What is digital marketing? How to choose the right Marketing channel
Marketing has experienced dramatic changes over the past few years. The traditional marketing approach seems to step back and make way for a new norm - Digital Marketing.
Recently, digital marketing has become one of the most popular buzzwords, not only on the marketing forums. Even more, business owners and professionals prise it an optimal solution for business growth.
With many years of experience in using digital marketing to write our success story of becoming the selected extension builder for Magento 2, we are enthusiastic in sharing our insight and advice for anyone who wants to revolutionize business by the new form of marketing.
In this post, we are going to encompass all aspects of digital marketing from the very first definition to popular channels; and then wrap it up by analyzing the critical elements needed for choosing the right channels for your digital marketing strategy. We hope that this article helps you open new ways to build or refine your digital marketing plan without the false starts or missteps that come with doing it alone.
Table of content
- What is digital marketing?
- Digital marketing advantages and challenges
- Digital marketing channels
- Advice on choosing the right channels for your digital marketing plan
What is digital marketing?
If you enter the phrase “digital marketing” into the search box, there will have millions of results appearing within a second. Despite such a definition variation, we might obviously agree that this is a new form of marketing, flourishing with the technology exploration that we have not ever experienced before.
Basically, digital marketing refers to the act of promoting and selling goods or services through digital marketing channels, including search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps.
Today, rather than a selling tool, marketing is functioning as a connector that helps to develop a close relationship and maintains customer engagement for the long term.
Because digital marketing is likely to understand and satisfy customer’s needs based on their interaction online, there are five factors that help to define the opportunities for customers to interact with brands and for firms to reach and learn from their potential clients in different ways.
Online users experience brands when they interact with the business via a combination of devices including smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, TVs and gaming devices.
Most interactions on these devices are through browsers or apps from the common platforms or services, namely Facebook, Instagram, Google, Youtube, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Different paid, owned, and earned communications channels for reaching and engaging audiences, including advertising, email and messaging, search engines, and social networks.
That is the audience profile and interaction with businesses. Collected and protected by law in most countries.
The technology that businesses use to create interactive experiences form websites and mobile apps to in-store kiosks and email campaigns.
Digital marketing advantages and challenges
Although digital marketing benefits businesses of all sizes by giving access to the mass market at an affordable price. It also comes with several challenges that you should be aware of.
Digital marketing benefits
Firstly, we are going to list down the top ten benefits that digital marketing brings about.
Marketing and advertising cost is one of the biggest financial burdens that business have to carry. While big firms may invest millions of dollars in marketing and advertisement, it is almost infeasible for small ones.
However, marketing via digital platforms offers a more affordable way of popularizing products or services in public. Compared to the traditional method, it creat as much influence yet costing way less.
For example, with just a few bucks, we can subscribe to an email marketing provider and send the transactional or direct emails to thousands of customers on your list.
Trackable and measurable results
With web analytics and other online metric tools, you can regularly measure how effective your campaign has been and learn all about their conversion rates without having to wait for a long period. Because you can obtain detailed information about how customers use your website or respond to your advertising, it is quite easy to adjust or stop any campaign if it does not deliver as expected.
Marketers can make use of their digital platforms to increase their brand awareness and reputation. A well-developed website with a rich source of content and an interactive social channel will definitely attract more customers, keep them engaged in your brand for a longer-term and make your brand stand out among competitors.
To have a successful marketing campaign, you need to reach the right people who are interested in your business and want to hear from you. Out of all the perks, the most outstanding advantages of online marketing is the ability to target the right people.
By traditional means of marketing, your message will go to everyone in hopes of reaching people interested in your business, marketing over digital platforms allows the targeted campaigns to be presented to customers based on their preferences or initial action.
From such the customer’s behaviors on your store, you can expand the customer database, which helps to refine your customer profile and market effectively to them in the future. This not only increases the likelihood of sales but also further lower the cost of marketing.
Digitalization has turned our world into a global village, and for marketing, it makes the ad campaign to be visible in any part of the world. Thanks to digital marketing, you can find our new market and trade globally only with a small investment.
Digital marketing only offers the ability to reach the target customers but also helps to segment customers into smaller groups according to a particular classification. If it works effectively, segmentation will increase the chances of sales as well as cut down the cost for marketing.
For example, a jewelry store that has launched new designs for women in the age range of 40-50 years old can use digital platforms to send marketing emails for them alone. For segmentation to work effectively, adequate information should be collected from subscribers.
Challenges for digital marketing
Despite the advantages listed, there are some downsides and challenges of marketing that you should pay attention to.
Security and privacy issues
Digital marketing involves the collection, use, and dissemination of personal information, in one form or another, to approach as many customers as possible.
Today, the misuse and abuse of consumer data have increased at an alarming level, which makes customers more cautious when being approached by brands.
