What is Digital Marketing and how is it important for small businesses? – part 1

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What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the usage of the Internet, mobile devices, social media and search engines to reach consumers. Marketing experts identify digital marketing as a new way of approaching customers and as a method of understanding how customers behave compared to traditional marketing.

What is Digital Marketing

Understanding Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is about targeting a specific segment of the customer base and is interactive, which includes search result ads, email ads and promoted ads.

In the parlance of digital marketing, advertisers are commonly referred to as sources, while members of the targeted ads are commonly called as receivers. Sources frequently target highly specific, well-defined receivers.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

What is Digital Marketing
  • Website Marketing

A website is the heart of all digital marketing activities. It is very powerful and it’s also the medium needed to execute a variety of online marketing campaigns. A website represents a brand, product, and service clearly and memorably. For it to become successful, it should be fast, mobile-friendly and user friendly.

  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

PPC advertising enables marketers to reach Internet users on several digital platforms through paid ads. Marketers can set up PPC campaigns on Google, Bing, LinkedIn, Twitter or Pinterest and show their ads to people searching for terms related to the products or services. PPC campaigns can segment users based on their demographic characteristics (such as by age or gender), or even target their particular interests or location.

  • Content Marketing

The goal of content marketing is to reach potential customers through the use of content. Content will be published on a website and then promoted through social media, email marketing, SEO, or even PPC campaigns. The tools used for content marketing include blogs, eBooks, online courses, infographics, podcasts, and webinars.

  • Email Marketing

Email marketing is also one of the most effective digital marketing channels. Many people confuse email marketing with spam email messages, but that’s not what email marketing is all about. Email marketing is the way to get in touch with potential customers or the people interested in your brand. Many of the digital marketers use all other digital marketing channels to add leads to their email lists and then, through email marketing, they create customer acquisition funnels to turn those leads into customers.

  • Social Media Marketing

The primary target of a social media marketing campaign is brand awareness and establishing social trust. The deeper you go into social media marketing, you can use it to get leads or even as a direct sales channel.

What is Digital Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is one of the oldest forms of marketing, and the Internet has brought new life to this. With affiliate marketing, influencers promote other people’s products and get a commission every time a sale is made or a lead is introduced.

  • Video Marketing

YouTube has become the second most popular search engine and a lot of users are turning to YouTube before they make a buying decision, to learn something, read a review, or just to relax. There are several video marketing platforms, including Facebook Videos, Instagram, or even TikTok to use to run a video marketing campaign. Companies find the most success with video by integrating it with SEO, content marketing, and broader social media marketing campaigns.

  • SMS Messaging

Companies and non-profit organizations also use SMS or text messages to send information about their latest promotions or giving opportunities to willing customers. Political candidates running for office also use SMS message campaigns to spread positive information about their platforms. As technology has advanced, many text-to-give campaigns also allow customers to directly pay or give via a simple text message.

Digital Marketing Challenges

Digital marketing poses special challenges for its purveyors. The growth of digital channels are expanding rapidly, and digital marketers have to keep up with how these channels work, how they’re used by receivers, and how to use the channels to effectively market their products or services.

Moreover, it’s becoming more difficult to capture receivers’ attention, because receivers are increasingly inundated with competing ads. Digital marketers also find it challenging to analyze the vast stockpile of data they capture and then exploit this information in new marketing efforts.The challenge of capturing and using data effectively shows us that digital marketing requires an approach to marketing, based on a deep understanding of consumer behavior.

How is Digital Marketing important for small businesses?

When small businesses get started, their focus is on how to get their first group of customers through the door. They usually rely on traditional forms of advertising such as print ads and handbills or even big signs on the side of the road. They may trust that since they know they offer a good product or service, it’s only a matter of time until customers find their way to them.Small businesses should consider the huge marketplace of prospects available online. No matter how small or new the business is, a business should overlook this vast marketplace.

The group of potential customers that are found online is much larger than you are likely to attract locally. Using digital marketing, you can reach an enormous target audience in a way that is both cost-effective and measurable.

What is Digital Marketing

Other benefits of online marketing include:

• The ability to interact with your prospects and learn exactly what they are looking for

• The ability to reach the global marketplace

• The ability to save money and reach more customers than traditional marketing methods

• Can get to know the audience and allow them to know you in person to build up brand loyalty

• You can track responses to your marketing attempts immediately

Some of the small business owners may come up with a variety of reasons to avoid this form of marketing. Small businesses also believe that they don’t have the time or the money to be competitive online. They think they cannot face so many challenges all at once and they are still learning the ins and outs of the business in general.

Most of the owners may prefer to take things slowly and to stick with one or two basic forms of advertising, assuming that their business will evolve with time. They may even think that the best option is simply to wait for customers to show up.

Since they are a small business, they think that they only need a small number of customers at the start. This is not an effective approach. There won’t be any guarantee that your business will attract customers just by existing and even if it does, you may not attract as many customers as you need to make your business profitable. The problem with this approach is that the customers and potential customers are already online.

For your business to become successful, you need to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and you should learn from it.  When you keep on looking at what your competitors are doing, you will ultimately get an idea of what is working and what isn’t working.It’s clear that in today’s digital world, the average consumer looks for what they want online. Whatever product or service they are looking for, they will most likely start their search using the internet. If you have no online presence at all, you won’t be found, and you can’t compete.

Digital marketing is a platform to make yourself accessible to the people you are trying to reach in order to promote your products and services. You can attract a much larger audience beyond your target than you possibly could by just promoting to the local community.Small businesses try to get their promotions done on a small budget. The forms of digital marketing allow you to communicate your brand and to reach a wide target audience even when your budget is very tight.

Compared to TV advertising, radio or through direct mail, digital marketing costs considerably lesser and reaches a much wider audience at the same time. Using digital marketing to promote your small business will help you to have a much better chance of business success along with profitability.

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