Everybody is talking about digital marketing these days. You will constantly hear things like “up your digital marketing game or your business won’t succeed.” It is a daunting thing to hear of course, but what really is digital marketing? Why has it suddenly become a driving force today and why is it important for you? This article is for those who are enamored by digital marketing but do not know how to start, and for those who find themselves wondering what the hype is all about.
Digital Marketing is one of the top trending keywords of today, but at the end of the day, it is the age-old concept of marketing that the digital world has just attached itself to. Digital is the dynamic field where you have various platforms like Google, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, etc. They are constantly evolving, adding and subtracting features and are a great way to grow your business, but as we have recently witnessed with TikTok, these platforms come and go. Marketing, on the other hand, will always stay the same. Marketing is rooted in human psychology. If a person trusts you or your brand, they will buy from you. Sounds reasonable right? To get someone to trust you enough to spend their hard-earned money on you is what marketing is all about. You may have an amazing product or service, but if you are having a hard time getting customers, it is because they are unsure whether you are the right fit for them. This is where the digital world comes into effect.
Digital marketing helps increase your reach and builds awareness about your brand. It is not good enough to just be good at something, people have to know that you exist. There might be other experts out there, but clients will reach out to those who are the most visible. In the words of Deepak Kanakaraju, “The best known, will always beat the best.”
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF MARKETING
The first thing you must understand, is that marketing starts before creating the product. You must know who your customers are and what their needs are. Your product or service should be like a solution to their problem. For example, somebody who gets a paper cut and starts bleeding will need something to cover the wound, so the solution to his problem is a band-aid. Or somebody who is busy with work and does not have the time to plan their holiday will hire a travel agent to do it for them. Similarly, if your product or service can satisfy the needs of your customer, your product will sell itself. Therefore, deciding your niche or your target audience becomes most crucial.
Once you have zeroed in on your target audience, you must decide where to compete because the aim of the game is to have your brand become so big that it turns into a verb like google or xerox have. It is important to note that most people only remember who no. 1 is. For example, we all know that the first prime minister of India is Jawaharlal Nehru but not everyone knows who the second is. At the same time, we know Indira Gandhi as the first woman prime minister because she was the first in the category of women. Similarly, if you look at luxury cars, BMW is known as the top self-driven luxury car, Mercedes is the top chauffeur driven car and Volvo’s top priority is safety. Even though they are all top luxury car brands, they each have a unique angle for their niche and are therefore not competitors.
Marketing helps you send the right message, at the right time, to the right people. Whether it be traditional or digital, advertising, copywriting and sales are just components of marketing. We do this because not only does it help people to discover our products, but also to create a good perception of the product. For example, Apple users feel special while using an Apple product because of their marketing strategy that makes it seem like it is the best product out there.
Traditional v/s Digital Marketing
Traditional marketing includes TV ads, radio ads and newspaper ads. In India, traditional channels have the highest reach. As per Financial express radio reaches 65% of the population and TV ads can reach up to 1 billion people. Digital Marketing is no where close to these numbers. However, traditional methods do not allow you to target your audience. Out of the 1 billion, only a small percentage will be part of your niche and there is no way to know if you are reaching them.
Another drawback is that you cannot personalize your content. People like to feel special, if they are going to invest in your product, they want to know that they will be taken care of. This can only be done through personalization, which traditional marketing methods do not allow for. Now you might be thinking where to market. The answer to this lies in the question – Where is your audience? If you have a generic product with very wide targeting then TV ads can help you reach millions at a very low cost. If you have a targeted product then digital marketing is the way forward.
CATT Marketing Funnel
Wealth = nCATT
n = Niche: Your target audience whose problems you are solving with your product
C = Content: Your asset for attracting people and converting them into your tribe (Blog posts, videos, lead magnets, live webinars, etc.)
A = Attention: Drive attention (traffic) to your content using SEO, Social Media, Paid Ads and Referrals
T = Trust: Build Trust with trip wires, marketing automation, deep marketing and retargeting
T = Transaction: Convert your leads into customers through natural sales – where you do not need to push it, cold calling, etc. It happens naturally
This means that you can only generate wealth if you release specific content targeted to your niche which will attract attention, build trust and finally lead to sales. To do this, you need to apply the Integrated Marketing Framework.
As mentioned before, the digital world is a dynamic one and to match this dynamism, your marketing approach cannot be a linear one. It is therefore important to integrate all aspects of digital marketing into your marketing strategy. If you do just one aspect, you either will not get enough leads, or your leads will not convert.
The integrated approach helps to 1st build attention to your content. As soon as you get traffic, your SEO goes up. This momentum attracts trust from clients which will then lead to sales.
At the crux of your marketing strategy is your content. Whether it be on your social media page, your website or your blogposts, this is where your audience interacts with you and gets to know you. Whether you boost your content through paid ads, email marketing or search engine optimization (SEO), the aim is to get your audience to interact with you. They will only do so if you give them something in return. For example, have a webinar, give a free eBook, give them a discount code, etc. Once they get to know you and you have their attention, then when you sell your product they will be happy to buy it.
Personal branding can also play a huge role in this case. People want to hear from people, not from brands, that is how they will remember you because it will be a personal connection. For example, Elon Musk has a bigger following than his companies SpaceX and Tesla. Elon Musk therefore becomes an influencer and a brand ambassador for the companies that he run thus creating mass trust. Tomorrow if he starts a new company, that company will do equally as well because of the trust and attention he has from his followers.
The evolution of a personal brand is therefore a cycle
- Learn: a new skill through concepts, facts and procedures. Understand the concepts, Remember the facts and Practice the procedures
- Work: Go from practice to implementation – this will increase understanding
- Blog: Write about what you have learnt and experienced through your work. This builds your personal brand
- Consult: Builds authority and positioning
- Mentor: Mentor others who want to be like you. Helps you scale to a whole new level
- Startup: Start your own product or service with the understanding that you have developed about the market, the problem and your skills
As said right at the beginning, people will often tell you things like “up your digital marketing game or your business won’t succeed.” It might sound harsh but the way the world is going today it is also very true. Digital Marketing helps you reach your target audience and personalize their interaction with you right down to the smallest details. The content you release shapes people’s perception of you and the more relatable you are, the more attention you will attract.
At the end I would just like to say, you cannot learn by reading an article or a book, they can only give you guidance and direction. The only way to truly learn is through implementation and analyzing the results. If you are serious about Digital Marketing, I urge you to publish an honest post about yourself. It could be on platforms like Instagram or Facebook, a blog or your website. Put a link in the comments or message me personally and I would love to know more about you and how your post did! Good Luck!