*Keep in mind- This is a longer post than usual. Just because it’s a beginner’s introduction does not mean it is a corner-cut interpretation of a better explanation. This serves as a comprehensive breakdown of what Marketing and Advertising in the Digital Age actually entails, and examples to solidify understanding of those techniques.* – Derek R.
As the era of Mom-and-Pop Stores, consignment shops, weekly newspapers, and local bulletin boards have all but vanished from being a necessity in shopping or research gathering, we have firmly and undoubtedly established ourselves in the Age of Information, stemming from the creation and exponential advancement of the Internet.
And in turn, traditional techniques used in advertising have all but become obsolete in this day and age. With businesses taking their sales platforms online, methods such as B2B, Cold Calling, Mail Flyers, and renting newspaper space are no longer considered viable options. Since there is nothing to limit the marketer in reaching new audiences when advertising on the internet, a new era of broadcasting products and services have come to fruition.
With the movement towards online marketing, those making the switch would quickly learn it wasn’t as simple as starting a Facebook page and connecting with some friends. Hopes and dreams of fast-tracking into the mainstream media of new consumers would undoubtedly turn into harsh realizations and unrelenting desperation as they realized the massive amount of competition they would be contending with amongst the open markets available online.
Instead of competing locally for market dominance and relying on recommendations and referrals from those in the community, they faced much larger odds and even less chances of successfully implementing campaigns to gain attention online. This would usher in a new generation of marketing agencies and advertisers focused entirely on internet marketing. In the perfect example of supply and demand, digital marketers found themselves in great demand as the need for their specializations became more and more solidified.
To put into perspective the volume of information created and shared on the internet, we will look at a few major companies online that are a staple in user’s lives in the 21st century. Here are a few statistics to digest:
- Almost 3 billion people are using the internet in 2017
- Out of those 3 billion users, 2.07 billion are active facebook users
- Around 500 million tweets are published every day
- As of 12/2017, 800 million users were reported active on Instagram
- 40,000 search queries are Googled every second
- At least 7/10 minds now struggle to comprehend these statistics…
Used as a general term encompassing the many ways the Internet is used in effectively advertising goods and services, Digital Marketing covers an array of methods used to place the product, service, or information in the eyesight of a consumer.
Marketing Agencies are tasked with understanding and utilizing Search Engine Optimization and keyword practices, with more techniques discovered daily, to make sure a search engine effectively indexes the content, and terms typed into the search bar yields an increased chance of having that content be available on the front page of the returned search results. While digital marketing is a broad term, there are specific methods in place to increase sales opportunity in any area of ad campaigning.
Those categories include:
- Niche Marketing
- Content Curation
- Inbound Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Influencer Marketing
- Email Marketing
With any marketing campaign comes advertising. And there is no shortage of available means in this era of internet usage.
Such examples are:
- Native Ads
- Contextual Ads
- Display And Banner Ads
- Social Advertising
As titled, this publication aims to bring these methods to light for the general beginner looking for comprehensive material to develop an understanding of Digital Marketing.
Defining The Digital Marketing Era
Going through the list, we will define and highlight examples of each type of marketing discipline used to effectively advertise whilst targeting an intended demographic.
1. Niche Marketing
When speaking of “segmented markets”, this refers to the group of people more commonly known as “Niches”. Segmented markets derive from a more vast network of a general market. The pinpointing of a group of individuals whose needs are not being satisfied amongst their place inside it’s “mass market” ensuring those who can meet those needs fewer competitors, and more generated revenue.
Niche marketing can be highly profitable if their focus is directed in the advertiser’s direction. When focusing efforts towards meeting the specific demands of a smaller group, the effectiveness of those efforts increases exponentially once an Authority has been established. Developing a relationship and delivering reputable service to the chosen niche can become a lucrative source of income and repeat business is almost a guarantee.
Once “Authority” is attained, or a popular and reliable source of information or goods with a highly established reputation, it’s virtually unheard of for the audience of that source to change it’s distributor of what it needs.
Think of it as if it was the only bowling alley in town. It has been there for 25 years, highly maintained, low prices, loyalty rewards programs, and customer service is impeccable. Now there is a new one being built on the opposite side of town. The probability of the already established business losing ALL of it’s customer base is so unlikely it cannot be quantified.
