Today, it isn’t uncommon to hear people discussing advertisements or products that they came across on YouTube or Facebook.
People are increasingly spending most of their time online. And even organisations that depend on traditional, word-of-mouth marketing are forced to work towards creating an online presence.
Online marketing has obvious benefits: a wider geographic reach, cost efficiency, quantifiable results, easier personalisation, easy and convenient conversions.
Digital content is also easily shared, which can further increase a company or product’s visibility. But what else does digital marketing entail?
B2B vs B2C marketing
Digital marketing is essentially of two types: business to business marketing (B2B) and business to customers marketing (B2C).
B2B marketing is one business enterprise marketing its products to another business enterprise. B2B marketing is needed because most companies require the products and services of other companies to function, maintain or improve their operations.
In contrast, B2C markets products and services directly to potential customers. Businesses seek to create an emotional connection with the customers, instead of just demonstrating its usefulness, as in the case of B2B marketing.
“As digital marketing professionals, we handle different kinds of clients. Some approach us for B2B marketing, others for B2C marketing. We need to strategise accordingly,” says Neha A, a digital marketing professional.
According to Neha, most companies are opting for digital campaigns now as it is easier to track the return on investment, as well as obtain stats on audience engagement. “Digital campaigns can be designed to achieve granular targeting,” she says.
Digitally there are multiple channels that companies use to connect with customers.
Search engine optimisation is the process of improving the visibility of a website or webpage. This increases the traffic to a website from search engines.
Content marketing focuses on creating, publishing and distributing relevant content to a targeted audience. Engaging content will build a bond between readers and the company. The aim is to ultimately convert readers into customers.
Social media marketing is increasingly becoming the mainstay of marketing campaigns, considering the amount of time that people spend on social media.
Marketing here is used to increase brand awareness, or directly drive sales. Companies also have to respond to customer feedback on these platforms.
Pay-per-click marketing refers to posting an ad on a platform and paying every time someone clicks on it. Each pay-per-click campaign has one or more target actions that viewers are meant to complete after clicking an ad, such as making a purchase, signing up a newsletter etc.
Affiliate marketing is an advertising model wherein a company pays an affiliate to advertise its products and services. The best example is social media influencers and bloggers who advertise a product or service in return for a commission.
Native advertising is marketing in disguise. It is sponsored content that blends advertisement with news, information and entertainment.
Marketing automation is automating repetitive tasks such as email marketing, social media posting and ad campaigns to provide a personalised experience for customers.
Email marketing usually involves sending promotional emails to customers with links to company websites. This is regarded as an effective lead generator.
“Depending on the requirements and budget, we have to choose the right marketing strategy. We also get to work on site development, e-commerce, online application management, account management etc.,” says Neha.
The essential qualities for a digital marketing professional are dynamism, creativity and good communication skills.
For those who want to pursue a career in this stream, a course in mass communication or digital marketing could be beneficial. However, most professionals feel that on-the-job training is sufficient to learn the nuances of digital marketing, irrespective of one’s educational background.
Young professionals can start by being part of social media campaigns and then work their way up by learning various other aspects of their job.
For freshers, it is advisable to work in a digital marketing agency, as it gives them an opportunity to deal with different clients as well as different sectors. This helps them get an overview of the profession.
“The pandemic forced even the traditional companies and brands to explore digital marketing. Even small studios and shops now maintain a Facebook or Instagram page,” says Malvika.
Like several other digital marketing professionals in the field, Malvika feels the future belongs to them.