Digital Marketing: The Step-by-Step Guide
February 24, 2021
With the continually evolving and fast-paced technology and resurging digital network, the marketing realm has transformed its course in recent times. Currently, there is much more need for having innovative resources and ways of online marketing and product promotion.
Digital marketing has significantly played a crucial role in this regard. Millions of startups and businesses across the globe are utilizing digital marketing sources to develop sufficient income amounts. What's more, they have effectively captured the attention of numerous users worldwide, with only a few clicks away.
Digital marketing, unlike conventional marketing tactics, is a more defined and enhanced method of promoting your business. Besides being more affordable compared to traditional advertising, it also yields better outcomes and has a broader reach. Such is its importance in the modern business era that a business without it is simply an apparition-disregarded and unassuming. Your business is merely an unfortunate apparition that holds up your uncontrolled website, deserted and lifeless online channels, and your void financial balance.
The web is an extensively packed reality, and if you cannot distinguish your business, pierce through the commotion, target, and land purchasing clients, then your business will not survive if you ever work out a way to kick it off from the ground. But through digital marketing, your 'apparition' underperforming business will ultimately get rolling.
Digital marketing will not only allow you to direct prospects and users to your website, but you can convert them into real customers, and stock your business's financial balance. Furthermore, with online marketing, you can target a particular audience, as well as network, and forge long-term relations. Also, with the assistance of web analytics, the idea of establishing effective and successful marketing campaigns is possible, not to mention the ability to take appropriate actions relevant to your brand's success.
If you are looking to captivate your audience while effectively promoting your business, continue reading...in this guide, you will learn all there is on Digital Marketing, how you can create, and use digital marketing strategies to promote your brand and develop your business.
Ready? Let's get started.
Definition: What is Digital Marketing?
If you still have no idea what digital marketing represents, it is merely advertising delivered through various digital mediums. These channels include mobile applications, social media, web applications, email, websites, search engines, or any modern digital mediums. In simpler terms ...digital marketing represents something much broader than individual sales. It defines the umbrella encompassing all your donor/customer interactions.
When you look at it for what it is, digital marketing is merely marketing. It is how modern businesses are putting up their message in front of their customers and best prospects. As per the primary rule of marketing; the idea is to make the best offer, at the right place and time.
Currently, your prospects and customers are online: spending time chatting on social media, keeping tabs with blogs and news sites, and browsing the web to search for answers. Digital marketing places your business or brand in those particular channels, allowing your best prospects to see you, get to know more about you, as well as ask questions to get a better understanding of your brand, product, and services.
Therefore, if digital marketing is a new concept to you, it might feel overwhelming to contemplate on mastering every marketing tactic utilized in digital marketing, which is perfectly understandable. And undeniably, there are numerous tactics you will have to learn. However, they all function in unison to build a foundation for your business: appealing to prospects, fostering relationships, and subsequently making offers your prospects and audience will appreciate as well as respond to.
Essentially, digital marketing defines every means of marketing services or products that involve electronic devices. Digital marketing represents the action of retailing and endorsing services and products through leveraging virtual marketing approaches like search marketing, email, and social media forms of marketing. This is the reason why it has been around for decades over (since electronics have) and the reason it is not necessarily allied to Google ads, retargeting social media, or content marketing.
Ideally, digital marketing can work both offline and online, with all being vital for a complete digital marketing strategy.
How Does Digital Marketing Work?
In multiple ways, digital marketing resembles conventional marketing techniques. With both, organizations strive to establish jointly advantageous relations with prospects and already existing customers. However, this modern form of marketing has effectively replaced many traditional marketing approaches since it is designed to reach the modern consumer.
For instance, think of the last major purchase you made. Maybe you bought a house, changed suppliers at your office, or hired someone to fix your garage. Regardless of your purchase, perhaps you started your endeavor by browsing the web to learn more about the various available solutions, where to get them, who offers them, and the best suppliers for this. Furthermore, your final buying decision was perhaps centered on the multiple reviews you read, the individuals you consulted, as well as the features, pricing, and solutions you researched.
