Introduction to the concept of using digital marketing
Am sure you feel like using digital marketing is some huge complicated concept you can’t seem to wrap your head around, but it really isn’t.
I won’t go all scientific on the definition of digital marketing but will focus more in this post on how you can leverage its power to attract more customers and boost growth of your business.
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In short, using digital marketing is basically the promotion of brands, products or services through one or more forms of digital technology.
The term electronic media includes: television, radio, internet, mobile app, and electronic billboards.
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Digital media is so persistent that consumers have access to information any time and any place they want it.
Gone are the days when the messages people got about your products or services came solely from you and consisted of only what you wanted them to know.
Digital media is an ever-growing source of entertainment, news, shopping and social interaction, and consumers are now exposed not just to what your company says about your brand, but what the media, friends, relatives, other consumers, peers, etc, are saying as well.
And they are more likely to believe them than you. People want brands they can trust, companies that know them, communications that are personalized and tailored to their needs and preferences.
People have gone pass the period of being sustained by your information alone.
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Using digital marketing has given people the opportunity to have a third, fourth and even hundredth opinion about your brand.
It’s no longer what you say that matters but how your brand is perceived by others who have engaged with your brand.
Marketing has always been about connecting with your ideal audience in the most appropriate ways. For you to attract customers and drive growth, you must have communicated the right brand message to your audience.
Today, that means that you need to meet them where they are already spending time: on the internet.
Since the reinvention of using digital marketing in the early 2000’s, digital marketing has become a household name among business owners who look towards growing their customer base.
Often times, people refer to digital marketing as internet marketing or online marketing but they are actually a fraction of what digital marketing is.
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Neil Patel says using digital marketing can be done both online and offline. Meaning using digital marketing doesn’t necessarily mean internet marketing but it involves the use of any electronic media to promote a brand.
Which means the promotion could either be online (internet) or offline (television, radio etc).
In an ever growing and complex retail environment, customer engagement is essential but also challenging.
Brands must shift from a linear marketing approach of one-way communication to a value exchange model in which there is a two-way mutual dialogue and benefit-sharing between provider and consumer.
Digital marketing has given rise to a whole lot of businesses to promote their brands through the various digital media.
For better understanding, I will love to streamline this post to online or internet marketing. This is because we are conversant with offline marketing method which includes television, radio and even billboards.
The thing is because digital marketing has been marked as internet marketing, most people refer to offline marketing as traditional marketing. Hence, let’s discuss digital marketing as internet marketing or online marketing.
Online marketing is basically targeting your ideal customers using different online channels like social media, websites and emails etc. This is like the simplest definition of online marketing.
The difference between offline and online is, you can actually measure the effectiveness of the campaign through analytics.
Marketing campaigns are targeted towards ideal customers with the sole aim of converting them thereby driving business growth.
Under digital marketing, there are other subsets where promotional campaigns are effectively carried out and they include:
Digital marketing subsets
Social media marketing: This is ultimately leveraging on the power of social media to promote your brand, product or service to your ideal audience.
Basically, it’s using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social media to promote the sales of your brand, product or service.
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With social media marketing, you can measure the effectiveness of your campaign to ascertain which social media platforms works best for your campaign in respect to reaching your ideal audience.
Email marketing: Some business owners are yet to understand the power embedded in email marketing. For easy understanding, I will say email marketing enables you send personalized messages to your ideal audience who are on your email list.
Usually, you acquire these emails by suggesting a signup to your customer who visits your home page or website. This leads me to another subset which is website.
Website: This is where your target audience gets to see what you brand stands for and the kind of product or service you offer. Also, they get to interact with your brand as a whole on this platform.
It is easy to promote your brand here because it’s your site and you are not discussing any other person or brand but yours.
Content marketing: It might seem unnecessary but it is mainly your selling point. It is paramount in the sense that you convince or persuade your audience with the right words (content).
Therefore, the manner in which your ideal audience pictures your brand is solely dependent on the type of content you give them to ingest.
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Content marketing comes in two ways; it works for your choice of campaign content and also for your blog that’s if you decide to create one.
Importance of using digital marketing for your business
Modern technologies have opened the door to a whole new era of marketing–digital marketing. Digital marketing allows marketers and advertisers to reach and appeal to their core audiences in new ways and with more precision.
The challenge of meeting the modern buyer’s expectation of a continuous, cross-channel, and personal experience is met with new ad technology and innovations that continue to advance at break-neck speeds.
New ad technology platforms, types of ads, methods of tracking, dynamic ad content, and advances such as the internet of things now provide endless opportunities for marketers and advertisers to engage their customers personally and across channels.
People are beginning to realize that there is more to digital marketing than just advertising your product or service but that the media can be measured to understand the effectiveness of your campaign.
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The importance of using digital marketing cannot be over emphasized as it allows you reach out to the over 40% of the worlds population that use the internet.
The internet has created room for you to interact with your customers and they in turn engage with your brand and interact with you.
It is purely evident that to enable your business grow in this present age and time, you have to think digital marketing.
Your brand cannot be known until you take that one step into the internet to show what your brand can offer. This is because most of the population of the world has turned to the internet.
With over 69.1 million Nigerians that visit the internet to either buy, entertain, educate or search. Trust me, the majority of the world’s population turns to the internet for one thing or the other.
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Due to this massive shift, most brands have started leveraging the internet for marketing purposes. They have realized the efficacy in internet marketing and its effectiveness to reach their ideal customers and even beyond.
Trends are gradually changing and offline marketing is kind of facing out due to the impact of digitization on the present world.
