Digital marketing is defined as an approach to marketing that seeks interaction with the target audience through the internet, under various channels and digital media platforms.
Today we will tell you what are the best practices of digital marketing, how digital marketing can benefit your brand and the main key channels, to ensure the success of your efforts, such as: content marketing, SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, mobile marketing, etc.,
The idea is to create elaborate strategies to reach potential customers and connect with them.
An average user consumes content through TV, computer, tablet, smartphone, radio and other traditional media. This constant exposure to various types of media has led to information overload, further complicating the buyer’s journey.
Digital marketing has enabled brands to stay relevant by making themselves visible across different channels and touch points. Apart from traditional marketing channels such as TV, newspapers, billboards, etc., marketers use these digital channels to guide potential customers through their buying journey and stay in touch with their existing customers.
Types of digital marketing channels
Before we delve into other aspects of digital marketing, learn about the top 11 types of digital marketing channels:
The website is often the home of your digital marketing efforts. Brands and organizations use websites to host content while using other media to distribute it. Most digital marketing activities tied to your website, usually produce an action, and conversions are tracked. For example, downloading a file, booking a product or service, etc.
2. Content marketing
Content creation is the backbone of your entire digital marketing strategy. Whether you have a documented content marketing strategy or not, you are creating content to inform, entertain, inspire or persuade your buyers through other channels. Some of the most common content formats include text (blog posts), videos, images, infographics, podcasts, slideshows and eBooks.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) acts as a propellant backpack for your content marketing efforts. SEO consists of on-page and off-page activities to increase your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) for your preferred keywords. Previously, SEO was primarily text-based, but in recent years voice search has also gained importance, so your SEO activities should have a conversational focus.
4. Digital Advertising
Digital advertising is an umbrella term for various online advertising strategies. Typical pricing and bidding strategies for digital advertising are cost per click (CPC) and cost per thousand (CPM), i.e. per thousand impressions. While the common formats for digital advertising are search engine marketing (SEM), display advertising, native advertising, social media advertising and programmatic advertising.
5. Email Marketing
Email Marketing or email marketing is the process of maintaining a database of hot and cold leads and sending them email alerts about your brand, products and services. It is an effective channel to communicate with your audience on an ongoing basis. Email marketing is useful for building your subscriber base, onboarding new customers, retaining existing ones, promoting discounts and offers, and distributing content.
6. Social media marketing
Social media marketing allows you to be present on the platforms where your users spend the most time. These include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, where you can distribute content through both organic and paid channels. Social media has also played a key role in the spread of video marketing and the wave of ephemeral content. It allows two-way communication and your fans and followers can interact with you on your content through likes, comments, direct messages or posting on your official pages.
7. Affiliate marketing
The concept of affiliate marketing is similar to commission-based sales. Organizations provide personalized links to their affiliates. Affiliates earn a specific share/commission every time someone buys through their personalized link. Influencer marketing could be considered a modern, evolved spinoff of digital marketing.
8. Smartphone usage
Globally, smartphone users have increased, reaching over 3.5 billion by 2020. To capitalize on this opportunity, brands are connecting with their users on their smartphones through mobile apps, emails, mobile-friendly websites and social networks. By connecting with users on the go, brands have been able to optimize their marketing strategies and send timely messages.
9. Online public relations
This is a type of earned media. It is when a member of the press (journalist or online publication) mentions your brand through their stories, interviews, etc. Product reviews by customers, bloggers and Influencers who mention your brand or your products, whether paid or organic, also contribute to your online PR.
10. Conversational AI
The rise of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have paved the way for more evolved marketing strategies, such as conversational AI. As the adoption of voice search, chatbots and digital assistants become prevalent, conversational AI becomes vital to digital marketing.
11. Web analytics
Web analytics is the practice of collecting, measuring, analyzing and reporting data. This is commonly tracked through Google Analytics, but websites could also build their analytics tools. The data collected can be quantitative or qualitative. Web analytics helps marketers understand traffic sources, what works and what doesn’t, return on investment (ROI) and how they can improve their digital marketing efforts.
5 best practices for digital marketing
1. Be Omnichannel
Successful organizations have adopted the omnichannel marketing approach to guide their leads through the funnel. Omnichannel marketing helps provide a holistic shopping experience to your buyers. It’s about delivering the right message at the right time on the right marketing channel.
