Understanding the Basics of Digital Marketing for Your Business
Many people know the importance of digital marketing for a business to reach potential customers. We live in a society where we are in constant contact with digital devices in one form or another. In reality, digital marketing has been around for years, probably longer than you think. Over a hundred years ago, in 1895, an Italian inventor by the name of Guglielmo Marconi sent and received the first radio signal in recorded history. Yes radio is a form of digital marketing, and it is still widely successful today. Here is what you need to know:
What is digital marketing?
What does it do?
Why is it important?
How can it help you?
Defining Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is advertising done through channels of digital media. This can include T.V., radio, social media, search engines, websites, or even a blog like this. If you are using a digital source to reach people, then you are engaging in digital marketing.
People are constantly on their phones, watching television, using computers, and listening to the radio at work or in the car. This provides an abundance of opportunity to reach people. That is ultimately the goal with digital marketing, to reach people. Whether you want people to check out your website, purchase an item, or simply make them aware of your brand, digital marketing can do this.
There are two main approaches to digital marketing, online and offline marketing.
Online marketing includes anything that is done online for marketing purposes. This includes search engine optimization, social media marketing, content marketing, email campaigns, pay-per-click advertising, and affiliate marketing.
Offline marketing includes anything that is not stemming from the internet. In terms of digital offline marketing, this includes electronic billboards, interactive electronic devices such as tablets or screens at a place of business, televisions, phone calls or texts, and radio marketing.
What Does Digital Marketing do?
Similar to traditional marketing, digital marketing is used to build brand recognition, promote your brand or products, and create an association between your brand and a slogan or tagline. As our modern society develops further, traditional means are turning digital. This is important if you want people to choose your product or service over your competitors. When you think of fast food, what comes to mind? McDonalds, Taco Bell, Burger King, or Wendys? Even if you don’t frequent these places, you can associate them to fast food quite easily. This is because they pump a lot of money into marketing.
Remember when businesses like pizza shops and takeout restaurants would send you fridge magnets? This was so that when you went to the fridge to find something to eat, you would see their company as an option. Now many refrigerators have digital components to them. You can keep a digital shopping list on your fridge, rather than a pen and paper. How long until our refrigerators are having digital ads displayed across them?
Why is Digital Marketing Important?
This is a simple one. Nearly everything is becoming digital. Cars used to have have no digital components to them, and now they are wired to the max with different features for entertainment, convenience and safety. Traditional billboards are being replaced with electronic ones. Many paper-filing systems have began storing data in digital databases. Most companies also offer options to recieve emails instead of paper mail, or instead of receipts even. As things become more digital, it is important to have an understanding of how it works, so that you can use even the most basic aspects of it to help your company.
How Can Digital Marketing Help You?
Digital marketing can help nearly every business to generate more revenue. Whether you are a car dealership, a restaurant, or a plumber, you want people to choose you over a competitor. Using the right blend of digital marketing techniques, you can increase your reach to customers. Say you run a radio advertisement for a car dealership, and you create a catchy tune for the ad. This reaches thousands of people. Now imagine someone decides they need a new car. When thinking of dealerships, that tune pops in their head. Bingo, you are on their radar where before your ad they would have never heard of you.
Listen to this radio jingle for an idea of what I am talking about. Summit Place Kia Radio Jingle. This tune drives me nuts, but it works. It is catchy and people remember it.
Even if you do not place high value in digital marketing, you are probably a part of it, as a consumer at the minimum. Something as simple as making informative posts on your companies social media accounts can generate shares to reach new audiences and potential customers. And it is free. If you want to get into something bigger, you can look at running paid advertisements. If this seems overwhelming, you can look at hiring a person or company to do this for you. In many cases, when done properly, you will see a return on the investment many times over what you put into digital marketing.