When we talk of digital marketing, the first thing that comes to our mind that who would have used it first. It is said that in 1971, the first email was tried by Ray Tomlinson, an American computer programmer. Though it might not have been known as digital marketing back then.

In the 1990s, the advent of personal computers and the debut of server/client architecture led to the birth of the term ‘Digital Marketing,’ and various digital marketing concepts started emerging.

advent of social media and importance of digital marketing
Source: Pixabay

Beyond the 2000s, with increasing internet penetration, smartphone usage, and the introduction of social media apps like Orkut, Facebook, Twitter, etc., customers started to make a purchase decision after reviewing the product or services online.  

The businesses realized the importance of digital marketing to update their brand, pricing, and promotion strategy too. Thus, digital marketing concepts gained prominence for remaining ahead in the competition.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is a mix of online and offline advertising strategies to outreach customers using an electronic device for endorsing brands, products, and services. Businesses make continuous efforts to reach prospective customers via the internet in the form of blogs, websites, social media, search engines, various web/mobile applications, or in offline ways like tv, radio, podcasts commercials, etc.

The very same thing you will have an anecdote about if you were born and brought up in the 2000s.

Digital marketing revolves around the numerous digital marketing concepts which engage the customers in addition to visibility.

The old way of marketing like billboards, posters, graffiti became obsolete because it was not engaging enough to potential consumers. In business parlance, it is not about mere engaging but retaining the customer too.

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The Importance of digital marketing has become crystal clear from the fact that search engines and social media are investing billions of dollars in innovative software. The software is used for continuous monitoring of its audience behavior so that it becomes easier to engage and retain the customers using optimized digital marketing concepts.

Broadly digital marketing is divided mainly into two categories. i.e. Inbound and Outbound digital marketing. Both digital marketing concepts can be segregated based on the advertising approach.

Digital outbound strategies aim to put advertisements directly in front of as many people as possible whether the audience has anything to do with it or not. You can visualize yourself standing in Times Square, New York. The Importance of digital marketing can be assessed in terms of its cost which is anywhere between $1.1 to $4 million a year for advertising space.

Outbound digital strategies in Times Square, New York.
Pic: Times Square, New York. Source: Business Insider

On the other hand, in the inbound technique, the aim is to lure the targeted customer to our website or stores by using various digital marketing strategies. A blog or article is an inbound technique.

Digital Marketing can be pursued using the following digital marketing concepts.

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Online Digital Marketing Concepts

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): When you search anything on google, the first-page search results must have optimized their article using the SEO technique. People are most likely to open these results. This is true for other search engines too.
  • Content Marketing: Content is known as a silver bullet in digital marketing. An enticing content increases brand awareness which will lead to a potential customer. Content can be in the form of a blog post, eBook, PPT, whitepaper, infographics, etc. Your reading of this article is itself content marketing.
  • Social Media Marketing: Who doesn’t know social media nowadays. Social media with abundant users is one of the best available means to create brand recognition. For example, billions of available users on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Corporates have well understood the importance of digital marketing using social media and started leveraging all these platforms for their business marketing.
various digital marketing strategies
Source: Dnipro
  • Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC): The advertisement publisher like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn will post promotional posts for your business to increase the traffic to the website, and the publisher will get paid in returns according to nos. of clicks in the promotional posts.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing entails the promotion of a product or service for a piece of the profit for every purchase made. It works on a revenue-sharing model where a promoter is given financial incentives as per actual sale. These digital marketing concepts are one of the best revenue generation sources for many bloggers.
  • Native Advertising: Many a time, an advertisement is carried in a way that it does not look like a regular ad. It blends with the regular article in such a way that potential customer does not think it another advertisement. For example, a new article shares a new product under innovation trends. It may lead to an ethical issue for some.
  • Automated Marketing: Imagine a promotional mail in your inbox unrelated to you, or frequent advertisement starts bothering you. Well, marketing automation is there to help. These digital marketing concepts rely on a set of software with the power of data science and artificial intelligence has made it easier to target an audience of specific need, a specific interval for an email newsletter, scheduling of social media post, etc. thus improving the digital marketing effectiveness.
  • Email Marketing: Emails are a direct way of communication with customers. companies use email to offer their brand-new product or services to an existing customer. Also, the subscribed newsletter, new offers, loyalty program, etc. are being done with email marketing.
  • Online PR: A third party review and promotion of your brand is an effective advertisement opportunity. That is where the PR (Public Relation) pitches in. The importance of digital marketing can be gauged from the fact that it also humanizes your offerings that are much different than salesperson marketing. Interview with a journalist, press release, engaging with comments on your websites, etc. are some of the examples
  • Sponsored Content: People are influenced by many famous personalities for their achievements and skills in life. When these influencers sponsor a brand or service is called sponsored marketing. It can be done by paying another company to sponsor your content to promote business. A blog post highlighting a product for payment is another form of it.

