Digital marketing is starting to take over from traditional marketing. Yet, according to a study by Smart Insights, 44 companies that claim to be doing digital don’t have a real strategy.
That’s a surprising number, and it speaks to a “casual” approach of impromptu, disjointed initiatives. Many brands see digital marketing as a great low-cost opportunity to communicate and give visibility to products and services, but not everyone understands its full potential. But what are the benefits of web marketing?
We start by reducing the concept to a minimum: digital marketing is the set of activities that support traditional sales strategies by intercepting the demand of those 39 million people who, in Italy alone, connect to the Internet to search for information, buy and be entertained.
1. Simpler and with more market
Traditional channels such as broadcasting (radio and TV) and the press have always favored big brands, i.e. those able to allocate high advertising budgets. Web marketing has marked a turning point, opening the doors of exposure to all commercial realities: without barriers to entry, digital marketing allows all brands to make their products known to the target audience (brand awareness) and increase sales.
Moreover, another big difference compared to traditional channels is that communication with potential customers is no longer one-way, i.e. from the company to the consumer, but takes on connotations of dialogue and exchange. Beyond the slogan, online marketing campaigns can be modified in content and tailored to specific demographics (gender, location, age, interests…) in a very short time compared to traditional channels.
Digital tools allow you to constantly track how potential customers arrive on our website, through which channels they know the content, how they behave once they come in contact with the brand. This allows you to understand how much capital invested has paid off on each channel and adjust the marketing strategy accordingly.
This is how small and medium-sized companies can use the different web marketing channels to reach their target customer, locally or internationally.
2. Multi-device = cross-channel
The tools available to users in the course of a day vary from PC to tablet to smartphone (some also add smart TV). Brands can then monitor, for example, how the person reacts to the same ad on Google, but displayed on different devices.
With digital marketing tools, companies can then decline their strategies according to the context (such as home, work or car) and the device used on the single occasion.
If an ad displayed by a smartphone during a break at work is unlikely to lead to an immediate purchase, replaying the same ad once the user is back home and connected to the PC offers a greater possibility of conversion. The ability to “chase” users who have visited a company’s website or an ad without completing the key action, encouraging them to return on the conversion path, is called remarketing. Email marketing represents a fundamental remarketing tool. It is therefore essential to provide for interaction between the various digital communication channels: in addition to email, SMS can also be added, through which product launches, suggestions or customer support can be communicated (even more immediately).
3. Increased brand exposure
What brands need to be able to inspire in the customer is the feeling of trust in the brand. For this campaign, there are several factors to consider:
Specifically, let’s talk about the customer journey, that set of customer touch points that make up the buying experience. This is why brands must create an uninterrupted, coherent and supportive fabric between all touch points: e-commerce, website, blog, email marketing, social networks. These are all phases of approaching the brand, and each of them must inspire trust, be functional and have a neat layout.
In short, this means that digital offers an exponentially greater number of opportunities to contact its target. The opposite of what happens in traditional marketing, where exposure to radio, television and print media implies large investments and, consequently, a smaller number of communications. This is the principle of inbound marketing. In addition, digital marketing offers a unique opportunity: customers can write reviews about a product/service directly on the company’s Facebook page, or directly on Google through the dedicated service for local businesses. The same thing happens on large e-commerce portals like Amazon. An important factor, considering that 90% of consumers say they would trust a brand they know through personal recommendations (Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey data) and 88% read personal reviews and recommendations when purchasing products online (BrightLocal data).
In addition to influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions, online reviews provide greater exposure for a company’s website, as they are a contributing factor to its search engine ranking, increasing the chances of being among the top positions in industry-related searches.
4. Clear and well-defined objectives
Unlike traditional channels, digital marketing allows you to set strategy objectives that are clear and consistent with those of the company. An awareness goal necessarily involves more targeted tactics and operations than the macro goal of increasing conversions.
Goals are supported by monitoring activity, which helps understand where and how to improve different aspects of the strategy. But measurement should also be about what the end results will be: that is, we need to have in mind what we want to measure at the end of a campaign and organize our operational plan around that.
To help you define the new target, it is useful to answer six fundamental questions (these are the famous 5Ws, developed in a digital marketing key):
Why? → What are the measurable goals we have set for ourselves? Who? → Who are the people we want to reach? → With what content? Where? → In what market or geographic scenario? When? → How long do we want to achieve this (short, long, or set)? How? → With what tools?
5. A well identified audience
The success of a digital strategy relies mainly on targeting, that is, identifying a receptive audience based on certain characteristics that allow us to assume that they are potential customers who are really interested in our product. Take Facebook and Instagram: both platforms allow us to determine precisely the type of audience we want to address with content and ads.
6. Telling the brand, step by step
Content is one of the most important tools for attracting new visitors and converting them into customers, both immediately and in the long term, representing one step in a larger brand story. Corporate blogs, video content, podcasts, ebooks and white papers. Content marketing is a world of editorial products that brands need to be able to open up to their audience, to build trust in the brand and maintain loyalty.
But you don’t have to run into so-called content shock, when you produce more content than people can read. Today, it’s no longer important to write a lot, but to write quality content that can be shared and create engagement, aiming for quality website traffic as a result.
A lesson in digital marketing
Digital marketing is both an art and a science to be learned and practiced – better and faster than the competition. The multi-platform scenario is rapidly evolving and it is imperative to stay up to date. That’s why we want to offer you a 10% discount on Ninja Academy’s Master of Digital Marketing.