- Sep 03, 2023
Marketing has always been about finding ways to reach your audience at the right place and time, and nowadays, this means reaching people where they spend the majority of their time: online.
If traditional marketing was all about creating exchanges that simultaneously satisfy the firm and customers, digital marketing is the process of building and maintaining customer relationships through online activities to facilitate the exchange of ideas, products, and services that satisfy the goal of both parties.
In contrast to the one-way mass promotion that characterised much of traditional and modern marketing, digital marketing also enables firms to engage in individual, personalised dialogues with their customers.
Adding full digital power to your marketing mix helps not only drive sales, but also builds brand identity and awareness, as well as building your relationship with consumers and achieving different other project-specific goals.
If marketing emerged as a significant discipline in the 1960s and 1970s, digital marketing came into existence with the advent of the digital environment in the 1990s and has steadily gained popularity over time. The term continues to experience a growing trend in online searches.
A 2019 study by convinceandconvert.com revealed that 66% of respondents were already using online searches as their primary method to find information about products or services they intended to purchase.
Therefore, consumers now expect and rely on companies to have a website or at least a presence on social media platforms in order to discover the products or services they are interested in. As a result, in today’s landscape, a digital marketing plan is essential for brand visibility and business growth.
WHAT IS DIGITAL MARKETING?
Digital marketing refers to any form of advertising or promotion on the internet with the aim of reaching consumers. Also known as online marketing or digital advertising, this type of marketing encompasses all promotional strategies that take place in the online environment through various digital channels such as search engines like Google, social media platforms like Facebook, email, mobile applications, and websites accessed by a specific target audience or a broader audience, depending on the marketing objective.
The core principles of marketing remain the same regardless of the channel used. Essentially, marketing is based on identifying and understanding the needs and desires of customers, and then creating, delivering, and promoting products and services that fulfill those needs and desires.
Companies often combine traditional and digital marketing techniques in their activities, and digital marketing involves some of the same principles as traditional marketing:
– Market segmentation and identifying the target audience
– Creating customer value through products and services
– Promoting and communicating the value of products and services
– Building and maintaining customer relationships
– Monitoring and measuring marketing performance
– Optimizing through adjustments and improvements.
Specific to the online environment, digital marketing strategies include SEM (Search Engine Marketing), SEO (Search Engine Optimization), ASO (App Store Optimization), PPC (Pay-Per-Click), SMM (Social Media Marketing), Email Marketing, Remarketing, Affiliate Marketing, AI Marketing, CPA Marketing, and others that we will discuss further.
WHAT IS DIGITAL ADVERTISING?
Digital advertising began in 1994, when the first banner ads were sold (Hotwired, October 1994) and the first commercially available web browser, Netscape 1.0, was released (November 1994).
Digital advertising generally follows the same principles as traditional advertising. It is a paid or unpaid form of promotional communication through a medium, used in order to increase an awareness of the product and the number of sales. To achieve its goals digital advertising also tries to favourably persuade addressees using primarily written language, graphics, and to a lesser extent, sound.
With regards to presentation, digital web ads, like print ads, are transferred by a carrier medium. For technical reasons, the whole monitor screen cannot be used as an advertising surface. Thus, only parts of a website serve for advertising purposes. This spatial limitation is identical to traditional media advertising. Print ads also have limited sizes within their carrier medium.
Nevertheless there are remarkable differences. Digital advertising is interaction-oriented. Digital ads are meant to be directly activated. This activation of digital advertising is a form of interaction, a kind of user response which provides evidence for the novel role of addresses. But not only the communication process is interaction-oriented. Different types of web ads allow different degrees of interactivity.
Digital advertising offers advantages over other media in that:
– It is interactive. Consumers can pick and choose the information, sales message, and buying modes that fit their individual needs.
– It offers the best push and pull advertising in that merchants can pull consumers in based on their advertising and push material out to them once they have created a relationship.
– Because users select the sites they visit, advertisers are almost guaranteed highly qualified prospects.
WHAT IS A DIGITAL STRATEGY?
Traditionally, marketing strategy consists of segmentation, targeting, and positioning.
The digital marketing process occurs in seven stages. The process begins with the formulation of corporate and business-unit strategy, then moves to framing the market opportunity, deciding the marketing steps, designing the customer experience, designing the marketing program, crafting the customer interface, and evaluating the results of the marketing program as a whole.
The AIDA formula (Attention, Interest, Desire and Action) also works for the explanation and structure of digital marketing, although with a slightly different polarization. Great emphasis must be placed on the first step, getting attention. Comprehensive information that might show a product’s advantages and users’ benefit is difficult to be given on the small space of web ads. Often, the linguistic strategy of persuasion follows the principles of simplicity and uses imperative instructions to initiate action, supported by graphic to create interest and desire. Nevertheless, it seems almost impossible to draw a line between defining which elements are accountable for the initiation of each AIDA step.
