Digital Marketing has become an essential part of almost every business. Growing any startup or business without any digital marketing strategy in place can become challenging. That is why we have come up with this ultimate guide to make digital marketing easier for you.
Before digital comes marketing. So, what is marketing?
Can you define marketing in one line? American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” However, marketing as a field is evolving day by day. With new technology and the new world, we don’t see marketing as something which is simply approaching the customers. It is more than that now!
A good product would suffer badly if a proper marketing strategy is not there. Moreover, with so many brands and too much competition, it has become very difficult to deliver your values to the customer with ease. You have to define your brand’s vision via an elaborate marketing strategy very clearly. If marketing is not clear, it can directly affect your companies economics. Moreover, the market works in the terms of growth, stats, profit and loss. This is something which in the end affects the customers and the brand’s values since if your brand suffers, it would directly hit your customers (as products would not be available like before due to “supposed” loss).
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing includes all the marketing you do via online platforms. Marketing which uses electronic devices or internet is known as digital marketing. According to a survey, India Digital Advertising Industry is growing at a rate of 33.5 %. Moreover, the Indian Digital Industry would be producing more than 20 lakh jobs by the end of 2020.
So How’s Digital Marketing Trending in India?
- It is estimated that the number of mobile internet users would reach 829 million by 2021.
- 220 Million are accessing digital services through their smartphones.
- By the end of the financial year, 2016–17 the digital advertising in India reached the $1 billion mark.
- The overall ad share of digital media which us around 12% is supposed to grow up to 24% by 2020.
- According to Statista, as for February of 2020, there was a 13% increase in digital marketing budget as compared to August 2019 which was 11.8%.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. By using digital marketing for your startup, you can easily and fastly reach to your end customers. In fact, digital marketing has become more important post-COVID-19.
- It is cost-effective and time-saving than traditional marketing.
- Digital Marketing is the most measurable form of marketing. You can easily analyse and study your growth via the digital medium.
- Similarly, you can reach to your target audience as it gives you the scope of filtering and reaching to the ideal customers.
- Above all, it’s very flexible.
- No big investments needed to get started with digital marketing.
- Easy to optimise.
- Real-time results and it improves your reach.
- Helps you generate higher revenue.
Aims and Objectives of Digital Marketing.
Why are you using digital marketing? It can vary from business to business. However, more or less the main objectives are generally same. Maybe you can use it for direct sales or maybe you can use it as a platform to promote your sales and get the traffic to your actual website. In order to have a clear idea of your marketing growth, you have to first decide what are your obectives.
Some of the general and common aims and objectives of digital marketing are:
- To increase direct sales: Through various digital media campaigns, you can divert the traffic to your website. From there, they can browse your offerings online and purchase it. It is time-saving and easier to handle.
- Maintain consistency of new leads: Digital Marketing can help you generate high-quality leads. For example, you are selling your product through your website or even offline, you can run paid advertisements on social media or search engines to generate leads.
- Helps you keep the customer engaged: The most important aspect of a business is loyal customers. Digital platforms give you enough space to interact with your customers. Your digital presence makes the customers believe that your brand is active and always there to help them and this gives them a sense of assurance.
- Awareness: This is an obvious objective of digital media marketing. You create your brand’s presence and make people aware of it.
Different Elements of Digital Marketing
As already mentioned above, digital marketing is a big web. It includes many components within and that’s why it is the best way to grow your startups.
Some of the main elements are:
- Content Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Pay-per-Click (PPC)
- E-Mail Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Marketing Automation
1. Content Marketing
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing 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.”
Big brands like P&G, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and John Deere are focussing in content marketing to grow their business. In fact, take it this way, is it possible to market if you don’t have good content to market. No matter what medium you use, content is essential for marketing.
Also, content marketing helps you humanize your brand. It makes your brand look more expressive. It is basically about creating high-quality content for your business. This is a long term strategy.
