A Beginner’s Guide to Digital Marketing in 2021
A Beginner’s Guide to Digital Marketing: Pre-requisites to learn Digital Marketing
Marketing is an industry, in itself, in today’s day and age, and is the basic foundation for the exchange of products and services. This is because Marketing refers to all those activities that a company takes on to promote their products and services and finally gets them exchanged with monetary value. Digital marketing is similar, such a method, with ultimately the aim to get the company’s or the brand’s product and services to the end customers and that too on a massive scale.
The main objective of Marketing, be it in any category is to get the information of the products and services to the mass, as large as possible, to mold and influence the customer’s beliefs and awareness of the products and services. This enables them to make an informed decision based on their wants and needs, whether to buy a certain product or a service, thereby, generating sales for the respective company or the brand.
In the earlier days, marketing or advertisements of any product or services from any company or brand were done either through impressive visual ads on TV, which were influential enough to the customer and influenced their decision to make any sort of purchase; or through impressive audio ads through the radio to be able to reach as many people as possible; or sometimes even both.
But with the advent of the new age technology and with the onset of digitization of content along with the introduction of the internet to the mass, nowadays it is indeed no surprise that the majority of the population resort to consumption of content and the gathering of information on news, product or services with the help of the internet. Thus, it is also quite evident that consumers, nowadays, prefer to research with the help of these sources about any product or services or content that they want to consume.
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Not only this process is easier for them the consumers and easily accessible from the tip of their thumbs, but it is also easier for the producers of these products and services, marketers, and content creators to reach their target audience and end consumers as well.
That being said, when marketing is such a basic and crucial foundation for any products or services, we can, therefore, see the vast emergence and demand for Digital Marketing, with the growing economy, which enables the marketers to establish their digital presence as well, thereby allowing them and indirectly enabling the brands and the companies to reach out to the mass, in a matter of minutes through the company’s digital presence.
We can further understand this concept by understanding and getting to know about what exactly digital marketing is before we get to know the pre-requisites to learn a digital marketing course. This would enable us to make an informed decision about why should we choose digital marketing as a career choice and how.
What is Digital Marketing?
As per Sanjay Dholakia, the former Chief Marketing Officer of Marketo, a leading marketing company –
“Digital is at the core of everything in marketing today – it has gone from ‘one of the things marketing does’ to ‘THE thing that marketing does.”
This very much speaks about the core concept of digital marketing Like said, above already, the new age technology has totally transformed every form of communications and media, especially when it comes to reaching the mass. Sanjay Dholakia’s statement about digital marketing becoming the most sought-after marketing method proves this point all the same.
Digital Marketing refers to the advertisement methods delivered through digital mediums such as marketing through email, social media, websites search engines, as well as several mobile apps and software that facilitate and enhance the digital marketing process and make them easier. Using these online media channels, digital marketing is the approach for marketing by which companies and brands get to endorse, promote as well as market the content related to their products and services and facilitate their sales in the process.
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As per several research and surveys that have been conducted to derive the consumption of content and the majority of the methods of their consumption, 26% of the mass have been found to conduct search inquiries through mobile apps, around 33% search through company and brand official websites and around 48% of the consumers generally initiate their search through search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and such.
Digital Marketing or what is also often termed as Online Marketing encompasses all those activities that include the advertising, marketing, and consumer engagement activities that are conducted digitally through online mediums and aims to get the content found and noticed by the end-users, the consumers to generate leads and sales.
Not only digital marketing focuses on getting leads generated but one of its objectives is also to get these consumers or customers to keep generating leads for them, or to put in simple words, to turn these leads into recurring or returning customers for the company or the brand. Since we are seeing that Digital Marketing, by itself is now such a vast subject matter; we can, thus, categorize these engaging activities of digital marketing as follows :
- Your Website
- Search Engine Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Pay Per Click advertising [PPC]
- Marketing automation [inclusive of email marketing and messenger marketing]
- Social Media Marketing
- Video Marketing
The above list shows just how the horizon of digital marketing has broadened over the years and has become from one of the methods of marketing to the way of marketing with digital marketing now an option as a sole career choice of many young as well as experienced.
