In today’s challenging and growing business scape, having to modify and rethink strategies for marketing your company has become a requirement every business needs to face. Nowadays, holding on to more traditional advertising can leave you dead on the tracks. With everyone’s attention now found online, placing spots on the radio or ad space on the local dailies can end up being a waste of your advertising effort.
As you place more value on your digital marketing strategy through digital channels, it’s essential to know how and where to put yourself out there. And no, we’re not referring to sending emails that hopefully people would even open.
However, having the means to conceptualize and implement an effective digital marketing plan can successfully impact your company’s image. This plan can enhance your overall marketing strategies and should also change over time to maintain effectiveness.
Table of Contents
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital Marketing is the term that refers to any aspect of marketing using electronic devices. These marketing campaigns appear on phones, tablets, computers or any other device that can go online. Since almost everything can be found on the internet nowadays, with 85% of all Americans going online daily, building an online presence for your company is now a must.
Promoting brands, products and services with potential customers using the internet allows you to reach a broader audience that is effective and measurable. This is done through various channels such as social media platforms, web-based ads, Search Engine Optimization or SEO, Pay-Per-Click Marketing or PPC, email marketing, and mobile apps.
Taking your marketing approach to focus on online marketing tactics can reach more customers for less money than traditional marketing methods. Traditional advertising has seen a significant decline in the last few years, with TV advertising sales seeing a 12% decline and print and radio advertising sliding down 25% over the previous year.
Even immediately impactful billboard advertising, despite its often hefty pricing, has also seen reduced figures. With mobile internet users increasing their daily consumption by significant minutes each year, fewer eyes are on the road to capture. Digital marketing allows you to refine your marketing approach with more current means while also targeting your campaigns to a specific demographic.
Digital Marketing is beneficial to your brand for the following reasons:
- It’s Cost-Effective. Digital Marketing helps you save money in your marketing efforts and is a more affordable way of targeting your business to interested customers. In addition, it allows you to maintain a digital marketing strategy that is well within your budget. Marketing online also enables you to maintain a small marketing team, with 78% of marketers usually consisting of one to three people.
- It’s Measurable. One of the most critical benefits of digital marketing is assessing and measuring your results immediately. Every campaign has a tracking system with various metrics that can be analyzed in real-time. From impressions, comments, shares, and clicks, you can quickly determine how your campaign performs. This also allows you to improve your campaigns even while it’s ongoing, enabling you to optimize even further and run better campaigns for your business.
- Target Ideal Customers. Reaching the right people who would find an interest in your business is the goal of an effective marketing campaign. Online marketing allows you the ability to target people specifically. This is something that traditional marketing can never match since targeting specific demographics will enable you to bring your company much closer to those who have more interest than others. You can define parameters according to age, gender, interests, occupation, and more, allowing you to target your audience more specifically.
- Build Brand Exposure Early. Most people often turn to the internet with regards to anything before making a purchase. They either do research or look for products online that they need. Having an online presence allows you to impact their decisions towards your brand positively. Building brand exposure online enables users to find your business early in their buying journey. This recall can also provide the impact you need to remember your product or company down the line.
Types Of Digital Marketing
As online marketing has grown, it has developed into seven main types that are applied through various digital marketing channels:
1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving a website or a piece of content to increase its visibility for relevant searches. The more visible your platform is in search results, the more attention you can garner to lead prospective customers to your business.
Search engines such as Google or Bing collect information from your pages to determine elements such as content quality and keyword research that become vital factors in determining where your site shows on a particular search index. Optimizing your platform and content can help you rank higher in search results, allowing you to gain an advantage over everyone else.
2. SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
Search Engine Marketing is a digital marketing strategy used to increase the visibility of your website or platforms through search engine results pages. Advertisers pay for impressions that result in visitors, making it an efficient way to market on a budget.
In paid search advertising, sponsored ads can appear prominently on top and alongside search engine results based on keywords typed as search terms, making it highly likely that people will click on them.
3. PPC (Pay-per-Click Advertising)
A typical advertising model applied by almost every digital marketer, Pay-Per-Click marketing allows advertisers to place ads on search engines, social media platforms and websites, with fees being paid whenever the ad is clicked.
As a result, PPC provides plenty of potential exposure and can be seen by your audience as soon as your ads are approved. In addition, PPCs offer great returns for the business and provide $2 for every $1 invested. These run on Google’s PPC services platform, Google Ads, which has generated over $134 Billion in ad revenue.
4. Content Marketing
Content Marketing refers to creating and publishing content to attract, entertain, educate, and maintain your target audience. This is a more long-term strategy application focusing on building a solid relationship with your immediate customer base by providing them valuable content regularly.
