Significance of Digital Marketing: Growth and More in 2023
The significance of digital marketing in today’s world is abundant. When the Rasna Girl cutely said, ‘I Love U Rasna’, the jingle turned out to be the most loved one and the drink became a favorite for many Indian kids.
Well, the origin of the above commercials dates to the 1980s. It was the time when television was gaining popularity and advertisements were aired on Doordarshan. The magic of these campaigns is such that even today the original ads live in the minds of people. The memories linked with products are re-lived by many.
It is a well-established fact that advertisements have a huge impact on consumers’ buying behavior. For a long, brands have been using television, radio, and print media to create brand awareness, influence consumers, and improve sales.
In recent years, the advertising and marketing landscape is often dominated by the term digital marketing. The significance of digital marketing through its various tools and channels is only growing among businesses.
At this juncture, let us dwell upon the term digital marketing and the significance of digital marketing for businesses.
What is Digital Marketing?
BusinessDictionary defines digital marketing as,
“The promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media. For example, advertising mediums that might be used as part of the digital marketing strategy of a business could include promotional efforts made via the Internet, social media, mobile phones, and electronic billboards, as well as via digital and television and radio channels.”
So, digital marketing refers to marketing using the internet leveraging digital platforms like mobiles, desktops, email, social media, websites, and so on. Digital marketing is also called by the term’s internet marketing, online marketing, internet advertising, online advertising, and web marketing.
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When and how did the significance of digital marketing begin in the first place?
Let us throw some light on statistics related to the internet and social media users globally.
- The average daily social media usage of internet users is 144 minutes per day.
- China, India, and the US are the top 3 countries with the highest internet user base.
- The social network penetration rate globally is 49% and Facebook is the popular one with over 2.4 billion monthly active users.
The above data may be overwhelming for a less tech-savvy person, but for a digital marketer, it would be a missed opportunity if not strategized.
The reason why digital marketing is the preferred promotional channel among businesses is its wide reach. With the growing number of internet users and social network surfing, the scope for promotional activities over digital technologies is only expanding.
To further understand the significance of digital marketing, let us differentiate it from traditional marketing channels.
Traditional marketing techniques like television commercials, radio ads, print media ads, billboards, telemarketing, pamphlets, brochures, business cards, and others need a sizeable amount set aside by businesses.
TV and radio advertisements and big magazine ads involve huge amounts to keep them running. The charges of producing a TV ad and running it for 30 seconds may cost from lakhs to crores of rupees. The cost relies on the advertising agency that designs the ad and the channel that advertises it. This is where the significance of digital marketing starts.
Whereas, for digital marketing, the cost is relatively low. Though paid online ads incur some cost for businesses, many digital marketing channels come for free. Customers can be reached with minimum investment, which is more advantageous to small businesses.
There are digital marketing agencies that offer services to firms as per their requirements and charge accordingly.
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2. Right Audience Reach
Through traditional marketing channels, there is always ambiguity in reaching the target audience. Moreover, many of these techniques can reach local or regional customers but lack a global impact.
Added to this, many traditional marketing approaches offer one-way communication with much of the information flowing from business to consumers and not vice versa. It is difficult to interact with customers and get feedback.
In the case of digital marketing, tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and others help in analyzing customer data to serve the right audience effectively.
On the other hand, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and others give information like age, interests, location, and consumption patterns of the audience. This helps in tailoring content and strategize marketing methods customer-specific.
A company’s active social media presence with interesting posts and attractive information, can engage the audience and help develop a long-term relationship. Comments across the company’s posts, likes, and shares help to inspire customers, obtain their inputs and build trust.
In traditional marketing, the success of the marketing campaign is difficult to measure. Return on Investment of the traditional marketing campaign is measured by considering sales growth.
Sales Growth – Marketing Cost = Return on Investment of Marketing Campaign
However, from the above calculation, it is challenging to know how much sales growth is due to marketing efforts. Accurate and in-depth analysis is not possible. Also, the waiting period is long for knowing results.
Moreover, not all campaigns are designed to boost sales. Few are created for raising brand awareness which is analyzed through surveys and customer feedback.
On the flip side, digital marketing effectiveness can be measured accurately and effectively. The success or failure of the digital marketing campaign can be monitored and measured through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs are used to measure brand awareness and generate sales.
Few Metrics to Measure Digital Marketing Campaign/Significance of digital marketing according to metrics
- Site Traffic – Traffic is key for generating leads. This metric considers overall web traffic or the number of users visiting a website. It is measured in terms of visits or sessions.
