What Is Digital Marketing? How It Can Grow Your Business
In such a digitized era in which information is available to a lot of people in this world, it’s common for people to go to the internet when they want to purchase a product or service that meets their needs. Due to this, digital marketing has become an essential element to guarantee the profitability and permanence of businesses, hence a large percentage of relationships between consumers and companies are created through digital platforms such as social media platforms, regardless of the size of their businesses.
Now, despite the fact that there are still traditional media such as the press, radio, and television, there is no doubt that these have been largely displaced by digital media as more and more people spend most of their time online or on any other digital platform and constantly use their smartphones. In this particular regard, digital marketing has allowed companies to reach a wider audience and consequently has transformed the business world taking them to a higher level.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing refers to the commercialization of products/services through different electronic devices and digital channels such as social networks, websites, email, among others, in order to capture and interact with your potential customers who remain constantly online and therefore achieve your business goals.
Regardless of the size of your business or the commercial activity in which you are engaged, digital marketing can work and contribute significantly to the growth of your company. It’s worth mentioning that it’s important that you focus your efforts on creating valuable content and identifying the needs of your audience, whether you want to reach other companies and market with them (B2B marketing) or attract people to your website and have them converted in customers (B2C marketing).
How digital marketing can grow your business?
Here are the reasons why digital marketing contributes to business growth:
- Digital marketing increases the profitability of your business
One of the most outstanding features of digital marketing is that it allows you to identify your audience and focus your efforts on those customers who are most likely to purchase your products or acquire your services. Regardless of whether you use social media or pay-per-click (PPC) strategies, you can show your ads to a specific audience based on their behavior pattern or interest in your company’s products or services, this way, you’ll generate quality leads that are more likely to become customers, thereby improving your conversion rate.
On the other hand, unlike traditional media, by correctly positioning the product or service in digital media, sales can be increased by up to 100% with good marketing work at a relatively low cost. It’s even possible to promote products or services for free, either through the use of email or publications on social networks, this undoubtedly represents a great benefit especially for small businesses since they can reach large audiences organically.
It should also be noted that digital marketing offers the opportunity to increase the number of potential customers much more quickly and therefore to make sales in the shortest possible time through paid advertising through the different digital platforms and, although the cost of advertising can be a limitation for some businesses, the reality is that it’s a worthwhile investment since it’s profitable.
- Digital marketing allows better interaction with customers
Thanks to advances in digital marketing, it’s becoming easier for all members of a company to be connected and know, almost minute by minute, the status of each one of their tasks. But this does not only happen behind closed doors in a company. Outside doors, customers are also increasingly benefiting from new communication systems, such as social networks and chats, which allow them to answer questions.
Through the comments section on social networks, you can interact directly with your customers, answer their questions, and find out their impressions. Similarly, through live chat you get the advantage of quickly, conveniently and efficiently serving many customers at the same time, which means savings for the company by not having to invest in phone calls that only allow you to serve one customer at a time and avoid the hassle of putting customers on hold when they try to reach you by phone.
Additionally, through chatbots on your website you can stay in touch with your customers even when your business is closed and provides them with answers at all times, as well as updated information about your product offers and innovations. Remember that immediate attention helps to reduce the rate of abandonment of the website by customers, since by serving them, making them participate and resolving their doubts efficiently, it prevents them from going to buy from another company of the competition, which is why there lies the great potential of digital marketing for business.
- Digital marketing allows total control
Digital marketing allows you to track campaigns, that is, to know the number of conversions, visits to your website, the time visitors remain on your page, the content with the highest number of clicks, among others. All of this information is valuable because it helps reduce the amount of money you spend on a certain channel if it doesn’t demonstrate high ROI or helps you prioritize which marketing channels to spend more or less time on, based on the number of people those channels drive to your website. For example, perhaps instead of paying for PPC campaigns, you choose to spend money on design software to create high-converting social media content.
There are different tools such as Google Analytics that allow you to analyze and measure the results you get through the implementation of your digital marketing strategies, in order to optimize your campaigns, increase your conversions and obtain excellent results.
Another outstanding aspect of digital marketing is that it allows you to collect the contact data of those people who download on your website through forms. Not only can you measure how many people engage with your content, but you also generate qualified leads when people download it.
