Do you want to know what is digital marketing? Or, the real question, do you want to earn more with digital marketing? Then, you’ve found the right article.
Simply put, digital marketing is the strategy of promoting your business via different digital channels and the internet, like websites/blogs, search engines, social media, etc. Meaning, it helps you market your products and services among the people that use the internet.
In today’s world, online marketing is a game-changer for businesses’ growth. Simple reason: Billions of people throughout the world use the internet on a daily basis. Hence, it’s no surprise that the internet provides you a gateway to reach more people, with low cost and effort.
In this guide, you’ll learn all about digital marketing, its importance, types, channels, and getting started with a digital marketing strategy. Now, let’s begin!
What is Digital Marketing? – Overview
First of all, let’s discuss what marketing is. If you don’t know, marketing is basically promoting your products and services to your target audience and potential customers.
For marketing, it requires a medium to reach interested users and potential buying customers. For example, you can see ads about products and services in newspapers. Here, the newspaper acts as a medium to convey the message of the service providers to the readers.
Now, digital marketing or internet marketing is the marketing strategy for reaching and customers that use electronic devices, through various online channels. Some of the popular digital marketing channels are websites, social media, search engines, emails, etc.
Nowadays, people use the internet for everything and it has become a part of their life. Stats show that more than 4.6 billion people have access to the internet worldwide. Precisely, that’s more than half of the world’s population.
Just using common sense, you can say that the internet is where most of your customers are now. So, why not market your products there?
The idea is simple. You, as a marketer, have to promote your products and services on various online platforms. Why? Because it’s where you’ll find more audience! And, that’s what digital marketing is all about.
Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing (What’s the Difference)
As we stated above, major digital marketing platforms are blogs, websites, social media, search engines, apps, etc. But how are they different from the traditional forms of marketing?
Here, we’ll break down the major differences between digital and traditional marketing.
a) Mediums of Digital Marketing are Different.
First and foremost, the medium is the main difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing. By medium, it means the platform, channel, or tool by which you broadcast your promotional message or advertisements.
Digital Marketing utilizes online means like social media, emails, blogs, websites, etc. While traditional marketing uses offline methods like newspapers, magazines, banners, pamphlets, TV, radio, etc.
Here’s a thing! TV and radio are electronic devices, which might make you think that they’re digital marketing channels. And, some consider them to be digital marketing means. However, they lack one major requirement i.e. the internet. So, we like to think of them as traditional (offline) marketing channels.
b) You Can Reach a Larger Audience than Traditional Marketing.
Digital marketing helps you reach more global audiences or customers, due to the use of the internet. For example, every internet user across the globe can access the information of a website or blog by just entering its URL.
Plus, digital content can be accessed anytime (again and again), and from any place. For example, you can access a blog article anytime from anywhere, until it’s permanently deleted.
In contrast, traditional marketing is limited to local audiences only. Reaching more people with traditional marketing might cost you a lot.
For example, an advertisement published in a magazine can be found on the specific magazine, on specific days it’s published, but not on any other day.
c) Unlike Traditional Marketing, Users Can Engage & Interact!
Digital marketing makes it more interactive and engaging for users. Consumers can comment, suggest, inquire, or give feedback about your products easily. This also helps companies make further improvements in their products.
While traditional marketing is all about what businesses show people. Your audience can barely interact with you or be able to provide feedback.
d) Digital Marketing Is More Cost-Effective!
Digital marketing is very cost-effective in comparison to traditional methods. In some practices, you don’t even have to pay anything for digital marketing. E.g.: social media marketing, SEO, etc.
In comparison, traditional marketing is more costly as it involves creating hard copies, creating advertisements, and so on.
With that said, let’s go ahead and find why digital marketing is required for businesses today!
Why Digital Marketing is Important for Your Business?
Digital marketing is an integral part of every business of any size nowadays. You’ll rarely see any business that hasn’t used any digital marketing strategy. Even small businesses have started building online presence like websites or social media channels at least.
In fact, we’ve come to the stage where we can’t afford to ignore digital marketing. Here, we present you with a list of reasons why digital marketing is important for your business.
i) Your Potential Customers are Online
The Internet has been the most growing technology in the last couple of decades. With most people spending time on the internet, you can find your potential customers there.
People generally inquire or research about products they like from search engines and websites. Similarly, they discover brands and services from social media platforms, emails, etc.
As a business owner, you can create brand awareness campaigns like ad campaigns, blogging, social media posting, etc. That way, you’ll also get a chance of getting discovered so that your sales increase.
ii) Get Ahead of Your Competitors
Realizing the importance of digital marketing, most businesses have started using digital marketing strategies for making sales. In fact, every small business has some sort of social media presence or website from where traffic can be drawn. And probably, your competitors (businesses like yours) have done the same.
So, if you don’t have any online presence, then you’re lagging behind your competitors. In fact, it’s like losing customers that could have been yours if you had a similar online presence.
Investing in digital marketing like SEO, SEM, website ads, social presence, etc. makes your business go online. It’ll provide a gateway for new customer leads with chances to make more sales.
Digital marketing is the most cost-efficient marketing approach. Among various types of digital marketing types, some even cost you nothing. For example, creating a social media account to promote your services organically is totally free.
Also, ranking your site on Google with SEO is completely free of cost; you’ll only have to apply some SEO strategies.
Similarly for paid marketing, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a very cost-effective paid approach. With it, you’ll only have to pay when someone clicks your search engine ad.
iv) Targeting the Most Relevant Audience
The sole purpose of marketing is to target the most relevant audience. Meaning, your marketing messages should reach people with buying intent. It’s because marketing to irrelevant audiences is just a loss of money, energy, and time.
Now, digital marketing is capable of reaching users who might be interested in buying from you. Strategies like SEO makes your site appear in search results when people search for similar services as you provide. And, they’re likely to buy from you if you rank high in result pages.
Even more, SEM makes your paid ads reach your target customers more easily. You can choose to display your on what location and for what keyword. This makes refining the audience easier.
Analytics helps you understand the success or failure of your marketing campaigns. With that, you can decide whether to make changes to the campaign, continue it further or stop it.
