What is Digital Marketing and How Does it Work?
What is Digital Marketing and How Does It Work? 10 Facts
Digital marketing is a direct derivative of digital growth and as such, it follows the path that the digital revolution takes. In itself, it is easy enough to understand, but the challenge lies in the inherent variability and explosive growth of the foundational digital platforms which makes it hard to master all the nuances of the craft. In looking at the big picture, these 10 facts will shed more light on what digital marketing really is and how it works.
Digital marketing: what is it?
Digital marketing refers to the processes through which goods and services are marketed using digital alternatives. Any form of promotion, offer, or advertising on any digital platform can be termed as digital marketing.
From this definition, it becomes clear just how vast digital marketing is. In fact, it is the broadest of all advertising structures with almost innumerable options, tweaks, and alternatives across the different competing platforms.
Digital marketing channels
Digital marketing channels are the structures through which marketers conduct their digital marketing maneuvers to drive sales, conversions or awareness. Channels are essentially the bridge between a service provider/goods seller and his/her target audience.
Channels can broadly be divided into either internet driven or non-internet dependent. Internet-driven include search engines, blogs, websites, YouTube and social media whereas non-internet channels consist of SMS, MMS, on-hold or call-back advertising.
Digital marketing techniques
Techniques are the enabling operations that drive the actual marketing. They are the tools in a digital marketer’s tool box. They include search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) e.g. AdWords and Bing Ads, e-mail marketing, e-commerce marketing, display advertising, content marketing e.g. sponsored and affiliate reviews, influencer marketing, social media marketing, among others. Given all the options above – which are non-exhaustive – one gets an idea of how component heavy digital marketing really is.
How marketers cope with the scope
With so many areas of specialization, marketers tend to choose a few marketable ones to specialize in. The most common areas of expertise are social media marketing, SEM, and SEO.
Since the digital marketing field is still young, and firms are willingly increasing their digital marketing spend, it is easy for interested persons to self-educate and join the profession. As long as an individual can perform, the pathway to making it in digital advertising is relatively obstacle free.
Growing professionalism in digital marketing has brought about the need for accreditation. Major industry players such as Google and Bing offer exams relating to their popular platforms (AdWords and Bing Ads) such as display, mobile, video, and shopping advertising certifications. A large percentage of serious marketers have several of these accreditations.
How it works
Like other industries, clients looking to market products digitally approach accredited or accomplished specialists based on the particular service they want. Depending on the goals of the undertaking, rates are negotiated.
However, most big firms now prefer to have an in-house digital marketing team as opposed to outsourcing the services. For big ventures, collaborations between a company’s digital marketing department and an independent agency are common.
Implementation commences with campaign structuring based on the set targets. The first step is identifying a target audience by mapping the general characteristics of individuals most likely to convert. This way, marketers are able to come up with an innovative approach that will have the biggest impact.
Selecting the ideal digital channel
Guided by the developed campaign skeleton, marketers then choose the best digital channel that will provide access to the predetermined target demographic. For driving targeted traffic through custom ads, SEM is chosen, for instance, whereas a brand awareness campaign may take advantage of social platforms with superior reach such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. A lead generation campaign, on the other hand, may capitalize on a business oriented platform such as LinkedIn.
Implementation and monitoring
With the details ironed out, and the channels of best fit chosen, the campaign goes live with a close eye on metrics of interest. Monitoring, therefore, takes center stage to substantiate the success of the campaign with data.
Analytics is leveraged to streamline campaign approaches and improve performance on-the-go. The gleaned insights unearth weak links and other areas that require attention so as to iron clad the current, as well as future marketing ventures.
Review and evaluation
Once the campaign concludes, marketers generate a report for the client highlighting the success of the campaign. Results are measured against the starting objectives, and a big-picture approach is adopted to identify any other missed problem spots that can be improved upon in the future.
In actual situations, digital marketers capitalize on the power of omnichannel stratagems to increase campaign performance exponentially. Large scale hybrid approaches go on to include both digital and traditional media such as signage, print media and T.V which is one of the reasons why full-service digital marketing firms are mushrooming.