Why is there such a high demand for digital marketing services? Why is digital marketing suddenly so popular? Is it because it’s easier to execute when compared to traditional advertising? Or perhaps because it’s more fun? Or cheaper?
Could it be because it’s a completely new form of marketing? Or maybe, just maybe because it delivers results.
There are so many misconceptions about digital marketing; most of them have been captured in the questions above but we’ll explain them further:
Digital Marketing is Easy
The internet has made things a lot easier for people and because digital marketing leverages internet technology, many come to the conclusion that it’s easy. But how easy is market research and survey? How easy is coming up with buyer personas? How easy is studying campaign performance and applying lessons learned to subsequent campaigns? How easy is keyword research and usage? How easy is A/B testing? And the list is just inexhaustible.
It’s a total misconception to believe digital marketing is easy. Instead, what would be accurate to say is Digital Marketing is efficient!
Digital Marketing is New
Digital Marketing became really popular as a term in the early 2000’s. However, digital marketing in the real sense of it has been in existence as far back as 100 years ago.
In 1896, Italian Electrical Engineer, Guglielmo Marconi became the first to publicly demonstrate the transmission of wireless signals. What this means is that Marconi is the first digital marketer ever. So, no, digital marketing is not new, it’s just been reinvented and integrated into the latest communication technology.
Digital Marketing is Cheap
Brands and businesses all over the world have monthly budgets for digital marketing running into hundreds of thousands of dollars, yet, there are people who believe digital marketing is cheap.
While cheap and expensive are two terms that are highly relative depending on a lot of other factors, it is wrong to categorize digital marketing as cheap. Instead, digital marketing services, when perfectly executed, are usually cost-effective due to high return on investment (ROI).
So, if all of these are misconceptions about digital marketing, then what exactly is digital marketing?
Digital Marketing refers to all forms of marketing of services and products that involve electronic devices. It’s a form of advertising, direct and subtle, delivered through various digital channels.
Why Digital Marketing?
There are still businesses that struggle with deciding which to invest in between traditional marketing and digital marketing. Perhaps due to the nature of their products and services, some businesses don’t see the need to “go online” with their marketing.
So, what are the advantages of digital marketing over traditional marketing? It’s already established that digital marketing is not cheap, so why spend so much on it?
Traditional marketing channels such as billboards were among the most effective marketing channels for decades. Several brands and businesses in Canada and other parts of the world used these medium to reach their potential customers, often resulting to massive sales and profits.
However, effective as it was, this mode of marketing had a major loophole of feedback and measurement. The same challenge with radio and television adverts which all make up traditional marketing. It was not interactive so it was difficult to tell what the audience actually feel about the adverts. Similarly, it was difficult to measure the direct effect of marketing campaigns on sales.
All of these are what digital marketing has been able to resolve. With digital marketing, potential customers can directly interact with the content and give feedback. Advertisers, on the other hand, can also work with the feedback and use it to optimize subsequent campaigns. Also, data can be easily accessed with digital marketing with which businesses can measure the performance of their campaigns and impact on sales. No room for guesswork as all the data needed are always available.
But far from all of these, there is no denying the fact that the internet has now become an integral part of the world. According to a Canadian Internet use Survey, internet usage by Canadians from age 15 above stood at 91% in 2018. Also, about 84% of internet users purchased products and services online in 2018 spending $57.4 billion. And the numbers will only keep climbing.
All these go to show that majority of the world population now spends more time online. And every smart business knows that the right thing to do is to go where the target audience spends most of their time. Today, that place to be is the internet. So, digital marketing is the real deal for this era. Who knows, that may change in the future…or not.
Before Hiring A Digital Marketing Agency
Now that it’s established that digital marketing is ideal for any serious business today, the next concern revolves around getting the right digital marketing agency.
There are several digital marketing agencies that offer top digital marketing services in Toronto and indeed, the whole of Canada. The problem is finding the best fit for a business.
