For those of us living and breathing the digital marketing world, we’ve known for a long time how effective digital marketing can be. You will get results that you just can’t get anymore from traditional marketing tactics.
But if you’ve never used digital marketing, it can seem like you are taking a massive step into unknown territory. There’s lots of confusing new tactics, people keep talking in acronyms, and funnels seem very important.
Print ads, radio spots, and direct mail may sound sexy, but with today’s connected consumer, these tactics don’t make much of an impact on traffic numbers, sales volume, or order values.
That’s why successful businesses rely on digital marketing.
So I’m here to tell you what digital marketing is, how it’s done, and how you can benefit from these tactics that have been proven to raise sales and boost profits.
Digital Marketing Defined
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is the act of promoting and selling products and services by leveraging online marketing tactics such as social media marketing, search marketing, and email marketing.
That’s the formal definition.
But honestly, digital marketing is just marketing.
And rule #1 in marketing is to make the right offer at the right time in the right place. You need to connect with your customer where they are.
It’s no surprise that today’s consumers are online: hanging out in social media, staying updated on news sites and blogs, and searching online when they have a need.
That’s why, for better marketing results, you need to be online too—getting people’s attention, building interest in your products and services, and driving sales with digital marketing.
And it works so well, marketers don’t think of it as an alternative to “traditional” marketing. They’re just excited about the results they’re able to generate.
How Digital Marketing Works
Digital marketing works by creating touch points, or points of interaction, in a variety of digital channels—like Facebook, search engines, email, and YouTube—to build a relationship with prospects.
Digital marketing isn’t only about “being there” when your customers are ready to buy. It’s about creating the desire to buy and persuading them to buy sooner (and possibly more often).
It’s also about being more than a merchant. Through digital marketing, you can actually become a guide and a trusted friend—so when you make a recommendation, people are eager to listen (and buy).
Let’s look at a couple of examples.
Say you decide you need a new juicer. Typically, when you start thinking about buying something, you don’t run to the store and buy the first product you see. You do some research first.
You begin by searching the Internet to learn what your options are.
Initially, you’re looking for the best brands and the best prices. And once you have an idea of what your options are, you look for reviews, ask friends and family for their opinions, compare features, and evaluate case studies.
That’s one scenario. Another could be kicked off with an email.
Let’s say you’ve signed up to receive emails from a blog that talks about natural health. One day, they send you an email that links to an article with juicing recipes. You click through, read the article, and realize your juicer won’t handle the leafy greens they recommend.
Conveniently, in the article, there are links to juicers that can do the job…
…and you’re intrigued. But you’re not ready to buy yet. You still want to do research before buying.
Just as you did in the first scenario, you start searching on the Internet…
…And looking for expert opinions…
Only when you feel you’ve got enough information will you buy—and usually from the brand that gave you the best information.
The Key to Digital Marketing Success
Remember, digital marketing is designed to give consumers the information they need when they need it, so that they turn to you first when the time comes.
As mentioned before, that takes building a relationship. And there are many ways you can do this
Some of the tactics you could use are:
- Content marketing
- Social media
- Search marketing
- Website analytics
- Conversion rate optimization