After reading this advanced guide on digital marketing you will be able to answer& understand the following-
1- What is digital marketing?
2- Importance of digital marketing
3- What is digital marketing process?
4- How to increase your visibility online?
5- How to bring targeted traffic on your website?
6- How to engage traffic on your website?
7- How to convert traffic into leads?
8- Tracking your marketing activities using analytics
9- Retaining your visitors and customers
10- How to do digital marketing?
11- Understand digital marketing platforms like SEO, Online advertising, lead generation, social media marketing, mobile marketing, web analytics, email marketing and content marketing.
Digital marketing is doing marketing of products, services, brands or people on Internet using digital devices like laptops, tablets and mobile phones.
Contrary to what most of us think becoming a good digital marketer has nothing to do with technical knowledge like HTML, JAWA, web development.
To deeply understand digital marketing it is important that we understand marketing first. So what is marketing? Marketing is all about identifying your potential buyers and communicating value to them.
Some of the key steps in marketing process is–
1- Identify what customers want
2- Research and development
3- Identifying potential buyers
4- Increasing brand awareness
5- Proposing value
6- Creating utility
So when all of the activities or some of the activities mentioned above are done on Internet it becomes part of digital marketing. So we reach out to our prospects on Internet using digital devices and propose value of our products and services, create utility and run advertising and promotional campaigns to sell.
Startups, SME’s and corporates have identified potential of marketing themselves online (digital marketing) and are constantly identifying ways to reach their prospects on Internet.
Digital marketing also known as Internet marketing, web marketing, online marketing has change the way modern marketing is done. It is no more about loading prospects with information but is about engaging them. How your prospects perceive your brand on social media is what modern marketing is all about.
So to summarize everything- Digital marketing is nothing but pure marketing done on Internet using digital devices.
There has to be some reasons behind digital marketing becoming popular and taking marketers by storm. Lets see why digital marketing has become so important and its benefits.
Importance and benefits of digital marketing-
1- Wide Reach
2- Helps in increasing brand awareness
3- Cost effective
4- Performance oriented
5- You can easily target your niche
6- Generate potential business leads
7- Track and monitor your marketing campaigns to improve performance
8- Cut down on employees expenses
9- Edge your lazy competitors
10- Challenge your big fat competitors
11- Add extra outlet for sales
Click here to know how digital marketing will help any business grow
1) 8 Reasons : Why a business needs Digital Marketing?
2) How to Make Your Small Business Look like an MNC on Internet
3)186% Rise in Entrepreneurship! Thanks to Affordable Digital Advertising!
4) How Digital Marketing Can Help You Save Time and Grow Sales Revenue
So if you are planning to start with marketing your products/services digitally then this guide tells you how to do it in the most easy and precise manner.
Read this 10 step guide on how to start with digital marketing-
Things that are must to increase your visibility online-
1– Book a domain name–
Name of your website. One important thing that you should consider while booking a domain is the domain extension. .com is the universal domain extension. However if you want to buy xyz.com but xyz.com is not available and your business is India specific then you may choose .in or .co.in You may buy domain name from domain name sellers like www.godaddy.com or www.bigrock.com
2– Buy web hosting–
For our website to open on web it needs to be uploaded on a web server. Hence we need to buy a space on web server where we can upload files and folders of our website which can be then connected to our domain name through Name servers.
3– Plan what content to be posted on your website–
what is it that you want your visitors to know? Whether you want to sell online or you just want to provide information about your business.
4– Conceptualize your website-
This is a very important task that is missed by 99.9% of digital marketers. By conceptualizing we mean how your website will look like. What will come where. How many pages will there be on your website. What info will your home page provide and what other pages will have on them. One general mistake that we do is putting too much info on our website home page. Home page should resemble our business or website and should mainly act as a gateway to other pages.
5– Do A/B testing-
Once we have designed a page then there is always a change that it may not perform as per our expectations. So it is always good to create two or three versions of one page, with minor changes in each one, and test which one is performing good. Which one is more engaging? Which one is having a low bounce rate. On which web page visitors spend more time?
