In a world where over 170 million people use social media on a regular basis, every working professional is expected to be familiar with at least the core tenets of Digital Marketing.
In simple terms, Digital Marketing is the promotion of products over the internet or any form of electronic media. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, “Digital Marketing is the use of digital channels to promote or market products and services to targeted consumers and businesses.”
The term Digital Marketing was first used in the 1990s. The digital age took off with the coming of the internet and the development of the Web 1.0 platform. The Web 1.0 platform allowed users to find the information they wanted but did not allow them to share this information over the web. Up until then, marketers worldwide were still unsure of the digital platform. They were not sure if their strategies would work since the internet had not yet seen widespread deployment.
In 1993, the first clickable banner went live, after which HotWired purchased a few banner ads for their advertising. This marked the beginning of the transition to the digital era of marketing. Because of this gradual shift, the year 1994 saw new technologies enter the digital marketplace. The very same year, Yahoo was launched.
Also known as “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web” after its founder Jerry Yang, Yahoo received close to 1 million hits within the first year. This prompted wholesale changes in the digital marketing space, with companies optimizing their websites to pull in higher search engine rankings. 1996 saw the launch of a couple of more search engines and tools like HotBot, LookSmart, and Alexa.
1998 saw the birth of Google. Microsoft launched the MSN search engine and Yahoo brought to the market Yahoo web search. Two years later, the internet bubble burst and all the smaller search engines were either left behind or wiped out leaving more space for the giants in the business. The digital marketing world saw its first steep surge in 2006 when search engine traffic was reported to have grown to about 6.4 billion in a single month. Not one to get left behind, Microsoft put MSN on the backburner and launched Live Search to compete with Google and Yahoo.
Then came Web 2.0, where people became more active participants rather than remain passive users. Web 2.0 allowed users to interact with other users and businesses. Labels like ‘super information highway’ began to be applied to the internet. As a result, information flow volumes –including channels utilized by digital marketers- increased manifold, and by 2004, internet advertising and marketing in the US alone brought in around $2.9 billion.
Soon, social networking sites began to emerge. MySpace was the first social networking site to arrive, soon followed by Facebook. Many companies realized all these fresh new sites that were popping up were beginning to open new doors of opportunities to market their products and brands. It opened fresh avenues for business and signaled the beginning of a new chapter to business. With new resources, they needed new approaches to promote their brands & capitalize on the social networking platform.
The cookie was another important milestone in the digital marketing industry. Advertisers had begun to look for other ways to capitalize on the fledgling technology. One such technique was to track common browsing habits and usage patterns of frequent users of the internet so as to tailor promotions and marketing collateral to their tastes. The first cookie was designed to record user-habits. The use of the cookie has changed over the years, and cookies today are coded to offer marketers a variety of ways to collect literal user data.
Products marketed digitally are now available to customers at all times. Statistics collected by the Marketingtechblog for 2014 show that posting on social media is the top online activity in the US. The average American spends 37 minutes a day on social media. 99% of digital marketers use Facebook to market, 97% use Twitter, 69% use Pinterest and 59% use Instagram. 70% of B2C marketers have acquired customers through Facebook. 67% of Twitter users are far more likely to buy from brands that they follow on Twitter. 83.8% of luxury brands have a presence on Pinterest. The top three social networking sites used by marketers are LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
The digital market is in a constant state of flux. A Digital Marketing professional must find ways to keep up with this change. They need to be able to keep an eye out for emerging trends and the development of newer and smarter Search Engine Algorithms. After all, nobody can afford to get left behind in this race.
Check out our course Digital Marketing Specialist Masters Program sensing an opportunity, Google began to expand, introducing such products as AdWords, which are 3 line ads that show up at the top or to the right of search engine results, and AdSense -which is a cost-per-click advertising scheme. In time, Google realized the value of analyzing the content they received and then target ads based on the interests of the users, and thus became a major player in the world of business.
Join our webinar with bestselling author and email expert Matt Bailey and gain a refresher on what email activities are ethical, borderline, or illegal, especially a year into the mandate for GDPR compliance
A CMS or content management system is built in such a tactical way that it suits first day work beginners for experienced web developers.