The internet has and will continue to affect marketing strategy for new-economy firms in four broad ways:
1. through finer gradations of segmentation
2. through faster cycle on marketing strategy development
3. through increased accountability of marketing efforts
4. through increased integration of marketing strategy with business strategy and operations
The internet offers a rich supply of tools to reach and influence targeted demographic groups. Each service has its strengths, weaknesses, and audiences. By understanding these differences, online marketers can find the right markets for their products.
WHAT ARE DIGITAL CHANNELS?
Marketing channels, the place element of the marketing mix, are ways of making a product or service available for the target audience.
A firm can have an excellent product at a great price, but it will be of little value unless it is available where the customer wants it, when the customer wants it, and with proper support and service.
A company can choose not to use any channel intermediaries but, rather, to sell to its customers through digital direct channels (owned media: website, social accounts, newsletters), but sometimes resellers (virtual shopping malls, comparisons shops, and affiliates and other types of paid media) are critical to the success of a company’s marketing program.
The distributor channel in a well-integrated marketing program also serves as a form of reminder advertising. The consumer sees the brand name and recalls the advertising. More about this in a future article on the process and benefits of remarketing.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF DIGITAL MARKETING?
Digital marketing is often cited as being cheaper and more measurable than traditional advertising. Through digital marketing, you can reach targeted potential customers who have taken specific actions on your website or online, interacted with your brand, and are more likely to purchase your product or service. This allows you to deliver the right message to them at the right time, making it easier to convert them into customers.
Digital marketing enables you to measure results for almost every aspect of your marketing efforts in real-time. You can measure impressions, clicks, calls, sign-ups, sales, and other types of conversions, as well as reactions, shares, time spent on a page or watching a particular video, the percentage of page scrolled by visitors, and the percentage of visitors who stayed on a page for more than a certain number of seconds.
In digital marketing, there is also more personal control and flexibility when it comes to advertising budgets, changing strategies or ads, choosing brands or websites where ads will appear. You can stop, modify, increase, or decrease various elements of campaigns with the click of a button. The ability to quickly modify ads is a significant opportunity for improving conversion rates.
Digital marketing has also made it easier for businesses to expand globally and allowed companies to communicate directly with customers and receive real-time feedback.
All of these advantages, but particularly the lower cost and efficiency of advertising, enable smaller companies to compete with larger brands, leveling the playing field and increasing the chances of success.
WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF DIGITAL MARKETING?
On the flip side, there are disadvantages and challenges when it comes to digital marketing:
Digital advertising saturation: We are all familiar with the experience of navigating through ads to access the content we are interested in.
Ad-blocker usage: Ad-blockers prevent ads from being displayed, impacting the revenue of publishers who rely on ad views. This has led to the introduction of paid subscriptions for accessing previously freely displayed digital content.
Reliance on external platforms: Having an online presence on an external platform carries the risk of losing data and audience if the platform decides to shut down or modify its operations.
Cybersecurity risks: Cyber attacks can lead to website viruses or the leakage of private digital data, such as passwords, which can affect the brand’s reputation and customer trust.
Evolving regulations: Regulations regarding the use of personal data and online advertising can change, affecting how companies conduct their online activities and the type of digital marketing allowed.
To minimize the risks associated with online marketing, it is important to adopt a responsible approach and implement solid strategies.
TYPES OF DIGITAL MARKETING
The most common types of digital marketing and the channels involved in each are:
SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
SEM is a form of digital marketing that involves advertising on search engines like Google, which is the most visited website and search engine in the world. Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) are divided into paid results and organic results. Advertising in the organic results is referred to as SEO (see point 2). When referring to SEM as paid advertising, it allows businesses to display ads to specific audiences based on search terms, demographics, and other factors. It can be a cost-effective form of advertising because businesses only pay when someone clicks on their ads (hence the term PPC – pay per click, see point 4). This means that businesses using this type of digital marketing can control advertising costs and achieve a better return on investment.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is the process of improving web pages to make them more relevant to certain search queries, so that search engines like Google rank them higher in the organic (free) search results. Many search engine users do not go beyond the first page of results, use digital ad blockers, or ignore paid results. Therefore, it is important for a website to appear on the first page, preferably in the top results, for relevant searches in their industry. SEO is a crucial type of digital marketing because the intent of users searching on search engines is often closer to the purchasing stage compared to other online platforms.