- Digital marketing gives businesses a higher Return on Investment (ROI)
As mentioned above, implementing digital marketing strategies is a more cost-effective solution and by optimizing conversion rates, companies can generate a very high ROI for business. For example, if you work for a small business on a limited budget, you might try investing in social media, blogging, or SEO, three strategies that can give you a high ROI with even minimal spend.
Keep in mind that by increasing traffic to your website thanks to the great reach of social media, you increase your sales and ultimately your ROI will be faster. Therefore, digital marketing provides you with unique opportunities to ensure that you get the most out of your investment.
- Digital marketing increases brand awareness
Digital marketing is the best ally when you need to quickly build brand awareness and credibility. Thanks to its vast reach, you can connect with customers on the other side of the world, across multiple time zones, and grow your business in ways that seemed impossible before.
Additionally, as companies have a digital presence on multiple channels or platforms and have quality content, greater brand recognition is achieved thanks to the fact that direct interaction with consumers through images and blog posts allows for the creation of an environment in which customers feel better identified in such a way that when making a purchase decision, they lean towards the one that has provided them with sufficient support through said digital media. In other words, digital marketing provides the opportunity for companies to show their essence and connect more personally with customers through their constant publications.
Furthermore, through affiliate marketing, your existing customers can introduce your business to their friends and be the trusted advocates new customers need when considering your business.
- Digital marketing allows businesses to gain competitive advantage
Especially for smaller businesses that focus their efforts on competing with the top brands in their industry, digital marketing offers them an incredible opportunity to stay ahead of the curve without the need to invest huge amounts of money like bigger competitors do, which is great for reaching your audience. Previously, large companies gained credibility and recognition thanks to their years of effort in the business, but, nowadays, digital marketing has facilitated this hard work in small companies that do not manage high budgets.
In this sense, a small business can generate a high positive impact on social networks, as long as it publishes quality, useful, relevant content that adds value to consumers and helps position its site in search engines. Keep in mind that search engines do not care which brand is the most important, they prioritize content that is considered quality for the target audience.
Therefore, digital marketing represents an excellent solution for many companies. But, it should be noted that only if it’s done in the correct way can progress be made towards business growth, hence the importance of implementing effective digital marketing strategies.
Digital marketing strategies
A digital marketing strategy consists of implementing a series of steps that contribute to the achievement of your defined digital marketing objectives, be it increasing brand awareness, increasing sales or simply interacting with potential customers. By implementing a digital marketing strategy you can collect valuable information about the behavior of your audience and achieve their loyalty. There is a wide range of digital marketing strategies, the main ones being:
1) Creation and dissemination of content through different channels.
This strategy consists of creating and promoting content on different channels in order to connect with your audience, generate brand awareness, increase leads and achieve sales. Channels that can play a role in your content marketing strategy include:
- Blog Posts: One of the most exciting ways to show your target audience that you’re an expert in your industry sector is by posting blog articles related to your products or services. To the extent that you share more content that adds value to your audience, the traffic to your blog will increase and your conversions will increase.
- E-books: E-books are, without a doubt, a great help in educating website visitors. Considering that today, the demands of customers are increasing, since they are not simply limited to looking for a product or service, but base their purchase decisions on the information they obtain, providing them with a large amount of information through an ebook contributes significantly to customer retention.
- Infographics: A picture is worth a thousand words. For this reason, infographics are a form of visual content that helps in understanding the message or image that you want to convey.
- Audiovisual content: The creation of audiovisual content such as videos has a high power of attraction for the audience since they do not always have the time to read long articles.
- Social networks: such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, among others. The use of a social network will depend on the characteristics of your target audience, since based on this you can determine where to find it and select the most appropriate social network to publish your content and achieve the defined business objectives.
2) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
One of the key digital marketing strategies to achieve the positioning of any website is Search Engine Optimization, better known by its acronym as SEO. This powerful strategy consists of optimizing your website through the use of a set of techniques in order to offer a better response to the demands of search engines and reach the top positions on the first page of results, thus increasing the amount of organic traffic to your website and the possibility of making a profit.
There are different types of SEO that allow you to generate qualified traffic to your website: These are:
- On-page SEO: Focuses on all the content that exists “on page” when looking at a website, so that by properly selecting keywords you can rank higher on search engine results pages. search (SERP).