In digital marketing, you’ll get lots of analytics data about your campaigns, and engaging traffic. You can easily access data like impression rate, click rate, location, traffic information, interaction, etc. You can use the data to plan for future campaigns too.
Digital marketing provides scalable marketing services so that it can fit any business size. While starting out, you can start small. As your business grows, you’d want to scale up your marketing infrastructures and reach more audiences.
Scaling up and down your digital marketing campaigns is easy. For example, SEM and social media ads run as much as the allocated budget allows. And, you can easily increase or decrease the budget for deciding the run time of ads.
The Real Deal! How to Start Digital Marketing for Your Business?
As a digital marketer, you should know a handful of things for a start. First, you should understand that digital marketing is not just a single marketing strategy.
It’s more like a vast marketing book that incorporates many other marketing types and strategies. Here, we’ll talk about all the major types of digital marketing strategies as below!
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
However, as a starter, you wouldn’t also want to try all of the strategies at once. First, you can just start with the easiest strategy. For example, create a simple social presence and then move on to other strategies like affiliate marketing, email marketing, etc. later.
To do so, you should know about all these strategies well. Hence, we’re going to explain all of these forms of internet marketing one by one. Let’s get started!
1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a popular type of digital marketing strategy you can use to grow your business. Actually, it’s one of the very effective technique too.
To define, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a process to optimize your website or blog to appear in search engines like Google. It involves constantly working on improving your site’s quality. Things like website relevance, speed, security, users’ response, reference, etc. are some of the SEO factors that affect website ranking.
With SEO, you’ll be ranking your site in the organic section of the search engine result page. And, it’s completely free; you’ll just have to optimize your site with a set of known search engine guidelines.
The core idea behind SEO is to rank your site higher in search engines so that more users are likely to visit you. With more traffic, there’s more chance that they buy from you.
More precisely, you try to rank your website or web page for certain keywords in search engines. So, people will find your site when they type in those keywords or related word combinations.
Now, is Ranking Higher Absolutely Necessary?
Well, let’s see some stats in light of this question.
According to a study conducted by Backlinko on Google Search, the first Google search result has a 31.7% click-through rate. And, it goes on decreasing moving down on the list. In fact, the website on the 10th position gets just about 3% of the total clicks.
Moreover, people rarely visit the second page on search engines. Instead, they’d tweak their search keyword if they don’t find any relevant result.
Clearly, if you want to gain some traffic to your site, then ranking higher is very important; the higher the better.
How do Search Engines Work?
If you want to optimize your site for SEO, a slight hint of how search engines work would be helpful.
First, search engines are the websites that take keywords from users and provide relevant web pages’ links as a result.
Now, the search engines have a huge database that contains billions of web pages. And, when a search is being carried out, it looks for the most relevant web pages that match the search keyword.
The process can be thoroughly understood with 3 important search engine processes. They are:
We’ll briefly explain these processes below. Let’s begin!
Google and other search engines constantly crawl all the available websites in order to store them in their database. The crawling/scanning is done with active components called crawlers/bots/spiders.
Crawlers visit every available link on the web and scan the web pages line by line. If crawlers find new links on the web pages, then the crawler visits that link and scans it too.
For newer websites, you can use Google Search Console to submit your site’s sitemap. With that, Google gets links and other information about your site for crawling. There are other webmaster tools for other search engines.
Indexing is simply the process of storing the crawled web pages into the search engines’ huge database called index.
Search engines also apply some treatments on the crawled web pages before indexing. Some of them are removing no-value words like what, a, an, the, etc., recording freshness, recording repeated words, etc.
When users enter a search keyword, a list of relevant results come up. The results don’t just come in a random order but are sorted according to a rule/algorithm. This means that the search engines’ algorithm decides the rank of web pages.
The algorithm is a complicated formula combining various ranking factors like website speed, backlinks, user-friendliness, relevance, freshness, etc.
What are the Types of SEO?
Now, SEO strategies are divided into mainly 3 categories based on the type of ranking factors. They’re explained below.
a) On-Page SEO
On-page SEO includes all the manageable aspects of your web pages. In other words, all the things that you can control within your website to rank higher are on-page SEO factors.
Things like content quality, appropriate keywords use, optimized titles and meta-description, image alt tags, etc. come under on-page SEO factors.
On-page SEO helps Google and other search engines to get to know what your web page is about. With the use of keywords in various parts of the web page, you make sure that it’s relevant to what your web page is about.
Here are some of the main tasks you can do to improve your on-page SEO.
- Focus on creating quality content using keywords appropriately. It’s because Google wants its users to find only the most useful content.
- Make sure you write in your own words and don’t duplicate others’ content.
- Make your blog posts readable with clear headings, images, and call to action elements. Write useful and attractive meta description.
- Also, having a user-friendly interface and good design is also essential to attract visitors. Bad site design and the interface can make visitors leave the site soon. And, this will increase the bounce rate (the rate of users exiting sites quickly) which affects the ranking.
Doing these will improve your chance of getting better rank on the search results.
b) Technical SEO
Technical SEO means increasing your site’s ranking by improving the site’s technical factors.
It’s mainly focused on improving the structure and codes of your website that make indexing and ranking easy. Plus, it also includes other technical factors like page load speed, security, responsiveness, URL structure, etc.
Technical SEO is actually a part of on-page SEO. The on-page SEO consists of all the website factors that can be managed. While technical SEO includes only the technical aspects among them.
The foremost technical SEO factors you should consider are site speed and security. They not only help your site rank but also provide a good user experience.
Here are a few tips to improve your website’s technical SEO.
- You can make your site faster by methods like reducing image size, caching, optimizing codes, cleaning databases, etc. For more, you can read our detailed guide on how to speed up your site.
- To secure your site, the most important thing is getting an SSL certificate. It’s a certificate that encrypts the connection between browser and server. You can get more info from our article on how to secure your website.
- Additionally, having XML sitemaps, robot.txt files, etc. helps in crawling and indexing your site.
- Besides, you should also check for technical errors like broken links, redirects, content duplication, etc.
With these things checked, you can improve your site’s visibility and likeability to search engines better.
c) Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO means all the optimization work done from outside the website. You can also say that off-page SEO is using other platforms and technologies to boost your site’s ranking.
