Digital marketing is a flexible service and most individuals need to apply digital marketing to their lives and business. Before we go further, let’s define digital marketing.
Digital marketing is advertising delivered through various digital channels. Channels such as social media, search engines, mobile applications, web applications, websites, digital televisions, instant messaging and emails.
It can also be defined as the means of utilizing digital media channels to promote your products or services.
Digital marketing is done offline and online.
The top online digital marketing channels are:
1. Search engine optimization (SEO)
It is the process of optimizing the quality and quantity of your online content to increase the visibility of your content on search engine results, Search engines such as Google or Bing. SEO requires no payment or advertisements and it is referred to as organic search.
2. Search engine marketing (SEM)
Search engine marketing (SEM) on the other hand, requires the purchase of ads on search engines to increase the visibility of online content in search engine results pages (SERPs), to increase your content visibility through SEM, your content has to be of good quality.
3. Content marketing
Content marketing is the process of planning, creating, publishing and distributing valuable, relevant content to attract, engage, retain and drive your audience to take an action. Content can take a video, audio or written form. A few types of content are news, videos, white papers, e-books, infographics, email newsletters, case studies, podcasts, how-to guides, articles, photos, and blogs.
4. Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Social media marketing is the process of using social media platforms to market products or services on social media platforms and to connect with your audience and increases sales.
Examples of social media platforms are YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, Myspace, Tumblr
5. Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is a type of paid online digital marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time their ads are clicked on. It is simply a way of buying visits to your website. Search engine optimization and Facebook ads are essential examples of pay-per-click advertising
6. Affiliate marketing
It is the promotion of other people’s products, often through an affiliate network. If a person buys the product through your recommendation or link, you earn a certain commission. It is one of the simplest online digital marketing categories. Affiliate marketers make use of their blogs, social media channels such as YouTube, podcasts, and emails to promote various products
7. Email marketing
This is the use of email to promote products and services. It helps to improve relationships with potential customers.
The top channels of offline digital marketing are:
1. Radio marketing: This includes the use of radio commercials
2. Television marketing: This includes the use of Television commercials and teleshopping
3. Phone marketing: This includes the use of cold calling, text message marketing
4. Enhanced offline marketing: This includes the use of electronic billboards and digital product samples
While, all these categories are well known, advanced and useful, there is one very easy way of promoting your products and services online, it is:
Local Online directories e.g Google my business: Not all businesses own a website or social media page or use offline digital marketing, some just place their business on the local online directory and the online map shows their business on search engines. The most used local online directories are Google my business and Bing my business
I hope you now have a clue of what online and offline digital marketing is all about. Now, let’s talk about the process of online digital marketing.
THE PROCESS OF ONLINE DIGITAL MARKETING FOR BUSINESSES
This process is in seven steps, they are
1. Do a SWOT analysis, know your Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and threats
- What are the advantages of your business?
- What is your business’s unique selling point (USP)?
- What do you consider to be your business’s main strengths?
- What resources does your business have?
- What factors negatively influence your promotion and sales of the product?
- What does your business lack compared to your competition?
- What resources does your business lack?
- What sort of skills do you need to work on?
- What can we do better?
- Is there something that your target audience is looking for that you can provide?
- Is there any potential target audience that you haven’t reached yet?
- Are there any potential market strategies that you haven’t used yet?
- How can we grow, change and improve?
- What are your competitors doing that you don’t do?
- What is happening or could happen both internally and externally that may affect us negatively?
- Do we have all the technologies in place to keep up with the ever-changing market?
2. Identify your goals
Ask yourself what goals do you want to achieve with online digital marketing for your business?
Your goals have to be SMART, Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound
3. Research: This is the third step, research your customer, business, and strategy.
a. Know your customers: To make sales or to make your customer carry out required actions on your product or services, you have to know and understand your customers fully, you have to
- Know who your target audience is, categorize them based on age, occupation, geographical location, gender and various categories depending on your product or service
- Learn what your customers want in terms of marketing style
- Take notice of how they interact with brands or products similar to yours
- Research on the best category of online digital marketing they relate to the most, it could be email marketing, social media marketing, or any other type
b. Know your business: Research the ways other businesses similar to yours have successfully used online digital marketing for their business to achieve sales
c. Research various strategies that can be used for your business
4. Planning — Creation of an Action plan
Action plan: Before marketing products, Digital marketers like to create an action plan on why they are doing what they are doing, what they are going to do and how it will be executed, i.e the ‘why’, ‘what’, and ‘how’. The action plan makes the work of a digital marketer easy, effective, and efficient. The action plan contains
- Target audience
- Preferred online channels
- Goals and Objective
- Ways to convert leads to paying customers
- Key performance indicators (KPI)
- Digital marketing strategy
- Information on competition
- Digital campaigns
- The timing and road map
5. Execution– Execution of your action plan.
You can use a Content Management system (CMS) like WordPress, Hubspot to execute content on search engines
A CMS is a tool for creating, editing and publishing digital content. There are different types of content systems — such as HubSpot and WordPress — so you’ll need to identify what works best for your company’s needs. Whichever CMS you use, be sure you can edit your website, create and publish content for your blog and landing pages, and optimize content for search engines.