6– Get your website developed or get it done on wordpress–
After conceptualizing our website and creating blueprint of all its webpages next task is to have all web pages designed and developed by a web developer. If you are not well versed with coding and HTML then you may go for wordpress as it is world’s most common third party platform where any layman can easily develop a website without messing up with codes. Moreover there are thousands of wordpress themes available for free and paid to choose from.
7- Have some social media visibility by creating a Facebook page.
If you are a company then you can also go ahead and create a page on Linkedin. Signing up on instagram is also a good option as it is spreading up in masses really fast.
8- Have a blog section on your website or start writing blog on free blogging platforms like tumblr.com, hubpages.com, etc.
Content marketing is the new form of marketing which helps you to reach masses bring targeted audience on your website and build a positive brand image. If you write a blog regularly then it will not only bring added visitors to your website but will also help you generate more leads.
9- Get your website mentioned on your business cards or brochures.
This is the least that you can do. Letting people know that you are not living in stone age and do have enough web presence will send a good message across your clientage.
10- Online advertising-
Advertising online can be tricky at times but if done carefully it can change gears for your business.
– Google Adwords–
Google adwords is an advertising program where we can target our potential customers by showing ads on Google search engine result page on target keywords. Suppose we are an ecommerce website selling shoes online. Then we can show our ads to people who search for queries related to shoes or buy shoes or even buy nike shoes. Google adwords is a highly targeted and precise way of reaching out to your potential customers. The bast part about adowrds is that it is Pay Per Click (PPC) form of advertising i.e. we do not have to pay anything unless and until some one clicks on our ad and visits our website. Other than SERP targeting Google adwords also lets you advertise on its network of partner websites known as display network which is having 2.5 million website approximately. For eg- you can advertise on youtube.com or indiatimes.com from adwords itself.
– Facebook ads-
Facebook being number one social networking website in world has an excellent advertising platform. Facebook primarily has two types of ads. 1- Newsfeed ads and 2- Right hand side ads. Apart from this Facebook lets you target people on their interest basis, age, gender, geographical location, demographics, occupation, education and online behavior.
– Linkedin ads–
Linkedin though very expensive in comparison with adwords and Facebook but are performance oriented, as you tend to reach out to professionals. You can target professionals on the basis of their work profile, age, geographical location, etc
– You can further advertise on website which are frequently visited by your targeted traffic. Suppose you are targeting students then you can advertise on websites like meritnation.com or shiksha.com. This form of advertising can be done via agencies or directly by contacting websites.
Popular ebooks –
For your reference and to give you a clear understanding of how you can market a brand, product or a service on Internet below are some ebooks on digital marketing-
1- An ultimate guide to generate potential business leads
2- An advanced guide to digital marketing
3- How to increase brand awareness with limited resources?
4- How to earn money in every stage of digital marketing?
5- How consumer behavior and digital marketing can help your business generate more sales
Understanding digital marketing process
Step 1- Planning your visibility on web.
The first and foremost step in digital marketing process to increase your visibility online. Just like we need some place from where we can operate our offline business and our customers can approach us. Similarly when you talk about doing digital marketing the first step is to increase your visibility on various platforms where we can be in front of our potential customers.
1- Visibility can be increased by having a website
2- Having a business page on Facebook or linkedin.
3- We can also have a profile on Google my business.
4- Writing a blog will also help us in increasing our visibility.
There are 3 different ways on how to increase your visibility online.
• Owned media
• Paid media
• Earned media
Step-2 Bring targeted traffic
Increase in visibility leads in to traffic coming to our visibility platforms like website, landing pages, Facebook pages, youtube channel, etc. But it is easier said then done.
We can bring traffic to our website by doing inbound marketing or outbound marketing. Outbound and inbound is like push and pull in offline marketing but a lot more effective.
Outbound marketing is like reaching out to your prospects yourself. For example- we have an email marketing list. We prepare a nice emailer with our website link and shoot emails. As a result some of the people on that list open our email and clicks on our website URL. This is what outbound is. Another example can be advertising on Yahoo.com. yahoo gets lot of traffic. Some of its visitors see your advertisement, clicks on it and land on your webpage.
