What is Digital Marketing?

With the global reach the internet has, there are all kinds of new possibilities popping up for digital marketing. New connections can be made between people all over the internet, and this has opened a whole new ecosystem that we can use to our advantage.

Digital Marketing is a term used to group all marketing efforts that are consumed on an electronic device or the internet.

Businesses can use platforms such as a website, social media, search engines and email marketing to connect with their prospective customers.

The broad adoption of smart electronic devices and the internet, we now have a vast ecosystem that we can use to connect with people. This has forced marketers to figure out a new way to engage and advertise with their audiences.

We are consuming information differently than before. We have access to vast amounts of information, and this has become a problem for everyday people. We cannot go through all the information on the internet, and we feel like we have less and less time for things that matter to us. This leads to a significant demand for meaningful, concise information that helps to answer our questions or make us feel like we have learnt something new and unique.

The way we tend to read articles online is to skim through large sections of information looking for highlighted pieces that stand out.

For example, you are looking for an answer on how to migrate WordPress onto a new server; you’ll skim through the search results until you find the articles with the best correlation. You might open one, two, three or more different links to see which material may be along the lines of what you need.

Someone has written an article for how to upload WordPress onto an Nginx server or an Apache server. You’re using Apache, so that means you will be more likely to read through the guide on Apache.

You’re looking for information that best suits your needs. Depending on what you are doing, you could sit and read thoroughly through each and every step following a guide, or maybe we are looking for a news article about a piece of news we have just heard about.

You could also be looking for the new Captain Marvel trailer that has just been released, and it’s breaking out and going viral. With over 1 Million searches today, you want an excellent source to summarise what has happened and where you might be able to watch the trailer. Then you can decide, after watching the trailer, if you want to search further and read a more in-depth article by a journalist.

How Digital Marketing falls into this

Digital Marketing is now moving in a way where we can provide useful products or information about services to customers who need it. With large advertising companies like Alphabet (Google Inc), Facebook etc. we are able to access lots of information about people. Helping us to define who we market to, you don’t want to advertise beard trimmers to ladies as they don’t grow a beard as it isn’t useful for them. It would also be a waste of your advertising spend and a waste of that individual’s time to have the ad displayed to them.

This evolution in marketing is leading to better advertising where we are able to target our adverts to people who would actually find them useful.

The Ethics of Digital Marketing

There are some ethical arguments about digital marketing as some of these adverts can impact individuals negatively. Pushing them to buy something they otherwise would not have purchased and didn’t need.

The reason they popped up in our audience is that they may have searched google with a query relating to our product. We could be targetting an audience who is interested in our products or services but cannot afford the products or services which may also be wasteful.

I think the goal of digital marketing is to actually provide a better service for both parties and leading to a win-win relationship between the business and customer. I really like the way Digital Marketing is moving forward, and it is being tailored around the customer’s needs.

We are finding ways to advertise without disrupting your natural flow through a platform such as the web or social media. It is less intrusive and tailored around what my demands as a consumer may be.

One thing that is standing out now is that it is becoming harder to stand out with information. There may be someone who has written the same article about Digital Marketing as hundreds of other people online. We need to figure out if this article is unique enough and has enough new information to be valuable to an exclusive audience. Does the article relate better to a new audience in a specific location as an example?

Some people will find someone’s opinions more important, some might find facts and statistics more critical. This begs the question, how do we offer a source of information for both kinds of personalities?

Digital Marketing Mediums

The internet is the leading medium that connects all the different platforms, it has created a connection between millions of people. We can talk to people all over the globe, a full spectrum of individuals entirely unique in their own way. We all have different needs and wants, and we want to find a way to satisfy our needs and wants.

Search Engines – (Google, Bing)

Search engines have pushed the world forward by providing answers to people’s needs and wants. If you type in a simple query like “digital marketing trends”, you will get over a million results to different links that you can follow, ordered by the most relevant to the least relevant.

There are specific techniques to advertise via search engines, and SEO has become an integral part of digital marketing as it allows the search engines to crawl our information and put our audience in contact with this information. There is another way to advertise with search engine adverts. Focusing on keywords and queries that relate to your product and service. Now you can rank first for users in your area looking for your service, and they can click on your ad and get in contact with you.

Websites – (apple.com, amazon.com, nytimes.com, tigerlillydancewear.co.za)

Search engines will put potential customers in touch with your other platforms such as your website, where you can choose to display your best selling products or services and give more insight into your business. These services are available to be consumed 24/7, 365 days a year, all around the world.

