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What is Digital Marketing? Complete Guide With Everything You Need to Know

by Kandice Schofield (2020-10-31)




Digital marketing is defined as a set of actions developed to communicate with potential internet customers, promoting a brand or product. Some well-known strategies are SEO, email marketing, content marketing and more.

The internet is already part of our lives. It is practically impossible to think of any daily activity that has not been impacted by the digital transformation . And that includes consumption habits!

Digital marketing has brought a real revolution in terms of consumption and relationship with brands and businesses. Today, there are several successful entrepreneurs who use strategies as the main pillar of their business.

Nowadays, it is more and more common to use the internet to find out about a product or service, research prices and even buy. In fact, 82% of Brazilians have already made at least one purchase online , according to a NZN Intelligence survey

And the goal of marketing has always been to connect with the audience, talking to them at the right time and place. Therefore, if you intend to undertake online , you need to be present where the public spends most of their time: the internet.

What is Digital Marketing?

We can define digital marketing as all actions that use the internet or electronic devices to promote a product or a brand . Currently, it is one of the main strategies to reach and relate to potential customers.

You already know that the concept of marketing is related to driving the customer to purchase, in addition to satisfying their needs and wants.

But the way this is done has changed a lot over time, following technological advances and the habits of the population. In this sense, we cannot ignore that, currently, a large portion of the population is connected and uses the internet to buy.

The internet brought to the consumer several purchase options. If before we had to go from store to store searching for prices and with few competition options, now the scenario is completely different.

As a result, companies needed to rethink how to attract customers.

And that is why digital marketing has become the main way of marketing and reaching the public today. It is the most efficient strategy, since it uses the channels that the public already uses.

But those who think that digital marketing is limited to computers are mistaken. There are also strategies aimed at smartphone users, such as targeted ads on Facebook.

The great advantage of digital marketing? Any business, regardless of the budget available, can start applying the strategies right now.

If you need great online traffic and want SEO optimzie your website, then you can consult to the ITXITPRO - Advertising and Web Development Company for Digital Marketing Services in India .

How Digital Marketing Came About?

Digital marketing, as you might imagine, was born with the explosion of the internet in the 1990s, when personal computers and dial-up connections began to invade the homes of millions of people.

Along with this explosion, came the first search engines, such as Yahoo, Cade, MSN and later Google, which today is the largest in the market. Along with search engines, e-mail domains came, where the first e-mail marketing campaigns (and spam) appeared.

At that time, the technology was very limited and the pages quite simple. The interaction between companies and customers was practically non-existent and communication was one-sided. It was called Web 1.0 .

Around the 2000s, technology advanced, the number of Internet users increased and digital marketing began to take shape. It was at this time that the first social networks appeared and Google gained space as a search tool.

With more people connected, companies started to invest more and more in online advertising and new ways of relating to the public.

The era of Web 2.0 began , more participatory and centered on the interests of the audience, which we live in today.

What are the Advantages of Digital Marketing

Unlike traditional marketing, digital allows results to be measured and checked in almost real time.

An ad in a newspaper, for example, is difficult to estimate how many people actually saw it and paid attention. On the other hand, with advertisements on social networks and search engines, it is possible to measure practically all user actions, from those who saw them to those who actually completed an action.

You can see how digital marketing has transformed the relationship between companies and their consumers. But why is this strategy important? What are the real benefits for your business?

1. More interactivity with the audience

One of the characteristics that make digital marketing more and more adopted in relation to traditional media is the interactivity with the public that it offers.

Think about it: a newspaper advertisement or a TV ad represents a one-way communication model. The brand conveys a message, but does not establish a dialogue with the audience.

With digital channels, on the other hand, the public is able to interact with brands, give opinions on products and services and share content, all with a single touch.

2. Allows you to precisely target your audience

One of the biggest problems with traditional marketing is that there is no control over who is impacted by a campaign. It is even possible to choose a newspaper or TV station that is more aligned with the profile of the brand's target audience, but this does not guarantee that these people will have a real interest in the product or service.

With digital marketing, on the other hand, it is possible to target messages and content to the right people. That is, only for those users with the ideal profile for their goals.

In online channels, you can segment your audience with much more precision through characteristics such as age group, gender, education level, geographic location and even tastes and consumption habits!

Thus, you have a more accurate campaign and that really talks to the consumer. And when your content is aligned with the interests of the public, the chance that they will do business with you is much greater.

