Digital marketing is a marketing direction that involves the promotion of services and goods using digital technologies used at all stages of interaction with consumers. It differs from Internet marketing in that it uses not only the World Wide Web but also offline tools (smart gadgets, POS terminals, etc.).
Digital marketing services are in particular demand in the B2B and B2C segments. Using advanced digital capabilities allows you to reach the maximum of target consumers and establish the effectiveness of interaction with them, which ensures the high effectiveness of this approach.
Basic digital marketing tools
Digital marketing tools include all methods, means, and activities that allow you to notify many people, draw the attention of potential customers to a company, brand, service, or product. Most often, several tools are used at the same time, which allows you to reach the maximum of the target audience and achieve high promotion efficiency. The list of tools used depends on the goals of the marketing campaign, the stage of its implementation, the characteristics of the target audience, the product being promoted, etc. The main digital marketing tools are as follows.
- Contextual advertising. It consists in placing advertisements (text, graphic, and/or in the form of links) on thematic sites.
- SEO promotion. Its purpose is to raise the advertiser’s site in the SERP for thematic queries, for which search engine optimization is performed, etc.
- Banner advertising. On third-party thematic resources, graphic banners with product/service offers are placed.
- Advertising windows. This is a method of online advertising, which implies displaying pop-up ads on thematic platforms.
- TV advertising. It costs significantly more than online advertising, but it allows you to reach the maximum audience of different ages.
- Radio advertising. This is also quite an expensive, but effective way to convey your offer to a wide audience.
- Native advertising. It consists of the publication on third-party resources of “natural” materials (reviews, expert opinions, etc.), pushing to buy a product/service.
- SMS mailing. Subscribers of cellular operators are sent advertising messages with an offer from the advertiser.
- Offline QR codes. This method is often practiced to motivate users to install applications, use other digital products or services.
- Viral advertising. It provides for the creation of content (most often multimedia) with provocative content, which is why users themselves will distribute it on the network (share it on their blogs, with friends on social networks, etc.).
In digital marketing, other tools based on digital technologies can also be used: from advertising offers when installing programs to sending them by e-mail or melodies that are used to keep subscribers on the line. Traditional media such as newspapers or flyers, if they contain a QR code in the ad (that is, they involve the use of digital technologies) is also digital marketing.
Major digital marketing channels
- Internet. This channel provides for the use of any devices that have access to the global network: laptops, tablets, PCs, smartphones, etc. As part of digital marketing, advertisements are placed on the Internet (search, contextual, banner, teaser, etc.), create diverse content for passive or viral promotion (videos, text articles, etc.), promote goods and services in social networks, publish expert opinions, perform search engine optimization of the site.
- Digital television. It is gradually replacing analog TV from the market and is increasingly integrating with the global network. The most common format for digital marketing on a digital TV channel is the creation of short videos that are broadcast during commercial breaks. In some cases, creeping lines and other possibilities are also practiced.
- Local networks. These include various local “associations” of computers. These can be corporate networks within one office, local networks in separate houses, urban areas, etc. Through this channel, advertisements for goods and services are usually distributed, aimed at an audience with a clear geographic reference.
- Mobile gadgets. These are cell phones, smartphones. The most common way to promote via mobile devices is to send SMS messages with an advertising offer. It can be performed both according to the client base (i.e., to the numbers of people who have already used the services or bought goods from this company) and according to independent collections of phones. Through the channel of mobile gadgets, you can also use other tools, for example, WOW calls, branded offers, advertising in third-party programs.
- Smart gadgets. These include versatile smart devices: watches, scales, fitness bracelets, etc. that have a WI-FI connection to the Internet. For promotion, you can use application branding and other tools.
- Interactive displays. They can be installed in shop fitting rooms, cafes, and restaurants, POS terminals, chargers, etc. Interactive displays also include digital banners installed for advertising purposes. Videos are mainly distributed through this channel. Pop-up advertising windows are also actively used.
- Digital-art. This channel implies the use of any works of art that can be broadcast or created using modern digital technologies. It can be graphics, electronic music, games, etc. The main way of promotion with the help of Digital-art is the branding of works.
- Social networks. They are used to launch viral advertisements, “independent” opinions and publications, discussions, create and maintain thematic groups. Contextual or banner ads can also be broadcast on social networks.
Investment in digital marketing
Digital promotion can be done using a variety of resources:
- paid – sites paid by the ordering company. It can be contextual advertising, digital banner, etc.
- own – platforms that the company uses for free (for example, a page on a social network);
- accumulated are the communication channels that the company acquires as a result of its work (for example, users distributing its viral video).
How to choose digital marketing tools, channels, and resources
Like other areas in marketing, digital advancement starts with smart analytics. The following basic data should be collected and analyzed:
- Target audience parameters. Age, gender, social status, region of residence, interests, etc. matter. This greatly influences what kind of digital technologies potential customers use. For example, if a product for young people can be promoted through almost any channel, then goods and services intended for people of the older generation are best promoted through TV or traditional methods;
- Product characteristics. For example, branding of applications is most often used to promote games or other programs, and through e-mail newsletters – products that are of interest to a wide range of people (for example, weight loss products).