The Comprehensive Guide to Digital Marketing for Beginners
Are you looking to work on a startup but don't know how to promote it to the right audience? Unfamiliar with your competitors and unsure how to make your mark against successful ventures? Then switch to digital marketing to survive and thrive among your rival marketers.
Digital marketing is about promoting and selling products or services through online means. Digital marketing career opportunities have grown extensively in the past few years, which has caused massive growth in the field and related disciplines.
Nowadays, you'll find different categories of digital marketing, including email marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing.
Digital marketing is not specified to any device or platform; it covers all those electronic devices that can connect to the internet and provide internet browsing features.
This article will present thorough insights into digital marketing. We will also share comprehensive guidelines for digital marketing for beginners and startups.
What is Digital Marketing?
If you break down the term “digital marketing” into two separate words, it clarifies that it's just marketing through digital means that primarily involves online platforms.
Whether new or old, any business depends on effective marketing strategies. In today's technology-driven era, digital marketing is the most effective way to promote your business.
So how does it work? Take the general rule of marketing; you have to make a compelling offer to your customer at the right time and place.
And nowadays, you'll find more people online browsing through blogs and social media than a shopping or actual market. Sounds unbelievable, right? Let's explore digital marketing furthermore to understand how it works.
Difference Between Digital Marketing & Traditional Marketing
Digital and traditional marketing have one ultimate goal; to reach the targeted audience and promote the services or products that fulfil their requirements.
The general rule of marketing is to convince the audience that our products or services are better than other brands or companies.
But digital marketing and traditional marketing strategies are significantly different regarding advertising, sourcing, and reaching the targeted audience.
Let's compare the differences between traditional marketing and digital marketing and discuss which one can is better for a beginner business:
- Performed in-person and physical means
- Limited to a geographical area
- Static in nature
- Low audience engagements
- Expensive but not effective
- It follows old modes of channelling like radio, TV, and magazines.
- Requires much time to generate results.
- One-way communication
- Performed Online through the Internet
- Allows a global reach
- Dynamic in nature
- Comparatively responsive engagements
- Comparatively affordable and effective
- Follows the trending technologies for channelling, like social media platforms.
- Delivers quick results.
- Two-way communication
Why is Traditional Marketing Not Preferred Anymore?
This type of marketing has relatively more minor involvement in technology than digital media marketing. It has nothing to do with any online approach.
Instead, traditional marketing solely depends on physical means like billboards, newspapers, and radios. Traditional marketing approaches work in the following ways:
Approaching Targeted Audience on the Local level
In traditional marketing, it's difficult to approach your customers and analyse which area would be the best. You can only stick to specific geographical areas where other competitors have set their businesses.
For example, if you want to start a fast-food chain, you may have to establish your business in a mall or food street where people can approach you. Moreover, your reach is limited to a local level instead of a national or multinational scale.
But this approach is still risky as you land right between your competitors. Pre-established brands or companies have already dominated the market by gaining customers' trust. Therefore, customers hesitate to try something new and prefer not to affect their brand loyalty.
Expensive Marketing Materials
If you want to promote your startup's products or services via traditional marketing, you may have to spend a lot on materials.
Since no social media is involved, you'll have to promote a startup via brochures, newspaper ads, catalogues, flyers, and billboards. This type of advertisement requires much time, effort, and budget.
Moreover, such advertisements generate relatively slower results than digital media marketing. There is a limitation of geographical area with the most negligible probability of approaching your targets with traditional ads.
Traditional Digital Approaches
You may have to follow some digital approaches in traditional marketing, like television advertisements, voice call promotions, and paid promotions via radio.
Since this traditional marketing involves a few digital means, it's relatively successful in promoting a brand or company.
But still, the ratio of making a successful deal is relatively low as the traditional modes of communication involve distortion and inaccuracy.
For example, you're promoting your startup via calls or radio promotions, but you are unsure whether the person you're contacting is interested in your service.
Suppose they prefer to purchase similar products or services from another brand instead of your startup since you don't have any statistical data.
In-person Marketing Approaches
This element of traditional marketing requires ties and connections with various institutes or pre-established organisations.
The idea is to promote your startup through seminars, conventions, and conferences. You can do this kind of promotion through sponsorships as well.
It's an ideal strategy to target an audience as events like seminars and conventions gather an extensive crowd. Promoting your startup at such forums can collectively target a big group, covering your targeted audience.
