As a marketer, I am always a bit amused when I hear people say things like, “I was just thinking about that (a particular product/service) and then all of a sudden, I am seeing it in ads everywhere”. I am going to let you in on a little secret, that is no coincidence. You have either Googled this thing, interacted with one of its ads, or you happen to fit the demographic for this product/service and you are being targeted based on the information you have listed about yourself in one of your social profiles. That’s right, even your interests, communities, and the pages you follow can be used to target you while you surf the internet. Basically, you are identified by the cookies you accept whenever you visit certain sites. This enables companies to track you down and send ads your way that have been uniquely tailored to your ideas and needs.
How does Digital Marketing work
Digital Marketing techniques allow all of this to be possible and that is why it is an integral part of any businesses’ success or demise. All in all, the best marketer wins. So exactly what is Digital Marketing? Let’s break this down…
In my very first marketing class, I learned that marketing, in a nutshell, is the series of actions taken to promote and sell a product or service. Marketing 101 teaches students about the 4 Ps of marketing:
- Product – the actual service or item you are selling.
- Place – Where the product is distributed.
- Price – How much you are selling the product or service for.
- Promotion – The channels/methods of marketing you will be using to reach your intended target market.
Your promotion strategy determines your digital marketing plan
This is where digital marketing comes in:
Hubspot defines digital marketing as: all the marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to connect with current and prospective customers. Essentially, all of the “coincidental” advertisements you see promoting products or services while scrolling through the Internet, Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media platform are all part of a company’s promotional plan.
Cool, why is digital marketing important to my business?
Digital Marketing allows businesses to reach their intended target market in the most cost-effective and measurable manner. Traditional marketing techniques such as radio advertisements, billboards, newspapers, and even television commercials are way less measurable and tend to be more expensive to acquire a lead and convert them into a paying customer. Essentially, traditional marketing methods are a shot in the dark because there is no real way to know if your advertisement is reaching your intended audience. Think of a commercial ad promoting natural hair care products. This ad is not relevant for every single woman, man, or child. The product is geared towards a certain demographic, so it’s less productive to release blanket traditional advertisements. Digital marketing gives every business a fair shot at reaching its intended audiences. It allows you to target your audience based on their activities and interests on the internet giving business owners a more efficient return on investment. This is why self-made brands like the Crayon Case, have been able to cross the million-dollar mark despite being a less recognizable brand than Maybelline and Cover Girl. When executed properly, Digital Marketing allows this outcome to be attainable for any small business. It essentially levels the playing field for businesses of all sizes by building brand awareness and giving each company an opportunity to stand out from the competition. But how?
“It’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.”
— Douglas Warner III, Former CEO, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co
How it works…
Let’s break this down.
Just think about it, how often do you check your phone? Scroll through social media? Subscribe to email lists? Technology is integrated into each and every one of our lives daily. According to Statista, “By 2021, over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online, up from 1.66 billion global digital buyers in 2016”. You read that right 2.14 BILLION! To add to that statistic, 72% of people use some form of social media up from just 5% in 2005. This means in order for a business to be successful, you must reach consumers where they are with content that will push them through your sales funnel. It is equally important that you are targeting the right people. If you are selling natural hair products, not all 2.14 billion people are your audience so Digital Marketing allows you to narrow the audience down to effectively and efficiently spend your marketing dollars.
There are many areas of Digital Marketing that companies must leverage in order to have a successful integrated marketing plan. These areas include, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, pay per click (PPC), email marketing, and many other areas. I am sure all of these things sound foreign but stay tuned and I will break each of these areas down along with giving you a few best practices and techniques to leverage each area. If you are ready to create or optimize your digital strategy, book your free consultation today and we can discuss an individualized plan to take your business to the next level!