Whys and Whats of Digital Marketing?
Once in a while, at The Bid, we come across clients who are just not inclined to use digital marketing strategies for their businesses.Some of the reasons they cite are longer wait times for ROI, no trust in capabilities of digital marketing techniques and high amount of investments when it comes to small companies and startups. As an agency, while we vouch for extremely flexible marketing strategies offered by today's robust digital marketing techniques, far lower spend rates on digital ads compared to print & electronic media, and a very high ROI and brand awareness opportunities, for the benefit of all the digital marketing naysayers, we have conducted surveys to understand how much of digital marketing do business owners actually know? Out of 345 cases, we found that only 5% of Indian entrepreneurs are well equipped with various aspects of digital marketing. 20% are familiar with only two terms - SEO and Social Media(Just Facebook). The rest believes that digital marketing is very expensive. So hardly surprising ,not many of Indian investors try to spend their time and energy on Digital Marketing. So we have started this specific section in our blog to talk about some important facets of digital marketing which will help you, if applied correctly, revamp your marketing plans, monitor the performance and increase your revenue traction.
Digital Marketing is a marketing effort of a business through electronic channels. For starters, this can be started by owning a website, ranking the website to show on the top when people searches for the product or services you sell, to review people comments on your services on social media, to seeing your ads on every websites available. How is that appealing from a marketing point of view? Studies say that in 2018, 80% of users surveyed sped more than offline for 14-18 hours per day online . Which means they are possibly browsing social media, websites and apps during that time. This is a massive amount of marketing time to be tapped by the businesses.
Traditional vs Digital Marketing
Let's say ABC is a grocery store in the making. With traditional ways of marketing, one will open the store first, tell their friends, who will in turn inform their friends about this new store and thus create a word of mouth publicity. This process takes time and it is often unsure if these friends would actually go ahead and recommend the new business. Let's say ABC got lucky and have created a substantial presence in the market but want to gain more customers, they create hoardings, pamphlets, put an ad in newspapers and TV. How would they know if people have actually paid attention to the hoarding? People have low spans of attention and the hoardings while driving, TV ads while watching a movie or a sport, pamphlet conspicuously hidden in news papers are often lost in the din. You need something very creative that will create an intrigue in your potential customers that will lure them to you. Do your current ads have that?
Digital Marketing shows ads online thus uses the technology in the background to track how many users have actually seen your ad, which pages in your website users are looking at the most, how many people have actually visited your website, what is their feedback for your product. You canot possibly do this with hoardings and pamphlets. TV ads would cost a bomb yet have very low chances of tracking your ad performance.
If there is one thing that never lies, it is Data! Taking the digital route for your marketing gives you huge chunks of meaningful data which can be used to track and analyse your ad performance and take smart steps to invest your money wisely This data can be the number of people who have seen your ads, age group of the audience, or geo location of your potential customers.
Increase the Reach
You create a solid campaign which is the medium and a solid vehicle to show your ads to the world, and then you have a full control on who sees your ads. You can increase your reach by just a click of a button.
As mentioned above, many marketers believe that digital marketing is very expensive. It might sound as a costly affair, but trust us when we say you can run a Facebook campaign at the same cost of buying a bar of Snickers, and a programmatic campaign at price of a pizza! Yes, it is that cheap.
Types of Digital Marketing
SEO: You ask anyone what they think about digital marketing, I bet they say SEO. They might not actually know what SEO is, but it has become a synonym of digital marketing. This again is because of a lack of knowledge about digital marketing. SEO is search engine optmization. If you have a website that means serious business, you most probably want it to be on the top of google search engine page. Now when you search for "Best grocery shops in Mumbai", you will will find few links which has a prefix AD in a square box. Those are just paid ads. Then you might see some grocery shop names with phone numbers and a Google map link. Those are business listings. Then there are some results just below these, and they are the websites which have used SEO. If you own a website and you want it to be right on the top of search results, you have to apply SEO techniques.
PPC Campaign: We talked about paid ads in Google search results with the prefix "Ad". Those are text PPC campaigns run by Adwords. PPC campaigns works by click basis. You pay only when a consumer clicks on your ad. PPC campaigns are a quick fix and can appear on the first search results page as soon as you start running the campaign in Adwords. It requires for you to pay to be on the top unlike SEO which doesn't need any money to be invested to start with. But SEO is a slow process and might even take as long as 6 months for a site to be appear at the top of the results. PPC run ads are paid ones while SEO are organic.
