What is Digital Marketing and why do you need it?

February 20, 2020

Author: Deepika Sulekh

Reading Time: 3 minutes

More than 80 per cent of consumers do research online before making a purchase decision – which is pretty much everyone, right?

They read reviews, compare prices, download information and check out company websites – all before even getting in touch with a business.

So are you putting your best foot forward online? If you’re not, digital is where you need to be, because it’s now the most important advertising medium.

What Exactly is ‘Digital Marketing’?

It basically covers all types of marketing that businesses do online – from websites, to SEO (search engine optimisation), Google Ads, social media, video, blogs, newsletters and more.

For those who are still adjusting to what being online means, it can be rather overwhelming.

But as they say, the best way to get something done is to begin.

Buyer Journeys

To better understand how to capture more customers, it’s a good idea to find out how your current ones made it to you, and why they decided to buy from you, and not your competitors. This is called a buyer journey – with your business as the end destination!

The three main stages are:

  • Awareness – the buyer realises they have a problem.
  • Consideration – the buyer knows what they need and research solutions.
  • Decision – the buyer decides what they want and commits to a specific solution.

Digital Marketing Channels

Social Media

  • Facebook – this is the biggest social media channel with 2.5 billion monthly active users in 2019. It’s the social ‘hub’ on the internet where users can share any content with friends and followers.
  • Instagram – photo-sharing at its best, Instagram is one of the fastest-growing channels thanks to smartphones and their ever-improving cameras.
  • LinkedIn – this is social media for business, think professional networking opportunities online and a space to come across other like-minded professionals.
  • Twitter – great platform for newsworthy content, works well if you can get a lot of followers.
  • Youtube – the most popular video-sharing platform and video search engine, Youtube is useful if you have valuable videos that can drive engagement, such as interviews, product demos, how-tos, etc.
  • Pinterest – if you’ve got quality visual content and your business is image-heavy (photography, retail, etc) Pinterest can work for you.

Search Engine Marketing

  • Google Ads – targeted advertising on a Google Search results page where you pay for each click on your ad. You can use Google Ads for search, display, shopping and video campaigns.
  • SEO (search engine optimisation) – optimising your website content to help you be found in search engines (like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc).

Website

  • Blogs – these are an easy way of connecting with your readers, sharing relevant information, and getting more visibility online.

Email

  • e-Newsletters – still highly effective if you use it in the right way, email newsletters can adapt to your audience, personalise content and most importantly help you keep a relationship with your existing clients.

The Importance of the ‘Customer Experience’

The customer transaction is no longer just a sale, it’s an experience building a relationship, and the potential for repeat business – if you play your cards right.

Remember the journey we were talking about? This is about considering what people ‘feel’ when they interact with your business. By using digital marketing in the right way, you have the ability to influence decisions – which is often based on an emotional response to your online presence. Simply put; If someone likes what they see and read they are more likely to buy from you.

What is digital marketing

Measurement

There’s no point in all this work if you don’t know what’s working, how it’s working, and what you can improve. And luckily, digital marketing is one of the easiest to measure, with accuracy too. View your revenue numbers, conversion rates, ROI and any other metric you can think of, from centralised dashboards.

Consistency is Key

Other kinds of marketing and advertising (print, radio, signage etc.) are definitely not obsolete – in fact they are a great accompaniment to digital marketing. Potential customers often need at least three ‘exposures’ to a brand and/or product before being engaged with it, so providing a variety of touch points is crucial.

But here’s the key to this aspect being successful – it must always be consistent. Whatever appears in a magazine, newspaper, on a display ad, or any other marketing activity, it must provide the target audience with the same message, look and feel.

How Can You Improve Your Online Presence?

The digital space can feel like a black hole when you don’t know the ins and outs of it. It takes time and effort to set it up right, maintain it, and keep it going. We never said it would be easy, but if you’ve made it to this point, you’re on the right track. So don’t hesitate to get help where you need it.