A history of quality service, friendly faces, clean and accessible facilities, loyalty incentives, competitive pricing, etc., means that even when customers sample the new establishment, their emotional connection and familiarity will always bring them back to what they know and have comfort in.
Same can be applied to websites…
2. Content Curation/ Inbound Marketing
The reason behind grouping these two strategies is the resulting similarities they both inadvertently produce. Whil Content Creation is the establishment of reliable information a reader comes to commit to, Inbound Marketing is the process of delivering relevant advertising that pertains to the material that audience comes looking for.
If a blog is known for reliable reviews of consumer products, such as phones or baby strollers, Inbound marketing would be the appropriate advertising of Apple products for phones, or a Sears promotion for baby products, all with the intent of delivering ads that have a higher chance of converting from impressions, to click-throughs, to potential purchases.
Within Content Curation, a high degree of SEO must be achieved. Writing quality content that search engines will then index and improve search result opportunities is a staple of increasing the likelihood of someone seeing your blog. Every term or work entered is known as a “keyword”, therefore, the effectiveness one has at writing genuine, keyword-rich content can give an advantage over the next blog that reviewed the same item. It is a developed relationship that emerges between a blog and reader, and a blog’s reader and the inbound marketing they recieve.
3. Affiliate Marketing
In essence, an affiliate is a subsidiary of a larger corporation. To affiliate, or partner, with a company means advertisement of their products or services on an affiliated website. If a purchase is made by means of clicking through the ads on that website, a commission is paid to the person who entered the agreement with the corporation.
Many companies utilize this type of marketing as it is exponentially cheaper versus paying for Google, Bing, and Facebook ad space. Those type of ads are PPC, or paid per click, systems which means the company that set up the ads will pay for the amount of clicks it gets from those who observe it. Conversion plays a major role in this area of advertising ROI (return on investment). If those clicks aren’t turning into purchases, you are losing money from an investment in the advertisement. Clicks that are generating relevant sales should keep it going for a while, then strategize on updating it effectively for a fresh feel.
With Affiliate Marketing, it takes most of the guess work out of campaign design, and let’s the website hosting it’s advertisements choose the strategy in which it markets the product or service to it’s audience.
If it sells, paying a commission potentially means overall lower advertisement cost, as well as labor cost in committing a marketing department to designing and testing new ads. If it doesn’t sell when people are clicking through the ad to see the advertised material, there is no prior investment with affiliation, so there is no loss of investment when going this route.
4. Influencer Marketing
I will start with an example. This by itself should be easy to understand just by means of the title.
An Instagram model has 150,000 active followers. Utilizing their influence amongst a larger group of like-minded people who share a common interest, all looking to one source for the things that model is interested in, an advertiser would approach and broker an advertising deal.
(X amount of $ + X amount of Time = X amount of Generated Revenue)
5. Email Marketing
Along with Content Curation and Inbound Marketing, the majority of internet marketers consider developing a substantial email list crucial to building a successful business online. It is estimated that around 73% of millennials prefer email marketing as a source of their shopping leads. That means, if a niche is targeting products a millennial finds desirable, there becomes an outstanding chance of click through to your site/offer.
According to a Campaign Monitor study, the average ROI for email marketing is a whopping $44 USD to every $1 US invested.
Using strategies such as “landing pages”, where a visitor to a website is presented an offer in return for subscribing to that website’s email list, or a form to enroll for a webinar or signing up for a service plan, all puts your email address on a list. In turn, an automation service for scheduled, structured emails will handle the distribution appropriate to the offer that landed the email on the list.
Companies such as MailChimp, Aweber, and Hubspot are just a few services available that offer “drag-n-drop” form builders, landing pages, pop-ups, and email designing, along with the automation service.
Emails can be used to prospect for new customers, develop and maintain customer-retailer relationships, follow up thank you’s, sending promotional material, reminding a customer of an item left in a cart, and more.
I leave you with the hopes of enlightenment.
It is best I make it clear that this is the very surface of what marketing means in the digital sense. If I were to go into every method listed above, each analysis would be longer than the entirety of this article as it stands now.
It takes many years just to have any fundamental comprehension to intelligently implement a successful internet marketing strategy. Everyday things change, and with it so do the techniques used to keep up with the way the consumer and reader find their products and information.
If you have anything to add, update, or comment on, I openly welcome the conversation. It is my goal to promote community, networking, and ongoing loyalty between all of us. I thank all who read this. Feel free to share, reblog, and like this.