The major off-page SEO factor is backlinks. A backlink is a link to your website from other websites. Your site getting backlinks mean that other websites are vouching or referring to your website. And this makes search engines understand that your site must be qualitative, thus ranks higher.
There’re tons of techniques for building backlinks. Some of them are guest posting, paid blog posting, broken links strategy, etc.
Other off-page measures to consider are encouraging social share, word-of-mouth, employing marketing strategies, and many more.
SEO strategies to Use for Beginners
Here’re some of the SEO strategies you can use to rank your site higher as a beginner.
- Write Qualitative Content: First thing you want to consider is to write primarily for providing quality to the users. That’ll do lots of benefits for SEO. Relevant content is likely to rank higher itself. Besides, people are likely to share your content on other platforms from where you’ll get more reach. Moreover, other websites can also give your content backlinks.
- Use Keywords: Use a significant number of focus keywords and LSI keywords on your blog to make it relevant. You can also use keywords in titles, sub-headings, meta-descriptions, permalinks, etc. However, you shouldn’t use keywords very densely on your web pages, or it’ll bring down your SEO ranking.
- Optimize Images: Uploading reduced images help your overall page speed down by reducing the web page size. You can simply use an online tool called TinyPNG to compress images before uploading them to your site.
- Use Image Alt Tags: You should write alt (alternative) text for images. It describes search engines what the images are about.
- Care for Page Speed: You can do various things to speed up your website. Most importantly, you should buy a good hosting service for your site. Also, using light-weight codes, using CDN, clearing databases, lazy loading, etc. helps the site speed up.
- Get an SSL Certificate: You should get an SSL certificate for your website to make it secure. You can get it for free with some hosting companies. If not, you should buy it.
- Adopt Backlink Building Strategies: You can’t expect to rank higher on Google without having any backlinks. So, you should adopt strategies to build backlinks. Some of the best backlink building strategies are guest blogging, broken link building, introducing people to your linkable content, etc.
With these ideas, you can use SEO for marketing. If you want to learn more, check our full guide on what is SEO and how to get started.
2. SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
Search engine marketing (SEM) is a marketing strategy for boosting your business with paid advertisements on search engines. With SEM, you can make your ads appear in the search engine result pages (SERPs), typically on the top, above the organic results.
So, SEM means making your products, services, or web pages visible in search engines so that you get exposure to more traffic. With that, your sales increase.
SEM is an effective way to grow your business, especially in a highly competitive business environment. It helps your rank go above your competitors easily, in no time. This helps you increase your sales fast. And the best part, you don’t have to pay a lot of cash.
An important trait of SEM is that it has a unique way of payment i.e. pay-per-click (PPC). With this, you’ll have to pay for the times your ad gets clicked. Just creating ads and appearing in search results won’t cost you anything.
The reach of SEM ads is based on keywords or phrases. They’re the words that you can choose to display your ads for. Basically, you’ll have to find and choose relevant keywords with high monthly searches and low competition.
The Benefits of using SEM
Here are some of the benefits of using search engine marketing for your business.
- Fast Results: Your ads start to appear on the search result pages you chose as soon as you publish your campaign. Meaning, your products or services will be displayed instantly by just creating the ad. With that, you’ll start making sales in no time.
- Low Cost: As mentioned, the cost of your ad campaign starts as it starts to get clicks. Just creating and running the campaign doesn’t cost you anything. The cost is also decided by factors like keyword difficulty, competition, bidding amount, maximum bid, etc.
- Reach a More Relevant Audience: With SEM, you target only the most relevant audience with buying intent. Your ads will display only when people search with certain keywords related to your business.
- Customizable Ads: The ads you create are completely customizable. You can always modify all the elements of your ad. You can rename your campaign, add or remove keywords, change location, scale your budget, change display headlines, descriptions, etc. This makes your ads more manageable.
- Brand Awareness: You can include your brand name and services in the ads. So, People notice your brand’s from the search results when they search for services like yours. This makes your brand more familiar to people and people are likely to buy from you.
- Target Location-Based Audience: SEM platforms allow you to target audiences based on locations too. This means you can run ads about your services only in certain areas so that your ads will reach people from that area only. Moreover, you can also restrict areas where you don’t want your ads to be displayed.
Best SEM Platforms You Can Use
SEM platforms are the tools with which you can manage your paid ad campaigns on search engines. They let you create ads, select campaign type, allocate budget, find keywords, etc.
Normally, the SEM platforms are created and provided by the search engines themselves. While some search engines like Ask.com, DuckDuckGo, etc. don’t have their own native ads creating platforms. So, other platforms handle their ads. For example, Google Ads handle ads for Ask.com.
Now, some of the best SEM platforms are:
i) Google Ads
Google Ads is an advertising platform for Google. Due to the fact that it manages advertising for Google, it’s the most popular platform compared to others.
You can start with Google Ads by just signing up with a Google account. Then, you can choose among various campaign types for your ad. It also lets you select location, enter appropriate keywords, allocate campaign budget, etc.
Google Ads offers a keyword research tool named Google Keyword Planner for finding best keywords for your ads.
ii) Microsoft Advertising
Previously known as Bing Ads, Microsoft Advertising is a platform for advertising on the Bing search engine. Also, it also manages ads for DuckDuckGo too.
With Microsoft Advertising, you can choose to restrict ads for certain device types, locations, and time zones. With that, you can target more specific users.
The bidding cost on Microsoft Advertising is a little cheaper than on Google Ads.
iii) Verizon Media (For Yahoo)
Verizon Media is an advertising company that handles ads for Yahoo! And AOL search engines. It’s also a popular platform for native advertisements.
Strategies for Better SEM Results
SEM is a very potential digital marketing platform where you get the best return of investment (ROI). However, you can expect to make better return with SEM without good strategies and their proper implementation.
So, here are some of the best SEM strategies you can adopt.
- Good Keyword Research: Good keyword research is absolutely necessary to find the most relevant keywords with their search volume and competition. With that, you can make your ad appear to more buying users.
Keyword research is easier with the help of keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, etc.
- Make Good Ad Copy: Attractive ads are likely to get more clicks. For that, you can create ads with an appealing header, description, and URL. Don’t forget to clearly mention the services you provide and your company’s name.
You can also add some more catchy phrases. For example, ‘50% Off! Buy Now!’
