Digital Marketing for Beginners


What is Digital Marketing?

In today’s world, the term ‘digital marketing’ predominantly refers to marketing on the internet; marketing on social media, email marketing, search marketing and so on. Digital marketing includes a wide range of channels; if electronic devices are involved i.e. the target audience (receivers) see the ads on an electronic device, then it is digital marketing.

Before the proliferation of the internet, marketing was done “traditionally”, via radio, television, billboards, newspapers and other physical media. 

There is a common misconception in popular culture that alienates radio and tv marketing from digital marketing. Radio and tv marketing can be considered to be digital marketing because they are digital technologies. When in fact, marketing done solely on the internet is called internet marketing and is a subset of digital marketing.

8 CORE DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGIES ARE EXPLAINED BELOW

Website marketing: 

A website is a great way to grow an audience interested in a particular topic. Through a website, you can essentially reach the world. Using search engine optimization strategies, you can get your website content to rank high in search engine results pages. 

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: 

This is all about running ads on various platforms to reach a specific audience. You as the advertiser or business owner will pay platforms like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, Twitter, Pinterest, Bing and so on to put your ads in front of people who will most likely be interested in your product or service. For every customer that clicks on your ad, you pay a fee, hence the name; pay-per-click advertising.  

Content Marketing: 

This is the use of content (blog posts, eBooks, videos, courses, podcasts and so on) to get the attention of potential customers. Content can be published on a website or any platform that will permit it.

Email Marketing: 

Any digital marketer worth his salt knows how powerful email marketing can be. Marketers employ various strategies to collect email addresses from people who are interested in their business and then proceed to send a series of emails in order to turn those interested individuals into customers. 

Social Media Marketing: 

All marketing efforts that leverage the reach and resources of a social media platform. 

Affiliate Marketing: 

Affiliate marketing involves promoting someone else’s products in exchange for a commission whenever someone buys the product through you. 

Search Engine Marketing: 

You can automatically rank in the top spots for certain keywords by paying search engine providers like Google and Bing to place your listings high in the search results. 

Video Marketing: 

YouTube has grown from a platform for hobbyists to the second most popular search engine. Consumers can now see the products they want to buy in action before making a purchase. A survey by RenderForestshows that content creators got a 78% increase in traffic to their website solely by using video.

Other offline marketing strategies like the use of electronic billboards, radio and tv commercials, and phone marketing are all part of digital marketing.

DIGITAL MARKETING FOR BEGINNERS

Why is Digital Marketing Important?

Before I give you my own thoughts and opinions, here is a rundown of some of the numbers to help you understand why digital marketing is important. 

25% of the world’s population is on Facebook, and up to 75% of those users use the platform every day. The average person spends up to 2 hours on social media, while teenagers, on the other hand, spend up to 9 hours on social media. Up to 50% of people say that their last purchase decision was as a result of a Facebook ad. 

What better marketing strategy is there than to reach customers where they truly are; online. Most people spend their waking hours online interacting with one other or with brands and businesses. It is therefore in the best interest of any marketer who wants to get his/her money’s worth to concentrate a majority of marketing efforts on reaching customers online, on social media and other digital platforms. 

Even better is the ability to reach a specific demographic. Before the advent of digital marketing (especially social media marketing), there was no way to guarantee that a specific demographic saw your magazine ad, you could only hope that the right people who will be interested in your products saw your ad. 

But with digital marketing of today, you can show your ads to a specific demographic, people of a particular age group who share an interest. Gone are the days of ‘spray and pray’, targeted advertising is the name of the game. 

Another Interesting Article for you: What is Branding? 6 Undeniable Benefits of Investing in it

Digital Marketing Career. Is it Worth it?

If you are in a place in your life where you are considering different career paths and digital marketing is one of your options, here’s why you should consider a career in digital marketing. 

In the near future, the whole world would have access to the internet. With more and more people using the internet on a daily basis to communicate and make purchasing decisions, the need for brands to have an online presence and a robust digital marketing strategy grows increasingly more important and so does the demand for qualified and experienced digital marketers. 

Digital marketing usually involves a variety of disciplines coming together to create content or marketing campaigns, so writers, graphics designers, photographers, designers, web developers are expected to also be in demand as time goes on. 

The ability to get the attention of customers is an invaluable skill. Companies are willing to pay top dollar for results. 

Even if you choose to not work for a particular company, you could set up your own digital marketing business and take on clients as you see fit. Better still, you could study a particular market, discover some pain points and come up with your own products to solve those problems. 

Using your digital marketing expertise, you could market your products to the moon and smile to the bank. 

Marketing is and will continue to be a very important part of any business. As our world evolves into being mostly digital, digital marketing is set to take the place of traditional marketing. 

Digital Marketing and Social Media

You can’t talk about digital marketing without mentioning social media. Through social media platforms, businesses can build a community of loyal customers by reaching new customers and keeping in touch with existing ones. 

Recent surveys show that most people have up to 7 social media accounts. And of course, most people spend their time online on social media platforms rather than on websites. 

