What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing includes all marketing of products and services that takes place via digital channels and platforms. You can use digital channels such as search, social media, email and websites to communicate with your customers’ future and existing customers.
Digital marketers are responsible for creating brand awareness, lead generation and driving prospects forward in the buying price through digital channels.
Typically, digital marketers use KPIs (key performance indicators) for all the different channels so that you can measure the effect of the campaign. Some are unique web visits, conversions, brand awareness and many more.
Digital marketing targets a specific segment of a customer base with different messages that appeal to the target group.
The ads include search results ads, email ads, social media ads and more – all of which include customer feedback marketing or a two-way interaction between the company and the customer.
Marketing now and then
In the past, it was enough for a company to appear in a newspaper ad and then the phone rang.
There is still something in the fact that some marketing worked better in the past. Marketing yourself offline (radio, TV and print) requires a fairly large marketing budget.
There are also often a limited number of places to be seen and then the prices are set accordingly.
Nowadays, digital marketing is usually cheaper but the problem is that there are endless places to be seen. Where to be seen and is it really that cheap?
When it comes to digital marketing, entrepreneurs and marketers often take the easy way out. Especially since it’s somewhere in the back of my mind – that the simple method worked before and then it must work now.
Succeeding in digital marketing and thereby achieving digital presence requires (in my opinion) a great commitment. If you work with a digital agency, it is required that both the digital agency knows what they are doing, but it also requires a great deal of commitment from the customer.
When both the customer and the digital agency work towards the same goal, you are one step closer to succeeding with your marketing!
3 reasons to invest in digital marketing
I hope you now have a better idea of what digital marketing is, but as a business you might be wondering why you should invest in this?
Below I therefore list the three main reasons to invest in marketing via digital channels:
1. Reach the right target group
Historically, it has been very difficult to control who is exposed to which advertising, which has also meant that it has been a challenge to target the ads to the right target group.
For example, if you wanted to market your company’s new sports drink in the early 2000s, you might have chosen to do so via a lavish TV commercial, without really knowing who would see it.
In this way, the products were often exposed to the wrong target groups.
With the help of digital marketing, you can avoid this “noise” and instead expose your product or service to exactly your target group.
The range can be broken down as far as gender, age, geography and interest.
For example, if you want to market your sports drink today, you can choose to make it only for women aged 20–25 who live in let’s say Alaska and have an interest in exercise (if that is your main target group).
2. Direct interactions & results
Another great benefit of digital marketing is that you get direct interactions and results. To continue on this path, I can make another comparison between traditional marketing channels and digital channels.
Let’s say you owned a clothing store in LA in the early 2000s.
You then wanted to market your new summer collection to the residents nearby. Maybe you then chose to do this through the local newspaper where you encouraged people to visit your store.
When locals in LA were exposed to advertising, they possibly became interested, but many had to wait until the weekend and then unfortunately something came in between.
In the end it went too long, autumn had time to come and there was no purchase from the beautiful summer collection.
Yes, you probably understand where I want to go – the road to shopping was simply very long!
By instead marketing yourself via digital channels, you can get people to directly integrate with the ads and make purchases.
Let’s say that you now run an online clothing store instead.
You therefore choose to market yourself on Instagram where you encourage people to click on your ad – where they have the opportunity to make a purchase immediately. Good, is not it?!
3. Measurable efforts
Another great advantage of marketing yourself via digital channels is that you can easily measure the results of your efforts.
As I mentioned earlier, KPIs are often used to see if the investments are successful or not.
The type of measurement value used can, however, vary greatly depending on the industry you work in and what your goals are.
For example, if you want to work with brand building and get more people to recognize your company – then you can use the number of exposures to evaluate whether the effort was successful or not.
Different types of digital marketing channels
When it comes to the different types of online marketing channels, it is a jungle to say the least. There are already many established channels to use while new options pop up every week.
However, most new alternatives do not last long and therefore I recommend that you spend your budget on one of the following:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Search Marketing (SEM)
- Advertising via social media – mainly Facebook and Instagram
- The website
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
- Display advertising
- Video marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- Marketing Automation
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you want to work long-term with your online visibility, search engine optimization is the obvious choice.