- Advertise in more than one platform: We all know that Google is the most popular platform. However, you can’t miss the traffic on other search engines. So, you should consider running ad campaigns on Bing, Yahoo!, AOL, and more search engines.
- Relevant Landing page: The visitors should be able to find what they expect when they click your ad. If your ad describes a product you sell, then link the ad with that product’s checkout page. With that, the visitors won’t have to exit your web page.
- Run Seasonal Campaigns: You can run and stop your ads any time you want. So, you can run ads at the best time of the year so that you sell more. For example, you can run ads about Christmas accessories during or shortly before Christmas.
if you want to learn more, then make sure to check our definitive guide on SEM. It’ll help you understand not just what SEM is, but also how to get started!
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a marketing strategy of sending promotional emails to your clients or potential customers. It’s a powerful marketing approach that lets you reach thousands of customers at once.
With your emails, you can send announcements, discounts, product or service details, etc. It’s capable of converting your site visitors, readers, and subscribers into buying customers.
Also, marketers have adapted email marketing for various other purposes than just advertising products. Email marketing is capable of sending out automated emails triggered by some user’s actions.
For example, you might have received a welcome email when you sign up for a service. That’s an automated transactional email triggered by your action of signing up.
The process of sending your emails to that large audience at once requires you to use an email marketing platform. Some of the popular ones are Mailchimp, Sendinblue, Constant Contact, and so on. We’ll talk briefly about them later.
Email marketing involves the overall process of collecting email addresses, choosing email platforms, creating emails, and running email campaigns.
Why You Need Email Marketing for Your Business?
The main objective of email marketing is to drive sales by promoting your business over email. However, email marketing is much more than just that. It can be applied for other purposes like brand awareness, follow-ups, etc. Plus, it’s really effective in today’s digital world.
Now, here are some reasons why email marketing is absolutely important for your business.
- Build Relationships: Email marketing helps you send emails in a personalized way. That creates a friendly connection with your clients.
- Brand Awareness: Sending promotional content via emails constantly reminds people about your products, services, or business. This makes people consider your brand too when they’re going to purchase products like yours.
- The number of Email Users: About 3.9 billion people are registered email users in the world. Moreover, Campaign Monitor stats show that 91% of people check their email at least once a day. Also, 72% of people prefer email promotions over social media ads. This shows emails are favorable for reaching people.
- ROI: Email marketing has the highest conversion rate. You get the Return of Investment (ROI) of 4000% from email marketing, as suggested by the studies. It means that if you spend about a dollar in email marketing, then you’re likely to get about a return of $40.
- Sending Emails in Bulk: When you have a large list of subscribers, you can’t personally send promotional emails to each member. So, email marketing allows creating campaigns for sending emails to a large number of your subscribers in a personalized way.
- Automation: Email marketing lets you send emails automatically without you having to involve. For example, you can send automated welcome, confirmational, or thank you messages to your subscribers or buyers. By such follow-up emails, your business looks more professional.
If you believe these things are helpful for your business, then it means you should start email marketing right away!
How to Get Started with Email Marketing? (Step-by-Step)
Now, let’s move on to how you can start email marketing for your business.
There are various things associated with email marketing. Collecting subscribers, selecting email platforms, writing emails, running campaigns, analysis, etc.
Now, let’s see step by step how you can create successful email marketing campaigns.
Step I: Collect Email Addresses
You need a list of email addresses of users to whom you can send emails. Keep in mind that you can’t just send your campaign mails to any email account you find. Rather, you have to find users who are actually willing to receive emails from you.
The best way of collecting email addresses is getting users to subscribe to your email newsletter.
Here are some ways you can collect email addresses.
- Place Subscription Forms on Your Website: The simplest way of acquiring email subscribers is to place an optimized subscription form on your site. Generally, footers, sidebars, article endings, landing pages, etc. are the best spots to place your forms.
- Use lead Magnets: Lead magnets are the valuable services you can give users in exchange for their email accounts. You can keep such lead magnets on your website so that people can access them by entering their email addresses. EBooks, free trials, premium content, coupons, etc. can be kept as lead magnets.
- Use Pop-Ups: Pop-ups are the display area that appears on the screen whenever you’re browsing web pages. You can use pop-ups including click-to-action texts, appealing texts, graphics, and attractive lead magnets.
For example, the screenshot below is an email optin popup built with the Bloom WordPress plugin.
Bloom is a lead generation plugin that helps you collect emails. For more, see our ultimate list of the best lead generation WordPress plugins and tools.
Step II: Choose Email Marketing Platform
It’s impossible to send emails to thousands of your newsletter subscribers manually. That’s why using email marketing platforms is important.
These platforms let you create email copies for your campaign, export a list of subscribers, and run your email campaign. Besides, they usually have other features like integration, analytics, list management, etc.
Now, here are some popular email marketing platforms:
Mailchimp is a popular email platform. It offers a handful of email templates with a drag-and-drop editor that makes creating email easier.
The features like integration with third parties, list segmentation, advanced analytics, support, etc. are available with Mailchimp
It offers a free plan letting you send 12,000 emails monthly. Plus, it has 3 premium plans for different business sizes, starting from $9.99 per month.
Sendinblue is an easy-to-use email marketing platform. It has all the features like automated delivery, list segmentation, CRM, etc. that you expect in an email marketing service.
It also offers a free plan letting you send up to 300 emails per day. While the paid plans let you send unlimited emails. Its starting cost is $25 per month.
c) Constant Contact
Constant contact is another great platform with lots of good email templates. You can create email campaigns easily by generating customized emails from your business type and preferences.
It has all the email marketing facilities, along with other features like social sharing tools, image library, coupons, polls, donations, etc.
With Constant Contact, you won’t get a free plan but provides a 60 days free trial. Whereas, the paid plan starts at $20 per month.
If you want to check out more alternatives, then please check our article on the best email marketing services.
Step III: Create an Effective Campaign
You’ll have to first know what type of campaign you should run. Depending on your business and what you want to achieve, your campaigns can be different.
Here are some of the popular email marketing campaigns you should know.
- Bulk Messaging: With this campaign, you can send bulk emails to thousands of your newsletter subscribers. They’re simply used for promoting your products or services. They’re also used for sending announcements, updates, or other information.
