As the COVID-19 outbreak has affected every business sector all over the world, it also provided a great opportunity to look for marketing trends for the companies. They are now looking for better and cost-effective solutions to recover from the losses they suffered in the last few months. No matter the size of the industry (small, medium, or large) the first thing they will be looking for is brand awareness. For small or medium-sized enterprises, it’s really important to aware of people of their presence and to retain new and old customer base. As for the large-scale businesses, they’ll be focusing on promoting their products or services by widening their horizon of approach.
For making this possible, the very first thing that comes in the mind is Digital Marketing. With the COVID-19 outbreak going on, people are now well aware that physical shopping is not necessary to make purchases. They are adapting themselves to shop from the comfort of their home. With the increase in social media presence and other digital trends, people are looking for online means to shop or buy services. It means the traditional way of marketing is no longer an option.
In this article, we’ll be covering some basic aspects of Digital Marketing, which we usually ignore. Little do we know that they are key factors of understanding digital marketing.
Why Digital Marketing is Better than Traditional Marketing?
Earlier, if a company has to do a brand/product/service promotion, they have to use the traditional ways of marketing such as posting ads in newspapers, pamphlet-ting, postures, , ads on TV, radio, etc.. The process was very costly. Then came the Digital Marketing concept that revolved around the technology, which was cost-effective and offered more reach to the audience. So, before we start with the topic, let’s understand why Digital Marketing is better than Traditional Marketing:
Traditional Marketing: (pamphlets, newspaper cuttings, postures, etc.)
Digital Marketing: (social media platforms, SMS, SEO, SMO, etc.)
What is Digital Marketing?
It is a type of marketing that you can do with the help of an electronic device or the internet. A company can promote its brand/products/services by using digital platforms, devices, or technology. As a marketer, you can also promote your campaigns on:
- Search engines,
- Mobile Applications,
- Social Media Platforms,
- Emails, etc..
Types of Digital Marketing
One thing you will agree upon is that millions of clicks are done all over the world every second as we speak. Have you imagined how effective is our one click on a video, ad, or a blog is? All these clicks are utilized by digital marketers in their marketing campaigns to promote the brand/product/service awareness among people.
You might have also noticed that when you visit a certain website to look for a certain product, then whenever you, later on, access the internet, you’ll be shown with the ads associated with that product. Well, this is one of the many ways of marketing. Now, let us look into the types of digital marketing that you can choose from:
- Email Marketing: An effective way to convert high-quality leads to potential customers by sending personalized emails to your target audience.
- Affiliate Marketing: In this, a merchant has to pay commission to third-party sites or entities to advertise their products/services with referrals. For example, you may have heard about Amazon or Flipkart affiliate marketing campaign.
- SEM: Also known as Search Engine Marketing, the practice is used to market a business/brand/product/service/website using paid advertisements on other websites and search engines. For example CPC (Cost Per Click), PPC (Pay Per Click), Google Ads, Sponsored ads, etc..
- SEO: Also known as Search Engine Optimization, it is a process to increase the genuine or relevant traffic-rate to your website via search engines.
- Content Marketing: It is an effective marketing technique in which you create and post valuable content like blogs, articles, product reviews, etc. online.
- Social Media Marketing: You have to create multiple contents for various social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to promote services/brand/products.
- Mobile Marketing: It enables you to reach the target audience through mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, etc. via an app installed ads, emails, SMS, etc..
As we discussed various digital marketing channels or types above, now the question is, “how do we go ahead and approach the customers?” To know this, we are going to talk about different stages of a customer life-cycle:
In this stage, you need to aware of the customer about their brand/product/service. You can include the following questions in this stage:
- What type of product or service is your brand offering?
- Why should a customer buy your product or service?
- What type of solution is your service or product offering to the customers?
***Note: You can suggest using SEO, SEM, Affiliate Marketing, Content Marketing, SMM as a Top Priority to the customer. It will help them to discover their brand value.***
Here, the traffic sources can include social media referrals, email, direct traffic, paid/unpaid campaigns, or display ads.
- Content Marketing- Creating high-quality content that relates to your offering to enhance the brand awareness among people.
