Firstly digital marketing is an umbrella term for all of your online marketing efforts. Secondly businesses prefer digital channels such as Google search, social media, email, and their websites to connect with their current and prospective customers.
To sum up an influx of people spend twice as much time online as they used some few years ago. Subsequently the way people shop and buy has really changed, meaning offline marketing is not as much effective nowadays.
Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time. Today, that means that you need to meet them where they are already spending time: on the internet.
Digital Marketing in other words, is any form of marketing that exists online.
A quick rundown of some of the most common Assets and Tactics for effective Digital Marketing:
- Your website
- Blog posts
- Interactive tools
- Social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
- Earned online coverage (PR, social media, and reviews)
- Online brochures
- Branding assets (logos, fonts)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Firstly process of optimizing your website to ‘rank’ higher in search engine results pages, therefore increasing the amount of organic (or free) traffic that your website receives.
In conclusion the creation and promotion of content assets for the purpose of generating brand awareness, traffic growth, lead generation, or customers.
Inbound marketing refers to the ‘full-funnel’ approach to attracting, converting, closing. Likewise delighting customers using online content.
Social Media Marketing
Firstly practice of promoting your brand and your content on social media channels to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads for your business in conclusion.
Reasons why you may need a digital channel strategy?
1. You don’t have direction
Companies without a digital strategy don’t have clear strategic goal for what they want to achieve online in terms of gaining new customers or building deeper relationships with existing ones. And if you don’t have goals with digital marketing objectives you likely don’t put enough resources to reach the goals and you don’t evaluate through analytics whether you are achieving those goals.
2. You will not know your online audience or market share
Customer demand for online services may be underestimated if you have not researched this. Perhaps, more importantly, you will not understand your online marketplace: the dynamics will be different to traditional channels with different types of customer profile and behavior, competitors and options for marketing communications. There are great tools available from the main digital platforms where you can find out the level of customer demand. To see how you are tapping into the intent of searchers to attract them to your site, see how many people are interested in your products or services in your sector you could reach through Google’s Keyword planner.
3. Existing and start-up competitors will gain market share
If you are not devoting enough resources to digital marketing or you are using an ad-hoc approach with no clearly defined strategies, then your competitors will eat your digital lunch!
4. You don’t have a powerful online value proposition
A clearly defined online customer value proposition tailored to your different target audience will help you differentiate your online service encouraging existing and new customers to engage initially and stay loyal. Developing a competitive content marketing strategy is key to this for many organizations since content is what engages your audiences through different channels like search, social, email marketing and on your blog.
5. You don’t know your online customers well enough
It is often said that digital is the “most measurable medium ever“. You need to use other forms of website user feedback tools to identify your weak points and then address them.
6. You’re not optimizing
Every company with a website will have analytics, but many senior managers don’t ensure that their teams make or have the time to review and act on them. Once a strategy enables you to get the basics right, then you can progress to continuous improvement of the key aspects like search marketing, site user experience, email and social media marketing.
Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital Marketing Planning has three main stages; Opportunity, Strategy and Action.
Any business looking to implement a successful digital marketing strategy must structure their plan by looking at this generic strategic approach that often has phases of situation review, goal setting, strategy formulation, resource allocation and monitoring.
A business first needs to review the market place and set ‘SMART’ (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-Bound) objectives. They can set SMART objectives by reviewing the current benchmarks of the company and competitors. It is pertinent that the analytics used be customized to the type, objectives, mission and vision of the company.
To create a planned digital strategy, the company must review their digital proposition (what you are offering to consumers) and communicate it using digital customer targeting techniques. This means the company must express clearly what they are offering customers online e.g. brand positioning.
The third and final stage requires the firm to set a budget and management systems; these must be measurable touchpoints, such as audience reached across all digital platforms.
The Action and final stage of planning also requires the company to set in place measurable content creation e.g. oral, visual or written online media.
NB: More focus has been placed on segmentation within digital marketing, in order to target specific markets in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer sectors.