- Welcoming New Subscribers: It’s an email campaign triggered when new people subscribe to your mailing list. The subscribers receive a welcome or thank you message after they subscribe to your newsletter.
- Abandoned Cart Notification: Sometimes, people visit your online store, add products to their cart, and leave without buying. So, you can use the abandoned cart notification campaign that automatically emails them to request to continue with the shopping.
- Confirmation Emails: This campaign helps check if the users have entered a valid email address to access your service. The email they receive can contain some codes they’ll have to use or confirmation buttons. This prevents users from using fake emails.
- Date-Based Campaigns: Date based campaigns allow emails to be delivered automatically on certain dates that you set. You can use this type of campaign for subscription reminders, wishes on special days like birthdays, festival wishes, etc.
Step IV: Analyze your Campaign Results
You should also keep track of how your email marketing campaigns are doing. Knowing if your campaigns are doing good or failing, you can create a better strategy in the future.
You should analyze metrics like open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, subscribers change, spam complaints, etc. Most email marketing platforms offer analytics features to check these variables.
Do you need a more detailed email marketing guide? Worry not! We’ve got a fully comprehensive tutorial on making an email marketing strategy. Be sure to check it out!
4.Social Media Marketing
You might have used or at least heard of social media before. Simply, you can say social media is an engaging and interactive platform that lets you share ideas, creativity, etc. with a community of users. Some of the popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.
Social media has become the newest trend that engages billions of people in the world. Being an easy and cheap form of communication, businesses have adopted social media to connect with their prospects. This sets the foundation of social media marketing.
Social media marketing is the form of marketing involving the use of social media platforms to create brand awareness, connect to your prospects, and grow your business. Since billions of users are active on social media, there’s a high chance that you can find a lot of buying customers there.
The general feature of social media platforms let you share webpages, articles, images, texts, and videos on your profile. And, you can use that facility to inform your audience about your brand, products, and services.
Moreover, you can engage your social media followers by initiating interactive discussions, likes, comments, hashtag campaigns, etc. Plus, you can use social media to post announcements and notices for reaching your customers easily.
Social media marketing could be one of the major steps to your digital marketing efforts. And, you can get started easily by just signing up, choosing your account name, and other basic steps. The best part, promoting with social media is absolutely free (unless you want to involve in paid ad campaigns).
Why is Social Media Marketing Important for Your Business?
Social media marketing can be helpful in various aspects of your business. Good planning, strategies, and implementation can build loyal audiences, increase engagement, and boost your business.
Now, here are some of the reasons why you should consider using social media marketing for your business.
- Growing Brand Awareness: People tend to buy from the brands that they recognize. And, social media is a great way of increasing the visibility and recognition of your business. Posting about your products and services on a regular basis makes your audience understand what your business is about. With that, people are likely to buy from you when they need a similar service.
- Engage with Your Audience: Social media offers a platform for direct and two-way communication between you and users. With that, you can hear from your customers and also share your ideas, products with them. Plus, you can engage with them in various discussion groups, comments, and tweets.
- Customer Service: Social media could be a good way for providing help and support to your customers. Via chats and other social media features, your users can directly contact you and ask for help and you can help them solve them. This will help you improve your customer service, maintain relations with them.
- Increase Reach: Social media has been a great way of reaching your customers. Once your posts are shared on social networks, it has the potential to reach millions of users. The audiences’ interaction and engagement with your posts will increase reach even more. Moreover, the re-sharing feature allows your audience to share your posts again which will boost your post’s reach.
- Cost-Effective: Getting started with most social networks is absolutely free. You can just sign up and post your business-related content. If it’s useful content, then it’ll gain engagements and promote on its own. Additionally, you can do paid promotions for faster results which are cheaper than other types of internet marketing.
In a nutshell, social media marketing is really powerful digital marketing strategy today. Without any further ado, let’s see how to get started!
How to Get Started with Social Media Marketing?
Now, you might want to get your hands into social media marketing to get more exposure and grow your business.
Here’re the steps to get started with social media marketing.
Step I: Research Your Audience
Knowing your audience is very essential for your social media growth. You should know who your ideal customers are and where they are spending most of their time. You should know the age group of your audience, what they like/dislike, what activities they’re active in, etc.
This helps you make a wise decision on which platform to choose. Moreover, this also makes you plan what kind of content you should post to make your target customer engage.
Step II: Choose Your Social Media Platforms
There are lots of popular social media platforms you can choose to set up your online presence. Platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram have billions of active users. Other popular social media are Twitter, Pinterest, Quora, WhatsApp, etc.
You might want to get started on all of them, which is a good thing. However, it might get hectic for a start. So, choose the best social media that fits your business and the kinds of posts you want to share.
Step III: Choose a Relevant Social Media Handle
Handle means a unique social media account name with which people recognize you. Thus, choosing it is a very important task.
While choosing the handle, you should look for a relevant name that makes people recognize your brand at a glance. Also, you can name your handle with a bit of explanation of your services if you’re a less popular brand. This helps people know and remember what your business is about.
For example, @sitesaga is the Twitter handle of our blog.
Similarly, @adidas is the self-explanatory Twitter handle of Adidas. NovestaFootwear is a Twitter handle for Novesta, the footwear company.
Step IV: Build Your Profile
Building your profile helps your social accounts look attractive so that people are lured to follow you. It involves various things like adding pictures, descriptions, and various other information.
Firstly, you should add a display picture that represents your brand. Also, you should describe your brand and the available services in the description section, which all platforms have. Besides, they also let you add other information like contact number, website URLs, email address, etc.
Step V: Plan and Share Your Content
You should make a thorough plan on how your social media content is going to be. Depending on your social media platform and the audience you’re targeting, your content is going to be different. So, make sure you share what performs the best on that platform.
Also, make a schedule for sharing your content for the best results. Besides, make use of relevant tags, captions, etc. in your posts to reach your target audience.
Step VI: Evaluate and Improve
You should analyze if your social media is growing and helping you achieve your marketing goals. See if you’re able to gain followers, convert, and drive sales from your social media presence.
Social Media platforms offer analytics to view how effective your social media presence has been. Check metrics such as likes, comments, shares, saves, etc. initially to get insight into how well your social profile is growing.
