55% of marketing is now digital, and 72% of overall marketing budgets now go towards digital marketing channels. As much as a few laggards may deny it, digital marketing is here to stay and is rapidly usurping more traditional channels.
However, for digital marketing to be successful, you need buy-in from management. It won't be the panacea to a firm's woes if management doesn't want to participate and continues marketing as they have done before. This post looks at a series of digital marketing ideas that affect online commerce.
Top 10 Digital Marketing Ideas:
- 1. Digital Marketing is a Process That Uses Digital Media and Tools to Communicate a Message
- 2. If the Promotion of a Digital Marketing Technique Sounds Far-Fetched, it Probably Is
- 3. Creative Content Marketing is More Important Than Ever
- 4. "Content" is a Wide-Ranging Term Covering Many Types of Media
- 5. Social Media Marketing is More Important Than Ever
- 6. Shopping is Becoming Seamless for Consumers
- 7. Don't Forget Influencer Marketing
- 8. Customer Segmentation Helps Ensure You Reach the Right Customers with Your Message
- 9. Concerns About Privacy Are Impacting Digital Marketing
- 10. Social Commerce is Rapidly Becoming the Norm
1. Digital Marketing is a Process That Uses Digital Media and Tools to Communicate a Message
Digital marketing isn't a "thing" – it's a process that involves marketers using tools and strategies to deliver a message across digital channels, rather than more traditional channels like newspapers, magazines, maildrops, billboards, radio, and (broadcast) television. Practical digital marketing strategies include eCommerce, automation, SEO, content marketing, PPC advertising, social media marketing, search engine marketing, and email marketing.
A digital marketing process explains the steps you need to achieve one of your digital strategies. For example, you will have a series of steps you need to go through as part of your social media marketing strategy. These will include steps like curating content, scheduling posts and engaging with your audience. Social media marketing platforms, such as Hootsuite, act as tools to help with this.
2. If the Promotion of a Digital Marketing Technique Sounds Far-Fetched, it Probably Is
As marketers, we shouldn't be caught out by outlandish marketing claims. Unfortunately, a few digital marketers have oversold the benefits of some digital marketing techniques. If you see headlines promising, you can "make a million dollars overnight using online marketing" or "purchase our templates and just fill in the gaps for instant success," run. Unfortunately, there are as many unethical digital marketers as those of the more "old school" type.
3. Creative Content Marketing is More Important Than Ever
People have an insatiable demand for content. According to HubSpot, the five most popular channels used in marketing are now social media, website, email marketing, content marketing & SEO, and paid social. While content marketing per se may only come at #4 in that list, the reality is that firms need content for all these types of marketing. Content is what you share on social media, include on your website, link to in your emails, and share with your paid social.
Even if you restrict your analysis to pure content marketing, HubSpot’s survey found that 82% of companies now actively use content marketing, with a further 8% saying that they weren't sure whether their marketing department uses it.
You can truly consider content as being the backbone of all your digital marketing.
4. "Content" is a Wide-Ranging Term Covering Many Types of Media
Allied with the importance of content is the obvious fact that there are many different types of content. One of the reasons why so many firms admit to using content is that the term covers so many items.
HubSpot found that the following forms of content were used within content strategies in 2021, in order of popularity:
You will notice that many of these forms of content can be valuable giveaways for brands that may be strapped for cash to pay for formal advertisements. You only have to pay to create a piece of content once, which becomes a sunk cost. However, you can use that content repeatedly until it goes out of date or needs significant reworking.
5. Social Media Marketing is More Important Than Ever
There are still some businesses that resist involvement with social media. These are often small, with older managers or owners who may have little involvement with social media in their personal lives so fail to understand how it can help their businesses. But the importance of social media marketing nowadays can't be underestimated.
As we saw in our Social Media Marketing Benchmark Report 2022, there were 4.48 billion active social media users in July 2021, 56.8% of the world's population. The average internet user spends nearly two and a half hours on social media daily, although the time people spend on social media varies considerably between nations. Those in the USA average two hours and seven minutes per day on social media. 97.7% of global internet users aged 16 to 64 use social apps or websites, considerably more than the 84.1% who use search engines or web portals. Social apps take up seven of the Top 10 positions for non-gaming apps across Android and iPhone. "Facebook" is the second most popular search query after "Google" itself, with "YouTube" taking the third position.
Another fact that brands ignore at their peril: 71.6% of internet users search for brand information on social platforms, and more 16–24-year-olds use social networks for brand research than search engines. In addition, 40.4% of internet users aged 16 to 64 claim to use social media for work purposes, although the UK (28.7%) and the USA (28.6%) have comparatively low social media usage for work.
6. Shopping is Becoming Seamless for Consumers
At one time, online and in-store shopping were separate and distinct. Retailers obviously started with the physical shopping experience, and all their marketing was geared towards this. However, things began to change in the 90s. The first clickable banner went live in 1993 when HotWired purchased a few banner ads for their advertising.
A year later, Jeff Bezos founded Amazon from his garage in Bellevue, Washington, initially as an online marketplace for books.
