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Digital marketing has revolutionized how businesses attract and engage with potential customers for their products and services. Apart from this, it can still be a challenging concept to keep up with which digital strategy works best in this rapidly growing digital era.
Forbes Advisor India has brought together an ultimate guide that walks you through everything you need to be aware of while creating winning digital marketing strategies for your business. Further in this article, you’ll learn what digital marketing is, its types and methods that work best and examples that give exceptional results.
Digital marketing has revolutionized how businesses attract and engage with potential customers for their products and services. Know more about its types that work best.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing at times called online marketing or internet marketing—is a means of engaging with likely buyers who use digital technologies. The basic goal of digital marketing is to attract interest and sales for products and services.
You can run digital marketing through the internet on any device connected to it using various communication strategies, including text messaging, email, online-based advertising and social media.
Why Is Digital Marketing Important in 2023?
Traditional marketing channels like broadcast television, radio and newspapers are still intact but are no longer dominated with the massive audiences they commanded in their heyday. To be a successful marketer, you need to focus where your audience is and market accordingly and nowadays, people are on the internet.
According to Statista, there are more than 1.2 billion internet users in India alone, and that number continues to grow. As digital usage increases, so will opportunities for digital marketing. But digital marketing isn’t just important because internet usage is so high; it’s vital because digital marketing techniques produce exceptional results.
In a recent Nielsen survey of marketers, 62% of participants reported that digital spending on social media marketing was either extremely or very effective for them. Search marketing and online/mobile display marketing each earned 57% high-to-very effectiveness ratings, while online/mobile video earned 58%.
What Is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
A marketing plan offers a road map for how you intend to use marketing to accomplish the goals and objectives defined in your company’s business plan. A digital marketing strategy details how you use digital technologies and communication to reach your target audience and convert prospects into buyers.
The best digital marketing strategists employ a range of digital mechanisms. Digital advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, content marketing and email marketing are just a few digital hacks that can work together to create extraordinary results. Your digital tactic should outline which tools you plan to opt for and how you plan to executive them for your business.
Types of Digital Marketing
Social Media Marketing
When you look at social media stats, the number of current and projected social media users is simply astounding. It’s estimated that 4.9 billion people worldwide use social media, and experts predict that number will rise to 5.9 billion by 2027.
As of 2023, Facebook still dominates with the most active users—2.9 billion global users— followed by YouTube with 2.5 billion, WhatsApp with 2 billion and Instagram with 2 billion. LinkedIn has more than 900 million users worldwide, while TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest each have over 450 million active users. Clearly, these massive audiences present incredible opportunities for marketers.
One of the important advantages of social media marketing is that you are not required to have to be effective. Every digital marketing platform allows you to create an account with no cost involved, which means you can share content immediately, even if you want to cut short your expenses or do not wish to spend on advertising. Social media channels also offer paid advertising opportunities that let you create highly targeted campaigns designed to reach your targeted audience.
Social media has a solid track record for generating sales; 76% of consumers report purchasing a product after seeing it on social media. For optimal results, it’s best to focus on one or two social channels when starting out and then expand when you’re comfortable. Also, consistency is key in social media marketing; you need to engage with your audience regularly.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
At this very moment, there’s a high chance that the internet users are searching for the products and services that your business has to offer. Those hot prospects will only be able to find you if your company’s site is visible on search engine results pages (SERPs). In simpler words, you have to be visible and appear on Google search results and rank high if you want your audience to be directed to your website.
Investing in search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the smartest marketing moves you can make. Great SEO can deliver an ROI of 700% or more. With some upfront planning, you can ensure that your website content is easy for prospective buyers to find. And, when you use compelling content and marketing messaging, you can convert more of your website visitors into buyers.
If you have an estimated or tight budget , SEO can be started easily by using free tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends to do your research. Paid SEO tools are also available and the planning process and SEO research are much more manageable with it. The best SEO software will equip you with the knowledge you need to rank higher on Google and other search engines.
SEO can be complicated, and if you don’t have knowledge of the field, you may want to hire an expert to help you. The best SEO services can help you with every aspect of SEO, including technical SEO, on- and off-page SEO, link-building, mobile SEO, keyword research and SEO copywriting.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
There was a time when search engine marketing (SEM) meant all forms of search marketing, including SEO aimed at building traffic organically and paid SEO, which charges a fee for sponsored posts that get priority placement on SERPs. Today, SEM mainly refers to paid search.