Use planning and communication tools such as Trello boards, Google when executing action plans
To implement action plans for email marketing, you can use email campaign tools such as Mailchimp and ConvertKit, these tools are quite simple to use.
To implement action plans for social media management and monitoring tools, you can use social media marketing tools. These tools are used to
- Manage multiple accounts across social media platforms
- Schedule posts on various social media platforms
- Social media monitoring: monitors keywords, hashtags, follows
- Examples of the tools are: Hootsuite, Sproutsocial, Buffer, Social Quant, and so many others
6. Measure or Analyse
This is the step when you measure your return on investment, and conversions and know the analyses of your digital marketing strategy process.
There are various analytic tools and methods and they give you a result on your success, failures, and recommendations. Examples of analytic tools are Google analytics, Moz Pro, Google search console, SemRush etc. Analytic tools will provide analysis such as
a. Webpage metrics such as Unique page views, Page Views, Traffic sources, Keyword ranking, and bounce rate.
- Unique page views track how many visitors come to your web page.
- Page views count all visits
- Traffic sources break down page views by the sources your content is being discovered from. There are many sources where visitors could come from, like paid search, organic traffic, email marketing, and more.
b. Social media metrics such as reach, impressions, profile visits
c. Email metrics such as open rate and clickthrough rate
· Open rate: the number of customers that opened your email
· Click through rate: the number of customers that clicked on a link within the email
Note done your mistakes, track your progress and failure and then optimize your online digital marketing strategy based on the recommendations provided by the analytic tools
IMPORTANCE OF DIGITAL MARKETING
After discussing the process of online digital marketing, you should know why it is important.
Here are some of its importance
- Applying Digital marketing for your business grows your products or services sales and profits: Sales and products can be increased when you effectively make use of digital marketing channels to market your products and services.
- It Improves brand awareness and builds a strong relationship with your target audience.
- Creates and adds value: Add value to your customers through your products or services.
- Promotion of your products or services or brand: Promotion of products and services can be done on all digital marketing channels, some are free such as search engine optimization, and email marketing while some are paid for such as social media ads, search engine marketing and pay-per-click advertising.
- Go beyond your boundaries with online digital marketing, using Search engine marketing, social media marketing and other types.
- It creates an easier interaction with customers: You can also offer solutions to client’s problems through social media, emails, live chat on your website and other channels. You can also make customers fill out survey forms to understand your customers and know what they expect from your product or services.
- It establishes brand reputation online: Using digital marketing for your business can help you establish a brand reputation online. A good brand reputation will promote people’s knowledge about the goods and services you offer.
- It helps expand your audience reach: You don’t need to look for audiences anymore. You can expand your audience reach through social media ads, Google ads, Search engine optimization and other various channels.
Before I leave, these are a few valuable tips to use to ensure success with online digital marketing
- Know your customers.
- Learn more about each channel and choose the best that suits your business.
- Don’t just write about your products or services, write about how your products and services can benefit your customers.
- Engage with your followers on Social media.
- Incorporate SEO in your overall content strategy.
- Remain consistent in design when running campaigns.
- Have a unique selling point.
- Check up on your competitors: this allows for improvement and change in a better strategy, you will learn from your competitors and know what works and what doesn’t work.
- Always have a Call to Action (CTA): examples are; buy now, call now, visit our website.
- Make use of various content management tools and strategies.
Digital marketing has been known to be of benefit to businesses and individuals. It has a lot of channels, categories, and processes that can be used to achieve business goals and objectives. The processes listed above are effective and efficient and if you ever want to start digital marketing for your business or for your career, just follow the steps listed above, use the tips and start your online digital marketing career.
So, here we have it, a simple guide to digital marketing. So, know you know where to start with your digital marketing career or for your business.
Let’s go through the steps together, you start with the various categories of digital marketing and learn more about them, then you decide to create a digital marketing process based on the process explained in this article, you then remind yourself why digital marketing is important through the importance mentioned above and if you ever need to upgrade your process, you can use the few tips I gave you.