Content Marketing Examples:
Blogging: There is a difference between normal blogging and blogging for marketing purpose. Blogging and using your website as content marketing is a great way to promote your business. For instance, let’s take an example of Nykaa. Nykaa is an Indian retail seller of beauty, wellness, and fashion products. However, their maximum sales are done through their online platform. They have a beauty blog section which mainly focuses on beauty and fashion related blogs. Now you’d be wondering how the blogs are related to their sales?! Well, their blogs help people to know about the products that can be helpful for them and that’s how they can get more traffic on the website for online shopping.
So, the blogs can increase your page traffic and make your business visible in the market. Within blogging, you can also look for other means such as guest blogging. Guest Blogging is a content marketing and SEO technique where someone writes and publishes a blog post on a third-party website or blog to promote their personal/corporate brand. You can connect with other websites and promote each others’ business by giving credits and outbound links. Also, sites like Medium can be a great platform to promote your content online.
Other essential aspects of content marketing:
Infographics: These long vertical graphics are appropriate to share information with some creativity. You can post these infographics on your Pinterest or other social media accounts to get more attention and engagement.
Podcasts: Another good way to engage with customers is by making Podcasts. For instance, if your startup is related to book publishing, you can create podcasts and tell stories. This would help the people in learning more about your books and they’d think of buying it.
Videos: Nowadays, you don’t need professional cameras and heavy software to make videos. Moreover, videos can be attractive and you can convey too many things through a video.
E-books: Books are not always about fairies and stories. There are a million books on topics like technology, business, tips and tricks for running your company among many more. Coming up with books can make your customer feel that you give them value and can be trusted for long term business.
Why is Content Marketing essential for your Startup?
If your are investing you money and time on building the content, is it essential to know why is it so important for your startup or established business.
Awareness: You can give an answer to their questions. The first stepping stone of any customer relationship – to come up with solutions.
Research: A customer prefers to research before buying any product. If you’d provide them with all the necessary information, there is a high chance they’d choose you over others.
2. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing uses social media platforms to connect with your audience, drive traffic to your website, and build your brand. Some of the major social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, and Pinterest.
The Internet took a new turn after the introduction of social media. We don’t even have to tell you how powerful social media has become now. One of the biggest reasons for increased internet usage is because people check again and again and again. And that’s where social media marketing enters in this whole game.
Our blog What is Social Media Marketing and How to Get Started With It? is a good entry point for understanding the basics of Social Media Marketing.
Do you know, according to Wikipedia, there are over 200 social networking websites? Well, that’s a huge number! However, we possibly can’t know about all the social networking sites and use them to promote our startup. So, it is generally assumed and believed that the following social networking platforms can help you reach billion of people out there.
Major Social Media Platforms:
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the internet. You can use LinkedIn to find the right job or internship, connect and strengthen professional relationships, and learn the skills you need to succeed in your career. You can access LinkedIn from a desktop, LinkedIn mobile app, mobile web experience, or the LinkedIn Lite Android mobile app. LinkedIn can help budding startups in finding their prospect customers and more links as the name suggests.
Instagram is a free photo and video sharing app available on Apple iOS, Android and Windows Phone. People can upload photos or videos to our service and share them with their followers or with a select group of friends. They can also view, comment and like posts shared by their friends on Instagram. Anyone 13 and older can create an account by registering an email address and selecting a username. Moreover, the purpose of Instagram is to observe and connect to people globally. Since Instagram focuses on “trends and lifestyle”, it becomes easier to understand what your customers need from you.
Twitter is a service for friends, family, and coworkers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages. People post Tweets, which may contain photos, videos, links, and text. Twitter is famous for its reach and public connectivity. Promoting your brand on Twitter can be a good way of starting with social media marketing. Moreover, the objective of Twitter is to monitor events, news, opinions and most importantly ideological warfare. Anything happening in the world immediately starts to trend on Twitter. Yes…it’s that powerful!
