A complete guide for Digital Marketing

Today, we’re going to talk about why digital marketing is important in today’s world. We’re also going to talk about what is digital marketing, and the types of digital marketing channels that are out there. Then we’re going to talk about the customer lifecycle in digital marketing. So what does it take to get somebody from point A to point Z, through digital marketing? And so those are the topics we’re going to cover. So hope you enjoy yourself while you’re learning, and let’s get right to it.

Let’s start talking about why digital marketing is important. Everybody, every marketer is using digital marketing for his or her business. Now, digital marketing’s become more popular than traditional marketing. Over the past few decades, digital marketing has evolved at a rapid pace. These days, a lot of people spend most of their time on the internet.” So what happens on the internet every 60 seconds? Well, a lot happens every 60 seconds.

According to social media today, there’s a lot of snaps, there’s a lot of clicks, there’s a lot of text, there’s a lot of videos watched, there’s a lot of pictures being taken. There is a lot of voice-activated activity going on, a lot of tweets, emails, swipes. There’s a lot going on here in 60 seconds. So there’s a lot of activity on the internet. A lot. And so the one gentleman says, “Hey, can you also mention a few differences between digital and traditional marketing systems?” And then the expert responds, “Of course. I can certainly clarify a few differences between digital and traditional.” And so he goes on to say what the differences are between traditional and digital elements. Look at that.

In traditional marketing, we’re talking about print, radio, billboard, newspaper, TV, anything that’s not on your mobile or laptop. So we know, with traditional marketing, reach is limited. With digital marketing, reach is maximum. And what we mean by that is, hey, when you print something, you’re printing it for X amount of people. If you’re trying to promote an event and you basically create a thousand flyers, okay, you figure it’s going to a thousand people, maybe they’ll share it. So you’re looking at about 2000 people maybe, just to be generous. Well, digital marketing, we’ll promote an event, we can promote it to a whole lot of people, depending on the platform. So 2000 is nothing when you’re targeting an audience on Facebook or Google search. Traditional marketing, non-versatile, and with digital marketing and very versatile.

With digital marketing, you’re running display banners. You have 468 by 60. 200 by 200. 250 by 250. 300 by 300. I mean, the list goes on and on, the types of different display sizes, not to mention text ads, not to mention video or multimedia. So there’s a lot you can do to get your message out there. With traditional, it’s always delayed communication. So if you’re trying to get that TV spot, there might not be a spot open until one in the morning. Well, with digital marketing, there is no hours. You can certainly get your point out there and have people see it instantaneously.

With traditional marketing, there’s a lack of real-time results. I mean, this seems like it’s obvious, but digital marketing, that’s one of the biggest benefits. Instant, real-time results. Instant. Nowadays, going to analytics, you can look at real-time reporting. So we could see real-time results. Traditional marketing can be very costly. I mean, if you’re not only doing postcards and printing postcards, but you have to mail those postcards. So there are postage fees. Where, with digital marketing, it’s very, very, very cost-efficient. I mean you could pick and choose who you want to target when you want to target, where you want to target, what you want to target. And if you’re doing a search, you can put your bidding in place, you can put your hours in place, you can really control how much you actually spend.

This is biggest advantage to digital marketing. Not only do you get real-time results, but you can control costs, and then obviously optimize, based on the amount of cost you’re spending, based on those real-time results. With traditional marketing, it’s difficult to reach a target audience. With digital marketing, it’s easy to reach a target audience. I mean, I don’t want to bash traditional marketing too much. I mean, if you’re going to put a TV ad in place, you’re going to do it on a TV show that tends to gear more towards your target audience. But that doesn’t guarantee anything. Here, we can simply go to Facebook, or Twitter, or LinkedIn, and just pick and choose specifically who we want to target when we want to target them. So it just becomes a lot easier to reach a targeted audience on a digital marketing platform.

With digital, you have easy to measure and optimize campaigns. And what we really mean by that is, because you get instant time results because you can control cost because you can reach your target audience more easily, all those are the result of, okay, you can measure and optimize. Based on what our audience is seeing and how much they’re spending to see it, we can quickly make adjustments in order to optimize the campaign for better performance. So that’s generally, what that means, that’s a culmination of pretty much everything that we’ve listed as a benefit for digital marketing.