3. Cost savings

Have you ever stopped to think about how much it costs to invest in an offline marketing strategy, such as a series of ads on TV or in a major newspaper? Believe me, it is very expensive!

Digital marketing, on the other hand, requires fewer resources and professionals to be put into practice. Ads on social networks , for example, require only a fraction of the investment of an offline strategy.

In addition, as it is possible to segment the audience with much more precision, resources are invested much more efficiently, reducing waste.

4. Any company can invest

As digital marketing is a much cheaper strategy than traditional marketing, we can say that it is also more democratic!

While TV commercials, advertisements in newspapers and billboards are usually actions reserved for large companies, digital marketing can be applied by anyone.

The internet allows even small digital entrepreneurs, such as Producers and Affiliates , to use online channels to advertise their brands and products without spending a lot and without needing large teams.

5. Allows you to analyze and measure actions

When you advertise in a magazine, you can hardly determine how many people were affected by the content and the percentage of them who purchased the product or service after viewing the piece.

This does not happen with digital marketing!

Thanks to segmentation, you are able to direct your communication to the exact profile of your target audience. In addition, online tools allow you to track campaign results in real time with complete accuracy.

Main digital marketing strategies

With so many advantages, you can't wait to start applying this strategy in your business, do you?

But how to do digital marketing?

Well, as the internet is a very wide universe and technology keeps evolving, there is no single way to do digital marketing.

In fact, there are dozens of digital marketing strategies and new tactics appear every day. However, all of them aim to strengthen a brand and strengthen the relationship with the public.

Below, you can see the most common strategies on the market:

Inbound marketing

The inbound marketing , also called attraction marketing, aims to attract people, arousing public interest in the products and brand services.

In this strategy, companies seek to understand the pains and needs of potential customers in order to offer more assertive solutions for their wants and needs.

Unlike traditional marketing, where the consumer is passive and only receives the message, the opposite occurs in inbound. It is the customer who seeks the company when he realizes he has a problem.

This strategy allows to establish a channel of communication and relationship with the public, creating a captive and loyal audience. As a result, companies that bet on this strategy are able to generate 54% more leads , according to WebDAM.com .

And with the internet and digital tools, there are several ways to do this attraction process. The most common is the production of content, that is, relevant information that helps to solve problems.

This is what we call content marketing, which we will explain in the following topic:

Content Marketing

As we explained, one of the ways to arouse public interest in your brand is to offer relevant content and information that will help you solve your problems. And that is precisely the goal of content marketing .

But, for this, it is essential to know your persona well , which is the profile of your ideal client. This makes it easy to create more targeted content, which speaks directly to the audience's pain. And, thus, generate more brand awareness for the brand, attract qualified traffic and generate leads.

And to further increase the reach of these contents, it is important to offer them on channels that the target audience usually uses. There are several ways to do this and the most common are:

Blog

Creating and feeding a blog is the most common content marketing strategy and also one of the most interesting.

After all, the blog is an exclusive channel for your business, without any common interference in other channels. There, you can publish what you want, when you want and the way you want, with complete freedom over the content produced.

Having a blog still allows your brand to gain relevance on the network and win the top positions in search engines. This gives more visibility and increases the chances of attracting new customers.

According to data from Hubspot , B2B companies that have a blog generate 67% more leads than companies that do not.

Web-Site

As much as your business already has a blog, you must also have an institutional website .

This is because it functions as the home of the brand, gathering in one place the most relevant information about your business.

That way, when someone searches for information about you and your services, you are more confident that your business is truly reliable.

In addition, the website can serve as a channel where people can order your products and services, ask questions and get in touch with you.

Social Networks

Another excellent channel for interacting, communicating with the public and offering quality content is social media .

You can no longer talk about digital marketing without mentioning social media. That's because these channels have become extremely popular with people. Especially here in Brazil, where 88% of the population uses these services .

Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter... In addition to interacting with each other, users of these channels can also approach their favorite brands, seeking information about their products and services.

So, a content marketing strategy that includes social media management can help increase your business's reach, visibility and sales. According to the Ironpaper website , 93% of purchase decisions are directly influenced by social networks.

Video Marketing

Videos are becoming the type of content most requested and consumed by Internet users. And it makes sense, since they are easier to consume and understand than a text, for example.