With billions of Pins on Pinterest, you’ll always find ideas to spark inspiration. When you discover Pins you love, save them to boards to keep your ideas organized and easy to find. If we try to understand the purpose of Pinterest, it would be best to say that its objective is to aspire. You’d find pins related to “arrangements, designs, art, styles, recipes” and much more. This is a place where you can show what you could do! (Well that’s what you want for your startup. Right? To inform people about your values).
Facebook is a social networking site that makes it easy for you to connect and share with family and friends online. However, Facebook is also a place where people grow there business and other such interests. Facebook, again and again, iterates the fact that their main purpose is to “connect”. It is a platform where you find “emotion-driven content (such as opinions and views) along with events and plans.
WhatsApp Business is an app that was built with the small business owner in mind. You can create a catalogue to showcase your products and services. Moreover, you can also connect with your customers easily by using tools to automate, sort and quickly respond to messages.
WhatsApp can also help medium and large businesses provide customer support and deliver important notifications to customers.
Snapchat was originally focused on private, person-to-person photo sharing. However, now you can use it for a range of different tasks, including sending short videos, live video chatting, messaging, creating caricature-like Bitmoji avatars, and sharing a chronological “story” that’s broadcasted to all your followers. There’s even a selected “Discovery” area that showcases short-form content from major publishers like Buzzfeed. However, it’s more about 1-to-1 connectivity. But if you have a good Snapchat strategy, you can use it for your social media campaign.
Telegram is also a messaging app with some extra added features. There are no precise ways to create a business account on telegram. However, there are two ways to use Telegram for business. You can create groups and channels of course. Best is by creating a Telegram account as a business using a Telegram Bot. The Telegram Bot API is free and can be used to create bots for social, gaming, productivity, and e-commerce services. Added to this, Telegram Bots can also be used for human support by connecting them to a CRM or messaging platform.
Some of the basics of social media you need to know for your marketing
Content: This is the most important thing, be it online or offline. Your content should be appropriate and connected with your brand idea. Content can be anything that you post on your social media pages. Content can be seen as an umbrella term including images, memes, infographics, blogs, videos among many other such things. Basically, content is the first step of anything you put on social media. It’s like a stepping stone or a base for your work.
Context: Different social media platforms have a different approach to see things. Facebook and Instagram focus more on images and videos, whereas Twitter is more about short written content. You need to analyse and study in which platform you can post your content.
Hashtags: If a social media platform is a body, a hashtag can be seen as a vein which helps the blood to reach different parts of the body. Hashtags are used to add meta information on almost all social media platforms. Correct use of hashtags can help you get more attention and reach. However, try not to overuse it since the social media platform would treat it negatively. You can use #digitalmarketing, #startups etc to reach bigger audience.
Shares and likes: The more shares and likes you’d get on your social media, the more it’ll connect you with people. Sharing is an essential aspect of social media marketing. It helps you analyse how many people reacted to your post. Likes would mean your audience is appreciating you, but the moment they start to share your content, it means they are suggesting other people to connect with your brand.
Is Organic reach dead?
There was a time when posting content on social media and getting response on it was easier. Now, with so many people posting every second on these platforms, it has become very difficult to reach your target audience.
One of the initial examples of the decline in organic reach was when Facebook launched EdgeRank Algorithm. “EdgeRank is the Facebook algorithm that decides which stories appear in each user’s newsfeed. The algorithm hides boring stories, so if your story doesn’t score well, no one will see it.” Other social media platforms also work pretty much according to this theory. In fact, the recent introduction of reels on Instagram has decreased the organic reach to another level. Due to reels, Instagram is only showing the content which is getting enough likes and shares. Well, this is good for the users but it can be harmful to the emerging creators, influencers and startups.
However, there is a way to not get lost in the ocean of social media by investing for your startup. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram give you an option to promote your content.
