Digital marketing is the process of marketing your business and your brand online. You can think of it like any other form of advertising and it is like promoting your business in the local newspapers, on radio adverts and niche magazines.

One of the misconceptions about digital marketing is that its only for global brands – people tend to think that because you can target such a large audience online (If you want to reach out to people all over the world, then you can do that with digital marketing) it is not relevant to smaller businesses.

This couldn’t be further from the truth – and the thing is that people often miss the crucial benefit of digital marketing and that is not the fact that you can target a large audience (That makes it seem a very unfocused approach and that is something no marketer wants to get involved with). The biggest selling point for digital marketing is that you can reach out directly to your target audience, that is the key. That could mean reaching out to a global audience, but it could also mean reaching out to joe blogs who lives in your local neighbourhood. That’s the real beauty of digital marketing – because you are working with digital mediums there is so much more information available that allows you to target specific segments of your market based on search habits, buying habits, interests and geography.

What is involved when it comes to digital marketing?

Digital marketing is a very big area to get involved with and is not limited to just advertising with a pay per click engine such as Google adverts. Rather you should think of digital marketing as being as expansive as all your other offline marketing efforts combined.

Digital Marketing is a huge opportunity that includes lots of key areas such as –

Pay per click – This involves advertising your business on search engines such as Google using their pay per click model known as AdWords. With this form of advertising you can specify the types of queries you want your advert to be displayed alongside as well as the geographic locations where you want your advert to appear. You only pay when someone clicks on your advert and visits your website.

Display Advertising – This involves advertising your product, company or brand on digital platforms – websites for example – via the use of digital adverts which might include text advertising, image based advertising and video content. Display advertising can be a very effective method of driving traffic and for building brand awareness.

Search engine optimization – This involves optimizing your website so that it appears in the search engine results or your target search terms. The great advantage of SEO is that you can rank your website for very targeted terms to get in front of people that are searching for your products and services. SEO can work just as well for global brands as it can for local businesses thanks to the advent of local search. SEO is not a quick fix solution to your marketing needs, it is a long-term venture but if you find the right SEO company then it can be very lucrative and once you are at the top of the search results for your chosen terms you can reap the rewards without paying any cost per click like you do with PPC advertising.

Social marketing – This involves the promotion of your brand and your business on social channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social marketing is very useful as it allows you to reach out directly to your potential customers on a personal level and when done effectively allows you to build a very valuable relationship with your audience as part of your customer acquisition process.

Why is it important to your business?

Whether you are building a global brand or running a small business targeting your local community digital advertising is extremely important – not only is it your window to your customers but it is becoming the only way of reaching out to your target audience now that more and more consumers are relying on digital mediums for product research and purchasing.

If you haven’t already started your digital marketing efforts then you should do so today, before your competitors gain the advantage.

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