Currently, many purchasing decisions start online, and this being the case, having an online presence is essential-regardless of your products or services.
Most purchasing decisions begin online. The key is developing an effective digital marketing strategy that sets you well in the places that your followers are already interacting and hanging out and subsequently using different varied digital channels to link with them in numerous ways.
Ideally, you need to have appropriate content to keep your prospects and followers updated with the latest industry news, the issues they are facing, as well as how to solve these issues. You need to use social media to share this content and engage with your customers as followers and friends. Also, utilize SEO to optimize your content to help it show up when users are looking for related information.
Similarly, you need to incorporate advertising to drive traffic to your website, where users can see all your offers, and email marketing to effectively follow up with your prospects to ensure they continue getting the solutions they are searching for.
On putting all these components together, you will end up with an easy to operate, and useful digital marketing tool. While it may look somewhat intimidating to create this efficient machine from the ground, it is as easy as learning and incorporating one digital marketing technique at a time.
This is the primary reason for this comprehensive guide: to help you understand what digital marketing is all about, and how you can create or refine your digital marketing strategy without missteps or any false starts that are common when starting this endeavor alone. But before we get to this, here are a few reasons why you should consider digital marketing.
Why Does Digital Marketing Matter? Importance of Digital Marketing:
As any of the top-tier company executives about their secret to accomplishing their business goals, and the undeniable top tip is always going to be a solid digital marketing strategy. Ideally, digital marketing is a distinctly flexible, affordable, and interactive approach and a much more efficient traditional marketing strategy. In fact, even top-performing mid and small-sized firms are finding enhanced best practices, identifying better competition, and boosted engagement through this digital marketing approach.
While common perception assumes that digital marketing is reserved for large corporations, this is not necessarily the case. Regardless of geography or industry, digital marketing strategy is a necessity for both business innovation and growth, not just today but also in the long run. Mostly, there are many ways of how digital marketing is vital in the modern business era. Some of these include:
- Offers a broader platform for every form of business (small scale to large scale)
Fundamentally, digital marketing is offering a broader platform for all types of businesses. Numerous businesses ranging from international to local businesses now have a more expansive place within the diverse online marketplace. Now all sorts of business ventures and corporations have complete access to the diversity of more enormous audiences across the globe that digital marketing offers.
With this innovation, the businesses can now choose a wide array of digital marketing approaches and tactics to improve their business operations by getting the desired number of individuals in addition to the specific type of customers that would gain access to them.
- Cost Efficiency: Digital Marketing is Cost-Effective
Ideally, digital marketing has effectively transformed into a unique cost-efficient and savvier approach for all types of startups and local problems. Over time, it has established not only a relatively more comprehensive but also a more superior platform compared to conventional marketing channels.
Besides this, it is also significantly affordable and cost-efficient and leads to a generation of more revenue compared to the amount invested. Now, you can apply multiple online marketing platforms to accomplish this purpose. As such, using digital marketing will offer an insight into which digital marketplace best suits your type of business.
- Promotes and Boosts Interaction with Your Targeted Audience
Among the most significant reasons behind the resurgence of digital marketing as the modern marketing approach over traditional marketing, practices are primarily because of distinct advertising strategies that help link firms with their targeted audience. Digital marketing guarantees the significant interaction of users with different firms. It is this interaction that can further enhance your marketing approach in multiple varied ways.
- Facilitates Mobile Banking Through Tapping into the Diverse Mobile User Market
With the fast growth and widespread use of smartphones, it is no surprise that mobile marketing has transformed into one of the most vital pillars of digital marketing. Mobile marketing is now supporting numerous mobile users to produce their desired income by using digital mobile marketing tactics. This avenue is among the most enhanced approaches of dispersing data since mobile gadgets are a substitute source to PCs and tablets, among others, that are boosting the digital marketing course.
