What is Digital Marketing and How Can Brands Use it Effectively?

With the increase of accessibility to the internet, there are now more people online than ever before. They use the internet for shopping, connecting with friends and family, researching, using social media and looking for brands that give them value. Marketing has always been about engaging with your target audience at the correct time and place. In comes digital marketing, a new and more effective way of communicating with your customers.

Digital marketing includes anything that refers to campaigns appearing on computers, phones, tablets and/or any other electronic device. It comes in many forms; from using SEO  and creating websites, to PPC advertising and producing direct email campaigns. 

Mobile marketing has increased dramatically over the past 10 years with mobile apps, text messaging and posting on social media higher than ever seen before. Studies show that 83.4% of people worldwide own smartphones, and are more likely to use them for news, social networking and many other activities.

Digital vs Traditional Marketing

Online branding through digital marketing is vital for a company that wants to establish a successful online presence. There are a number of reasons to choose digital over traditional. 

One is simply affordability – prices for digital marketing may vary depending on discipline. But overall they remain online with lower material costs than traditional methods – i.e. there is no need for tangible products such as flyers, posters, billboards or print advertising.

With a digital strategy, businesses often find they are able to reach further in terms of their target audiences – beyond what had previously been possible with more conventional marketing strategies. Businesses can target specific audiences based on age, gender, income, location, job title, interests and other related information. If you are still identifying the specific demographics of your target audience, you can either use analytical tools found online, or go through a digital marketing agency who can simplify the process, saving you time and money.

Using traditional methods such as print media, newspapers, billboards etc. is more likely to improve awareness with demographics who are either technophobic, or perhaps live in less digitally developed regions. However, as the percentage of the population coming online and purchasing mobile devices increases, creating a digital presence has a much higher chance to raise your brand’s awareness. Outsourcing social media management could also benefit in improving overall company image online.

With traditional methods, it is vastly more difficult to track how much of your target audience is being reached. However, with digital marketing, you are able to monitor any links that users click on and analyse which methods work best for your company.

Benefits of Digital Marketing

Increasing customer loyalty with frequent communication is a huge benefit of using digital marketing techniques. Customers feel like they can rely on a brand and if the product provides the customer with value, it leaves them coming back. 

Being able to engage with customers throughout the whole buying process, enables you to monitor every step made. Physical stores only track purchasing data, whereas through analytics, you can track the customer journey – where they came from, which products/services they browsed through until picking one, and when they purchased from you. This can help you customize, simplify and cater the process for customers, allowing for better results.

Digital marketing makes it easier when targeting the correct audience, as you can identify which platform they frequent and continue with your strategy from there. Access to online tools help you hone in on your target audience and their specific demographics. With this data, digital marketers can grow their user base and engage with them, until they are ready to make the decision to either purchase from you or move on. Companies base their engagement on user preferences, making their consumers feel listened to which in turn leads to a more positive perception of the brand.

Tips and Tricks: 

  • Engage fast: Users decide in just 45 seconds whether to stay on your site or to move on, so make sure your website looks contemporary and is kept updated and fresh to ensure your visitors linger. The more engaging, the more seconds per page, the better for SEO.
  • Try and you’ll find out: Experiment with new marketing tools such as Customer Relationship Management Systems, Analytics and Reporting Software, and SEO optimization Software. These tools can help businesses achieve adequate optimization and streamlined methods.
  • Make it mobile-friendly: As the majority of people use their mobile phones for basically everything these days, make sure your website is mobile-friendly. It sounds obvious, but many companies do not have a website which is user friendly and adapts to these trends, which can detract customers. 
  • Invest in ads when necessary: Consider taking advantage of Paid Ads when appropriate. Doing so could lead to improved website traffic. 
  • Focus on the user experience (UX): Research shows that users prefer sites with great page/user experience, no one enjoys struggling online. Always bear this in mind when creating your site.
  • Who, what, where, when, why?: Create content which answers your users’ questions, if users aren’t finding the answers they are looking for, they are more inclined to leave. 

Advances in technology have created a significant change in the way users interact with companies. Being able to utilize digital marketing effectively for your brand, can lead to increased ROI, extended and quicker reach target audiences and an improvement of your brand’s online presence. It can be a good idea to go through a digital marketing agency to help streamline the process.

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