Now, why digital marketing’s been answered, with all the benefits that it carries, let’s talk about what is digital marketing. So you know that you want to do digital marketing. So how do we go about that? What is it exactly? Well, let’s just define it. Digital marketing is just the act of promoting a company’s product, or an individual’s product or service with the help of a device or technology. And so, obviously, when we talk about the device, we’re talking about maybe a laptop, we’re talking about a mobile device. And when we talk about technology, it could be an app, it could be a cloud-based platform, it could be a piece of software. So a lot going on, on the digital side, in terms of variations and what you can do.

But that’s, in a nutshell, what digital marketing is. You’re really just using technology to promote your product or service. So we know, because of the benefits in digital marketing, you can promote your campaign on different platforms. So all those benefits we mentioned about instant, real-time results, cost efficiency, optimizing campaigns, you could do that on search, you could do it on social, via email, on mobile apps, etc.

That’s what we mean by with the help of digital devices and technology. Well, these digital devices and technology come in the form of search engines and emails and mobile apps, et cetera. So when we want to go and promote our product or service, using a campaign, we have different options. So there are different types of digital marketing channels that we could choose from. And let’s just go through that list of digital marketing channels. And the first one is what I consider the king of them all, and that’s SEO. So SEO stands for search engine optimization. There’s search engine marketing, there’s email marketing, affiliate marketing, social, content, mobile, and then we can get into subsets of each of these digital marketing channels. But really, we’ll start with SEO because that’s the king. And to me, that’s basically increasing the quality and quantity of relevant, organic traffic on the search engines, including Google.

Dependent on where you’re located, in the U.S. market, Google has a large market share. So you want your pages on your website to be found and clicked on organically. And so that means if somebody types in a keyword, you want that relevant page to show up first on Google, so somebody can click on that link. And we know that millions of people, specifically in the U.S., but worldwide, use search on a daily basis. So if you’re ranking for those relevant keywords, you can imagine how much traffic you can get. So that’s SEO. And here’s an example. So you type in online shopping. Well, you could see the first listing here is a paid search ad. I’m going to get to that in a minute. The second, organically, is Amazon. So online shopping, you think maybe Walmart, you think maybe Alibaba, or you’re thinking probably Amazon. So no surprise, Amazon’s ranking for the keyword, online shopping. And so if somebody clicked on their listing, that’s traffic for Amazon.

Let’s move on to search engine marketing, known as SEM, or pay-per-click, or cost-per-click, or PPC, or CPC, or sponsored search, or Google Ads. I mean, there’s a lot of different names synonymous with SCM. So search engine marketing is really just using paid ads on search engines. Just as we saw the previous example, if you want to be found for a keyword, you don’t have to worry about organic if you’re willing to pay for it. You just bid on that keyword, and voila, you have the opportunity to appear number one in the search results, at the top of the page, for that keyword. Now, when somebody clicks on it, you have to pay Google, if it’s Google you’re advertising on. But that’s the beauty of search engine marketing. You can bid on keywords and appear at the top of the search results for that keyword.

Example here. If you go back to online shopping, well, MyUS.com is bidding on that keyword, online shopping. So they’re actually appearing above Amazon’s organic listing, but that’s what they want to do. They want to be found for that keyword. So if they’re not ranking for it organically, well, they’re bidding on it. And if somebody happened to click on that listing, then MyUS.com is going to pay Google something, depending on what the cost per click is. And so that could be anywhere from one penny to $100. It depends. It depends on the keyword. It depends on who else is bidding on the keyword. It depends on the location. It depends on the time of day. It depends on the quality score. There’s a lot of factors involved in regarding what you pay. However, the benefit of SEM is visibility and getting traffic to your website for keywords you’re not found for. So that’s why SCM is such a popular choice for a lot of companies.

