Digital marketing utilizes the internet and online-based digital technologies such as computers, mobile devices, and other digital media and platforms to promote products and services. It is the inevitable future of the marketing world. Digital marketing found its first strong footing during the 1990s and 2000s and changed the way brands and businesses used technology for marketing. Digital marketing platforms also extend to non-internet channels that relay digital media, such as TV, smartphone SMS, MMS and call back. The expansion to the non-internet mediums is what differentiates digital marketing from online marketing.
A few strategies of Digital Marketing are listed below
• Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
• Pay-per-Click (PPC)
• Social Media Marketing
• Content Marketing
• Email Marketing
• Mobile Marketing
Benefits of Digital Marketing
Marketing is the point where product or service providers touch base with customers in a bid to convince them towards buying their product or subscribing to their service. Marketing, in whatever form, is one of the key activities that every business must plan about, invest time and money, as there is little chance of survival without strong marketing and publicity strategies. Digital marketing is any action carried out using electronic media for the promotion of goods and services.
Some of the striking benefits of Digital Marketing are explained below.
• Low cost
Marketing through digital platforms provides a more affordable alternative compared to the traditional method. Their impact has been calibrated to be equivalent to or even greater in certain campaigns than the traditional method and they cost a lot lesser. With a small investment, you can subscribe to an email marketing provider and send transactional or direct e-mails to thousands of customers on your mailing list.
• Huge return on investment
The success of any business is a matter of the returns it makes on its investments. Digital marketing offers a massive return amount on small investments. Email marketing or advertising campaigns on social media platforms cost very less when compared to traditional marketing techniques.
• Easy to measure
A digital campaign can easily be measured. Compared to common methods where you have to wait weeks or months to evaluate the reach of a campaign, with digital marketing you can know almost immediately how your campaign is performing.
• Easy to adjust
Digital marketing provides a more flexible option for customers. Subscriptions through traditional marketing methods involve a lot of paperwork that must be signed and in most cases, these agreements are for a long or medium-term basis. So even if a customer wishes to unsubscribe, they will have to wait for the expiration of the agreed period. But that’s not the case on digital marketing and subscriptions. The action of unsubscribing is just a click away. This makes companies who provide products to consumers be on their toes because they know if they slip up on customer experience in any way, they can easily unsubscribe and move to their competitor. This pushes companies to be thorough in their quality control and to release better quality products.
• Precise targeting
The traditional way of marketing uses the spray and pray method, where an advert is run on a platform that has a massive reach. Product owners have nothing else to do but to pray with the hope that a few people who love what they see, hear, or read would make a positive approach and take the step of buying their product. There is no strategy involved here apart from conceptualizing the advertisement to attract audiences.
On the other hand, marketing over digital platforms customers get only what they ask for or what their previous preference indicates they might like. Digital marketing allows targeted campaigning where adverts are presented to consumers based on the history of their activity. Take for example promotional emails. These get sent to only those customers who have subscribed for promotional emails to be sent to them.
- Clear cut categorization
Digital marketing not only allows for precise targeting but allows you to further break your customer base into logical segments. Such categorization helps in targeted sales, better conversion rates and reduces the overall cost of the campaign too. Take an e-commerce website for example that is about to launch a new line of winter clothing for women. It doesn’t make sense to send the launch email to both men and women. Using digital platforms that offer email marketing solutions, a category of female subscribers can be created and targeted marketing can be performed. But for categorization to be implemented adequate information must be gathered from the customers when they subscribe.
- Make your presence Global
The world has become smaller as technology has advanced. With digital marketing, it’s easy to reach out to customers irrespective of where they are located on the planet. If someone is interested in your product, with modern logistics, they definitely have the means to buy and get it delivered within days of paying for it. So why miss out on such an enormous customer base by restricting your market to the place of your product’s origin. Digital Marketing gives the opportunity for even small start-ups to grow exponentially by making their reach as wide as it could possibly get.
- Engage your customers better
Customers have hundreds of alternatives for every one of the products you release. In this frenetic world, the customer attention span is dropping. The website bounce rates are rising. If customers aren’t impressed with any part of the customer experience, they leave for an alternative.
Effective and engaging marketing campaigns enable businesses to stay competitive and have an edge over their competitors by engaging customers in interesting ways through a myriad of digital platforms. Engaging your customers in the best way possible reduces customer attrition hugely. Establish a terrific customer support service and helplines, clarify misconceptions, provide special offers, loyalty promotions, publish newsletters and blogs and publicize feedback from impressed customers about the quality of your products. All these branches of digital marketing, if efficiently managed, reward your business with excellent returns.
- Build Brand Reputation
Marketing studies over the years have shown that brands that are active on digital platforms usually end up building the most credibility. Through constant engagement and connecting with customers, publishing blogs and articles, companies can address important issues or doubts that their customers face, clarify crucial concepts, understand customer needs in a better way. Companies can also build confidence, establish that they understand their product in and out, their customers, and the market that they operate in. A recent survey by Hubspot is evidence that companies blogging about their products and about the different trends in the market they operate in, generate 67% more leads when compared to those that do not. Of course, maintaining the quality of the end product is as important as any of these marketing strategies. If a brand consistently scores high on all these aspects, it's ranking in the organic search engine results pages (SERPs) inevitably goes higher, which automatically means higher visibility and greater credibility.
- Flexible Billing Options Give more Bang for your Buck
Digital Marketing most often requires just a small amount of money and a lot of strategic planning taking into account several factors as explained above. Email marketing, Facebook, and Google Ads can be really affordable. Digital marketing has flexible payment options that can be opted for based on your strategy and willingness to spend. They aren’t as costly or as rigid as traditional TVs adverts. The most common payment strategies are:
1. Cost per click (CPC)
2. Cost per thousand (CPM)
3. Cost per lead (CPL)
4. Cost per action (CPA)
With CPC, you only pay when a customer clicks on the advert. The action in cost per action can be anything ranging from clicking to navigating to the product website, to completing the payment for an order. Strategic planning is what’s crucial to keep costs down and gain the best from your digital marketing campaigns.
CMOs across the world are becoming more and more cognizant of the advantages of digital marketing and rather than wasting money on expensive TV ads, in recent years, have chosen to move to social media platforms, online media platforms to run their adverts as evidenced by the below survey which shows overwhelming gravitation towards the digital marketing space.
- Fair chance to all
Above all, digital marketing provides a level playing field for every competing brand, be it small or large. Big companies obviously have bigger marketing budgets but that doesn’t mean smaller ones with lesser budgets cannot shine. Google and Bing rate the adverts based on their relevancy, quality and the accuracy with which they address customer needs. So it is possible to achieve a high ranking in SERP even without burning a hole in your pocket.
To conclude, digital marketing provides an array of advantages — ranging from larger reach to targeted marketing. It is cost-effective, easy to analyze, has strategic payment options, and is flexible which is what makes it a unanimous choice for small, medium, and even large companies.