It’s more important than ever to understand how to use digital marketing to stay connected with your customers. 2020 was the year that catapulted digital marketing to the limelight. Have you been wondering what exactly is digital marketing?
It’s a whole new digital world that thrives on the lifeline of the internet. To put it in simple words, digital marketing is using digital channels connected to the net and digital technologies to market your products and services.
Seven Digital channels
Let’s now browse through the different digital channels you can use and their relevance.
• Website – provides the user experience, functions as your virtual office 24/7
• Content marketing – creates your brand personality and identity
• Social media marketing – creates visibility and interaction for your business
• Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – increases your business visibility and searchability
• Display & video advertising – generate leads & traffic to your targeted audience
• Paid search (Pay-Per-Click) – drives the interested audience to your site
• Email marketing – delivers your content directly at the right time
Ideally, you need to be using all these channels to optimise the expected outcomes from digital marketing.
Among these digital channels, most businesses own a website and are on social media. While a website gives your business an online identity, social media gives exposure.
Three types of media
There are three different media channels you need to manage under digital marketing: owned, paid, and earned.
Owned media is the media that you create, manage and have full control over it. It helps to build your brand personality, creates trust and legitimacy in the market over a period of time. Examples of owned media are website, app, blog, social media, newsletter.
Paid media is advertising or media that you have paid for to drive visibility, clicks or traffic to your website, product or service. It helps to drive traffic to your owned media and starts raising interest and awareness of your brand or business. Examples of paid media are social ads, banner ads, video ads, search ads.
Earned media is free publicity generated by people who speak about and share content related to your brand or business. It builds trust and credibility quicker and far more effectively than paid media ever could.
Earned media happens when you create a good piece of content, share it across all platforms including paid promotion and now people voluntarily engage with it and share it because they find it informative, relevant, or funny. Examples of earned media are shares, comments, saves, reposts.
Paid media drives traffic to your owned media which in turn generates earned media. This s the ultimate goal of digital marketers.
Three aspects of the digital brand
As you embrace digital marketing there are three aspects to be closely monitored for your brand or business: voice, footprint and shadow
What you consciously try to communicate about your brand or business through owned media forms your voice.
The trail of data you create when using the internet, the evidence of all your online activities forms your footprint.
The impression created by the footprints left behind as you navigate the internet becomes your shadow like the photos you upload, reviews, comments you post.
While you can control your voice, you cannot control your footprint and shadow. These have an impact on your brand or business credibility and reputation online.
Start of your customer journey
Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day globally (Internetlivestats, 2019). That is, over 40,000 search queries every second on average. We know that multiple times a day we all turn to Google to search our queries. Almost half of the product searches begin on Google (Jumpshot, 2018).
These stats confirm that your customer’s journey often starts with a Google search and they make their decisions based on what they see online.
So, as a business do you have the option to ignore your digital presence? No.
Unless you don’t mind losing your customers to a digitally savvy competitor you don’t have much of a choice in ignoring digital marketing nowadays.
Still not sure should you use digital marketing? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I shall guide you on how digital marketing could help you grow your business.
Lini Reghunath, a digital marketing specialist & trainer residing in Bahrain, works with local and international brands on digital strategy, campaigns, content marketing and analytics. An expert trainer, she enjoys conducting 1-0n-1 coaching in digital marketing. Follow her on LinkedIn, Email email@example.com