Inbound marketing is a bit challenging but very productive. In inbound marketing we lets customers reach us rather then we approaching them. Suppose we have written an ebook on “How to increase your brand awareness with limited resources”and have uploaded that on various ebook directories, on our blog and on websites like slideshare.net. Now lets say that RAM has just begun with his startup and he is looking to market himself online. But being a startup he is short of marketing budget. So what RAM do is he go to Google and search for how to improve brand awareness online for free. As a result of this our ebook ranks on first page and RAM download our ebook. While reading our ebook RAM visits our website. This would be a perfect example of inbound marketing. In inbound marketing we write content and let people reach us.
Though inbound may result in less traffic, in comparison to outbound marketing, but it has high conversion rate.
This is my favorite step under digital marketing process. Engaging visitors on website, Facebook page, Linkedin page, blog, etc. Once we have traffic coming to our website then what do we do. First thing that may come to your mind is sell and tell our visitors why they should buy from us.
Well, let me share one very important and shocking stats with you. 95% of our website traffic does not visit to buy our products or services. And only 5% of them are either looking to buy or is doing their research and weighing their options.
At most we can sell to 5% of the lot. But what about remaining 95% ? If we try to sell them then the first thing that they will do is close the tab of their web browser or hit back button.
So before we can sell to our prospects we shall engage then. Let them move freely within our website pages. Let them do some activities. Let them download an ebook. Let them read our blog. Let them subscribe for free trial/demo if any. All these activities come under engagement. Engaging our visitors will increase their trust in our brand/products/services. Even if they don’t want to buy now they will come back to us in future when they are ready to buy.
To demonstrate importance of engagement we will continue with example of RAM. Lets assume that we are an advertising agency. Now RAM had visited our website because he downloaded our ebook. But Ram being a young, new entrepreneur is not having pockets to buy our advertising services. But he did read our ebook and liked it a lot as he gained valuable knowledge out of it. If we can further engage RAM and make him subscribe to our newsletter or bring him back to our website once in a while (as a result of engagement) then this will make RAM trust our website, agency and in future if RAM needs professional advertising solution then he will definitely consider us once. This is the benefit of engagement.
Engagement always leads to conversions. But hey… wait. I am not talking only about sales conversions.
Conversions in digital marketing is of 2 kinds-
1- Micro conversion
2- Macro conversion
Micro conversions are those where as a result of engagement visitors do some activities on our website. For example- subscribing to our weekly newsletter, downloading an ebook or any whitepaper, sharing our page on Facebookm Following us on twitter, etc. In micro conversions visitors does not shoe direct interest in what we are offering or selling. But because we are not trying hard to sell them and have lot of engaging options on our website they will end up in doing some activities which may or may not lead to a final sale. Such actions are termed as micro conversions.
Macro conversions are those conversions where visitors show direct interest in buying our products or services or end up in buying them. For example- registering for a free trial, signing up to receive a call back from our sales team, making payment to buy what is on offer.
One important thing that we shall understand here is that the more we engage our visitors or micro leads and nurture leads the more end/macro conversion we will get.
Step-5 Measurement (web analytics)-
Once we are getting conversions (both micro and macro) then the next task is to measure our performance. The biggest advantage of doing digital marketing is that we can, with 100% accuracy, measure performance of our campaigns like SEO, Online advertising, Email marketing etc.
Suppose we are doing a lot of outbound marketing and have a budget of INR 100,000. Out of INR 100,000 we have invested 30% in Google, 30% in Facebook and 40% in email marketing. After one month we are sitting on some sales and a total revenue of INR 500,000.
Figures suggest that we are in profit and as a result we are celebrating our achievement. But what if out of the 3 advertising platforms only 2 have performed for us and one did not?
With help of web analytics we can track how many sales we got from Google, what revenue did Facebook generated for us and how did the email marketing performed?
