Wikipedia explains digital marketing as “the component of marketing that utilizes the internet and online-based digital technologies such as desktop computers, mobile phones, and other digital media and platforms to promote products and services” Although, digital marketing is broad, in simple words, it is the act of selling products and services using the internet. There are sites where you can simply upload images of your products and sell such as Delon.ng, a leading online shopping site in Nigeria and the only e-commerce site that offers free ads. Leveraging the use of the internet to sell products and services doesn’t just stop there, the internet helps create massive awareness for your business. It helps to push your products or services beyond your local, exposing your business to a wider audience that exists both in and out of your local.
IBM brought the word, the first “PC” in 1981. Back in the day, for as little as $1500, you could have 60 kilobytes of memory that came with the pc. The pc could also be connected to the tv, play games, and process texts. You could suspect that with these features of the then pc, digital marketing came to be. Businesses began to tap into this computing power. A company called Arc=== was the first to employ the software digitizing customer and prospect’s information this software gave rise to the sales force automation platform that has transformed into what we now know as Customer Relationship Management System.
On the consumer side, the internet made its way into the public space and building on networks like Minitel, Prodigy, and the later invention of America Online. The first graphical web browser was created in 1993 by the University of Illinois and CSA Labs. It was called Mosaic with its core components that were later taken to the markets Netscape Navigator. Microsoft soon got into the game of internet explorer and with a wink of the eye, everyone was online.
A few years later, people became aware of the sea of opportunities available on the internet. Suddenly, there was a web page for every product and services and sellers become aware that consumers now had access to all information they need to make buying decisions in a new kind of purchasing circle. Search engines became the agent to find things online. By the year 2000, Google had realized that the internet could be monetized which led to the introduction of Google Ads, letting advertisers bid to show their ads to people typing keywords that indicated that they are interested in a particular product and services. Publishers were plastering their contents while they were available for free with banner ads and ads solving technology was connecting demand and supplier at scale.
Throughout the 1990s, we had all learnt to depend on email, and by 2003, we already had the CAN-SPAM legislation to deal with the advertisers that had figured out how cheap and easy it was to blast their messages in the electronic version of traditional direct marketing and Spam was put under control.
A new breed of technologies was created and modern integrated email marketing platforms and marketing automation platforms evolved. This was just a little over a decade ago and there was no such thing as Youtube.
Social networking meant physical encounters with other humans. Mobile phones were used to call people and if you say the word “tablet” people would assume you are talking about writing on stone. As infrastructures raised the head, providing more storage and computing power, the web changed from a place to prevent static information to a platform for interaction. During this time, people’s original skepticism of entering credit card information on a website has turned into an e-commerce revolution.
By 2011, eBay sold nearly 40 Ferraris on its mobile app. Today, we regularly tap our phones to today’s cash register to make payments. Most Importantly, the stream of data left behind by every one of this interaction has never been richer. From the log file parsers to today’s enterprise analytic solutions and big data tools, marketers have never before had access to such data. Coupled with unprecedented computing power, and today, we are realizing the dreams of data-driven decision making and even real-time prediction and automation to achieve massive customized one-to-one consumer interactions at scale. A lot has happened in just 20 years and we as consumers have made massive shifts in our behaviors based on these digital revolutions, we are all living through. Marketers have kept on leveraging on these new mediums, platforms and processes to address the new purchasing patterns we now all exhibit. These are exciting times and it is worth looking into what today’s landscape looks like and how we can leverage it to reach and interact with the consumers of the 21st century.
Digital Marketing Channels
These are some of the effective ways you can leverage on to sell and create awareness using this digital dispensation:
Every standard business has a website and this gives your company a level of professionalism. Having a website helps customers have an overview of what your business is all about. It also gives customers the impression that your company is real. Delon Apps is one of the best software development outsourcing companies in Nigeria. The website comes with features that let customers have a quick knowledge of your business with features like;
1. Home page – this is where you get to give your customers a good impression of your company. With the home page, you get to communicate a piece of concise and effective information about your business. The homepage displays the company name, logo, search bar, description, images, call to action, social media icons, etc.
