Digital marketing is the application of a set of strategies to promote the products or services of a business on the Internet . Online marketing is characterized by using digital channels and methods for the execution and measurement of result
we know that digital marketing is key to promoting a virtual business . That’s why we created this exclusive guide!
In it we are going to review what digital marketing is, how to create a successful online marketing plan and what are the best tools to carry it out.
Our main objective is that all this information helps you take your business to the next level. Shall we start?
What is the digital marketing
As we said above, digital marketing is a type of marketing whose main objective is to promote the products of a business on the internet.
This type of marketing can be applied at any stage of the sale. The strategy is reflected from the moment the potential customer knows the brand until they define their purchase or come back for more.
Let’s think about a concrete example: imagine that you have an e- commerce where you sell hats for men. You probably want that public that wears hats to come to your store, right? To achieve this, one option would be to invest in well-targeted internet advertising campaigns (such as Instagram Ads or Google Ads).
Next step, potential customers see the ad and a percentage of them enter your online business. Perfect! Now, how do you get them to buy? You can offer them a discount coupon, free shipping on their first purchase or the promotion that best suits your business.
Congratulations, they bought you! How is everything going now? You’re going to want them to buy from you again. An alternative to achieve this is to send regular emails to those customers with products similar to the ones they bought from you and with tempting offers!
Each of these actions (implementation of an online advertising campaign, definition of promotions, sending emails) represents a link in the chain of a business’s marketing plan . In the next section, we are going to delve into each step so that it is 100% successful and you can apply it as an expert in digital marketing .
Digital marketing vs. traditional marketing
Now that you know what digital (or online) marketing is, let’s discuss the main differences with traditional (or offline) marketing.
In general terms, we could say that digital marketing is the evolution of traditional marketing : we went from advertisements in media such as television, newspapers or radio to advertisements on the internet. From the letters with advertising that flooded our mailboxes (and that made an abusive use of paper) to email marketing. From live product presentations to YouTube tutorials.
Why do we consider this to be an evolution? Because new technologies make it possible to design personalized marketing strategies that allow you to offer your target audience what they need at the right time , in addition to being able to anticipate their future expectations.
And how is this possible? Thanks to the analytical tools of digital marketing, which help to discover what your potential customers are doing on the internet , how they behave in your online store and what their preferred products are, for example, to then advance in a much clearer advertising campaign and segmented.
To summarize, we could argue that digital marketing:
- It is universal : it allows the brand to be taken anywhere on the planet , without geographical or temporal limitations.
- It is segmentable : although traditional marketing has segmentation possibilities, they are much smaller than in digital marketing. The latter allows you to target people of a certain age, educational level, specific lifestyle habits and many other characteristics. The segmentation capacity is such that you can create differentiated advertising campaigns for each profile .
- It is less invasive : potential clients only enter an ad or open an email if it is of interest to them, if they do not ignore it. In addition, and hand in hand with the previous point, thanks to segmentation, most users who see your campaigns will have previously searched for something related to your products, which increases the chances that they will buy from you .
- It is easily measurable : the different digital marketing analysis tools allow you to measure your campaigns in real time and apply the changes you consider necessary at that precise moment. This enables you to save time and money . In contrast, in a traditional media campaign, how many people does the ad reach? Who contacted you thanks to that medium? These are difficult questions to answer.
- It is more economical : in contrast to the costs of television, radio or public spaces, the variety of actions that you can carry out through the digital marketing strategy (content marketing, email marketing campaigns or SEO positioning, for example) allow you to choose the one that best suits your budget.
Well, we already tell you what digital marketing is and the main differences with traditional marketing. At this point you are surely wondering how do I create, then, a digital marketing strategy? The answer is: starting with a marketing plan. Let’s see what it is about.
The digital marketing plan is a document that details the steps to follow to achieve the objective that you have defined as a brand . These steps include: market analysis, the audience you want to target, the online marketing actions that you are going to carry out, among others.
We are now going to specify the step by step to achieve a successful digital marketing plan, so you can put yours together.
1) Do a market analysis
Doing a market analysis, both internal and external, will give you a more objective look at your business and can help you discover where it stands today. To know this, some questions you can ask yourself are:
- What is the current political, economic and social situation in the industry to which my brand belongs?
- What are my strengths to highlight and my weaknesses to improve?
- What place do I occupy in the mind of the consumer? (positioning)
- What are my competitors doing today?
- How could I differentiate myself from them?
2) Define your goal
After you’ve done the market analysis and understand where your business stands today, it’s time to define the goal of your digital marketing plan . Within marketing there are three types of objectives: short-term (to be achieved in up to one year), medium-term (which will take between one and three years) and long-term (which require periods of four years onwards ).
To create the objective of your digital marketing plan, and always keep it in mind as the north of your strategy, we recommend using the SMART method . Let’s see what this is about:
Your objective has to be related to a single aspect of your business and specify all possible details: period of time, results to be achieved, limitations. etc.
