Digital Marketing: A Level Online or Offline?

Digital marketing is a term used to broadly describe the collection of marketing activities carried out in digital ecosystems. These activities can include things like paid advertising, search engine optimization, email marketing, website building etc. Being digital means that these activities take place online rather than in traditional media channels like magazines or newspapers. As a result, digital marketing is often considered to be a ‘multi-channel’ activity.

The Biggest Channel Growth

The most up-to-date marketing channel evolution report from HubSpot reveals that digital marketing is now the dominant form of marketing amongst all age demographics. This comes as no surprise, as digital marketing encompasses many of the traditional offline marketing methods (think of paid advertising or SEO) as well as the emerging methods of online marketing (such as affiliate marketing, content marketing, social media marketing and email marketing).

The report also states that marketers allocate significantly more of their overall budget to digital marketing compared to traditional forms of marketing. This is because the return on investment for digital marketing is significantly higher. According to HubSpot, customers are willing to invest in digital marketing strategies because they perceive these strategies to be more effective and much less expensive compared to traditional marketing methods. Customers are also attracted to digital marketing because they feel that these strategies make them more accessible to potential buyers – especially as more people are turning to the internet for information on brands and products rather than going to advertisers for information.

Cross-Channel Marketing

Cross-channel marketing is marketing where you promote one product or service across different platforms and channels. The advantage of cross-channel marketing is that you can target the right audience for your product or service with the right message across different platforms and channels. The disadvantage is that this strategy can be challenging to execute effectively. In an effort to improve its effectiveness, many marketers are turning to multi-channel marketing management solutions like HubSpot to help them organize and track the execution of their cross-channel marketing strategy.

Why Should You Start A Blog In Content Marketing?

In case you’re wondering, you should start a blog in content marketing if you want to become a successful marketer. Here’s why:

Blogs give you the opportunity to establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your industry. When people come across your blog and decide to read it, you’ve just opened up a whole new world of possibilities. When they leave your blog and decide to purchase a product or service you recommend, you’ve just landed yourself a sales funnel full of potential customers. And once they’ve landed on your blog, it’s only a matter of time (if you keep up the good work) before they become paying customers.

Blogs also allow you to establish a strong presence in your industry. If you can become a recognized thought leader in your industry, you’ll be able to establish yourself as an expert and gain credibility amongst your peers. When you establish yourself as an expert in your industry, you’ll also be able to attract top talent to your company. This, in turn, will boost your productivity and help you grow your organization as quickly as possible.

How Can SEO And Paid Advertising Work Together?

SEO and paid advertising can (and often do) work together. If you’re not familiar, SEO is the practice of influencing a website’s rankings in search results by making small changes to the content on the website (known as ‘on-page SEO’) and by pursuing various off-page techniques (such as link building).

Paid advertising, on the other hand, is the practice of paying to have your content (typically online ads) displayed when users search for products or services relevant to what you’re promoting.

So if you want to leverage the power of SEO to increase the visibility of your website, you could incorporate paid advertising into your strategy. And if you want to attract customers to your website through organic search, you could use paid advertising (and offline marketing methods like direct mail and phone calls) to achieve your goal.

The Growth Of Online Marketing

It’s important to point out that the internet and digital channels didn’t exist before the 21st century. Prior to the internet, marketers and advertisers had to rely on traditional methods of mass-distribution (such as TV and magazine advertisements) to reach the public. These methods are still very effective (as we’ll discuss in more detail later in the guide), but since the dawn of the internet, things have changed.

The internet and digital channels have enabled marketers to develop better strategies and tactics for marketing their products and services. And since the early 2000s, these strategies have shifted towards a more online-focused approach. This makes sense when you think about it. With more and more people turning to the internet for their daily news and information, the opportunity for marketers to connect with potential customers has increased.

Why Are People Embracing Offline Marketing?

While digital marketing is certainly the mainstream and will continue to be so, there are still a lot of benefits to traditional, offline marketing. Here are a few reasons why people are turning to the more traditional methods of advertising:

1) Reach A Genuine Audience

With the rise of digital marketing, advertising to a general audience has become more common – especially online. However, in certain industries and customer personas, marketers and advertisers have realized that broadening their target audience can limit their effectiveness. For example, if you’re advertising shoes and you only target men, many of your shoe adverts will appear to be to someone else. Similarly, if your target audience is college students, the rest of the population might not see your offers.

When it comes to shoe advertising, you might think that the typical audience is men. However, according to the Shoe Industry Blog, 47% of shoe consumers are actually women. In fact, there are a variety of demographics that buy and wear shoes:

  • Adult men
  • Adult women
  • Youth men
  • Youth women
  • Seniors

As you can see, there are a variety of audiences that could be targeted for your shoe advertisements. So rather than limit your audience based on the channel you choose (i.e., online or offline), you could run an ad in a newspaper or on a billboard and reach a genuine audience that wants what you have to offer.

2) Authentic Long-Form Content

While shorter content is certainly more convenient (and often times, more effective) for users, marketers and advertisers alike enjoy enjoying longer-form content. Shorter content can be incredibly effective when used strategically. For example, if you’re running an ad for a tourism product in a German newspaper, you don’t need long blocks of text to describe the attractions in your destination. Instead, you can include an image or video that encapsulates the essence of what your destination offers.

So rather than just throwing together a list of bullet points about your destination, you could include an interesting fact about your destination (such as an indigenous animal that resembles a rabbit) or an entertaining story about a tourist in your town that went on an adventure and returned with a tale that fascinated everyone they met (creating a small community of interested people).

These stories are interesting to read (or watch) and they also add authenticity to your content.

What Is Email Marketing?

If you’re not too familiar, email marketing is the practice of using email to send advertisements and marketing content to people. The email can then be used as a tool to follow up with the person and (hopefully) sell them something. Email marketing is a form of digital marketing that’s quite effective, cost-efficient and easy to execute. Just make sure that you use a reputable email marketing service so that you can measure the results of your campaigns.

You can start an email marketing campaign for as little as $1 a day with a reputable service like AWeber. And because email is so important to online marketers, you’ll often find many email marketing tools (such as Hootsuite and MailChimp) built into larger digital marketing platforms (like HubSpot).

Cross-Channel Marketing Campaigns

Just like SEO and paid advertising can work together, so can offline and digital marketing. Just keep in mind that these tactics are not mutually exclusive – you can definitely use both methods of marketing to effectively grow your business.

For example, you might decide to run a direct mail campaign for a week, and then follow it up with a digital marketing campaign for a month. Or you could run a display ad in a national magazine for the first few weeks, before delving into email marketing for the rest of the year.