- Helps Shape and Promote Your Brand
With digital marketing, you can successfully optimize your brand name. Once you achieve your targeted audience or clients, it can significantly contribute to stronger ties with the buyers and customers. On reaching your audience, identifying, and helping work on their demands and expectations regarding your brand, product, or services, it creates a better and stronger trust between your brand and them automatically. Mostly, this will promote your brand awareness among your customers and clientele base and subsequently elevate your brand reputation across the online marketplace.
Overview: Step by Step Guide into Digital Marketing and Creating Your Digital Marketing Strategy
As earlier mentioned, digital marketing is an accessible and significantly useful approach to target and attract customers through multiple channels. Being a fairly broad term, digital marketing can be appropriately defined as every collective tactic that firms utilize to link with both their prospects and clients online around the world.
This form of marketing is a continually evolving sector that offers numerous ways of marketing and promoting your website and brand online. In essence, the path to success and accomplishing your business objectives is investing in a robust digital marketing plan. Besides cost-efficiency, a business can ably build solid relationships with customers through establishing trust and enjoying diversity and value.
Digital marketing can be classified into two major pillars, mainly: offline and online marketing. With this said, since the primary objective here is to understand digital marketing, here are the main areas that encompass digital marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO) tactics
- Email marketing approach
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Content marketing approach
- PPC (Pay-per-click) advertising
- Affiliate marketing tactics
There are multiple platforms available to assist you in getting started quickly and fast. You can start by trying out email marketing and consider whether or not you need to upgrade to an entirely automated system. Typically, the wonderful thing about this is that despite encompassing different marketing classifications, all these sectors can collectively work to help you achieve your business goals ad also help your business grow even further.
Online/digital marketing can be classified into six key disciplines. Without further ado, here is a comprehensive outline of what digital marketing is all about and how you can create your digital advertising policy to grow your business.
1. Content Marketing
Think of this: is there a more effective way to entice your customers than by providing them with high-quality content?
People generally need (and love) useful, valuable, and exciting material. The primary objective of this distinct marketing approach is establishing a reputation for your brand by providing relevant and unique information developed by a professional (you, of course!).
Once your customer base views you as a professional, they will naturally have faith in you. After you have gained their trust, they will be confident in buying from you. Content marketing is among the central strategies in digital marketing. Also, it can cost around 62% less compared to traditional promotional media as well as generate threefold the total number of leads.
To start with, you need to create, develop, and disperse useful material that effectively addresses the needs of your target clients. This material is purposed to entice, connect with, and effectively convert your prospects into actual buying clients. There are many forms of content that you can generate, including research results, articles, infographics, compelling images and videos, news, overviews, interviews, and videos from webinars and conferences.
The type of material/content that perfectly suits your operations usually depends on various factors, primarily the preferences of your targeted audience and the niche. The most effective way of figuring out all this is by evaluating to identify the response your clients give. The most important thing is that the material you create must be exciting and captivating; it also must push prospects and customers into purchasing your products or enlisting your services. In most cases, content marketing functions cordially with SEO since it is perhaps the ideal approach to get your website ranking higher on search engines.
Typically, SEO defines a set of practices that help promote your web ranking on search engines and rank higher. SEO increases your brand's visibility on search engines directly influences traffic resulting in more organic traffic flow into your websites, which subsequently boosts the total sales you make from your website.
SEO services represent the fundamental elements that help in enticing and inspiring clients to visit your website to find the answers to their questions as provided for by your brand. It is among the primary digital marketing approaches.
SEO basically helps you identify your target audience and to recognize the certainties that bring traffic towards your website. As such, SEO is designed to help attract potential customers who are eager to see what you offer.
Ideally, every great SEO strategy begins with a comprehensive examination of the distinct and precise keywords that actual users search on the web as they look for a product or service related to your niche. These unique words are subsequently incorporated into the content on your website. What's more, SEO also includes tactics such as optimizing images, building links, improving Meta descriptions, Meta tags, and URLs for SERPs, among others.
Similarly, you must think about the fundamental components, for example, the larger world of smartphones. If the potential clients are much more into using smartphones and the mobile era, by this time, you must ensure that you provide a quality customer experience. Also, contemplate about your 'content.' The efforts must go beyond just focusing on the keywords...there is much more to it than only keywords.