Let’s talk about digital marketing. That’s a traditional type of digital marketing channel. It’s been around a long time. We all send emails on a daily basis and we probably all receive emails on a daily basis. Just it’s an effective way to capture leads and convert them to customers because with the email you can personalize your emails and you could send your emails to a segmented audience. So if you have emails from females who are 35 years of age to 44, that live in, say, the southern part of the United States, you can segment that and send them an email and cater that email directly to that audience. And of course, you can put some nice call to action in there. You could design it really snazzy, and you could track it, just like you can any other digital marketing channel. So email’s a very effective way to really reach a target audience, because everybody, for the most part, has a functioning email account.

Basically, here’s an example of an email that could go out. If you’re selling a product and the product’s promotion is about to end, well, get that email out to your target audience. Let them know that, “Hey, you have until tonight to purchase a product. And if you purchase it, you’re going to get 30% off.” And you can put the coupon code right in there with a nice call to action, and you can measure how many people click on that email, go to that webpage, and purchase the product, using that coupon code. So that’s an example of email marketing.

We have affiliate marketing. So affiliate marketing is an effective way for digital marketers to basically create a sales force of people. So basically, what you’re doing is you’re getting merchants to promote your products and services, and you using, usually, a third party broker like Commission Junction, or CJ.com, as an example, to introduce you, the person selling the product, the merchant, with the affiliate. So that affiliate could likely be a merchant him or himself. And they can basically be a good partner of yours by publishing your product or service on their website so that they can sell in order to get commissions. So it’s all based on a commission. So you, basically, are going to use a third party affiliate like CJ, get all these affiliates to work for you. They’re going to promote your product or service. If they do sell your product or service, you’re going to pay them a commission. That’s more or less how it works with affiliate marketing.

And with affiliate marketing, to me, it’s a good way to really promote your product or service, and you can pick and choose the affiliates or the publishers of whom you want to work with. So here’s an example of affiliate marketing at work. You basically see a banner. Basically, you could see you earn up to 12% advertising fees with a trusted e-commerce leader. So if somebody clicked on that and purchased, for example, or joined, you could pay out that commission.

Let’s turn our attention to social media marketing. So social media marketing, I would say it’s fairly new. I mean, if I think about it, we’re in 2019 and I remember talking about Facebook back in 2006. So you’re talking about 13, 14, 15 years of social media. It’s definitely evolved over the years. But the concept remains the same. It involves creating different types of content, depending on the platform. So you could be on Pinterest or Instagram and be dealing with photos, or you could be on Twitter, tweeting out certain characters up to a limit. So it really depends on the social media platform that really drives the type of content you’re going to promote. But we know social media can be effective because people use social media. I mean, Facebook is one of the more popular platforms, and if you want to get your product or service out there, you could certainly pay to have an ad on Facebook, or you could just post your content organically. That’s the beauty of social.

Most of your social platforms, like LinkedIn and Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram, they all have a paid form of advertising that you can use to promote your product or service. Or you can go the organic route, and post content organically in hopes of driving traffic back to your website. So with social, you do have two options here. But social is interesting because there’re a lot of different social media platforms out there. It really depends on your product or service. So an example of social media marketing, especially on Facebook. With Facebook, you got mobile and desktop, and you obviously have the opportunity to post something organically and have that liked, or commented on, or shared. Or you could post an ad and get that liked, commented, or shared, or clicked and have people go back to your website, and fulfill the goal of what you want them to do.

Moving on to content marketing. So content marketing is really an effective way of really distributing valuable content online. And when we talk about content marketing, we’re talking about different types of assets. So it could be simply texting in the form of a blog post, or it could be a video, or it could be an infographic, or it could be an image. There are lots of ways to create content these days, especially in digital marketing. And the great thing about content marketing is you’re writing content for a targeted audience. So if you’re trying to target an audience on, say, Instagram, then you know who your audience is and you know what the type of content you’re going to post on there. So it could be in the form of a video, or infographic, or just a graphic.

And so that’s the beauty of content marketing, really putting yourself out there, and depending on the platform, putting yourself out there with various types of content. So for example, if we look at YouTube, you could see this video here about digital marketing certified associates. Well, hey, you don’t need to always write the content. You can produce the content in the form of a video and post it on YouTube. This is a form of content marketing. So that’s content marketing.

