Social distancing is the best way to prevent COVID-19 pandemic affecting the entire globe in a short span of time. Social distancing norms are compelling the world to adapt to new styles of living and doing business. Use of technologies like online trading, digital conferencing and digital marketing etc. is gaining popularity during the periods of social distancing.
Use of digital technology in sales and marketing was already in the process of growth. Many people prefer to purchase necessary items from the comfort and safety of their homes. Food, clothes, books, electronics gadgets – name it, you will have them on your online store. Brick mortar shops are finding the growth of online shopping as a threat to their business. Digital marketing provides a solution to their concern also.
NASCOM evaluated the worth of the online market in India as 38.5 billion USD in 2018-19. Increased speed of internet and other supporting technologies indicates this will further increase significantly in the years to come. What is Digital Marketing, what are its possibilities, what are the medias used in digital marketing etc. are overviewed in this article. Information in this article could provide a guideline to those who want to start digital marketing, also it helps to choose appropriate media for their business and have the necessary control over the digital marketing activities.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is defined as the promotion of brands or products through different forms of electronic media. Philip Kotler – The Father of Modern Marketing provides a definition of digital marketing based on the activities involved. He defines “Digital marketing is a form of direct marketing which links consumers with sellers electronically using interactive technologies like emails, websites, online forums and newsgroups, interactive television, mobile communications etc.”.
Compared with the traditional marketing channels of print, telephone and direct meetings digital marketing has got some additional advantages. Being able to use videos and social media increases the effectiveness and reach of digital marketing.
Digital Marketing Medias
Information about the products, services and the brand can be communicated through the websites cost-effectively. Along with that, an e-commerce enabled website is like a showroom that is opened for 24 hours to the entire world. The content of a website is in the full control of its owner, when other websites like social media are used to publish the content it may have many regulations and prioritising algorithms to control whom and where to show a piece of particular information.
Blogging a good media to communicate about the products, services and the industry in general to potential customers. The maintenance cost of a website can be avoided by using free service provided by some blogging platforms. Integrating blogs and websites by using content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal is also a good practice to reach out to the potential customers. WordPress is a popular CMS platform and it is the software that powers 35% of the entire websites in the world. Multiple blogs can be added to WordPress websites. Time magazine website is an example. Blogs can be used to communicate with people of special interest sectors and eventually leads to the website.
Search engines index the contents of all the websites and make the pages available to people who search on the internet for information. Google and Bing are the most prominent search engines in the world. There are two methods of digital marketing through search engines. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making your site better and friendly for search engines. By arranging the content in the website in particular ways and adding necessary keywords in the appropriate places and by making some technical changes, it is possible to make a website more SEO friendly, which makes the listing of the site to a higher position when somebody makes a search on the internet. For example, when a search is made for “Hotels in New Delhi”, hotels having websites with better SEO settings will be shown on the top of the listing.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is an advertising service in Search engines like google. It is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (or SERPs). There are different payment methods to calculate the amount payable to the search engine for advertisement. Pay Per Click (PPC) and Pay Per Mille (PPM) are the popular modes of SEM payment.
Social Media Marketing
All major brands in the world nowadays use social media marketing effectively to promote their products and services. There are many social media platforms available like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube and many more. Each social media platform has its own kind of followers and users. A company can decide upon which channel to use for their promotion based on the nature of their brand, product or services etc. For example, Instagram is a platform which is more used by youth, so a company targeting youth can choose Instagram as their prime social media platform. Linkedin may be the best option for a placement agency to do advertisement as it is the platform where professionals update their profile.
Creating accounts or pages in these social media platforms is free service, however, most of the social media provide advertisement opportunities through their platform. Social Media Marketing is a useful channel to send a marketing message to more people cost-effectively.
Display advertisement is a method of campaigning advertisement messages through words, images, logos, animations, videos or infographics. This is also known as banner advertising. Display advertisements can be placed on websites, social media and mobile apps etc. Google AdWords is a popular display advertisement platform. There are many technical words associated with the payment methods of display advertisement, CPC, CPM, CPL, CPA etc are some among them.
CPC stands for cost per click i.e when a customer clicks a display advertisement the advertiser has to pay that much amount to the advertising platform. CPM stands for cost per mille i.e when an advertisement is displayed one thousand times the advertiser needs to pay that much amount to the ad platform. CPL is the cost per lead. When an interested customer login using his contact like name, email, phone number etc. it is considered as a lead. CPL is the amount payable to the advertising platform when an advertiser gets a valid lead. CPA stands for cost per acquisition. Once the sales are made CPA amount needs to be paid to the advertising platform.
Mobile Apps Marketing
Mobile app marketing is a marketing strategy in which mobile apps are used to disseminate advertisements. App developers are the one who gets paid for mobile app advertising. The app shows an ad from the ad network. The network uses various algorithms to identify and deliver the highest paying ads to the user on a real-time basis. The popularity of mobile app marketing is increasing very fast.
YouTube is known as the second biggest search engine. It is a platform where many people spend much of their online time. Advertisements appearing on YouTube videos can be linked to a website, a social media page or another video where the marketing message is displayed. To have a YouTube channel for a brand or product is desirable even from an SEO perspective.
It is a direct way to communicate with customers. Product details can be directly communicated to the customers, along with those special offers and new products also can be introduced. There are specific platforms available for mass emailing.
Advantages of Digital marketing
Transparency, flexibility and reach are the three main advantages of digital marketing over traditional methods of marketing.
When connected with analytics data accurate information about the visitors of websites and people who had seen the advertisement can be obtained. Visitors geographical location, age, gender, specific interests etc can be understood. This information can be used to form the structure of the content of marketing messages. Data analytics information can help to make quick and accurate decisions regarding branding, placement and sales of products and services.
Real-time changes can be done on digital media marketing messages. This is a great advantage over traditional media like a print advertisement. For example, three different versions of the same advertisements can be made and tested on Facebook and after analysing the results of these sample advertisements one can decide where to spend more money.
With limited budgets, more people can be reached. Marketing messages can be sent across to the international market on a limited budget. Also, the specific areas where the advertisements need to be displayed can be decided. In general, advertisers will have more control over the placement of advertisements.
The processes of digital marketing are very easy, but usually, small businesses hesitate to enter the field of the digital market. How to begin? Which direction to move and how much to spend are some of the common doubts of a beginner in this field. Answers to these questions depend on the type of business and industry.
Most of the companies beginning digital marketing have all these doubts, it is very common. Only after entering into digital marketing, you will come to know how to navigate and in which direction. It is a process of real-time learning. Digital marketing journey is comparable with a walk through a frost, nothing is visible at first as you move forward things will be visible and then you will be able to navigate effectively. Similarly, after beginning the digital marketing you need to make further decisions based on the initial data available. So don’t hesitate to begin this journey.