- SEO off page: This type of SEO focuses on all the activity that takes place “off the page” when seeking to optimize your website, ie backlinks. By writing guest posts on other websites and linking to your website, you can get the backlinks you need to get your website up in all the right SERPs.
- Technical SEO: Focuses on all those optimizations that can increase the loading speed of your website, including image compression, structured data, and CSS file optimization.
Now, to successfully implement SEO in your digital marketing strategy, it’s recommended that you set long keywords that match the intent of your target reader and include them in specific parts of your post. You also need to make sure your blog is mobile friendly, use internal linking, optimize your meta description, add image alt text, and create evergreen content.
3) Pay Per Click (PPC)
A pay-per-click platform is one where advertisers pay for each click on their ad, they don’t pay just for it to show up. Initially it consisted of text ads only, now it also includes image and video ads on YouTube, thus allowing companies to improve their visibility.
One of Google’s most popular pay-per-click platforms is Google Ads, which consists of determining the keywords for which we are interested in being shown, writing impressive ads, setting bids, that is, indicating the maximum amount of money that you are willing to pay for each click on your ad (your maximum CPC) and study the results to draw conclusions. For example, if you have an online store dedicated to the sale of furniture, in this case it’s in your interest that your ads appear when someone searches Google for “furniture” and you must set a bid.
To use Google Ads profitably and successfully, you must carefully select the terms you want to be shown for to avoid wasting your investment on unnecessary clicks. It is also recommended that you have a quality page and that you monitor all the elements of your PPC campaign.
Other channels where you can use PPC include paid ads on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and sponsored posts on LinkedIn.
4) Email marketing
Email marketing consists of sending mass emails to a list of people that we have previously collected. To do this, subscription forms are usually placed in strategic places on our website in exchange for exclusive content, discounts, coupons, among others. This tool in turn allows generating a relationship of trust between the person who receives it and who sends it. In this way, it is possible in turn to offer more information about the product or service promoted on our blog.
Then, with that list of contacts, we can use an email marketing tool like Mailchimp and make an attractive newsletter for our users. Thus, it is also possible to capture visitors who have subscribed to our website.
5) Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an advertising method through which businesses pay a commission on an agreed basis to a website or person that helps promote their products and services, get referred customers and make purchases. Basically, affiliate marketing involves four parties: the affiliates who are the promoters of the product or service, the advertisers who are the owners of the brand, the affiliate network that provides resources to advertisers to track, report and manage payments. to its affiliates and as the last part are the consumers who buy the products or send a form with their data.
In simple terms, affiliate marketing is a win-win-win strategy since the advertiser manages to increase the traffic of his website, expand his client base and generate sales without making any marketing effort, he only makes the payment of the commission per sale, per forms submitted or even per click. The affiliate manages to generate income for each transaction made by the visitors of his blog or website, gain traffic, participation and visibility of his blog and, ultimately, consumers also win because they will feel satisfied to cover their needs or desires thanks to the affiliate recommendation, also saving part of your time.
When you join an affiliate program and select the product you want to promote, you will be provided with a unique affiliate code that you use to refer your followers to the product. At the same time, this code is used to track the conversions you make through your affiliate ID.
How to do digital marketing
So, regardless of the type of digital marketing strategy you decide to implement, in general, to guarantee the success of your campaigns, you must first define your marketing objectives, since if, for example, what you want is to increase the awareness of your brand, a marketing strategy that can work is the publication of content through social media platforms.
Likewise, you must identify your target audience since depending on where they are, some digital channels may be more appropriate than others and you must adapt your content. On LinkedIn for example, the audience is older professionals while on Instagram the audience is younger and used to fun content.
Another factor that you must take into account is the definition of a budget for each channel and the integration of paid and free strategies, since in most cases both are needed to achieve the defined digital marketing objectives. And last but not least is the content. It’s extremely important that the content you offer through the different channels is of quality and that it adds value to your audience, otherwise you run the risk that potential customers will leave your site and go to those of your competition. Also make sure your content is mobile-friendly and constantly update it to attract more potential customers.
In summary, digital marketing contributes significantly to the growth of businesses since it not only increases their profitability but also allows better interaction with customers, total control of what you spend on each campaign, a greater return on investment, increases brand awareness given its great reach, allows small businesses to gain competitive advantage and ultimately increase revenue as long as the digital marketing strategy (content on social networks, PPC, SEO, email marketing, marketing of affiliates, among others) is successfully implemented.