Usually, you hear people say the world is a global village, which is so true. Considering the fact that there is a bunch of innovation on the internet and it is so easy to connect with people from different geographical locations.
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The rise of digital media has also allowed people to communicate with others all over the world. Digital media has increased globalization by making communication with people from other parts of the world very easy.
The digital revolution has connected the world in previously unforeseen ways, and when it comes to marketing your product or service, that is very good news.
But why is digital marketing so crucial for your business? Because it is fast replacing its more traditional counterparts, which in the space of just a few years might be gone completely.
Using digital marketing is faster
As quickly as you can click a mouse button, you can be digitally marketing your product to a specific targeted audience.
And not just that, by sitting in the driver’s seat of your website, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, you can stay in control and ensure that changes of strategy in your mind can be immediately delivered to your customers without involving a middle-man.
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It’s cost effective
Before, you market your business in expensive traditional platforms, such as in magazines, newspapers and on radio and television.
But your customers are now online, learning not only about the world but the products they want to buy through things like Google search and Facebook.
That is not only good news for you, with online marketing costing a mere fraction of traditional marketing but potentially reaching a much bigger audience.
But this is also for your business at large, because it levels the playing field when it comes to competing against even much bigger businesses with huge marketing budgets.
Banner ads, pay-per-click, email, mobile and social media advertising are as achievable for you as they are for the biggest of your rivals.
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Using digital marketing allows you to be creative
With traditional marketing, those with the biggest budgets won the day and the customer. But digital marketing is more affordable for businesses today as it allows you to get creative.
Now, high creativity and motivation allows you to out-strategies and out-research your competitors with much bigger budgets by using creative ideas and clever content. With blogs not only keeping your audience entertained, engaged and up-to-date but your all-important SEO value as high as possible.
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It connects you with your ideal customers
Social media channels in particular allows you to cut through the usual marketing hype and connect directly with your customers.
Engaging and interacting with current and prospective clients, for example comments do not only build your brand and give you fast access to honest feedback, but it allows you to build real and genuine relationships with your clients, gaining their trust and getting instant recommendations to their ‘friends’.
It also gives you a direct line to your targeted demographic, and an opportunity to simply ask them a question and get an honest, uncensored answer, because constructive criticism can be even more valuable than compliments.
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You know exactly what is going on
The speed, cost and creativity aside, the huge benefit of digital marketing is the level of feedback it gives you, coupled with the many levels of versatility you can then apply to making your campaigns even more effective.
As the sophistication of the various digital marketing platforms increases, so too does the amount of data that feeds back to you about the impact of those strategies.
While traditional marketing requires you to do ultra-expensive marketing and customer research, digital results are now fed back to you.
With remarkable accuracy and detail, and in real time, allowing you to constantly tweak and perfect the way your message is delivered to potential customers.
It’s not just things like sophisticated digital analytics, but the simple promotion of a ‘hashtag’ that will give you instant insight into what people think and are saying about you, and what they want you to do differently.
Attract leads and drive growth using digital marketing
According to Kim Garst, qualified sales leads are the life blood of most businesses. Therefore, how can you attract and retain leads while you grow your revenue?
In achieving the highest rate of attraction, conversion and sales; the internet is your way to go. With the growing number of people logging to the internet, it is eminent that this is the right place to make sales.
There is a huge deal of opportunities you can get when thinking digital marketing especially to attract customers and drive sales growth.
With the subset I discussed about above, you can use either of the instruments to achieve your sales goals. In other to achieve your goal of attracting leads and driving growth when it comes to digital marketing, you have to do the following.
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First, know your ideal audience and understand their internet usage pattern.
The usage pattern includes: how often they are online, what social media channels do they often visit, how they conduct a search for particular products or service, understand who your audience are etc.
Understand your audience and their internet pattern enables you draw out analytical strategies that will enable you carry out marketing plans to reach your audience.
After you have understood all of this, it is then easy for you to take the bull by the horn and march out in full marketing force.
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The next step is to prepare content whether campaign content, regular website content, or blog post, you need to be extremely sure of what you are put up to your audience.
Also, make sure you have great customer service, people only come a second time after having a wonderful experience.
The more your customers are satisfied with you, the more they help you preach about your brand, services or product.
Once the trust is built in the customers’ minds about the excellent quality of the products or services a business provides, the customers tends to remain loyal to the business when it comes to availing its services and products.
And one loyal customer is worth nearly thousand new customers.
For example, Base Assets pulled out a campaign using digital marketing to promote their services. Within this period, they noticed a rapid change in their lead acquisition. There was a geometrical rise in lead acquisition of about 55% and their web traffic increased to 75%.
This goes a long way to show you how effective the use of digital marketing is for business growth.
Digital marketing is a wide scope which encompasses all that relates to electronic marketing technology but I will discuss majorly on internet marketing.
Last year the State of the News Media report predicted that 1,500 newsroom jobs would be lost at the end of the year making them 30% smaller than they were in the year 2000. This shows that digital marketing continues to grow.
Although traditional marketing will most likely never be fully extinguished they will need to further adapt to the times. In order to make money, they will need to work with search engines.
Using digital marketing has eliminated many cultural boundaries and will continue to do so as other less developed countries begin to become more reliant on technology.
Using digital marketing provides instant communication between people all over the world which has further enhanced effective sales. Different forms of using digital marketing makes this interaction easy and fun.
Technology and the sharing of photographs on the Internet have found ways past language barriers. All thanks to digital marketing, we are now entering a world that is culturally globalized and marketing has become easier.
You can try using digital marketing for your business to attract more customers and drive growth. You can also share with me some of your digital marketing success story to show its efficacy.