SEM can be especially constructive for businesses that are certain their prospects are searching online for similar products or services with the intent of buying them. For instance, if a user is searching for “plumbers near me,” they have an urgent requirement for it and are likely to hire a plumber soon.
Typically, the higher your business ranks on Google, the more traffic you can generate for your site. Hence, paying a fee to rank higher via paid advertising may give your company an edge over your competitors.
Email marketing has been around for a while but it remains one of the most powerful digital tools in the marketer’s toolbox. As of 2023, more than 347 billion emails are sent and received every day and that number is expected to climb to 376 billion by 2025. On average, every dollar invested in email marketing earns $36.
To capitalize on email marketing, you’ll need software access to help create email campaigns. The best email marketing software makes it simple to manage designs, contacts, send emails and track performance stats, like email open and conversion rates.
Many businesses use a full-fledged customer relationship management (CRM) system to manage their contact databases and email marketing campaigns. The right software for you will depend on your exact business needs. Forbes found that the best marketing CRMs for small businesses include HubSpot, Salesforce, Zoho and Zendesk.
John F. Oppendahl coined the term content marketing at a meeting at the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1996. Since then, marketers have used the term to describe all forms of communication that deliver value to targeted recipients. A strong content marketing initiative can generate significant results for your bottom line, as compelling content can build your follower base and drive sales.
Content marketing can take the form of the written word, audio, visuals or video. Blogs, e-books, case studies, infographics, white papers, podcasts, checklists, how-to guides and short- and long-form videos are all popular forms of content marketing. You can engage in content marketing or promote your content via a variety of outlets, including websites and social channels.
The best content marketing techniques offer helpful insights that potential buyers may want and need. You can simply use content marketing strategy to entertain, inform, persuade or educate. The most productive content marketing is never salesy but rather enlightening and influential. If your content is relatable enough, it can go viral as people will share your content with others who have interests.
The rise in social media use and the number of breakout social stars with massive fan bases has sparked a meteoric rise in influencer marketing in recent years.
Influencers have large or highly targeted audiences that follow them via social media channels. As the name implies, influencers can use their “influence” to prompt fans to buy certain products or services. For example, if Selena Gomez, who has over 420 million Instagram followers, creates an Instagram post where she’s applying a particular brand’s mascara, sales for that product can skyrocket.
While an influencer’s recommendation can easily sway purchase decisions, those recommendations offered don’t come for free. Influencers charge an amount for mentioning, recommending and posting products and services to their followers. The charges can vary and are based on their follower count, audience engagement and type of post such as, for instance, a brief mention or a lengthy personalized promotion.
Some influencers have millions of social followers while others have smaller audiences, but their fans might be ideal for your brand. Influencer marketing can be pure gold for businesses whose target customers align with an influencer’s fan base.
Video is so important to today’s marketers that it deserves special attention as one of the most effective and compelling digital marketing techniques you can employ for business growth.
Using a video marketing strategy can be done easily on your site, in social media, as a form of content marketing or a section of influencer marketing campaigns. In a study from animated video production company Wyzowl, 87% of marketers reported that video marketing has helped them increase sales, and 92% said video delivers a good return on investment.
The most popular types of videos used by marketers include sales, explainer, testimonial and product demonstration videos. In 2022, according to the Wyzowl study, 71% of marketers used videos in their social media.
Starting a podcast for your business has ever crossed your mind? Are you considering marketing your products and services through advertising on popular podcasts in your business niche? Both can be considered as digital marketing strategies.
Thousands of businesses use podcast marketing to help create product awareness and establish their brand as a trusted authority. There are several ways to tap into the power of podcast marketing. You can choose to launch your own podcast, appear as a guest on podcasts in your business niche or buy advertising time on relevant podcasts.
Short Message Service (SMS) Marketing
SMS or text marketing is a means of communicating with potential buyers via simple text messages. SMS marketing delivers exceptionally high open rates, as studies have shown that recipients open an impressive 98% of text messages.
However, there are a few cons of SMS like limitations of 160 characters in a single message and there is no room for visual design. Plus, under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), you are required to have written permission to text promotional messages to someone—not everyone is wishing to sign up to receive advertising on their phones.
You can get started with SMS marketing by working with a texting service. The best mass texting services make it easy to get your company’s marketing messages out to your customer and prospect base.
What Are the Benefits of Digital Marketing?
