In the age of "there’s an app for that", advertisers have become more and more clever at converting your time scrolling social media into lucrative campaigns. But how do they work, and where do you begin to source information on DIY Digital Marketing? You could pay a web hosting service or advertising firm to do it for you...OR you could roll up your sleeves, grab that grande mocha latte and dive in yourself. There are hundreds of amazing tutorials available that will work with your particular learning style.
What is meant by digital marketing?
Digital marketing is an advertising campaign that is specifically designed to be disseminated through the Internet or web connected smartphone applications. Most people commonly associate Sponsored content on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram with this type of content, but there are many other ways marketers create content designed to go viral.
Blogs offering lengthier descriptions of a product, service or income opportunity are also a very common way to share information with prospective customers via the Internet. Email newsletters and advertising blasts are used daily by social media marketers and small businesses alike.
Video content for sites like TikTok, YouTube, Vimeo and other Vlog (video log) sites also drive traffic to a business page or website, and encourage conversion from viewer to buyer. Many of these tactics have taken the place of late night infomercials in the lexicon of today’s shopper, and are highly successful when done with a clever eye on short bursts of information designed to entice a sale.
What is digital marketing used for?
Digital marketing is used EVERYWHERE. On social media platforms, point of purchase loyalty programs, click banners or pop up advertisements, as well as on business web pages and eCommerce sites like Amazon, eBay, Etsy and more. By providing your future clients with small, easy to assimilate, messages through highly sculpted campaigns and the generation of unique hashtags (the # symbol prefacing a phrase or keyword that you want users to quickly associate with a branding idea or concept)? You are giving them repeated contacts each day while they go about their daily lives, and eventually YOUR idea becomes THEIR idea. Dollar for dollar, businesses have found that digital marketing is more adaptable than conventional print or TV spots, and has the added bonus of being quickly tailored as you hone in on your demographic being targeted.
Is Digital Marketing difficult?
While digital marketing looks easy on the surface, there IS a significant amount of thought that goes into making the next Grumpy Cat. As with any campaign, your business needs to do a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). Once these four areas of concern have been clearly identified, your marketing team can begin to address weakness while simultaneously playing up your strengths and going after new opportunities to convert viewers to shoppers.
Many marketers focus on driving traffic through search engine optimization or SEO. SEO refers to practices that place your business at the very top of the Google search for your company or category of product or service. For example, your company named FiDough Pet Bakery is selling organic dog treats. To encourage SEO, your marketer is going to focus on your strengths: small batch preparation in a certified USDA commercial kitchen, wholesome locally sourced ingredients, grain free and humanely sourced. They will create a campaign featuring your company name, FiDough Pet Bakery, and use synonyms and play-on words to create three to five unique hashtags. For a company like our fictional FiDough, I would start with something like #FiDoughNuts #Baked4Barks, and #FreshDough4Fido. When these tags are approved and tested against existing hashtags for duplication, the marketing team will begin sprinkling them all over the digital content they craft for you. Using stock photo images, filters, short behind-the-scenes videos, or clips of the dog socialization events held at the bakery every Friday, the marketers are propelling the company towards the number one search result. And every marketer knows that top of mind gets the wallet taken out, which is the goal of every ad campaign since Madison Avenue began to boom.
What skills are required for digital marketing?
Digital marketing requires that you are an adaptable user of current technology. With all of the daily changes in how our devices and applications interact, it is imperative to stay up on trends in the digital space. These can be new social media platforms, new apps, or new smartphone operating features that may render your content hidden behind privacy filters. You don’t need a degree to do this, but keeping your mind open and accepting change easily? Is required.
Typing and some basic sense of graphic design also help. While not everyone is a skilled Photoshop editor, most people have discovered the joys of drag and drop image editing through applications like Canva or Paint. With free and paid options to choose from, users can easily grab and use stock images, backgrounds, and fonts to brand themselves fairly effortlessly.
And of course, there are literally 1000s of freelance remote consultants (like yours truly) that are just a click away on work sourcing sites like Freelancer, Fiverr and more to help you carry out your ideas if keeping up is too much like work.
Is there a future in digital marketing?
Because of its very nature as an Internet-based advertisement, there will always be a future in digital marketing. The internet literally invents new opportunities daily, and nobody will ever be able to exhaust them all. The best thing to do when you are beginning a campaign is to start small. Think of an arrow versus a shotgun. An arrow is aimed at one target, shooting with precision to get a desired result. While a shotgun fires off crystallized salt pellets or lead BBs and strikes a scatter pattern over a variety of surfaces. The effectiveness of the arrow doesn’t change at short or long-range, but the shotgun can either be lethal or simply a loud noisemaker depending on where the shooter is standing in relation to the target.
When you draft a campaign, it is better to aim for being an archer than a crowd suppressant. And archery takes honing your skills until you achieve the desired result. Focus on practicing at no more than 3 forms of digital advertising until you really figure out what works well, then consider whether you need to add another. Simply peppering your audience with content may not produce the results (sales) you are after, and they will seek out your competition instead.
Have fun learning how to navigate the exciting world of digital marketing. And once you’ve picked out your eBook, be sure to leave a review so that other prospective marketers will know what you found helpful inside of it. Hey, now that’s some pretty savvy pitching! ;)