Every now and then we hear the word Digital Marketing but many of us are not fully aware of the term and its scope in detail. A “Complete Digital Marketing guide with strategy” is very much needed in a systematic format. Enormous content on the internet, books, and blogs are available to refer, which may be very confusing for beginners. But here I have compiled all the major aspects in this “Complete Digital Marketing guide with strategy”. Let me take you each point one by one.
What is Digital Marketing (DM)?
Marketing has always been connecting to your audience at the right time and right place. With the increasing use of the internet, you can reach your target audience easily and spending less cost and with more conversions, moreover the traditional techniques of marketing are no more effective these days, Digital Marketing is the marketing of products or service through digital medium or technologies mainly the internet.
Definition of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing comprises all marketing efforts that use an online medium or the internet. Businesses use digital channels such as blog, website, search engines, social media, and email, etc. to connect with existing and potential customers.
Importance of Digital Marketing
The world is very fast-moving from the traditional way of functioning to a digital way. Digital means of marketing are more easy, quick, measurable and result-driven. DM is beneficial to both marketers (business) and customers.
Below are reasons why Digital marketing is important:
Equal opportunities for all kinds of businesses
Gone were the days when only big companies were able to spend huge sum on marketing. DM allows even the small business and start-ups to compete with big business to attract customers via an online platform. This also brings more conversions as compared to traditional marketing.
Most cost-effective than traditional marketing
This is the most cost-effective than traditional marketing. The marketing cost has reduced and the conversions are increased. So overall a good ROI on the investment in digital marketing as compared to traditional marketing.
Helps business generate more revenue
With better conversion rates resulted from successful digital marketing strategies. DM ensures more revenue if you keep doing on a regular basis. It opens the ways to cater to the audience from remote locations as well. You can have bigger targeted area locally and overseas.
Enables interaction with the targeted audience
DM enables interaction with the targeted audience. The role of Digital Marketing is to ensure a smooth engagement with the customer which allows building trust among customers for the brand.
It helps to build brand reputation
DM is responsible for building your brand reputation. Once your brand has the reputation you have better chances to win the customers. Customers will be readily agreeing to pay for the products and services of yours without any hesitation.
Influences prospective customers to take desirable action via CTA (Call to action)
Calls-to-action directs the prospects to use CTA. CTA allows your customer to sign up, download something, buy or subscribe. Digital marketing lets you select and use particular steps that will appeal the target customers to make some favorable action.
Helps you build the trust
As DM emphasis on web-based social networking signals so can customize collaboration between business and their target customers. Web-based social media signals, social reviews, testimonials, feedback from the loyal customers who made a purchase with you is the basis of digital marketing influencing. The more the social signals the better the trust it can produce from prospects. As a result more conversions from prospects to paid customers.
How Digital Marketing helps you grow your business?
Digital marketing helps any business to grow in many ways which are mentioned below:
For any business to spend on traditional marketing is always expensive like TV ads, Hiring marketing people, billboards, etc. But in digital marketing, you can target the larger area with the least cost. In this way, a business may grow exponentially at low cost.
With digital marketing, you can expand the reach to any geographical area in no time and at less cost. You can run campaigns and through social media, website all these things can help your reach boundaries.
DM allows seeing the effectiveness of the strategy which is getting more conversions and other analytics. So based on the analytics the strategy can be modified and applied accordingly. The amount of data which can be collected through digital marketing plays a very crucial role in defining the best strategy.
If you want to target youth aged 20-25 years who are interested in learning Digital Marketing living in Delhi, you can precisely target them. This is what you can do with digital marketing.
When you get good conversions and the cost involved is very low obviously this will fetch higher revenue for a business
What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
With the internet revolution, most of the business have reduced their marketing budget from traditional marketing to digital marketing. It’s an estimate that more than 28% of businesses have reduced their traditional marketing budget and switched to digital marketing.
In the present scenario, you need to make your presence online. There are many digital options to choose from, and for this, you need a suitable plan. Here is the time where an effective digital marketing strategy help.
A digital marketing strategy is an outline or blueprint of how you will meet your business’s online objectives. Obviously a well-designed blueprint is super important when it comes to a growing business.
How to create an effective Digital Marketing Strategy?
A perfect digital marketing strategy can be one or a combination of different aspects of it like Website designing, email campaigns, SEO, SEM, SMM, Video creation, etc. With a proper digital strategy, you can measure your results with that of your business objectives and ascertain the effectiveness of your strategy.
