As a business, you have to be where your customers are. With over 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide, digital marketing has become indispensable to businesses in every industry. However, Just having a website and an online brand will not be sufficient.
You have to expand your horizons and use intelligent and innovative digital marketing tools to keep your business thriving. With consumer data driving newer marketing tools, the possibilities for your retail business are genuinely limitless.
Read on to understand digital marketing and its importance.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing, also called online marketing, refers to the use of data, digital media, and technology to achieve marketing goals for a business. Online marketing campaigns can be created for any electronic device and employ paid advertising, online videos, social media, email, SEO, and much more.
Marketing creates digital channels for brand promotions and connecting to potential customers. Any form of online communication between a brand and its target audience can be defined as digital marketing.
Today, consumers expect digital marketing from brands to understand and resonate with them better. Brands, too, use multiple marketing strategies to experiment and determine what works best for them.
Why is Digital Marketing Important?
Quality digital marketing works for all types of businesses and is not just limited to B2B, retail, and finance. Before you jump into the types of marketing tools available, it is crucial to understand why digital marketing is valuable. Some of the most prominent reasons are as follows:
Evolving SEO Rules
Search engine optimization is a vital skill to have as a digital marketer. It plays a pivotal role in your website’s success and the number of customers you attract. However, SEO strategies are constantly evolving for online businesses.
Digital marketing helps you harness the power of SEO and keep up with the changing algorithms. You can now maintain high-ranking search results year long without worrying about competition.
In Australia, around 79% of the population uses a smartphone. This number is only bound to grow in the coming years. Mobile phones have become an extension of human beings.
Therefore, retail digital marketing must target and engage mobile users. The best way to do this is to personalize marketing for your customers.
Mobile devices record every step and click of your customer’s day-to-day activities. This makes it very easy for businesses to market their products based on the consumer’s specific needs. Moreover, access to this data also makes a massive difference for B2B digital marketing along with B2C.
Social Media to Engage and Retain Customers
The Covid-19 pandemic forced the entire world to stay at home, increasing humankind’s reliance on online services. Since no one was looking at traditional advertising like billboards and posters, brands had to step up and fuel their digital advertisements to reach their consumers.
Now, using digital marketing, you are no longer limited to reaching clients in your geographical location. By using innovative but straightforward strategies, you can capture prospective customers, convert leads, and even re-engage lost customers on your web pages.
Traditional Methods are Ineffective
While enormous ad spending drove consumer demand years ago, these traditional methods have been overused and exhausted over time. The modern consumer is mindful and prefers to connect with the brand messaging before investing in their products and services.
Traditional marketing pales in comparison because it is generic and impersonal. Digital marketing allows you to build a voice that appeals to your target audience and helps them resonate with your brand image.
Moreover, businesses are opting for digital marketing because it is more effective and way cheaper than traditional methods.
Types of Digital Marketing
There are various specialized marketing techniques under the digital marketing umbrella. Here is a rundown of the most common digital marketing tactics used by contemporary businesses.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is used to optimize your website, blog, and landing pages to rank higher on search engine results. This makes way for increased organic traffic on your site, making your page more prominent. Here are the three major approaches to search engine marketing that can help your rankings.
- On-page SEO: This approach focuses on your business’s website or blog content. The inclusion of keywords is vital to identify search volume and consumer intent. You can answer the most frequently searched questions about your products or services and guide further traffic to your site.
- Off-page SEO: Your search engine results page (SERP) ranking depends on factors beyond your website. Inbound links, backlinks, and citations generate additional attention to your website. External references also build credibility for your brand and help your business become an authority in your industry.
- Technical SEO: If you are a technical expert, you can implement SEO with the backend and coding of your website. This involves CSS file optimization, image compression, and structured data to increase the loading speed of your site.
Search engines have undisclosed algorithms, so it is not easy to pinpoint the exact rubrics that affect website rankings. However, regular monitoring of your site performance in response to various SEO strategies can help you recognize what works for your website.
As a brand, you have to devise methods to engage customers constantly. Creating valuable content directed to your target audience helps with brand awareness, lead generation and conversion, and traffic growth.
Many content marketing channels can help you boost your traffic. Blog posts, audio and video content, infographics, ebooks, and whitepapers are a few such means. These additions make your content more interactive, engaging, and shareable. Furthermore, you can apply SEO to your content marketing to support higher SERP rankings.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
PPC is a way of advertising where you post ads on a third-party page. You pay the publisher every time someone clicks on the ad and reaches your page. The most common example of a PPC campaign is your Google ads.
