Importance and Scope of Digital Marketing for Online Business
October 26th, 2022
Ever wondered what the purpose of those bright flashy posts on Instagram are all about? Why do brands need a social media presence at all? And more importantly why do their marketing strategies work so well (in other words why do I end up spending $$$)?
Well we've got two (very straightforward) words for you - Digital Marketing.
What is Digital Marketing?
Most of us don't really need an introduction to digital marketing. We're either consuming it or we're the ones making it (or doing both?) But for those few who are probably on a digital hiatus, Digital Marketing is:The act of promoting a company or its products/services digitally or using technology.
It's as simple as that. If you use any digital means necessary to promote your products or services, you're a Digital Marketer.
The significance of Digital Marketing has really kicked off in the last decade, because it helps companies reach a larger audience in a shorter amount of time. Smartphones are basically an extension of our hands at this point, making it the easiest way for brands to reach us.
But Digital Marketing on its own is just an umbrella term for a wide variety of marketing techniques. So what is Digital Marketing made up of?
The Main Types of Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing is not simply made up of Social Media posts and Google Ads. Let's take a look at some prime examples of Digital Marketing:
Search Engine Optimisation
Also known as SEO, Search Engine Optimisation is very helpful in enhancing the reach and scope of a brand. Let's say you're looking to take care of your plants and you search for "Plant care tips" on a search engine like Google or Bing.
While you'll get pages and pages of results from different gardening brands, you are most likely to click on the first result. And that's where all the brands want to be.
The purpose of SEO is to rank first on the Search Engine Results Page, also known as SERP. The higher your website ranks, the more traffic it is bound to garner. And more traffic means better brand recognition.
Using specific keywords on your website is one way you can push your webpage higher and make it more relevant. Backlinks, meta data, etc. are some of the other ways. It is important to keep in mind that SEO is a wholly organic process. One has to use specific keywords, elements like videos, photos or other hundreds of elements to be favoured by the algorithm of the search engine. You also have to keep up with the latest news and updates on the search engine and how their algorithm affects your ranking.
Content Marketing is a marketing strategy used to attract, engage and retain one's audience by making use of blogs, posts, articles, videos, podcasts etc. This form of marketing promotes brand awareness and shows expertise. In content marketing, the focus is applied to the actual content and using various tools like SEO or social media posts, the content is optimised and broadcasted.
Confused? Do you believe that emails are outdated or that people don't open them? Then we're afraid you're very wrong. Email marketing is still very much used and is still very very much effective. We'll explain why.
There is absolutely no limit on how many emails you send out, even SMS or messenger apps aren't able to reach that large an audience, without getting flagged as spam or suspicious. What's more, SMSs go through a stringent verification and approval process through their respective telecom operators when brands use them for promotions.
In comparison with Social Media, the audience you can reach is hindered by many factors like the number of followers you have, whether or not the algorithm supports your posts or whether or not you boost (pay the platform to reach more people) your posts, etc.
Emails are cost-effective, versatile, easy to build and can reach any number of audiences. These benefits make email marketing one of the most important digital marketing channels for brands today.
Pay Per Click
We know we said we Digital Marketing is more than Google Ads, but this article simply wouldn't be complete without mentioning the internet's best friend.
So, PPC Advertising is a form of advertising where advertisers pay a fee each time their ads are clicked on. Search engine advertising is the most common form of PPC advertising, and the most popular example would be Google ads.
If you've spent enough time on Google search, you would have definitely seen some form of PPC. It's any search result with the word "Ad" on top of it. Now Google ads run on a pay per click model where brands bid for keywords and Google chooses "winners" from a large number of advertisers based on their campaigns, quality of work and more. Seems complicated? Let's simplify this.
Let's say 3 competitor brands, like Swiggy, Zomato and UberEats want their name to occur first every time a user types "order food online", and they all bid for this keyword. If Swiggy wins the bid, then Swiggy's ad will occur first. So every time a user types the keyword and clicks on Swiggy's sponsored Ad, Swiggy has to pay a fee to the search engine, in this case, Google.
To put it simply, PPC is a way of buying visits instead of organically driving traffic to your channel.
How about we use the word influencer instead? Bet you'll understand this way faster.
An influencer promotes products or services that aren't theirs. Influencers are simply third party marketers that promote a company's products for a fee in return. They usually host websites or blogs or accounts where they review products, post product links or ads about those products. All with the intention to drive traffic to the company's website.
Affiliate marketing is usually tied to Pay per click or SEO marketing. Since the influencer's job is to drive traffic to a particular website or product web page, they get paid for every click made to that website, hence making it PPC. Along with this, they also have to make use of SEO and keywords to drive traffic to their website. At the end of the day, affiliate marketing is a win-win situation, giving customers, influencers and brands exactly what they each need.
