Defining Digital Marketing

Woman on laptop working for digital marketing company

With the increasing popularity of mobile devices, the Internet is fast becoming an indispensable tool in our everyday lives. A 2019 survey by Deloitte’s Global Technology, Media and Communications found that Singapore ranked highest globally for smartphone penetration, with 9 in 10 adults having access to a smartphone.

This rapid migration to the online sphere has created a need for businesses to engage competent, effective digital marketing services to exploit all the affordances of the Internet. However, although “digital marketing” has emerged as a popular buzzword in recent years, few understand what it actually means and entails. So what exactly is digital marketing, and how can it help you grow your business?

What Is Digital Marketing?

Simply put, digital marketing is any form of marketing that uses electronic devices or the Internet (and usually both in conjunction). This can include email and text message campaigns, search engine strategies, social media and more. The aim of digital marketing is to use these platforms to spread awareness of your product or business and connect with a substantially larger base of prospective clients.

Woman smiling and looking at relevant ads on search engine results page

Digital marketing differs significantly from traditional marketing, which refers to any form of marketing that is not conducted online. This includes print ads, snail mail, telemarketing and radio and broadcast ads. As consumers move away from these traditional media and towards the dynamic, fast-growing medium of the Internet, it is no surprise that the digital marketing industry is expected to outpace traditional marketing very soon.

Digital Marketing Strategies

The term “digital marketing” encompasses a variety of different strategies, which can be used separately or to complement one another. There are three main strategies that make up the bulk of digital marketing efforts.

Search engine marketing (SEM)

SEM is a form of digital marketing that involves placing online ads on search engine results pages (SERPs). When a user enters a search term that is relevant to your business, your ad will show up among the search results. This allows you to directly reach prospective clients who are already interested in your products and services.

SEM is a popular strategy because it allows you to tailor your audience and market directly to people who are more likely to buy your product. Under the Pay Per Click (PPC) media cost model, you will only be charged when a user actually clicks on your ad. The most popular SEM platform by far is Google Ads, which is not surprising considering that Google currently controls 87% of the global search engine market.

Text ad for digital marketing services shown on Google Search Network

Display advertising

A single SEM platform can have many types of networks on which you can place your ads. For example, the Google Ads Search Network places ads on SERPs, while the Google Display Network (GDN) displays image ads on millions of relevant partner websites that your prospective clients are visiting. Because GDN ads do not only appear on search engines, they can massively increase the reach of your ads and target users who are interested in certain topics.

Online, you don’t have to manually set up and run your campaign either—you can use programmatic advertising to automatically optimise your campaign in real time. Enjoy increased convenience and free up time to work on your business, while getting the best and most effective ad spaces for the lowest prices.

YouTube Advertising

YouTube Advertising is a form of SEM where video ads are played next to uploaded videos on the YouTube platform. With 1.9 billion monthly active users, YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google, and its power to convert casual viewers into customers cannot be overestimated.

Video ads can be a more engaging, interesting way of grabbing prospective clients’ attention than text or image ads. For better results, you can even tailor your desired audience to people who have entered search terms that are relevant to your business. As an added bonus, PPC for video ads is generally lower than that of Google Search ads, allowing you to share great content with potential customers without breaking the bank.

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

SEO is closely related to SEM, and at first glance, it seems to have the same effect: if it is deemed relevant, your website will show up as a result on the SERP. However, the main difference lies in how the two strategies work. In SEO, your website will be coded and designed to allow search engine bots to crawl and index your website. This will allow it to show up organically on SERPs, rather than having to pay for ads on an SEM platform.

Examples of different types of digital marketing on search engine results page

SEO costs less than SEM up front, but it is more difficult to rank on the first page using purely organic efforts. Given that 90% of users click on links on the first page of results, attaining a good ranking can exponentially increase traffic to your website and the number of conversions.

Social media marketing (SMM)

Social media is quickly becoming one of the most popular uses of the Internet, especially among younger consumers. Hence, it is crucial that your business has a well-developed social media strategy to promote your brand and reach out to a growing user base. If done well, SMM can even improve the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.

SMM can take many forms, from creating pages and profiles for your business to publishing content and buying ad space. For example, Facebook Ads allow you to advertise your business on the Facebook platform, allowing you to reach its base of 2.6 billion monthly active users worldwide. SMM also provides a valuable way to connect directly with prospective clients through functions like replies and instant messaging.

Facebook Ads is a social media marketing platform used by many digital marketing agencies

Besides spreading awareness to a large audience, you can also use SMM to remarket your products and services to users. Remarketing is a strategy where a user who visits your site but does not complete a transaction is “cookied”, or tagged, and is then shown ads for your business while they visit other websites. Because people frequently return to social media sites, sometimes multiple times in a day, social media ad platforms are a prime spot for remarketing. For example, you can display an ad in the user’s Facebook feed to remind them about the incomplete transaction, and encourage them to go back to your website and buy the product.

How Digital Marketing Complements Other Forms of Marketing

Employing a digital marketing strategy does not mean that you have to abandon all other forms of marketing. In fact, combining both efforts can be much more effective than channelling all your resources into just one. Digital marketing simply provides a way for you to consolidate all of your marketing efforts into the online platform.

Many forms of marketing go hand-in-hand with digital marketing. For example, one way to improve your SEO ranking is to engage in content marketing to increase your website relevance to search terms. You can do this by writing and publishing blog posts about your industry on your website. This signals to search engines that your website is credible and interesting to read, allowing you to climb up the search engine rankings.

Blogs are an example of how digital marketing and content marketing can intersect

Benefits of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing offers a host of advantages as compared to traditional marketing. Some of these advantages that you can look forward to include:

Wider Audience

The decline of traditional media alongside the rise of the Internet has caused a massive change in audience size. With digital marketing, you will be able to reach more prospective clients than ever before. This is especially so for consumers who are “digital natives”, such as young people and urban residents. In contrast, the customer base for traditional marketing continues to shrink, as more and more people shift their habits online.

Targeted Advertising

Digital marketing also allows you to target specific groups of people who are more likely to purchase your products or services, rather than blasting your ads indiscriminately to as many people as possible. For example, a newspaper ad will be viewed by everyone who subscribes to the newspaper, most of whom are unlikely to respond to it immediately. However, on a SEM platform like Google Ads, you can adjust the settings of your campaign to display your ads to people living close to your business or people of a certain age or gender. This way, you are much more likely to get more conversions from people who actually show interest in your business.

Instant Feedback and Metrics

There are many ways to track how your campaign is doing with digital marketing, while the same cannot be said for traditional marketing. Platforms like Google Analytics allow you to measure the number of page views, conversions and users who have visited your website, and you can then use this information to adjust your campaign for better results. In contrast, you can never get an exact estimate of how many people a radio commercial or print ad has reached, much less their demographics and preferences.

Reviewing results of digital marketing campaign using Google Analytics

Trust MediaPlus Digital’s Tailored Digital Marketing Services

MediaPlus Digital is a digital marketing company in Singapore that provides a full suite of SEM, SEO and SMM services. With over 10 years of experience in the industry, our team of digital marketing professionals will help you develop a targeted strategy for your business depending on your unique goals and objectives. As a premier digital marketing agency, we pride ourselves on providing sound advice to clients along with effective project management.

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