Digital marketing plan on desktop screen.

The Basics of Digital Marketing and The Impact it Can Have On Your Startup or Small Business

Digital marketing plan on desktop screen.

The part played by digital marketing within the marketing scheme of a business spreads beyond online advertising and social media activity.

Businesses are successfully exploiting the benefits of digital marketing to connect with their audiences, enhance online performance and gain an upper hand over their competition.

Digital marketing gives businesses the much-needed boost to rake in more sales and generate a higher ROI.

In this blog, you will learn the basics of digital marketing and the impact it can have on your business.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing can be defined as any form of marketing performed online. It offers the means to reach out to a brand’s target audience and promote its name and products through online and digital avenues. It includes various paid and unpaid digital marketing mediums which will be described in this blog.

Why use Digital Marketing?

Buying behaviour among consumers has radically changed over the past years. With wide-scale accessibility to the internet, the number of people using the internet is on a steady growth year over year. In fact, according to research, there has been an increase in continual internet usage by approximately 5% in the last three years. With offline marketing failing to retain its effectiveness, a substantial number of consumers have shifted their marketing journey online.

Digital Marketing trends have always been about enhancing connectivity with one’s audience in the right place and at the right time. Today, it means meeting audiences at places where they are already spending time, which in this case is the internet. This shift in purchasing decisions and buying patterns of consumers has made digital marketing an inevitable part of any business trying to cement its position in the modern business world.

How Does Digital Marketing Work?

For business owners to make smart decisions regarding digital marketing activities, it is important to be aware of how digital marketing works. The best way to understand it’s mechanism is to know and recognize how each element of digital marketing can help a business reach its marketing goals.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization involves optimizing online content, to make it appear appealing to search engines. The prime goal of SEO is to ensure that a company’s online content ranks high in the search engine results page (SERP), thereby increasing market visibility. The higher your online content ranks on the SERP, the greater organic traffic is obtained.

Website Marketing

An attractive website is a brand’s initial opportunity to leave a good impression on the minds of its targeted consumers. Thus, paying attention to the colours, graphics, and layout used in the site design of a website is of utmost importance. These days, users are increasingly using their mobile phones rather than their desktop when using the internet. Hence, it is important to create a mobile and computer friendly website to improve the consumer’s experience on all platforms. The site must be aesthetically pleasing, include quality content and be easy to navigate to fully satisfy the visitor.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing includes promoting a brand’s content and engaging with a company’s target audience over social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn and more. It helps enhance brand awareness, improve customer engagement, generate greater leads and much more. In addition to the direct positive results driven by social media, it also supports the functioning of other digital marketing efforts to increase overall company performance.

Content Marketing

Content marketing involves the creation and promotion of content primarily aimed at engaging and attracting a brand’s target customers. These content assets are created for distinct purposes like increasing site traffic, developing brand awareness, improving leads and retaining clients. A few common types of content marketing created to support a digital marketing strategy includes blog posts, website pages, e-books, case studies, testimonials, promo videos, infographics and podcasts.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves the use of branded emails by companies to communicate with their audience. These marketing emails are specifically meant to enhance brand awareness, promote products or services, create a relationship with customers and most importantly, encourage prospects to purchase. The content of these marketing emails is personalized to the target audience and is adjusted in accordance with the goal of a campaign.

PPC Marketing

PPC ads are a type of advertising where an ad publisher is paid every time a new viewer clicks on the ad. One of the most effective and popular forms of PPC ads is Google Ads. The main objective of PPC marketing is to acquire leads through the advertiser’s website and provoke them to purchase the product or service. Here, search engines play the role of an advertising platform by allowing the advertisers to promote their products or services relevant to what audiences are searching for.

Graphic Design Marketing

Though written content can be a good means to interact with your target audience efficiently, a powerful graphic design makes the endeavour more connecting. Being an excellent mode of communication, it increases the visibility of the brand while portraying a message to the audience. If a business is looking to enhance their brand image amongst their potential customers, they must consider including graphic design in their marketing strategy.

E-Commerce Marketing

E-commerce stores allow consumers to avail of company products at any time and at their convenience. Thus, for businesses looking to improve their customer experience and drive in new customers, e-commerce marketing is a great way to connect with the target audience 24/7. E-commerce is a crucial part of a company’s digital marketing strategy to strengthen online presence and keep up with the competition.

It is a combination of the above tactics and few other digital marketing aspects that results in the successful functioning of a brand’s digital marketing activities. Termed as integrated multi-channel marketing, the efficient combination of all the above marketing elements helps a brand attract, convert and retain clients seamlessly.

Importance of Digital Marketing for Startups and Small Businesses

The fact that the marketplace has become increasingly digital with the evolution of technology hardly comes as a surprise to many. Many consumers are exploring and purchasing products online rather than through the traditional marketplace. Therefore, the concept of digital marketing is becoming more widespread than ever. According to reports by Tech Crunch, 79% of buyers shop online and a Forbes report stated that 82% of people research online. Statistics like these demonstrate that digital marketing has been vital to companies seeking to satisfy their customers. But the question is, why and how does it have a positive impact on businesses?

Many businesses are well aware that a digital marketing strategy is essential to achieve business goals. Digital marketing methods are more flexible, engaging and affordable as compared to traditional marketing. In fact, several successful companies are generating an increase in sales, revenue and profit via digital marketing activities. Thus digital marketing mediums could and should be implemented by all companies irrespective of size, stage and industry.

Benefits of Digital Marketing for Startups and Small Businesses

The assemblage of potential customers found online is much larger as compared to the number attracted locally. Digital marketing helps businesses reach out to an enormous audience through means that are both measurable and cost-effective.

Some of the most notable benefits of digital marketing for startups and small businesses include:

  • Reach the global marketplace
  • Increase brand visibility
  • Interact with their prospects
  • Reduce marketing investment
  • Track results of marketing activities
  • Increase brand metrics
  • Target your audience effectively

How to Develop a Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Business

Excellent digital marketing activities can propel a business rapidly toward success. Nevertheless, this is only possible through an effective digital marketing strategy. To properly strategize, implement, and maintain digital marketing activities, brands must effectively consider many digital marketing elements. Here are a few to keep in mind.

  • Consider the most appropriate digital marketing online tools
  • Consider the resources required for these activities (time, budget, knowledge, etc)
  • Consider the digital marketing activities that are most effective for your business
  • Consider your environment (consumers, competitors, partners, industry, etc)
  • Consider your business goals and objectives

As you can see, it is impossible to create a digital marketing plan that is a one-size-fits-all for businesses. To generate the best results you must create a digital marketing strategy customized and adapted to your company.

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