Lets say that after investing 30% on Google we got a 50% of our revenue. Out of remaining 40% we are getting from Email marketing. If we can track this then it is very clear that Facebook is not yielding results and we need to do something about it. But only if we can track this.
Hence in digital marketing website analytics become very important as it will help us to identify the performance of our marketing campaigns and help us to increase our revenue further.
Step-6 Retention (retaining visitors and customers)-
Retention is not just about retaining our present customers but also retaining our visitors.
2 types of retention-
1- Horizontal retention
2- Vertical retention
Horizontal retention-Let us say that due to our good engagement and lead nurturing RAM purchased our email marketing campaign to boost his sales. Now RAM purchased our services for 3 month. After 3 months RAM is free to go to any competitor of ours. But because RAM is happy with our services he come back to us and renews our email marketing services. This is an example of vertical retention.
Continuing with same example horizontal retention would be when RAM after 2 months of buying our email marketing services also buys lead generation package.
So if a customer buys same chain of products/services then this is vertical retention. But of customer moves up or down in the ladder of products and buys some other products it is an example of horizontal retention.
Just like we try to retain our customers it is highly important that we try to retain our visitors. Unless and until we retain our visitors we will not be able to increase our sales.
Though retention is the last and final step in digital marketing process but it is of utmost importance as it is a continuous process and not an ending one.
How to do digital marketing?
To communicate value and create utility with your prospects online we use various platforms like search engines, social networking websites, email marketing, mobile marketing, etc.
Further this article explains how to leverage various digital marketing platforms online.
1- Search engine marketing (SEM)-
One of the most popular platforms in digital marketing is marketing through search engines. We all use search engines like Google. As Google is the most preferred search engine so I will be explaining search engine marketing using Google as base example.
When our prospects search for queries, on search engine results pages (SERP), related to products/services that we offer, we can increase our visibility on Google and bring them on to our website. There are two ways in which we can increase our visibility-
– Organic results
– In organic results
Organic results are the results that Google shows from its database related to your searched keyword (query). As per default settings of SERP there are 10 organic results. However these results may vary if results also includes Google maps.
Inorganic results are the paid advertisements that appear on Google SERP. In normal case scenario there can be a maximum of 11 text ads on one page. 3 ads on top and 8 ads on right hand side. However, if a search query related to products being sold on ecommerce websites then there can be 8 image ads along with 11 test ads.
How to do search engine marketing?
For organic results- one thing that we must understand before proceeding further is that Google ranks webpages and not websites. So we must look after every page as a separate website. To ensue good position in organic results we have to optimize our website pages as per search engine algorithm and this process is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). For any keyword Google has thousands of webpages to choose from. And it is the algorithm that selects which page will rank where. So we must understand the parameters on the basis of which Google algorithm ranks web pages and optimize our website accordingly.
Some of the important prameters of ranking high in organic results in Google are-
1- Quality of content
2- Domain authority
3- Page authority
4- Back links of page
5- Social visibility (Facebook, linkedin share)
For example- One of the important parameters that is considered in organic ranking is content quality. So the foremost and basic thing that we should ensure is that our webpages that we want to rank better for selective keywords should have quality content on those keywords. Content should be such that it can solve queries of people reading it. It should be engaging plus visitors should be happy to share your content on social networking websites.
Click here to know more about SEO
Inorganic results ranking- Inorganic results or paid advertisements can be created using Google’s advertising program known as Adwords. You can sign up with adwords, also commonly known as PPC ads, and create search advertising campaigns. While creating a campaign you will have to add keywords on which you are willing to run advertisements.
However, creating an ad campaign does not guarantee a good rank of your ad. We must optimize our campaigns as per adwordsAdRank algorithm. It may take some experience and deep understanding to ensure a good position of your ad on competitive keywords where there are many advertisers willing to run their ads on same keyword.
Learn more about Google adwords here
1) How PPC Advertising on Google Can Do Wonders for Your Business
2) PPC vs. Traditional Ads: PPC Wins! Here’s why!