- New Traffic – First-time users of the website are identified for measuring new traffic. This data enables monitoring trends in user types and understand the effectiveness of the campaign.
- New Vs. Returning Traffic – New user revisiting a website is identified as a returning user. Monitoring this metric helps in understanding how to increase new users’ traffic to the website if their number is less or how to retain existing customers.
- Bounce Rate – Bounce rate refers to visitors leaving the website immediately after arriving, in a session duration of 0 seconds. A high bounce rate is an indicator of website redesigning or content improvement.
- Customer Demographics – Customer demographics include age, gender, interests, and so on. This helps determine the specific audience reach.
There are several marketing analytics tools available to understand in detail user behavior, how they interact with the website, traffic source, conversion rate, and so on. Picking up the correct marketing tool is important for understanding and enhancing marketing results.
Some Digital Marketing Analytics Tools include,
- Google Adwords
- AB Tasty
- Google Optimize
- Heap Analytics
- Google Analytics
Undoubtedly, digital marketing holds considerable advantages over traditional marketing methods. As such, companies are leaning towards digital marketing techniques for meeting their business objectives.
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Strategies that speak of the significance of digital marketing
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
In SEM, businesses look at improving brand awareness and website traffic by purchasing ad space on SEM services like Google AdWords and Bing Ads.
Paid advertisements are generally referred to as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertisements and are seen on top of the search engine results page. These sponsored ads are displayed in such a way that they gain user attention before one can scroll through organic search results.
SEM ads are created by choosing the right search terms or keywords, which are business relevant. Further, demographic-specific ads are created to reach an audience of specific locations. Ad auction takes place for advertisements based on maximum bid and quality score.
The bid refers to the price advertisers are ready to spend for every click on their ad. A Quality score signifies the quality of ads. Based on these factors, ad placement on the web page is decided.
As such, SEM is all about maximizing the visibility of a brand or business through paid means.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO refers to increasing web traffic through organic search engine results. It aims at optimizing the website or web pages to display them at the top of search engine results.
To be more detailed, whenever a keyword is searched for, a specific website appears on the first page of search results. This indicates a high ranking for the website which drives organic traffic. This forms the essence of SEO – to exclude paid advertisements for building brand visibility. SEO primarily tries to make it easy for search engine indexing software to find a specific webpage among millions of search results.
How exactly SEO happens?
On-page, SEO focuses on the content of the website to generate web traffic.
Keywords: Keyword research and right usage of keywords in the content form important for ranking webpages. Understanding users’ questions and answering them clearly through content helps show up on top of the search engine results page (SERP).
Content: Website content can appeal to users when it abides by,
- Structure – Content should be organized to enable the user to find quickly what they are looking for.
- Quality – Quality of content with accurate and precise data and expertise of the subject can create a considerable user base.
- Newness – New and unique content always creates an edge and attracts users immensely.
User’s Trust: Gaining user’s trust is equally important for improving returning traffic. Trust can be built by being more transparent and customer-friendly.
Internal Linking: Linking relevant pages within the website enables a search engine to discover new content quickly and thereby improve rankings. It also provides users with more content and aid easy website navigation.
Off-Page, SEO refers to activities outside the website to improve rankings in SERPs.
Backlinks – Backlinks also called inbound links are crucial for Off-Page SEO. A backlink refers to the link from one web source to another web page. Backlinks must fulfill the below points to contribute to website rankings,
- Quality of backlinks – Signifies relevance between the linking site and be linked site. Having quality backlinks gains the confidence of search engines about the website content and thereby reaches up on SERPs.
- Quantity of backlinks – Denotes the number of backlinks a website has from publishers with high domain authority. Having backlinks from spammy websites merely help to rankings.
Here, let us understand Domain Authority and Page Authority.
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What is Domain Authority and why is it important for the significance of digital marketing for a brand?
It refers to how relevant or connected is a website concerning a particular search. Depending on this relevance, a website is ranked between 1 to 100. The higher the score, the greater is the preference over others in SERPs.
What is Page Authority?
While Domain Authority deals with website ranking on search results, Page Authority deals with individual pages ranking on SERPs.
Attaining Domain Authority and Page Authority is a time-consuming task. However, they help earn high trust from search engines.
Reliable publishers – Linking with websites of high reliability and authority – both domain and page, helps build trust for one’s website with search engines.