This opens up possibilities never thought possible before, a hardware store could have a website which takes orders online. Now the average person working a 9-5 job during the week can order tools and materials for his D.I.Y. project at home, without having to take off work to go visit the store that is only open when he is busy at work. This saves the store time and money as well as they can broaden their network of customers to ones outside of their area, and keeping them from having to hire more staff for only peak customer browsing times. This is just one quick example of what a website can do for your business and how it can solve problems for a consumer.

Social Media – (Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube)

Once we have clicked on a link, we could land on a social media platform, where the goal of the platform is for people to share their experiences and opinions with other people. The globe spends millions of hours on social media platforms every day, most people just browsing looking for something of interest, trying to pass the time. Others are sharing their experiences and opinions to get a response from fellow social media users.

There is a technique to marketing on social media, which involves engaging with the social media platform. Asking and answering questions from your audience and starting conversations online. This offers the opportunity for a brand/business to engage with their audience directly, to start a dialogue which otherwise would never be possible. You can engage with people from all around the world in almost real-time. This is a beautiful new opportunity to get feedback, ask what your customers want and get real-time answers. Provide better service and make customers feel more important and valued. Other customers can also see that information and make better decisions, often trusting your brand more as that’s where they found helpful insights.

Email Marketing – (MailChimp, Email Database, Drip)

Your website and social media platforms can collect emails of potential or existing customers who are willing to opt-in. You can create a vast database of people who are interested in your products or services. This allows you to send them further information about your business, products and services. Keep them updated with relevant and useful information, contact details changed, address changes or specials you are running throughout the year. Encouraging people to take the next step in interacting with your business. You can provide a better service and give specific specials to customers who have been supporting your company for a while. Now you can reward them and create a better relationship between the business and the customer.

What your focus should be when marketing online

I think the best thing you can do as a business when marketing online, is to provide valuable information, presented conveniently and pleasantly. If it is a youtube video describing what the problem is that you are trying to solve, why it is important and then how you solve that problem.

This is compelling, and it is relatable to someone watching the video, it shows how deep your insight into the problem is. It show’s that you understand the importance of solving the problem. You then provide a solution to the problem which gives me an answer as to how I can solve the problem, saving the company time for smaller warranty problems while building trust for more significant issues that your customer might feel are similar that they cannot solve, making them choose you over other competitors.

The trends for digital marketing in 2019 will still be to focus on valuable and informative content that is easy to consume, and adding video content to your platforms.

As a modern society, we are bombarded with information and are always “busy” with something or another, leading us to be easily distracted. We struggle to keep our attention in one place for long, and we are consuming multiple sources of information at the same time. While some people are busy cooking, they are listening to a new podcast from someone they listen to regularly. We have audiobooks playing in our headphones while we work or commute. Videos are playing in another tab while you read about something at the same time.

If you can create compelling videos that keep people engaged for around 10 minutes, you should see significant returns on your efforts. Listen to your audience, figure out their problems, empathise and connect by showing how you understand the impact of the problem. Provide insight and sell by providing solutions to their needs and challenges. You should have a good understanding of the problem you are solving as a business and focus on how to relate with your customers.

Create that relationship with your audience. At the end of the day, growing your business is about understanding a problem, finding people struggling with the problem and providing them with your solution.

“Instead of one-way interruption, Web marketing is about delivering useful content at just the right moment that a buyer needs it.” – David Meerman Scott

This quote seems to really resonate with what I believe digital marketing is trying to solve and how it is there to serve the consumer.

I believe in solving problems for people and providing convenience, helping people to free up time that they can spend doing things they enjoy. Let’s help improve the way we market online, using Digital Marketing in Cape Town and South Africa to provide a better service for our customers.

Save time for your customers and let them positively engage with your brand, allowing them to have a positive, memorable experience. Spend less time looking for solutions, and more time on solving problems.

If you have any questions about Digital Marketing or how digital marketing could be useful to your business, comment below or feel free to reach out to me at luke@valkyriweb.com.

Looking forward to hearing what you guys think about Digital Marketing and what it means to you and how it has helped you or your business to succeed in the world today.

Also please feel free to find out more information about Valkyri our Agency, here to help you grow online. Link here -> Valkyri as well as checking out our Digital Marketing Packages in the Shop, allowing you to get access to a vast array of services tailored to your needs.

Luke

3 Responses to “What is Digital Marketing?”

  1. Tanya Froneman

    Very insightful and easy to read article, helps me understand the market and how the world works now, a whole new view on business development and opportunities to work on. Thanks Luke.

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