On-page SEO refers to the changes or additions made directly on a web page to increase its chances of ranking in the top organic positions on Google. Off-page SEO refers to actions taken outside of the targeted pages, such as acquiring backlinks from other websites.
ASO (App Store Optimization)
ASO, or App Store Optimization, is a digital marketing strategy aimed at improving the visibility and ranking of mobile applications in app stores like the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Similar to SEO, ASO involves optimizing various elements of the app’s listing, such as app title, description, keywords, and screenshots. By optimizing these factors, app developers increase the chances of their app being discovered by potential users when they search for relevant keywords within the app store.
PPC (Pay Per Click)
PPC, or Pay Per Click, is a form of online advertising where advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked. It is commonly associated with search engine advertising, like Google Ads, where businesses bid on specific keywords to display their ads at the top of search results. PPC campaigns can also be run on various social media platforms, display networks, and other websites. The advantage of PPC is that businesses have control over their budget and can target specific audiences with relevant ads, leading to higher conversion rates.
SMM (Social Media Marketing)
SMM involves using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others to promote products, services, or brand messages. Social media marketing can include organic posts, sponsored content, influencer marketing, and paid advertisements. Social media platforms offer sophisticated targeting options, allowing businesses to reach their desired audience based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. Engaging with followers, responding to comments, and building a community around the brand are also important aspects of social media marketing.
Email marketing is a direct form of digital marketing that involves sending targeted messages to a list of subscribers via email. This channel allows businesses to communicate directly with their audience, deliver personalized content, promote products or services, and build customer loyalty. Effective email marketing involves segmenting the email list, crafting engaging content, optimizing for mobile devices, and tracking performance metrics like open rates and click-through rates.
Remarketing, also known as retargeting, is a technique that allows businesses to show targeted ads to users who have previously visited their website or engaged with their app. By placing cookies or tracking pixels on their site, businesses can follow these users across the internet with relevant ads, encouraging them to return and complete actions they may have previously abandoned, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy where businesses partner with affiliates or publishers who promote their products or services in exchange for a commission on sales or leads generated. This type of digital marketing leverages the affiliate’s existing audience and can be a cost-effective way for businesses to reach new customers and increase sales.
AI Marketing refers to the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to optimize and personalize marketing efforts. AI can analyze vast amounts of data, predict customer behavior, recommend personalized content, and automate marketing processes, making campaigns more efficient and effective.
CPA Marketing (Cost Per Action Marketing) is another form of digital marketing that involves advertisers paying only when a user performs a specific action, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or downloading a document. Similar to PPC, CPA Marketing offers precise control over advertising costs and can help achieve business goals at a lower cost.
Inbound Marketing refers to a digital marketing approach that focuses on attracting customers through valuable content instead of advertising. Inbound Marketing is important because it can help increase the credibility and authority of a brand by providing useful and educational content for customers.
Content Marketing refers to creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to attract and retain an audience. Content Marketing is important as a digital marketing method because it can increase brand visibility and credibility, build long-lasting relationships with customers, and improve conversion rates.
Online PR involves managing the online image and reputation of a business through digital public relations. Online PR helps improve the visibility and credibility of a business, build relationships with online influencers and journalists, and enhance communication with the public.
Marketing Automation is a digital marketing strategy that uses specialized software to automate and optimize marketing campaigns. Through this technology, companies can automate repetitive processes and personalize marketing messages for each individual customer, providing a more relevant and personalized experience. Marketing Automation is important for companies that want to optimize their marketing processes and increase efficiency. By automating marketing processes, companies can save time and resources, improve conversions, and increase customer loyalty.
Video Marketing is a type of digital marketing that involves using video content to promote a company’s products and services. This strategy can include various types of video content, such as video ads, explainer videos, or other video presentations. Video Marketing provides a more engaging and interactive way to present information about a company’s products or services. Additionally, videos can be easily shared and distributed on social media platforms, making them an effective way to increase visibility and reach a broader audience. Moreover, video content has a significant potential to build and strengthen emotional connections with customers, leading to increased loyalty and revenue.
WHAT IS THE MARKETING MIX?
The marketing mix represents a series of decisions and tactics through which a company creates value for each market segment through pricing, services, distribution channels, and promotion. In addition to the traditional 4 Ps (product, price, promotion, and place), the marketing mix has been expanded to include three additional elements: people, processes, and physical evidence.
It is important to note that the marketing mix represents a collection of variables that can influence demand and marketing performance, even if they are not under the control of the marketing department. In this sense, it is considered that the marketing mix should be called the business mix, as it represents a collective set of business decisions regarding what a company can offer and how it can compete for consumers.
The marketing mix is an essential tool for planning and decision-making in digital marketing and can be adapted according to circumstances.
