If you are a small business owneror manager and you decided to read this article you already are on the good track to start your digital journey and improve your marketing. And the good news for you is that you can start as soon as tomorrow to do a lot on your own if you wish.
What... is digital marketing?
If you ask marketers what digital marketing is, you will definitely have different answers based on their experience, skills, industry... And because digital marketing is constantly evolving the answer is not so easy. Thus, my answer will not be definitive.
If we refer to Wikipedia, "Digital marketing is an umbrella term for the targeted, measurable, and interactive marketing of products or services using digital technologies to reach and convert leads into customers and retain them.The key objective is to promote brands, build preference and increase sales through various digital marketing techniques."
Keywords would be #measurable #digital technologies #leads #promote #sales
My personal definition is simply "marketing through digital technology," because even with new digital tools, objectives and marketing processes remain the same (market research, segmentation, products and services creation, communication, sales, maintenance). The difference lies in the ability of marketing to leverage on new technologies.
Where? The playground of digital marketers...
On the one hand, with new technologies in our lives, the way marketing is done has dramatically changed. Today’s connected consumers are using smartphones, iPads, laptops and tomorrow glasses and wearables to access content. As a result, marketing departments need to provide compelling campaigns across these different devices and become proficient in using technology.
On the second hand, digital marketing is based on technology and data and virtually everything is measurable. Digital marketing brings more accuracy in the measurement of your marketing actions and, accordingly, measuring what you are doing is an absolute must. If you are starting with digital marketing or have been running various campaigns for years, it’s vital to know that effective measurement is key to determining what is working and what should change or even be dropped completely.
The tools of digital marketer:
- CRM - where the information is centralised, for a holistic view of sales activity. Without CRM forget digital marketing (Salesforce, Dynamics, Zoho, Sugar, SAP, Sage, Oracle,...)
- Analytics tools - in order to analyse your efforts and focus your investments where they have the most impact (ex: Google analytics)
- Marketing automation solution (leaders are Marketo, Oracle’s Eloqua, Adobe campaign, IBM Utica, Collides Cloud, and for smaller businesses Hubspot, Pardot, Act-On, Salesfusion, Infusionsoft)And tomorrow?
- IoT - internet of things will provide greater insight and better experience
- Smart Wifi and beacons - give information in real-time to marketers for in-store marketing (location-based marketing)
- Virtual reality - will provide new fields of communication3. Why... should you use digital marketing?
Why... should you use digital marketing?
You are convinced that digital marketing is the new trend and you should use it? But then what will be your objectives?
This question has been asked to 300 professionals and the results show that driving more sales through quality leads is the top priority for nearly 66% of B2B digital marketers.
The report “The State of B2B digital marketing” (DemandWave), shows clearly the following objective of the marketing efforts:
#1 - Deliver quality leads
#2 - Drive more leads
#3 - Improve Brand awareness
This reports also shows that email is the first channel used in the digital marketing mix, before social media and organic search. Also, email is the channel that drives the more revenue before organic search.
How... can you start with digital marketing?
In digital marketing, content is key. Nowadays nobody wants to be spammed and with access to new technologies and new devices, the information is just one click away (you can have more information in this article). This new way of doing marketing is called "inbound marketing” in comparison to “outbound marketing"
- The content you will produce:
Blog and landing pages - this is where the interaction with potential customers occurs.
- eBooks, Whitepapers - these documents are downloadable through call to action buttons and landing pages
- Webinars - register content and invite customers to watch them on your blog/website or on specific channels like Youtube
How to communicate your content?
- Social medias: Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Wechat, Slideshare, Snapchat...
- Email and marketing automation
- Search engine - website optimisation and SEO
- Paid online advertising (PPC targeting, PPC remarking, PPC brand protection, negative keywords, display, native advertising)
- Paid promotions (advertising on social media - Use paid promotion to disseminate your webinars, eBooks, articles, blog, trade shows, and everything else you want your customers to know about)
When... should you do digital marketing campaigns?
To be successful, digital marketing campaigns should be done all year long. Search engine optimisation (SEO) takes a long time to take you on the first page of the results and the frequency you publish information is key. Your customers should be contacted on regular basic, with great content to nurture your pipeline. You must be visible from prospects regularly to create trust and lead them to your website where you will use remarketing, downloadable content etc...
Who.. should realise your digital campaigns?
Great question! My answer would be that it depends on your budget and availability.
You as a business owner, with a small budget, if you can produce 1 article every 2 weeks, 1 monthly newsletter, and take care of your social presence. But, if you can you should let your marketing team do the job - they will produce content by themselves or work with freelance authors.
If you have sufficient budget, subcontract your digital marketing campaigns to specialists.