The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
The fundamentals of digital marketing happen to be quite a bit different from regular or traditional marketing fundamentals.
Starting twenty years ago, marketing started taking a new direction with the advent of digital marketing.
Digital marketing, unlike traditional marketing, mainly refers to the marketing of products or services using digital platforms, which are often accessed through digital media.
Today, billions of people worldwide use their digital mediums to buy and sell products/services.
The beauty of buying online is that it allows you to compare and contrast many similar products, prices, and reviews before deciding.
That’s why many potential buyers turn to the internet as a first step even before buying something offline, like ordering takeout.
Fortunately, the fundamentals of digital marketing have remained unchanged since its advent around twenty years ago.
But the latest trends and growing competition has changed the game (so to speak) a great deal. That’s why before getting into digital marketing, learn and understand how it works.
What Are The 5 D’s of Digital Marketing?
You might have heard the saying that digital marketing revolves around 5Ds. It is one of the first digital marketing fundamentals you need to wrap your head around.
The 5Ds, as they are called, are:
- Digital platforms
- Digital devices
- Digital technology
- Digital media
- Digital data
The objective of the 5Ds is to facilitate an efficient interaction between the target audience and the brands targeting them, all the while providing marketers with insights into market behavior to improve future strategies.
The first set of the 5Ds mainly refers to digital devices. The focus is on engagement and interaction of the audience on mobile applications and websites.
The devices include computers, TVs, smartphones, tablets, and consoles.
The majority of engagement will take place in virtual public spaces like social media platforms.
The largest platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Google, amongst others, help brands engage with their target audience, aka social media users, in a conversation.
The Importance of Online Marketing For Businesses
One of the biggest reasons digital marketing is so crucial for businesses is that it allows them to target their audience in more ways than one.
Furthermore, many digital platforms provide advertisers and marketers with actionable stats that help them hone campaigns and improve their understanding of the industry.
Here are a couple of more reasons why businesses should take their digital marketing strategy very seriously:
A much broader audience – Traditional marketing will eventually limit your efforts, usually to a particular local demographic.
However, with digital marketing and mobile marketing, you can target people across the world.
So, you’re not limited to selling your product or services in the vicinity of your residence or incorporation.
Compete with the big boys – Digital marketing levels the playing field in many ways, making it possible for start-ups with limited budgets to compete with the industry’s big boys.
A good, well-designed strategy can outperform one that only has the business throwing money at it.
Reach more potential clients and customers – Not too long ago, it was very challenging to reach out to customers, but now thanks to digital marketing in general, it has become a lot easier.
Businesses can now quickly identify and then reach out to their target audience via a social media presence.
Excellent ROI – A well-optimized digital marketing campaign can get businesses a very high return.
Even on the low end, the return is much higher than traditional or offline advertising or marketing.
Understanding the Foundation of Digital Marketing
To start with, it is essential to understand that digital marketing includes a multitude of marketing strategies used to reach customers online.
However, the strategies used to advertise in newspapers, magazines, radio, or television do not necessarily work for online marketing and social media.
That’s why businesses need to adopt a few techniques that can help leverage digital marketing. But, first, it is essential that companies comprehend the fundamentals of digital marketing.
The fundamentals, for the most part, are as follows:
The website should have a user-friendly, intuitive, and attractive design
- Search Engine Marketing or SEM
- Search Engine Optimization
- Email marketing
- Social Media Marketing
A couple of other forms of digital marketing include video marketing and Google ads, also called online advertising.
User-Friendly Website Design
One of the purposes of digital marketing via social media, search engines, or even advertising is to attract people to your website.
That’s one of the reasons why the quality of the website needs to be the very best in terms of design, layout, and how visitors are led through the sales funnel.
For instance, an e-commerce store needs to make it easier for people to find the product they want to buy.
Content, depending on your goals, should be informative, easy to understand.
The website should present what visitors are looking for before they lose interest and leave.
We strongly advise that businesses work with a digital marketing expert to design the site’s layout based on the business’s sales or marketing goals.
A goal-oriented website outperforms a generic website in just about every metric.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Many buyers start their buying journey online by firing up a search engine like Google who’s search results are a huge and important part of the digital landscape.
Buyers and consumers will run a search to start doing some basic research about the company or the product they are interested in buying.
Savvy buyers will read reviews to determine the pros and cons of the products they are interested in buying.
That’s why it is so important that your website is visible when users are in the process of actively searching for products or services like yours. It is also a big part of staying relevant.
SEO works by improving the visibility of a website in SERPs.
The higher you rank for the keywords you’re targeting, the more traffic you get, and hence there is the possibility of doing more business if you’re pulling in the right traffic.
However, SEO is a fast-paced and ever-changing landscape.
Major search engines like Google are constantly changing their engine’s algorithm, requiring businesses to have a dedicated professional who is always one step ahead.
It is important to note that while SEO, when done right, can bring in loads of free traffic, it takes time and money to rank a website.
Sustaining rankings takes knowledge and also costs money. That’s why it is seen more as a long-term strategy in the context of a broader, more extensive digital marketing strategy.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search Engine Marketing, or SEM as it is called, is another form of online advertising but one which is meant to draw people’s attention to your website.
One of the reasons businesses choose to use SEM is that it works by building trust, often by publishing valuable content.
SEM is a pretty vast concept, and it isn’t limited to just advertisements plastered on the top and right of organic search engine results.
In fact, PPC paid social media ads like Facebook ads are also considered part of SEM.
The advertising model can be Pay-Per-Click (PPC), whereby a business will pay for every click or Pay Per Impression, also referred to as Cost Per Impression or CPM, an abbreviation for Cost Per Million Impressions.
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing is one of the most effective ways of generating buzz and brand awareness, especially about an up-and-coming service or product.
Large social media platforms like Facebook have over a billion users, and the platform is used to discuss various issues, including products and services.
That’s why many businesses have started to rollout elaborate social media strategies specific to each platform in an effort to promote and brand their service or products.
Businesses need to have a relevant and updated social media profile or page.
The page needs to actively share the latest and greatest, including photos, videos, etc. Again, the goal should be to trigger engagement around the product or service in question.
Today many digital marketers don’t consider email marketing to be as effective as it was before. However, there are still businesses still use it to a great degree of effectiveness.
It all boils down to the quality of your mailing list and the quality of information you share with subscribers and, consequently, potential customers.
Emails need to have a strong subject line to attract attention.
However, businesses need to use tools that help them circumvent spam filters, or else the emails will fail to get customers’ attention.
As a business owner today, you can’t be excused for not understanding the fundamentals of digital marketing.
If anything, you need to have a pretty good understanding of how digital marketing can be leveraged to benefit your business.
Not only will that help make it easier to stay relevant and do good business, but it also makes it easier to find someone to handle this aspect of your business for you.
We often say that finding ideal customers starts with a solid digital marketing strategy and getting the digital marketing fundamentals right from day one!
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