Digital marketing spending in 2021 is estimated to grow to an astounding 389 billion dollars. This number is predicted to increase every year because of the broad reach and variety of opportunities available in the digital marketing realm. You may be wondering, “What is digital marketing, and how can it help my business?” We’ll cover everything you need to know in this post to help you choose the right digital marketing services to meet your business’s goals.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is any type of advertising that is created and distributed through digital channels such as mobile applications, social media, websites, e-mail, and search engines. The idea is to use digital advertisements to catch customers’ attention on the platforms they already use to educate them about your products and services.
The internet is the primary resource for consumers to research answers to their problems and find the businesses they love. In fact, more than a third of online consumers in the United States use the internet to search for local businesses every day.
Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing
The most significant difference between traditional and digital marketing is the medium in which a consumer experiences a targeted message. Digital marketing will use websites, search engines, social media, and e-mail to target customers. On the other hand, traditional marketing will use media like newspapers, radio, television and in-store advertisements. The purpose, which is to reach your customers, is still the same, regardless if you use digital or traditional marketing methods.
Both forms of marketing are essential to include in your marketing strategy to meet your business goals. While digital marketing tactics help drive revenue through social selling, traditional marketing is still an important and realistic way to market certain businesses, especially products that consumers must buy in-person.
Your marketing strategy will be different for traditional and digital marketing because the reach and impact of the medium will slightly differ. For example, suppose you’re trying to deliver messages to different generations. In that case, you can appeal to the tech-savvy younger generation through social media marketing and the older generation who traditionally prefer print advertisements through magazine advertising (although don’t count out the older generations and their social media engagement!). Combining both traditional and digital strategies is an easy way to spread consistent information to different audiences, which is why the two forms of marketing will usually complement each other.
Why is Digital Marketing important?
Digital marketing offers a wide range of cost-effective opportunities to grow your business, leading to more sales and increased exposure. Digital media is used by more than 45% of the world’s population, which means you’re going to be able to find your audience by advertising on the platforms where they spend the most time. This allows you to find and market to your ideal customers.
According to a study by BuzzStream x Fractl, different generations prefer different social media platforms. Gen-Z prefers to use TikTok as their leading sharing platform, while Millennials prefer Pinterest and Instagram. Gen X prefers using Twitter and YouTube to share content, while baby boomers are likely to use LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook. When creating a digital content strategy, you’re able to narrow your advertisements based on demographics like age, location, or interests to find your customers on the platforms they’re already using.
Traditional forms of social media do not offer the same type of targeted advertisements. As a wide range of people view these advertisements, it can be harder to track your campaign’s reach to your target audience or ROI. Plus, it’s less of a personalized experience for your customers. Digital marketing allows your business to cater messaging towards people’s interests, hobbies, or pain points.
Common Tactics of Digital Marketing
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of optimizing the content and strategy of your website to attract users to your products and services. You could have the best website in the world, but if you’re not doing the work to make sure your website is popping up on the first page of search results, you’re missing out on a lot of potential business.
Optimizing your website for SEO includes a combination of publishing consistent content, optimizing keywords, adding quality backlinks, and using best practice on-page and off-page SEO. Properly using SEO can help drive traffic to your website when customers search for keywords, products, or services like yours by increasing your website’s ranking in online search results.
2. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is using the power of different digital platforms such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok to create engagement, sharing opportunities, and connections to your customers. Social media conveys an active presence that can showcase your products and services while creating a brand image or reputation for your company. Social Media Marketing will help you reach your target audience and attract new customers through your online presence.
3. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that usually involves collaborating with organizations or individuals who have a strong following or audience that fits your ideal customers. These collaborations create interactive, unique opportunities for customers to interact with your brand and directly target your ideal audience.
Creating a comprehensive influencer marketing strategy with the help of an experienced partner like Sway Group, can have some considerable ROI for your products and services.
3. Digital Advertising
Digital advertising is a targeted and data-driven strategy to reach your consumers wherever they may be in the buying funnel. There are many different types of digital advertising to choose from, but below are three very common practices.
Programmatic Advertising – This marketing strategy allows your business to buy digital advertising with the use of software to alleviate the long process of negotiation, quotes, and proposals. Programmatic advertising allows companies to use algorithms and machines to purchase advertising space.
Search Advertising – Search advertising or paid search advertising places your ads in search engine results. Search ads capture your consumer when they start their product research journey. This type of digital advertising is also sometimes known as PPC or Pay by Click as your business only pays when a customer clicks on one of your advertisements. This is a low-cost way to reach potential customers for your business.
Social Media Advertising – Social Media Advertising is the process of creating advertisements on social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook to reach your ideal audience. While you can try to attract an audience and grow naturally, the algorithms on the platform have evolved, making it harder to get in front of your target audience without using paid advertising. Having a targeted paid social advertising campaign can make all the difference in attracting new customers to your business.
How to create a digital marketing strategy?
If you’re ready to create a digital marketing strategy, there are a few steps you need to take to make sure you’re using the proper channels to reach the right audience. Here is the foundation you need to create for your digital marketing strategy to ensure it works well.
- Find Your Target Audience: You need to know who you’re advertising to. Who is your customer? It’s essential to understand their interests, location, occupation, gender, and age. Recognizing their pain points and needs will help your business create targeted advertisements that work.
- Understand Your Goals: Create the goals you want to achieve for your business. What does successful marketing look like to you? Is this increasing the number of customers on your e-mail list or creating x amount of successful customer conversions through your website? Having a clear idea of your goals will help you choose the right digital marketing tactics and platforms for your business.
- Choose Your Digital Marketing Options: You have tons of options to use for your digital marketing campaign, so it’s important to only choose the ones that will result in the most ROI. Evaluate each platform or ideal option to see if they fit with your goals and overall strategy before investing.
- Consider Incorporating Influencer Campaigns: Influencer campaigns and paid media go hand and hand these days. With proper attribution and content rights, influencer content can also be used in a brand’s organic social media efforts or as part of a broader digital advertising campaign.
- Evaluate Success: With any digital marketing tactics or strategy, it’s essential to evaluate your results constantly. Check to see how each of the components of your plan is performing. Are you making progress towards your goals? Are you able to track any success? If a part of your strategy is not working, that’s okay. Change the campaign content or consider switching to a different digital platform. Go through the process of evaluating your success continually to ensure you’re spending your money towards platforms that contribute to your brand’s success and goals.
When to hire a digital marketing agency (or specialized agency for one specific tactic)?
If you don’t have an expert, in-house team, it might be time to look for a specialized agency. Digital marketing is almost like having a second job. With algorithms and techniques constantly changing, it’s essential to be up-to-date on market trends while using research and data to create unique, engaging campaigns.
Companies should always consider turning to an agency that can specialize in your digital marketing needs. For example, agencies like Sway can help with content, influencer marketing, and digital advertising. Using a reputable agency not only increases your ROI but allows you to focus on your business needs and growth instead of various marketing details.