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Digital Marketing: Defining Terms
First things first: if you’re reading this, you probably already know what digital marketing is. Simply put, it’s the practice of getting information into the hands of potential customers via online platforms like websites, social media sites, and mobile apps. Essentially, it’s the use of marketing technologies to achieve marketing goals.
Let’s break down the different types of digital marketing.
- Scheduled Advertisement: These are advertisements that you agree to run on a regular basis. Most adverts are purchased on a click-through basis: users must click on an advertisement to be taken to the advertiser’s website.
- Performance Advertisement: Performance advertisements appear in the form of a block of text or an image floating on the page. Unlike scheduled advertisements, performance ads are not explicitly agreed to by the viewer. They are selected by algorithms and presented when someone visits a certain website or mobile app.
- In-Text/Subsequent Click (In-Text): When a user opts to continue reading an article on a particular website or mobile app, an in-text advertising banner or popup can be displayed to the right of the article. When the user subsequently clicks on an in-text ad, they are taken to the advertiser’s web site.
- Double-Clicked (On-Page): When a user clicks twice (or more) on an article or search result on a website or mobile app, an on-page advertising banner or popup can be displayed to the right of the article or search result. An on-page ad is one that appears within the body of text on a website or mobile app.
- One-Clicked (Off-Page): When the user clicks on an advertisement or search result that takes them off of the original site to another, they are considered to have visited a “new page” for the purposes of retargeting. An OPP (One-Clicked Popup) is an ad that pops up on a web page when the viewer mouses over the area where it appears. One-Clicked ads can be retargeted to specific audiences based on previous web browsing patterns.
- Frictionless Checkout: If your business provides products or services that users can purchase without having to remember credit card details or cancel future orders, you can incorporate an easy to use flow for online shopping. Frictionless checkouts allow for online purchases to appear just like offline purchases with the added security of connecting users’ financial identities to their accounts.
- Interactive Advertising: Interactive advertising allows for more sophisticated marketing techniques that target specific groups of individuals rather than relying on mass-marketing. For example, you might display ads based on the content of a product that a user is viewing or shopping for. Or, you could present targeted ads based on a user’s demographics, location, previous purchases, or other factors.
- Remarketing: Remarketing is similar to retargeting in that it also allows for the targeting of users who have already visited a particular website or mobile app. However, remarketing also allows for the targeting of individuals who are no longer physically located within the database of a particular website or mobile app. For example, if you run a blog, you might want to display ads for products that users have talked about within the past. In this way, you can get users who are more interested in fashion and are on your blog’s social media pages to see these ads as well.
- Custom Audiences: If you sell your own goods and services, you can incorporate customer data into your marketing efforts using tools like Google Adsense. By connecting your Adsense account to a Google Analytics account, you can track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts in real time. You can then use the data to refine your strategy and improve performance.
- Programmatic Advertising: With programmatic advertising, you can purchase ads that are shown when particular websites or mobile apps are visited. This can be a cost-effective way to target an audience based on behavior. For example, if you track the buying habits of users on your social media accounts, you can use that data to target their interests with ads on websites and mobile apps. Programmatic advertising allows for greater precision in targeting, less overhead (i.e., no need for humans to look at and approve ads), and greater speed to market.
How to Leverage Digital Marketing
Now that you have a general idea of the types of digital marketing that exist, let’s look at some practical examples of how to leverage the strategy to grow your business.
Firstly, you need to determine your target audience and marketing message. This involves understanding your customers’ personas, their interests, and the type of content they will find the most useful. To find these answers, you can ask friends, family, and coworkers for feedback as well as analyze your social media accounts for activity, comments, and sentiment.
Secondly, you need to establish KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). These are measurements that you can use to determine the success of your digital marketing efforts. For example, you might want to measure the number of times a product or service is referred to within an article or the amount of time spent on a website. Tracking these numbers allows you to compare your performance over time and increase your effectiveness. KPIs help you to establish benchmarks and evaluate the success of your digital marketing efforts.
Practical Considerations for Growing a Business
Aside from establishing your target audience and marketing message, you also need to consider a number of other issues when developing your digital marketing strategy. These include
- Your budget
- Your timeframe
- The legal and regulatory framework within which you’ll operate
- The design of your website
- The performance of your social media accounts
- The technical architecture that underpins your digital marketing initiatives
Let’s take a closer look at each of these areas.
- Website Design
- Performance (Social Media)
Setting a budget is always a key consideration when developing a marketing plan. As a general rule, you want to set a budget that’s affordable but still effective. The more you spend on digital marketing, the greater the chance of reaching your target audience and generating the desired results. To determine how much you should spend, it is important to consider a number of factors including your product’s price point, your marketing goals, and the resources that you have at your disposal.
To give you an idea of how much you should spend, the average American family spends more than $600 per month on food, drink, and related expenses. Moreover, if you compare that to the $600 they spend on daily items such as shampoo and body lotion, you’ll quickly realize how little they spend on essentials like food and health care. This leads us to our next point…
Just because you have a marketing budget doesn’t mean you can afford to throw haphazardly at various forms of digital marketing. You’ll find that there are certain seasons when it is more effective to market your product than others. For example, if you are selling fashion accessories, you might want to target women in the 25 to 34 age group during the summer. That’s when they are most likely to buy such items. As for when it is best to stop marketing, that is entirely dependent on your product’s “best before” date. If it is within six months of its expiration date, you might want to consider throwing in the towel. On the other hand, if it’s been more than a year since you’ve marketed the product and sales have been declining, perhaps it’s time to bring out the big guns: product reviews, competitions, and deal-of-the-day offers. Alternatively, you might want to consider testing various combinations of content (i.e., blog posts, product reviews, and videos) to find what works best for your target audience.