Digital marketing (digital marketing) is a set of tools to promote a brand or company on the Web. As the name suggests, the emphasis is on digital promotion channels, ignoring offline methods.
Often, digital marketing is identified with Internet marketing, but this is only partially true. Although the Internet is important, other channels are used in digital marketing.
Definition of digital marketing
Digital marketing, or digital marketing, is a B2B and B2B technology that allows you to distribute information about goods and services through online communication digitally. Most often, websites, contextual advertising, email newsletters, official pages, groups, and communities on social networks are used for such purposes.
Here are some examples of digital promotion:
- A series of articles created by a content manager for a corporate blog introduces the company’s services. After reading, potential customers can receive detailed instructions (PDF file) from the company’s specialists.
- To promote the company, advertising, and viral content are used, published by an SMM specialist on corporate pages on social networks.
- The task of an email marketer is to maintain communication with customers who have downloaded the instruction file using online mailing.
Digital marketing specialists work not only with the help of online promotion tools (SMM, SEO, email newsletters, contextual and targeted advertising), which are relevant exclusively for the Internet space but also with traditional digital channels: radio, television, SMS, promotional and QR codes. All these tools serve the purpose of attracting the attention of an offline audience to the company’s website.
Pros and Cons of Digital Marketing
What are the main advantages of digital marketing:
- The use of contextual advertising and the involvement of sites popular with a certain contingent to conduct joint promotions if you need to “work” with a specific target audience.
- If the product is designed for young and advanced users, then you can increase the reach of this audience using social media, mobile, and Internet applications and showing viral videos.
- If it is impossible to work through TV channels, it is possible to inform the general population with the help of viral content, Internet PR, creative flash mobs, and other large-scale projects. All of them are digital marketing tools.
- Promoting a complex multi-component product is more efficient than shooting a video for the Internet.
- As you know, purchases are often emotional. Beautiful images, dynamic animations, and emotional videos will help create the appropriate mood.
- Promoting a brand, products, and services is important to contact the target audience constantly.
- Social networks are the most common way to keep in touch with consumers. Here, working methods have already been developed to form a loyal attitude towards the company.
It is impossible to talk about any digital marketing tool as ideal, since promotion, in any case, is a slow process. Sometimes it takes more than one month or a year of work. To see real results, you need to use different methods, advertising channels, and types of content, work in a creative mode, try new options, and choose the most suitable ones.
Digital marketing constantly monitors information flows, market conditions, data analysis, and systematization. You must only count on success with a single action. This process requires monitoring the situation and making changes and adjustments.
Today, no one doubts the effectiveness of digital marketing, but not all companies have begun to use it in their work. Enterprises need people who are fearless in learning new things and implementing advanced techniques and methods. A digital marketing specialist is constantly engaged in brand analysis, evaluation, forecasting, and choosing suitable promotion technology.
Directions and types of digital marketing
Digital marketing is based on forming a portrait of the target audience, collecting information about the needs of consumers, and using this material along the entire route to the purchase of a service or product to increase conversion rates and get the greatest effect from promotional activities. This technique contributes to the implementation of the following types of marketing campaigns:
- Communications. Having enough information about clients, the company’s specialists can choose the best marketing solution and find an individual approach to communication.
- User Experience. Here the emphasis is on the emotional component; the client should feel the joy of the opportunity to purchase a product or start using the service.
- Multichannel. The method combines traditional and digital options for interacting with consumers.
- Omnichannel. The method is characterized by seamless interaction between the brand and consumers in any space: offline or online.
Digital marketing is used to achieve the following goals:
- Brand awareness. First, the buyer must learn about the company, brand, goods, and services offered, so advertising performs the function of informing potential customers and forming a positive attitude towards the brand and product.
- Lead generation. For business projects with a complex sales scheme, the task of digital marketing is to establish contact with a potential buyer, with whom specialists from the company’s sales department will continue to communicate.
