First steps into Digital Marketing (for students, beginners and entrepreneurs)
Digital marketing is vast, and there are clearly too many things to learn. That is why, most professionals choose a sub-field to start with and then continue their journey across the other fields of digital marketing. This guide will help you in recognizing how digital marketing works and more importantly, you can select where to begin with based on your education, experience and business requirements.
To understand digital marketing in its whole perspective, the best way is to understand complete customer or visitor journey online. A typical average Joe broadly speaking goes online to:
- Search for information or products on search engines (Google, Bing, etc)
- Engage socially (on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc)
- Engage professionally (on LinkedIn)
- Direct Engagement (FB messenger, Skype)
- Shopping (Amazon, BestBuy etc)
- Checking emails
The point of digital marketing is to connect with these visitors at one or more points listed above. Surprisingly enough, there are ways to do that, lets get to know more about them,
- Reaching to Visitors on Search Engine
Google is the biggest search engine with millions of people using it to find their respective info or product. There are two ways a brand/company can connect with Google visitors:
- Paid Ads: These are advertisement that come on top of page at the search results page and are labeled as “Ad”. These ads are run through a Google interface called Adwords. Within this interface, you can strategically plan your marketing campaign with budget, keywords, demographics, and advertisement you want to run on Google. This method involves spending money but is fast way to reach out to your prospective customers. It skips the long journey towards building your website and ranking organically on Google.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): There are non-paid ways to optimize your website so that it shows up on Google results page. The integrated techniques are labeled under SEO. Among other things, an SEO professional checks on whether website is getting indexed (ranked), optimizes page speed, link building, content management, etc.
- Interaction on Social Media
Thanks to social media channels like Facebook, a brand can directly communicate with its prospects, and customers. Building a page is the first thing every brand must do. Brands can post around industry, product updates and related info on social channels. It can also get response directly from customers. Some brands can also build Facebook groups to promote interaction between its customers. All of these are organic methods. For new brands looking to accelerate its page and fans growth, paid campaigns can be launched through Facebook Ad Manager*.
- Engage Professionally
LinkedIn is among the biggest professional network, people log on to LinkedIn not only to look for job but also connect to colleagues, clients and business partners. As a brand representative, you can reach out to prospect customers through your page, group, sponsored posts and InMails.
There is also an option to build affiliate relationship with major job portals. Many such job portals send email on your brands behalf to list of people in return for a fee.
- Direct engagement (Publisher websites, apps)
There are a lot of websites, which have lots of content and helpful tools to help its visitors. These websites typically earn revenue through partnerships with ad networks and display banner ads on their website. To advertise on these publishers, you can either run display marketing or remarketing (in case they have visited your website). There are lots of tools like Google Adwords, Adroll, and Criteo that can help in running banner ads.
E-commerce trends are rising; people love to shop online. If you have tangible products, you can easily become a merchant on websites like Amazon and sell your products. There are many options these days for manufacturers to sell their products through Google Shopping, Facebook Marketplace etc.
Email is another direct method to directly reach out to customers. It is a good practice to build your email list so that you can reach out to customers directly to send brand information, industry related developments, and promotional offers. The best way to build email lists is to offer your visitors with product discounts, white papers, informational content etc. There are a lot of email service providers like MailChimp, Vertical Response, Hubspot etc, which can send emails to your list.