Social Media Promotion – Social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat are used to posts content.
Sharing good content over social media attract comments, content shares, link shares, brand mentions, and so on and drives traffic to the website. Gaining attention can also earn backlinks.
Let us dwell more on content marketing.
3. Content Marketing
According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), an education and training organization, content marketing is defined as,
“A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Content Marketing can take many forms. It can be through blogs, infographics, podcasts, videos, eBooks, whitepapers, and so on. Let us discuss a few of them.
Blogs: Weblog, commonly referred to as a blog is a popular channel used by brands to share their product information. Through blogs, brands post articles frequently and are in touch with the audience. It helps receive organic search traffic and convert readers into leads.
Infographics: It refers to the visual representation of content with statistics, graphs, and images in a more understandable way. Complex content presented as visuals makes it more appealing and engaging for the audience. The infographic content can turn out most sharable if texts and images are combined effectively.
Podcasts: Podcast is an audio file created for marketing a brand, product, or service, to which the audience can listen at their convenience. Podcasts share valuable insights and expert discussions and connect with the target audience.
Videos: Another powerful tool of marketing is video, through which the audience is made aware of the brand, provides product information, product demos, useful tips, and so on. Few videos are weaved around a story to inspire customers rather than promoting their goods directly.
4. Email Marketing
When an email is used for promoting and marketing purposes it is called email marketing. Mailchimp, an email marketing service platform, defines email marketing as, “a form of direct marketing that uses email to promote your business’s products or services.”
In email marketing customers are sent content in the form of newsletters, event invitations, deals and discounts, product renewal reminders, anniversary wishes, and so on. As such, this form of email aims at establishing a relationship with customers.
An email is also an effective tool for converting prospects into customers. Brand awareness emails, blog newsletters, and personalized messages can keep the prospects informed about the brand and thereby lead to conversion.
However, care should be taken that subscribers’ inbox is not flooded with emails. The audience may get annoyed and ignore the brand altogether. As such, companies need to work out how often they reach out audience and how engaging they can design emails.
In this form of marketing, products or services of others are advertised on one’s website and commission is earned when the purchase is made out of this promotional source. Primarily, the promotion is made for other brands or products and one gets paid from sales made.
As such, a company or merchant can outsource the promotion of their products to an external agency or affiliate marketer and reduce the marketing burden. On the other hand, an affiliate marketer promotes the merchant’s products on his website and generates leads.
An affiliate marketer can leverage different marketing channels for promotional activity. It can be through video ads, blogs, emails, microsites, use of affiliate links, and so on.
6. Online Public Relation (PR)
Online PR also called Digital PR refers to creating awareness about a brand using online space. It is a very important component for the significance of digital marketing. Digital PR is similar to traditional PR, the difference being the medium of tool used – digital marketing channels.
Digital PR banks on backlinks and social media presence for increasing brand visibility. This is carried out by,
- Gaining quality backlinks from trustworthy and high authority websites
- Reaching out to bloggers and journalists for backlinks
- Networking with reporters for earned media marketing
- Writing online content for high authority publishers and links back to one’s website
- Engaging with the comments and reviews of brand
1. Is a career switch to digital marketing worth it?
Digital marketing is one of the most popular career choices today. Every sector today requires the services of a prolific digital marketer who understand the target audience well and is equipped with the skills to bring in more leads and increase conversions. The prospect is huge and chances of a rewarding career in digital marketing are immense. Therefore, it is a judicious decision to consider digital marketing a career choice today.
2. Why should I enroll in a digital marketing course?
A digital marketing course through a combination of classes, case studies, practical assignments, internships and soft skills training will help you become an efficient digital marketer equipped with the knowledge of the components of digital marketing. That will ultimately help you with creating integrated digital strategies for your business or clients. you will be able to set up your own digital marketing agency, or start a digital marketing job at a firm.
3. What are the most important modules for digital marketing?
The most important modules of digital marketing today are SEO, paid ads, social media management, email marketing, content writing, and marketing, web analytics among others.
Concluding points on the significance of digital marketing
With the explosion of the digital arena, the availability of abundant information, and online communication, consumers are making informed purchase decisions. As such, it becomes essential for companies to embrace digital marketing strategies to reach and engage with customers. The significance of digital marketing has never been more emphasized. Digital marketing is not a short-term trend but is here to stay. Adopting it is highly rewarding and lucrative for companies.