What is digital marketing, how does it work and why is it needed?
A clear understanding of what we are doing and, most importantly, why we are doing it is very important. At least in order not to waste financial resources and time.
Digital marketing is just 1 component of marketing.
Therefore, let's start from the very beginning. For the sake of clarity, there are a lot of different types of marketing, strategies, and so on, and often even the speakers themselves (sellers of strategies, plans, etc.) do not really understand what they are really offering.
It all always starts with goals.
With long-term or short-term, strategic, tactical or operational, general or specific, precise or less precise.
Preferably with well-defined and measurable.
Because this is the only way to assess how successful you are in achieving them.
After all, it's always about money. How much do you want to earn? This year, next year, in 10 years? So what needs to be done to achieve these goals? How much time and money are you ready to invest this year, next year, or in 10 years?
And here we are already approaching marketing because in order to achieve our goals we will have to sell.
Today, sales are the foundation of everything. Even for non-profits, even charities… If a charity can't explain why I or someone else has to donate something (time, money, goods - whatever) - there will be no donation. Accordingly, there will be no charity.
Marketing is all about sales.
One of the most common definitions is:
Marketing (from English: market), is a targeted activity of a product manufacturer or service provider with the aim of promoting sales.
And sales begin with a strategy — a general description of how sales goals will be achieved:
- What we will sell is also called positioning. This is the answer to the main question - why should someone buy a product or service that we produce? What makes it better and how does it differ from others like it? Is that enough to buy from us? Or, as for sellers, why should someone buy this product or service from us? A product offered by hundreds and thousands of other traders. Will we sell the price? Maybe a discount? Feelings? …
- Who will we sell to - who are they, what do they need, or what problem they can solve with our product or service?
- At what price we will sell - at the highest/lowest price on the market...
- Where will we sell - in one country, in Europe, in the world? Through a chain of stores or an online application, by phone or in an online store…
- How we will sell - how the product will be promoted, which channels will be used, how we will talk to potential buyers…
And the marketing strategy (even a very successful one) needs to be revised over time. It must constantly improve and adapt to the changing market situation. It is very important to write this down and also specify exactly how the results will be evaluated.
In essence, a marketing strategy is a general plan for reaching and communicating with potential consumers of a product/service and turning them into buyers of our product/service.
Marketing strategy is also a great help in making decisions – does a specific event, offer, or opportunity ... correspond to the marketing strategy of the company? If "Yes" - we can reconsider, if "No" - do not waste time.
But working according to a general plan is difficult. It is also difficult to evaluate the results.
It is therefore divided into:
- Product/service strategy;
- Pricing strategy;
- Sales/Distribution Strategy;
- Advertising/product promotion strategy:
- Media strategy;
- Public Relations Strategy;
- Event strategy;
- Digital marketing strategy
And for each of these strategies, a tactic is defined with very specific, time-limited, and measurable goals - how exactly the strategic goals will be achieved.
And detailed plans for specific events have already been drawn up.
And as soon as time-limited and measurable goals are defined - you can start measuring the effectiveness of each specific event and, if necessary, make adjustments to the action plan or change tactics - to increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Let's start again with the definition.
Digital marketing is the purposeful activity of a product manufacturer or service provider in a digital environment to promote sales.
This is the same marketing, with the difference that everything happens in a digital environment. Depending on which channels are used, what exactly is being done, and how digital marketing can be divided into:
- SEO marketing;
- PPC / PPI marketing;
- Email marketing;
- SMS marketing;
- Chat bot marketing;
- Push Notification Marketing;
- Social network marketing;
- Affiliate marketing;
- Content Marketing:
SEO (Search engine optimization) - a set of activities aimed at increasing the number of visitors to the site from natural search results. Technically, SEO is a marketing tool, not a form of marketing.
It is both an art and a science.
The art of creating interesting content for site visitors - the content that is worth sharing and that is worth referring to.
Science - Search, research, evaluate, and find factors that can help referrals to your content appear on the first pages of Google Search and other search engines.