You can pay for the top spot on Google’s SERPs. However, the process is not exactly that simple. Whenever a SERP spot is empty, the search engine holds an instant auction to fill it. The deciding algorithm takes into account many factors, including the following.
- Bid amount
- Quality of landing page
- Keyword relevance
- Ad quality
Besides Google ads, there are numerous other digital marketing channels like Facebook paid social ads, Twitter ad campaigns, and LinkedIn sponsored messages.
Social Media Marketing
The current generation’s dependence on social media is no secret. Social media marketing is an excellent way to create brand awareness by conversing directly with your customers.
Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are the most popular platforms for short-form posts. On the other hand, you can use Youtube for long-form, in-depth content. Depending on your target customers, you can pick appropriate platforms for your social media advertising.
Many brands collaborate with influencers and established content creators to promote their products to appeal to a younger demographic. These social media ads are termed ‘viral campaigns’ and are designed to be highly shareable.
If your target demographic is working professionals, focusing your social media marketing strategy on LinkedIn will prove fruitful.
Affiliate marketing lets you make money by promoting someone else’s product on your website. Conversely, you can pay someone to promote your content on their sites.
You could host video ads through Youtube’s partner program or share affiliate links through your social media pages. In the age of influencer marketing, affiliate campaigns provide a revenue-sharing model that benefits both parties. Moreover, finding the right influencer to endorse your product can make a world of difference today.
Due to the overuse of traditional advertising, consumers became more aware of brands buying ads and creating promotional content for themselves. This rendered most conventional ads ineffective and unappealing.
Native advertising proposes a more subtle approach. Instead of straight-up promoting a business, you offer informational or entertaining content. The advertisement pops up towards the end and reaches people who already enjoy such content.
This is a tried and tested digital marketing method that has been employed for years. Businesses collect emails from visitors on their websites and use them to offer attractive discounts and promote content and events.
An email marketing campaign usually involves subscription newsletters, welcome emails, follow-up emails, discounts, holiday promotions, loyalty programs, etc.
You have to make your emails useful to the consumer as a brand. They always have the option to unsubscribe to your emails, so your content should be solid and advantageous enough to make them want to stay.
All these types of marketing strategies need to be done periodically in order to stay constantly in touch with the target audiences. This is where marketing automation kicks in.
Since marketing is mostly about periodic uploads and check-ins, a ton of marketing automation software helps you automate the process and ease some of your burdens. You can employ marketing automation tools like the following for your business.
- Email automation: Automating email allows you to send timely subscription newsletters to your customers. Apart from that, it also automatically expands and shrinks your mailing list based on unsubscriptions.
- Lead-nurturing flows: It is a long and repetitive process to generate leads and convert them into customers. You can automate level-based information sharing by sending them specific emails or content once they meet some assigned criteria.
- Scheduling social media posts: Most social media platforms allow you to create and then schedule your posts to maintain consistency and uniformity.
- Campaign tracking: Marketing automation can help you track the various components of a campaign and track its performance based on periodic progress.
When a user lands on your website, they could be at any buying cycle stage. Inbound marketing allows you to create an enjoyable experience and potentially convert them into customers. Topical blogs, video content, ebooks, and webinars are some examples of inbound marketing.
After doing all the marketing, how does one know if their digital marketing campaigns are reaching their audience’s or not? Let us find out.
Ways to Measure Your Digital Marketing Efforts
With so many digital marketing options at your fingertips, how do you make sure you have picked the right ones for your business? Here are ten marketing metrics that you can track through tools like Google Analytics to help you analyze your marketing strategy.
- Sales and Revenue: The obvious lookout is whether your current marketing campaigns generate revenue. If not, then what can you do to improve upon them?
- Website Traffic: Analytics software will tell you where your visitors found your site. You can amplify your marketing with sources that generate more traffic and reduce spending on futile ads.
- Website Leads: Ensure that you capture leads on your website through contact forms. You can nurture these leads using marketing automation and eventually convert them into customers.
- Time Spent on Website: Some people visit your website and leave immediately. These are called bounces. You must ensure that your web pages are engaging enough to make customers spend more time exploring your business.
- Page Views: People just being interested in your blog but hardly clicking onto your product pages can be detrimental to your business. Having uniform page views is a good indicator of relevant content.
- Device Traffic: Mobile and desktop audiences demand different formats of content. So, your website needs to cater to both their content needs.
