The last decade has seen an enormous shift on how businesses market their products and services. The internet and increased tendency for businesses to rely on it for virtually everything has changed the scope of marketing forever. Businesses all over the world understand that having an online presence is no longer a matter of “whether to go online” but rather “how well to ensure a business’s online presence”. From small businesses to large multinationals, having an online presence is the way to go in so far as achieving a competitive advantage is concerned.
In fact, it’s correct to say that any business entity without a website, a social media platform or a blog of sorts is neglecting the aspects of marketing and by so doing spelling their own doom. It is for this reason why businesses need to create an online presence while at the same time taking great steps to reinforce the same. How can they achieve this? The answer to this is simple. Businesses need to invest in digital marketing as an online strategy to improve their presence.
What is digital marketing?
Simply put, digital marketing is basically a marketing strategy that conjoins the advertising and promotion in an online platform. In essence, this kind of digital promotion encompasses all forms of internet marketing while maintaining the basic principles, tactics and values of traditional marketing. It puts great emphasis on digital media as a way of creating awareness to products and services.
A business endeavouring to make use of digital marketing can either make use of the “push digital marketing” or “pull digital marketing”.
Push digital marketing
From the significance of the name, this form of marketing is designed or projected to essentially push information on advertising to the intended target market or clientele. Most of the times, individuals who are in charge of marketing in an organisation or small business initiate push marketing through SMS, email or RSS with the aim of ensuring that the target clientele gets personalized message that appeals to them. This form of digital marketing is powerful in the sense that the marketer is able to effectively monitor, track and essentially measure the relative efficacy of the marketing medium.
Pull digital marketing
This form of marketing on the other hand is specifically designed to help customers come to the business. It is packaged in such a way that it elicits the customer to make a call to action and generally visit the business and find out more about it. This could basically be a visit to the website, webpage or any other internet medium of the business. Though not easy to track as push marketing, this form of marketing is just as powerful and effective.
Common digital marketing strategies
One of the wondrous benefits of digital marketing is that it is cost effective, highly effective, and bound to increase a business’s online presence in ways traditional forms of marketing couldn’t. So what common digital marketing strategies exist? We have presented just a few of the many.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Abbreviated as SEO, this is without a doubt is one of the most important features in what we know as web marketing. This particular strategy is designed to help a business rank its website or blog highly with the sole aim of ensuring that it appears top on search results. Appearing top on search results mean, that a business is visible to many prospective clients globally within the organic section of the search results (not paid clicks). So how does the search engine optimisation strategy work?
In order for a business website to rank high and appear top of search results, there is need for the web pages to be structured appropriately, use of the right kind of content and create a positive user experience. However, if done incorrectly you can end up having your website penalized and it will not appear in the search results! A business owner who is not averse with search engine optimisation techniques need not worry as there are many professionals who can do this for them.
Though highly unutilised by many businesses, email marketing, if done correctly is a very effective forms of digital marketing. What a business entity needs to do is collect as many emails as possible of people who may be interested in their products and services. Once this is done, the next thing is to regularly send them emails on special offers, new products or services and information on any special launches. Considering that this form of marketing is based on subscription, it’s instrumental for a business to constantly share informative content with the subscribers and keep them interested rather than using programs to send emails to anyone and everyone. The number one benefit of email marketing is that it’s easy to monitor, track and a business can effectively measure their marketing efforts.
Pay per click advertising
Also known as PPC, this is an internet based advertising model that allows businesses to have traffic directed to their websites by basically having their adverts published on blogs. Basically, a business entity creates some form of advert in line with the product or service they are promoting and pay for it to appear on various search pages such as Google Adwords, websites and even blogs. PPC may be costly at first, however it is a very powerful tool to drive people to your website instandly.
Social media has revolutionised how people interact, share information and even boost up sales for business entities. Nowadays, everyone is on social media. It has become the focal point around which the lives of people rotate. People spend enormous amounts of time online on social media. It’s perhaps for this reason why it has become the hallowed marketing medium preferred by both small and big business enterprises.
All a business needs to do is to create a huge following and ensure that information about their products or services reach as many people as possible. A Facebook page, twitter business handle or Google plus page with the right number of followers can spell prosperity and a huge turn around in sales for any business. The key is in targeting people who like your products or services and sharing with them information that appeals to them. Creating a huge following on social media and remaining relevant is what makes it so appealing as a form of digital marketing.
So, how can digital marketing improve your websites visibility?
In the constantly changing business environment with fierce competition, achieving a competitive edge can be somewhat difficult. Businesses are constantly grappling with the idea of how they can improve the visibility of their websites and by so doing increasing their sales manifold. So how can digital marketing improve a websites visibility?
For starters, it’s important to note that digital marketing is instrumental in helping ones business create meaningful engagement with customers while they are connected online. Considering the fact that marketing of products and services is something that overwhelms many small and large businesses, going the digital way and taking advantage of various elements of it is instrumental in improving ones website visibility.
With digital marketing, your prospective customers become aware of your products through high quality content optimised for the target market. Prospective customers get to know of your products from social media platform and this serves to convert them into customers that inadvertently lead to an increase in sales. Basically, digital marketing is all about ranking your website highly on Google by ensuring proper search engine optimisation is done, proper interacting on social media, proper email and SMS marketing is done and creation of eye catching adverts through banners.
With the right website design, quality website content creation, effective social media marketing strategy and effective E-commerce solutions, your websites visibility is bound to increase and this gives you an edge over rivals within the same line of business.
Who needs digital marketing?
The general feeling has been that digital marketing is a preserve of the large business organisations, the moneyed and multinationals with a global network. This is not correct as competition does not distinguish between small and large businesses. Every business entity exists for the sole purpose of making profit. For this reason, employing a digital marketing strategy benefits both small and large businesses. In this regard, all business entities regardless of their size or nature of the services they provide should endeavour to adopt a digital marketing strategy that works for them.
To sum it up, the current competitive business environment coupled with the ever diverse technological advancements requires that businesses change their thinking in how they present their products and services to their customers. It calls for proper product placement, proper marketing strategies, an embracement of digital marketing, proper quality management, customer satisfaction, knowledge management among many others. Business entities that endeavour to change with the times in the end become very successful. Evolve or be left behind!