More than eight in ten APAC consumers research online, mostly on smartphones, before buying (source). Albeit increasingly competitive, the online space is therefore an ally of choice to conquer new customers. Leading brands’ such as Nike, Airbnb or Asos understood this early on and now place great emphasis on Internet visibility and online communication. Online is the new place to be and digital marketing has therefore been the subject of extensive discussions these last few years. What is it, and what do you need to know about it? Let us break it down for you.
First things first: what do we mean by digital marketing? This term encompasses any form of marketing that exists online to connect a brand to its audience. Think email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, SEO and SEM, pop-ups, retargeting, display ads, CPC, etc.
Why is digital marketing important for your business?
Digital marketing has quickly become an essential dimension of corporate marketing, for several reasons. The first reason is that most buyers, whether B2B or B2C, research online before purchasing. In 2018, an overwhelming majority (87%) of shoppers begin their product search online, up from 71% in 2017, according to research from Publicis.Sapient and Salesforce. And among these, 90% haven’t decided about a brand before starting their search (Status Lab, 2018).
Marketing is and has always been about connecting with your audience at the right time and in the right place. Today, it means you need to meet them where they are spending time: online.
Digital marketing also means planning your campaigns with your audience’s data in mind. You can display an ad for a trip to Iceland only to those that previously checked your article about Reykjavik’s attractions. You can trigger an email when a customer’s favorite product is back in stock. No need to guess your campaigns’ results anymore, because you can track every interaction coming from your campaigns.
Digital marketing campaigns are therefore easier to analyze, quantify and iterate than traditional marketing ones. This directly translates into cost effectiveness. When you are paying for campaigns– IF you are paying at all – you are doing so to reach a targeted audience whose propensity to buy is higher.
What does digital marketing do? And what does it include?
What are some typical digital marketing techniques used today? The term includes quite a few things: SEO and SEM, content, social media, video, influencer, email, pay per click (PPC), etc.
To connect with your audience on the Internet, you must first be found. This is the purpose of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and of Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Like a killer outfit, SEO doesn’t change who you are, but it does make you more visible.
There are several SEO approaches you might want to consider:
- On-page – this technique focuses on ranking factors that you can optimize on the page itself. This includes for example keywords, title, URL, title tags, responsive design, links, etc.
- Off-page – less factors come into play here. Off-page SEO essentially consists of establishing your pages’ online authority through link building.
- Technical SEO focuses on your website’s backend and includes every action that can speed up your pages’ loading time.
Creating and diffusing quality content has proven to attract and retain customers: it allows you to grow traffic and generate new leads. This blog article is content marketing. So are e-books, whitepapers, infographics, videos, and so on. To succeed, the content must have added value and be engaging for your audience. The goal is not the immediate sale, but progressive education, so that consumers can make enlightened buying decisions on their own.
Social media marketing
77% of consumers buy from the brands they follow on social media over other brands (Sprout Social Index 2019). Posting on social media is a great way for the brands to share their content, create traffic and raise awareness, all for free. Each social network has its specificities – LinkedIn is an obvious choice for B2B companies, while Facebook is more attractive to B2C firms – so choose wisely before launching your social media activities.
What’s my first step in digital marketing?
Everything begins with the right digital marketing mix. The importance of strategy is not new, and digital marketing is no exception. Yet, failing to strategize and planning is the #1 mistake marketers make in digital marketing.
In our experience, marketers face 2 common challenges regarding digital marketing strategy.
The first one is the fear of having to write a huge report. Feel reassured: a strategy can be summarized into 3 or 4 slides. You can start by drafting a 3-month strategy, giving your team space to iterate throughout the year.
The second challenge is the sheer scope of digital marketing. To choose which techniques to include in your strategy, we recommend listing your customer journey’s steps. Then select one or two relevant techniques for each phase. What techniques will produce the most results to respectively reach, engage, convert and retain your customers?
Also keep in mind that your strategy will of course be different whether you’re B2C or B2B: channels, objectives and tactics will differ. Check out what tactics have proven most efficient in your industry to gain time in trial and error.
How do I make digital marketing time efficient?
Most digital marketing techniques are cost efficient, but how do you make them time efficient as well? Marketing automation is your answer.
Digital marketing includes repetitive tasks such as social media posting and emailing, that can easily be automated with the right software. One of the reasons you should adopt marketing automation is that it allows you to nurture your leads efficiently, without even thinking about it.
You simply create a workflow. Think of this as a scenario that triggers and branches out depending on the consumer’s behavior. A typical workflow would be an onboarding one, for example: when a customer signs up for your service, a series of emails is triggered to teach him or her how to best use your product.
Marketing automation best tools
Automation can even happen across channels, with software such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud, SAP Marketing Cloud, or Sitecore Experience Cloud. We at SAI Digital implement and customize this best-in-class software to accurately fit your needs. Feel free to reach out so we can help you conceptualize and implement your digital marketing strategy. Let’s unlock new revenue together!