Are you surprised that Digital Marketing has taken over the business and corporate world by storm? Let’s see how it can turn your life around!
These days, we hear less about TV ads or billboards and more about maximising public reach over digital media. Especially over business meetings and conferences. Since the past decade or so, Digital Marketing seems the new ‘glamorous’ kid on the block!
So what is all the buzz about? For the unversed, Digital Marketing is the prospect of connecting with people over various digital media platforms to draw the attention of users and inadvertently convert them to potential customers/clients.
This article puts to rest most doubts that arise in the minds of budding entrepreneurs, those who aspire to become freelancers in digital marketing, and those curious-minded folks who want to know the latest in career prospects.
Accordingly, in this write-up, I touch upon
- Fundamentals of Marketing
- Traditional vs Digital Marketing
- Integrated Approach to Digital Marketing
- CATT Marketing Funnel
- Relevance of Personal Branding
In short, you’ll know exactly what keeps this marketing ball rolling.
Fundamentals of Marketing
Trade and commerce have been chief occupations of human beings since time immemorial.
And the best traders are the ones who deliver products worthy of the money invested by the customers.
Even now, marketers root for the cause of the customer by delivering services that provide value for money.
The quality of a product has therefore always been of paramount importance.
Nevertheless, even if you have a great product, it is essential that people are aware of its existence, consider the value of your product and go ahead and buy it!
Herein lies the role of marketing. Because you need the right kind of people to know at the right time that your product is the right one that caters to their needs.
In digital marketing, we call it ‘Understanding the buyer persona’.
Understanding the buyer persona
Since you already know everything about the product that you sell, the next step is to target the kind of audience that you think would require the product you sell. Such a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer is called the ‘buyer persona’.
Now how do you create a buyer persona?
Through interviews of your current and former customers, by identifying trends as you notice the similarities of responses of a majority of people, and by listening to the stories of challenges they face and how you could possibly resolve them.
Once you have framed a picture of the buyer persona (which is based on 80% real data collected from the audience and 20% assumptions), you need to now research on the ‘Buyer’s Journey’.
What is the Buyer’s Journey?
It is active research a potential customer/client goes through before buying a product or a service.
There are three stages involved in the process: Awareness, Consideration & finally, Decision.
As a digital marketer, you need to get involved at every stage of this buyer’s journey by creating content that piques awareness, consideration and decision-making.
In a nutshell, you need to dig deep into the nuances of marketing tactics and customer’s psyche to get a hold in business through digital marketing.
Traditional vs Digital Marketing
Traditional marketing is the conventional form of marketing which makes use of ads on TV, radio, newspapers, billboards, fliers etc. to sell products and services.
It mostly reaches a local audience and is less engaging, more expensive and with little possibility to measure ROI.
Digital marketing, on the other hand, makes use of websites, YouTube, social media and other digital platforms to reach a wider circle of audience, resulting in instant publicity.
The content is tailor-made to fit the needs of the target audience, and is more engaging while cost-effective. The best part is the ease of measuring ROI since there are various analytical tools to measure the statistics of conversions.
There are advantages and disadvantages for both traditional and digital marketing. While we say traditional marketing is one-way communication, we must also bear in mind that the bilateral communication in digital marketing has the risk of unhappy customers putting up negative feedback on public platforms for everyone to see.
Also, one can incur maximum benefits from the prospects of digital marketing mostly by hiring experts in the field. Not everyone can easily understand and implement the concepts of digital marketing. Therefore, the owner of a company wouldn’t necessarily be able to digitally market products or services by himself and would have to rope in people with requisite experience and knowledge in the field.
Now considering a developing country like India, the percentage of affluent people who rely on the internet is a small proportion compared to the masses who look up newspapers and TV ads to be convinced of promotions.
Hence, having calculated the pros and cons of both kinds of marketing techniques – traditional and digital – the onus is on the entrepreneur or service provider to analyse the location of his/her enterprise, the type of people he/she wishes to reach out to and decide on the right marketing medium that would best serve the purpose and interests of the organization.
Integrated Approach to Digital Marketing
As the name implies, Integrated Digital Marketing is using a combination of multiple digital channels to put forth the same message in different unique ways – the message being the promotion of a brand or product.
The purpose is to drive maximum curiosity and interest in the audience, so much so that they are definite about buying your product or service.
For this, the digital marketer should be adept at enhancing organic search through best SEO practices, resort to paid advertising, interact with the target audience through social media handles, go for email marketing and the like.
As is clear from the illustration, Content is at the heart of it all!
No matter what digital media channel you use, it requires powerful content to get the message across and establish relatability with the audience.
Accordingly, you can create blogs, social media posts, newsletters, conversational email messages, whitepapers, quizzes, reports, roundups etc. aimed at forming life-long bonds with members of the audience such that they don’t just seek your services for themselves but also spread the word to others about the value of your services.
With an integrated approach to digital marketing techniques, you can actualise your dreams of creating brand awareness, building a loyal group of brand followers, increasing your conversion rates and achieving higher and faster ROI.
CATT Marketing Funnel
We’ve all heard that implementing the best digital marketing practices would help one grow and earn exponentially, right?