WHAT IS CROSS-CHANNEL MARKETING?
Cross-channel marketing refers to the strategy of using multiple marketing channels to reach customers and provide them with a consistent and personalized experience, regardless of the channel they are using. This can include channels such as websites, email marketing, social media networks, instant messaging, online advertising, as well as offline channels such as billboards, television, and radio.
While the marketing mix focuses on combining marketing elements to reach customers, cross-channel marketing is a strategy to use multiple channels to reach customers and provide them with a cohesive and personalized experience. Cross-channel marketing can be seen as an extension of the marketing mix, as it involves using tactics from the marketing mix across multiple channels to reach and retain customers.
In general, the marketing mix is a broader concept that describes the combination of marketing tactics and tools, while cross-channel marketing is a specific strategy that focuses on using multiple channels to reach customers and provide them with a cohesive and personalized experience. However, the two concepts are often used together in marketing practice, as an effective cross-channel strategy involves using an appropriate mix of tactics from the marketing mix across different channels.
Successful companies understand that in 2023, they should engage in digital marketing across multiple channels to grow, using both organic and paid methods, such as programmatic advertising.
WHAT DOES KPI MEAN IN ONLINE MARKETING?
KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator, a term used in digital marketing to measure the performance of a campaign or marketing strategy. KPIs are used to track and evaluate the success of a campaign, enabling informed decisions regarding optimization and improving results.
KPIs are typically selected based on business and marketing objectives. For example, if the goal of a digital marketing campaign is to increase website traffic, KPIs could include the number of unique visitors, page abandonment rate, or average session duration. If the objective is to increase sales, KPIs could include the conversion rate, average order value, or customer acquisition cost.
In general, KPIs should be specific, measurable, relevant, and time-bound. Choosing the right KPIs is essential to effectively monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of a digital marketing campaign or strategy and make informed decisions regarding the next steps of the campaign. Therefore, it is important to identify the correct KPIs, set realistic goals, and regularly monitor and report performance.
WHAT ARE THE BEST DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGIES?
In general, the best digital marketing strategies are those that combine quality content, personalized experiences, and the effective use of technology to deliver the right message at the right time through the right channel.
Research identifies some of the most effective digital marketing strategies as:
Increasing organic traffic through SEO and relevant, useful content.
Utilizing social media to build communities and engage with customers.
Content marketing, particularly video marketing, which has become increasingly important in recent years.
Influencer marketing, which is highly effective in building authentic relationships with the audience.
Email marketing, through relevant and personalized messages to segmented lists.
There are many effective digital marketing strategies, and the choice depends on the business objectives and target audience. One strategy will not work for all businesses. To achieve the best results, it is important to test multiple strategies and continuously adjust based on user feedback and campaign performance.
WHAT DOES A DIGITAL MARKETER DO?
Depending on the job type, a digital marketer can focus on specific channels or handle all of them, and depending on the team’s size, they may also have a coordinating role for other specialists.
WHAT DOES AN SEO SPECIALIST DO?
An SEO specialist is responsible for optimizing websites to attract more visitors, customers, and achieve better rankings on search engines like Google.
They make improvements through various optimization techniques to ensure that websites are better indexed and ranked in search engine results, such as Google.
Analyzing clients’ and competitors’ websites.
Discovering and testing website optimization techniques.
Conducting keyword research and developing traffic growth strategies.
Creating original content to increase website traffic.
Building links to enhance website popularity.
An SEO specialist reports to the Digital Marketing Manager regarding the website’s position in search engine results, generated traffic, and its quality.
An SEO specialist coordinates a team of copywriters and link builders, and frequently communicates with programmers for implementing necessary website changes, PR professionals for link building through press releases, PPC specialists, and social media specialists to drive traffic to the site.
WHAT DOES A SOCIAL MEDIA SPECIALIST DO?
A Social Media Specialist is responsible for managing content across social media platforms.
They create or coordinate the development of content and engage in digital marketing activities to promote online communities.
Planning social media promotion across all platforms.
Ensuring adherence to the editorial calendar (posting articles, status updates, discussions).
Hiring and training the team responsible for social media promotion.
Providing recommendations for sales growth based on the analysis of social media campaign results.
The Social Media Specialist reports to the Online Marketing Director regarding the success of campaigns and sales generated through social media.
They often coordinate with the copywriter for social media posts and articles, the graphic designer for image creation, and the programmer for social icons and applications.
WHAT DOES A PPC SPECIALIST DO?
A PPC Specialist creates effective advertisements using platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook Business Manager.