- SEO- To drive traffic and generate new leads by optimizing website for improving rank on search engine result pages.
- SEM- Using paid advertising methods to increase the site’s visibility on search engines and websites, gaining more traffic and brand awareness.
- SMM- Creating and promoting content and products/services on social media platforms to drive more traffic and generate leads for the organization.
- Affiliate Marketing- It helps in generating additional traffic via affiliates.
Now that the people are aware of the brand/product/service, they will start to consider their choice. You have to help them understand the value of the product/service. In this stage, you must include the following questions:
- What features differ in your product/service from competitors and how it’s valuable to others?
- How to improve customer engagement towards the product/service?
***Note: You can suggest using Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Display Ads as a Top Priority in this stage. It will help in increasing customer engagement.***
- Email marketing- Promote the products/services by sending emails to direct the audience towards the website. In this stage, plan the marketing campaigns around welcome emails, newsletters, product descriptions, ratings, and reviews of the product. It will encourage the customer to purchase the product/service.
- Mobile marketing- Promote the products/services by sending relevant messages to the targeted audience.
- Display Ads- Re-target the audience for increasing the recall value of the brand.
You can encourage customers to buy a service or product by:
- Posting customer testimonial on the website
- Guest Blogging
- Posting detailed product/service reviews or articles on third-party sites.
According to a survey conducted by Econsultancy, around 83% of the online users need references/reasons/encouragement to make a purchase. In this stage, you will give the reasons for the customers why they should buy a product/service. You must include the following questions in this stage:
- How good is the price value of products/services as compared to the competitors?
- Is the brand more credible than others or not?
***Note: You can suggest using Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Display Ads, and SMM as a Top Priority in this stage. The main goal of this stage is to make the customer buy the product/service by giving them a relevant offer, reward, etc..***
- Email and Mobile Marketing- Planning the campaigns around cart product recommendation emails and abandonment emails is a perfect choice here.
- SMM and Display ads- Using Re-targeting ads can convert prospects into customers.
The customer has made its purchase. Now the last task is to nurture the relationship with customers for ensuring their loyalty towards the brand, which comes into the post-purchase stage. You should include the following questions in this stage:
- What additional product/service you could recommend to the customer?
- How you can improve the customer buying experience?
- Will the customer refer the product/service to others, and if so, why?
***Note: You can suggest using Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Display Ads, Content Marketing, and SMM as a Top Priority in this stage. The goal of this stage is to improve the relationship with the customers to assure their loyalty towards the brand.***
- Email and Mobile Marketing- Stay-in-touch with customers via follow-up emails and customer care content. Send emails to active subscribers, give rewards for customer feedback, offer customer loyalty programs, give exclusive discounts to active customers, or give referral opportunities to your customers.
- SMM, Display ads, and Content Marketing- Use social media, banner ads, and blog content to give customers advice in order to maximize the value of their purchase.
For example, if a customer bought a smartphone, you can recommend him/her to purchase a mobile body-cover, power-band, headset, and other mobile accessories with exclusive discount offers.
The usefulness of Digital Marketing?
Some of you might be wondering, “As a business owner, why I should opt for digital marketing?” “What good will it do if I invest in this strategy?” Following are some of the reasons that justify the usefulness of digital marketing for every domain:
- It provides different metrics to help determine how well your campaign is doing.
- It allows you to provide personalized user experiences.
- Allows ad campaigns to be visible across the world.
- It provides a cost-effective alternative to traditional marketing methods.
- Small investments can provide a substantial return on investments (ROI).
- Enables targeting users based on their actions and preferences.
- It provides a platform for you to be interactive with your audience helping you stay relevant and competitive.
- It helps build brand awareness and reputation for your business.
The technology is changing at a rapid pace and with the COVID-19 disaster, companies are finding new ways to interact with the customers. In the last 2 months, the online activities or social-media presence of people has almost increased 10 folds, which shows that they are now becoming aware of new methods of making a purchase or knowing about the brand, product, or services. Learning and adapting to digital marketing strategies can surely help to utilize such data to your benefit.