- Sales generation. The Internet space contributes to implementing advertising campaigns as part of digital promotion and the looping of marketing efforts, that is, keeping customers’ attention for making repeated and additional purchases.
- Traffic generation. The topic is relevant for companies working in the advertising field, as their goal is to attract visitors to the site pages. They receive income not from the sale of goods but from the display of advertising content.
- Target audience education. Companies involved in promoting innovative products and services must first create buying interest. For these purposes, articles are written, and videos are shot so that consumers can be convinced of the need to introduce them to everyday life and evaluate their qualities and capabilities in solving a particular problem.
Digital Marketing Channels and Tools
Let’s talk more about promotion in search engines. This activity is related to the direction of the flow of visitors to the site. The system analyzes the site’s compliance with the request and, according to this criterion, arranges the sequence of sites. The order of placement on the issuance page depends on search advertising and SEO optimization.
Such advertising refers to varieties of contextual advertising products. You need to pay an online search resource for services and set up keywords and audience type, after which the site gets to the first lines in the search results.
Optimization with SEO tools allows you to customize the site by the algorithms of search engines so without additional efforts to be in profitable positions in the search.
SEO tools that affect the site’s position include:
- Its layout and structure.
- The speed with which pages are loaded.
- Filling it with useful unique content with carefully selected keywords.
It is hard to argue with the fact that content is one of the important and significant elements of digital promotion. To create and distribute valuable information for consumers, you must thoroughly understand the audience’s needs. If the content meets the needs and solves the problem, the client will buy the proposed product/service.
A content marketing specialist should be able to create interesting material: texts, videos, and podcasts and supplement it with images, photos, and graphics. This also includes conducting webinars, reports, and interviews. Content is distributed through the website, mailing lists, and social networks.
You can select separate pages for a thematic blog, library, or news column on the site. Blogging works to improve the image of a specialist, and a library with thematic articles serve the purpose of educating the audience.
With the help of a blog and a library, you can form the desired image and attract natural traffic. High-quality SEO optimization can replace paid advertising, at least at the first stage.
The use of email distribution helps to organize the interaction with individual groups of the target audience (target audience). Message chains are built based on buyers’ preferences and where they are now on the sales path.
In social networks, customers can communicate not only with the company but also with each other. Therefore, to increase brand loyalty, you can resort to native advertising content, which is inconspicuous, natural, and very effective.
PR on the Internet is carried out through blogs and electronic media.
PR campaigns aim to form a positive image of the company, improve its reputation, and increase awareness.
Digital media publishes content related to the following types. The first – the basis of publications dedicated to dates or other informational occasions, are press releases. The second is useful materials about products, test results, and interesting experiences created by authors within the company. In addition, publications of a custom type are used.
Working with bloggers means either using a platform (blog) to show commercials for your product or implementing a joint project.
Another option is when a blogger or other media personality acts as a brand ambassador. During this long-term business cooperation, a person, through his posts and public actions, creates the image of a sincere adherent of the brand.
In the guest blogging format, a digital marketing specialist prepares the necessary content for an online publication, media, or personal blog. It can be articles, videos, or posts. Mutual guest blogging works just as effectively when the owners of two blogs exchange advertising materials and publish them on their own.
This type is one of the most common digital marketing tools. It involves the paid placement of advertising materials on any online resources, excluding search engines. The popularity of this option is due to its effectiveness in generating sales, attracting leads, and creating a positive image.
Placement of special blocks – banners or media advertising – focuses on the picture, words of the call, text, or slogan. Banners exist on any site, social network, search pages, and email resources.
The targeted advertising method is used in social networks that provide such a service and earn on advertising. This includes placing banners and ads in posts and stories.
Banners for native advertising are created by the appearance and tone of the resource where they will be placed. Today it is recommended, and some resources have taken it as a rule, to put the “Affiliate Program” label on native ads.
An important element of digital technologies in marketing is expanding the audience and attracting customers. You can organize a partnership through affiliate marketing when someone advertises your services or, as a collaboration, promotes their products together.