However, for some time, physical shopping and digital shopping remained apart. Sure, a few traditional retailers set up websites and added the capability of purchasing online, but they still focused most of their marketing on their traditional stores.
A significant milestone in seamless shopping came in 2007 when Walmart launched its Site to Store service, enabling customers to purchase online and pick up merchandise in stores.
However, it took the arrival of Covid for click-and-collect to become commonplace. Now, many retailers let you choose whether you go in-store to make a purchase, make an order online and then pick your purchase up from the store of your choice, or complete the entire transaction online, having your goods delivered.
7. Don't Forget Influencer Marketing
With our increased emphasis on the many facets of digital marketing, it is easy to forget the original focus of this site – influencer marketing. However, it is still as important as it’s ever been.
One of the most challenging stages of many other types of digital marketing is distributing your content to a sufficiently broad yet focused audience. Ask any brand that has just set up social media accounts how easy they find getting organic reach for their posts or the difficulties brands face reaching the first page of Google for their preferred terms.
Content marketing and social media marketing can be highly successful for brands after a while, once they have built up an online reputation. But gaining that initial impetus is the tricky part. How can relatively unknown businesses without a sufficiently large marketing budget to buy an online audience using PPC and other such techniques become visible to their target audience? Influencer marketing can be an ideal way to splash your name in front of the right people for a relatively modest outlay. And no, you don't have to pay megabucks to Kim Kardashian to hawk your products for you.
We saw in our latest State of Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report that the influencer Marketing Industry is set to grow to approximately $16.4 billion in 2022. In addition, more than 75% of brand marketers intended to dedicate a budget to influencer marketing, and 68% of the interviewed marketers planned to increase their influencer marketing spending in 2022.
8. Customer Segmentation Helps Ensure You Reach the Right Customers with Your Message
The key to successful digital marketing is getting the right message to the right people at the right time. This is not the same as getting your message to everybody. Your aim as a marketer isn't to spread your message as widely as possible but to target your message as accurately as possible.
Segmenting your customers is one of the most significant advantages of digital marketing over many traditional forms of marketing. Firms must balance finding key differentiators that divide customers into groups they can target against privacy concerns. However, brands often have access to data relating to their customers' demographics, geographical, psychographic, and behavioral tendencies.
Customer segmentation has been essential to successful email marketing for some time. There is little point in sending emails to people who are unlikely to open them. You particularly don't want people reporting your emails as spam. Therefore, segment your email list and only send emails to the "correct people."
The most common PPC platforms have particularly sophisticated customer segmentation built in. For example, you can use Facebook's custom audiences feature to segment your customer base or even create a look-alike audience of similar types of people as your current customers.
9. Concerns About Privacy Are Impacting Digital Marketing
One area where consumers (and some lawmakers) have pushed back against digital marketing is privacy. At one stage, marketers could collect as much as they could about potential customers and even sell this data to other interested firms. However, the rights for this information free-for-all have been gradually eroded, and even Facebook has had to backtrack on collecting information.
The 2019 Tealium Consumer Data Privacy Report found that almost all (97%) consumers were somewhat or very concerned about protecting their data, but the majority simply didn't have the time or prowess to educate themselves.
Since then, various privacy laws have been enacted around the world, including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which gives consumers more control over the personal information that businesses collect about them, and the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that controls how websites, companies, and organizations are allowed to handle personal data.
The CCPA empowers Californians with the right to request businesses to disclose or delete the data they have already collected or to opt out entirely of third-party data sales. If your website has visitors from the EU and you – or embedded third-party services like Google or Facebook – process any personal data, the GDPR says that you must first obtain prior consent from the user. It doesn't matter whether your company is based in these regions. Unless you geo-block your site from these regions, these privacy laws apply to you.
While most of the effects of GDPR and CCPA have had a few years to bed in, there have been a few changes in 2021-22. For example, Google is gradually phasing out third-party cookies, making it harder for marketers to mine information about their customers. Apple's iOS 15 updates have accelerated this process.
In addition, Apple included Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) in the iOS 15 version of its Mail app. It prevents senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. Senders can no longer tell if a person has opened an email, making it tricky to gauge the effectiveness of their communications.
10. Social Commerce is Rapidly Becoming the Norm
Although social commerce has been slow to take off in the West, it is now becoming more common. Many users expect to be able to make purchases from inside their social apps rather than having to go to a different eCommerce store.
Instagram recognized this by introducing shoppable posts, where you can tag products in your images so users can shop just by tapping on your post. Alongside this, they also have Shoppable Stories, where you can tag products in your Stories.
Facebook Shops lets you connect with customers and potential customers through Messenger, WhatsApp, or Instagram Direct. In addition, store owners can import a product catalog into Facebook Shops.
Pinterest was one of the earliest platforms to embrace social commerce with Product Pins, where businesses can show pricing and stock information for products from their Pinterest Shop. They can upload their product catalog to the platform and use a Shop the Look feature that shows all the products in a Pin, making them available for purchase.