In short, this effort is about optimizing your website in such a way that it is more visible in the organic results on search engines like Google and Bing.
Since the former is by far the largest, many also refer to SEO as “visible on Google”“.
The benefits of working with SEO are many, but above all it is a long-term job that can potentially create a traffic and money machine that continues to deliver results year after year…
I usually compare it with the “interest-on-interest effect”.
If you actively and continuously work on optimizing your website and creating good content, you will get the same results – a machine that generates more and more traffic.
2. Search Marketing (SEM)
Unlike SEO, which is about optimizing its presence in the search engines’ organic hit list, search marketing (SEM) is instead about paid ads to appear on certain keywords.
The biggest advantage of this type of marketing is that you get instant results. Your ad will immediately start appearing to the people searching for the words you have chosen to target.
On the other hand, it’s like a tap – as soon as you stop throwing in money, your ads will stop appearing.
3. Advertising via social media
Another popular channel for marketing yourself online is advertising via social media.
Here, of course, there are a whole host of options such as advertising on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter to name just a few.
Of course, everyone has their own pros and cons, which, however, deserves a post for itself. To make it simple, however, one could say that they are the same as for search marketing.
The absolute biggest advantage is that you get direct results, while the disadvantage is that the fun ends as soon as you stop coughing up money.
4. The website
The website is the center of all digital marketing. It is a very powerful channel, but it is also a medium needed to carry out a variety of online marketing campaigns.
A website must represent a brand, a product and a service in a clear and memorable way. It should be fast, mobile-friendly and easy to use.
5. Email marketing
Email marketing is still one of the most effective digital marketing tools, especially for the B2B industry. Many people confuse email marketing with spam messages, but that’s not what email marketing is all about.
Email marketing is the medium to get in touch with your potential customers or those who are interested in your brand.
Many digital marketers use all the other digital marketing channels to add potential customers to their email lists, and then they create through customer marketing to turn those customers into customers.
6. Content marketing
The goal of content marketing is to reach potential customers through the use of content. Content is usually published on a website and then marketed via social media, email marketing, SEO or even PPC campaigns.
Content marketing tools include blogs, e-books, online courses, infographics, podcasts and webinars.
7. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
PPC advertising enables marketers to reach Internet users on a number of digital platforms through paid advertising. Marketers can create PPC campaigns on e.g. Google, LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook and show their ads to people searching for terms related to the products or services.
PPC campaigns can segment users based on their demographic characteristics (such as age or gender), or even target their specific interests or location.
The most popular PPC platforms are Google ads, LinkedIn ads and Facebook ads.
8. Display advertising
Display advertising, also called banners, are visual advertisements on websites and apps. The ads can be anything from text and logos to images and videos.
9. Video marketing
YouTube has become the second most popular search engine and many users turn to YouTube before making a purchase decision, learning something, reading a review or just relaxing.
There are several video marketing platforms, including Facebook videos, Instagram or even TikTok that you can use to run a video marketing campaign.
Companies find the most success with video by integrating it with SEO, content marketing and broader social media marketing campaigns.
10. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest forms of marketing that has been revived.
With affiliate marketing, you use so-called “Influencers” to influence other people’s products and get a commission every time a sale is made or a lead is introduced.
Many well-known companies such as Amazon have affiliate programs that pay out millions of dollars a month to websites that sell their products.
11. Marketing Automation
Marketing automation means a step away from irrelevant and impersonal communication to the masses.
The purpose is instead to streamline and maintain a high level of credibility and quality in the content that is sent out to the target group.
It generates leads, maps your target audience’s behavior and converts potential customers into paying customers.
Used properly, marketing automation can help prospects and leads throughout the buying process and turn them into loyal customers.
Digital channels are spreading fast and digital marketers need to keep up with how these channels work, how they are used by recipients and how to use these channels to effectively market their products or services.
In addition, it is becoming more difficult to capture the attention of recipients, as recipients are increasingly flooded with competing ads.
