In biology, we read about evolution and how life progressed from a tiny micro-organism called the amoeba. All living things have advanced over time and continue to develop and expand on a daily basis. Correspondingly, in the world of technology, there has been tremendous growth where mankind as we knew it has also changed. Telephones have become smartphones; television has become smart-TV, handwritten letters have become e-mail and likewise, marketing has become e-commerce or what we now refer to as digital marketing. It has taken over the traditional marketing process.
Now, let’s dig a little deeper into the world of technology and what a miraculous boon it is. In this hi-tech era, almost everything is possible with the click of a button. Ever since the internet came into existence, life has taken a full 360° turn for the better. In terms of marketing, to me, digital marketing in layman’s terms is marketing being simplified with the help of digital aid through social media and other informative and interactive tools on the internet. There are plenty of ways one can digitally market a product by creating mass awareness that will help attract more consumers. To name a few are Social Media Marketing (SMM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and a bunch more. Let’s put these types of digital marketing under a microscope and understand them more closely, shall we?
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the term social media? Or rather what is the first thing you do in the morning or the last thing you do before you retire to bed? Check your social media, right? Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and the list never ends. Have you ever watched a YouTube video without complaining about the “ads”? What are those ads? Bingo! That is a product, brand, or company being marketed digitally using a social network. Alternatively, one encounters hundreds of advertisements and pop-up windows on every other social media app that they use. So basically, what a brand is trying to really do in the form of these advertisements is that it’s trying to relate to an audience, and the more awareness it creates, the more magnetic it becomes. How does a brand attract a customer? Simple! It creates an attractive pitch that’s tied to an undeniable offer. For example, most brands give their consumer audience an opportunity to test their product before they make the big purchase by simply offering them the product on a trial basis. This technique does not just attract customers with a ‘what-do-I-have-to-lose’ mindset, but also creates awareness and showcases their product's true potential. Social media marketing plays a vital role in increasing the revenue of a company and it helps a brand benefit in the most interactive and customer-friendly manner.
Traffic! Nobody likes traffic… Or do they? The next type of digital marketing that is all the hype in this day and age is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). To understand what SEO clearly is we need to first understand what traffic means in terms of digital marketing? Web traffic is precisely the number of times people visit a website and it is usually a way to track the success of a business or a brand constructively, and so the more traffic a website gets, the better. Secondly, what’s the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the term search engine? Google? Of course, yes! But along with Google, there are a few more search engines out there, namely Bing, Yahoo, AOL, etc. Nine out of ten times people are most likely to use Google to search for whatever they want. Now what a search engine does is it takes a query and searches the interweb and finds the relevant pages that match the keywords of the search and indexes them. The page that is most relevant to the query shows up at the top of the list on the first page of search results. Most internet users will mostly pay attention to the first five links that show up on the first page and if they do not find what they are looking for they will change the search by using other different yet similar keywords. Hence optimizing a business website is so important. The more people that visit the page, the more recognition that brand or product will get and the more customers and subscribers it will attract. This will ideally help the web page ranking to shoot up the ladder which will boost the page to be found at the top of the list. This is huge merit for the digital marketing sector to accelerate a brand to get to the top.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a theoretical umbrella under which we have SEO and PPC. PPC is a Pay-Per-Click in which one advertises and markets their brand with the help of paid advertisements. This is an incredible technique to increase the visibility of a website rapidly and grow a business effectively by using Google or other search engines. PPC advertising and SEM go hand in hand. PPC helps to place ads in tactical places on a web page that often cannot go unseen. Every time a PPC ad is clicked on by a visitor on a site, a fee is paid. It’s a technique to buy visits to a site which will automatically result in more website traffic for a brand's page. PPC ads appear on the top of the list of the page on a search engine and then follow the rest of the following searches. There are different tools available to post these ads on web pages which indefinitely helps in marketing a brand on a search engine. With the use of the right keywords and tools, this is a very innovative way to help the growth of a brand or company.
