What is it? And how can it be used?
Due to the ever-changing world of technology, everyone seems to be unclear of what exactly digital marketing entails, and how you can use it efficiently to benefit your business growth. Here we will define digital marketing; give examples of what digital marketing is; and explain the advantages and disadvantages of digital marketing.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital Marketing is the promotion of products and/or services through digital devices such as computers and phones. This means that anyone with access to a computer or smartphone has experienced a form of digital marketing.
Examples of Digital Marketing include:
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
In simple terms, SMM is the use of social media platforms (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn etc.) to market and promote your business and product / services.
2. Content Marketing
Tools which will enable your target audience to find you better. These can include (but aren’t limited to):
- Written content (i.e., blogs)
- Video content (i.e., YouTube clips, promotional videos)
- Audio content (i.e., Podcasts)
- Visual content (i.e., personalized GIFS and Memes)
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is the process of making changes to your website design and content, to make your website appear higher up on search engines. By altering the design and content (include rich, descriptive text), you can rank higher on Search Pages, meaning that your potential clients are more likely to find you, and click through to your website.
4. Email Marketing
Recently received a coupon or offer through in your inbox? Maybe you subscribed to a newsletter? These are examples of Email Marketing. The act of businesses sending things directly to your inbox with the intention of drawing you in to invest in their business with weekly updates and latest deals.
5. Pay Per Click (PPC)
Have you noticed how, when you search something in the search engine, the three or four top options have the word ads written above it? This is an example of PPC marketing. Here, advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked (hence the name).
Another example of this is when ads appear on the side of your screen when you’re reading an online blog or scrolling through Facebook.
6. Influencer Marketing
A modern twist on celebrity endorsements. Whereas before celebrities would be paid or gifted to promote a particular product or gift; these days they can include anyone with a large following base that’s seen to be an influencer in that field.
It’s important to note here, that the above is only a condensed list of the type of marketing activities that come under the umbrella term “Digital Marketing”. There are a number of other activities available, but these are the most recognizable.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
Let us dive straight in as there are several great benefits associated with Digital Marketing.
- The Possibilities Are Endless
With everyone always within an easy access to a mobile device, and as were seeing an increase in the time people spend online – there is no better time to utilize digital marketing. Moreover, the time your potential customer is spending standing in a queue on their phone has just become an opportunity for you to showcase all you have to offer to them!
- Cost Effective
Realistically you do not need any fancy technology to start meeting your target customers through their phones. It is quick and easy to set up an Instagram account; to create a LinkedIn profile; or set up a Facebook Page. But most importantly to start Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing and/or Content Marketing is FREE – you just need to spend time researching your target market and creating the content.
- Build Positive Relationships with Customers
Getting a conversation going with your potential customers online is a great way of building customer relationships. Interaction fosters trust. So why not engage by asking questions and answering theirs, sharing some behind the scenes and showcasing your journey (both the highs and the lows). Nothing is perfect, even if it may appear so on social media. By honestly sharing your journey, you’ll gain empathy from your audience which leads to a strengthened customer relationship.
- Increase Brand Awareness
Brand awareness relates to a potential customer awareness to your brand and your products. When you think of Brownies in Ceredigion for instance, which businesses come to mind? You may not realize it, but you have a strong brand awareness to the first one that popped into your mind.
Every like, comment, share, save and repost on social media has the power to increase your brand awareness.
- Generate Leads
A lead is anyone who indicates an interest in your company’s service / product, in any way, shape or form. Sharing your products / services is a great way of showcasing what you have to offer and is a simple way of generating leads. To convert those leads into sales you can utilize the functions available on social media i.e.
- Include links to your website and offers in the bio section of your profile
- Enable Facebook’s Shop Section and/or Instagram’s Shop Feature on your profile
- Host a “live” video showcasing new products / answer questions on upcoming launches.
Disadvantages of Digital Marketing
- Time Consuming
Creating new and exciting content that your audience finds valuable can be challenging. Analyzing the data (insights) to find out which type of content is working best can also be challenging and time consuming. Additionally, spending time engaging with your audience (through replying to messages / answering questions / hosting “live” videos) all adds up, and there is no definite sale to be had at the end either.
- Reliance on Technology
Digital marketing heavily relies on technology – as you may have guessed already. What can you do if you have a power cut? Or if you live in a rural area where your broadband is slow?
With the opportunity to generate sales more evident than ever before, with many always within an easy reach to a mobile device. Despite having a greater potential customer base, it also means greater competition. You are no longer competing with only local competitors; you’re competing with similar businesses nationwide / globally.
This largely depends on your business. Depending on your “niche” and the type of product / service you are selling; your audience may simply not be online to see your marketing efforts. This largely affects businesses whose target audience are the elderly or potentially those without access to the internet. If this is the case, a more traditional marketing effort is required (i.e., newspaper adverts, radio / television advertising etc.).
I hope the above has given you a better understanding of the term Digital Marketing. As well as giving an insight into the marketing activities available to promote your products / service. If you ever had any questions or queries, you can contact Kerry or Catrin on email@example.com, we’re always happy to help where we can.
All the best!