Principles of Digital Marketing
To understand the principles of digital marketing, you need to first acknowledge the fact that some offline marketing strategies are becoming old-fashioned. From the way we communicate and learn, to how we eat food and use transportation — it’s all through the internet. A huge benefit of digital media is that these strategies can reach a much larger audience.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is essentially promoting or selling goods/services through online channels and technological devices, which comprises nearly everything. We’re long past only handing out flyers and mailing out sales letters.
Not because those tactics don’t work, but because digital marketing prioritizes efficiency through data gathering and can be super exciting with all of its dynamic elements. And let’s face it, shipping out mail isn’t the fastest way to get the word out these days.
The best part of digital marketing is the ability to aptly gather data and use that to fuel your strategies. Because, in order to find success, you can’t just set it and forget it. These campaigns need constant maintenance and care, such as tracking your metrics, monitoring performance, and tweaking your approach.
The principles of digital marketing start with four key points: attract your target audience, engage your audience, convert prospects into buyers, and finally, retain those buyers for long-term growth.
Attract Your Target Audience
Awareness about your product or service is the first step in the customer’s buying journey or the top of the sales funnel. What kinds of channels are you setting up to attract your audience and lead them to the next stage?
Different types of digital marketing strategies you can use are:
- SEO optimization (organic traffic)
- Pay-per-click advertising (paid traffic)
- Lead magnets
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
- Affiliate marketing
Engage Your Prospects
Don’t think the work gets easier after you get your customers’ attention. This is where you can take advantage of launching multiple campaigns across different channels to keep them interested.
Take some risks and play around with your messaging. As long as your brand identity remains in harmony with your marketing, your audience will appreciate the dynamic content. Proper messaging requires steady streams of energy and intent to guide your clients in the right direction.
Convert Prospects into Buyers
Engagement means nothing if you can’t convert. Once you have the audience’s attention, it’s your responsibility to effectively turn those prospects into real, paying customers. However, don’t try to rush the process.
Moving them down each stage takes a certain amount of energy. Try your hand at A/B testing different tactics, such as writing different email subject lines to see which ones get higher open and click rates. This is a great opportunity to dive deep into your other metrics, such as cost per lead (CPL), click-through rates (CTR), and conversion rates, to see if you’re meeting your goals.
Sustain Clients for a Long Time
So, great, you’ve made a sale! That’s it then, right? You’re finished? Wrong.
To create a strong clientele base, you need to keep on retargeting, segmenting, and following up at every stage. Retaining current clients is crucial for sustainable growth, especially since getting new customers is a lot more costly than keeping the ones you have. What’s working and what isn’t? Set up clear KPIs, measure performance, and keep monitoring your results!
Know Your Customers Wants and Needs
What is your unique selling proposition (USP)? Why does your product or service set you apart from your competitors? Why should they buy from you? What makes you so special?
Conduct thorough research on your audience and put yourself in their shoes to find out what they want and need. Audience demographics are extremely useful. Get feedback when you can.
Establish and Nurture Relationships
After laying down a solid foundation and understanding the desires of your audience, this is your chance to establish a clear relationship based on trust and mutual understanding. This relationship is a living entity, so you’ll need to make a conscious effort to nurture it for it to grow. Only then will you be able to continue to guide customers down the buyer’s journey.
Give customers what they want
Great marketing calls for a firm, yet gentle, command. There’s a difference between telling them what they want to hear and giving them what they want. Your clients discovered you and stayed for a reason. As the guide in this journey, this is your chance to offer them the solutions they already know and seek.
Consistency is key
The easiest way to lose customer retention and loyalty is being inconsistent because you don’t want to keep your audience guessing. For instance, if they consume content from your blog on a weekly basis, you better make sure you publish on a rhythm and on time. The more you break their trust, the harder it’ll be to build it back up.
You should have already taken the time to carefully curate your brand identity and voice. Now, you need to execute your messaging that stays consistent with your brand imagery. This will boost your brand authority and establish trust.
Content is King
It all starts with great content. If your content doesn’t provide any value for your clients, you’ve already started to lose them. That’s why it’s important to offer free value-added content to begin to establish trust early in the relationship
The content should not only be helpful, but it should also be relatable–why should the reader care? How can you make it better? What will make them share the content with their friends, family, or colleagues?
KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)
Short and sweet takes the cake.
If you can get the same idea across in half of the words, do it. Being concise online matters. Don’t waste people’s time by beating around the bush or being redundant. Shorter is always better as long as you remain clear and consistent with your message. This goes for design, color, and format as well. If you have too many elements, they can become distracting and put up a barrier, making it harder for you to communicate with your audience.
And remember: always edit for clarity.
Establish a Strong Foundation With High-Quality Content
Just because you value simplicity doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice quality. Not only do you want to engage customers, but you want to excite them as well. Raise your standards and keep them high so you can continue to impress your clients.
For example, create various types of content in regard to text, imagery, and video. These different forms of content will hold interest longer and raise engagement. Not only do you need to produce a subject matter of high quality, but it needs to be exciting and relatable — why should the viewer care? What will make them share the content with their friends, family, or colleagues?
Learn When And How To Pivot Your Strategy
If Content is king then iteration is queen. The definition of insanity is repeating an action in hopes of expecting a different outcome. If something doesn’t work, learn when to walk away and start over. Quitters never win is so far from the truth. In fact, the faster you can quit on a valueless activity or marketing action the better you will be in the race for market share. No matter how much you think a certain ad or campaign will perform well if it doesn’t, you need to accept it and learn how to pivot or pitch before you waste more money on a poor campaign.
You may even have to do a whole overhaul, but that’s okay, and even often expected. Limit your losses and move on.
Focus on all “Media” Not Just Social Media & Google
Diversifying your channels and types of output is a proven way to cast a wider net. Different audiences access digital content in different ways, so repurposing your content is an easy and effective way to have larger outreach.
Digital Marketing is Constantly Changing – Marketings’ Bleeding Edge
One of the biggest mistakes marketers often make is underestimating the ever-quickening pace of digitized content. There’s something new to be learned every day and the ones who succeed are the ones who stay nimble on their feet, unafraid of change.
Unfortunately, even our current education system fails to properly teach marketing for the present age. The silver lining is that there’s no shortage of resources online. If you have the drive and passion to pursue a digital marketing career, there are many opportunities ahead of you.
The Bottom Line
Whether you’re ready to start your journey or level up in the marketing industry, you need to first arm yourself with the right tools and get familiarized with the principles of digital marketing.
And when you do, remember that these are not one-offs. Keep exploring, ask more questions, and stay ahead of the game. Don’t get too comfortable with what you’ve learned today because all that may change tomorrow. But that’s the fun part too, isn’t it?