digital marketing – an upcoming hit
Existence of 460 million internet users in India, make it the second largest online market just behind China. By 2021, this number will expand to 635.8 million internet users in India. Despite the vast base of e-users in India, only 26 percent of the Indian population used the internet in 2015. This is a significant increase in comparison to the previous years, considering the internet penetration rate in India stood at about 10 percent in 2011.
Indians often switch to mobile internet, as the vast majority of the digital population in India were mobile internet users in 2016. About 323 million people in India accessed the internet through their mobile phones in 2016, which corresponds to about 24.3 percent of the country’s population. Both figures are forecast to increase in the coming years, with projections to amount to 524.5 million and around 37.4 percent respectively in 2021.
With the expanding base in internet users through mobile phones, e-commerce has come into play. E-commerce is the exchange of goods and services via electronic medium vis-a-vis internet. This gave birth to the term digital marketing. Used as an umbrella term for online marketing via wide variety of channels, digital marketing is a medium to connect with the audience who are using internet at the right time and place.
Digital marketing includes connecting various assets like website, blog posts, e-books and whitepapers, infographics, interactive tools, social media channels, earned online coverage, online brochures and lookbooks and branding assets to the audience. Many tactics and tools are used to market the product or service via internet and reach the appropriate audience. These tactics are broadly named as:
1. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): It is the process of optimising the webiste to rank higher in the result pages of search engine thereby increasing the amount of organic(free) traffic to the website.
2. Content Marketing: Content assets are created and promoted to generate brand awareness, increase traffic, generate leads.
3. Pay per click (PPC): It is a method for driving traffic to a particular website wherein a publisher is paid money every time the related ad is clicked.
4. Inbound Marketing.
5. Social Media Marketing: In this technique, social media platforms such as facebook, twitter, instagram are used to increase the brand awareness, drive organic traffic and generate leads to promote the business of the brand.
6. Affiliate Marketing: It is a type of advertising where the affiliated person/brand recieves commission for promoting someone else’s products or services on their own website.
7. Email marketing: It is a process wherein companies use emails to promote contents, discounts and policies, as well as to divert audience towards the business’ website.
8. Online PR: It is a practice to secure earned online coverage via blogs, digital publications and other content beased websites.
While digital marketing is a new term, it is beneficial over the age old marketing techniques. It can measure the return on investment on any of the marketing efforts put in. This could be understood by an example of offline marketing techniques wherein it cannot be calculated if the newspaper ad is read by exactly the same number of people as estimated number of newspapers distributed. With digital marketing , the exact number of people who have viewed the website page can be calculated in real time by using digital analytics software. It can also generate the qualified leads when people download the content and measure the number of people engaging with the content. An eefective digital marketing strategy allows to identify trends in the way audience research and buy a specific product which in turn helps to make more informed decisions about what parts of marketing strtategy deserve more attention and what parts of sales cycle need refining.
In Digital marketing, “conversion rate” is a generic term which tries to describe the rate at which audience take the actions the company want them to in order to progress from one stage in the marketing funnel to the next. According to the Marketo report as bases, it may be seen that a digital marketing program can be optimized to convert initial contacts into sales-ready leads by building an integrated marketing program that combines an inbound strategy, online advertising, social media, and email marketing. Using inbound techniques such as blogging and SEO (3.82% conversion rate per Marketo), combined with online advertising (2.98% conversion rate per Marketo) and social media (1.95% conversion rate per Marketo), to attract visitors to the website and converting them into known prospects can be a good play.
There are two types of marketing: direct and indirect. A company that uses direct marketing is directly trying to impact audiences’ buying decisions. They use promotional strategies such as online selling. Indirect marketers may attempt to make sales through blogging, videos or e-books. It is generally named as the ‘media’ approach. It alllows to form a different connection withe the audience and the client. For instance, using social media and gaining followers. It does not develops a sure-fire business connection however indirect marketing can be a lot less costly and develop a long term connection with potential audience.
Thus strategic digital marketing using appropriate tools and techniques results in higher audience attention and engagement which in turn improves the sales of the business.