If it’s not converting as expected, then you should consider changing your strategies.
Top & Best 3 Social Media Marketing Tools
Now, let’s look at some of the popular tools you can use for your social media marketing campaigns.
Buffer is another great social media management tool used for planning and scheduling posts on your social media accounts. It can schedule posts for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.
You can either share a single post on multiple platforms or customize it for each platform. Besides, Buffer provides detailed analytics to help you see how your posts are performing.
Agorapulse is an overall social media management tool that lets you operate multiple social media from a single dashboard. On your Agorapulse account, you can connect your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other social profiles.
You can receive and manage all notifications from your dashboard. Also, you can see people mentioning you or your brand on social media. Moreover, you can publish your posts easily by scheduling.
c) Post Planner
Post Planner is a tool that is basically used for planning and scheduling your social media posts for Facebook and Twitter. Moreover, it’s helpful for social media content discovery and performance monitoring.
You can find what’s popular and performing more on social media on a specific topic or hashtag. With that, you can create similar types of content for your own. It displays a star rating on each post to help you determine the quality of the content.
We hope you can start your social marketing with this guide. If you want to learn more, then be sure to check out our social media marketing guide!
5. Content Marketing
Content marketing is a widely used marketing strategy that involves creating and sharing relevant content with users. By content, it means any piece of information in the form of blog articles, videos, podcasts, infographics, etc.
Content marketing doesn’t aim to directly promote your business or try to gain clients. Rather, it’s dedicated to providing valuable information to your customers or potential customers through your content.
Things like product details, usage guides, tips and tricks, solution-oriented guides, tutorials, etc. can make good content for your business.
Publishing good content on a consistent basis makes your brand look professional. Plus, it shows that you don’t just care about making profits and growing your business. But also, it shows that you provide value to your customers as well.
Also, the content you put out helps your customers use your products effectively. Moreover, other prospects can understand what services your business provides so that they can be your paying customers. So ultimately, content marketing helps your business flourish.
4 Popular Types/Forms of Content for Digital Marketing
There are various types of content that you can use for content marketing. Anything that carries valuable usable information for the users can be taken as a type of content marketing. So, there’s no limit to what makes up content marketing.
Anyway, the content marketing type you need to select depends on a few things. Things like reaching the most target audience, the type of content to share, and ease of delivery.
So, here are few types of content that you can use for marketing.
i) Blog Posts
Blog posts are the articles that you publish online typically on a blog website, on a specific topic. It consists of text, images, videos, etc. with the aim to provide information to the readers.
Blogging is the most widely used content marketing channel that could bring attention to a good number of traffic. While being effective and affordable, you can adopt blogging as your primary content marketing channel.
With your blog posts, you can regularly add content on the product description, its usefulness, and other valuable information. Similarly, you can make step-by-step tutorials on how to use your products.
If you want to start blogging right away, then check our guide on the best blogging platforms.
Infographics are the imagery content like graphs, charts, diagrams, etc. with little bit of text. They are interactive, grab users’ attention, are easy to understand, and contain lots of information. They’re meant to provide information to the users visually.
They can be used in your websites, blogs, social media, or any other image-supporting platform. Information can be easily understood when presented as infographics rather than plain blocks of text.
Video marketing has become a very effective form of content marketing. It’s been applicable for various things like explaining products, stepwise guides, training, courses. It’s also very useful for displaying the variety of your products.
High quality, interesting, and interactive videos can be useful to capture and engage your audience for a longer period of time. And, with the use of platforms like YouTube, your video content can reach millions of users passively and keeps on acquiring leads.
YouTube is a great platform for uploading your videos. It’s free, easy to use, and has billions of monthly active users.
However, creating high videos can be a challenge for you. If so, you can use various online video creating tools or take help from professionals.
Podcast is the audio that you make available on the internet for users to listen and download. The podcast is the audio recorded as you talk about a particular topic with the intention to provide information to your audience.
The use of podcasts has been growing significantly these days. Digital marketers publish a series of podcasts on a daily basis to engage their users.
With good podcast equipment and setup, you can start your own podcast to talk about your products.
Moreover, some other content types are ebook, social media posts, webinars, case studies, testimonials, etc.
Reasons to Adopt Content Marketing for Your Business
Most big companies have started using content marketing for a long time. Nowadays, other medium and small businesses have used this strategy for making a profitable return to their businesses.
So, here are the reasons why you should adopt content marketing for your business.
- Helps Build Brand Authority: Having great content on a specific subject ranks your site higher on search engines for related keywords. And, this will give your brand more exposure. When people see your brand consistently, then they become aware of what your business offers.
- Boosts User Engagement: Good content is capable of engaging your audience. Also, the use of various forms of content like images, videos, infographics, etc. makes your content interactive. When people spend much time with your content, the chance of them buying your products grows.
- Increases Sales: Firstly, your brand gets exposure from your content. Through content marketing, you can showcase yourself as a good brand, offer customers valuable information. This increases your brand credibility and attracts customers. Then, you can suggest your audience buy your products or other affiliate products.
- People Research Online Before They Buy: Nowadays, people are used to researching online before making any purchases. For example, someone wants to buy a laptop, then they’re sure to search on Google for ideas, reviews of previous users, recommendations, etc. And, if you’re a seller but don’t have any online presence, then you’re sure to lose the customers. Content is the best way to present yourself online.
- Nurture Your Customers: Content marketing is also useful to nurture your customers with useful content. You can feed your buying customers with content that will help them use the products better. For example, if you sell coffee beans, then you can publish content on making different varieties of coffee with the product.
On the other hand, you can also use content marketing for customer support. You can publish content regarding the common problem’s solution. With that, your customers can easily take reference from it.
How to Get Started with Content Marketing? (Step-by-Step)
Want to get started with content marketing right away? Here are some basic steps.
Step I: Research Your Audience
Firstly, you’ll have to know the audience you’re targeting to make a successful campaign. You should collect the demographic data of your audience so that you’ll have a hint of what kind of content they prefer.
Similarly, getting feedback from your customers can be helpful. With that, you can know what your customers might need and what things require change.