- Cost Per Lead/Acquisition (CPL/CPA): How much does it cost to acquire a new lead or customer for your business? If the process is not profitable, you need a new strategy.
- Click-through Rates (CTR): How many visitors click through from one set up to the next on your website? This helps in understanding how effective your lead generation process is.
- Lead to Close Ratio: How many of your leads convert into clients eventually? The higher the lead to close ratio, the better is your digital marketing model. You can improve the quality of leads generated by working on your sales process to improve this ratio.
- Return on Investment (ROI): How much money did you make for your invested amount? This is usually the most critical number for analyzing a business’s digital marketing strategy.
What is Data-Driven Marketing?
Data-driven marketing has taken the digital marketing world by storm. Therefore, it is imperative to understand what the buzz is all about.
There is a rising amount of marketing data every day. Marketers let this customer behaviour-capturing data inform them of their marketing and SEO strategies. Data-driven marketing allows you to assess what your customers like or dislike about your brand and make tangible changes to tip the scales in your favor.
Using this digital data, brands can put out targeted marketing messages and optimize the use of content media on their pages. Data-driven marketing makes room for personalized content and helps brands streamline their marketing strategy down to the last notch.
Let us understand more about digital marketing data.
Understanding Your Digital Marketing Data
With big data in marketing, there is always a surplus of information. This makes it very easy to dive into this sea of data and lose your way to truly valuable insight. Here are five aspects of data-driven marketing to bear in mind while making your marketing decisions.
Read Data Across Multiple Devices
First and foremost, you must understand how to review data across multiple devices. Four out of five customers now you smartphones to look and shop for products. Therefore, you have to implement multiple content marketing strategies to fit the needs of every audience.
Moreover, brick-and-mortar stores must be able and willing to integrate their offline sales paths with their digital marketing channel.
Use the Data to Customize Your Sales Copy
Next, your sales copy must appeal to every customer who engages with your website. Here you take advantage of the data to personalize information for the various subsets of your readers. Further, you can use the CTR to tell you where the customers are in their conversion process. It can help you measure the journey of a follower to a website visitor and then finally to a client.
Put Your Changes to the Test
The steady influx of data acts as a significant feedback source for your modifications. If you make any changes to your marketing strategy, do not simply assume that it would make everything better. You now have the resources to test the changes and see how it affects your performance metrics. This information can prove critical in the process of optimizing your content.
Reduce Visitor Abandonment
Shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest issues for online retailers. While offline marketing allows you to intercept and offer solutions on the spot, online businesses suffer from a lack of knowledge as to why visitor abandonment occurs.
With data, you can now deduce concrete reasons why your customer did not complete their purchase. Perhaps the shipping charges were too high, or they could not find customer support. You can tackle these problems and not lose any further potential clients this way.
Keep Tabs on ROAs
Return on Ad spend (ROAs) is the final metric. It is pretty straightforward. If the ad you are paying for does not make you enough money, your marketing strategy is lacking. You should have solid targets in mind before you invest in the ad. Then you can tweak and modify your digital marketing strategy to meet those goals.
Digital marketing trends change every year. Find out the top trends for 2022 to tweak your marketing strategy.
Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends for Retailers in 2022
Much like ranking algorithms, digital marketing trends can be fickle and change every season. Here are the top five digital marketing trends expected to capture every marketer’s attention in 2022.
The metaverse brings in a completely new way of experiencing advertising. With AI paving the way for AR, VR, MR, and 3D avatars, this trend will likely bring in a whole new set of performance metrics to digital marketing.
Crypto and NFT Rage
As the current generation emerges as the target audience for most brands, trends like cryptocurrency and NFTs are expected. Businesses have to evolve and modernize quickly to maintain pace with these advancements.
Your customers are constantly bombarded with ads talking about the brand and its offerings. This has become tiresome, and there is a need for more than just superficial customer engagement. Introducing mediums of conversation and chatbots on your website can help shift the focus back on the user.
Video and Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing cannot be sidelined in your digital marketing strategy. Influencer marketing on social media and mobile apps has made way for a video marketing trend that is here to stay as part of every business’s social media strategy.
Customer relationship management (CRM) tools help reach new customers and boost interactions with existing ones. You can now track your consumers and segment them according to your interaction for varying types of marketing.
Whether you are an online or a physical business, digital marketing is inescapable in any industry. Plus, with the increasing competition in every market, consumers are more aware of brands and products than ever before. Businesses have to step up and employ intelligent digital marketing campaigns to attract and retain customers.