What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers.
It is a common misconception that digital marketing only refers to Internet marketing. While the Internet certainly facilitates many digital channels (e.g. social media, search engines), it is important to note that channels such as SMS and MMS mobile phone services are also included under the digital marketing umbrella.
Why Does Digital Marketing Matter?
The face of marketing and advertising is changing at a relentless pace. As of 1 Jan 2019, there are 4,100,667,287 internet users globally, with this number increasing daily. Any business who wishes to achieve long-term success in this new marketing landscape must, therefore, be digital-ready. Many organisations are already making this shift. Data from the Adobe-Econsultancy Digital Intelligence Briefing 2018 showed that 73% of respondents agreed that their companies are ‘combining digital marketing skills with technology’. And these organisations are reaping the fruits of their labour – companies that did this were twice as likely as those who didn’t to have surpassed their 2017 business goals by a significant 9%.
Digital marketing is particularly important for businesses who are in the Philippines. We Are Social’s Digital in 2018 report found that, for the third year in a row, Filipinos spend the greatest amount of time on social media in the world, with an average user in the country spending almost 4 hours on social media every day. The same report also showed that Filipinos spend a whopping 9.5 average hours in a day on the Internet overall, the second highest in the world as per GlobalWebIndex data.
In addition, the PayPal Cross-Border Consumer Research 2018 study for the Philippines revealed a healthy e-marketplace with over half (55%) of Filipinos looking to increase their online spending in 2018. Also noteworthy is the growth of e-commerce in the country. Revenue in the Philippines’ e-commerce market amounts to US$996m in 2019, with expectations that it will grow to US$1,383m by 2023.
Any digital marketer would dream of a demographic like that of the Filipinos; a demographic that is both readily online and highly engaged. Thus, perhaps more than anywhere else in the world, businesses targeting a Filipino market need to ensure that they have an effective digital marketing strategy in place.
Forms of Digital Marketing
As alluded to in the first section of this article, there are many different channels for digital marketing.
Here are some important channels that you should know about:
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing
PPC marketing is a model of digital advertising that allows marketers to pay only when their ad is clicked (or otherwise interacted with) by an online user.
One prominent example of a PPC marketing platform is that of Google Ads. However, there are several other forms of PPC marketing which have been cropping up alongside the advent of social media. For example, platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram all provide some form of PPC advertising functionality.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a form of digital marketing that “involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve your marketing and branding goals”. The number of social media users in the world in 2018 is 3.196 billion, up 13% year-on-year. As previously mentioned, Filipinos are extremely engaged on social media. Furthermore, the Philippines’ year-on-year increase of social media users is still growing, with a 12% year-on-year increase. And as the social media space grows, social media marketing becomes increasingly important.
While some social media marketing overlaps with PPC marketing (i.e. through sponsored posts), social media marketing also includes the independent sharing of content through brand pages and through social media influencers — people with a large audience and established credibility in a given field.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. Such content often takes the form of informative articles or blog posts.
The types of content that any specific audience would find valuable will differ across industries, and will require some careful contemplation before execution. Get your content right however, be prepared to reap some rewards – State of Inbound 2018 found that 82% of marketers who blog daily and 57% of marketers who blog monthly acquired a customer because of their blog.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is an aspect of digital marketing that is “focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results”. SEO is a crucial part of digital marketing because failing to accommodate for SEO will result in your digital presence getting far less traffic than it could — 71% of searches resulted in a page one Google organic click, with 67% of these clicks coming from the first five listings on the search results page. At the same time, however, SEO is a complex process that encompasses many different aspects, ranging from keyword analysis and meta-tags to testing your SEO ranking and maintaining it over time.
Perhaps intuitively, email marketing is the digital marketing strategy of sending emails to current and prospective customers. Despite its simple definition, email marketing is actually an absolutely crucial part of digital marketing. A 2018 research study found that email marketing is the most effective digital marketing channel, even beating out social media marketing and SEO.
Besides advertising goods and services, email marketing is also a means for businesses to meaningfully engage with their current customer base, boost brand loyalty, and customer retention rates. Thus, effective marketing emails can convert prospects into customers and turn one-time buyers into loyal, raving fans – what more could you ask for?
Mobile marketing, or the art of marketing your business to appeal to mobile device users, is an often-overlooked aspect of digital marketing. This is a shame, because there is burgeoning potential in this channel — the number of mobile phone users in the world 2018 is 5.135 billion, up 4% year-on-year, and 38% of people in the Philippines access the Internet via mobile devices.
