What is Digital Marketing

Tanel Vetik

Head of Strategy

The digital world is capturing an increasingly larger part of our everyday life with each passing year. As people spend more time on the internet, it all feeds back into Google’s AI, telling it more and more about how humans navigate the online world. People are getting accustomed to convenience and are increasingly more starting to prefer the businesses who offer that one extra emotionally charged value proposition that others don’t. Be it free samples before ordering or delivering exceptional customer experiences with every order.

Kas üldse eelistada digiturundust

Influenced by this, companies are forced to increase their digital presence and allocate continually larger budgets to standing out in their online customer segments. But does it necessarily have to be this way? What is digital marketing, and should it be preferred over old-school offline and printed advertising?

What is Digital Marketing

Tanel Vetik

Head of Strategy

The digital world is capturing an increasingly larger part of our everyday life with each passing year. As people spend more time on the internet, it all feeds back into Google’s AI, telling it more and more about how humans navigate the online world. People are getting accustomed to convenience and are increasingly more starting to prefer the businesses who offer that one extra emotionally charged value proposition that others don’t. Be it free samples before ordering or delivering exceptional customer experiences with every order.

Influenced by this, companies are forced to increase their digital presence and allocate continually larger budgets to standing out in their online customer segments. But does it necessarily have to be this way? What is digital marketing, and should it be preferred over old-school offline and printed advertising?

Kas üldse eelistada digiturundust

The digital world is capturing an increasingly larger part of our everyday life with each passing year. As people spend more time on the internet, it all feeds back into Google’s AI, telling it more and more about how humans navigate the online world. People are getting accustomed to convenience and are increasingly more starting to prefer the businesses who offer that one extra emotionally charged value proposition that others don’t. Be it free samples before ordering or delivering exceptional customer experiences with every order.

Kas üldse eelistada digiturundust

Sellest mõjutatuna on ettevõtted sunnitud oma digitaalset kohalolu suurendama ning tarbijaskonna sihtimisele aina suuremat eelarvet külge pookima. Aga kas see peab ilmtingimata nii olema? Mis on digiturundus ja kas seda peaks üldse eelistama üle vanakooli offline ja prinditud reklaami?

Should you prefer digital marketing over other mediums?

Digital marketing, or online marketing, is an internet-based system of activities that helps connect buyers’ desires with the right products and services. This means that content is created, distributed, and advertised through online media channels.

The groundwork is very similar to printed advertising, where market research is conducted beforehand, goals are set, and strategies are compiled. He difference is that when your digital ads are launched, you can track your results. Or the lack of them and say why that is.

While in offline marketing, almost all the work is done by the point you put your ads out there, in digital marketing that’s just the starting point. Now you start measuring your target audience’s behaviour, refine your targeting, and update ad texts and images to reflect your new and more accurate understanding of your customers.

Digital advertising is a constant flow of progress where you can pinpoint why certain metrics are up or down. The same thing cannot be done with print and billboard adverts. Even TV adverts don’t give you that much insight. TV ads cost on average £1000-2000 per 30-second ad when shown during daytime television. Peak time ads cost a fortune. If you were to show that same advert on YouTube for £2000, then you’d get around 1-2 million targeted impressions and 4-10K website visitors.

Why is digital marketing necessary?

Actually, it might not be. If a company’s sales quotas are full and new orders are on a waiting list. Or if brand awareness is strong and there is a monopoly in the market, then the pounds invested in marketing would be better used elsewhere. However, most companies today are not in such a position, and competition is a daily concern.

The importance of digital marketing in this decade is more significant than ever before. If mankind thought that 15 years ago electronic devices were an integral part of our daily lives, today they in fact guide many aspects of our lives. A large part of consumed information reaches readers through computers, smartphones, tablets, TVs (approx. 1% of internet traffic is via TV), or virtual reality environments. It is no longer necessary to wait for the evening news or call friends to get your daily dose of news. All you need is an internet connection.

The same rapid development has occurred in the purchasing journey of products and services. Rules and best practices that applied a few years ago are outdated information today. A strategy based on 2-year-old strategies would at best bring back the invested money, but it would more likely run at a loss.

Digital marketing rules change every few months because search engines (Google, Bing, Yandex, Baidu, etc.) and social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, Pinterest, etc.) artificial intelligence is in constant development. Today’s role of a digital marketer is to skilfully combine existing technologies and maximize sales revenue. It used to be all about branding and telling about how your business is different, but it’s more of a mix today. Businesses need to invest more into research and find their niche.