It is a software application that facilitates the creation and administration of online content. Most of them are open source and free to use.
If you know the basics of HTML, CSS or PHP, this is an advantage for you. It is not a big problem if you do not know it because these platforms are very intuitive. Here are three free CMS platform options that you can choose from based on your needs.
WordPress Joomla Drupal Features
Cost Free Free Free
Use 311,682 million 26,474 million 31,216 million
Free themes +4,000 +1,000 +2,000
Free Plugins +45,000 +7,000 +34,000
WordPress, according to various statistics, is being used on the maximum number of small to medium-sized blogs and websites. However, many powerful websites prefer WordPress for its simplicity. WYSIWYG Editor is the only thing you need to learn to get your first content.
This platform is institutional for beginners, as well as highly developed by different kinds of web developers. It has many free plugins and themes in its own repository. As the # 1 CMS option, many third-party resources are available alongside.
Highly flexible and customizable.
Easy to use,
Tons of learning resources,
Excellent community and support
Needs code for major visual customizations.
Updates can cause problems with plugins
Joomla is similar to WordPress in many ways. It is also easy to use, easy to install and can be easily expanded with the help of modules – the equivalent of WordPress plugins. As a result, it is the second best choice for beginners.
However, beginners may feel more intimidated to explore Joomla due to the number of options available. In addition to the menu on the left, there is also a menu in the top bar, just above the “Control Panel” logo. To avoid confusion, remember that some of the menu items in the left and top bars are similar, including “Content”, “Users” and “Extensions”.
Like WordPress, Joomla has a few styles and templates that can quickly give your site a distinctive look. But of the three content management systems, Joomla offers the easiest solution when creating a social network. With platforms like EasySocial and JomSocial, you are just minutes from your own social media website.
More technically advanced
Websites generally work better
Company level security
Modules are difficult to maintain
Intermediate CMS: not as easy as WordPress, nor as advanced as Drupal
Experienced web developers attest that Drupal is the most powerful CMS.
However, it is also the most difficult to use. Due to its flexibility, Drupal is the second most used CMS in the world, but it is not a favorite among beginners. To successfully build a “complete” website with Drupal, you need to get your hands dirty and learn the basics of coding. Knowing your way around the CMS is also a challenge for beginners.
Installing Drupal Installing a new Drupal: Despite Drupal’s complicated functions, the CMS offers a simple and minimalist interface.
Steep learning curve at startup stage – recommended for advanced users
Easy to learn
Great help portal
Updates integrate seamlessly
More built-in option.
Step 1: find the WordPress installer in your web hosting panel
Web hosting services generally have a quick installer to install WordPress and other common platforms.
So log in to your web hosting account and find out what installer you have. Popular names to look for are Softaculous, QuickInstall, or Fantastico.
Some hosting providers (example: Iart) use installers built into their user control panel (the screen you will see right after logging into cPanel). In that case, just try to find the title that includes ‘WordPress’.
Step 2: install WordPress through the installer
Softaculous is the most popular automatic installer and appears in cPanel. I will walk you through the installation through Softculous. The other installers are more or less the same.
Click Softaculous and then click ‘Install’ on WordPress to begin installation.
Installing WordPress to create your website
Here comes the important part.
Site settings Set the options as follows, leave other fields in the default settings (to be ordered later) and click install.
Protocol: You must decide if you want to install http: // or http: // www. version of the URL. Whatever you choose, you won’t see much difference. From a technical point of view, http: // www. It is better in terms of flexibility and cookie management. Please note that if you have a valid SSL certificate and want to install WordPress on it, just select https instead of http.
Domain: select the domain in which you want to install the website.
Directory: Specify where you want to install the WordPress site. If you want to install it at your root URL (for example http://www.yourwebsite.com/), please keep it blank. If desired in a sub-URL (for example, http://www.yourwebsite.com/myblog/), specify the directory in the field.
Administrator account: Set your username, password and email that you will use to log in to your WordPress site.
If you’ve been successful in the last few steps, well done. Your website is live!