They develop and optimize pay-per-click (PPC) digital marketing campaigns using platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Business Manager, and others, with the goal of increasing visibility, traffic, and conversions on websites.
Developing PPC campaigns and advertisements.
Analyzing competitor campaigns to identify opportunities.
Conducting keyword research, testing campaigns, and analyzing results.
Improving quality scores to reduce expenses.
The PPC Specialist reports to the Online Marketing Manager regarding paid advertising programs, their composition, and the results generated.
They may have a PPC Junior as a subordinate and frequently collaborate with the programmer to enhance landing pages for visitors who click on ads, the SEO specialist for traffic growth opportunities and needs, and the account manager for new campaigns based on client interests.
WHAT DOES A COPYWRITER DO?
A Copywriter writes text for websites, newsletters, advertisements, and advertorials.
They are responsible for creating well-written, original, and results-oriented content for promotional materials and online marketing channels that require text.
- Contributing ideas for naming new products and creating promotional materials.
- Crafting texts for newsletters, guides, and website landing pages.
- Translating and creatively rewriting product descriptions for e-commerce websites.
- Researching audience preferences and competitor texts.
- Training and assisting colleagues involved in content writing activities.
The Copywriter reports to the Content Writing Manager, Online Marketing Manager, and SEO Specialist regarding content creation, quality, and results.
They coordinate with the Junior Copywriter and often work closely with the graphic designer (or art director, if applicable) and collaborate closely with the SEO specialist and account manager to produce effective content that aligns with the needs of the client or company.
WHAT DOES A WEB ANALYTICS SPECIALIST DO?
A Web Analytics Specialist is responsible for the implementation, analysis, and reporting of data in the digital environment.
They provide insights based on data analysis from web platforms and channels that help achieve the company’s objectives, and they generate reports for monitoring and decision-making purposes.
- Ensuring the proper implementation and functioning of specific tools.
- Creating reports to monitor the performance of digital marketing campaigns.
- Configuring settings for creating specific audiences.
- Implementing solutions to resolve tracking bugs.
- Assisting in identifying trends and anomalies related to online audiences.
The Web Analytics Specialist reports to the Online Marketing Manager regarding data collection, presentation, and improving performance results.
They coordinate with Junior Web Analytics professionals and often work with programmers for code implementation and PPC specialists for audience creation.
WHAT DOES AN ONLINE MARKETING MANAGER DO?
An Online Marketing Manager develops and oversees the implementation of online marketing strategies and campaigns.
They develop and monitor promotional campaigns, plan, coordinate, and supervise the activities of the digital marketing and online sales team.
Creating the promotion plan across all online marketing channels.
Coordinating online promotion activities (SEO for websites, advertisements, newsletters).
Planning and negotiating the acquisition of advertising space in the absence of a Media Planner.
Hiring and ensuring the training of the digital marketing and sales team.
Providing recommendations based on market research and analysis of data and web reports.
The Online Marketing Manager reports to the Marketing Director or Company Director regarding the success of online campaigns, generated sales, and online reputation.
The manager coordinates the SEO team, copywriters, PPC specialists, social media specialists, and frequently communicates with programmers, graphic designers, PR personnel, and web analytics specialists regarding the execution of online promotion activities.
ABOUT THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL MARKETING
Digital marketing will continue to focus on personalization and user experience to improve conversions and customer loyalty. This means that technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data will play an increasingly important role in all types of digital marketing.
Secondly, we can expect to see a growth in the use of new social platforms and influencers, which will continue to play a significant role in promoting products and services through digital marketing. Additionally, there will be greater pressure on brands to be authentic and transparent in their communication with customers.
Thirdly, we can say that the future of digital marketing will continue to be influenced by technological advancements and customer needs, which will evolve based on social and economic contexts. To remain relevant and effective, digital marketing professionals need to keep up with these changes and adopt strategies and tactics that allow them to adapt to new conditions.
PRACTICAL AND HANDS-ON WORKSHOP
We invite you to join our courses, where you will learn practically and interactively how to apply the information you already have about digital marketing.
In our courses, you will have the opportunity to work in a hands-on environment, where you will learn specific techniques and strategies for promoting and developing online businesses. You will be able to apply your existing knowledge and enhance it through practical exercises and real case studies.
Our team of instructors, comprised of professionals with experience in the field of digital marketing, will be with you throughout the course, providing valuable guidance and feedback. You will learn the latest trends and technologies in the industry, as well as the most effective online marketing strategies.
Whether you are just starting out or already have experience in digital marketing, our courses will contribute to the development of your skills and professional growth in this continuously evolving field.
Join us and learn how to leverage your existing knowledge and become a successful professional in digital marketing. We look forward to welcoming you!