Content marketing strategies are a great way to develop customer loyalty while showing your customers that you care about them. However, this attention turns into preference when it comes to actual purchasing, as customers tend to prefer a brand they know and have an affinity for over the competition.
5. Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing uses social media platforms to connect with your customer base, allowing you to build your brand, increase sales, and drive more traffic to your website. This can include posting text and image updates, videos, and other means of content to gain audience engagement and include paid social media advertising.
6. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an online advertising approach where a company uses third-party publishers to market another company’s products and services. Third-party publishers, or affiliates, are given a commission taken from actual sales, providing more incentive to promote your company and products in various ways. This performance-based form of digital marketing accounts for 15% of the overall e-commerce revenue.
7. Email Marketing
Email marketing uses sending direct emails to promote products or services while developing relationships with potential customers. This can be done by sending promotional-based messages in mass quantities to generate sales and include newsletters, sales and discounts, and exclusive deals for subscribers.
Email marketing is among the direct marketing tools that allow businesses to tailor messages to their specific audiences and keep their customers informed about the company.
10-Step Guide to Digital Marketing
To achieve successful conversions for your business, developing and maintaining an effective online strategy is essential. This process can help you be structured enough to stay on track while allowing your campaign to be flexible enough for further improvements:
1 . Set objectives and goals
Before you set out and create a marketing plan for your business, identifying your purpose is necessary. Knowing why your business needs to be marketed a certain way can guide all of the efforts towards that reason.
In addition, identifying long-term goals can help you break down your strategies into specific objectives. These goals must be attainable and measurable, even in the short term, to allow you to customize your approach as you go along.
Whether targeting an increase to your social media audience or directing more traffic to your website, it’s easier to implement a plan once you’ve identified what you want to achieve.
2. Create a situation analysis
Understanding the current status of your business within the market can give you an idea of the situations you may face as you initiate your plans. Having a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis allows you to determine what makes your business unique while providing valuable insight into the things you may need to improve.
Of course, other factors such as economy, competition and technology can also contribute to your analysis to define your digital marketing strategies.
3. Evaluate existing digital marketing channels
With the number of digital and social channels on the internet continuing to grow, it’s essential to understand where and how your approach should attain effectiveness. Focusing your efforts on finding most of your audience allows you to gain more organic interactions that can ultimately develop relationships and recall to your brand.
If your target audience is on Facebook, focusing on regular content and paid reach on the social media platform refines your strategy. This also gives you a clear idea of what type of content to create. If your product requires a more visual approach to pull in interest, then focusing on website promotions through display advertising is the approach you need to take.
Defining how these digital marketing channels can work best for your business provides efficiency to your methods while ensuring optimal effectiveness.
4. Create your brand story
Consumers in today’s online market can encounter up to 20,000 brands every day, with only 12 leaving an impression that can lead to sales. So, in addition to your sales pitch, it’s crucial to develop a story for your brand that potential customers can relate to. Up to 73% of today’s consumers prefer to learn about your brand story instead of what you can offer to them. Here are 10 reasons why branding is important to your company.
This is how you can stand out from all the brands trying to catch people’s attention. Creating a personality for your brand allows you to reach customers on an emotional level. This can be done by effectively relaying your brand promise. Mega-tech Company Apple does this by proclaiming to “Think Different”. Slogans like this provide a captivating perspective of what mark your brand intends to make in today’s world.
5. Create your audience persona
Figuring out how to convey your brand’s story requires you to understand who your story might resonate with. Creating a persona for your audience allows you to identify the types of people you want to attract and target. In addition, creating several targeted personas that contain a person’s background, career, goals, and decision making tendencies depending on categories your approach can take will allow you to maneuver your strategies more efficiently.
To get a good idea of who you’re marketing your business to, conducting interviews and online surveys can provide you with the necessary data you’ll need.
6. Develop your content strategy
For any digital marketing strategy, creating valuable, high-quality content is now more critical than ever. In 1996, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates proclaimed that “Content is King”, and while this statement remains true today, making helpful content is now more relevant.
In developing your content strategy, it’s important to find out what your audience wants and needs to present it to them in a more creative way. Your content needs to be what people are interested in to relay your company’s visions and current actions more effectively.
In addition, providing high-quality content that is well maintained and consistent allows you to gauge your interactions more regularly.
7. Make your timeline
Based on your goals and objectives, creating a timeline is essential to manage your efforts effectively. Keeping track of various online channels, content formats, and deliverables can be tedious and require organization.
Having a timeline that includes your content calendar also allows you to list down essential benchmarks while identifying those in charge of creating and publishing every piece of content. Having a reliable timetable can help you determine what needs to be completed and when they need to be put up.