According to Google's Video Viewers Survey , between 2014 and 2018, Internet video consumption grew by 135% , while TV only increased by 13%.

And with the technological advances of the last years, companies of any size can enter the universe of audiovisual production. Because of this, several companies are betting on video marketing as the basis of their digital marketing strategies.

In addition, the videos are quite versatile and fit into almost any marketing strategy. You can do video lessons , live streams, webinars, product demonstration videos, among other formats.

E-mail marketing

E-mail has not died and the proof of this is the large number of businesses that use e-mail marketing to communicate with the public.

This strategy consists of sending e-mail messages to a contact list and can be used to strengthen the brand, promote products and services, communicate with potential customers and sell.

And the numbers confirm the power of that channel. According to data from Hubspot , businesses that use email marketing can generate up to 50% more qualified leads , with a better chance of buying.

A great advantage of this type of content is that it allows you to segment the lists and closely monitor data such as reach, openness and responses.

There is no point in creating incredible content if no one on the internet is able to find it. And it is to make your brand more visible and credible on the network that SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, exists .

Search engine optimization aims to bring content to the top positions in search results and thus attract organic traffic (that is, without paying for ads).

And why is this important? Simple. Data from an Internet Marketing Ninjas survey on organic clicks on Google found that first place wins 21% of clicks, second 10% and third 7% .

That is, it is essential to bet on SEO to attract organic and qualified traffic to your channels.

It works like this: search sites, like Google, classify online content according to its relevance to the user. So, SEO seeks to optimize these pages in order to show search engines that your website or blog offers the best experience for the user and the answers he seeks.

These optimizations can be divided into on page (which can be performed within the page itself) and off page (factors external to the page).

Paid Media

Don't think that digital marketing is just about trying to attract organic traffic. It is the focus of most of the shares, since there is no need to pay for it.

However, there is another type of strategy that seeks to promote content through advertisements: it is paid media, or online advertising .

The great advantage of online advertising over traditional advertising is the possibility of segmenting the profile of the audience that will be reached by the ads (age, gender, education, location, etc.).

This ensures more effective and cost-effective campaigns, as initial investments are lower and return is greater.

Finally, there are several ways to advertise on the internet, such as sponsored links, social media ads, remarketing, banners and content promotion.

Affiliate Marketing

If you have a product - be it digital or physical - or have many followers on social networks and personal blog, you can benefit from affiliate marketing .

In this strategy, the Affiliate advertises the product or service of an entrepreneur or company (called a Producer ) on his blog, website or social networks. In return, you receive a commission for each sale made.

This model allows the Affiliate to monetize their online channels, while offering Producers new channels of dissemination. And customers also get more channels to research products and make an assertive purchase decision.

There are several platforms that bring together entrepreneurs interested in increasing sales with people willing to promote products, such as the Affiliate Program here at Hotmart .

CRO

One of the most important aspects of any digital marketing effort is conversion. That is, bringing users to the base of the brand and taking them to the bottom of the sales funnel .

The CRO strategy , or conversion optimization in the acronym in English, lets you know where conversions are not being well explored on a blog or website, doing whatever is necessary to improve conversion rates.

During the conversion optimization process, it is necessary to review all points of contact with the business lead / customer to understand what can be improved so that the conversion is achieved.

How to make a Digital Marketing Plan?

Once you know the main strategies, it's time to get your hands dirty and create a digital marketing plan !

The first step in doing this is to establish clear goals and then outline the actions necessary to achieve them.

For example, if you want to increase sales for a new service, increasing the number of qualified leads can be a good goal.

With that, and considering your persona, the available resources and the competitors, it is possible to outline the necessary actions for the objective to be achieved.

It looks complex, doesn't it? Fortunately, there are a few steps that help to structure a good marketing plan:

1. Defining objectives and goals

What do you hope to achieve with a digital marketing strategy?

This question should guide all your work. Without a clear objective in mind, you will hardly be able to structure what the next steps are to be taken or understand whether the strategy is working or not.

For example, if your brand is still starting in the online market and does not have an online presence, your goal may be to increase traffic to the site.

Then, you can outline specific goals and secondary goals that can help attract more traffic, such as publishing weekly content on the blog, disseminating posts on social networks, investing in sponsored links, etc.

When deciding what your goal is, keep in mind that it needs to make sense for your business model, to be attainable and measurable. Any mistake in the definition can damage the whole strategy.