And as more data privacy regulations and guidelines are put into action by governments, industries, and privacy organizations around the world, it’s becoming increasingly important that marketers understand these rules and follow them - or face penalties and/or fines.
Time and effort
Digital marketing is promising, but challenging.
Firstly, you need to make sure that your staffs have sufficient knowledge and expertise to perform marketing tasks with success. In the age of technology, tools, platforms change constantly; hence it is a must to be updated and sensitive with any new trend.
While digital marketing can bring your brand to the world, you can also up against the global competition. It is quite challenging to shine brighter than your competitors and grab attention among many advertisements aimed at consumers online.
Digital marketing channels
The following are typical digital marketing channels that you should know about before choosing to include one or more in your digital marketing strategy.
Social marketing refers to all activities using social networks like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to maintain a relationship with present customers and reach a wider audience through digital word-of-mouth.
This is the art of offering various forms of content which is valuable, relevant, and consistent to attract and retain a close relationship with customers, and ultimately to drive profitable customer action.
Blogs, posts on social media, infographics, or video are typical examples of content marketing.
Depends on customer’s needs at different stages in the buying journey, your content should be organized differently. Here are some options that we recommend you to use.
- Blog posts: increase organic traffic when combining with effective SEO and keyword strategy
- Infographic: create more chance of being find found via social media via sharable content
- Short videos: approach a wider audience when they are posted on social platforms like Youtube, Facebook, etc.
- Ebook: bring more leads ( because the audience is likely to leave their contact to receive ebooks with valuable content and knowledge)
- Research reports: like ebook, research report is also great for lead generation.
- Case studies: Detailed case studies will help you positively influence customers who already make a purchase by providing evidence about how effective your products can work.
- Testimonials: this is an advertising method in which a person offers positive comments about a product or brand to create trust and strengthen brand credibility. Celebrities with their huge influence on followers are often approached to provide testimonials, but other people can also make useful contributions in this form of marketing.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your content on your website to make it more visible to search engines and generate more traffic from searches.
The connection between content, social media marketing, and SEO is consistent because social media and SEO are perfect distribution channels for content
Search Engine Marketing
By this method, the marketers need to pay the search engine a predefined amount of fee to show advertising at different places within the search results for certain keywords or phrases. Google Adwords is probably the most common form of search engine marketing.
Pay-per-click Advertising (PPC)
With this modern type of marketing, businesses pay a fee each time one of their add is clicked. Apart from search engines, we can see that almost all social networks offer the opportunity for Pay Per Click advertising. These ads are then shown in the feed of the targeted social media users.
Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels. By sending regular emails to registered customers to inform them about promotion programs or tutorial content, you can boost sales and build customer loyalty through time.
But how can we make the most use of it? Rather than buying an email list and bombarding them with messages for advertising, email marketing should always be achieved with a list of subscribers you personally earned and nurtured.
Advice on choosing the right channels for your digital marketing plan
The selection of digital marketing channels depends on a variety of factors. We are going to list down some of the most critical factors that help you find out the best choice for your business module.
Because different marketing plans serve for various purposes, it is essential to identify your business needs as well as long-term and short terms goals.
Here are some of the goals that your business may be rooting for:
- Brand awareness
- Sale generation
- Lead generation
- Educate potential customers
- Generate traffic
For example, if you aim to increase revenue by 20% by the next two years, you need to phrase out and set up different milestones to reach the ultimate aim. Then for the first five months aiming to generate 400 sales qualified leads, you can use Adwords instead of SEO because optimizing for organic search takes more time.
Defining your budget allocation will help you choose suitable channels for your marketing plan.
Budget allocations may include the following:
- Fees for digital marketing manager and staff
- Paid advertising budgets
- Payment for content creation services
- Fees for graphic artists, photographers, and videographers, etc
When establishing a digital marketing campaign for your business, you need to have a team that is equipped with sufficient skills and knowledge on various aspects of your marketing channels.
These skills can be listed as:
- Development skills: for your website design and development needs.
- Creative skills: refer to both writing and visual creation skills.
- Search skills: interactively searching and retrieving information relevant to marketing topics.
- Social skills: for engaging potential customers through social media.
The selection of marketing channels base on the presence of your ideal buyers. Defining your customers before advertising significantly increases the chance of your campaign’s success. Buyer’s demographics, preferences, platform, touchpoint, etc., can have a significant influence on your decision.
Businesses are rapidly moving towards digital marketing, and there are good reasons to do so. While there are so many possible ways of approaching customers online, it is becoming more and more challenging to choose the right channels for your digital marketing plan.
We hope that this article will bring you a great source of knowledge that helps you save time and effort to build your optimized digital marketing channel.
Thank you so much for your valuable reading time. We would love to hear and share more if you have any comments.
Also, we are providing a wide range of marketing solutions, which may help you optimize your site, boost conversion rate and sales.