What is Digital Marketing?

Before we start, before venturing out in the world of Digital Marketing, let me tell you that it is going to involve a lot of content writing whether you decide to become a content writer or not! So might I suggest you to get this free blogging tool to help you write better content!

Marketing done through electronic medium is called as Digital Marketing. This includes everything from phone calls to the now evolved marketing through SEO, social media, paid advertisements, PPC, E-mail, etc etc. Digital Marketing is not a new field to be honest, it is just gaining popularity now because of the many benefits it offers over traditional marketing

Advantages of Digital Marketing over Traditional Marketing

  1. Reduced Cost :
    Traditional Marketing has a higher cost as compared to digital marketing. Also, to display your advertisement on popular TV channels, newspapers or magazines or even radio, you need a lot of money and good connections in the industry too.
    Digital Marketing costs nothing compared to traditional marketing and you also reach a more targeted audience. This is why there is a rise of start-ups today because it is way easier to get your product or service in front of an audience today than it was few years ago.
  2. Tracking your results:
    With digital marketing you can track the effectiveness of your campaign in real-time. No waiting around for results, and you know exactly which campaigns are working and where the traffic or your customers are coming from. In traditional marketing, suppose you have set up a billboard, you sent out an ad in your newspaper or you did something on the radio and then you saw an influx of customers, you will have to go around asking them which platform did they come from. But in case of digital marketing, it is very easy to track your most profitable channels.
  3. Non-disruptive:
    Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing is non-disruptive. You can target the correct audience and make sure only people who will actually be interested in your product/service will see your advertisements. This makes the user more likely to check you out. Traditional Marketing fails in this regard
  4. Good for all types of businesses:
    You do not have to worry about the size of your business before running an advertisement online. Even smaller audiences can reach out to their targeted audience. If you are selling a low-ticket service/item, you can target the best audience for that. In traditional marketing, small businesses are at a risk as the reception might not be good if they do not have an established reputation.
  5. Real-time changes:
    In digital marketing, you can make real time changes to your ongoing campaign and tweak it to optimize your conversions. You cannot change an advertisement once it is published in the newspaper and I believe this is the top-most reason why digital marketing wins today. You have complete control over your expenditure, your ad copy, your creative and all the other metrics.

Starting a Blog

So, you have decided that you are going to start a blog! Here are the things you need before you start your blog :

1) Identifying your strengths/ choosing your niche

It is very very important that you know what you are good at. If you start writing about something you don’t really know, then it is a problem. Because, no matter how unique you think your content is, there are thousands out there who are doing the same thing.

Know your audience and start writing for them. If you make it about yourself, you aren’t going anywhere. But if you make it about them, then you are in for the long haul!

2) Hosting, Domain Name, Other tools cost money!

Blogging is not free! Sure, you could start a WordPress blog or a blogger blog or a Tumblr blog with a sub-domain but if you want full control for your website, you need to pay! There are hosting services starting from around $50/ year to help you get started. I have a special offer from HostGator for the blog readers looking to start their very own blog! I suggest you to take up shared hosting plans till you get some experience in blogging!

This is just the setup cost for your blog, as you move forward you will incur more costs, but you would probably also be earning decent money if you feel the need to spend on tools!

Other costs include :

  1. Marketing
  2. Designing
  3. Content Writing
  4. Marketing Tools
  5. Better Web Hosting if your blog grows

So be prepared, this is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Do it only if you love to write.

3) Learn the basics of Web Development and SEO

It is a great skill to know the basics of Web Development. You would be able to solve bugs on your website, implement a few design changes, get into technical SEO among other things. This will ensure smooth working of your blog! You can refer to some courses from Udemy for learning the basics.

Let us talk about Digital Marketing in detail now, if you have been reading till here, I thank you for your patience! Here is what you came for :

Main Components of Digital Marketing

1) Search Engine Optimization

digital marketing final piece of puzzle

Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your website for organic search results through search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo among others. The search engines decide which pages to display based on the content on your website.

SEO has everything to do with using the right keywords and phrases in your content which people are searching for. You can do this by using online tools like SEMrush to help your keyword research process. Mix and match by looking up for the latest trends on Google Trends for content ideas. You cannot go wrong if you put some time into your research.

To sum it up, SEO is the process of optimizing your website content for better visibility and better rankings on the Google SERP.

