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What is digital marketing and what does it mean for my business?

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is the use of digital technology to deliver your marketing messages and interact with your customers.

Traditionally, marketing messages have been designed to direct your customers. With technology, you can now enter into a dialogue with your customers and convey what they really want and do not want. There is often a gap, and digital marketing is something that allows you to communicate with each other and on a larger scale with your customers.

But what are the areas of digital marketing?

For me, digital marketing includes:

  • Incoming Web Sites:
    • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Get to know Google and others
    • Pay Per Click (PPC) – Pay to find someone on Google
    • Banner ads – pay banners to get visitors to your site
    • E-commerce – Ability to buy and sell products, services and information over the Internet.
  • Consumer Reviews – Consumer feedback is a powerful way to bring consumers to your e-commerce site as analytics simplifies purchase decisions by consumers who have purchased the product. All businesses are built around this concept like TripAdvisor.
  • Blogs. Stories you can trust, expert opinion, and more. Personal websites help your readers, customers and stakeholders.
  • Social Media. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, Google+, Ushi, Xing and more. These are web based systems that allow you to connect and share ideas with people, like ideas, links, photos, videos. They can also be profitable for your business and therefore can be marketed for your business. There may be excellent ways to reach out to people you might not otherwise know. Twitter can be an open source of information in real time, and has provided major global events in front of the world's press.
  • Social Media News. Mashable is the largest social media news site to date.
  • Online PR. There are special websites for preparing press releases. Prlog.org and helpareporter.com are examples.
  • Webinars / Events – Webinars are a series of seminars spread throughout the Internet. It allows you to present a large number of people, regardless of location. The events are traditional meetings or seminars, but are sold through social networks such as Linkedin.
  • Email marketing – sending mass emails that you believe belongs to the people you send the message to.
  • Lead Nutrition – This is where one prospect gets an email for something free. This is generally an e-book (in pdf format), videos, emails about how things are done.
  • Viral Marketing – Send a message that forces people to know so much. An excellent way to send a message if you get it right.
  • Video – A popular way to exchange ideas, transmit data and sell online. Perfect for selling more complex products or services. YouTube is currently the most popular, but the video has more digital media.
  • Music / Podcasts. Spotify is becoming the most popular legal file sharing system, giving you access to a wide range of music. Podcasts are sound recordings for a particular topic. You can then download it for listening to your computer or MP3 player. Ideal for learning a new topic while on vacation or traveling.
  • Chat / Instant Messaging / Skype. Chat and Instant Messaging is a chat system using a real-time keyboard. I.e. one person writes something, the other answers. For this to work, both must be available online. Facebook, Bebo and so on, especially the younger generation. Skype is an Internet-based video and phone system that allows Skype users to call each other for free or at a very low cost, and is increasingly popular for business use and will grow as the video version is available on Facebook.
  • Smartphone or mobile app. A smartphone or a mobile application (or a term-based software) is a small thing on your computer running on your phone, which is usually what you do on your computer. The need to work anywhere means that it will always be popular with the work systems starting to appear on them. Ideal for anyone who works away from the office, including administrators, technical and sales staff. See also a growing consumer who uses mobile phones for online shopping as they are waiting for something to happen.
  • Cloud-based storage / File sharing. Cloud, for most purposes, is another step for the Internet. Thus, cloud-based storage is the ability to store information online, including backing up data and sending large files to customers and suppliers. DropBox and Yousendit are examples of large file sharing systems between unrelated users. Many corporations already have extensive suppliers of remote backup systems, including their backup strategies. Private file sharing is also available for two or more computers to connect to each other to share information, including music and videos. Private File Sharing is not generally a business tool for larger corporations.
  • Cloud based systems. These are systems that allow you to work everywhere. Google has Google Docs, Microsoft has Office 365. Many third-party software makers move their cloud over the cloud so that customers can access it from anywhere and not worry about their own IT infrastructure. Companies move their IT infrastructure to the Cloud to reduce costs as their entire infrastructure is managed by a third party.
  • Screen / Web based systems. Companies are now trying to provide customers and suppliers access to their data (through Extranets) and their systems (via Web-based systems). This enables customers and suppliers to get relevant information and enables any DIY-based processing, saving time and money by accessing orders, advancing, and checking stock levels.
  • Remote access. Ability to work anywhere means that you sometimes need access to your computer at home or at work. Remote access through websites like Teamview and Logmein is a great way to access critical documents from your computer. Some of these systems allow you to display your products and services. This saves you and your client time and money.
  • Online Games / Games. More gaming companies are transacting online to access their services at any time. Note that in more consumer applications, they have game technology or built-in ideas to make shopping more fun. The term is called gamification. This can be difficult for parents as the line between getting something and playing the game blurs.

In a time where systems are ubiquitous, businesses need to understand how to use digital marketing as it is a way to improve customer service, reduce costs and make your organization more flexible.

All organizations, large and small, must understand Digital Marketing and have a strategy for how to use the opportunities offered by Digital Marketing.