If you running an online store or an offline business with some internet awareness, you might have heard of these terms Digital Marketing, Internet Marketing, Online Marketing. Let’s dive in and understand Internet Marketing a little better.
Internet or Digital Marketing is a data oriented, result oriented (pay for your results) form of marketing. Digital Marketing is an umbrella term used for advertising or promoting brands or products by digital marketing companies by utilizing one or more digital marketing medium such as search engines, websites, online maps, social media websites, blogs, infographics, videos, mobile apps, email marketing and a ton more online tools. Some other mediums closely associated with digital marketing, include wireless messaging, mobile messaging apps, digital billboards, direct to home digital television and modern radio channels, etc.
The advancing human generations have found numerous ways of advertising online to the extent that one saying goes “The best minds of our generation are working on getting more people to engage with online ads”. Some of the most commonly used methods by digital marketing companies that are popular with a lot of advertisers are Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Social Media Optimization (SMO), Social Media Marketing (SMM), Content Marketing, Display Advertising, Email Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Marketing Automation, RSS Feeds and E-commerce Marketing.
Why is digital marketing important today?
India has 100+ Cr active mobile phone connections in 2017 and 220 million users have a smartphone. The smartphone penetration rate stands at 30% today and is expected to shoot up rapidly due to affordable internet becoming a reality. Smartphones, Desktops, Laptops, Tablets have weaved a web around our life and this digital presence and attention is the main reason why digital marketing has become so essential for companies small, medium and large alike. An average person is expected to use social networking websites, use search engines and utilize at least 3-4 apps on his or her smartphone in a typical day. The time spent by users on digital media is increasing rapidly and is only expected to go one way i.e. upwards.
Internet has become an integral part of everyone’s lives today (More so in the metropolitan regions) and digital marketing has helped smaller companies catch up to the might of large corporations. A small business can utilize the same tools a large corporate would use and can target their market share using smart internet marketing techniques. With the advent of digital marketing, small companies now can use the tools to generate sales and create marketing processes that were hitherto the hegemony of corporations. Without a major call-center setup, every small business can now engage effectively with hundreds of customers from any part of the world without investing on setting up physical stores or branches in these locations.
What are the major differences between traditional and internet marketing?
The whole purpose of advertising with both traditional and digital marketing is to help companies reach new consumers, deliver a brand’s message and create a recall value. While both marketing methods serve the same purpose, digital marketing is far cheaper, more precise, data driven and result oriented when compared with traditional advertising methods. Leading research firms have surveyed the length and breadth of the country and found that digital advertising for their products has saved more than 50-60% of marketing costs for companies. Companies that market their products and services online routinely describe successful campaigns by the percentage of traffic that gets converted into leads or sales. Without conversion, all the online traffic would equal a nought and all the marketing efforts would go down the drain.
Digital Marketing helps companies reach customers reach only the audiences that they want to target. For example, a business in website content creation based out of Hyderabad, India can use digital marketing to reach customers in the United States and United Kingdom and it won’t cost them a bomb. In fact, the return on investment on such advertising is huge and the upside is being recognized by many companies in India quickly. As digital marketing is completely data driven, the advertiser pays only when a certain action is taken a user and this benefits both the user and the companies vying for his/her attention because the cost is low. The advertising data in the digital world is measured in standard parameters such as Cost Per Click (CPC) or Pay Per Click (PPC) where the advertiser pays only when users click on a search or display ad and visit the advertiser’s website or app, Cost per Lead (CPL) where the advertiser pays only when a lead is generated and Cost Per View (CPV) pay only when someone views your video ad.
Traditional marketing methods such as Bill Boards require huge upfront investment and to analyze how many customers a business received because of a board is next to impossible. This is where Internet Marketing comes in. With Internet Marketing, companies can track the number of clicks for a website, leads generated through a campaign, reach of a particular advertisement and total revenue generated. The numbers play an important role in helping companies make informed and data driven decisions on their marketing budgets.
Although we have written extensively about the positive impact of digital advertising, we are not writing off traditional advertising. Traditional marketing still plays a major role in brand building exercises for a large number of companies. In cases where digital marketing has been used in tandem with traditional marketing, the results have been unbelievably fantastic. According to modern research, brand building exercise and advertising with specific call to actions on the internet creates a more recognized and personalized feeling towards a brand and the brand recall value increases multi-fold. The same research also observes, companies that set aside 40-50% of their budgets towards digital marketing with specific goals tend to have better results.
How can digital offer better ROI
With advanced tools at disposal, digital marketing companies optimize conversion rates to achieve maximum ROI’s for businesses. The campaigns can be run from as low as 500 Rs. a day (~ $ 10). Having specific objectives such as increase online sales, generate more leads, get more downloads for an app or increase website visitors helps digital marketers tailor campaigns towards achieving these goals set by clients.
This starts with tracking the number of conversions received on a particular website. Web experts install tracking codes into your website at crucial places according to set business objectives. This marks the conversion tracking readiness of a website. From this stage, important actions taken on your website can be tracked and can be reported. The next step is to track the developments and actions on a real time basis. As the old saying goes, information is only important as long as it is fresh. Having actionable, live data is essential for any digital marketing company to fine tune campaigns to suit the needs of every client. Few digital marketing companies provide real time analytics portals to clients for tracking their progress. The campaigns are optimized to obtain ROI’s that are more profitable than any other medium of advertising.
Campaign Rate Optimization is an important aspect of digital marketing that is often overlooked and less understood by many marketers. Converting passive website visitors to customers depends on tactical understanding of the website design, core deficiencies and effective changes that can lure customers back to the website.
Digital ad spends are currently at an all time high and rightly so because of the ROI’s that can be achieved. One of the author’s company’s clients spent 65,000 Rs. ($ 1,000) per month for 6 months on digital platforms and clocked 300% growth in revenues and ROI of 250% on ad spend. This is the case with the majority of the digital advertisers as the targeting is precise. Various objectives such as branding, clicks & conversions can be achieved with ‘push’ (activate a customer while not actively interested right now) or ‘pull’ (customers with live interest) strategies.
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