Agreed that the concept of digital marketing is hence, more granular we are however now focused on getting to know the basics and the basis of digital marketing. So, coming back to the basics of digital marketing, since we have already discussed what digital marketing is, let us understand why is digital marketing important.
Importance of Digital Marketing
The reach and the presence of digital marketing are so vast, that along with the strategies and various types of digital marketing, the relevance, and importance it brings to content creators, companies, and brands is innumerable. Digital marketing allows the marketer, the brand, or the company to be able to reach millions of customers and target audiences in such a way that marketing is both cost-efficient and quantifiable.
Digital marketing is extremely crucial to the brand and the company for today’s consumers to make an informed decision on products and services. Social and online mediums are the main mediums of digital marketing in today’s time period. It is estimated that the average United States consumer is exposed to around 10,000 messages from brands and companies. Research has proved that almost 90% of the consumers and the end-users actually search through the brand or company’s website while selecting their target products and services.
Almost 95% of the mass, nowadays, prefer online surfing and shopping for their target products and services and 93% of the majority of the online experience begins with a search engine. Not only digital marketing allows people to make an informed decision about the purchase of the company’s or the brand’s products and services but also enables people to enlist and grow their businesses online by using tools like Google Business and even Google Ads.
This in return allows their businesses, brands, and companies’ information to reach out to millions of people simultaneously just through a click on their phone or electronic devices. End-users and consumers can easily find local businesses, brands as well as companies, thanks to the digital marketing strategies undertaken by these businesses, brands, and companies.
Basics of Digital Marketing
All of the digital marketing is based on the core concept of marketing, but the objectives remain the same even though the mediums and the strategies have changed. Before we get down to the requirements of anyone being able to learn digital marketing, we should know the basic requirements of digital marketing first and the know-how to make use of them.
The First and Foremost, the most basic requirement for digital marketing to soar high, is the presence of a -website. Studies show that almost 70-80 % of people have made decisions based on the judgment they have made for a company or a brand and its credibility simply based on the company’s or the brand’s website.
This is because a website is like the foundation of all online real estate and is without any doubt, the best marketing asset and property of a company or a brand; and content creators focus their strategy on building and designing their website, so that the purpose of the website to drive sales and generate leads is fulfilled – which is also known inbound marketing.
For a company or brand to have a successful website, it should have the listed characteristics –
- The website needs to be fast and speedy
- A secure website
- Clean, easy-to-use features and design along with the contact information of the company or the brand
- Needs to be SEO- optimized
The next important requirement is Search Engine Marketing [SEM]. This basic fere to the fact that the people need to able to find the content they are looking for, and the company or the brand needs to market their content and their website in such a way that people looking for such content can find them easily.
This is done by combining various methods and techniques of marketing that would aim to make the company, business, or brand presence dominate the results page of the search engines in response to certain phrases, keywords, and even questions.
This now brings me to the next basic requirement which is Search Engine Optimization [SEO]. SEO is actually a branch of SEM and includes the process of making adjustments and updating the website code as well as the content to get the website and the web pages to rank higher in the search results. Search Engine Optimization is not only the most profitable but also the most reliable marketing strategy, amongst the many advertising methods.
Another branch of SEM apart from SEO is the Pay Per Click method of advertising [PPC], which is basically an all-inclusive term for paid online ads. This refers to the payment every time someone clicks on the company or the brand-sponsored ads, thereby justifying the name ‘Pay Per Click.’ These are the ads that pop up in the search results and are also often triggered when a person searches with a specific set of keywords.
The main component of digital marketing also includes Email Marketing and it is exactly what the name suggests – marketing done and advertisements sent through email which actually has a wildly high Return On Investment [ROI] which is around 4400%; which basically tells you if you are getting your money’s worth from your marketing strategies and marketing campaigns. This ROI is comparatively high than any other type of digital marketing and is also considered a method that drives the lead generation sky-high.
Not to mention, Digital Marketing is incomplete without Social Media Marketing. Social Media Marketing refers to all and any marketing activities undertaken through social media profiles and platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and so on. Nearly 20% of consumers actively use social media networks while searching or looking for information about a company, brand, or even a business.
