What is Digital Marketing? How does it differ from traditional marketing? What are the benefits?
Whenever I tell people that I work in Digital Marketing I’m almost always greeted with confused faces and asked the question, what is Digital Marketing? Well in a nutshell Digital Marketing is quite similar to traditional marketing methods in the sense that you promote products and services however, instead of using things like flyers and billboards, you use electronic tools. For example you can use things such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and various other social media sites (depending on your audience) as well as email and you can even get in touch with online influential individuals to increase exposure of your brand or business. One of the biggest advantages of Digital Marketing in comparison to traditional marketing is that you can target and measure the outcome of each campaign. If you were to place your advert on a billboard it would be very difficult to track how many people who purchased your product or service did so from seeing your billboard advertisement. You also cannot be sure of how many people would actually see your advertisement and if say your product was targeted at a certain gender or age, or if you wanted to target people with certain interests, it is pretty difficult to do using this process, whereas with online tools, it is actually possible and easy to achieve, when carried out correctly.
Another big plus when it comes to Digital Marketing is that it is typically cheaper than those traditional methods. By setting up your Social Media pages and growing your audience you can actually build up a large following of people who are interested in your products or services. This is totally free to do however, it is good to keep in mind that this isn’t a quick fix or something you can achieve overnight, it takes planning, dedication, good execution and patience. It is also good to mention that due to many other companies being online and carrying out digital marketing techniques, it is becoming increasingly tough to stand out from the competition so you really do have to work hard to be above your competitors. In Digital Marketing, much like traditional marketing there are forms of advertising. These include methods such as Affiliate Links, PPC (Pay Per Click), Banners etc. Even Twitter and Facebook offer advertising nowadays. This is great for small businesses out there who want more exposure but don’t have a big budget that a multi million pound company would have. By using things like Facebook Ads and Google AdWords, you can get your website, products and services viewed by paying a small fee and by a small fee I mean roughly around 20p-70p, depending on your keywords of course (it can cost even less or in some cases even more) As well as advertising and splashing the cash there is something called SEO. This stands for Search Engine Optimisation and it essentially means making your website more search engine friendly and following the rules and regulations. SEO is an ongoing thing, it isn’t something you just complete. It is about planning, sticking to the rules, working hard, producing high quality content, building genuine online relationships with like minded people, it is such a massive topic that I and many others could discuss until the cows come home but basically, without SEO no one will find your website so it is definitely something you need to be doing as a website manager. You’ve probably also already been doing a bit of SEO without even realising it too.
Just A Few Digital Marketing Methods:
- Social Media Marketing (Using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc, to share interesting and informative content and to communicate with your audience)
- Email Marketing (Sending newsletters, great content and offers via Email Campaigns by using programs such as MailChimp)
- Blogging and Content Creation (Creating blog post entries and other content that is detailed, unique and interesting)
- Blogger Outreach and Identifying & Collaborating With Influential Individuals (Working with people who can drive conversions to your site)
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation – Making your website more “Google Friendly”)
- Online Advertising (Using things like Google AdWords PPC (Pay Per Click), having an affiliate program in place, advertising on Social Media etc. You can also use Re targeting which is a form of advertisement to gain lost customers and sales)
- Link Building (Creating genuine relationships with like minded people in your industry who have sites relevant to your website. This could even result in getting a back link to your site which in turn could greatly increase your performance in Google)
- Gathering genuine customer feedback and reviews (This shows that your business is real and trusted which is both good for potential customers and also your Google performance)
- Analysing Website Data (This is essential to find out how to improve your marketing strategy, gain an idea of what your audience likes and dislikes in terms of content, find out where your traffic is coming from and who has been linking to you, find out how many page views and unique visitors your website has received as well as finding out many, many other useful bits of information which can help you greatly.)
- Video Marketing (Using moving images on platforms such as YouTube to visually market your products or services and reach a wider audience in the process)
All in all, Digital Marketing is a powerful and wonderful thing. You can achieve amazing results both in terms of website traffic and conversions on your site whether that be in the form of a sale, an email sign up, clicking on a specific area of the page or whatever you are trying to achieve. However, with all good things in life, to see good results you must carry out Digital Marketing properly to see its effective results. This means planning, having patience, doing your research, sticking to the rules, being patient and producing the best quality content that you possibly can produce.
Do you find Digital Marketing is essential? What methods have worked for you?