3) How to Conduct A SUCCESSFUL PPC Campaign
4) Six Ultimate Tips for a Better PPC Marketing
5)6 Ways to Reduce Cost per Click and optimize Google Adwords Campaign (PPC)
6) Struggling With ROI? Try PPC Advertising!
Social Media Marketing-
Social media marketing is a very common term, yet most of us are not able to understand and do it the way it is supposed to be done.
Social media mainly refers to social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Youtube, etc. Our prospects daily spend time on some of these, if not all, networking websites to connect with their friends, collegues, acquaintances and to build new relationships. Facebook alone is having 1.2 billion users out of which 35% are online any time of the day and 113 million Facebook users are from India.
When our prospects spend so much time on these few websites then why do we search for them elsewhere? Identifying your potential buyers, building connections, communicating, engaging, building a brand image is what social media marketing is. However, most of the marketers use social platforms to push a lot of information to their connections and that’s where things start going wrong.
Social media is a very big canvas and success depends on how you paint it. It is not just about sales. It is to let people know what your brand is all about…. What is your brand culture, making people feel connected with your brand, let people know that you value their connection, producing content what people would love to read.This will result in better brand awareness, trust and sales. But if you think that getting in few Facebook likes on your page and then killing people with your sales messages is the way to go then it is a short term strategy and also a thing of past.
Click here to read about how to market your business on Facebook
1) A Learners’ Guide to Facebook!
2) How to Optimize Facebook for Ultimate Results
3) How to Assess Your Facebook Content Strategy Accomplishment!
4) How Facebook Advertising Can help Your Business Generate Revenue at a Lower Cost
5) How Facebook Can Help You Accelerate Your Business Growth
6) How Businesses Can Leverage Facebook to Generate More Leads
7) 5 Ways to Increase Revenue through Facebook Ads
Click here to read about how to market your business on twitter
1) How Small Businesses Can Leverage Twitter To Generate More Leads
2) 5 ways Twitter Can Help You Generate Ideas for Content!
3) How to Create Twitter Lead Generation Cards?
4)10 Ways Twitter Can Help Your Business
5) 10 Reasons why your brand needs to be on twitter?
6) What Do People Use Twitter For: A Study
Click here to read about how to market your business on linkedin
1) How to Use LinkedIn for Lead Generation?
2) 3 ways LinkedIn Helps You Create a Better Strategy for Your Business!
3) Things you should never do on LinkedIn
4) 10 reasons why your brand needs to be on LinkedIn?
Click here to read about how to market your business on youtube
1) A Learner’s Guide to YouTube
2) How to Use YouTube to Bring Potential Traffic to Your Website
3) How Videos Can Spice Up Your Social Media Marketing
4) Video Marketing Predictions for 2015(‘The Year of Video Marketing!’)
5) 10 Reasons why your brand needs to be on YouTube?
Email is the oldest way of doing digital marketing yet remains one of the most effective.Email marketing is a way of doing marketing online which includes sending an email or multiple emails to a list of email id’s. Email marketing is categorized in two types-
1- Permission based email marketing (opt-in or double opt-in)
2- Non permission based email marketing (Spamming)
Permission based email marketing (opt-in or double opt-in)-
When visitors register with their email Id on your website, or any other visibility platform like Facebook, to get a free trial or subscribe to blog newsletter and you shoot them emails, then this known as permission based marketing.
Non permission based email marketing (Spamming)-
When you send bulk emails using any software or other service to email id’s of people who never registered to receive emails from your end then this form of email marketing is known as non permission based email marketing or spamming. Spamming is also a punishable offence in countries like US. However, doing spamming has become tougher and tougher over the years, thanks to extra smart spam filters of email service providers like Gmail and Yahoo.
To know more about how to do digital marketing yourself I would strongly recommend to watch this 3 hours training session on digital marketing and its process. This video will also explain how you can work as a freelance digital marketer and make money online.
Startups, SME’s and big brands are now days using digital marketing to leverage Internet as a platform to increase their brand awareness with sales.
Here are some case studies on how some companies used digital marketing for their good-