Offline Digital Marketing Concepts

Let’s talk of conventional billboards or graffiti marketing first!

The fact is that people are less interested to see them anymore. Passengers are so involved in electronic gadgets that they barely have time to look at their surroundings.

And in present, as the competition starts gaining pace for self-driving cars, the driver may not be there to see the billboards in the future too. And not to mention the cost associated and controversies around it.

Highway Billboards in traditional Marketing
Pic: Highway Billboards, Traditional Marketing Source: BC Billboards

But is it over for billboards? No. rather they have been customized in digital ones. Remember the Times Square we talked about earlier? We call it enhanced offline marketing.

Let’s think of other examples too.

  • Does your restaurant allow you to order food via touch display and ask for user experience at the last?
  • Do you think you would not switch to the radio while driving your car?
  • Can your family afford to discard TV in the next decade?

If you ponder over the above examples, you must have realized by now the importance of digital marketing that has been going on for decades.

A few more examples are below:

  • Free Demo disk of PlayStation with a computer magazine
  • Apple iPad and iPhone demo at stores

In nutshell, the internet is not the only place to get successful marketing done, even today. The necessity and importance of digital marketing just led to the innovation of other channels to reach their targeted customers.

various marketing strategies used online and offline
Source: Business to Community

Offline marketing can be summarized in the following ways

Enhanced Offline Marketing: It may have electronic billboards on prominent locations, a demo model at the electronic store to have the first-hand experience, etc.

Radio Marketing: Frequent commercial breaks between a radio show.

TV Marketing: TV marketing we all are familiar with. Ads start running in between the favorite TV shows. the more TRP, the more costly ads become.

Phone Marketing: Though sometimes annoying for many unless it is their requirement, but phone marketing is still going. Text messages informing coupons or offers may be beneficial sometimes.

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Once you know about different digital marketing concepts and understand the importance of digital marketing, now it’s time to implement them for your organization. Below are some quick fix steps to start reaching your destination

Step1-Defining Goals.:  It is true with almost everything. The absence of a defined goal is like playing a football match without a goal post.

For instance, is it brand awareness that you want to create, or you willing to increase the sale of a particular product?

In the former case, you might increase your social presence across famous social media, and in the latter case, you might need to focus on your SEO and PPC digital marketing concepts to increase traffic for your product.

Whatever be the goal, your digital marketing technique will vary accordingly.

Step 2- Identify Your Target Audience:  Imagine your audience on LinkedIn and Instagram. The LinkedIn audience will prefer professional and crisp content and the Instagram audience may prefer funny infographics and short videos way of content delivery.

Accordingly, you would want to change content too by applying digital marketing concepts. That is possible only if you know your audience well.

Facebook vs LinkedIn comparison for type of audience
Source: Baer Performance Marketing

Step 3- Establish a Budget for Each Digital Channel: Marketing Budget is one of the reasons why companies used to become famous overnight. But due to the advent of digital marketing concepts, this gap has been minimized up to large extent.

Even with a low budget and using digital marketing technologies, small companies can take bigger companies head-on. That’s where the importance of digital marketing shines as a beacon of hope for small enterprises.

Budget for your digital marketing strategies
Source: Economic Times

Smaller or higher, the budget will be there. For example, to create quality content and to post it freely available blogs or social media will take human resources though at minimum cost.

On the other hand, you can use Google Adware to compete with other brands which may cost you hefty money.

The optimum way would be to strike a good balance between free and paid digital content strategies. Quality content with SEO optimization and social media can be leveraged free for long term vision, on the other hand, the paid digital marketing strategy can be used for quick results.

Step 4- Create Digital Content

Your digital content should match the customer’s expectations which further depends upon the buyer’s personas. As described as a silver bullet earlier, the importance of digital marketing can be realized only when content creation delivers what customers expect.

Customer’s expectations may vary based on the stages in which a buyer is. For example. Your buyer may never have heard about your product, he may be evaluating different options, he may be about to make the final call.

For all the above stages, an approach using different digital marketing concepts is required and your content should match its expectation shows the Importance of digital marketing for customer handling. It is also called content mapping. The content mapping goes through the following stages.

6 steps to successful Digital Content Creation
Source: SlideTeam

Awareness Stage

  • Blog Posts. Blogs may create organic traffic for your sites. It is a great tool to create awareness about your work and your websites.
  • Infographics. These are lively sharable almost on any social media platform. Infographics are best known for their comparative longer memory retention.
  • Short Videos. Quick to watch or on the go videos are other great tools for raising awareness.