Currently, the most important elements to consider when optimizing a web page are:
- High-quality and search intent relevant content;
- Level of user involvement;
- The mobile-friendliness of the given site/page;
- Page load speed.
Google and other search engines are constantly improving their algorithms, so it is impossible to make accurate predictions.
PPC / PPI marketing
It's basically about paid advertising. There are two types of ad placement that differ mainly from what you pay for:
- PPC (Pay-Per-click) - payment for each click on your ad, for example in the Google search network.
- PPI (Pay-Per-Impression) is also PPV (Pay-Per-View) - you pay for each time your ad is shown.
In the case of PPC, you pay for clicks or actual visitors to your site, and for PPI, you pay for views or impressions.
Regardless of the content of the emails you send, they are sent to promote your products and/or services. And this form of digital marketing is even very effective. This is evidenced by the amount of spam we all receive.
Statistics show that visiting the site for the first time, only 1 to 3 percent of site visitors buy something.
And the question arises - what to do with the remaining 97% of visitors? With those who are still watching and comparing - still thinking about whether to buy or not to buy. And if you buy, then where to buy?
Let them just go?
Most likely to not return.
Or try to attract some part so that when they are ready to buy - they already "know" where the highest quality goods are, the best price, the best service, the most competent employees…?
Email marketing is a proven and effective way to "stay in touch" with your site visitors. 89% of the surveyed professionals called email marketing the most effective generator of potential customers.
The concept of email marketing is simple - you send a message and expect a potential customer to:
- Will open the email sent;
- Email content will generate enough interest to go to your site;
- The offer on the site will be interesting enough to make a purchase or other action (for example, to post a link to your site on a social network).
As usual, the reality is a little more complicated because:
- You need to find a way to get the email addresses of your site visitors;
- Understand exactly what each particular visitor was looking for on your site in order to produce email content relevant to that interest;
- This content of interest to the visitor must be created and sent to him;
- It is necessary to anticipate what actions the visitor may take after reading the email, and prepare the appropriate pages (landing pages) on your website.
It all takes time. With marketing automation, which allows you to collect and analyze information about consumers, segment audiences, schedule and send email messages, your time consumption will be significantly less.
Remember that today most emails are opened on mobile devices, so it is important that all emails you send are optimized for mobile devices.
SMS marketing is the sending of advertising or business messages using text messages (SMS). These messages are mostly informative:
- Notices of time-limited offers;
- Update notifications;
- Order status notifications;
- Various types of warnings, surveys or invitations to express opinions, etc.
Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives and text messaging is the most direct and fastest way to communicate. As a result, SMS marketing has become one of the most effective marketing tools because:
- Almost everyone has a smartphone, so SMS is a great way to contact customers directly. By including a link to your website in the text, you can redirect the SMS recipient to your website and provide additional information on a specific topic or offer;
- SMS complements other marketing activities well, especially email marketing. Although there are many similarities between email and SMS marketing, they work best together. SMS is useful for sending instant notifications, and email is ideal for longer and less urgent content;
- The level of engagement in SMS is simply astronomical - 90% of SMS are read within 3 minutes after they are received. This makes SMS a very useful tool for providing urgent information.
But do not abuse the benefits of SMS, because if communication is not mutually beneficial, your text messages will be deleted without even reading them.
Chatbot marketing is a way to promote your products and services through chat robots - computer programs that talk to your site visitors according to a predetermined scenario or through AI.
Chatbots are compatible with messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, Snapchat, etc., or you can only activate them on your site.
In essence, chatbots are virtual assistants used to conduct online conversations to:
- Provide quick answers to frequently asked questions;
- Provide detailed answers to specific questions;
- Resolve complaints or problems;
- Arranging meetings;
- Find out the needs of a potential buyer and connect him with the most suitable/competent customer service specialist.`
As you can see, chatbots can automate many processes and save time and money.