We all know as business owners and digital marketers that successful DM efforts are not made overnight. You need to spend hours to research the market, analyze data, defining goals and eventually able to design a digital marketing strategy to achieve the goals.
It takes time and energy to develop and implement a successful digital marketing campaign. In order to create an effective digital marketing strategy you must consider 6 most important points as below:
1. Smart Goals
A strategy must be a high-level plan that clearly outlines the objectives and how to achieve them. Therefore, to start with you must have clear goals or objectives.
For example, the business object may be to increase the sales of a product by 50% in 12 months.
2. Know your Target Audience/Customer
To execute a successful digital marketing campaign you need to know your target customer well. For that, you can work with your sales department or another staff member who is working directly with the customers to build a detailed profile which includes their Age, Gender, Background, job, needs, challenges, problems, etc. This you can do by questionnaires, surveys or with the help of voice and messaging to connect with the target market.
3. Competitor Analysis
Most of the consumer make their buying decisions based on online information sources. This implies that they are likely to be looking at your competitors while making their decisions.
So you must keep an eye on your competitor’s offers, social media, and blogs to keep yourself updated what is going there in the market. Accordingly, you can create an effective digital marketing strategy.
4. Understand the buyer’s purchasing journey
If you understand the psychology of your customer and the path they take to purchase will unlock the key. This will let you know how to deliver the right message at the right time.
So to create an effective digital marketing strategy you need to map the customer journey from the problem identification to a website visitors and finally their post-purchase feedback.
5. Selecting Digital Marketing Channels
With so many digital marketing channels available, selecting the right digital marketing channels for your business will mainly depend on business objectives and target market.
Like for a B2B business a website, email marketing, LinkedIn and Twitter work well while for B2C you need to focus more on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
6. Selecting Digital Marketing Tactics
Selection of right digital marketing tactics plays a vital role when it comes to creating a digital marketing strategy. Digital tactics are the specific tools that you choose to achieve the desired result among your selected digital channels to communicate with your target market. This may include Google Adwords, Social Media Advertising, Email Automation, and Inbound Marketing.
Major Categories of digital marketing or ways of digital marketing
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The foremost topic in digital marketing is SEO. It is a process of optimizing your website to get organic or free traffic from the search engine result page. In simple terms the process by which you can increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your blog or website in an organic way.
In simple terms, SEO involves making few changes to your website design and content in order to make more striking to a search engine. This is being done so that the search engine displays your website as a top result on the search engine result page (SERP).
There are many benefits of SEO for any business either big or small. You can expand your visibility on the search engine by improving your SEO. This can be done by creating more effective SEO optimized content and surely increase your chances of getting more targeted organic traffic to your website.
It’s true that Google’s algorithms keep on changing and make you confused, but you can get the feeling when you work more with the concept.
SEO is a very vast topic in itself and is the most important category of digital marketing.
2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM is a form of internet marketing in which you increase your SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) through paid advertising methods.
Sellers/Advertisers bid on keywords that users of services such as Google and Bing might enter when looking for certain products or services. Here advertiser gets the opportunity for their ads to appear alongside results for those search terms or queries.
These ads, known by the term pay-per-click ads. PPC ads can be in any of formats as small text-based ads, product-based advertisements that allow consumers to see important information at-a-glance, like price and reviews, product listing ads (PLAs, also known as Shopping ads) are more visual.
Search engine marketing offers advertisers the opportunity to put their ads in front of motivated customers who are ready to buy at the precise moment they’re ready to make a purchase.
No other advertising channel can do this and hence SEM is so effective and such a powerful way to grow any business.
Again for SEM, you need an expert to help you in this, especially one who has worked with Google Ads and search or display ads.
4. Local Search Marketing
Local search marketing is becoming popular in the last few years. It became all popular since local businesses realized the value of local search marketing is being found by local consumers. This is a fact that 50% of local mobile searches convert in a store visit by the consumer on the same day.
You must list your business through Google My Business to make you visible on searches when the user make searches based on keywords. This enables Google Maps listing of your business or store location.
It is very important to have a good social reputation and positive online reviews. Social media is a very good medium to start conversations and posting targeted content to attract more customers to you rather than you following them.
5. Content Marketing
As we all know that “content is the king” , so good content targeting the potential customers is very vital for a business. Your content must be valuable, relevant and consistent to make it worth the time of those consuming it.