Now how does that happen in practical terms?
Examine the given formula: Wealth = n ^ CATT
Here, n stands for ‘niche’, C stands for ‘Content, A for ‘Attention’, T for ‘Trust’ and again T for ‘Transaction’.
The first step is to understand your niche. The product or service that you come up with ought to cater to a particular segment in the market. Also, the niche that you choose should preferably be in accordance with your passion and something that you have a talent for to reap the best possible outcome on a long-term basis.
Once you are clear about your niche, the next step is to create content that is in line with optimal chances to get your product/service noticed, considered and bought.
For example, if your niche is teaching communicative English, you can create podcasts and YouTube videos that reveal to the public how well-versed you are in the language and attract them through your accent, interesting teaching techniques and tips to master the language.
Additionally, you can write blogs about how to learn English through movies and other practical advice related to the same. And organise webinars through which people can interact with you and clear doubts. Post on social media about topics such as challenging issues that people could face while learning the language.
The point is: Depending on the product/service on offer, your content has to be streamlined to fit in the medium of promotion.
Take care to keep your content simple, specific and easy for people to comprehend and relate to.
Drive traffic to your content through attention-grabbing paid ads, relevant SEO tools, interesting and authentic queries on social media handles that encourage people to comment, share and retweet.
The internet has loads of information and promotions; so if people should notice you, they need to feel like you are one of them and a notch better to guide and give them what they seek.
You can build credibility only by being your authentic and real self. Deceiving the public to gain short-term benefits will have serious repercussions on your brand.
No sensible, serious business folks would risk offering low quality services or products. As mentioned previously in this article, you have to understand that one of the biggest challenges of marketing yourself or your products online is to face up to the risk of being publicly exposed through negative feedback/reviews by unhappy customers/clients.
Trust is built over a period of time. The longer your brand remains in the marketing contention, the greater are your chances of public acceptance and approval.
The ultimate Holy Grail of digital marketing is the Transaction stage.
Every marketer puts in lots of effort related to content creation, grabbing attention, and building trust to convince the user/customer to make a purchase/transaction.
As this keeps happening, you get a loyal group of followers over time. This will eventually create a steady and growing flow of wealth.
Relevance of Personal Branding
Personal branding is different from the branding of a company or organisation. In personal branding, the individual rises above all else and the very name of this person is enough for the world to go gaga over him/her.
A classic example is that of Elon Musk. People believe in his ideas and concepts so much so that whatever company/enterprise he has founded or joins or invests in, instantly finds a following in millions.
In digital marketing, you can bring on mass trust by setting a continuous cycle of learning, working, blogging, consulting, mentoring, culminating in the launch of a startup.
It all starts with learning and researching how the market works, understanding the needs of the market and finding out potential gaps in fulfilling people’s needs, pertaining to the niche you choose to follow.
Learning is not enough; one can gain expertise by implementing it in practice. As you work, there would definitely be trials and errors.
You understand what works and what doesn’t work. This know-how is important to sharpen your skills and give an eagle-eye exactitude of knowledge you’ve gained.
Blog away what you have learned over the years and what you have practised and experienced in the process. Share your inputs with the world and seek from people what they think and would like to know more about.
Every time you think of building a personal brand and engaging people, think blogging. It is an awesome marketing strategy as well.
Once you have gathered knowledge and work experience, created a blog and established your personal brand over time, the next step would be to enter the consulting business.
Collaborate with other businesses and expand your network.
The best method to scale your understanding to a whole new level is by mentoring people who aspire to learn about your field.
Through social media handles, conduct polls and ask people’s opinions to understand the demand of your field in the market. Create learning modules as per people’s requirements and simple enough for them to comprehend the basics and move on to advanced levels.
Give practical assignments to hone their skills and interact with them over training workshops to enhance your reputation in your niche.
Launch your startup
By now, you are a professional in your niche, having created your unique space in the digital world.
There is this brand that is proudly yours with a loyal group of followers who let your network grow by word of mouth, recommendations, shares and positive reviews in social media. Additionally, your mentoring has created quite a mileage amongst learners across diverse age groups.
With proper funding and team-building, you can now brace yourself to be an entrepreneur, providing one of the best products or services pertaining to your field.
Mass Trust Blueprint
With dedicated learning, research, networking, updating, mentoring and diving into business, there comes a point of mass appeal and trust in you as a person and a brand so much so that whatever cause you stand for or endorse generates leads and wealth.
This mass trust blueprint is beautifully illustrated as shown:
Key takeaways include:
- Understanding the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing involves knowing the buyer persona and the buyer’s journey.
- Weigh on the pros and cons of both Digital and Traditional marketing to analyse what suits best for your enterprise.
- Integrated Approach to Digital Marketing reaps maximum benefits in business
- Understanding the CATT Marketing Funnel helps generate a steady flow of revenue.
- Personal Branding and building Mass Trust eventually pave the way for exponential growth in business.
To design your roadmap of success in the field of Digital Marketing, here’s hoping this article inspires you to make a great beginning!
Courtesy: Digital Deepak Internship Program Batch 14. Similar aspirants may apply to https://deepak.me/internapply