The digital revolution has transformed the way we buy and shop, and today the impact of digital marketing is growing exponentially year after year. The average individual spends nearly 6.5 hours a day online, with almost a third of that being spent on portable electronic devices such as smart phones, tablets and laptops. With this kind of online presence businesses can take advantage of huge potential to grow their businesses rapidly.
There are two kinds of advertising channels that marketers can choose from for their advertising campaigns. One is traditional TV advertising, which involves buying ad space on television stations, while the other is online marketing. Online advertising has opened up new marketing avenues such as social networking and search engines, as well as email marketing campaigns. In order to get the most from digital marketing, marketers need to use all these channels for the maximum benefit.
TV advertising works by purchasing ad space for a specific time slot, which can run for days or weeks depending on how large the campaign. Although this type of traditional marketing is popular, the impact is minimal. It’s important to track the results of any campaign, in order to ensure that it is achieving its goals. With digital marketing, you’ll have access to performance metrics that show conversion rates, as well as the number of impressions or visits.
With traditional media channels, a marketer determines the kind of media to be used, the kind of budget to spend on the advertising campaign, and then the target audience to whom the ads will be shown. Once these decisions have been made, the next step is to determine the format of the ads, where to place them, how to measure their effectiveness, and so on. Media channels used include television, radio, print, online advertising, and video. Digital marketing offers a wide range of media channels, including social media channels like Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, StumbleUpon, etc.
There are different ways to monetize digital marketing. Commonly used channels are affiliate networks, pay-per-click advertising, search engine advertising, display advertising, and so on. Affiliate networks allow marketers to pay publishers for sending traffic to their site. Pay-per-click and search engine advertising allows marketers to bid on keywords relevant to their products and services and then pay each time a visitor clicks on those keywords. Display advertising displays ads on websites and mobile applications, and then pays the host site every time a visitor is directed to the advertiser’s site.
Social media channels are also a popular way of driving traffic to websites. The two most popular, and perhaps most effective, are Twitter and Facebook. By getting into the conversation with a targeted audience on these channels, marketers can create lasting relationships that lead to increased brand awareness. Brand recognition is the goal of all online businesses.
In addition to driving traffic, digital marketing professionals are also responsible for managing the look and feel of the channel. This includes selecting appropriate ads, which are displayed in the right format, for the right audience, at the right time, and at the right place. There are numerous channels online for advertisers. Marketers can also decide how to make the ads look and feel like the brand they want to represent. Some good examples of social media channels include: blogs, Facebook fan pages, MySpace blogs, podcasts, blogs, online forums, microblogging sites, online surveys, videos, games, and social shopping.
The key to successful social media marketing is to understand the target audience, and deliver content that will appeal to them, and not to just the majority of the audience. Digital Marketing professionals must be creative, intuitive, technologically savvy, and work well within a team environment. They should have solid experience in email marketing, web development, offline marketing, and social media marketing, to effectively leverage digital channels to their advantage.