Step II: Select Appropriate Content Marketing Channel
Among various content marketing types, select the appropriate one. The best one is the one where you can find your target audience and what they prefer.
Generally, blogging is adopted by almost every business. It’s because people can find it easily through search engines. Also, creating blog posts is easy and affordable.
According to your users’ preferences, you can get into other marketing channels like podcasts, infographics, videos, social media, emails, ebooks, etc.
Step III: Make Schedule and Publish Consistently
To keep your audience close, you’ll have to keep publishing on a regular basis. This also helps your audience grow significantly.
Now, to keep up with publishing, making a schedule is a good option. And also, make a pre-plan on what you’re going to publish next, and make your content ready before-hand.
Step IV: Analyze Results
You should analyze how content marketing results. This makes you understand how well your content performed in gaining leads and making your business profitable. It also helps you understand if your content marketing strategy needs improvement.
Google Analytics is a popular tool for gaining detailed insights into your website blogs. Similarly, you can use social media tools like BuzzSumo, Hootsuite, etc. for tracking your social media insights.
6. Affiliate Marketing
Among various digital marketing tactics, affiliate marketing holds a different position. As a business owner or brand, it helps you promote your products effectively with lower cost and expect to get a good return.
Affiliate marketing is a marketing tactic in which you get independent advertisers to promote or refer your products to potential buyers. Then, you provide them a certain percent as commission from the profit they help you make with the referrals.
Being cost-effective and low risk approach, it’s been a popularly used marketing strategy. Also, the advertisers can earn by selling others’ products i.e. no cost of creating the product. Plus, there’re lots of other benefits associated with affiliate marketing, which we’ll talk about later.
How Affiliate Marketing Works?
In affiliate marketing, there are mainly 3 parties involved: the product producer (merchant), the affiliate (marketer/publisher), and customers.
- The Producer/ Merchant: A merchant is a business or brand that creates the products and makes them available for purchase. You, as the producer, also create an affiliate program for marketers can join and promote your products and services.
- Affiliate Marketer: An affiliate is an individual or a company that advertises your products to encourage sales and receive commissions. The affiliates use platforms like websites, blogs, social media, videos, podcasts, email, etc. for promotion. Importantly, they use the affiliate links you provide to direct traffic to your website.
- Customers: Lastly, the consumers are the general users who buy your product through the referral of the affiliates.
Now, the idea of affiliate marketing is really simple. Firstly, you get your product available for selling. Then, the affiliates promote your products with the aim to lead customers to your site. With that, you’ll have a chance to make more sales. And, you pay the promoters commission per sale they led to.
What are Affiliate Links?
Affiliate links are unique links directed to your site and are given to all of your individual affiliates. The affiliates use these links to drive traffic to your site. The links also contain the ID that helps you track the affiliates that referred the buying customer to you.
For example, DreamHost is a popular web hosting company. If you’re a marketer and join their affiliate program, then you’ll get affiliate links that look like this link: https://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?xxxxx. Other affiliate platforms can add ‘aff-id’ to the main URL. Such as www.example.com/?xxxx.
The affiliates (publishers) add affiliate links to their websites, blogs, or other places where the users can easily see and click. Next, a tracking mechanism is involved that tracks the link that has led the sale to happen. So, you can easily provide the affiliate partner with the share.
Top 5 Benefits of Affiliate Marketing for a Merchant
Here’re some benefits of adopting an affiliate marketing strategy for you as a business owner.
- Low-Investment Marketing: You can start affiliate marketing with no initial investment, unlike other marketing types. You’ll only have to pay only if the affiliate-driven traffic buys from you. It means that it’ll only cost you once you make sales with affiliate marketing. However, you might need to purchase premium software like AffiliateWP, Affiliate Royale, etc.
- Minimum Risk: Unlike other advertisements like SEM, you won’t be paying for an audience just by visiting or clicking on your site. Rather, you give out commission only after there’s a sale. It means that your expenditure starts only after you’ve made a profit. So, there’s no risk of losing your marketing budget.
- Enhances SEO: Interestingly, affiliate marketing works in enhancing your site’s SEO too. Your partner affiliates provide backlinks and other links to your site through their blogs and sites. That works as a backlink, which is one of the most important search engine ranking factors. As a result, your site will rank higher with SEO.
- Automation: Interestingly, affiliate marketing works in enhancing your site’s SEO too. Your partner affiliates provide backlinks and other links to your site through their blogs and sites. That works as a backlink, which is one of the most important SEO ranking factors. As a result, your site will rank higher with SEO.
- Brand Awareness: If you set a good commission on your products, then the publishers would be lured to partner up with you. With a large number of affiliates working on promoting your products, it’ll reach more people. Eventually, you could be a popular brand that people can trust and buy things from.
Choosing Your Affiliate Marketing Partners
It’s a good idea for choosing selective partners in your affiliate program. This helps you ensure only qualified agencies and publishers can be eligible for being your affiliate partners.
Generally, website owners in the same niche as yours, social media influencers, bloggers, etc. are fit for being an affiliate.
The best way to select affiliates is by setting up a process through which the publishers can apply. There, you can declare certain criteria that the affiliates have to meet.
Now, here’re some tips on choosing your affiliate partners.
- Work on Similar Niche: Choose the affiliates that work on a niche similar to your business. This helps your product reach a highly targeted audience through the affiliate network. Also, they should be actively involved and committed in that field.
- Website Authority: Make sure your affiliates have a professional website with good domain authority.
- Publishing Platforms: It’s better if your affiliate partners have a good number of platforms where they can promote your products. Having a professional site is desirable. Moreover, social media, YouTube, or other promoting platforms helps your products reach more people.
- Traffic: See how much monthly traffic those promoters get. It’s no use if they have all those publishing platforms but no traffic to see their content.
How to Create an Affiliate Marketing Strategy as a Merchant? (Step-by-Step)
Now, here are some steps you can apply for promoting your products with affiliate marketing.
Step I: Have Your Product Ready
If you’re beginning from scratch, then create a potential product. Having an original, problem-solving product is the one that sells!
So, first, make sure your product is ready for customers to buy. If it’s a physical product, then clearly define the locations where it’s deliverable. Or, if it’s a digital product, then make sure it’s easily downloadable or accessible.