Every business must focus on creating content that can solve the pain areas and stay updated. Content marketing can be done via blogs, social media posts, influencer marketing, video marketing, ebooks, etc.
Well designed SEO friendly content help you on the top searches of search engines and subsequently will result in better traffic and conversions.
Re-marketing which is the vital aspect to digital marketing is approaching the potential customers again because the first time they didn’t respond to your banner ads on your website. This is done by tracking these visitors through cookies and when the visitor is browsing the web, viewing YouTube videos or watching news websites the adds of your website with the same product searched by the visitor will flash everywhere, thus keeping your brand top on his mind and attract him to visit your website again.
You can also place new ads on your site based on the information from your site visitors’ data by focusing more on their pain points.
Re-marketing aids in brand awareness and increases the conversions by being engaged with prospects.
7. Responsive Web Design
With the increased use of smartphones a mobile-friendly website is one of the most essential parts of digital marketing. Responsive web design is the only way to make this work successfully. This can be done with responsive programming to make your website automatically conform to all mobile screens.
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a new open-source code that helps to make mobile web pages load faster. Google gives preference to websites using this if you are publishing content on a regular basis.
8. Email Marketing
Email marketing is the most effective digital marketing strategy of sending emails to potential customers. Here you need to provide the valuable content, information, knowledge to prospects to build trust towards your brand among them.
Later on, these prospects turn into your customers and one-time buyers into loyal customers.
If you have less marketing funds email marketing is one of the most affordable methods of digital marketing. There are some free tools available like mail chimp with some limits and other premium tools are Aweber, Convert kit, Getresponse, etc.
You can combine it with other media. In emails, you can add social share icons, referral reward systems, run contests, giveaways, etc. to engage with the prospects. Vyper is a very good tool to run contests and giveaways in a very good format.
Email marketing leads to shortening the sales cycles when effective and compelling content is used.
9. Social Media Marketing (SMM)
One very powerful way of digital marketing is social media marketing. It is equally effective for all sizes of businesses to reach prospects and customers. Usually, all the customers are already interacting with brands through social media.
But if you are not interacting your prospects or customers through social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest you will surely lose your customers. A good SMM strategy can bring you tremendous results with great conversions.
10. Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is the process of using software to finish marketing tasks of repetitive nature. The software is designed in such a way that it nurture sales leads, personalize marketing messages and content and by doing this save marketers’ time and effort. With marketing automation, you can automate many tasks and send the right message to the right user at the right time that too more effectively.
You can look for a CRM platform with marketing automation built-in. A good automation tool is that which keep your content consistent across all channels to create brand identity and awareness.
11. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is getting very popular these days, it is a strategy that orients itself around an influential person. An influencer need not be a celebrity but someone with a lot of followers and a good track record of promoting products.
Typically the influencer has cultivated a large following on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Also, they may have vast blog following or a lengthy email list which is quite engaging.
You can reach out to these influencers on social media and ask them to promote your brand. They may be interested in your offer against some fees or exchange for free products.
12. Video Marketing
Video marketing is the most popular these days and will be there for sure in the future. It is a digital marketing strategy to promote and market your products and service with the help of videos. Consumers love to see the videos as they are engaging and entertaining. Videos are easily accessible with the internet boom.
Video is critical to your marketing strategy because it is easy to understand, memorable and measurable.
There are different types of videos like business promotion videos, tutorials, testimonials, etc.
Videos can be used to teach complex concepts, to share stories and inspire to take actions like demos, subscriptions, place an order and more.
It is good to keep your videos as short as possible because the viewer’s attention spans are always short. You need to tell your story in the most compelling way with more meaningful and compact way.
Role of Digital Marketing Agency
By now we have clearly understood the meaning and importance of Digital marketing. Since it is very vast and needs the expertise to apply the right strategy to achieve desired results. Here you may feel the need for a digital marketing agency.
Digital marketing agencies will analyze your website traffic, determine the best strategy to follow, evaluate the results and make necessary changes in the strategy to achieve the desired results.
Digital marketing agencies have experts in effectively managing your digital marketing budget with the help of developed tools and techniques which they have acquired while working with several clients.
Here you need to set the budget and expectations and rest the agency will handle.
You must give due consideration on several aspects while you select a digital marketing agency.
A Career in Digital Marketing
With the internet boom, every business wants to be present online in order to increase sales and revenue. This can be done with DM. This prevailing need and trend of digitization have created a tremendous demand for professionals acquainted with the skill and art of digital marketing.