Affiliate type of marketing – an enterprise, for a certain amount, agrees with a third-party site to place links to its products or pays for traffic attraction services.
Collaboration is used to exchange consumer audiences. This happens due to launching and advertising a common product among users of both resources. Therefore, customers of one company can buy something from another.
In this case, promotion is carried out using tablets and smartphones, and consumers are grouped not by age and gender but by geolocation and habitual behavior.
SMS marketing uses sending a text message to a customer’s phone number. Today, a cheaper method is often used – sending push notifications or messages through one of the messengers.
In addition, if any application is developed for advertising, the company can promote itself or cooperate with other resources.
Step-by-step development of a digital marketing strategy
A prerequisite for integrating digital technologies into a business project is developing a digital marketing strategy. This can be done by following our step-by-step instructions:
- Determine if your digital marketing objectives align with your company’s goals. Answer the question: “Why do I need this?”.
- Make a portrait of the target audience and specifically that part of it for which the integration is designed.
- Give a clear statement of your USP – a unique selling proposition.
- Choose from various channels and tools that are right for your business. Analyze those already used by the company, and decide which ones you will complement.
- Work on the concept of content marketing, make a content plan, and think about what format (videos, posts) is best to do for your customers.
- Decide on the priority of tasks before drawing up an action plan, selecting performers, and forming a budget for these activities.
- Select criteria for assessing intermediate results (KPI).
But the preparation does not end there; on the contrary, now we have to move on to a very important stage – analysis.
After that, changes and adjustments to the plan will inevitably follow. This is what digital business is all about. There is a constant analysis, changes, elimination of errors, additions, and adjustments to the process.
Let’s try to analyze an example of drawing up a strategy for a particular type of business.
Let’s assume that you have your finishing materials stored. What you will have to do:
- Target. We want to sell more products using the new learning mobile app.
- The target audience is those who will finish the new apartment (bought “walls”).
- USP: “Only with us and only for you! …” Uh, you will have to consider a unique selling proposition.
- Promotion channel option. Store visitors are told about the new mobile application and given a booklet with a special promo code.
- Content creation. The mobile version will contain materials with options for ready-made plans for arranging an apartment from scratch and descriptions of tasks that usually have to be solved.
- Action plan. Develop information booklets with advertising of the application; paint finishing works in stages, prepare texts and videos, and create a mobile tool directly.
- Analysis of intermediate results: terms, volumes, and other KPI criteria.
- Analytical research. Counting downloads of the mobile version and analyzing its usage.
Essential Digital Marketing Metrics
Digital marketing and analytics are two sides of the same coin. With a qualitative analysis of the audience, the effectiveness of the use of channels, and certain types of advertising, you can build competent digital marketing. Below are the main criteria (metrics) used in different business areas:
- ROI – payback ratio. It serves to evaluate the effect of an advertising campaign, contributes to making the right management decisions, and saves the budget.
- CAC – Customer Acquisition Cost. Helps to identify ineffective advertising channels and make adjustments to optimize advertising costs.
- Total Visits – counting the total number of site visits for a certain time. If the indicator grows by the plan, this indicates a good quality of services and the systematic work of marketing specialists. You can check the metric on resources such as Yandex.Metrica and Google Analytics.
- Bounce Rate – bounce rate. Shows the part of users who did not stay on the site after clicking on the link. A high BR value signals the need to check the operation of the entire chain. There may be errors in the advertisement’s text or poorly developed site navigation.
- Engagement Rate – reflects the engagement of visitors. The number of actions on the site and the number of views are correlated for the calculation.
- LTV – the amount of profit from one user for the entire period of your interaction with him. Based on these figures, the effectiveness of the chosen approach is evaluated, and if necessary, the work is adjusted.
- ChurnRate is a churn rate indicates the percentage of visitors who stop visiting the site. With a high parameter value, they find out what is the matter here and deal with the elimination of the causes. Clients are often not satisfied with the interface or content that has ceased to attract them.