The material that you post needs to be more engaging to the readers and must be focused on identifying and understanding precisely what your interested customer is searching for on the web, after all, web marketing and SEO work in unison.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is not a new concept and has been around for many years over-and considering the current circumstances; it is undeniably the most compelling and immediate approach for interacting with your leads. This is in addition to supporting, and converting them into potential clients, reliably prevailing over all other conventional promoting mediums.
Ideally, email marketing represents the genuinely successful computerized promoting practices of dispatching messages to clients and prospects. Powerful and targeted useful advertisement messages successfully convert prospects into actual clients and turn one-time buyers into raving, steadfast fans.
Among the best reasons that render email marketing the best medium include:
Email marketing experts outline that almost all buyers (99% to be specific) browse their email daily, and as such, they have the work done halfway for them.
Moreover, on nearly any web-based social networking platform, your record may be erased or suspended at any time, under virtually any circumstances, and without notice. Contrastingly, with email marketing, you own your email list, and therefore, no one can get rid of your leads from you.
4. Social Media Marketing
By utilizing the appropriate amount of material together with online promotion and marketing can significantly empower you to push your clientele base to a whole new level effectively! One effective way to do this is by adopting social media marketing.
Social media marketing is an element of digital marketing that is important to realize your objectives. Once you identify and understand precisely what your targeted group requires, you could incorporate Social Media Optimization (SMO) that assists in bringing prospects and new clients into a website...Your website!
To do this, you must add Social Media connected material, for example, RSS channels, as well as promote various activities via social media. This you can do by refreshing tweets, statuses, or even blog sections. What's more, identify that a significantly liked social media with high quality and
interactive materials/content has an ultimate chance for progression in comparison to a generally detailed strategy.
Create high quality and one of a kind material that is unique and engaging, and you will gradually see all your prospects and supporters share it with their other connections on other social media platforms. This includes the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, not to mention their web diaries, which is a sign of something bigger.
5. Pay Per Click Advertising
This is perhaps the quickest way to ensure you attract and land more visitors on your website, not to mention prospects visiting your site. Essentially, Pay per Click (PPC) simply means a payment for every user that clicks on your advert and is subsequently redirected to your website. With channels, for example, in online marketing Yahoo Search Marketing, Google Adwords, among others, you can show promotions in any desired website as well as ably target specific customers to generate optimal web traffic.
This type of traffic is very profitable since it is important-your ad is viewed by individuals and users who have a genuine interest in your service or products (based on your past web searches).
Usually, PPC works well for:
- Search engine ads
- New ad campaigns
- Remarketing and
- General portal ads
Unfortunately, though, these types of ads are not very useful when it comes to unknown brands or little-known products. Fundamentally, this is due to the fact that users never search the internet for items they have not heard before. With that said, it is, therefore, more practical to begin with other marketing approaches (such as SEO or social media marketing) to promote awareness for your brand. After your brand (including your goods) has gained much more popularity, then you can invest in PPC tactics. Even so, PPC must be executed by online marketing professionals expertly, especially if you are looking to boost your traffic numbers.
6. Affiliate Marketing
This is a distinct process of generating commission through the promotion of other products besides your own. With Affiliate Marketing, a given brand is promoted through affiliate networks in most cases, and commission is usually guaranteed only when the targeted audience buys the patronized products and services.
Businesses can use affiliate marketing tactics by giving individuals commission provided they can assist in promoting the given company and persuade customers to make a purchase. In this digital marketing technique, four primary parties are involved, including the affiliate, the brand, the customer, and the publisher. All these parties need to work collectively to ensure that we successfully carry out this strategy and get the desired results.
Step By Step Guide On Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy
Since you now have an idea of what digital marketing is all about, as well as the different elements that encompass this broad-spectrum, it is time that you learn the fundamentals of creating a digital marketing strategy.
