What is digital marketing and how to make a successful plan step by step?
How do we use digital marketing and what are its most essential characteristics? This is probably not the first time you listen to talk about marketing, and we anticipate that it will not be the last. Identifying strategies that help you market and increase your brand image is the purpose of marketing in its purest form.
The advent of digitalization and technological progress has brought us new tools and forms of communication between users, consumers and brands. With it, a new way of selling and interacting digitally and remotely.
Today, we address the integral approach to digital marketing to understand its mechanics and to be able to develop successful campaigns from the digital environment.
Digital marketing vs. traditional marketing
The technological revolution has changed the habits and needs of society. In the past, from a traditional marketing perspective, strategies were aimed at selling products or services, communications were unidirectional and there was no interaction.
Digital marketing focuses its objectives on digital media and are those strategies that are used on the Internet and online platforms. Now, actions do not only revolve around sales and promotion, but also focus on generating communities, customer service and analysis of results. Segmentation is one of its most important features. Digital marketing allows to geographically fragment audiences.
From the 4Ps to the 4Cs
In the 1960s, a new concept was born for advertising, the marketing mix. The 4Ps, product, price, point of sale and promotion represent the essence of traditional marketing. By working with this model, you could get to know your audience better and ensure that your product matched your audience's needs.
Over the years, this idea evolved into what we now know as the 4Cs; consumer, cost, convenience and communication. A new trend that focuses directly on the consumer and their shopping experience. If we understand the behavior of our users, we can respond to their needs and only then can we impact them with quality content.
Digital marketing is known as the technique that thousands of businesses use to boost their digital strategies in online media every day. In its first contact with the technological world (90's) online marketing sought to replace offline and more traditional methods in its digital version, although finally they have been combined creating transversal strategies in offline and online media.
An approach to the definition of what we mean by digital marketing, would be the method that activates strategies and advertising actions in current digital media (web, social networks, internet channels ...) and interacts with potential customers through online platforms.
Digital marketing has considerably increased its productivity in recent years. After the pandemic and the change in society's needs, technology and digital media are now present in all aspects of our lives. But how did we get there?
From web 1.0 to 2.0
The arrival of Web 1.0 allowed the more traditional marketing to rely on these first pages, transferring advertising from the classic media (radio, press, television) to a new digital format. Web 1.0 was used as a mere means of access to information. It was a unidirectional method in which Internet users did not interact or communicate with brands.
A silent audience that landed on advertising in the same way as with offline media. Like a showcase that exhibits its products and waits to be consumed. There were no messages or communities.
Web 2.0 was the big change. A web that allowed users to interact and share information quickly and almost instantaneously came into our lives. This is when the first interactions began to emerge.
This new framework brought with it marketing 2.0 (or digital marketing). A new way of creating and consuming online advertising in which users and brands interact with each other in forums, pages, social networks... Internet ceased to be a simple means of access to information, to become a bidirectional platform with thousands of communities interacting in it.
We enter the world of digital marketing.
Evolution - web 3.0
The industrial revolution led us to the resounding digital transformation. A time of technological boom in which the web 3.0 emerged. The semantic web in which interconnected data and interaction between users are bigger than ever.
From here, finding information through word searches is very, very easy. This web 3.0 is the web we know and use today, the web of search engines.
A new era for the internet in which tools, algorithms, the cloud... appear and that with the help of artificial intelligence allows us to understand the subject matter of the content and analyze the data to achieve more accurate results than ever before.
Today, digital marketing is the most used method by companies and brands to get closer to people in the digital world.
The advantages of using a good digital marketing strategy in digital media are increasing. Let's see below the main ones:
Universal / global
Position your product or service on the Internet and reach anywhere in the world. Geographical barriers have been eliminated. Now, developing a digital marketing plan, anyone can access your brand wherever they are.
We narrow down our target audience and potential customers to address them exclusively. With data analysis and segmentation, actions can be profiled, and you will be able to address specific and defined audiences.
Now we will be able to know the results and impressions that our content has had. You will be able to measure the users you have reached, those who have entered the website and the impact it has had online. This way we will be able to create more precise and efficient actions.
Advertising is much less intrusive. While before you received commercial phone calls, now you can click if the ad interests you or ignore it. Digital marketing has made it possible to create less intrusive and more inclusive advertising.
More interactive - two-way communication
Communication has evolved. We have gone from consuming information without any filter and without interactions, to an interactive world in which brands and users coexist and co-create together. Digital communities are growing all the time.
Digital marketing plan
How do we carry out marketing strategies? We need to create a digital marketing plan.
The digital marketing plan is the report that collects all the objectives, strategies and actions that a brand wants to carry out in the digital ecosystem. To develop a digital marketing plan, it is advisable to make a thorough analysis of the audience we want to target, and, above all, to have the objectives of the brand aligned with the objectives of the plan.
