Using Digital Marketing to navigate sales leads

Every business wants a one-size-fits-all formula that works. They want to see a return on their investment, capture their customer’s undivided attention and stand apart from their competitors. Here’s how you can generate leads online.

Traditional methods of marketing have now been replaced by online marketing for your business to be able to grow and scale. Businesses today first invest in a website, in order to start building their online presence. Even if they don't, they at least have a social media presence or a digital ad strategy. To elaborate, when you’re looking for a certain product online, the first few searches that you see are companies who have, in all probability, invested in a good digital strategy.

Investing in good digital content and digital marketing plans has become so popular that consumers now expect it and have started to rely on it, as a way to learn about brands. They do their research on platforms like Google, Facebook and Instagram, to name the top few basic ones, and when a business is not found online, it does not always leave a nice impression. Don’t fret, with so many digital marketing options and strategies available these days, your marketing team can get creative and experiment with a variety of budget-driven tactics.

But first, what is digital marketing?

Everyone is talking about how digital marketing is vital for your business and brand awareness. But what is it really? Is it simply having a presence on social media? Oh, definitely not. Digital marketing, also known as online marketing in simple terms, refers to all the marketing efforts for a business on the internet. As part of this, new-age businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, multimedia and other websites to connect with prospective customers with a number of digital strategies.

The most successful digital marketers have a clear and well-defined picture of how each digital marketing campaign supports their overarching goals. Depending on these goals, marketers can support a larger campaign by navigating through the free and paid channels.

Types of digital marketing

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Content marketing

  • Social Media Marketing (SMM)

  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads

  • Affiliate marketing

  • Native advertising

  • Marketing automation

  • Email marketing

  • Online PR

  • Inbound marketing

  • Sponsored content

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

  • Instant Messaging marketing

Why digital marketing?

There might still be a lot of businesses who sell their services and advertise their presence on offline channels by handing out brochures or paying for outdoor display ads. However, whether you want to entirely make the switch to digital, or whether you want to adopt a hybrid online-offline way of advertising, that is entirely up to you. You can always start by investing in digital plans for a few months at a time, and see how that works for your product or business. Here are a few benefits of digital marketing:

  • Focus your efforts on the prospects only

The biggest advantage of digital marketing is that it allows you to identify and target a highly-specific audience, to whom you can send personalized, likely-to-convert messages. PPC or SEO strategies can serve ads to users who have shown interest in your product or service, or who've searched for specific keywords that relate to your industry. Your strategy can always be modified or adapted, and this medium is especially useful in case of multiple products or services for different buyer personas.

  • More cost-effective than outbound marketing methods

Paid advertisements play a crucial role in digital marketing and how it helps businesses reach their goals. It allows you to track your campaigns on a daily basis and decrease the amount of money that you're spending on a certain channel, if it isn't demonstrating a high ROI, unlike the traditional forms of advertising. For instance, you will pay one lump sum for a billboard — irrespective of how many people really see it, and whether or not it actually converts into any paying customers. With digital marketing, you always have complete control over where you are spending your money. If you work with a small business on a limited budget, you should definitely try investing in social media, blogs, or SEO – the three strategies that have proven to give you a high ROI, despite the minimal spends.

  • You can compete with bigger brands on an even field

If you have a small business, it's probably difficult for you to compete with the major brands in your industry. While they are able to spend millions in television commercials or nationwide campaigns, there are actually plenty of opportunities for you to outrank the big players through strategic digital marketing initiatives if you have a clever strategy that includes well written ads and great visuals. What’s more, you can engage audiences at every stage with digital marketing.

  • Digital marketing is measurable

Unlike most offline marketing efforts, digital marketing allows marketers to see accurate results in real time. If you've advertised in a newspaper, you'll know how difficult it is to estimate how many people actually flipped to that particular page and paid attention to your ad. Digital marketing, on the other hand, have algorithms in place to track and analyse the metrics for optimal performance, thereby significantly improving your conversion rate and the quality of your leads. Tools like Google Analytics can help you track the value of your marketing efforts.

  • Search rankings for potential leads

Nowadays, almost everyone prefers to buy products and services online. That’s where search engines like Google come in, and can help you reach new audiences through a better ranking of your website. Without a prominent search ranking, you’re likely to lose new and loyal customers. This concept is known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Digital marketing practices allow your business to boost its sales exponentially by making it more visible and accessible to more consumers who are already looking for the product and services in your niche. Through this, your website’s ranking on search engines can greatly improve and your business goals can be achieved.

  • Brand awareness and building your presence

Whether you own a small business or are a part of a big organization, digital marketing tools and solutions can help every kind of business to build a reputed brand name. Brand awareness is an important, preliminary stage to cover, before your business can start generating leads who convert and who remain loyal to your brand. Smart business owners plan their digital strategy by first investing in good graphic design for the company logo and the marketing collaterals, and good content that is consistent across all your communication channels. Happy and satisfied customers will always share their experiences with others and this opens up opportunities for new customers and bigger markets for your company.

Where is digital marketing headed?

In view of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), 3D environments, and blockchain-driven cryptocurrencies, the world is seeing a shift in how we interact and communicate with each other in this fast-growing world. Various sectors have become more technology-intensive, and with this shift, the way businesses market themselves, is also increasingly changing. Digital marketing surely helps to gain a lot of traction and reach out potential audiences in a short span of time, but here are a few mediums to keep a lookout for, in the near future:

  • Video advertising

After Google declared ‘Video, Voice and Vernacular’ as the growth mantra for businesses in 2019, there has definitely been a huge demand for content to be consumed in video formats and in users’ mother tongues, with localised voiceovers and multilingual subtitles. Even Instagram propelled its very own YouTube rival recently, and launched Instagram TV (IGTV) that enables its users to record and share long-form video content that starts engaging with its users and trending in a matter of minutes.

  • Voice mediums

Voice-enacted gadgets and voice online searches has definitely seen a rise in the last few years. Today, a huge number of individuals use voice gadgets to request data, aggregate shopping records and spot orders effortlessly and publicists are surely beginning to pay heed and exploit the voice medium by creating inventive voice jingles, chatbots or even podcasts for brands, that lets their users stream into the top influencer’s voices and thought leaders’ interviews when they are multitasking.

  • Augmented Reality ads

The ultimate shopping experience, as a concept, has continued to evolve over the years. While online shopping does come with its set of advantages and disadvantages, there has always remained one primary deterrent: the dread of your shopped item not being the right fit — it could be the way it fits your body, whether the new lipstick is a couple of shades lighter or darker, or if the storage container was the exact size of your wardrobe shelf. Enlarged, augmented reality (AR) innovation helps brands to take care of just this, with screens mimicking “what it would be like” or how something would look on you. For example, IKEA or Asian Paints lets their clients to picture what furniture items or what shade of paint would look best in their home, while brands like Sephora and Lakme empowers their clients to visualise what cosmetics look best on their skin tone.

To conclude, using digital marketing tools efficiently will not only grow your business while you’re sleeping, but will also make your business ready for the global ecosystem of interconnected devices. In an era where tablets, smartphones, and laptops can interact with each other through the internet, the success of your business would surely require the inclusion of this interconnected ecosystem to better reach out to your targeted audience. Furthermore, digital marketing involves the investment of time, money, and energy in creating valuable content, designing, and marketing it with well-designed strategy, but is totally worth it, as long as the goal remains to generate traffic and turn your leads into customers.