Generally, if you want to capture the attention of your target audience as well as promote your business, you need to incorporate digital marketing. Not only is it more affordable, but it is much more useful than traditional advertising mediums and reaches a broader audience and yields much better results.
As earlier mentioned, when it comes to digital marketing, it allows you to target a specific group of audiences, interact with, as well as establish long-term bonds and trust. Furthermore, with the assistance of quality web analytics, you can effectively determine the success of your marketing campaigns and subsequently take appropriate actions that will help you grow both your business and projected profits.
Nonetheless, if your business is in its infancy period, or you have no experience whatsoever in this realm, understanding all this can be quite a challenging endeavor. Fortunately for you, this excerpt is here to assist you. This detailed guide has all the information you need to establish and run an efficient online/digital advertising policy.
Starting from the appropriate tools down to the exclusive personas, there are numerous small and big things alike that can hinder or promote the success of your online marketing approach. Below is the foundational framework you must utilize to ensure that your marketing strategy is successful, including popular software and tools.
1. Build an appropriate Client Persona
Digital marketers previously gathered quantitative and qualitative information about their target audience, including gender, interests, age, occupation, as well as location. Over time, the potential customer definition has changed significantly and become a whole different thing, as expressed by the popularity of buyer personas. Unlike before, buyer personas are integral in creating a practical digital marketing approach.
In simple terms, buyer personas define the ideal client who can be well described by contacting and surveying the pre-defined target base. To successfully identify and expound on your client persona, using several distinct tools such as MakeMyPersona will go a great way.
2. Pinpoint Your Tools and Business Goals
All professional marketers understand the significance of this particular stage. Without objectives, the strategy will definitely not function as effectively as expected, and therefore defining them is your primary task. Ensure that your objectives are not only proper but are also accessible. Here are examples of weak and robust marketing goals:
- Poor goal: Boost the rate of conversions on your site in the coming quarter and build three promotional offers. While this objective appears to be quite decent, the problem is that it is not measurable! Precisely how can one quantify the improvement by referring to this particular goal? Well, here is an example of a more practical marketing plan:
- Right marketing goal: Boosts your overall conversion numbers on your website by 40% within three months, and establishes five promotional offers. Perhaps come up with a comprehensive marketing book and a free marketing report and ensure they are posted online by March and April, respectively. With the above example, it is now possible to measure the progress.
Generating high-quality material is essential for the success of any digital marketing policy. Essentially, blogging is among the most effective techniques you can implement to create top quality material for websites in addition to subsequently develop your existing content marketing approach.
This vital facet of digital marketing performs numerous essential functions that include promoting more web traffic, solidifying your brand's position against competing brands, and reinforcing your social media presence. Besides, it also helps rank all your keywords and long-tail search queries.
By regularly updating your blog to the point that your users find valuable means that your site will be easily visible when searched on SERPs and can function as an efficient platform to establish your brand marketing campaign.
4. Assess Existing Online Marketing Networks
Evaluate the existing digital channels and assets already in place, including your blog content, website, native advertising, and social media platforms, among others. The question you should have in mind is, are these tools effective and how can I use them to grow my business? Depending on your findings, you can decide to improve your current marketing channels, or ditch them and incorporate a whole new marketing plan altogether.
5. Focus on Marketing Automation
Currently, marketing automation plays a vital role in online marketing, especially considering new and innovative software and technologies. With the current market automation tools and platforms, you can do quite a lot to enhance your online marketing strategy and ease the process of automating various activities like lead generation, email marketing, and content marketing, among many more. If your firm is not capitalizing on market automation, ensure you integrate it into your online marketing strategy accordingly.
6. Enhance Your Mobile Optimization Efforts
Today being a modern-first era, there is simply no excuse not to improve your website to guarantee a seamless mobile experience. Ideally, mobile optimization usually includes site design, page speed, as well as various other SEO practices to guarantee that individuals who visit your website using mobile devices enjoy the user experience. Therefore, you need to review your overall email templates and mobile responsive design to ensure you are utilizing the modern methods as well as offering ONLY the latest and relevant material.