The main tasks that encompass a plan are:
Context - internal and external analysis: understanding the environment around us and knowing the sector in which we move is the first step. A SWOT analysis will also help us to visualize the threats and opportunities that our business has.
Customer journey: how does our target act from the moment it identifies a need until it achieves it? It is about analyzing the customer's journey to satisfy all their needs depending on the stage they are in.
Define objectives: differentiate between business objectives and marketing objectives. Keep in mind that the objectives you set for the digital marketing plan will have to meet the strategic business objectives. Objectives must always be S.M.A.R.T., specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound.
Strategies and actions: in this section we must present the set of elements that we will use in our digital marketing campaigns: how are we going to make ourselves known (inbound strategy, human centric, content...) and what are we going to do to do it (specific actions)?
Analysis and monitoring: keeping control and monitoring the results of the actions is the last step, but one of the most important. By analyzing the results of the campaigns, we can outline the following actions and strategies that we carry out in the digital marketing plan. Through digital tools such as Google Analytics, you can measure and calculate the results of all your work.
Digital marketing techniques and strategies
After understanding the parts that make up a digital marketing plan, we analyze the most popular strategies in the industry. Why do we need a strategy? The strategy is the key point that marks the roadmap to follow in the plan.
The key areas of digital marketing are web traffic, conversion and opportunity identification. When working on these areas, marketers will focus on strategies such as:
Content marketing: creating content that your audience likes and captivates is one of the most used strategies today. The main objective of a content marketing strategy is to reach your customers and make them browse your website, generating interest and interactions.
SEO: improve your positioning in search engines. This strategy focused on brand visibility through keywords helps your content to be positioned in the first pages of search engines organically (without economic investment).
SEM: together with SEO, but in a paid way, it is a strategy that helps to position your brand in search engines. By following a SEM technique, you will be able to place your page in the first positions of the search engine.
Inbound marketing: this type of strategy aims to attract users to our website without using advertising. Through our own resources and customized experiences, they will be the ones who will be interested and look for our brand.
Email marketing: being one of the most used strategies, email marketing seeks to establish a relationship and a conversation with the customer/user.
Digital marketing and social networks: social networks are becoming the next platform for marketing. With their increasing use we can viralize our content and reach more people.
Human centric marketing: the new digital marketing puts the focus on the human being. Creating lasting relationships with users and caring about their needs is the idea of this growing strategy.
Story telling: conveying the characteristics of your product with a story has never been so important. With this method you can communicate with stories that captivate and attract traffic to the web.
Measurement - KPIs
When we make a digital marketing plan, we set some objectives: do we want to gain web traffic, do we want to build user loyalty, do we want to generate community?
To know if our actions and strategies are working, we need to measure them. The KPIs (key performance indicators) allow us to know how many impressions our publications have had, how many users have seen us, how many leads we have converted... an endless number of opportunities that allow us to check if the strategy has been effective or if it needs to be improved.
The main KPIs used in digital marketing are:
ROI: Return on Investment. It will help us to know if we have achieved profits or losses with the campaigns we have carried out.
CPA: Cost per acquisition. A payment method for digital advertising that helps you generate sales by paying only per acquisition derived from the ad.
CTR: Click through rate. A metric that shows the number of times an ad or content has been clicked on. It is the rate of clicks generated on links in the message.
Reach: measures the number of users that the content or ad has had. One of the most important metrics in marketing.
Bounce rate: shows the number of users who have left the page without interacting with it. If you have a high bounce rate, it means that your users do not spend much time on the website.
Retention: use this metric to find out how much time they spend browsing the site.
Conversion rate: how many users visit the site and how many users convert?
In addition to indicators that show us if the campaigns are working properly, there are also tools that facilitate the work of marketers and help them to analyze and execute all actions.
In this section we bring you a series of tools that optimize our activity and respond to digital marketing strategies:
SEO: Semrush, Moz, Yoast or Google Ads.
Paid media: Google Ads, Facebook Ads, MCC...
Analytics: Google Analytics, Search console, Majestic...
Email marketing: Mailchimp, Mailjet, Mailify...
Collaboration: Trello, Jira, Slack...
Digital marketing is changing the mechanics in which we worked until a few years ago. We have gone from traditional marketing focused on the product and the sale, to a new marketing in which the focus is on the user, the customer and the consumer. Now brands want to interact with their customers and generate interconnected global communities.
Adapting to technological and digital changes is a daily task. Every day we come across new tools and strategies that help us improve the way we communicate as a brand to our customers.
To learn the most significant concepts of the sector and be up to date with the tools and skills that will make you a digital marketing professional, at La Salle URL you will find different training studies in digital marketing such as the Master's Degree in Digital Marketing and Social Media Management in which you will develop a digital marketing and social media plan 100% practical through real cases. In addition, you can take the master's degree in digital marketing online and deepen the most current resources to manage a Digital Marketing and e-Commerce department.