What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is essentially the promotion of business products or brands via various forms of electronic media. This usually takes place in real time.
Digital marketers work to monitor views, visits (how often and for how long), sales conversions, run and analyse overall campaign success. While the Internet is probably the most well known channel that is associated with digital marketing, others can include MMS and text messaging, apps, electronic billboards, podcasts, TV and radio channels.
Digital media is extremely pervasive. In this digital age, consumers now have access to information 24/7 and can access it in almost any place that they wish. This offers huge opportunities for business.
Businesses can no longer only promote the message that they want their customers to hear. They are now promoted duelly, through not only their own advertising, but also via relevant news and social interaction. Your customers are no longer only exposed to what your company says about your own brand, but also what the media, friends, relatives and peers are saying as well…
….And, they are more likely to believe them than you. According to this article and many others like it, 84% of people believe word of mouth marketing to be the most trustworthy and reliable form around.
Customers want brands that they can trust and in order to successfully appeal to them, you need to know your customer.
With the rise of digital communication and social media, people are swamped in information every minute of the day. For your business to grow, it’s important to only show relevant communications that are personalized and to your market. Marketers are now tailoring offers to their customers needs and preferences much more, rather than mass advertising.
So how do we do this?
First, you need a consistent message across all channels. These include the web, social media, mobile and direct mail etc. Analysing the success of each campaign will mean that you can develop coordinated customer experiences that will encourage customers to move along your buying cycle. The better your insight into your customers behaviour and their preferences, the more likely you are to engage them.
Second, don’t be afraid to target! Think of your ideal customer and use information such as a their demographics (age, race, religion, gender, family size, ethnicity), geographics (where they live, work and socialise), psychographics (their lifestyle, social class and personality) and behavior (spending and usage) and take these into account when determining how to market your brand and business. When this is done well, it enables effective upsell and cross sell. The more personalised marketing materials that you send out using this customer segmentation strategy tend to be more valued and appreciated by the customer who receives them. Impersonal brand messaging doesn’t acknowledge previous purchase history or any kind of customer relationship and this can be damaging to your brand.
By using the internet and it’s numerous platforms, businesses can create competitive advantage after they pinpoint behavioral patterns of their clients and fulfill their needs. By using digital forms of marketing and social media, businesses can now improve relations between new and existing consumers. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals and reviews. This will set you apart from the competition, build your online reputation as well as reinforce your brand.
Improving brand awareness almost always results in a significant rise in customer engagement. It is therefore vital to maintain a successful, relevant and current social media presence. Remember to always be consistent in all of your interactions. Open up and create a two way feed of information, engage people and communicate. Stick to the 80/20 rule; 80% communication, 20% direct selling otherwise, you’ll appear too spammy. Social media is meant to be fun and lighthearted so don’t overdo the hard sell.
A successful digital marketing campaign will result in lowered costs in relation to traditional means of marketing. These savings can be seen in advertising, promotional and design costs.
Inbound / Outbound
Inbound marketing means earning customers interest. This can be done by posting relevant blogs, case studies, testimonials, articles, photos and communicating with other people directly. Outbound marketing involves selling via printed adverts, cold calling and eshots. No one strategy fits all and a successful campaign relies on both of these approaches. To get this right, it’s about knowing your market and having clear goals.
Get all of these points right and your business growth will be a walk in the park.