Being omnichannel means delivering a consistent experience throughout the buyer’s journey. This means that your strategy should revolve around the customer and not specific channels. To build an omnichannel strategy, create a consistent brand voice across channels.
A cohesive omnichannel marketing strategy should take into account all digital marketing channels and map their usefulness at each stage of the buyer’s journey and work on messaging accordingly. Case in point: Starbucks is known for leveraging digital media to enhance the customer experience (CX). In this particular case, the Starbucks app allows users to find stores, order through the app, pay with their phone, track stars and rewards. Users also earn reward points for ordering via phone and with its collaboration with Spotify, users can also identify songs playing in their stores.
2. Leveraging AI
In digital marketing, Artificial Intelligence has enabled marketers to reach their target audience with precision like never before. Using AI and ML powered applications, you can connect with your shoppers in the following ways:
Conversational AI: Conversational AI, such as digital assistants and chatbots, have become ubiquitous for communicating with prospects and customers. They are able to deliver content, gather customer requirements, provide customer support, help customers purchase an item or make a reservation, and keep them updated on their orders.
For example, the Wall Street Journal has created a Facebook Messenger chatbot to deliver content directly to subscribers’ inboxes.
Personalization: The success of omnichannel marketing depends on how well you personalize CX, and AI can help you do that. AI-based tools are able to understand and predict user behavior. This can further help you deliver a personalized experience by creating segments of users who share similar characteristics.
3. Don’t ignore email
Email marketing remains a powerful digital marketing channel. If you have a sizeable subscriber base, you can communicate a message to your subscribers without spending a dime.
You can use email marketing to send drip campaigns, onboard new users/customers/subscribers, promote new content, offer discounts and exclusive offers, ask for feedback through surveys, etc. For email marketing initiatives to succeed in 2020, use user-generated and interactive content to generate engagement, keep your emails tailored to mobile devices, and build a unique email community that can act as your tribe.
4. Emphasize video marketing
People prefer videos because they make it easy to understand information and are an effective storytelling medium. Use videos in your content marketing initiatives to increase engagement and expand your reach. A good way to do this is to create videos in a variety of formats.
For example, most social media platforms allow you to post ephemeral/shortened video content. So, while creating standard video content, experiment with ephemeral, vertical and live videos to see what generates engagement and double down. Example: Moz has a weekly instructional video series called Whiteboard Friday that delves into various aspects of SEO.
5. Create a cohesive content experience
Aside from running ongoing digital ad campaigns and other activities, creating cohesive content experiences can help you get eyeballs on your brand. Creating cohesive content experiences means diversifying your content marketing efforts.
Create content in as many formats as you can. Make forays into text, podcasts, infographics, videos, gated content, etc. Each piece of content you create should build on the others, and that’s where content repurposing comes in. You can boost your content strategy by supporting it with a smart distribution strategy. If you’ve written a 2,000-word blog post, turn it into an infographic, create a podcast episode and record a whiteboard video.
By doing this, you’re diversifying your presence on different platforms and creating content at the user’s convenience.
3 benefits of digital marketing for businesses
Digital marketing combines the best of inbound marketing and outbound, i.e. push and pull strategies. Here are three key benefits of using digital marketing for business growth:
- Measurability: When you launch a marketing campaign through traditional means, it is impossible to measure its impact unless you offer some kind of coupon code, which will be reflected in sales figures.
On the other hand, if you choose any digital marketing avenue, you get sophisticated analytics capabilities. You can measure impact through impressions, clicks, traffic and sales. Depending on the attribution model you have implemented, you can also understand how each touchpoint has contributed to sales. This measurement capability allows marketers to understand what’s working and fix what’s not.
2. Traditional media follows the blitz approach, where everyone gets the same message. Modern marketing media allows you to tailor the message based on the audience persona. Digital marketing channels allow you to target your ideal buyers with precision. Digital marketing also allows your ideal buyers to find you.
Through content marketing and SEO efforts, a potential customer will enter a query into a search engine to find you. With digital advertising, you can target users based on their gender, age group, interests, education, location, psychological characteristics, etc. You can focus as much as you want, or you can maintain diversity and target a broader group based on your objectives.
3. There is no room for course correction when it comes to traditional marketing. Once your ad is printed in the newspaper, it’s gone. With digital marketing, you can adjust things on the fly. If you don’t see that a particular ad copy isn’t delivering results, you can tweak it or reallocate the budget based on what’s happening at the time. This flexibility ensures that your digital marketing efforts are always managed efficiently.