Digital Marketing – Tools and Techniques
Digital Marketing or Internet Marketing is currently the most effective marketing tool to make your brand reach the right target audience. According to central statistics organization, 38% of the total Indian population uses comes in contact with the internet daily. Be it for social media channels, shopping or benefitting from online services. This number will reach 60% by the end of 2025. About 19% of the total marketing budgets were allotted to Digital marketing. This number is expected to grow to about 25% by 2020. Looking at the statistics, it is safe to say that India is a Goldmine for Internet Marketers. Almost 35% of the companies in India have started to use digital as a medium to communicate with its target audience. This number will keep increasing in subsequent years. In the graphs below, there are some interesting findings related to Internet purpose in India.
The primary reason for digital marketing to click is because it is very cost effective. Earlier it used to cost a lot of money to promote the product using traditional mediums. Today with digital marketing, a brand can reach more people with less than a quarter of budget utilized for traditional mediums. That is the power of digital marketing. Also, the line between an individual and anonymous is becoming blurred by each passing day. Marketer’s primary goal through internet marketing is customer acquisition followed by customer retention and brand awareness. In 2016, Social media marketing topped the digital marketing list, followed by email marketing and search engine marketing. We will look at how each and individual medium works in our subsequent posts. For this post, we will look at the key tools marketers can use to carry out their digital strategies.
- Social Media Marketing
- Emailer Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Search Advertising
- Mobile Marketing
- Video Marketing
A website is essentially a gateway for the brand to its visitors. Today, because of the internet it is very easy for users to search for any brand/product/service they are interested in just a click. A website also marks as an initial introduction for the brand to its visitor. E.g.: I may not know any particular information about a brand. Instead of asking many people around I can simply visit the brands’ website and check that particular information. Having a website makes 70% of digital marketing easy and effective. For brands, having a website presence is a must as it an easier way to share a company’s vision, mission, goals, objectives etc. This information, in turn, helps the brand to build a sense of trust with its user. This can even lead to purchase decision. Website architecture basically contains of 5 – 7 pages. A generic structure usually has Home, About, Product/services, gallery/portfolio and contact page. Websites also acts as a huge content sharing platform. Marketers and entrepreneur’s use blog as a medium to promote their product or services. UI and UX form the pillars of Website structures. It is very important for brands to have a seamless UI and UX strategy to engage with its users to so as the user spends more time of the website and initiates a purchase. We will discuss UI & UX in more detail in our upcoming posts. Overall, websites form as a first step on the brand towards their digital journey.
Social Media Marketing
The most commonly used tool on the digital platform is without any second thoughts is Social Media marketing. Today in India, almost all the brands have an active presence on at least one of the social media platforms viz a viz: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google + or even WhatsApp to name a few. In a survey conducted by Octane Research, it was found that the best performing digital marketing tool was social media updates. It accounted for 40% of the total marketing tools. The reason marketers should choose Social Media in their digital marketing plan is that it helps increase Brand awareness, driving engagement, increase traffic on landing pages/websites, generates leads, develops fan following, improves search results, which leads in increasing sales results. Social updates also help in increasing business partnership/alliances. Although all the points mentioned above do give positive results in terms of Social updates, it is also very cost effective, in terms of ROI. Hence, marketers cannot afford to skip social content bank from their digital marketing strategies.
In totality, each and every email sent or received is a part of email marketing. Emails are usually sent to promote business/service, request business, send advertisements, and request to participate. In India, email marketing comprises 56% of the digital marketing activities carried out by the marketers. Although, the downside being, a lot of emails even today go unseen or are marked as spam. Hence, it is very important to be a credible source to leverage the benefits of email marketing. This is possible over a period of time by building trust, having a customized email for each and every user, offering deals and discounts and creating brand awareness. Email marketing is a very great tool to acquire new customers and retain the old ones. Email marketing also provides marketers a platform to experiment with content, visuals, creatives and multimedia assets that to at very lower costs compared to print or television. It also benefits marketers to calculate effective ROI even for a single email sent.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the process, through which brands can increase their websites visibility, visitors and creating awareness on the search engines. The results are achieved are commonly referred as completely organic/unpaid. In layman’s term, SEO means analyzing users behavior on search engines and leveraging that to the benefits of the brands. SEO targets components when interacting with the search engines, for e.g.: image search, video search, and content search et al. SEO also target industry specific keywords in search engines, exact specific keywords and search engines preferred by the consumers. To make SEO work, brands a lot of time optimizing their websites in order to get better search results. However, SEO is an amalgamation of optimized websites and user-friendly architecture. These both go hand in hand.
Search advertising as the term suggests is a method of putting up online advertising using search engine channels like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Through search advertising, brands can choose to advertise on the search portals or other content publishing websites in the search engines network. Search advertising mainly works with ‘Keywords’. Search engine portals keep a tab on the most popular and exact keywords users search on the portal. In turn, when a marketer looks for placement ideas and keyword groups, the search engines help them choose the most popular keywords for maximum brand exposure. Generally, before making any purchase decision, users tend to compare the product/service on a search engine to have a better deal. This makes search engine a valuable tool from a brands point of view as the search engines offer tailor-made target group based on the searches the users have made. Search engine marketing involves display advertising, text-based advertising and remarketing. Text-based ads are the ones which are simple as it involves mostly texts.
There is the product name, Website URL, product features and a Call to Action (CTA). On the hand display advertising involves a combination of Rich text, creative visuals and a lot of scope for animations. Display advertising also comes in various sizes and animation formats. Some of the common ad formats include Banner ads, Pop-Up ads, expando, flash animation, page tear, in-banner streaming, roll over and Shoshkele to name a few. Re-marketing is the recent form of advertisement introduced by search engines which uses consumers website activity and makes them interact with the ad based on their interest, product visit etc. As of 2017, Indian marketers voted Search advertising just behind email marketing with 54% of the total ad revenue.
Mobile marketing is the most recent form of marketing through mobile. With ample of mobile data available and user dependability on their mobile phones, it has opened multiple channels for brands to connect with its target users. Mobile marketing is an extended form of the above-mentioned tools. It takes place over the mobile phone with additional modes of marketing. The technique includes SMS campaigns, in-app purchases, click to download ads, click to call ads and push notifications. Although this tool of marketing is very much in demands, there are still certain limitations when it comes to device compatibility. For e.g.: iOS platform doesn’t support flash and media-rich banners as there is less scope of animation on mobile phones.
Video advertising in the digital scenario is an online advertisement with video in its format. It comes in multiple formats like pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll. These ads are smartly placed in between videos on YouTube, Facebook and many video sharing sites. Video advertisements are used to increase audience engagement with high impact videos. Digital videos are generally more than 2-3 minutes long as opposed to a television commercial which is approximately a 30 seconder. With half the cost and more than double the running time, digital videos have a higher engagement rate and wider reach than the traditional TVC. Hence, even if a brand today plans for a TVC, they make it a point to have a digital version of the same.
To summarize this post, the benefits of digital/online marketing are innumerous but the major winning points include: it has a wider reach, cost-effectiveness, can be measured for as low as single rupee spent and ease of access.