YBT's series of articles that helps you understand different aspects of modern day digital marketing. By Afshan Shaikh.
In a world where a significant part of business is conducted online, the focus of marketing has also shifted to the virtual realm. Considering the critical nature of marketing as a core business function, internet or digital marketing has become one of the fastest developing and challenging branches of the field. With globalization and the interconnection of the international society through the internet, marketers have to constantly cope with an onslaught of new technological devices and communication technologies, including thousands of mobile apps and several social networking sites being launched every month. In a way, the internet has become a living, breathing organism that is growing and developing at a stupendous pace. Constantly staying on top of developments and modifying marketing strategies to capitalize on these changes is the need and the challenge of the hour.
So how do modern day marketers rise up to this challenge? How do they put the reins on the steed called internet marketing and make it go in whichever direction they please? Not only do marketers stay one step ahead of the lightning paced growth, but they also personalize its use to connect with customers in a better way. They customize their marketing strategies to be able to organize, execute, manage, and measure pan-internet initiatives seamlessly. Critically, marketers today are constantly evolving, developing, and learning – as fast as the internet itself.
Here is a look at what marketers focus on in digital and online marketing today:
Social Media Marketing:
When social media and social networking sites began to gain popularity, there was some skepticism about their success in the industry with people calling it a fad that would fade away quickly. However, something that keeps growing in popularity and usage for over a decade to the extent that social media has cannot be called a fad or even a trend – it is a cultural revolution at a global scale. Social media marketing, like social media itself, is here to stay. Social media marketing involves the sharing of product information between people through peer recommendations, sharing, and conversation with consumers. It is unique in its ability to motivate consumers to create content about products in the form of social media posts, and generate a buzz around it.
This method of online marketing is considered the virtual ‘word of mouth’, where a post is shared across social media platforms so swiftly that it often acquires over a million views in just a matter of hours. Social media is the only digital medium through which content can ‘go viral’ as no other form of communication enables real time sharing and viewing of content at this rate. Although a viral post is possibly the best way to win a broad audience, it is only one component of the bigger online marketing process.
Modern day organizations are more focused on building a reputation for the brand itself instead of a product. It the brand is popular, all of its products will most likely sell. If a product has a good reputation, it might sell but other products of the same company may not. Social media enables companies to build brand reputations by interacting directly with consumers and to develop a brand ‘personality’.
Internet users have become so accustomed to web advertising that they have developed a tremendous awareness of how to filter ads out of the content their receive or view. Software such as AdBlock are commonly available and can eliminate normal advertisements in the same manner s pop-up blockers ended the onslaught of pop-up ads in the past. Modern day marketers have to devise ways to motivate consumers to want to read their content, and given them permission to send such content to them.
Almost any online marketing initiative is meant for a particular segment of the readership. While traditional marketing was a one-to-all approach, with print ads in a relevant magazine being placed for all and sundry to see, modern online marketing is highly targeted. Marketers can specify the very search words that would trigger the appearance of the ad on the browser of the searcher. There are several marketing automation tools that automatically and effectively conduct the targeting.
Old is gold:
All this discussion of new marketing technologies may make ‘old’ methods of marketing such as websites and emails obsolete – but this is hardly the case. Websites and emails have proved to be highly adaptable and have been integrated with great success into the latest online marketing technologies. The website still remains the base of all marketing initiatives and emails are still as high on impact as ever – if not more!
One should keep in mind that technological sphere is evolving so rapidly that trends are constantly changing and quickly becoming outdated. It is highly possible that, should you check back on this list in a year, several of these trends would have passed! But that is the challenge faced by modern day marketers – to not only identify trends but also make the most of them.