There are two types of SEO :

  1. On-Page SEO

  2. Off-Page SEO

These are usually content based, non technical aspects of SEO. There are also many ways of optimizing your website from a website developer point of view, I need to write another article for that. I have written an in-depth article where you can learn all aspects of SEO. You can read about it here.

2) Social Media Marketing

social media

Social Media has taken over the world today, the amount of time people spend on social media today is mind-boggling. Here are a few facts to help you understand the impact of social media in today’s world :

  1. There are 3.196 billion people using some sort of social media platform.
  2. People, especially millennials are more likely to check out a brand’s social media before making a purchase.
  3. Visual content is much more likely to be shared than textual content.
  4. Over 50 million small business pages are on Facebook today.
  5. Social Media especially Twitter is the fastest way to reach to a brand for any
    doubts, queries or issues and people are increasingly using this method for a fast fix to their problems. This is why online reputation management is so essential.
  6. 90% of users on Instagram are below the age of 35. This is why it has surpassed even Facebook in terms of engagement!
  7. YouTube has 1.5 billion monthly active logged-in users. This is HUGE! 1/5th of the world population uses YouTube every month
  8. And more than 40% of these users access these social media networks through their cell phones!

Social Media Marketing is marketing done to bring in new users or to retain the existing users through social media channels mentioned above. These are Web 2.0 websites which focus on user generated content.

You can directly reach out to your consumers through these sites so you cannot under-estimate its importance. I have written an in-depth article about utilizing social media to further increase your business!

3) Search Engine Marketing(SEM) or Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)

Google Adwords

While SEO is the organic process of using high-quality content to drive traffic to your website, Search Engine Marketing is the paid process of driving traffic to your website. The most common method of SEM is Google Adwords because Google obviously is the most used search engine. Yahoo, Bing and other search engines have their own advertising platforms too!

In Search Engine Marketing, you can target users based on their interests, demographic and the keywords they use while searching for something.

Example :

Suppose you are looking to buy brown shoes, you go to google and search for “brown shoes”.

As an advertiser you can bid on this keyword so search engines display your results at the top of their SERP, this way you have a chance of getting the attention of a targeted audience (Now, there are a lot of factors for getting that position including PageRank, page quality, your bid compared to the competitor’s bid but that will be explained later on)

Buy Brown Shoes Online

So here it is, Search Engine Marketing simplified

Pay- Per-Click is a Search Engine Marketing method where you pay only if the customer clicks on your advertisement. But again it isn’t as simple as you think it is, it depends on the number of impressions your advertisement receives.

That means if your ad receives a 1000 impressions and get one click, that means it has a Click-Through-Rate of 0.01%, hence your Cost-Per-Click will be way higher. On the other hand, if you get 1 click from 10 impressions your CTR will be 10% and your CPC will be very less.

Now, again the CPC varies according to the competition for the keywords.

4) E-mail Marketing

Email

Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fundraising messages to an audience.

E-mail marketing is one of the best methods of marketing today. Anyone telling you that it is dead does not know what he is talking about.

Let us talk about the advantages and disadvantages of E-mail Marketing

1. Exact Tracking of your Investment

A good e-mail copy will without doubt fetch you the highest return on your investment. You can track clicks, opens and everything else you need to know what is working and what is not.

A/B testing comes easily with e-mail marketing

2. Excess use of smartphones

If you find the right e-mail, the results will be great. Make sure your audience is targeted so you can expect the best results.

Everyone uses their smartphones to track their e-mails. You need to get their best e-mail to make them aware of you. You can do this by providing offers, hosting contests or any other incentive you can think of.

3. Personalization

You can personalize your e-mails based on your customers. You can easily create segments for different type of customers to maximize your profits. Everyone loves a personalized message, it works way better than a generic message which 10000 other people receive, there is nothing special about that!

4. Workflow Automation

Well, this is the best feature about e-mail marketing. Right from sending welcome or thank-you mails, you can track the user based on which stage of the journey the user is in.

Suppose he/she is a visitor, you have a different set of e-mails for him/her. If the person is a repeat buyer, you can have a different set of e-mails for that person. Similarly , think of any other user segments and you can target all of those separately.

Conclusion

Now we have established what digital marketing is and the main types of digital marketing. But this is of course, is just the tip of the iceberg! In the coming days, I will be explaining all the above topics to the best of my capabilities! Udemy has a brilliant course on Digital Marketing with an offer ongoing right now, you can check it out!

Also, since I have told you what Digital Marketing is…I would also like to tell you about the ongoing Digital Marketing scams and how you should stay away from them!

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