Why Should You Prefer Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing has replaced traditional marketing methods by compiling all the modern-day strategies. It provides better chances to approach consumers and the targeted audience. Here are a few elements of digital marketing strategy that can assist in beginning an online business:
Global Reach on Customers
Digital marketing is not limited to a specific geographical area. With the help of the internet, you get a global reach for your customers. Internet platforms compile people from all around the world into a worldwide village.
Digital marketing allows you to target any geographic area, so you can now expand your startup from the national to the international level.
You can connect, approach, and establish your startup on any online platform as long as its usage is permitted in your operating region.
These days, the best approach is through social media marketing, where people like to interact and connect based on interests and common traits.
Such platforms can provide an excellent opportunity for startups to approach specific groups that might be interested in your brand.
In-depth Target Analysis
Digital marketing provides comprehensive details about the targeted audience to approach the right customers. It is not just limited to explaining geographical areas; you can also fetch details on your customer's age, gender, and preferences.
Unlike traditional marketing, where you have to reach the customers personally, digital marketing allows direct interaction with anyone, no matter where they reside.
One of the most significant advantages of digital marketing is that you can analyse your competitors.
Before beginning your online business, you can perform a competitor analysis to learn about the type of visitors who approach their site. The type of visitors gives you insights into the targeted audience.
By performing competitor analysis, you can build your marketing strategy accordingly but in an improved manner to set your marks.
However, it's not recommended to follow the exact blueprints of your competitors to promote your startup as it may backfire to ruin your efforts on the first step.
Multiple Delivery Channels
With traditional media, the number of channels is limited to a specific number and costly too. Moreover, it takes time to establish and customise your startup image for each brand, like television and billboards.
You can directly link your business website with promotion channels with digital media marketing. Digital marketing offers your business multiple channels to communicate with your targeted audience.
The most popular channels for digital marketing are YouTube, email marketing, and social media marketing via Instagram and Facebook.
Social media platforms have grown to provide marketplaces for businesses and customers. Interactive and unique content creation can compel an audience to interact with your business page to avail of the most products and services.
Marketing Events and Groups
Various social media platforms have the option to create events and groups. The groups unite people with similar interests and offer them several opportunities to interact privately or publicly. You can promote your startup in a group related to your business's niche.
The purpose of targeting social media groups is to approach the targeted audience. For example, if your business is about selling gaming equipment, you can come across several gaming groups and post about your offers and services.
Like the concept of workshops and seminars, you can host webinars with digital marketing. Creating such events draws an online audience to your platform by creating something insightful and informative.
You can host these events in the form of live sessions. Within the ongoing webinar, you can promote how your business relates to the contents of the session and why people should choose your business over others.
Digital Marketing Tips for Beginners
All aspects of digital marketing involve terms that develop. Now let's talk about how beginners can start their business by creating an effective digital marketing strategy:
Before establishing an online platform for your business, perform a competitor analysis to know the worth of other online companies related to your niche.
This analysis allows you to develop long-term goals to generate specific traffic to beat your competitors. You can learn about progressing your business in the right direction by performing such an analysis.
Website analysis of other businesses gives you an idea about their platform's most engaging area. Instead of just doing the same thing, you can improvise to develop that specific area of your website (such as the homepage) to make something interactive for your visitors.
Build an SEO Strategy
A business website can't excel and gain visitors without an SEO strategy. The prominent spot for your business to grow is search engine page results.
Most of the time, consumers search for a product on Google and avail of the offers appearing on the first page of SERPs. Consumers think websites appearing on the first page are the most authentic and credible. So, whoever appears first, makes better sales.
Therefore, it's recommended for online businesses develop an effective SEO strategy. Search Engine Optimisation provides several tools and techniques to make your website more visible against the search queries of the targeted audience.
Search engine optimisation helps direct organic traffic on your website to elevate its leads. Elements of an SEO strategy include unique content, internal-external linking, keyword optimisation, indexing, Google indexing, and web crawling.
You'll also find various SEO tools online that can help analyse your business websites and present suggestions on how you can improve certain areas of your web pages.
Create Quality Content
Whether you're establishing a website, following a social media approach, or writing promotional emails, the quality of the content matters the most. The content featured on your business website should be unique from your competitors.
Plagiarised content can ruin your online business establishing efforts by lowering the rankings in search engines. Thus, it becomes very challenging for a website to attract visitors and a targeted audience.
Even if visitors visit your business website, they won't appreciate finding duplicate content from other sites on your web pages. Hence your attempt to gain customers' trust would fail.
Besides written content, you should also focus on creating unique graphical content. Use an appealing theme for your website with valuable infographics and animations. But again, copying these things from another website is not ideal.
Know Your Targeted Areas and Audience
An effective digital marketing strategy is developed by considering the targeted audience. Your audience can either belong to a specific geographical or global area. But it's for you to find out.