There are various avenues in a digital marketing career. Below are the areas a DM expert professional will get the chance to involve in during his career journey in the field:
- Web Designing and Web Development
- Brand Management
- Content Curation and Content Management
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
- SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
- Email Marketing
- Data Analytics
- Social Media Marketing
- Marketing Strategy
- Marketing Automation
- Editing and Copywriting
- Mobile Marketing
- Interactive Technology (such as AI, ML etc)
You don’t have to be an expert in all these areas. However, it is advisable to get expertise in as many areas for a successful career in digital marketing
A career in Digital Marketing is one of the highest paying jobs in India.
What are the benefits of pursuing a career in Digital Marketing?
You can kick-start your career for FREE
To learn digital marketing you don’t need to enroll yourself in a university to pursue a career in digital marketing. It would open more doors to you if you have any professional full-time degree in digital marketing. There are many certifications which you can get to travel on a rewarding career path.
Evolving industry with tremendous scope
Once you have knowledge of DM you never have to worry about career growth. The use of the internet is growing with each passing day. Every business big or small going digital and constantly seeking trained professional who can perform the DM tasks for them. This is the most evolving sector with tremendous scope in terms of career and job opportunities.
Rewarding job prospects
This is one of the most rewarding career options because there is no limitation or restriction on which sector it is limited to. Every company or business from any field, irrespective of size are moving their marketing budget from traditional to digital marketing. So by acquiring knowledge about the latest trends, skills, techniques, and updates in digital marketing one can be sure of a rewarding career prospect.
Your creativity gets wings to fly
This is the most interesting benefit of a career in digital marketing that your creativity gets the wings to fly. This is because every component of DM allows one to try and experiment with different methods and techniques to watch what’s working effectively for the bran.
You can name any position like the Content writer, Brand manager, Email marketer or SEO specialist, you are expected to be imaginative, creative and innovative to apply the current trends in the world of digital marketing in order to fulfill the marketing goals of the company.
How to learn Digital Marketing
Now the question is how to learn digital marketing? There are two ways which you can follow:
- Learn from Digital Marketing Experts
Once you have decided to do it on your own, here is the way you can proceed:
There is enormous information available on several blogs. DM is ever-changing and some of the blogs are fresh and actionable content which you must follow to improve your digital marketing skills are:
After blogs videos are the most powerful and easiest way to learn DM in more practical ways. You can follow YouTube channels which you feel comfortable and informative and serve your purpose to learn DM.
You can use podcasts to learn digital marketing. It is the most convenient method because you can listen to the podcasts even when you are traveling, commuting, working out or while finishing out your home chores.
Books are the best way to learn anything so is Digital Marketing. Reading the best books on DM enhance your knowledge and you can easily take up a job or work as a freelancer.
Some Top Digital Marketing books are:
5. Free Online Courses
There are multiple online courses available which one can join and learn digital marketing. They are completely free and with the help of them, you can polish your skills on the subject.
Google online marketing challenge
Google online marketing challenge is an online course with modules covering an introduction to DM, search engine marketing, search advertising, social, mobile, analytics, video, display advertising etc making it one of the most exhaustive course for beginners.
Moz’s SEO Training course
This course from Moz is very suitable for beginners who want the basic introduction of search engine optimization.
Here beginners can learn different components of SEO.
WordStream’s PPC University
It is a free online resource for beginners to learn digital marketing and PPC. Since this is mobile friendly so you can learn it wherever you have time. This is created by WordStream and is free.
Social Media Quickstarter Digital Marketing Course
Social media quick start provides a step by step lesson on digital marketing lessons for Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, YouTube, online listings, reviews and blogging sites for beginners.
You can refer 15 Best Free Digital Marketing Certifications Online
Comprehensive Study with Experts
Sometimes the self-study does not seem to be effective and is quite a time taking. As no one is there to help you out when you have doubt or query.
Obviously, to get at insight at first you may adopt self-study to learn digital marketing but if you really are serious to take this as your full-time career which is a nice idea, you must go to a training institute. In most of the institutes, you have both online and offline methods of learning, which you can choose as per your choice.
Although digital marketing is a very vast and ever-changing subject. You need to be updated on all development in the field. I have tried to put all the possible topics from the perspective of student and business who are a beginner for the concept in this “Complete Digital Marketing guide with a strategy”
Hope the information I shared with you is useful for you.
Kindly comment for any feedback or suggestion. Also, feel free to ask any question if you have regarding this.