And then let’s talk about mobile marketing. So content marketing, again, different types. But if we go now to mobile marketing, you can kind of segue from content to mobile because the only difference here is, with mobile, it’s strictly on a mobile phone. It’s not desktop. So mobile marketing is really a strategy on its own that helps you, the company, promoting your product or service, to reach your target audience through a mobile device. And that includes tablets.

And how you could do that is via messaging. You could do it via email, or you could do it via an app. So you have different ways of getting your content out there to people. So as an example, you can use basically SMS, or instant messaging via mobile devices to promote your product or service. Here’s another example of mobile marketing via app install. And so you can even compound that by running a, say, Google ad as an example. And running your Google ad on, say, just mobile. You could do a bit adjustment, just for mobile. And the goal could be app installs. And you could even do a mobile or app extension. So there are lots of ways to really promote your app, or your product, or your service via mobile marketing.

Let’s talk about customer lifecycle. So we know why we want to do digital marketing. We know what the digital marketing channels are because we just talked about them, from SEO, to social, to affiliate, to mobile, to content, to SCM. You have a lot of different digital marketing channels at your disposal. So now, how do we go ahead and approach our customers? So that’s what we’re going to talk about first.

We’re going to talk about different stages of the customer lifecycle. And the first one is the awareness stage. So we need to get our customers aware of what we’re selling and what we’re promoting. So the awareness stage is really what product does your brand offer. That’s a question we want to get out there and we want to answer. Why does a customer need your product? That’s a question we want to answer with digital marketing. What solution does your product provide? That’s an answer to a question we want to make sure people understand. So these are questions that we want to be able to answer in the form of digital marketing, whether that be mobile or content. So getting our information out there, that answers these essential questions. And if we could do that, then somebody is going to become aware of our product or service.

What product does our brand offer? Why does the customer need it, and what solution does it provide? Those are some key questions that people tend to ask themselves when they look at a brand. And when they look at a product, “Hey, do I really need this? Is it going to help me in my life? And who is selling this? I mean, who is this brand?” I mean, those are just things that run through people’s minds intuitively, that with the right messaging, the right channel, the right type of asset, the right targeted audience, you can quickly make somebody aware of your brand’s product or service.

In this stage, it’s how potential customers discover your brand with the help of these different marketing channels. So in the awareness stage, content is key. So, to me, if we have a website, we need a blog, because if somebody does come to our blog from, say, organic search, SEO, then we can write about that product or service via the blog and talk to our customer, talk directly to our targeted audience through that blog. And if we’re not ranking organically, we can use paid search to promote it because a paid search on Google, for example, basically we can be right at the top of their search results. And so somebody can actually see it when they do a search because we know millions of people use the search on a daily basis.

You could do social media marketing. So you can publish that product or service on Facebook, while you’re building your community. And you can use affiliate marketing to help get the word out by using cj.com, as an example. Build up a sales force of people, these publishers that are going to put your product or service out there. So to me, in the awareness stage, these are the digital marketing channels you could focus on.

Now, I will say one thing about display ads. The display is part of search engine marketing. You could use a display because you can reach a large number of people. So even though it’s listed here, low priority, in the awareness stage, display ads mean that if you go on Google’s Display Network, you could pick and choose your sites, your demographics, keywords, topics, and audience. You could focus on all those different demographics to really attract a large number of people. So low priority, but it’s probably also good to focus on, in the awareness stage. So content marketing, you must create high-quality content that people are searching for. Without content, it’s hard to get found. And so to me, this is where the blog comes in. SEO, take that content, get it optimized. SCM, if we’re not ranking organically, we can make sure we’re at the top of the paid search results, or the search results for a particular keyword we want to be found for.

Now that we’ve got the word out via all these different marketing channels, there’s that consideration stage. So people are aware of us, now they’re considering us, and that’s kind of the next stage in the process. So a few essential questions to address on the consideration stage. Hey, what features make your product valuable to others, and how will I increase customer engagement towards my product? So those are answers to questions you want to ask. What features make your product valuable? You want to basically separate yourself from the competition. Basically that’s what you’re trying to answer.

