Recognized as a great way to lure visitors into a Website or Social Media page when you need traffic, PPC (Pay-per-click) is fast and nimble in the sense that where organic search marketing or other forms of advertising can lag weeks or months in staying tuned with audience tastes or preferences, PPC advertising can do the same in hours or days. With certain utilities like Google Adwords, PPC campaigns works even better in generating targeted traffic within a few minutes of opening an account.

PPC is described as an online marketing and advertising formula wherein the advertiser does not pay a fee for placing an advertisement but rather pays a certain amount of fee each time someone clicks on the advertisement and is taken to their website. It helps drive traffic to a website or social media page driven by the keywords that are relevant to your business.

The biggest USP of PPC is that it can generate highly targeted traffic to a website or social media page for just a fraction of the cost than any other form of paid advertising.

As a very interactive process with the end-users, PPC can attract a significant number of users into your landing page. Once attracted into the landing page, analytics can be used to learn what they actually do while being there. This way, you get to learn and understand user’s behavior, tastes and preferences.

The importance of PPC is such that a digital marketing strategy without it is incomplete. The sheer fact that it offers ample amount of visibility and also at the same time attract a significant number of customers to your website the moment your product is released, makes it something that should be an integral part of a digital marketing campaign.

BANNER ADS

A great tool for helping spread a message to a larger audience, Banner Ad, also called as Web Banner, is described as a form of advertising in the shape of a rectangular graphic display that can be found from the top or bottom of a Website or down the right or left sidebar on the Internet, delivered by an ad server. Embedding an advertisement (known as ‘Click Through’) into a web page, it works to attract and drive traffic to a Website by linking to the Website of the advertiser.

Being image-based, they function as a vibrant form of Website Advertising that works well to promote a company’s brand and also help lure visitors from the host website to the advertiser’s website.

 

BENEFITS

 

· VERSATILE IN PRESENTATION: A banner Ad can be a rich presentation with animations or slideshows and streaming media. What more, compression tools are available to minimize the size of the presentation and create an eye-catching advertisement, all without significantly slowing down page-loading times.

· FLEXIBLE PRICING STRUCTURE: The pricing structure is extremely flexible with a set fee per specific result. Further, advertisers can also buy space through real-time bidding thereby getting a chance to acquire prime advertising space at a low bidding rate while at the same time allowing for complete control over websites on which their banners appear.

· EFFECTIVELY TARGETS AUDIENCE: Advertisers can target specific demographics. This is made possible by collection of data from a browser’s cookies that allows for access to information about the surfer’s earlier expressed interests from a web surfer’s browser. Through this, earlier Ads can be displayed thereby helping advertisers target specific demographics.

E MAIL MARKETING

Recognized to this day as one of the most cost-effective and beneficial digital marketing tools, E Mail marketing offers not only more opportunities but also helps build customer loyalty or trust in a company’s product / service or just create deeper relationship with a wider audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional media. They further help generate a better return on your investment in its capabilities.

 E Mail marketing is defined as a technique that involves sending of a commercial message to a group or wide category of people by electronic e mail.

Mostly used to promote content, discounts and events and also direct people towards the company’s website, E Mail still remains the quickest and most direct way to reach out to customers.

BENEFITS

Here are some benefits that E Mail marketing helps generates:

  • Quickly communicate with the target audience.
  • Drives maximum traffic to specific points.
  • Educates and informs prospective customers with new content.
  • Builds brand credibility and enhances its aura.
  • Extremely adaptable that can adjust to any need that you might have. This way you can target different social groups and adapt the content accordingly.
  • Quickly spreads word about your new product / service or updates to as many people as possible. To make it more effective, a link can be included in the e mail so that interested customers can make purchase instantly.

To this day, they are continued to be used by companies with success and help their products/services and business remain of top of mind of their customers.

Despite the overpowering presence of social media, e mail marketing will continue to have its own slot. The very fact that it swiftly reaches out to an increasing number of customers makes it a viable digital marketing tool that cannot be ignored nor dumped aside.

 SMS MARKETING

 In the age of Smartphone’s with instant connectivity, SMS marketing has become an indispensable part of every company’s marketing tactics. With its ability to instantly transmit information in a jiffy and strike a chord with the people, SMS marketing helps build up an effective communication channel with customers and generate increased ROI.

Also called as Text Message Marketing, SMS Marketing is described as a set of sentences sent via highly targeted, permission-based, opt-in text messages. Normally limited to a maximum of 160 words, SMS marketing can be used for sending invitations or specials or offers or alerts and such likes. Basically it’s used mainly to send out promotional messages highlighting an event or launch of a product / service / achievement / occasion, etc.

 

 

BENEFITS

  • Is one of the most cost-effective and least-expensive channels that according to a survey has a read rate of 97% within 15 minutes of its delivery. Also, about 45% of SMS campaigns as per a survey is said to generate a successful ROI and when combined with other channels like e mail and social media, extends to over 50% ROI.
  • When sent in unique code style, it can make the customers get familiar with the brand’s code and keyword, thereby making it more effective for interested customers to interact and respond.
  • Possess the ability to enhance and support other marketing mediums like social media and e mail, even though it works well as an effective standalone channel. For instance, a simple SMS with the message – ‘I have sent an e mail, please check it soon’ – can help increase e mail open rates by 20-30%.
  • Excellent medium for obtaining instant feedback from customers, like in surveys and so on. Market survey report reveals that on average, around 31% of customers will instantly respond to a survey with the average response time being just over 5 minutes.

As a short and effective marketing medium, it is regarded as a more versatile communication tool than e mail for it possess the lightning-fast ability to send messages reaching out to each customer instantly, alerting them in case of something special like offers or promotions. More importantly, it can also coerce them into action within minutes.

ARTICLE CONTENT MARKETING

‘CONTENT IS KING’. How right it is?

For without content most marketing forms would not work. From SEO that would have nothing to optimize for search engines if there is no content to E Mail / SMS marketing that has content as the heart of its working to reach out to customers, content remains an indispensable part of any kind of digital marketing tool.

One of the fastest growing marketing forms that is being increasingly used by companies and organizations to influence customers, is Article Content Marketing.

Article content marketing is described as a write-up involving the usage of content in a way that appeals to the customers or prospective customers, making an instant impression on them. It works to make them aware of the brand value or the products / services or anything else that is to be highlighted and popularized.

What makes Article Content Marketing such an effective tool?

The following factors reveal why it is so:

·    It helps generate more inbound traffic by luring them to your Website or blog or landing pages.

·     It increases engagement with targeted audience; a mix of the right content and appropriate pictures or images can work wonders. A survey report reveals that such a mix can increase total viewership by up to 94%.

·     It helps generate more leads, around 54% more leads compared to traditional marketing and delivers better results by up to three times compared to traditional internet marketing techniques.

·    It helps generate precious back-links with more people linking to the article content from your site. In addition, if the content is liked, then it gets shared and syndicated making it go viral, especially through social media. This in turn boosts will help boost your Website’s standing and natural-link popularity.

·   It uplifts your brand stature and makes it acceptable to more people. The article content published is a reflection of what your business is, what it does and where it stands today. Furthermore, quality content will help establish healthy relationship and engagement with the target audience. By building greater brand awareness through the article content, your business stands to gain in authority, trust and respect from the target audience.

 

With quality article contents, more viewers or readers can be expected to subscribe to newsletters from your company. This way, more consistent traffic can be maintained to your website thereby enabling your business to grow in stature and expand its customer-base. Finally, in due course of time, your website will have better search engine rankings as well.

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