2. About – with the about page, customers get to know more about your company. The About feature can be embedded in the homepage, but it would be nice that you have a place dedicated to customers learning more about your company. You might need to add some information to this section such as biography, business location, business hours, contact info, contact form, and any other information that seems important to be added to this section
3. Internal web pages – this feature allows you to direct customers to contents that can be found outside your website using links. Some sub-features of the i9nternal web page are author page, blog, FAQ, questions and answers, infographics, etc.
4. Backend admin – this is like the control room where everything about your website is being managed by an admin. Some functionalities that should be considered in this regard are SEO tools, site analytic, content management system (CMS) tool, content description tool, website hosting tool.
5. Website footer – the footer helps your customers navigate easily to other sites through links provided. The footer has the tap and options sub-features, and the social media feature
Some of the features that you should avoid adding to your company’s website are music playing in the background, contents that require the use of Adobe Flash Player, videos directly uploaded on the page (use links instead that would direct customers to pages they can view those videos e.g., Youtube,
Search engine optimization is a channel that helps your business have an organic ranking on the web due to the use of keywords. The term SEO has been one of the most highly used digital marketing terms and this is because almost 100% of online users’ experiences involve the use of typing keywords. SEO is so important that it helps people to easily find your business on the web. Some synergistic SEO strategies are website optimization, keyword search, backlink building, content creation, etc.
Email marketing has remained the longest used and one of the effective digital marketing channels. Businesses leverage this by continuously, at designated time, updating their customers and potential customers of available services, special offers, newsletters, promos, and every other available service(s) that could also help maintain or grow business awareness and sales. Email marketing can also be used when launching a new business or store, webinars, podcasts, event hosting, etc. One of the ways business garner prospective details (email addresses) of potential or existing clients is through the website marketing where visitors or existing customers of a website gets a pop-up notification to fill in their details.
Social Media Marketing
With the ever-growing Introduction of new instant messaging platforms and the massive number of users on these platforms, your business is sure to reach a massive audience. Social media platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Pinterest, timbre have helped in growing lots of businesses. One feature of social media marketing is a sponsored ad. With this, these social media platforms consciously and strategically expose your service or product to the audience.
As the term implies, pay-per-click (PPC) has to do with you as a business owner paying for the number of times each person clicks on your ad to learn more about your product and services. The pay-per-click channel is mostly sponsored with platforms like Google ads, Opera mini, Instagram, Facebook, etc. This channel is like a sub-channel of social media marketing and SEO marketing because you get to do this advert on social media, search engines, and email marketing channels.
Content is any media product that can be put on the internet. This is a very powerful marketing channel because it employs the use of the visual organ and the visual contents have been recorded to be one of the effective ways of passing information because it is the fastest way for information to be consumed. I am sure there are some adverts you intentionally or stumbled on while using the internet and that has in some way been stuck in your memory (sometimes) for no special reason. Examples of content marketing are:
1. Video making – this is where videos that describe or are related to your business or a specific topic are made available on the internet. This is especially good for customers who don’t like to read. Examples of video marketing are live videos, DIY videos, event recordings, demos of products and services, “About us’ videos, etc.
2. Images – here you get to make graphics that your customers are easy to connect with. With images, you get to add your company logo, texts, thereby generating brand awareness
3. Infographic – this is more direct. It packages information in a short and easy-to-read format because not everybody has the luxury of time to read through a lengthy text. Cases, where infographics can be used, are comparisons between products when conducting a survey or poll, timeline, etc.
4. Storytelling – with storytelling, you get to appeal to two parts of the brain; the part that gets carried away with an interesting narrative and the part that satisfies the logical part of the brain. People easily get captivated with stories
5. Screenshots – SCREENSHOTS acts like a testimonial. It HELPS YOU show to the audience, most especially potential customers that your company is real and can deliver
Other channels of digital marketing that can be leveraged are television advertising, radio advertising, influencer marketing,
Affiliate marketing is a way of partnering that helps you partner with online marketers that act as “sales representatives” for your business, getting a stipulated percent on each customer they push to patronize your product or service. With an affiliate marketing partner, you get to have an external partner that assists in boosting sales and driving traffic to your business.
Digital marketing is all about selling online and creating brand awareness. Many organizations today have to harness this opportunity of online marketing to make sales to people that exist out of their country (AliExpress and amazon are good examples). If your business is yet to have an online presence you are missing out hugely or if you probably don’t know how to go about getting a website for your company, DelonApps, a leading software development outsourcing company in Nigeria could help you with a user-friendly company website.