If you’re promoting your product or service on paid search and other people are bidding on the same keyword, how are you going to stand out? And then how will I increase customer engagement towards my product? So for example, if you’re on Facebook, and you’re trying to get people over to your site to purchase your product, then how are you going to improve that engagement? You’ve got to create something really snazzy, or really it’s going to be attention-grabbing, or something that’s going to get them to become aware of it, that’s going to separate your posts from all the other posts that are in somebody’s Facebook newsfeed.

You really have to work hard to really convince somebody, to get their consideration towards your product or service. So in this stage, your customer considers your product, so help them understand how your product is valuable. To me, email works really well here, because if you have a targeted audience, this gives you the opportunity to really answer those questions in that particular channel. Email. You could support that with a promotion. And display. I think the display is a good option here too because even though people are trying to become aware, you can really hone in and really get them to take that next step.

With display, you can even do remarketing. So if somebody’s been to your site because they’re aware of your product, they’re curious, you can cookie them and remarket to them via the display. So display, to me, is a good channel to use here. So you have email, mobile display, SCM, these are all good channels to use on the consideration stage, especially on search, because if somebody’s looking for something and they’re aware of your brand, then you have the good opportunity to get them to click on your ad, especially if you’re offering a promotion, and get them to convert.

The goal here is to increase our engagement. So people are aware, we’re moving them further along the funnel. With email marketing, we have the opportunity to promote the product by sending an email directly to our audience. So with this stage, plan your campaigns around welcoming emails, newsletters, we can talk about product descriptions, ad ratings, and reviews in the email. We really just want to encourage people to purchase the product. We’re trying to sway them over. So email is a good source to allow us to do that. So with mobile marketing, we can promote the products by sending relevant messages to our target audience. Display. Again, retargeting, because we can retarget an audience that has been to our website, already did some research about our brand, our product, or service, and now we’re going to reach back out to them, to sway them.

Remember, we want to encourage customers to buy a product by creating detailed articles about the product. That always helps. And that’s content. We want to opt for a customer testimonial. That helps sway people. And add some guest blogging. We can have ambassadors blog on our behalf, or we can go out and blog on somebody else’s site. So blogging works both ways. It’s ways of showing yourself and telling people, “Hey, we know you’re looking for this product. Here’s why you want to choose us.”

Moving on from the consideration to the purchase stage. So they’re aware of you, they’re considering you, and now we’re on to the purchase stage. So the questions we want to really make sure we address here, are how are my prices compared to my competitors, and is my brand more credible than others? So they’re considering you, but that price point. And it may not even be the price. It could be the shipping, for example. The price could be good, but the shipping cost could be high. So you really want to do some due diligence and research on what your competitors are doing.

Credibility. That goes back to the consideration stage and testimonials. You want to make sure you have reviews and testimonials to really elevate what you’re trying to tell customers, and that is, “Hey, I have a good brand. I have a good product. I have good service. Come buy my stuff. Come buy my product and service.” But you really need to support that claim. You just can’t go out and say it. And so supporting that comes in the form of what other people say. And that could be reviewed. That could comment on a social media platform. It could be starring on, say, Yelp, or Google My Business. Make sure you do your due diligence and make sure you get people to review you or provide testimonials, because people are going to do their due diligence before they purchase, especially if it’s on Google My Business, or Yelp, or TripAdvisor, or whatever it is you’re trying to sell. They’re going to be able to see those reviews.

And so do your due diligence to get the reviews. And if it is a negative review, hey, that’s okay. You can’t please everyone. You’re going to get them. That’s the world we live in. Just make sure you show your upper hand and respond, even to the negative as well as the positive reviews that you get. That actually bodes well to some people because, hey, it shows that I made a mistake and you’re willing to correct it. And so people actually see that. That could be the tipping point to getting them to purchase. Say, look, hey, this brand really cares because they’re really responding to people. They’re not ignoring negativity. Just those small things that can get people to change their minds.