Step II: Decide on Price and Commission:
It’s your product so you get to decide the price and referral commission rate. But, make sure you set the right pricing and commission rates. Also, decide on a payment schedule, product return, and cashback policy.
Having high pricing and the low commission would negatively impact your product promotion and sale. Also, doing the opposite might leave you with no profit at all. To decide well, you can also check what your competitors are doing in that area.
Step III: Build an Affiliate Program or Join an Affiliate Network
If you have your products ready for promotion, then you can build an affiliate program and have marketers start promoting your services.
For WordPress, you can build your own affiliate program using plugins like AffiliateWP. It integrates well with other WordPress eCommerce and membership plugins. So, managing affiliate partners and their commissions is easy on WordPress.
But if you’re a new business, then it may be a little hard that good affiliate marketers will find your affiliate program. In such a case, you may want to join affiliate networks to promote your products.
In affiliate networks, there will be affiliate promoters and marketers already. And they’ll likely join your affiliate programs if your products and services interest them. Some of the best affiliate networks are Amazon Affiliates, Clickbank, ShareASale, JVZoo, and so on.
Step IV: Find the Right Affiliates:
Just like we mentioned above, you should choose the right affiliates by defining certain criteria. Check for their publishing and promoting platforms, traffic, domain authority, etc. For small businesses, you can make those criteria a little loose.
Normally, it’s affiliate marketers who apply for affiliate programs. But, new businesses could have a hard time finding affiliates. If so, it’s a good idea to reach out to some popular affiliate marketers in your niche and ask them to join your affiliate program.
If top marketers and influencers start promoting your products, then it won’t just drive more audience to you. It’ll also attract more marketers to join your affiliate program.
Step V: Set Clear Terms and Conditions:
You should make your affiliate partners clear about your business motto and goals. By doing so, your affiliate partners can give the right impression of your brand and products to the customers. It’s because you would want your customers to perceive you the right way.
Start Digital Marketing NOW! Checklist for Beginners
We’ve covered all the popular forms of digital marketing that can help you create a strong marketing channel. However, applying all at once for a new business might not be the best idea. You might feel overwhelmed, lose track of things, or miss the consistency of your marketing.
So, you can start with running simpler digital marketing types and be fluent with them. Later on, you can grow your marketing team and then work on others too. First, figure out which ones fit your business according to your audience type, budget, business type, etc.
Also, combining various digital marketing forms can come to be fruitful for your business. For example, if you’re engaged in content marketing, then boosting it with SEO can help the content reach more organic traffic.
Now, here’s the digital marketing checklist for beginners.
1. Build a Professional Website
Having a website is inseparable from your digital marketing efforts. It creates the first impression of your brand to the customers. Also, it builds credibility and makes your business look professional.
If you have an online presence, then there’s a chance that people discover your brand. It can work as a showcase to display your products and service. Also, users who research before buying could find your site, be familiar with your services, and eventually buy from you.
Creating a professional website requires some things to take care of.
Domain Name: Make sure that you choose a domain name that clearly reflects your brand. Also, make it short, easy to remember, and clear. To register your domain name, you can pick the best one from our picks for the top domain name registrars.
Web Hosting: Choosing the best web hosting service is very essential if you want your site to be fast and functioning properly. Here’s our collection of the best web hosting services that you can use.
Do you want to create a professional website right away? Then, you can check our detailed and easy guide on how to create a website from scratch. You don’t have to be a professional or know any coding. Just follow some simple steps and your site will be ready in no time.
2. Start Blogging
A blog is a website that has specialized features to publish articles on a regular basis. It can be an entire website or a part of a business site.
You can start blogging as a content marketing strategy to publish articles and guides about your business. This helps you provide valuable information to the users about your products and indirectly promote them.
As with most businesses, you can integrate blogs into their professional website. So when people find your articles, they can occasionally visit other product pages too.
3. Improve Your Site’s SEO
If you have a professional website or a blog, it’s really important to make it SEO-optimized. This helps your site ranks higher in search engines with an increased flow of visitors. And, this will help you make more sales and enhance your business.
We’ve already discussed some of the SEO strategies like creating qualitative content, site speed, security, image optimization, backlink building, etc. You should also care about creating a user-friendly website with a responsive design and easy navigation.
Besides, tons of SEO tools are available for better optimization of your site for search engines. You can see our pick for the top SEO tools.
You can further work on improving your site’s SEO better with the help of our detailed Search Engine Optimization (SEO) guide. So, be sure to check it.
4. Engage in Email Marketing
Email marketing has been established as a potential marketing strategy for a long time. And, it can be beneficial for your business too.
You can start by collecting the email addresses of your target audience. For that, you can add email newsletters forms on your site, and use lead magnets, pop-ups, etc.
Then, you can take the help of email marketing platforms to create email campaigns. You can design the emails and send them to the list of your email subscribers.
5. Create a Social Presence
Due to the fact that it’s free and has a way to reach billions of people, you need to have a social media presence. It’s a good way to create your brand’s visibility, engage customers, build relationships, and also drive traffic to your site.
You can start by choosing the ideal platform that offers what your business needs and the content you want to share.
For example, YouTube is ideal for sharing your product or service-related videos. Similarly, if you can share your website of content links, then Instagram is not an ideal choice.
Also, make sure that your posts and publications clearly define your brand with the use of colors, logos, watermarks, etc.
6. Other Strategies
Applying these marketing strategies mentioned above is good for a start. You should try and manage them for some time. Also, you should see analytics, reports, etc. to determine the success or loopholes in your marketing efforts.
As your business grows, you can also get involved in affiliate marketing to get people to advertise your products. Also, you can engage in ad campaigns on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. You can also run ads on popular search engines like Google and Bing.
Here we are at the end of the article on digital marketing.
We hope that you now have knowledge of the basics of digital marketing. We’ve covered everything from definition, benefits, types, strategies, and steps to applying all marketing types for your business growth.
We also hope that you can apply these digital marketing strategies to your business with ease. You recommend you start from the simple ones like social media presence, a professional website, and a blog, and enhance its reach with SEO.
If you ever feel confused or stuck, then you can return back to this article and follow the steps. You can also comment below if you want any help or suggestion.
Also, check out our ultimate guide on how to make money online.