These are the most important tools or techniques that people use to market their products, and these are the techniques that make digital marketing as successful as it is.
How is Digital Marketing taking over Traditional Marketing?
Traditional Marketing involves anything to do with print media, flyers, posters, billboards, newspaper advertisements, radio broadcasts, TVCs, etc.
So the main difference between the two is obviously the medium used. But what benefits of digital marketing is set apart from traditional marketing
Traditional Marketing has a lesser reach compared to Digital Marketing. Most forms of Traditional Marketing, such as print ads and hoardings are geographically restricted, limiting their reach. Whereas, digital content, unless specifically targeted, can be made available to audiences worldwide.
Printing is unfortunately costly in the long run. While you do need certain equipment to Digitally Market something, that cost comes under your capital and is not a recurring cost like printing would be. This factor allows for many more collaterals to be created under the umbrella of digital marketing branding as opposed to that in traditional branding.
VersatilityTraditional Marketing can come with a lot of restrictions. For example, consider print media. It is not as versatile, in the sense that on a digital platform you have the option to use videographic elements, you can play around with audio visual themes in a way that is just not possible on print. Versatility could also be about size. Digital media can be made and consumed in any size. Banners and standees have fixed sizes, colour tones, and material restrictions on the other hand. Also, it is possible to make edits, to an extent, digitally. Once something has been printed, it's impossible to change anything there and the whole campaign can go for a toss.
A digital campaign can be interactive in nature. With social media providing many responsive capabilities to users, your followers or target audience can reach back to you at any time, via comments, direct messages, phone calls or even on email.
In print media, there is a lack of real time results, whereas online, you can instantly know whether or not your digital campaign was successful. There is a way to quantify that success, in the form of likes, comments, reposts/ shares, etc.
That said, this is not to diminish the importance of Traditional Advertising, which is important in its own right. However, it's clear how Digital Marketing benefits brands today.
Why is Digital Marketing Important for the Future?
If the above points aren't reason enough for you to believe that the benefits of digital media are vital for all businesses in the future, we have a lot more advantages to give you.
Post the pandemic, the merits of e-marketing really paid off and there was a sharp rise in spend overall in Digital Marketing, with an increase of over 22% in budgets from 2020 to 2022. This goes to prove that even the largest and most established companies are restructuring their traditional Advertising budgets and giving Digital Media promotion more focus than before. Apart from the convenience of Digital Marketing and all it's remote capabilities, these could be the other possible online advertising benefits, making it everyone's hot pick:
Digital Marketing helps you to effectively target your audience. Even if you don't have the clearest idea of your target audience, you can use Digital Marketing tools to extract data and see what group of people work best for you, as an audience. You can then best align your marketing strategy with their needs, and going forward you can base all your marketing efforts around them, saving a lot of time and energy.
Further, digital marketing benefits brands and allows them to choose from a wide range of content with ease. Using different content buckets you can build a solid digital media plan to effectively reach your target audience on multiple platforms, with each platform being optimised in different ways. This gives you the freedom to explore and experiment with various digital marketing trends.
As new technologies constantly come into the market, the possibilities with Digital Marketing are just going to increase and people are just going to push the envelope of what is creatively possible. Digital Marketing may have come into the forefront because of the pandemic, however, now that people have started to realise its importance, its presence is only going to dominate the market more.
The Scope of Branding and Digital Marketing as a Career
With the new and improved adaptation of our lives post pandemic, with Digital Marketing at the forefront of most businesses. Companies are now aggressively hiring Digital Marketing experts and freshers to take charge and handle the responsibilities that the profession calls for.
In terms of scope (which there is a lot of), these are the most in demand skills in the field of Digital Marketing
- Video Production
- Content Marketing
- Data Analytics
- Search Engine Optimization
- Pay per click
- Graphic Designing
Now that you have a fair idea of what skillsets are prioritised, you can work on them and get jobs in the following positions:
- Digital Marketing Manager
- Search Engine Optimizer
- Social Media Marketer
- Content Marketer
- Email Marketer
- SEM Specialist
- SEO Specialists for Voice Assistants (Alexa, Siri etc.)
- Video Producers
- Data Analyst
With over 30% of the world's population (too many zero's to count) being connected online, reaching them there just makes sense from a brand's perspective. Adding technology to age old web marketing strategies is the smart route to take for brands that want to stay relevant in the long run. The demand for Digital Marketing makes it a highly competitive field, starting your career earlier itself, in this field, is best. Check out our digital marketing course that is specially curated for freshers and makes use of blended learning for the most effective way to pick up new skills.
If you think this blog was helpful leave us a comment below and stay tuned for more such content.