2. Choice of KPIs

With the objective set, it is time to choose the indicators responsible for measuring the success or failure of your strategy.

The KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators are responsible for measuring whether a strategy or action is working and helping the brand to achieve their goals.

For example, if your goal is linked to increased organic traffic, a valid indicator is the number of visits to your blog or website.

Remember that these indicators need to make sense for your business, as all the following steps will depend on them.

3. Creation of the persona

For your marketing plan to work, it is not enough to have well-defined goals. It is also necessary to know the user profile that you hope to achieve in order to detail how the actions will be implemented.

It is for this reason that the creation of the persona cannot be left out of your strategic plan. Also known as an avatar, the persona is a representation of your ideal buyer and brings together demographic and behavioral characteristics. such as gender, age, position, consumption habits, hobbies, lifestyle and challenges faced.

With this data, you can define the best tone of voice to interact with the audience, the best tools, the content format, the most efficient design, among other details important to the success of your strategy.

4. Choosing the most appropriate strategy

With your persona defined, the next step is to choose and describe which strategies will be developed to achieve the goals.

As we have already shown, there are dozens of marketing strategies that you can implement in your business. But the choice needs to be made very carefully.

5. Creation of the action plan

Now that you know which marketing strategy will be implemented, try to structure it in detail.

It is important to define the best content formats that will be created, the volume and periodicity of production of these materials and the distribution channels.

Then, list all the resources needed to get these tasks done and the deadline for completing each one.

Organize everything on a timeline or editorial calendar so that the entire team has access to this data.

6. Measurement of results

Last but not least, it's time to track the results of your marketing strategy.

Do you remember that one of the criteria for choosing a goal for your strategy was that it was measurable? This helps to determine whether the results have been achieved and whether any processes need to be improved.

Digital marketing metrics

One of the biggest advantages of digital marketing is that it allows you to document, monitor and evaluate closely if all actions are giving the expected result. Something that traditional marketing does not allow.

Thus, you or your brand can make more assertive decisions, based on real and secure data.

When evaluating the performance of your blog or website, for example, you can evaluate one of the following metrics:

  • Unique visitors: the number of people who access your page;
  • Sessions: total set of interactions, such as views and clicks on the page, for a user;
  • Organic and paid traffic: number of sessions originating from search services or paid campaigns;
  • Bounce rate: percentage of users who make only one visit, without interacting with the page;
  • Conversion rate: ratio between the number of visits and the number of conversions carried out;
  • External links: number and quality of links from other domains that lead to your website or blog.

These, however, are not the only digital marketing metrics. There are dozens of them and it is important to choose the most suitable for your business.

Check out other data that you can (and should) follow:

ROI

The Return on Investment is one of the most important metrics of digital marketing. It indicates the profitability of the actions that the business puts into practice.

In summary, the ROI calculates the return obtained based on the investment made. This indicator can also reveal the total losses that your business has had with any investment.

The general ROI formula is:

ROI = (revenue - investment cost) / investment cost

For example, a company had a turnover of R $ 100 thousand in a given year. In the same period, the investment was R $ 10,000.

Based on the formula, it is possible to conclude that the company's ROI was 9. That is, each real invested brought R $ 9 in profit.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

CAC is a metric that indicates the average investment made by the business to win a customer.

For example, if the same company in the previous example invested R $ 10,000 to prospect customers and get only 10 customers, it will have a CAC of R $ 1,000.

Recurring Monthly Revenue (MRR) and Recurring Annual Revenue (ARR)

These two metrics go together and help to predict the revenue generated by the business.

Especially useful for those working with SaaS (software as a service) , this metric allows to evaluate the performance of companies that sell products with a wide variety of prices or whose payment is recurring.

By calculating recurring monthly or annual revenue, it is possible to identify growth patterns in the company's revenue more reliably.

Cost Per Lead (CPL)

As the name implies, this metric shows how much the company has spent to generate a new lead, in a very similar way to CAC.

This metric is extremely important, since lead generation is one of the biggest goals of a digital marketing strategy.

Cost per acquisition (CPA)

Unlike CAC, in CPA the acquisition is defined by the business itself, according to its objectives. It can be a new contact or a qualified lead, for example.

One tip is to compare the CPA with the revenue that each acquisition generated. Thus, if the CPA is higher than the RPA (revenue per acquisition), it is a sign that the strategy is flawed.

