Since the early 1990s, digital marketing meant spamming yahoo chat rooms and mailboxes for most professionals.
But since then the industry has developed in leaps and bounds, and today we are standing on the verge of Artificial Intelligence-driven marketing.
Let us look at the main pillars of digital marketing below, which can drive exorbitant results if used in an integrated manner by the brands:
1. Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is an integrated marketing strategy used by brands to increase visibility in search engine result pages (SERP) and vis-à-vis growing business in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
The biggest reason that makes Search Engine Marketing so powerful is that it is intent-based marketing where your ads appear in front of highly motivated customers who have a purchase mindset.
It consists of two main parts:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is an organic way of getting traffic and generating clicks via search engines.
This is completely driven by relevant content and on-page, off-page optimization.
This is a long-term strategy and requires continuous efforts to scale up.
Paid Ads or Pay per Click Ads (PPC)
PPC ads strategy is where bidding is done by brands to acquire the top spot in search results.
This is completely inorganic and is driven by budgets that can be allocated to get clicks.
This strategy is used mostly by brands with financial resources and is looking for a quick scale-up of their traffic and sales.
The below image will give a clear distinction between SEO and PPC
2. Content Marketing
Content Marketing is the strategy to create, share and promote relevant content types such as blogs, videos, podcasts and other media in order to attract, engage and retain an audience at various stages of the marketing funnel.
Below are the major benefits of Content Marketing:
- Helps in driving organic traffic
- Generates 67% more leads than businesses not using it
- Warms up leads before a potential sale
- Increase engagement and trust
3. Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing is the strategy to utilize various social media channels to share content, interact with your audience and ultimately drive sales.
SMM has emerged out to be the cheapest form of marketing wherein brands have a chance to connect with large audiences without huge budgets.
The most common social media channels currently are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Sharechat, Snapchat and the likes.
The below infographic explain the social media marketing roadmap.
Why Social Media Marketing is the main pillar of your Digital Marketing Strategy?
- Provide reach to wide audience
- Increase brand loyalty
- Provides analytics to measure success
- Direct connect with your target audience
- Paid ads to scale up marketing efforts
- Create memory structures to build brand story
- Audience can be used for Remarketing
4. Email Marketing
Email Marketing is the strategy of sending out bulk mailers or messages to your list of audience.
Its main objectives are to engage the audience, send newsletters or important updates and promotional emails that ultimately lead to sales.
Email Marketing is one of the oldest and most widely used forms of Digital Marketing.
But it is still better than a lot of other digital marketing channels. According to research, companies that take email marketing seriously, usually make $42 for every $1 spent.
Steps of Email Marketing
- Build your email list: Through Offers, Incentives, Lead Magnet
- Create Valuable Content: Don`t pitch product right away, Provide value
- Use Analytics: Draw insights from open rate, click rate and more
- Segmentation: Segment your audience based on analytics, demographics, interest, behavior
- Set up Drip Campaigns: Create personalized emails based on user preferences and behavior
Advantages of Email Marketing
- Require consent from audience to send them emails
- More engaging and less interruptive
- You own your audience and have full control over them
- Personalization is available
- Measurable through email marketing metrics
- Easily scalable
5. Video Marketing
Video Marketing is the strategy built around creating video content and sharing it through your social media channels, emails, etc. with the objective of creating awareness and educate your audience ultimately leading to sales.
The importance of video as content can be easily gauged through the below research conducted by Hubspot
It clearly indicates that more than 50% of consumers prefer video over other forms of content.
Below are some of the most common types of videos:
- Brand Videos
- Demo Videos
- Event Videos
- Expert Interviews
- Educational or How-to Videos
- Animated videos
- Customer Testimonials
- Live Videos
Compelling Benefits of Video Marketing you shouldn`t ignore
- Provide better conversions than other forms of content
- Better SEO opportunities
- Communicated brand message efficiently leading to better trust and credibility
- Encourage shares among your audience leading to increased virality
6. Influencer Marketing
Before understanding influencer marketing, let us understand what is an influencer?
Influencers are individuals who are considered an expert and thought leaders in their respective niche and have huge “organic” following on social media channels.
Influencer marketing is a systematic approach to leverage these influencers to communicate or review your brand thereby leading to increase brand awareness and build loyalty.
According to a survey report by Mediakix, below are the sentiments of marketers regarding influencer marketing
Below are the benefits of Influencer Marketing
- Build trust and expand reach among followers
- Strengthen brand messaging through authentic endorsements
- Immediately influence customer buying decisions
- Reach engaged and pre-qualified audience leading to better conversion
- Reach out to huge chunk of followers in a short span
7. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the strategy to promote other company`s products in exchange for a commission on each sale.
The one who promotes is called “affiliates” who earn commission on sales by recommending the product to the target audience.
Below image will give you an idea as to how affiliate marketing works?
Let us look at the benefits of affiliate marketing:
- It is completely performance-based. Hence, affiliates are motivated to give their best shot.
- Affiliates build trust in your products and build brand image.
- It is cost effective hence giving enough motivation to both brands and affiliates.
- Affiliates help in scaling up your traffic by giving backlinks and targeted audience
8. Referral Marketing
Referral marketing is a marketing tactic that makes use of existing brand evangelists to grow the business` customer base through word of mouth and recommendations.
Let us have a look at some of the most popular referral channels
- Friends and Family
- News Publications
- Customer Reviews and Opinion
- Posted online
- Influencer opinions (bloggers, social media influencers)
How to Create a Successful Referral Program?
- Provide attractive incentives to lure the audience
- Reach out to customers and tell them about the referral program
- Design the referral program as simple as possible. Avoid hassles
- Leverage your team members to communicate about the program. They should be trained enough to handle all types of queries
Below are the benefits that make referral marketing one of the most important pillars of digital marketing:
- Your customers trust referrals more than anything else
- Increased reach at minimal cost
- Retention is quite high through referrals
- It can be automated once initial setup is done
- Honest feedbacks about the product from most loyal customers
- Huge jump in social media traction for your brand
We have written detailed articles on some of these pillars of digital marketing.
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