Furthermore, many developments in modern mobile device technology (such as location services, MMS messaging, or QR codes) have created innovative ways for brands to reach out to their customers.
Finally, mobile marketing is also a way for businesses to reach out to customers who may have a mobile device but do not have access to the Internet. After all, mobile penetration in the Philippines passed the 100% mark in 2012, while Internet penetration rates are still lagging behind at around 62.9% as of December 2017.
Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing
Now that we’ve distinguished between several different digital marketing channels, we can begin to discuss the differences between inbound and outbound marketing.
Outbound marketing refers to any kind of marketing where a company initiates the conversation and sends its message out to an audience. Traditional marketing techniques almost always constitute outbound marketing. For example, radio ads, print advertisements, and outbound sales calls are all forms of outbound marketing.
In contrast, inbound marketing carefully targets potential customers in a focused manner rather than blasting out general messages to a very large audience. The purpose of inbound marketing is to draw in the people who are most likely to be customers — people who are already seeking the solutions that a given business can provide. Most forms of digital marketing, such as PPC marketing, SEO marketing, or content marketing are good instances of inbound marketing.
In summary, the key difference between these two forms of marketing is that outbound marketing uses ‘push’ tactics while inbound marketing uses ‘pull’ tactics when engaging with customers.
Which strategy is better? Well, there has been evidence that inbound marketing is both cheaper and more cost-effective than outbound marketing. This is unsurprising given that Think With Google recently found that 63% of people expect brands to use their purchase history to provide them with personalized experiences. Consumers are growing increasingly discerning and demanding much more than what traditional marketing services can provide. This provides further evidence for the effectiveness of digital marketing, and strengthens the imperative for 21st-century businesses to develop a clear and effective digital marketing strategy.
The Advantages of Digital Marketing
Apart from the greater effectiveness of inbound digital marketing strategies over traditional outbound marketing strategies, there are several additional reasons why digital marketing has a distinct edge over more traditional marketing methods. After all, there’s good reason why digital ad spending revenue surged 23% to $49.5 billion for the first half of 2018 — businesses are finding it worthwhile to invest in the digital advertising space.
Briefly, here are they key advantages of digital marketing:
You’ll be meeting the demands of consumers
As we enter 2019, one of the most prominent marketing trends has been the increasing importance of online video marketing. A staggering 90% or more people say that they discover new brands or products on YouTube, and over 40% of global shoppers say they have purchased products they discovered on YouTube. This trend is one illustration of how consumers are increasingly turning away from traditional mediums and towards digital media. It is projected that 57.84 million people from the Philippines will be Internet users in 2022. So if you want to get to these potential customers, you’ll have to meet them where they are.
You’ll save money
This is one of the most often-touted advantages of digital marketing strategies over traditional media, but it’s significant enough to warrant a mention regardless. Unlike the high costs associated with traditional advertising, one of the reasons that digital advertising has gained traction is because of its potential for a business to enjoy immense costs-saving. After all, many digital marketing channels (like email clients) have relatively low costs, and some channels have no inherent costs at all (like social media). Take it from Cisco, who advertised a new router launch purely through social media, saving more than $100,000!
You’ll know if your strategy is working
Finally, one key advantage of digital marketing is that, unlike traditional marketing channels, going digital empowers you to track how effective each of your marketing campaigns are. Whether it’s on a smaller scale, such as through Facebook Analytics, or on a larger scale such as through using platforms like Supermetrics, the effectiveness of digital marketing strategies (i.e. levels of engagement, click-through, etc.) are measurable in a way that traditional marketing channels can have been, and can probably never be.
The Problem with Digital Marketing
But here’s the catch. Digital marketing is still a very new field. Furthermore, it is rather complicated (as this article may have shown you!), and much of the know-how from traditional marketing may not still be relevant in the context of developing an effective digital marketing strategy. This means that someone new to digital marketing could feel stressed, overwhelmed, or even start thinking about giving up on pursuing a digital marketing strategy altogether.
However, if this is you, please don’t resign yourself just yet! Here at DigitalMarketers.ph, we have a wealth of knowledge on digital marketing that we’d love to share with you, as well as ready access to the Filipino market which makes up 1.6% of the world’s billions of Internet users. Get in touch today, and we can start working together on a tailored strategy that will help your business harness the power of digital marketing, but with none of the fuss.