Instagram and Facebook Promotions
Instagram Promotions are sponsored posts that a user uses to get a higher reach. They are actually the Instagram post only but the only difference is that the “sponsored” tag would be there. Instagram treats these posts differently with their algorithm. Every user will have a different motivation and so the algorithm will do its best to correspond to those nuances. So if you are promoting a business related to beauty and cosmetics, Instagram would show your post to those people who mostly see those stuff on their feeds. This helps in reaching more and most importantly relevant audience.
Facebook Promotions are used to promote your page, websites or events. Page promotions are Facebook ads you create directly from your business Page, in contrast to ads you can create in Ads Manager. Through this, you can build awareness of your business and products or services and reach more people.
Similarly, both ads and promotions are there to increase engagement and reach. However, an ad is best for conversion as it offers way more preferences for targeting.
Essential Rules of Social Media Marketing
You are coming up with amazing content. You are super active on all social media platforms. Yet, you are unable to grow your startup in India as you planned it grow.
Here are few tips you should follow to get a good response from your customer.
- First and most important: Create a social media a strategy!
- Define and discover your target audience. (You cannot sell books to a games lover!)
- Deal and learn with negative comments on social media.
- Try to humanize your brand. A faceless corporation or startup would not be able to gain a customer’s trust.
- Avoid spamming as well as less interaction. Both are advised to be avoided.
- Don’t post for the sake of posting. Work on your content and come up with quality posts.
- Always track analytics.
- Establish yourself on the platforms that you think would help you grow.
- Get a digital marketing expert.
Social Media Management Tools
Social media management tools can come handy for your businesses. Social media marketing is a powerful tool for businesses to reach their prospects and customers. They allow your brand to flourish and engage directly with your audience.
Social media managements tools can help you:
- Save time
- Stay organised
- Optimize your efficiency
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the most widely used social channels. Marketing through social media can bring remarkable success to your business. It creates devoted brand advocacy. It also drives leads by converting them into sales. Thus, providing you with appropriate returns on investment.
SocialGrow is one of the easiest platforms to help you manage all your social media account in one place. We have so many added benefits as well. SocialGrow helps you in boosting up your branding. Moreover, it helps you acquire customers & engage better with people across social media. One of the most striking features of SocialGrow is that it gives startups a space to reach out to others easily.
Salient features of SocialGrow
You can schedule, publish & post your updates to all social media channels from a single dashboard
- Post about your services and products on social media with ease.
- Visually Plan & Schedule your Content with Calendar, Bulk scheduling, and more.
- Promote and market your post across Facebook, Instagram with Ad campaigns.
Interacting with customers and followers become easier with the help of SocialGrow. With the tools provided by us, engage with your customer faster and more efficiently.
- Comment and reply to your customer across all social media channels.
- Sync your inbox & comments from different social media to catch every conversation
- Collaborate & Strategize with your Team. Assign different roles to team members.
With SocialGrow you can see a tailored live feed on your dashboard from all the social media channels.
- Get the latest trends in your industry, follow specific #hashtags and accounts.
- Monitor various activities from Industry leaders and competitors alike.
- Keep track and reply to your emails.
Moreover, you can get actionable insights on all your activities on social media.
- Deep insights into your posts and updates on social media.
- Measure your performance and grow your reach.
- Know what’s working and what needs tweaking to nurture potential leads.
More attractive features of SocialGrow.
- Store all your social media posts and videos online safely and securely.
- Handle multiple accounts at one platform. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Medium, YouTube.
- Within inbuilt access to Pixabay and Canva, you can edit and recreate images hassle-free without any need for other tools.
- You can easily handle your WhatsApp marketing though SocialGrow by directly communicating with your customers through their platform.
- The platform makes bulk scheduling and posting easier.
- You can also publish blogs to your WordPress website directly from the dashboard.
- It also provides automated chatbots to make it easier to talk with your visitors.
- Soon you’d be able to hire digital experts like content creators, marketers, influencers in a single click.