Consideration Stage

  • eBooks. eBooks are comprehensive than blogs or infographics. It will share the contact details too to generate leads.
  • Research Reports. Research reports are also very comprehensive that highlight trends, future predictions, technical breakthroughs, etc. these are well suited for B2B leads.
  • Webinars. Webinars are an interactive form of video content, comprehensive than short videos is another tool for engaging with prospective clients.

Decision Stage

  • Testimonials. Your buyer is more influenced by the humanized approach that can help the buyer to make the final decision. In a written description about the quality or usability of a product or service by an erstwhile customer or client will certainly leave a bigger impression on a prospective client.
  • Case Studies: Case studies are another great tool to make an informed decision. The buyer may have certain doubts about the usability of the brand and a case may take him into confidence to make a purchase decision.

Step 5- Optimize Your Digital Assets for Mobile: People’s life is loaded with tons of information every day. Do you think the busy public will open their computer more often if their mobile is sufficient to access webpages, search engines, or order some product or services within few clicks?

India vs US mobile phone penetration and further scope

Millions of smartphones are being purchased every year, which is the topmost medium for consuming online content and advertisement nowadays.

So, those who understand the power and importance of digital marketing will strive hard to provide their desktop services in mobile applications in a hassle-free way. It becomes essential to make your website, digital ads, or another digital asset mobile friendly.

Any difficulty in accessing your digital content will give chance to other mobile-friendly content easily.

Step 6- Perform Keyword Research: The Internet is loaded with zillions of data. It was difficult to make your data stand out from the crowd. So, the importance of digital marketing led to various innovations for finding out what the public is typing to discover anything online.

As is it very likely that your content may remain hidden from the eyes of the public if your content does not have the typed keywords on the search engine. That’s where the keyword research pitch in.

Keyword research can help in reaching targeted audiences. Google keyword planner is a freely available tool to research it. Other paid tools are also available for more effective keyword research.

Keyword Planner search result for SEO

Step 7- Change Strategies As Per Performance: People’s behavior is difficult to understand. One strategy may not work at a particular time, channel, or niche due to unknown reasons. Therefore, it is imperative to stay flexible in your digital marketing approach, using a mix of digital marketing concepts, re-examine your strategy, and improve continually. Try the PDCA cycle for the same.

PDCA Cycle for testing various strategies applied for digital marketing
Fig: PDCA Cycle

Importance of Digital Marketing: Why to Choose It?

Our day starts with checking our phones. It has even created poop problems for many as they can’t do it without checking their phone in the morning.

Then commuting to work or going to school, people are addicted to podcasts, music, videos, etc. Not to mention study itself has become online and our urge to check our social media is frequent.

When we see children nowadays, they are so engaged in the phone that it became a health issue for most. But smartphones are here to stay and so does digital marketing.

Spare children, even if we go meet our friend, how many times they start peaking in their electronic gadgets? Google and Facebook are one of the most profitable companies across the world. Do you imagine why despite offering free of cost service to the public? Here that shows the power and Importance of Digital Marketing.

what happens online in 60 seconds -digital trends
Source: Business Insider

These companies also have paid services for willing customers to showcase their products and services, a win-win formula for everyone. These companies changed the way we live our life with seamless interaction among people and companies.

What can be more encouraging when the national government itself is promoting to go digital. Not only for the cashless economy but for the knowledge economy too. Here the importance of digital marketing gains more distinction as we have a basic digital ecosystem in place with government support.

Let’s talk of India’s Story. Mckinsey’s research says that India had 560 million internet subscribers in 2018, roughly half of its population, second to only China. It consumes 8.3 GB of data per month on average. India has 1.2 billion mobile phone subscriptions and downloaded 12 million apps in 2018.

With all these encouraging trends, it is high time that the business understands the Importance of digital marketing and starts investing in that.

Indian government support for digital India
Source: Digital India

What is The Importance of Digital Marketing to a Company?

A limitation of traditional marketing can be gauged from the fact that it is either generalized for everyone or it is a manual task. For example, print ads, billboards, broachers may be the same for every customer thus either exceeding budgets or not meeting customer’s expectations. There may be multiple copies before the advertisement reaches potential leads.

Take phone call or physical marketing as another example, how tiresome it becomes to keep contacting every customer without knowing his persona or present mood in particular? 

On the other hand, with digital marketing concepts, a brand promotion will strategize so skillfully that customers become aware of your advertisement without even noticing it sometimes.

It is easier to engage customers now directly using digital marketing concepts, thus providing customized ads based on customer’s searches online, their time spent online on articles, videos, social media, etc.

Ever wondered? how a google search might pop up as an advertisement in your Facebook feeds. Thus, the biggest dilemma in knowing-your-customer in business parlance is clear now and it gives a glimpse of the Importance of digital marketing in our day-to-day interactions.