Therefore, for the success of any Digital Marketing strategy, few parameters are a must for the overall success of a company, business, or brand. Parameters like the Leads, the Revenue, Lead-to-sale conversion rate, Cost per lead, Total Sales, the ROI, the booking rate from calls – all play vital roles and really matter for any digital marketing strategy. Moreover, metrics like Bounce Rates, Page views, new visitors, page timings, search rankings help refine and cater to a company or a brand’s marketing strategy.
A Career in Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing is such a rapidly growing industry already, that a career path in digital marketing is not only in demand but is also proving to be evolving as more of the online mediums of communication are becoming available. Simultaneously, the need for more of such qualified people who can keep up with the demand keeps growing as well.
Recent studies have shown that there has already been an increase in the demand for digital marketers and their services in 2019 and is set to increase more. This is because extensive research has shown it is estimated that around 1.7 megabytes of new data will be there just by the year 2020, and that, too, daily and now, we already know that data is very crucial in digital marketing.
Apart from the growing popularity and the growing demand of digital marketers, the job role of a digital marketer can be quite exciting and interesting if one is passionate and determined about achieving their target like any career choice. Agreed that choosing any career path can be quite a daunting and confusing process.
But, considering the opportunities in this dynamic field, the future of digital marketing given a career path is certainly positive and will continue to be so in the coming years for the right candidates. Candidates well versed and professional in business and possessing the know-how to harness the Internet to create effective advertisements and marketing content is best suited to excel in this field.
As stated before, since the demand for qualified and knowledgeable digital marketers is exponentially growing day by day, the niche jobs under the umbrella of the digital marketing career are also growing. These niche jobs include, but is definitely not limited to, all the below-listed positions –
- Content Developer
- Social Media Marketing
- Brand Management
- Webb Designer
- SEO expert
- Professional Blogger
- Web designer
- Email Marketer
Now since the ultimate goal of digital marketing is to ensure increased sales, increased lead generation for a company, a brand, or a business, mastering certain skills is necessary to have a successful career in digital marketing and this can be achieved easily by learning a digital marketing course.
Pre-requisites to learn Digital Marketing
The pre-requisites or the requirements of learning digital marketing and choosing digital marketing as a career choice include anyone that is creative and an objective thinker. Digital marketing training and extensive knowledge can be taken by taking an e-learning course or even gaining hands-on experience and training under the experienced guidance and direction of a qualified person who has been successful in demonstrating such experience in the respective field.
Nowadays, it is also often suggested that anyone interested in learning the same and choosing digital marketing as a career path should take a standardized test first, such as the Google Analytics I.Q. Exam, to showcase to potential employers their proper understanding of the industry.
Any person who is
- Enjoys challenges and has a social personality
- Thrives in evolving and fast-paced environment
- Likes writing as well as solving problems
- Has good people skills
- Is skilled in conducting digital research and enjoy it as well.
Apart from the several online webinars conducted nowadays and the online courses available, other methods also include building an established network of experienced and successful digital marketing industry experts and then taking the proper time to develop solid professional relationships with these people to learn how to hone and master the already existing skills; and even learn and acquire new ones.
Also following the various established digital marketing sites and social media platforms to keep up with the evolving trends and changes in these advertising platforms helps to set the expectations for future growth or trend in the digital marketing field. Creating and promoting one’s brand is also one way to not only, improve one’s skills and promote one brand, but it is also a way to showcase your skills to prospective and potential employers.
And apart from these methods, the most popular method which helps build, enhance, and showcase one’s digital marketing skills is by becoming certified and official. This can be easily done if a person is focused and determined, by taking a popular digital marketing course from a well-known institute.
Many such courses are nowadays available online. Since the demand for digital marketers is increasing day by day, the recruiters are also becoming more and more specific and selective about their recruitment process and the qualifications of a candidate. In these scenarios, something like a simple certificate can really make a difference in winning a job or being left out.
Thus, seeing the demands and evolution of digital marketing, as businesses, brands, and companies grow, they need to stay relevant and ranked also grows; and so does the demand for skilled, qualified, and experienced digital marketing professionals or skilled digital marketers.
So learning the certified courses for digital marketing and building one’s skills is not only preferable but would also add an edge in these evolving industries. And for anyone willing to study the same and make digital marketing their career choice, I would definitely say, that Digital Marketing is a good career path to be chosen for anyone who wants to work in this evolving field and has the drive to make it in this fast-paced industry.