Retention rate and churn

While no one likes to lose customers, it is critical to know how many people are failing to use your products and services.

Retention is calculated using the total number of customers at the beginning and end of a period along with the number of new customers. Like this:

Retention rate = [(Customers at the end of the period - new customers) / customers at the beginning of the period] * 100

The retention rate is always equal to 1 - the rate of dropouts, or churns. That is, these two metrics basically represent the same thing.

For example, a business starts the month with 150 customers and ends the period with 175. In the meantime, the company won 35 new customers and had 10 cancellations, resulting in 10 extra customers.

As a result, the retention rate in the period was 93.3% of customers, with a dropout rate of 6.7%

The following are some of the main marketing tools and their different uses:

1. SEO

Optimizing content and achieving good rankings in the search results is very easy with the use of the right tools.

Keyword search

The keyword tools allow the user to discover the best opportunities for terms to explore in their content, in addition to identifying the volume of searches and the competitiveness of each term.

The main services of this type are:

  • SEMrush
  • Ahrefs
  • Google Trends
  • Google Keyword Planner

Technical SEO

Technical SEO tools have more specific functions, helping to check the authority of a domain, identifying and correcting SEO errors and finding duplicate content.

For this process, the following tools are usually used:

  • Yoast
  • Google XML Sitemap
  • MozBar

Backlinks

To get the quality of the backlinks that your site receives and which ones should be removed, it is important to use one of the tools below:

  • Google Search Console
  • Ahrefs
  • SEMrush

Competition analysis

One of the secrets to the success of a digital marketing strategy is keeping up with the competition. In this way, you can identify points for improvement and even learn from your successes and mistakes.

Several tools assist in this process, comparing keywords, backlinks, traffic and other important data. Among them, the most common are:

  • SEMrush
  • BuzzSumo
  • Google Alerts
  • Social Mention

2. Design

The design, whether of the website or the images posted on social networks, is a very important aspect. After all, online communication is almost entirely based on visual content.

In this sense, it is important to use tools that facilitate the creation of parts.

Imaging tools

The look of a website or blog helps connect the public with the brand, in addition to communicating the identity of the business. Thus, any carelessness in the design can damage the entire strategy.

There are many tools and services, such as image banks , that allow you to download, create, edit and process images. The main ones are:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Canva
  • Shutterstock
  • Pixabay

Video Tools

The video production is becoming more popular day and is already one of the most effective digital marketing. It is no wonder that more and more brands and entrepreneurs are investing in this strategy.

Several tools allow you to edit videos , make cuts, add effects, insert soundtracks, create vignettes, motion graphics, among other functions. For example:

  • Adobe Premiere
  • Adobe After Effects
  • Final Cut Pro
  • DaVinci Resolve
  • Filmora

4. CRO

To follow the process of converting your online strategy, some tools can help. With them, you can track leads through the purchase journey and identify points for improvement.

Good tools for this task are:

  • SumoMe
  • Hotjar

5. Marketing automation

Nowadays, the work that a marketer needs to do is very big. Firing emails to the lead base, tracking each person's journey through the funnel, preparing content, analyzing metrics, among many others.

Fortunately, many services allow you to integrate and automate much of that work, in addition to performing A / B testing and designing workflows.

Are they:

  • Hubspot
  • RD Station
  • Pipefy

6. Social networks

You can't talk about digital marketing without mentioning social networks. But managing these channels takes a lot of time from professionals, who need to prepare and schedule posts, respond to users and track metrics, often in several different services.

In this sense, some tools help to centralize data in one place and even automate tasks. Some of them are:

  • Hootsuite
  • BuzzSumo
  • Scup
  • SocialOomph

7. Email marketing

Email marketing remains one of the most efficient channels for relating to the public.

The problem is that, with growing contact bases, it is difficult to manage everything correctly. Writing messages, tracking contacts, measuring results and devising strategies becomes an almost impossible task.

In this sense, several tools can help, automating processes and generating automatic reports. Some of them are:

  • Klicksend
  • Hubspot
  • Mailchimp
  • GetResponse

If you are a company and you want to eCommerce develop your website then you can consult to ITXITPRO for eCommerce Web Development services , which has been providing top- notch Digital Marketing Services all across the nation.

Are you ready to do Digital Marketing?








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