Luckily search engine optimisation tools help us with this information. By analysing your competitors, you can fetch information on the geographical region of the visitors.
The next step is to promote and develop content that resolves problems for the targeted audience. In addition, you have to analyse the audience to learn about their interests and age groups.
You can develop web content and promotional strategies that get your audience's attention by analysing the audience. For example, if your targeted audience is 16-18, you'll have to develop less formal and easy-to-read content.
Content relevance with a targeted audience spreads from search engines to social media platforms. So, no matter which channel you're using for promotion, ensure your business draws attention that meets their interest.
Build Your Online Presence
Brand awareness is the key to developing an online presence. It depends on your brand's name and logo, defining your business's services.
By seeing your brand's logo or reading the name of your business website, customers should get an idea about your products and services.
In addition to that, your website should be responsive and accessible to your visitors. You can add a chat box for instant interaction with your visitors to answer their queries.
You can feature a suggestion box to gather information about the requirements and preferences of your visitors to turn them into customers.
Essentials of Digital Marketing
The endless potential of digital media and technology requires a skillset to attain the best use. Therefore, it is necessary to learn essential skills to form a digital marketing strategy successfully.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation is the special ingredient that ensures your website's content is on top when people search for it online.
Various online SEO tools can provide insights into your web page's credibility. No matter which search engine people use, the website must optimise for any algorithm.
Search engine optimisation practices include internal linking, backlinking, keyword research, and competitor traffic analysis. It's all part of the promotional strategy that helps attract organic traffic to your business site's web pages.
Besides maintaining an online presence, search engine optimisation also helps improve your website's structure. Various SEO tools help fix errors and your site's configuration by providing multiple suggestions.
Online marketers provide interactive content for their audience that helps get their attention. You must upload the content regularly to keep the audience engaged with your website. Even if your website has products or online services, you can promote them via blogging.
For example, if you're selling handbags and wallets through digital marketing, you can write a blog about trending fashion and feature your products as a part of that blog. You can hyperlink your website's URL within the blog to direct traffic to your website.
Marketing content is optimised by writing a promotional copy about a business featuring primary or short-tail keywords. It can also contain long-tail keywords that are a prominent part of a user's search query.
You can do content marketing through blog posts, guidelines, marketing emails, and eBooks. Therefore, content marketing is vital in improving the website's ranking. It's essential to maintain the quality of the content by making it unique and error-free for your audience.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is not just about posting memes and chatting with friends. But now, social media has become an essential component of digital marketing.
Where sharing content and news gets users' recognition, promoting products and services to get people's attention is also helpful. You can instantly respond via direct messaging and comments to update your users about any queries.
Besides maintaining a presence on search engine pages, you can also achieve a solid social media presence with the help of SEO-optimised content.
You can write interactive captions by following the copywriting style. Moreover, you can create infographics with compelling text to draw your targeted audience.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
As discussed a couple of times, you can do digital marketing through interactive channels like social media, blogs, and entertainment sites.
Anyone with a digital device can perform digital marketing. Similarly, it's easy for customers to review and attain information about a product through their handheld device. They can instantly contact the seller to buy the product or ask for anything.
Digital marketing allows you to build a growth strategy by providing statistical information on website traffic and user engagements.
You can also attain statistical data on your competitors to learn about the targeted audience and consumer market's potential.
By attaining the statistical data on your web pages, you can test different strategies and compare which technique brought more audience to your website.
With digital marketing, you can target relevant audiences on a larger scale. You can grow from a national to a global level by expanding the extent of marketing and analysing audiences in various geographical areas.
This advantage saves you time and helps increase your sales faster than traditional marketing methods. You can develop content and ad campaigns accordingly by learning about the potential areas and audience.
Downsides of Digital Media Marketing
Digital Ads are Disturbing
It doesn't seem very pleasant when you're scrolling through a social media feed or a blog, and an ad appears on the screen. As for channels like YouTube, people try to skip the within-stream ads without looking at them.
Digital marketing strategies change with the changing trends in technology. The algorithms and requirements of search engines constantly change to provide the best advertisement experience for their users.
The same goes for social media platforms. Therefore, digital marketers have to develop a tailor-made strategy for each marketing channel to make it successful.
Digital marketing has been around for years and its potential increases with the advancement of technology. Nowadays, everything from education to entertainment has gone online; the same goes for marketing methods.
Some of the traditional marketing methods are still effective. But traditional marketing is not as lucrative as digital marketing turnouts. Therefore, it's recommended that beginners follow digital marketing to promote their startups.