Digital marketing, in simple words, means promotion of brands or products done by using digital means i.e. one or more types of electronic media such as Internet, television, mobile marketing, instant text messages, radio and even electronic billboards.
Internet has been the main source of digital marketing for the last 10 or so years. From social media based marketing to targeted audience based marketing using emails and paid advertisements on popular websites, Internet is the fundamental source for this phenomenon.
One big difference between conventional type of marketing and digital marketing is that the latter is done in real time which means that the interaction with the customer base and by them is often instant.
A digital marketer is constantly reviewing what is being watched and viewed, what type of audience is responding positively to the promotions and what isn’t, what is the conversion rate and where the digital marketing strategy is lacking to make the conversion better or the type and amount of content being effective at a certain moment in time.
Conventional marketing relies more on the print media or spreading the customer base to increase revenue instead of more targeted approach.
In a nutshell, these are the apparent differences in digital and conventional marketing and a brief overview of what digital marketing is.
It was not until the 90s that the term digital marketing made its way into business and marketing sector, although some campaigns, which could have been classified as being under the umbrella of digital marketing, did take place during the 80s. During those campaigns, some customers would get a floppy disk containing promotional material for the products and services of that company if they sent some reader reply cards, found in certain magazines, to the company.
At the start, digital marketing strategies, especially those centered on the use of Internet, were just an expansion of the regular marketing strategies for most companies. They tried everything because they didn’t know what would work best, trying to expand the customer base, they tried video advertisements, sponsored content, online promotions, in short, they tried and did all the experiments and majority still does. However, often all these efforts only end up stretching their organization operationally and financially because digital marketing is just an extension of ongoing operations and not a unique and specific strategy.
It was also believed that digital marketing is the forte of big brands and multinational corporations and not of the local small businesses. That notion has been dispelled comprehensively while the opposite of it has been proven true.
Digital marketing has had a consistent growth since its inception and the rate of growth is only increasing. It is also known as ‘online marketing’, ‘web marketing’ and ‘Internet marketing’ in different parts of the world.
The rise of social media has made digital marketing infinitely more important than before. The economic crisis of 2007/08 happened just before the start of true social media landslide that took over our lives, while the crisis itself was bad, the nature of it encouraged the culture of entrepreneurship where all the successful entrepreneurs made near-perfect use of social media for their digital marketing and advertisement campaigns.
Nowadays, digital marketing strategies are used to enhance the business growth of all kinds of businesses, from small scale startup ventures to the billion dollar corporations we see around us everywhere.
Internet advertisements and promotional campaigns are done across multiple platforms and in many different forms.
Social media marketing revolves around the massive use of social media, from Facebook to Twitter and RSS Feeds including Google+, LinkedIn and Reddit. Each one of these platforms require an expert of its own.
Content Search Marketing is a rather more engaging form of digital marketing. Writers produce content not just directly related to the products and services of their respective companies but also about new research and advancement in the related fields and ideas which can develop interest in the readership and customers of particular websites or blogs, run by different organizations.
A major emphasis is given on keeping the existing customer base steady while improving the conversion rates on the website and social media pages. Studies have shown an overall increase in the conversion rate after the application of effective digital marketing strategies.
Email marketing where targeted audience is sent emails in the efforts to retain them and build brand recognition through customer service and word-of-mouth marketing by clientele. New studies suggest merging email marketing and content marketing for better results.
Research indicates that digital marketing has proven very effective in the growth of businesses worldwide. We have already mentioned that it helps local businesses and bigger businesses alike and in some cases it gives the advantage to smaller ventures because it has leveled the playing field. Everyone has Internet and social media tools and the research is available for everyone and there is no dearth of marketing advice and it is cost-effective so small businesses are flourishing.
Digital marketing increases the conversion, as in, compared to the past, a bigger percentage of the people who get to know the products/services are acquiring them. That is why businesses are moving towards a marketing model which focuses more on conversion than Brand or Viral Marketing.
Studies have also showed that relying on digital marketing means increased ROI and better revenue generation. In a study with IPSOS Hong Kong, Google revealed that companies who used digital marketing strategies had 2.8 times better growth revenue compared to those who didn’t. And since everyone now uses digital media and devices and are connected through social media, digital marketing builds your brand’s reputation far better than any other strategy. This all results in a better Return on Investment in marketing than otherwise expected.
Since it relies on targeted marketing more than other approaches, the link between the customer and the business gets stronger with the passage of time provided the services have not declined. This makes people trust their service providers, you, and in turns increases the word of mouth marketing. In a survey done in more than 50 countries, the respondents said that they would trust the information more if it came from someone they know.
To sum up, digital marketing is the future and in no point in the last 25 years, its values has gone down. Instead, since the start of this decade, its value has risen exponentially. If you are a business owner, you would do very well to incorporate an up-to-date digital marketing strategy in your business plans