Necessary for the analysis of attracting buyers:
- CPA (Cost per Acquisition) – how much does one attraction cost? You can find out how much it costs to one new user attracted by a particular video or ad.
- CPC (Cost Per Click) – cost per click. The indicator is calculated for each promotion.
- RPC (Revenue Per Click) – the amount received from one click. The calculation is also done for each ad.
Criteria for tracking customer engagement and retention:
- CR (Conversion Rate) – conversion rate. Users who made the target action are taken into account.
- Shopping Cart Abandonment – number of unfinished purchases. Shows the percentage of visitors who started filling the cart with goods but still need to proceed to checkout.
Indicators for the analysis of sales performance:
- AOV (Average Order Value) – the value of the average check. Used to predict income.
- LTV (Customer Lifetime Value) – the amount of profit from one client for the entire period of interaction with him.
Metrics for online services
- MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) – regular income per month from all visitors to the resource.
- ARPPU (Average Revenue Per Paying User) – the income received from one client per month, or its MRR.
- ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) – the revenue from one user who visited the site.
- APPU (Average Profit Per User) – the profit from the attracted user.
- ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) is an indicator of regular annual income.
- CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) – the price of one attracted buyer.
- CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) – the amount paid for attracting a user to the site.
- ASP (Average Sale Price) – the average value of the sale. Required to control the work of sales managers.
Email marketing metrics
- Open Rate – shows the open Rate of letters. For calculation, take the ratio of open letters and the total number of delivered electronic “envelopes.” Helps to assess the interest of the respondents.
- Click Rate – clicks/transitions rate. The value is obtained from the ratio of the number of transitions and the number of letters delivered to customers.
- Click to Open Rate – the ratio of clicks to the number of open emails. The criterion helps to assess the interest in the content.
As you know, existing relationships are easier to maintain than new ones. Data from studies by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company also indicate this. The probability that a new customer will buy a product is from 5 to 20%, and for regular customers, this figure is 60-70%. If the share of regular customers grows by 5%, the profit will increase by 25-95%.
Of course, working on increasing the audience is necessary, but here we are talking about the balance between attraction and retention. To evaluate the work on building long-term relationships, retention metrics are calculated:
- CRR (Customer Retention Rate) – the indicator reflects the degree of effectiveness of actions to retain customers.
- MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) – numbers of regular monthly income.
- RPR (Repeat Purchase Rates) – a metric of the frequency of repeat purchases that indicates the commitment of buyers to the company’s services.
- PF (Purchase Frequency) – the value of the frequency of purchases allows you to conclude the frequency of purchases on the site, in an online or offline store.
- NPS (Net Promoter Score) – reflects the willingness of customers to send their acquaintances and friends to you for shopping.
- LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) – according to this data, the rendering speed of the largest element of the page is estimated: an image or text.
- FID (First Input Delay) is an indicator of the average response time of the browser to the first click or other visitor action.
- CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) – reflects the offset of elements when loading the page.
5 Digital Marketing Mistakes
Mistake #1: Launching a digital marketing campaign without a clear strategy
Any line of business develops well only thanks to a carefully thought out and written down strategy. Of course, this also applies to digital marketing. If there is a written strategy, money and time will be needed, especially well-spent when you are driven by the desire to overtake competitors. Dreaming of high incomes and not drawing up a plan of action is a serious mistake.
Especially when it comes to the coordinated work of different company structures, where one department negotiates with customers, another makes payments, and the third carries out the delivery. And how to do without checking the functionality of a mobile application when many are already used to using their phone for online shopping.
Mistake #2: Not Knowing Your Target Audience
With all the desire, it cannot be argued that the company’s product, even a very popular one, is of interest to everyone, and every person is a potential buyer. This misconception can lead to frustration and waste resources and time. It is not enough to know the age, gender, needs, place of residence, and other basic things.