7. Make Yourself Easily Accessible to your prospects and customers
With online marketing, it is usually about linking with your prospects and already existing clients, and therefore traffic on your site must be high to guarantee positive results. As such, you must ensure your online marketing strategy effectively makes it easy for your visitors and leads to connect and interact with you.
Continually engaging with your clients is invaluable and essential for your brand. With an online audience, you can learn a lot, including getting real-time and honest feedback on messaging and campaigns, among others. Also, integrating the opinions and interpretations of your fans about your brand can bring you loyal fans and fresh content. So, to get rid of the unnecessary hassles, you must ensure that your landing pages are free from irrelevant material. You also need to make clear and concise 'call to actions' on your landing page as well as other pages on your site.
8. Use the appropriate and proper technologies
If you use inappropriate or ineffective technology, you ultimately render your marketing efforts ineffective and futile. How? Take email marketing; for instance, you should not do it manually. Still, you should alternatively make use of proper tools such as Vendasta, designed to enhance it by affording valuable functions.
To create a useful online marketing strategy, you will need to use the right tools like marketing automation tools and software. Similarly, this is in addition to vital industry tools to help you with every step of your marketing process as well as identify your business objectives and measure the progress of your marketing efforts.
9. Track Your Procedures and take appropriate actions
Last but not least, even after implementing the proper tactics in your digital marketing campaign, you need to ensure continual monitoring of your campaign. This is to identify potential glitches as well as determine how effectively your online strategy is operating.
You can easily do this by assigning distinct teams to keep tabs of the ongoing and report their findings frequently. The critical thing to note is that you must identify, accept, and correct mistakes and also learn from them for improvement!
Digital marketing generally entails a wide array of interlacing strategies and procedures, not to mention relentless efforts. Typically, there are numerous factors to contemplate on, but having a well-defined and useful plan can make the task much more straightforward. But in a nutshell, it is essential that you:
- Understand that the capacity of digital marketing lays in the ability to target, keep tabs on, and also measure your efforts
- Take time to consider every phase of the online marketing mediums to convert prospects into actual advocates.
- Try implementing a blend of outbound and inbound marketing showcasing processes.
Your focus should be taking a step at a time as you start your endeavor. The entry boundary is rather low when it comes to cost comparison. Usually, it requires a considerable amount of resources to use traditional mediums. Alternatively, using various forms of digital marketing tactics such as social media marketing will not cost you a dime. As per current provisions, all you need to have for a well-thought-out and defined digital marketing approach is a computer/internet-enabled gadget, web connection, and persistence, and desire to explore and learn more.
Nevertheless, if you plan to boost your game with assistance from digital marketing, you need to ensure you have a viable and professional online marketing strategy. You can always enlist expert digital marketers qualified to help you create a proper and appropriate approach to cement your online presence.
There you have it: a detailed scoop on the practical, easy, and valuable digital marketing strategy. As you have already identified, the internet is arguably the most dynamic and diverse place for businesses and marketers to promote their brands. Undeniably, any oriented marketer would not want to miss out on the immense opportunities the internet has to offer, making it essential for you to master digital marketing.
By employing these few, yet significantly useful tactics, you can help create a viable, measurable, and valuable marketing campaign that expertly targets your desired audience and boosts your online presence, as well as better results. Even so, considering the diversity of marketing options available, you can easily get overwhelmed and unsure of how or where to start.
In this case, it would make much sense to enlist the services of a professional digital marketing expert like SparrowBoost. We make the process more manageable, all while allowing you to focus on running your business. What's more, since we are an accredited, experienced, and licensed advertising agency, you can expect to see your online marketing campaign kick off in a matter of weeks after you allow us to help create and manage your strategy.
About THE AUTHOR
After working for multiple digital advertising agencies and managing hundreds of client accounts, spending millions of dollars via Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Native Ads and Direct Media Buying, I took things out on my own and started SparrowBoost. Now, my tight-knit team and I continue to get smarter and more efficient at running our own campaigns and we share our knowledge with you.Learn more about SparrowBoost