Digital marketers also find it challenging to analyze the big data they capture and then utilize this information in new marketing efforts.
The challenge of capturing and using data effectively highlights that digital marketing requires a marketing strategy based on a deep understanding of consumer behavior.
For example, it may require a company to analyze new forms of consumer behavior, such as using site heat maps to learn more about the customer journey.
Define your goals for best results
Choosing the right digital marketing channel is not entirely easy and many times the best option is to work with a mix. In order to make a more concrete conclusion, however, it is important to clearly define what goals you have.
Is it to generate more business, increase brand awareness or also to provide service?
Create more business through digital marketing
It has long been the case that the basic principle for marketing should be to get more business to your company. If you put a sum of money in a vending machine, you want it to spit out more money once you make your investment.
The choice of marketing channel should be based on what the specific company wants to achieve. If there are more stores, it may be a good idea to start by thinking about the buying process.
Are you as a customer ready to make a purchase when you eat a sausage at a football match and see that the local carpenter sponsors the local team? Do you really want to rebuild the patio at that very moment?
Or are you ready to make a purchase when you sit on the TV couch and hear the Electric Giant in the background with some bank offer?
Or are you ready to make a purchase when you search for emergency electrician LA on your mobile?
If you want to run more business, you should invest in marketing channels that are closest to a purchase. In the channels closest to a purchase, it is the customer who looks for you and not the company who looks for the customer.
The marketing channels that I mention above aim to arouse a need. At least the TV commercial.
If you run an electrician company and work with emergency jobs, it is better that you are seen on channels where potential customers do a search for your services.
It is very difficult to do the right thing with your marketing via other channels if it is an urgent job.
What is the chance that the person sitting on the TV couch is ready to hire an emergency electrician? Against the person who actually does a search on your services.
Examples of marketing channels where you can be seen by a potential customer searching:
- Google Adwords
- Bing Ads
- Youtube advertising
Digital marketing to build a brand
It’s not all about quick efforts to bring in direct business. To become stronger as a company and gain more market share, it is necessary to strengthen your brand.
Getting a stronger brand does not happen overnight, but it is something that requires tactics and a long-term work plan.
But once it starts to bear fruit then it really does it properly.
Service-oriented digital marketing
Digital marketing can also be used to provide service or support to its customers. These are mainly social media channels such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Through the channels, customers can get fast service and answers to their questions. However, it is important that the company sets up an action plan and tactics for the company’s customer service.
There are many companies that have ended up in bad weather when they did not respond within a certain time, did not know how to communicate with negative reviews and the like.
Examples of things you should plan
- How long does it take before a person receives an answer?
- Which person among you is responsible for your social media?
- What happens if a negative review is written? How do we deal with that?
- What happens if someone writes a positive review? What do we do then?
- What is the goal of customer service via social media?
Other things to think about
However, if your company plans to invest money in digital marketing, it is also important to set up a clear plan.
Here are some questions that may also be good to think about.
- How big a budget do we have?
- What do we want to achieve with marketing?
- Shall we do it ourselves?
- Should we hire a digital agency?
- How are we doing this?
- Where should we market ourselves?
- How do we know if we have succeeded in our marketing?
- How do we measure the efforts?
Who benefits from digital marketing and why?
In some cases, you may need to differentiate between traditional marketing, also called outbound marketing, and digital marketing, also called inbound marketing.
This is important as both the platforms and strategies you will use in the two options differ.
Simply described, you use traditional marketing to actively disseminate information through advertising and advertisements via, for example, regular to your potential customers.
There is no special selection for those who are defined as potential customers, but it includes virtually everyone.
Traditional marketing can lead to you gaining new customers, and thus increased sales.
However, it is important that you pay attention not to make anyone annoyed with you and your brand as you can also send offers to people who are not interested in your business.
Let me summarize: when you use digital marketing, it’s not about getting as many people as possible to find your channels – on the contrary, it’s about finding the right people there.
By the right people I mean the people who are actively looking for and looking for what your company offers.
It is then these people you can build a relationship with and eventually sell your goods or services to.