8. Plot out your budget and resources
Before implementing your marketing strategies, it’s essential to determine what you can and can’t afford. This allows you to plot the most cost-effective options that would ensure the success of your digital marketing plan.
For example, many paid advertising options will enable you to choose the amount you can afford and can be customized to fit your budget such as Facebook’s Campaign Budget Optimization. It’s also essential to plan your staffing out, so you can strategize accordingly without overwhelming your resources.
9. Delegate and implement
After you’ve identified the necessary preparations, you can assign these tasks to your team to implement. Digital Marketing can be acted on by the least number of people but may also require additional staffing depending on the size and scope of your campaigns. You’ve already plotted out how your plan is to be implemented, now you and your team need to put it all into action.
10. Measure and stay current
With your digital marketing campaign underway, monitoring and measuring its effectiveness will allow you to assess your current plant while also forming your next steps. Constant monitoring of your progress through data analytics can ensure that your strategy is working.
Taking instant feedback that can work for you provides valuable insight while identifying opportunities for further improvement, which you can immediately implement.
5 Examples of Digital Marketing Campaigns that Worked
Implementing an effective digital marketing strategy can create experiences for your audience that naturally brings outstanding brand awareness. Here are some examples of digital campaigns that elevated brands and distinguished the companies behind them:
1. #ShotOniPhone Campaign (Apple)
Apple’s #ShotOniPhone campaign began as an online challenge where iPhone users were invited to share their best photos on Instagram and Twitter. Participants used their iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max to feature their Night Mode Images, with chosen photos appearing as part of Apple’s overall advertising campaign.
This UGC or user-generated content campaign instantly became a phenomenon that is still relevant today. #ShotOniPhone highlights how these Apple products can take captivating images that can be used on billboards and storefronts, all taken from conventional iPhones.
Thus, the campaign organically showcases the potential of these products while engaging its customer base significantly. The hashtag has been used more than 16 million times on Instagram and provides plenty of brand exposure at literally no cost.
2. Dollar Shave Club Launch Video (Dollar Shave Club)
It’s important to remember that a great piece of content can take your business far into the realm of brand exposure in initiating a successful digital marketing campaign. For example, Dollar Shave Club, a company that offers door-to-door delivery of grooming products, achieved plenty of traction when they released their company launch video.
With an approach that added personality to a usually basic boring routine, Dollar Shave Club used attention-grabbing cheeky content to increase its customer base. As a result, the launch video now has more than 27 million views and has brought the company’s online followers to over one million. This gained popularity proved worthwhile for the company, as Unilever recently acquired it for one billion dollars.
3. Virtual Background Competition (Zoom)
Setting up online competitions and giveaways is a sure way of boosting brand awareness on social media platforms. It ensures good engagement while adding to your brand’s positive sentiment because people generally like free stuff.
In 2020, Video Communications company Zoom surged from 10 million daily participants to 300 million, effectively generating $328.3 million. Aside from providing the necessary virtual tools in times of great need, Zoom solidified its position through effective marketing campaigns.
By holding monthly virtual contests that featured the app’s virtual background feature, Zoom provided a platform for users to share pictures and videos while highlighting the quality. This fun approach brought more interest to video conferencing, which quickly converted to more signups. Over 50,000 users signed up for a free trial to join these contests.
4. #CouldUseABeer Campaign (Coors Light)
Implemented during the early start of the pandemic, Coors Light saw it fit to put up a memorable social media campaign through Twitter using the hashtag #CouldUseABeer. The beer brand offered a six-pack to people who posted and kept their tweet pinned until they reached a target of 500,000 beers, which also represented more than 500,000 new followers and customers.
The mood and manner of the campaign provided a sentiment that the entire world could relate to. It also offered the opportunity to highlight sensible content when people needed some positivity through the brand’s generosity.
5. Moldy Whopper Campaign (Burger King)
Causing some controversy can also push interest to your business’ favour, such as what Burger King did in 2020 for their “Moldy Whopper” Campaign. The company highlighted a signature Whopper without artificial preservatives, colouring and flavouring, through a time-lapse video documenting how mould grew on the burger over 34 days.
While many comments were expressed with disgust, the campaign managed to reach engagements of up to 2 million views with 21 million impressions. In addition, the risky campaign provided Burger King with the reputation of being a more natural burger compared to the competition.
Having an effective digital marketing strategy that engages your audience towards your brand can truly help build your customer base. By conceptualizing and implementing creative means of putting your business out there, you can achieve your goals efficiently and more cost-effectively while developing your brand image and customer relationships along the way.