There has to be a way to measure your goal, that is, it has to be linked to numbers . Define variables so you can constantly track your progress.
Never stop keeping your feet on the ground . Setting unattainable goals, in addition to not generating a reliable course, will only bring frustrations and, what should be a motivation, will turn into the exact opposite.
This point is directly related to the previous one. In addition to being achievable, your goal has to be realistic and aligned with your brand resources . Consider what you could achieve from the current state of your business. Remember, feet on the ground!
- Timely(On time)
When defining the time frame to achieve your goal, it is important to consider the time it will take to achieve it . You will only undertake the actions that are really feasible for each moment.
An example of a SMART objective could be: increase the sales of your online business by 25% compared to the previous year, in the next 6 months .
If you have a work team, it is important that you include it in this goal creation process so that together you can define the steps to follow. That way, in addition to gathering more ideas, your collaborators will feel motivated and more committed to your brand.
3) Determine who your audience is
In order to know how to sell your products, you have to understand who you are targeting. It is there where the term buyer person appears , your ideal client, the one who is willing to pay for what you sell. Knowing it is a fundamental task for the success of any digital marketing plan. And with this we do not refer only to knowing their age, gender, level of studies or place of residence, but also to soft characteristics, those that are related to their behaviors, their motivations, their fears and their expectations in life.
Ok, it sounds really nice but how do I get that information? You can create the profile of your buyer persona through surveys and interviews with your target audience .
Important! To get a complete picture of your ideal client, your research group has to have a tripartite combination:
- Customers (that is, people who bought from you at least once).
- Leads(people who gave you their contact details through a form, but have not yet bought from you).
- People who are not in your database but who match your audience .
Knowing your buyer persona will allow you to better direct the actions that you carry out in a digital marketing plan and, thus, optimize your results .
4) Outline your digital marketing actions
Now you have the market analysis ready, you have defined the objective of your online marketing plan and you have determined who your ideal client is. Well! The next step is to outline the digital marketing actions that you are going to carry out, and that are going to bring you closer to that goal.
There are different online actions that you can implement in your business. We share the most used ones so that you can define which one best suits your brand’s profile:
- Content marketing
It is a technique that consists of creating and disseminating online, relevant and valuable content in different formats and that attracts your target audience. This type of action is very effective if you want to drive traffic to your store. In addition, it tends to generate empathy and customer loyalty.
- SEO positioning
Yes, we already talked about it many times, and it is still a key digital marketing action!
SEO ( Search Engine Optimization ) positioning refers to a set of techniques that are implemented on a web page in order to improve its position and visibility in search engine results, such as Google.
Working on the SEO of your store is, then, essential for you to be in the top positions when faced with a specific query from a potential consumer. This can increase your chances of selling!
- Email marketing
To carry out this action in your digital marketing plan, it is important that you already have a solid database .
After you have achieved it, we suggest that you work not only on the content of the mail but, mainly, on its subject since it is the first thing that users will read , and what can define its opening or not.
- Social Media Marketing
These actions are carried out exclusively on social networks. Some of them can be posts, sweepstakes, contests or any other action that involves interaction with your followers.
Here it is also worth adding the campaigns that you carry out with influencers related to the image and values of your online business. All this can improve the positioning of your brand and can help you get sales faster than you think.
The time has come to talk about fully paid digital marketing actions.
SEM ( Search Engine Marketing ) refers to the practice of paying for ads on search engines and on social media .
Unlike SEO, which yields very good results in the medium and long term, SEM produces immediate results: you can start an SEM campaign in the morning, and see the first numbers that afternoon.
5) Specify your budget
Setting the budget that you will need to achieve the objective of your digital marketing plan is key to its achievement.
You cannot aim to double your sales in 12 months and plan a budget of $ 10,000 a year with 1 hour of dedication a month because it simply is not going to work.
The budget can be in time, money, or both. The first thing you have to do is set a global number and then divide it between the different digital marketing actions that you are going to carry out. Once you have this ready, get to work!
6) pay attention to metrics
Measuring everything you do is the only thing that will allow you to understand if you met your goal , if it was worth the budget and effort invested and what was the profit that you finally obtained.
Some of the most used metrics to measure the success or failure of different digital marketing actions are:
- Subscribers to potential customers : it is the percentage of subscribers who, after the online marketing action, ask you about a particular product.
The formula to calculate this number is: Number of inquiries received / Total number of subscribers * 100
- Average decision-making time : it is the average time that elapses from when a person subscribes until they become a customer.
- Churn: is the percentage of unsubscribe per month.
The formula to calculate this number is: Amount of unsubscribes for the month / Total number of subscribers * 100
Some of these metrics are going to make more sense than others depending on your type of business. Keeping them in mind will allow you to know if an action is working or not, if it is necessary to pause it, continue it or provide more resources than estimated.