3. Email Marketing
Do you know, there are 3.9 billion daily email users. This means emails are as important as social media. Moreover, according to 80% of business professionals, email marketing increases customer retention. And if you feel you are spamming then you should know this – 35% of marketers send their customers 3-5 emails per week.
“Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations.”
Email marketing isn’t dead and it’s also not spam. It’s still essential and efficient for your brand marketing. Email marketing is one of the easiest ways to build a relationship with your subscribers.
Why to use Email Marketing?
- Build a relationship with your existing subscribers.
- Boost brand awareness.
- Promote content.
- Generate leads.
There are two types of email marketing:
- Cold Email: A cold email is that type of email which sent without prior information. It is a way of reaching out to your potential customer so that they can know about your brand and services. These emails can be very effective for your sales. In fact, Cold email is better than a cold phone because you are not directly interrupting your customers. It can be a slow process though, but it has been seen as one of the effective ways to reach a wider audience.
- Email Subscription: As mentioned above, you can help the customers to reach your website (or whatever platform you want them to) in a cold email. Whereas email subscription is an option on a website that allows visitors to receive updates via email by specifying their email addresses in a subscription form. Email subscription is the core part and a starting point for any email marketing strategy.
In fact, 60% of marketers believe that email marketing produces a positive ROI.
So, how to get started with Email Marketing.
Create an Email Marketing Strategy
How can you prevent your emails from not getting lost in your customer’s mailbox? How to make sure your customer wait for your emails?
For that, you need to make a solid email strategy. Following could help as an entry point in learning about email marketing.
- Choose Your Email Marketing Tools: As you know, there are many email marketing tools. First, analyse and choose what best suits you.
- Define your audience: You cannot possibly email anyone and everyone. You have to study and decide on your target audience. Try to understand what they want, and curate your email campaign according to your audience’s needs.
- Create Your Email List Segments.
- Compose Email Sending Schedule: Do not spam your subscriber. Schedule your emails.
- Define Your Email Marketing Goals: What is the aim? Why are you sending the emails?
- Decide Which Types of Emails to Send: After deciding your aim, you can easily choose which mail would best suit for your marketing.
- Formatting Your Email Content: Use templates. Edit. Re-edit. And satisfy yourselves before the final sending.
One of the biggest reasons to grow your business online is that it gives you a huge audience to begin with. It is both easy to manage and cost effective.
Why Digital Marketing is essential for your small business or startup:
- Unlike traditional marketing, it has the ability to interact with your customers and learn exactly what they are looking for. They have a query, they can get back to you soon.
- In traditional marketing, due to the cost and physical barriers, you can only advertise and market in certain geographical space. Digital marketing gives you a space to reach anyone globally.
- It is cost effective.
- This type of marketing helps in tracking analytics and user responses in a calculated way.
Most importantly, everyone is online. Your prospect customers and you rivals. How can you afford to not go online? 🙂
A quick brush-up of this exhaustive yet informative guide:
Marketing is like informing your target audience about your products/services. There are mainly two types of marketing. Traditional marketing and digital marketing.
Tradition on one hand is an offline way to reaching out such as through newspapers, pamphlets, television etc. Whereas, digital marketing is using online platforms to reach out to people.
There are three main components of digital marketing:
- Content Marketing: Helps to share information with the use of contents such as blogs, videos, infographics etc. It helps to increase the reliability and makes your brand look valuable.
- Social Media Marketing: It is a use of social media platforms to connect with your audience, drive traffic to your website, and build your brand. Social Media Marketing can be managed through social media management tools. This is one of the easiest ways to connect with your audience since almost the whole world is using one social media platform or another.
- Email Marketing: Emails are still relevant in order to reach out to your prospect customers. Do not consider it as dead!
You can further read about the subtopics on our website and learn more about the art of business. Marketing is an essential way to boost your business and this ultimate guide can work as an entry point to expand your dream startup.