Digital marketing is an all-encompassing term consisting of digital channels such as content marketing, SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, mobile marketing, etc.
It aims to formulate detailed strategies to attract potential customers and customers and establish connections with them.
Ordinary users consume content through televisions, computers, tablets, smart phones, radio and other traditional media.
Constant exposure to various types of media has led to too much information, thereby complicating the buyer’s journey.
Digital marketing enables brands to be visible through different channels and touch points, thereby maintaining relevance.
In addition to traditional marketing channels such as TV, newspapers, and billboards, marketers also use these digital channels to guide potential customers and keep in touch with existing customers during the buying process.
Types of Digital Marketing Channels
Before delving into other aspects of digital marketing, let us quickly review the 11 main channels of digital marketing:
This website is usually where you do digital marketing. Brands and organizations use websites to host content while using other media to distribute content.
Most of your digital marketing activities will link back to your website, which is expected to be operated on and track conversions. For example, file downloads, product or service reservations, etc.
2. Content Marketing
Content creation is the backbone of the entire digital marketing strategy. Whether you have a documented content marketing strategy or not, you are creating content through other channels to inform, entertain, inspire or convince your buyers.
The most common content formats include text (blog posts), videos, images, infographics, podcasts, slides and e-books.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO acts as the Jaguar of your content marketing efforts. SEO consists of on-page and off-page activities to increase the visibility of your website in the search engine results page (SERP) of your preferred keywords.
In the early days, SEO was mainly text-based, but voice search has become more and more important in recent years, which is why your SEO activities need to be conversational.
4. Digital Advertising
Digital advertising is a general term for various online advertising strategies. The typical pricing/bidding strategy for digital advertising is cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-mile (CPM), which are impressions per thousand.
The common formats of digital advertising are search engine marketing (SEM), display advertising, local advertising, social media advertising and programmatic advertising.
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing is the process of maintaining a database of hot and cold contacts and sending them email alerts about your brand, products and services.
This is an effective channel for continuous communication with your audience. Email marketing is useful for building a user base, attracting new customers, retaining existing customers, promoting discounts and offers, and distributing content.
6. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing ensures you appear on the platform where users spend the most time. These include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Instagram, where you can distribute content through natural and paid channels.
Social media has also played a vital role in spreading the wave of video marketing and short-lived content. It can conduct two-way communication, and your fans and followers can interact with you through likes, comments, direct messages or posting content on your official page.
7. Affiliate Marketing
The concept of affiliate marketing is similar to commission-based sales. Organizations provide customized links to their members. Every time someone makes a purchase through their custom link, the member gets a specific reduction/commission.
Influence marketing can be considered as a modern and evolving derivative product of affiliate marketing.
8. Mobile Marketing
The number of smartphone users across the world is expected to grow to 3.5 billion in 2020. To bank on this opportunity, brands connect with their users on their smartphones through mobile apps, emails, mobile-friendly websites, and social media.
By connecting with users on the go, brands have been able to optimize their marketing strategies and send timely messages.
9. Online PR
Online public relations is a profitable medium. This is when members of the press (journalists or online publications) mention your brand through their stories, interviews, etc.
Product reviews from customers, blogs, and influencers mentioning your brand or product (whether it’s a paid product or organic product) also help your online PR.
10. Conversational AI
The rise of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has paved the way for more developed marketing strategies such as conversational AI.
With the popularity of voice search, chatbots and digital assistants, conversational AI is essential to digital marketing.
11. Web Analytics
Web analytics is the practice of collecting, measuring, analyzing and reporting data. It can usually be tracked through Google Analytics, but websites can also build their analytical tools.
The data collected can be quantitative or qualitative. Web analytics can help marketers understand the source of traffic, effective and ineffective content, return on investment (ROI), and how to enhance digital marketing efforts.
3 Best Practices for Digital Marketing in 2021
Here are five best practices to help you win at digital marketing in 2021:
1. Go Omnichannel
Successful organizations have adopted omnichannel marketing methods to guide them to sell through channels. Omni-channel marketing is an evolution of multi-channel marketing that can help you provide buyers with an overall shopping experience.
This is about delivering the right message at the right time on the right marketing channel.
Omnichannel means providing a consistent experience throughout the purchase process. This means that your strategy should focus on customers rather than specific channels.
To build an omnichannel strategy, create a consistent brand voice across different channels. A tight omni-channel marketing strategy should consider all digital marketing channels and map their utility at each stage of the buyer’s journey, and messaging accordingly.
Example: Starbucks is known for using digital media to improve the customer experience (CX). In this particular case, the Starbucks app allows users to find stores, order through the app, pay by phone, and track “starry sky” and “rewards.”
Users can also earn bonus points for ordering by phone, and through collaboration with Spotify, users can also identify songs played in the store.
2. Leverage AI in Digital Marketing
Artificial intelligence and machine learning enable marketers to reach their target audience with unprecedented precision. Using AI and ML-supported applications, you can establish contact with buyers in the following ways:
Conversational AI: Conversational AI such as digital assistants and chatbots has become ubiquitous and can communicate with potential customers and customers.
They have the ability to deliver content, collect customer needs, provide customer support, help customers purchase goods or make reservations, and keep orders updated.
For example, The Wall Street Journal created a Facebook Messenger chatbot that can deliver content directly to subscribers’ inboxes.
Personalization: The success of omni-channel marketing depends on how well you personalize CX, and artificial intelligence can help you do this. AI-based tools can understand and predict user behavior.
This can further help you provide a personalized experience by creating user segments that share similar characteristics.
3. Don’t Ignore Email
Email marketing is still an effective digital marketing channel. If you have a large subscriber base, you can convey a message to subscribers without spending a penny!
You can use email marketing to send drip advertising campaigns, promote on new users/customers/subscribers, promote new content, provide exclusive discounts and offers, solicit feedback through surveys, etc.
In order to successfully implement your email marketing plan in 2021, use user-generated interactive content to attract users, keep your email mobile-friendly, and build an exclusive email community that can act as your tribe.