For whom the company works, what clients come to you, who is your ideal buyer – all these and many other questions will have to be answered for the success and prosperity of the business. A carefully crafted profile of the target audience is essential to preparing for a digital marketing launch. Relying on the “broad masses of consumers” causes problems in online contact with potential customers.
Mistake #3: Neglect or Fear of Online Communication with Customers
Digital marketing implies the widespread use of Internet technologies. Today, there are more and more opportunities to work on different online platforms, increase the awareness of the company and its products, and attract more new customers. People spend a lot of time on the Internet, studying products, reading reviews, and comparing prices in stores in their cities. The presence of the company in the network and its positive image can attract new customers.
Users’ questions, comments, complaints, or appeals must be answered clearly and quickly. This applies to all communication channels: social networks, websites, email, chats, etc. Customer loyalty depends on the client’s interest, direct and understandable answers to questions, and what is called customer support.
Mistake #4: Investing in online advertising while ignoring other promotion options
To inexperienced entrepreneurs, online advertising seems the most direct and easiest way to attract the target audience and increase product revenue and overall business success. But today, more than this approach is needed to reach new heights. A set of measures is needed, so paid advertising should be supplemented with SEO marketing and content promotion. Of course, if you plan to work for the long term.
Mistake #5: Not paying attention to web analytics
You can only be sure of the success of online marketing by doing analytical work research. You need to track the overall results and effectiveness of each channel. Digital indicators that display the effectiveness of each step, article, and video display help to notice mistakes and successes, correct actions, and strategy as a whole.
How to become a digital marketer
Only a few Russian university graduates are specialists in digital marketing today. Those who want to become a pro either look for the necessary information or take online training. Let’s consider both of these options.
To master the profession of a digital marketer, there are two ways:
Get knowledge on your own
This method can be used by those who are used to and know how to learn on their own. This is a very good skill, but only some know it. The path of self-education requires a person to have strong internal motivation, organization, discipline, attention to detail, the ability to act according to a plan, process a large amount of information, analyze, and correct mistakes. These personal qualities are characteristic of a good marketer.
To obtain the necessary knowledge, you will have to “shovel” a lot of free content on YouTube, social networks, and various sites. Follow the information in blogs and professional communities. Attend open online events of experienced digital experts (webinars, lectures, basic courses).
Complete a professional training course.
A quick, affordable, and suitable option for most people to learn new skills. Courses provide information in a structured way, selected for audiences with different levels of training. Beginners receive primary knowledge in the general direction and can become Internet marketers. The courses also allow you to expand your knowledge in certain specialties, for example, to delve into the study of SMM promotion.
Advantages of vocational training:
- The presence of a system in the submission of information. The course is broken up into topics, and there is no need to look for material in different places.
- Lectures are prepared by knowledgeable and experienced specialists, not theorists, but practitioners with extensive professional experience.
- Practical exercises complement the theory to consolidate knowledge and practice with live examples.
- Feedback from curators and teachers. Accompaniment and support are very important for learners. They need to see their shortcomings and mistakes, understand their strengths, and choose a specialization.
There is plenty in the digital marketing market today, and the choice of training programs is great. But you need to be careful and acquire a course that gives you knowledge.
Before you go to study, get acquainted with the basic rules for choosing online programs:
- Don’t fall for promises of quick and easy income right after graduation. Such courses are designed for gullible beginners and are designed to enrich the organizers themselves.
- You can safely go to study with digital marketing practitioners. From them, you will receive both theory and practice with an analysis of various situations.
- As a rule, many schools provide the opportunity to attend the first webinar for free. Be sure to use this method of getting to know the teacher. Then it will be easier for you to decide who to pay for tuition.
- You also need to consider that the sphere of an information business is constantly developing, and new ideas appear, so specialists are always learning, following trends and fresh features.
Digital marketing is taking the lead, replacing traditional advertising methods. But you shouldn’t give them up completely. The best results are achieved by companies that combine different promotion methods and use online and offline space. This is where it’s important to find your unique digital marketing options and strategies.