The concept of digital marketing was born along with the invention of electronic devices. As soon as the first elctronic broadcasting device i.e. radio reached the public, the production houses realized that they could sell different consumer products in the market through advertisements on the device and hence the digital marketing strategy was developed. The term itself has become popular only since early 2000s after the internet service started to be used widely though.
In simpler words, digital marketing can be defined as any form of marketing that uses electronic devices. Abd hence, it was around us long before the internet, social media, google ads or content marketing.
With the invention of internet and its reach to general public, the concept of online marketing came to the fore which made the term digital marketing popular.
Digital marketing can either be offline or online and both are important in their own way. But, with the number of people spending more time on their phones, tablets or laptops increasing day by day, offline marketing is surely loosing its hold in the marketing at a rapid rate while the major marketing share is being taken by online marketing.
Offline marketing can be grouped into 5 major categories which are:
- Radio Marketing
- Television Marketing
- Phone Marketing
- Printed Media Marketing
According to statistics, more than 20% of the world population still listen to radio while some more listen to internet radio services. Almost all of the radio programs broadcast advertisements at the beginning of the prgram as well as during the intervals and at the end. Radio marketing helps to build brands with entertaining yet valuable product advertisements.
Television marketing stands out to be the best bait in the field of marketing with a huge sum of money being invested by companies on advertisements on TV. But, the craze and effeciency of TV marketing is also going down due to the popularity of video streaming applications like youtube these days. With the improvement in search engines, targeting people who show some interest on a specific product has been relatively easier in comparision to TV marketing where each viewer is being shown the same set commercials. Moreover, we all tend to change the TV channel when the commercials are being broadcasted.
Phone marketing is another prime offline marketing tool. Though we tend to forget this approach overtime because of its limits but phone marketing still exists all around the world. The end customer on the other end of the call can't see the product being sold and puts the deal off most of the times but in case of service providers, it still works wonders. Another approach of phone marketing is messaging service which would work wonders on promoting sales through offers and discount coupons for a limited time period. Sending txt reminders can enhance the customer service too. And the best part of messaging a prospect is that the chance of the prospect reading the text message is much higher than picking up a call from an unknown number.
Printed Media Marketing
Advertisements on printed media like newspapers, flyers, magazines, hoarding boards as well as prducts in flexboards outside the stalls are common things we see but not notice much until we see a product that we are interested in. While advertisements in newspapers, flyers and magazines are not even given a second tought by the younger generations, there still are prople who go through these materials on regular basis. Large hoarding boards around the driveways and outside the stalls can attract a lot of attention from people passing by and help in building brand while products on display on flexes outside the stalls persuade prospects to enter the stall and make transactions.
Sponsorship is another marketing strategy that's generally used to build brand reputation among the public. Sponsoring events related to targeted consumer groups can develop a sense of trust among those people towards the company and hence influence the market.
Now, you can see, there are a lot of offline marketing areas where a marketeer should focus despite the rapid growth in the use of internet. Still, nobody can afford to ignore online marketing.
Online marketing can be grouped into seven major categories which are as follows.
- Search engine optimization
- Search engine marketing
- Content marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Pay-per-click advertising
- Affiliate marketing
- Email marketing
Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the prime factor of online marketing. It helps to propel a product selling company higher on the search engine result pages. Generally, people don't go further than the third page of any search result while a search result page displays only ten results. So, in order to enhance transactions through online marketing, an online marketeer must focus on propelling the product or the site at least to the top thirty results. The higher the better click rate and and chance of a successful transaction. Since, search engine optimization is a skill, there are a lot of aspects related to optimizing a site for better response from search engines one should take care of while working on this sector. Click on the link to read articles related to search engine optimization.
Search engine marketing
Search engine marketing is one of the most effective way of getting business done through search engine result pages. Advertisers pay to display their advertisements when an internet user searches for related keywords while searching for products or services. These ads comes in differnet formats like text ads or product listings along with price and reviews. The greatest strength of SEM is that it displays the products or services to those people who are looking for it propelling the success rate to higher levels. The only difference is SEO and SEM is that SEO is free while SEM is a paid service where business houses pay search engines to display their products in the search result pages.
Content marketing is another highly regarded marketing approach where a marketeer doesn't promote a product or service but creates and distributes releveant and highly valuable contents to the targeted audience to persuade the consumers to complete the business transaction. Content marketing is cheaper and the improves the sale as well as generate loyal consumers.
Social Media Marketing
Use of online social platforms is ridiculously high these days and that has eased the process of gaining targeted audiences' attention and traffic to the related site. Social media is also a great platform to build links awhich in turn improves the SEO. Social sharing has become a great tool to spread a product's information within a relevant target audience's circle that can go viral in no time if the product has a good value. So, to keep up with the pace of the internet world, a business should be active and visible in all social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google Plus, Pinterest or Youtube.
Pay per click advertising (PPC) is the part of SEM where the advertisers request the search engines to display their products or services for relevant search keywords and pay per click to those search engines. This means an advertiser needs to pay the search engines only when a user clicks that link and visits the page. With the rapid growth in competition for online advertising, PPC has now become less fruitful to the business owners than in the past but it still prevails in the internet world. This might leave you confused about SEM and PPC. The difference is that SEM is a broad concept that covers all the techniques and skiils required and used to propel a product or service on top of the search result pages while PPC only covers the paid advertisement part.
Affiliate marketing is a reward based marketing where an independent affiliate is paid by the business owners for generating traffic or completing a transaction through their own websites using their own efforts to persuade the visitors. Affiliates are the ones in this approach who makes all the efforts regarding SEO, SEM, PPC, Content Marketing, Email Marketing to their own sites and contents which helps to boost the business owners' transactions and the business owners reward them for each of those transactions as per the agreement.
Email marketing is another effctive online marketing approach. The marketeer sends advertisements, business requests, proposals, offers or discount coupons to the targeted consumer groups via email. The details of potential customers are most of the times purchased through agents while the current consumers' details can be obtained from the company database. Email marketing helps in building brand awareness and trust among the targeted group.
That's collectively all about digital marketing but if you want to go into details, each of these marketing approaches require huge amount of time and dedication to understand and master them. Though the offline marketing approaches seem to be less popular these days, these approaches haven't died yet and to keep up with the competitors, one should cover all areas of marketing unless the product itself restricts the marketeer to do so.
The only thing I wanted to prove here was that digital marketing is not all about social media but social media is only a part of it. Although the marketing approaches are determined by the scale of the business house along with the size of targeted consumer group, one should not oversee any of these approaches and try to get the most out of them with better research and precise decision.
Which of these approaches have you followed so far and which of them gave you the best returns? Let me know through the comments.