Popular tools to help make your life easier

Here’s a list of tools I use in my everyday work:

  • Google Ads Manager – this tool helps you make changes in bulk. Saves you lots of time if you have a lot of Google Ads campaigns to work with.
  • Microsoft Advertising Editor – it’s essentially the same tool, but for Bing Ads.
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator – this tool allows you to conduct social media research, do social listening reports, and discover new market segments.
  • HubSpot Suite – this is your CRM, sales tool, and marketing dashboard all in one. Free for basic users, but quite expensive if you want to do advanced tasks.
  • Google Tag Manager – this tool allows you to install additional plugins to your website with ease, track custom events on your website, and measure ecommerce data.
  • Hotjar – this is my favourite UX/UI measuring tool. It generates heatmaps of your web pages that show how and where people engaged with on your website. You can also conduct used feedback surveys on landing pages.
  • Google Search Console – this is your must-have free SEO reporting tool to understand how your website positions in organic search results, which are your top keywords, and where you’re missing out on free organic traffic.
  • Keywords Everywhere browser plugin – this plugin allows you to gain additional insight into webpage performance and the keywords they use.
  • Keyword Surfer browser plugin – this plugin allows you to gain additional insight into how people use keywords in their search terms and how people write when looking for things on Google.
  • Ubersuggest browser plugin – this plugin shows you search traffic and average CPC for keywords based on your search terms. It also shows search traffic for more popular keywords.

Social media marketing (SMM)

Social media (especially Facebook and Instagram) is a top priority in many companies’ strategies, particularly for small businesses. Likely because it seems easier and there is a general perception that Google marketing is expensive.

In most cases, the goal of social media marketing is to connect with followers and communicate with consumers in a non-formal environment. Depending on the strategy, the goal may also be to increase website traffic or collect contacts on a landing page.

Social media advertising strategies differs in many ways from other marketing strategies. Mainly because social media ads allow for the creation of discussions within the consumer base. Often, for example, the goal of an Instagram ad post is not to immediately prompt the audience to purchase, but to raise brand awareness and initiate a dialogue with the viewers.

Followers of a company’s social media account can react to posts and ads with comments, likes, and shares, which increases brand loyalty and involves their friends in the same dialogue. The goal is to achieve a snowball effect. This is most often seen in various raffle contests (UGC – User Generated Content).

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing, closely related to social media marketing, uses influencers to advertise services or products. Influencers are individuals who have a loyal audience on social media that trusts their opinions and recommendations.

Influencers come in various sizes. The smallest are micro and nano influencers, whose following is under 2000. Their advantage is a very targeted and local consumer base, but cooperation with a larger number of influencers is needed. Most of them fall within the range of 2000-10,000, and influencers with a following of 10,000+ are less than 10%.

Since influencers have already established a strong bond with their followers, influencer collaboration is an effective method to advertise products and services through trusted opinion leaders.

Email marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective and probably the best-understood types of online marketing. Unfortunately, many companies don’t know how to apply it in their digital strategy, and the lists either just sit there, or emails are sent without goals, just for the sake of it.

A great solution for entrepreneurs who don’t have much time to deal with email marketing and communication is email automation. This allows everything from newsletters to seasonal campaign notifications and reader segmentation to be automated, spending less than 3 seconds of your time per prospect conversion.

Search engine marketing (SEM) and ecommerce marketing

Search engine marketing is essentially showing the most suitable ad at the right time, in the right place, and to the right person to make their search journey as easy as possible. Thoughtful strategies are used to create text or banner ads through Bing and Google platforms.

Ads are not just shown to anyone, but ad targeting is based on keywords (the person must use certain words in the search term), interests (the person must have previously been interested in the topic), demographics (age, gender, income, etc.), or geography (country, city, postal code, or even radius). Retargeting is also possible and a great option if you have at least 2000 people visiting your website per month.

Once your search ads are launched, the work of optimization and reporting begins. This mostly involves ad copy A/B testing, keyword optimisation to add new keywords to the list and by excluding unsuitable search terms with negative keywords. There’s a lot of work that goes behind campaigns optimisation, but it’s always data-backed and focusing on customer data analysis.

Advertising on digital screens in physical spaces

This is a very underutilised marketing space with potentially very affordable CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) rates. They are often managed in programmatic channels with time slots booked for each creative. You can book a number of locations in your preferred cities and have your ad show for minutes at a time or book the entire week. It’s all up to you and the best results are often based on strong client persona research.

This marketing channel is not recommended for businesses who don’t know much about their clients and have not invested into client persona development.

Why Market Online?

Digital identity and online presence are a must-have for all companies in today’s world. Otherwise, you’ll place on page 5 of search results and your brand, product, or service will never be found. Customers will always choose the most convenient solution. Everyone is short on time, and your consumers are already accustomed to unprecedented speed and convenience – they won’t settle for less. Why should you?

Right now, every company should focus on digital marketing in its sales and marketing strategy. It allows consumers to better understand the brand’s values and create a closer bond with them. Thanks to the internet, maintaining a connection with customers is easier than ever, and neglecting digital marketing leaves the company’s online fate largely to chance.

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