Trying to market a brand or product without a creative strategy will result in failure right from the get-go. How can one market their brand creatively by using digital sources? Easy-peasy! By creating a content plan which will ideally consist of an array of creative ideas in written, visual, or audio form. Let us dive deeper into this sea of innovation. The sky is the limit when it comes to being creative. Ideas always come in when we think outside the box. Blogs, articles, testimonials, etc. are all types of written content. Written content needs to be light, fun to read, catchy and it needs to stand out. A consumer needs to be drawn to the content like a moth is drawn to a flame. The easiest way to do this is to have a catchy headline alongside a relevant visual thumbnail incorporating the written data which will eventually catch the customers’ attention from the start right through the end. Next up, we have visual form. Visuals can either be a picture or a video made orbiting the brand or product. Videos are a great way to attract a customer. With the right kind of music, imagery, colors, one can invoke a compelling emotion within a consumer which will keep them watching till the end. This is a great way for a customer to relate to a brand, form a bond with it, and also be entertained in the mix. Podcasts are taking the world by storm because of how quick and easy they are. People today are all about that fast life and if one cannot invest their time in watching a video, why not just listen to it in audio? There is no end to the stream of knowledge and people are always thirsty for more. Audio-books are another great way of marketing a book for all the avid readers out there with no time to buy a Kindle for themselves leave alone physically sit with a book. Talent is an uphill graph. Every day people are becoming more independent and self-contained. People listen to audio content every day through apps built for meditation, exercise, finding music, or even if one is passionate about music and intends to pursue it but lacks knowledge of how to play a particular instrument. In this physical world, there is an app for everything and in order for us to reach those apps, the builders and creators have marketed them in the right way only using the essential digital tools.
Email marketing is a personalized way of digitally marketing a brand. Marketing via email also helps build up a vast clientele which is helpful for the growth of a company. Email marketing is one of the most powerful techniques because of how customized it is. Even though we have all evolved humanly and mechanically, we still come across a few old-school sapiens out there. Not everyone uses social media for a whole list of different reasons; however, everyone has an email address. Along with your own email address, one starts to maintain a list of other people's email addresses along their professional journey, and that list just keeps stacking up like a tower of Jenga blocks. Email marketing should consist of emails created based on the email list and they should be promotional. Mailers should be tailored to be specific and relevant. Email marketing is usually one of the most underrated types of digital marketing. It is as useful as the rest, maybe even more and it is much more cost-efficient. Marketing a product to a subscriber with prior interaction is far more helpful than taking a blind shot in the dark. Email marketing is an amazing way of attracting more customers by sending out mailers to an already subscribed individual which presents the opportunity for them to share the content they receive with friends and family. Hence, it surely is an efficient type of digital marketing.
After eyeballing a few of the main digital marketing techniques and learning how efficient they are, there are also some offline ways to market a brand. It’s hard to think of living in a world with no Wi-Fi; however, many businesses used these techniques in the past and still continue to use them to date. Offline digital marketing in simple ABC is how to advertise a brand using digital methods minus the internet. Brands advertise their products by using the radio, television, electronic billboards, or even an SMS on your mobile phone which is as effective as online marketing. Everyone enjoys watching TV and what better way to use it as a way to put your brand out there in the form of a fun commercial with a catchy tune. The same applies to the radio as well. Most mobile networks use SMS as a way to attract customers with fun, customized offers for their respective products. This way they manage to keep their customers coming back for more.
Marketing has come a long way over the past few decades and is on the precipice of growing even more as this tech tsunami takes over the world. Companies have come up with easy, efficient strategies to brand their product and confidently set it free in the market because of how easy these digital means have made it. Since digital marketing is an online outreach, it is accessible globally. Digital marketing is where one can unleash their unlimited potential in their most creative patterns and make a handsome living out of it slowly but surely.