But it should be borne in mind that these programs are not of the "set up and forgot" type. They need constant tuning and testing, so you should not rely entirely on chatbots.
Push Notification Marketing
Push notification marketing promotes the sale of products and services by sending notifications in the browser (Chrome, Firefox, Opera...) or applications.
Essentially Push Notifications are very similar to SMS/MMS with the difference that you can send Push notifications not only to the phone but also to any device that has one of the most popular Internet browsers or your own application installed.
Social network marketing
Or social media marketing. Direct sales promotion is less important here. It is used to a greater extent to increase brand awareness, form opinions, and build relationships between the brand/company and existing/potential customers.
Social media today is one of the most effective free channels where you can:
- Increase brand awareness. Social media is media for the eyes — they allow you to spread the visual identity of your company among a wide audience, thereby increasing brand awareness. And better brand awareness means better results for all your other activities;
- Introduce yourself and get to know your existing and potential customers. This is very important, because how will you be able to talk to your existing and future customers "in a language they understand" if you don't know what they are thinking about, what interests them, what hurts them... Social networks open up both direct and indirect communication opportunities with your followers. You can hold discussions, collect feedback, and also directly communicate with your followers personally;
- Humanize your business. Your profile, news, and user interaction make your business more humane. Creates an easily accessible "personality" that you can meet, communicate with, and trust. And it is easier to buy from acquaintances than from "strangers";
And, of course, also:
- Increase traffic to your website, where you can turn visitors into buyers. It's much easier to do this with your subscribers than with those who visit your site for the first time and don't know anything about you yet;
- Generate purchases and customers directly on these platforms with features such as Instagram or Facebook stores, instant messaging, CTA (Call-to-action) buttons in your profiles, and appointment booking capabilities.
You provide a product or service, its delivery, etc., but the sale is carried out by others who receive a small or large commission for each product/service sold.
This type of marketing is very common for products such as:
- IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) - the service provider provides basic computing, storage, and network infrastructure (for example - DigitalOcean, AWS, Google Compute Engine);
- PaaS (Platform as a service) — a service provider offers not only infrastructure but also OS and middleware, such as databases, etc. (for example, AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Google App Engine);
- SaaS (Software as a Service) — a service provider offers everything you need to complete a task. Users simply log in and use an application that works completely in the infrastructure of the service provider (for example, Google Apps, DropBox, Canva).
As with other forms of digital marketing, content marketing aims to attract potential customers who eventually become buyers.
But content marketing works differently than traditional advertising. Potential buyers are attracted not by the value of a product or service, but by the offer of free content (guides, reviews, opinions, interesting facts, etc.).
Content demonstrating the competence of the company, interest in cooperation…
Content that strengthens/expands knowledge, promotes brand awareness, trust, and visits to your site (their articles are fantastic, I look forward to the next one).
Constant use of content marketing builds and maintains relationships with your potential and existing customers. If your audience trusts your business and sees it as a partner interested in their success. If your site is considered a source of valuable/useful content, the goods or services they need will most likely be purchased from you.
However, content marketing is also a bit more complicated than it looks at first because:
- Promises must be kept. In terms of content marketing, this means creating new, high-quality content on a regular basis. At least once a month, preferably more often;
- Content must not only be created but also promoted. That is, you should also invest at least in SEO and social networks.
Before you start, be sure to formulate (for yourself) - Why are you doing this?
"Because everyone does it" or "we can do it now for a good price" and so on. - are not correct answers. Well, even if something is offered for free, it will definitely take your time. The time we are always short of…
It is important to understand what each specific action will bring to your business. If there is no clear and reasoned answer to this "Why" - do not waste your time and money.
Don't be afraid to experiment and be sure to analyze the results of your experiments. If the result turned out to be better/worse than your other actions, try to understand why. Try to repeat your most successful actions, if you will succeed - you have a new "weapon" that others may not know about yet.
That is an advantage.
Order your WordPress site now!
The sooner we start - the sooner your website will be ready!
And you will be available on the Internet!