Programmatic: When a consumer clicks on a result in google search they are taken to the corresponding websites. If you want to reach out to this particular user on all or some of the sites they later visit, you start a programmatic campaign. You pay for this campaign and it starts showing up as soon as you launch the campaign. Programmatic campaigns can be highly successful if managed strategically. You need to identify the right user, show them the right content at the right time to make your campaign a success. For example, at some point some of you might have looked up a pair of casual shoes on internet. Did you search for a particular brand or style of shoes on Google? Do you see shoes ads running on different websites that you visit later on? That's programmatic.
Social Media: We often get clients who want to do Facebook campaigns. That means they want to reach out to right audiences with Facebook content, get potential customers who could contact them, visit their store and buy products from their Facebook page. Of course social media isn't restricted to Facebook. There is Twitter, Blogger, YouTube,LinkedIn etc. Have you ever been to Practo to see what people are saying about the 'XYZ' doctor? That's social media for healthcare. Have you visited Zomato to see what users are saying about 'ABC' grill? That's social media for Dining. Blogger is where people create their blogs and share it on Facebook or Twitter to get people's opinion Similarly, YouTube is used to create video content and use influencers to reach out to maximum people, the so called viral marketing. However, not all businesses follow the same structure. You cannot say that one particular social media platform is a great medium for marketing. It is important to understand what you want to promote and to whom. Then pick the right media. People are probably more relaxed and have a greater time to spare when they read a Facebook post than when they read Twitter or LinkedIn posts.
Affiliate Marketing: We frequently write blogs on our website and these also include articles on product . These articles also have a link to the product which leads to the merchant website when clicked. A Merchant website is the site one owned by the product owner. If a conversion happens through this path, we are called an affiliate and we get paid for all the effort that is made to bring potential leads for the Merchant.
Content Marketing: I add some content in my posts which could be really useful to the consumers. Consumers would often realize that they need to purchase the products/services mentioned in the article to get complete benefits of what I am writing about. Hence to make it easier for them, I links to these products in my article. So I am not exactly forcing the consumers to buy my product with some marketing words. I am genuinely helping somebody with a problem, and adding solution to it as well. For example, BigBasket has a recipes section added in their app. When someone goes to this section and read about cake recipes, it tells them ow to bake a cake. Now the consumer want to buy certain products if they really want to bake a cake. At the end of the article, they will find the add to cart button on flour, vanilla essence, baking powder, all in one place so that they don't have to search for the products somewhere else.
Referral Marketing: You see companies like Zomato, Swiggy, Goibibo and many more give a certain code, which if shared with a friend, will get you some sort of cashback or a discount. That's referral marketing. This an exclusive way of relying on word of mouth publicity and making it actionable.
Email Marketing: I always recommend email marketing only for the loyal customers who have already purchased something from the marketer. However, marketers run emails to remind the customers on an offer, or the products and services they offer. If you have a subscribe button added to your website, you can collect the email addresses, and then send the consumers relevant offer updates through attractive mails. Remember that when a consumer looks into inbox, they are searching for something important like a reply to a job interview application or an insurance plan status. So, if you send a boring irrelevant message, the user may ignore you mail and might unsubscribe you as well. Instead show ads to someone who cares for your brand, visits your website often, and would be glad to know about the offers that you have.
Omnichannel Marketing: You won't probably see a lot about these in other articles, but it's important to know that in 2019 we are at a stage of dynamic customer journey. Consumers swear on online tech reviews like Holy Bible and yet visit a physical store to buy the product. How would you know if the user has come to you after seeing your ad? There is a technique to identify these consumer behaviors too.. We run Hyperlocal ads pertaining to this concept. Priya goes to a mall and while speaking to friend, remembers that it's her cousin's birthday. It's not possible to buy a gift - may be a perfume - online owing to the time constraints and she chooses to buy something in the mall. Option one would be to walk to the physical store to see the prices. Option two would be (When the mall sells expensive products) to do a Google Search and find a store to buy perfumes. Shortly after the search, she see an ad which shows her a wide range of perfumes in form of a random video with the prices and offers. The video also has a business listing that shows a store in the mall. Priya goes to the shop and buys the perfume.This purchase will be tied to a programmatic dynamic creative campaign, and the offline conversion data will be synced to the campaign details. When we discuss about DMP (Data Management Platform) we will discuss how some companies store data. A DMP will be able to track these conversions.
To sum up, as a marketer, it is critical for you to understand what is important for your business and then recognize which part of Digital Marketing should be appropriate for your business.