Now with the purchase stage, according to Econsultancy, 83% of the online audience requires encouragement to complete a purchase. Encouragement. What does that mean? Well, it could mean providing a promo, giving them that extra incentive. If you don’t offer a promo, consider it, especially in the email. In the example we looked at earlier, sending out an email means that if the promo’s going to end at midnight, send that email out and tell people they have until midnight. And if they purchase today, you’ll even increase it to 20%. And email’s a good channel for that. Mobile can reach a lot of people through SMS. Social media, reaching people instantaneously. And then, really, with the purchase stage, it gives prospects and offers to help them make that purchase.

So you have plenty of channels to choose from. In fact, most of these channels, the only one, really, that doesn’t fit the instantaneous mode, is SEO. But you can really focus on affiliate, even though that’s a low priority here. You can really coordinate with your publishers, especially those publishers that have proven their worth and have sold your products in the past. Get them to help promote it and incentivize their audience.

Let’s move on from the purchase to the post-purchase stage. So this is after somebody purchases. So some essential questions we want to be able to address here. So what additional product could my customer buy. Now that they’re my customer, what else could I sell them? Without being too pushy, could, if they buy a coat, will a hat work, or a pair of gloves, or a blouse? You want to be able to not push a product on our customer but think about how you can complement that purchaser’s or customer’s product.

And then how to improve the customer buying experience. So again, this goes back to what we just said about reviews. Get somebody to offer a review. And if they don’t give you a full complement of five stars, they only give you three and a half stars, then you know what? That’s great feedback because then you can learn from that. And then the other question is will the customer refer us to others, and if so, why? So that’s definitely something you want to be able to address in the post-purchase stage. So let’s take a look here.

With the post-purchasing stage, to me, email’s at the top of this list because if somebody purchases something, you could send a nice thank you for an email. Because if they purchase, they are giving you their email in return, because you’re likely going to be sending them the receipt via email. So email, to me, is a nice channel. Send them a nice message. Even social media. You can thank your community for supporting you in this recent campaign that you ran. Even throw in an extra five or 10% on a future purchase as a thank you. And that’s easily done on social media. You could even post a blog promoting the success of a product, and then offering a promotion. So there’s a lot of things you could be doing here on the post-purchasing stage. So to me, even looking at content again, you could even put a survey together. You could even put a survey together for your affiliates. You could even post a poll on Facebook. So it’s just working in with these different channels to get some feedback about your product and service.

With email, mobile, you’re going to engage customers with follow-up emails, or customer care content. With mobile, if you have somebody’s mobile number, hey, text them. A simple thank you goes a long way. You could say, “Hey, look, if you’re satisfied, let us know. Give us a call.” You can even, in the mobile text message, you can put a link to a survey. Send emails to active subscribers, give rewards for customer feedback.

If somebody does provide feedback, give them an extra 10% off. You want to be able to reward loyalty. Loyalty comes in the form of a partnership. If you’re giving somebody discounts and you have a good product or service, then they’re going to recognize that. They’re going to say, “Hey, look, I really like this product, and they’re giving me 10%. I’m going to go out and purchase from these guys again.” So give those discounts to those active customers.

On the affiliate network, give referral opportunities to your customers. So if it’s an affiliate publisher, hey, if they’re getting people to your site, reward them. Or if it’s an email and you put a forward to a friend, get an extra 10% off. It doesn’t hurt because you’re incentivizing people to help you sell your product. So with social, display and content, use those banner ads, or use that content that you display on social, or the blog you’re going to write to give customers advice in order to maximize the value of their purchase.

Again, you can use these platforms to also enhance what they purchased. So, hey, you just purchased this product. Thank you very much. Did you know you could do this, this and this with it? And so that’s the idea of a post-purchase stage, is to maximize these channels to be able to answer those essential questions about what else could they purchase. How do I get these people to become loyal customers? So with the post-purchase stage, if a customer has bought a pair of sports shoes, for example, running shoes, you can recommend cross-product sales or cross-sale. It could be a pair of shorts, or a water bottle, or an accessory, with an exclusive discount. So that’s another example of what you can do in the post-purchase stage.