It is quite apparent that social media marketing should be a key part of any digital marketing campaign. 

Through social media, brands can manage their online reputation which of course directly translates to its image. 

Chances are that if a brand can get ahead of its competitors on social media, it will most likely surpass its competitors in the real world. Companies can also get immediate feedback on how customers feel about their products and services, respond to customer inquiries, and hopefully give customers more of what they want. 

And there’s the ‘viral factor’ if you can come up with a compelling ad or campaign that appeals to the majority, in no time, your ad can become more far-reaching than you ever anticipated. Putting your business in front of more eyeballs. 

Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

First, what is traditional marketing? Traditional marketing is basically any form of marketing that doesn’t happen online. Although radio and television ads use digital technology, they are still considered traditional marketing. 

Other channels of traditional marketing include billboards, print, direct mail, phone marketing and so on. If it isn’t done online or via the internet, then it is probably traditional marketing. 

If you have been reading this article up to this point, then you already have a pretty good idea of what digital marketing is.

The debate between digital marketing and traditional marketing is a never-ending one. Traditional marketing has been the backbone of marketing for so long. It is well understood and is still the best way to reach certain demographics. Digital marketing; the new kid on the block is more versatile, measurable and reaches where the internet can. 

Both digital and traditional marketing have their perks and pitfalls. For example, you can’t easily modify a magazine ad after it has been printed while digital marketing usually depends on technology which is subject to a lot of factors including the whims of billionaire founders. 

There is room for digital and traditional marketing to coexist. The elderly still appreciate getting marketing material in the mail, while millennials are better marketed online. it is expected that traditional marketing will slowly fade away over time as digital becomes the end all and be all.

Is Digital Marketing the future?

The short answer: Of course, it is. 

As it presently stands, digital marketing is a major part of any brand’s marketing efforts and with internet usage set to grow in the near future and beyond, you can be rest assured that digital marketing will soon pretty much become the most relevant way through which businesses advertise their products and services. 

5 Ways In Which Having A Digital Marketing Strategy Will Help Your Business

1.    Presents an excellent opportunity for growth

There will come a time in business when growth stalls. What do you do in such moments? Digital Marketing can help you out. Using inventive and creative digital marketing strategies, you can market your products and services to fresh customers. Depending on how creative you can get, your products can become appealing to customers who never gave it a shot previously.  

2.    Gives Small Businesses a Fighting Chance

Imagine a world where only traditional marketing channels were available and they were expensive to use. It is safe to say that only the big corporations with deep pockets would be able to afford to advertise and get attention to their brand. With digital marketing, everyone has a chance. 

With a very little amount of money, small businesses can get their goods and services in front of people who may be interested. If digital marketing is done right, small businesses can outrank large companies on search engines and essentially stay in business.  

Digital marketing affords new and small players in a niche the privilege of staying in the game. 

3.    Pretty Decent Return on Investment

This especially applies to email marketing. For every amount you spend, returns of up to 1000% are possible and are commonplace. All you need do is get your offers in front of people who will most likely be willing to buy from you. 

If you know what you are doing, digital marketing can yield amazing results. You can deploy targeted ads and the rest is history. Even when the desired outcomes don’t readily present themselves, you can use powerful analytics to optimize your efforts. 

4.    It Integrates Well with Mobile Technology

Most people access the internet with their mobile devices and a majority of the purchases that are made online are done via mobile devices. What better way to reach potential customers on mobile than through digital marketing? 

If you can market your business in such a way that integrates well with and takes advantage of mobile technology, sales will go up. 

5.    It is what the customer wants

Studies show that a majority of individuals start their search for a product or service online. Whether it be looking for the best place to go out to dinner with friends or finding a “dentist near me”, it all starts with a Google search. 

Also, the first instinct of consumers before making a purchase is to go online in search of reviews about the product they are interested in. If they find positive reviews, there is a high chance that they will buy that product or employ that service. 

The number of people who watch tv reduces every year, video content is now mostly consumed on YouTube and Facebook.  Having a digital marketing strategy will put you in the right position to take advantage of present-day consumer habits and behavior.  

REFERENCES & FURTHER READING

Neil Patel. Digital Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide.   https://neilpatel.com/what-is-digital-marketing/

Lucy Alexander. What is Digital Marketing? https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/what-is-digital-marketing

Digital Marketer. The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing. https://www.digitalmarketer.com/digital-marketing/

Emidio Amadebai

For the past 2 years, I have been working as the head of Customer Experience, Sales, Marketing, and Customer Finance at an international pay as you go solar home system company working in rural areas in Africa. After my previous 7 years working in B2B, IT&Telecoms industry, as a Service Delivery and Project Manager, having worked with Vodacom, Huawei, and other multinational companies. My job is to make sure we improve the lives of thousands of families, with access to electricity, utilities (radio, TV, lights), doing our very best so that they get the best-in-class customer experience, and succeed in acquiring the products for themselves.

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