Every type of digital marketing has its benefits. For example, marketing on LinkedIn is a terrific way to reach business professionals, while Instagram and TikTok have unlimited potential for B2C businesses. Meanwhile, email marketing lets you maintain an online relationship with your contact base, and content marketing helps you deliver high value to potential buyers.
Here are a few top benefits of digital marketing:
- Options that fit every budget: You can get started with digital marketing on a shoestring budget or invest even more for more substantial results.
- Potential to go viral: Anything that is viral or has great content in it, people tend to share it a lot. Digital content is super simple and easy to share, and the best content on the feed gets shared often, which leads to expanding your marketing reach.
- Easy to get started: With just a couple of things you’re good to go, such as a social account and a device either a smartphone or a computer, to launch a basic digital marketing effort.
- Track recipient behavior: Most forms of digital marketing let you monitor content views and engagement. You can also track what viewers do after seeing your content.
- Strong return-on-investment (ROI) potential: When executed properly digital marketing can produce a stellar return on investment.
Three Digital Marketing Examples
If you’re on any digital device throughout the day, you likely encounter dozens of examples of digital marketing techniques. Below we highlight examples of companies using content marketing, influencer marketing and video marketing to promote their businesses.
Content Marketing Example
E-books are a popular form of content marketing. The secret to success with e-books is to offer sufficient recognized value so a person is willing to part with their contact information—generally with an email but at times a physical address or phone number—to receive it.
HubSpot is one of the best marketing CRM providers available, it offers a wide collection of free e-books and thoroughly promotes them through their site, email and social media marketing. This is one of the many ways in which HubSpot employs digital marketing in its marketing mix.
Influencer Marketing Example
Gymshark is a British fitness wear manufacturer and retailer and a big believer in influencer marketing. One of the influencer campaigns of the brand centered around the concept – it takes 66 days to change your life. To bring this campaign to life, Gymshark associated itself with six TikTok influencers to promote this message. Each influencer tagged their individual posts with #gymshark66 and as a result, the campaign generated more than 45.5 million views
Rahmel Dockery, who has 4 million followers on TikTok under the moniker @realdockery, is a Gymshark influencer. His TikTok post below—which tagged @gymshark and #gymshark—received 3 million likes, 10.9 thousand comments and 42.9 thousand shares. That’s a very significant reach for a single post and it demonstrates the power of working with the right influencers for your business.
Video Marketing Example
As a cloud-based platform, monday.com helps businesses manage projects, tasks and workflows. They use many types of digital marketing strategies, including video.
One of monday.com’s ways to use short-form videos is to explain the features and benefits of its products. The videos are hosted on the YouTube channel and promoted through the company’s website and social media channels (example screenshot of business OKRs below).
Digital Marketing Costs
Digital marketing costs are a bit complicated. Marketing investments differ with different digital marketing methods applied, demographics and audience size, advertiser and influencer policies, software used and the expense associated with producing digital promotional messages.
You can easily do digital marketing with a few pennies on social media, while influence marketing, large-scale email marketing and video marketing methods can cost you well into the thousands. The chart below offers an overview of costs associated with different types of digital marketing efforts.
Digital marketing offers exceptional opportunities for your business as it helps you to reach ideal buyers and drive sales. The most popular types of digital marketing include SEO, email marketing, social media marketing and content marketing. You do not need a huge marketing budget to start with digital marketing. Even better, direct marketing investments are leading businesses to witness significant return on investment (ROI).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the types of digital marketing?
The most popular types of digital marketing include email marketing, SEO, influencer marketing, SMS marketing and social media marketing. Content marketing, video marketing and paid search are also excellent digital marketing techniques.
What is the easiest type of digital marketing?
While every marketing effort requires a solid strategy, social media marketing is one of the easiest areas of digital marketing to start with. You can set up an account for free on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn or other social channels. Once your account is live, you can post valuable content about your products and services immediately.
What is the best digital marketing platform?
The best digital marketing platform is the one where your ideal buyers spend their time. For B2B businesses, LinkedIn is often the top platform. For local service-based businesses, Google Ads is a great platform. Instagram and TikTok are leading digital platforms for consumer goods and services.
What is the best social media management software for digital marketers?
The best social media management software are Buffer, SocialPilot and Sprout Social. Hootsuite is the best software for those managing multiple platforms, while Zoho Social is best for individual creators.
Is digital marketing a good career?
A digital marketing career is an excellent choice for those drawn to marketing, have strong communication skills and are comfortable working with digital technologies. Consider earning an online digital marketing degree to jump-start your success in this field.