If we talk of ROI on advertisement expenses, it is more efficiently captured than before. In a straight way, you can see the numbers of clicks in your promotional ads and time spent on your article or blog.

How Effectiveness to be Measured?

The effectiveness and importance of digital marketing can be gauged both qualitatively and quantitatively. Let us look at both aspects

Quantitative Evaluation Based on

  • Sales volume
  • Revenue trend

Qualitative Evaluation Through

  • Brand awareness
  • Brand image
  • Like, share, and comments

In nutshell, with due consideration of digital marketing concepts, a business can

  • Target prospect customers directly.
  • Become cost-effective than traditional marketing.
  • smaller businesses can match the bigger player’s marketing strategy.
  • Measure its ROI.

What Role Digital Marketers Play?

A digital marketer having wisdom in digital marketing concepts has to create brand awareness and lead generation for the business. It can leverage both free and paid strategies for it across multiple domains like the company’s website, social media, display advertising, blogs, emails, search engine optimization, etc.

Role of Digital Marketers
Source: TechWyse

Once the digital marketing concepts are applied, then it has a task to improve and maintain the key performance indicators (KPI) of the channel.

For example, organic traffic via a search engine will be KPI for SEO digital marketing

The importance of digital marketing in day-to-day business operations has necessitated the need for professionals with digital marketing skills. Digital marketers can be a jack of all trade or specialists in the field.

That depends on the budget of the company or the type of business the company is in.

Here are some forms of digital marketer specialists:

  • SEO In-charge: The main role of SEO in charge is to get a high ranking of your business on google search engine and gauge the effectiveness of traffic on the website via the search engine.
  • Content Marketing Specialist: The content specialist comes up with new customer engaging content at a suitable interval. Content can be in the form of text, infographics, videos, or a mix of all of them. Specialists ensure that any new business plan and launches are supported by content strategy in every digital channel.

The KPI of content will be overall blog traffic, time spent on the content, or video channel subscribers.

  • Social Media Manager: The social media manager manages the company’s social interaction with its audience in a professional way. It establishes a posting schedule of the company’s achievements, new projects, financial health, etc. in written or infographic content.

It must work closely with the content marketing specialist for better coordination and strategy. Nos of followers, subscribers, likes, etc. can be KPIs of social media digital marketing strategy

  • Marketing Automation Coordinator: Many automation software is presently available in the market to manage communication customized for customer’s needs. The manager needs to analyze customer data, segment customers based on age, income, gender, country, etc. to make informed decisions for sending customized emails or ads.

KPI for this strategy can be measured in Email open rate and lead generation from it.

The all above specialization can be achieved through Digital Marketing Courses available both online and offline. Course taken either online or offline won’t make any difference unless you remain sincere at online classes similar to your classroom coaching. With day to day evolving innovative strategies in the digital marketing domain, your professional career as an SEO specialist or content manager will give you the freedom to utilize your creative skills to the fullest. It is only a matter of time a professional, after completing courses, can start generating values for its organization. You are even better placed to start your own business or join freelancing work from home.

For more, browse here the YouTube video that tells about how digital marketing will change in 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Digital Marking? What is the benefit of learning it?

Marketing utilizing electronic technology is known as Digital marketing. By learning digital marketing, you would be able to utilize a plethora of strategies to handle your organization’s marketing goal, save cost on your marketing campaign by going digital, and will be better equipped to various dos and don’ts concepts of digital marketing.

How digital marketing can shape my career?

Apart from organizational success, you have the opportunity to start your freelancing career if you wish to chase, or your certification in digital marketing will certainly make a strong impression on your resume and help you in better negotiation for a salary hike.

What education qualification required to pursue Digital Marketing courses?

None of your educational qualification matters when it comes to pursuing digital marketing courses. You may be a student, working professional, or business owner. The best part of digital marketing courses is that it can be leveraged to make your cause successful.

What job opportunities are available doing Digital Marketing courses?

After successful completion of  your course, You will be able to start your career as a:
·         Digital Marketing specialist
·         SEO In-charge
·         Social media manager
·         Marketing automation coordinator

How to choose between online and offline course options?

It is all about convenience. You can choose either of them. If a reputed digital marketing course provider is available near to you, you can join them. Else, If you want to pursue it from home, digital classes are as interactive as offline ones. It wouldn’t make any difference in learning quality.

4 Comments

  1. It was a really amazing blog… I got lot of information….

    Digital Marketing

  2. You mentioned affiliate marketing in your blog. I just have wanted to know more about it. Hope you would write more about it in your next blog.

  3. You mentioned affiliate marketing in your blog. I just have wanted to know more about it. Hope you would write more about it in your next blog.

  4. You mentioned affiliate marketing in your blog. I just have wanted to know more about it. Hope you would write more about it in your next blog.

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