Before hiring a digital marketing agency, there are certain important questions that a business should ask to know whether or not such an agency is the right fit for them. Every business should ask the following questions before handing their digital marketing to an agency:
- Do You Understand Our Business Goals?
Goals and objectives are very crucial to the success of a digital marketing campaign. Goals and objectives are peculiar to businesses and it’s important that the agency understands the business wants to achieve.
- What Results Are You Promising?
Once it’s clear that an agency understands what the business wants to achieve, next step is to ask about the results they are proposing. After all, the whole essence of digital marketing is to ultimately increase profit, so it’s important to know if the promised results are consistent with the specific and ultimate goals.
- What are your Communication Channels?
It’s important for businesses to continually communicate with their digital marketing agency. This helps to ensure that brands keep the agency updated on the latest developments in-house, and the agency on the other hand constantly provides performance reports. Hence, a convenient communication channel should be agreed upon before hiring.
- What are your Pricing Structures?
There are several Digital marketing companies in Toronto they all have varying pricing. It’s, therefore, crucial to get a digital marketing agency with the best deal. Note that the emphasis here is on the best deal, not the cheapest. Cheapest may also provide the worse services; this in fact is often the case!
Now, These are the Services a Digital Marketing Agency Should Provide
There are people who think digital marketing is only limited to social media; others believe it starts and ends with search engine marketing. It is a lot more than all of these. Digital Marketing is an umbrella term that hosts several services. Here are some major services under digital marketing that a digital marketing agency should provide:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO involves improving visibility on search engines organically. People are constantly searching on search engine every minute based on their needs and desires, and smart businesses know to take advantage of this. As a matter of fact, statistics show that 93% of online experiences begin on a search engine.
Nothing better explains the importance of SEO like a saying among marketers which goes – “the best place to hide a dead body is page two of Google search results”. This is why there is why SEO is can be quite challenging due to the stiff competition. Hence, the need for a professional digital marketing agency.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM is similar to SEO, just that it is paid. With SEM, businesses can pay for advert space that shows up on target audience’s search engine result pages (SERPs). Google Ads remains the biggest SEM platform, followed by Bing Ads.
The Search Engine charges a predetermined amount depending on factors like location, keywords, duration, audience size and so on. This another service a proper digital marketing agency should provide.
- Social Media Marketing
Over 50% of Canadians have more than one social media accounts and more than 64% have at least a social media profile. The point here is that social media is massive in Canada, and of course the whole world.
As the name implies, social media is primarily for socializing. However, brands and businesses are leveraging on it to connect with their potential customers in a more intimate way. This cuts across all the popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, Snapchat, and lately Whatsapp.
- Content Marketing
Content Marketing happens when a brand constantly provides quality, valuable content for its target audience with the aim of generating sales and leads. These contents can take any form including video, texts, or still images. It can also be on any of the multiple platform options including blog, YouTube, social media and so on.
- Email Marketing
Emails Marketing affords businesses the opportunity to nurture leads and ultimately convert them. One of the highest converting channels in digital media is email marketing.
Like social media, emails allow businesses to connect with potential customers and clients. This often leads to brand trust and loyalty.
Branding is a marketing process in which a company creates a symbol, name, or design by which it can be easily identified. This makes it possible for businesses to stand out among competitors. Branding is so important now than ever. There are so many platforms out there and businesses must strive for uniform branding.
Every business needs to invest heavily in branding as it has direct impact on public perception of their products and services.
Website/ App Design
While there isn’t a consensus among digital marketers on whether or not website and app design should be part of offerings by a digital marketing agency, these two activities are a vital part of the digital marketing sphere. Some agencies offer this while others don’t. Whatever the case, a digital marketing agency should play a critical role in your website design process.
Digital Marketing is effective and provides a high return on investment (ROI). But this is only when it’s done properly and by capable hands. Each of these digital marketing services has its place and relevance; content marketing to attract potential customers; emails to nurture them into buyers and social media to maintain relationships after purchase with the aim of making them brand loyalists.