Now log in to your WordPress site. Your site’s login page will look like wp-login.php crawling the URL of the website you set up.
Step 3: install a theme and some important plugins
Next, you need to install a theme and any necessary plugins. Take a look at the left sidebar of your WordPress Dashboard.
There are tons of ready-to-use themes available in the WordPress directory.
To explore these free themes, go to ‘Appearance> Themes> Add New’, find the theme that meets your requirements, and click the Install button.
WordPress theme directory. You can also install third-party themes from the “Upload theme” section. For professionally designed paid WordPress themes, I recommend Elegant Themes (for its efficient code and beautiful front layouts)
For plugins, search for ‘Plugins> Add New’.
Find and install the plugins you only need. 3rd Party plugins can also be installed from the ‘Load plugin’ section.
Here I want to suggest some important free plugins. Search by their names in the WordPress plugin directory to find them. Note that installing only one plugin from each category is sufficient.
For SEO: SEO SEO, all in one SEO package
For security: iThemes security, Wordfence security
For site stats: WordPress.com Jetpack, Google Analytics for Monster Insights WordPress
For the creation of forms: Contact form 7
For performance: W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache
Step 4: you’re done!
Your site should be up and running in the last step. But there are a few more things that need to be resolved.
In ‘Settings> General’: configure your site title and motto.
Under ‘Settings> Reading’: what your home page should show and how many blog posts you want to show on a single page.
In ‘Settings> Permalinks’: set what will be the URL structure of your blog post.
You can create your own unique and distinctive website by knowing the main languages of the web and the basics of a website.
Otherwise, it is recommended that you jump to method # 2/3; Or, contact a web developer.
Basic languages / web tools you should know:
HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language)
HTML is the basic structure of web pages and web applications that make content semantic to the web browser. It consists of sequential tags that have an opening and a closing, and structurally a keyword enclosed in angle brackets. Example:
CSS (cascading style sheets)
CSS is the style language used to decorate the HTML markup of a web page. Without CSS, a web page would look like nothing more than a large blank page with messy text and image. CSS is what makes the page ideal as we want.
To store, manage and access the user input data of a website, it is considered a large table of information called a database. A database management system like MySQL, MongoDB, and PostgreSQL is used on the server side to do this job efficiently.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
FTP is used to transfer source files from a website to your hosted server more easily. There are web-based clients and FTP-based software that can be used to upload the files to the server computer.
Step-by-step process of creating websites using IDE
This is the process overview of how you can create a website first hand, assuming you know the basic web languages and essential elements of the website mentioned above.
Step 1: set up a local work environment
Making a site with Subline Text
Screenshot of Subline Text working environment.
To create and organize the source files of a website, a good local working environment is important. You can create a web development environment on your computer device by installing an IDE (Integrated Development Environment). An IDE basically consists of a text editor, a build automation, and a debugger.
Sublime text and atom are some of the basic IDEs for web development compatible with HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, Python and similar web languages.
On the other hand, there are extended IDEs like Adobe Dreamweaver that offers a handful of other features (eg: Server connectivity, FTP).
Step 2: plan and design your website using Adobe Photoshop
The planning of the website structure and the navigation system are of great importance. First, you must understand how you want to deliver your content. Plan how many navigation menus, how many columns or content fields, how many images you want to include and where.
The best practice is to open Adobe Photoshop and create a rough sketch of your web pages. You may have to make different settings for different pages, for example home page, above page, contact page, service page etc.
Design mockup that we use when creating this website. Examples: design mockups we made when during the site renovation in December 2016.
Step 3: Code the Design using HTML and CSS
Once you have finished making rough designs for your web pages in Adobe Photoshop, you can start writing the source codes.
This is the easiest part. Make HTML marks for the web parts you want to include and use CSS to decorate them according to the designs you made.
Only HTML and CSS based websites do not currently exist because front-end user interactions cannot be controlled through HTML or CSS.
Step 5: upload local files to the server using an FTP client
FTP software for creating sites. The last step is to upload all source files to the web server. The best and easiest way to manage it is through an FTP client.
First, download an FTP client to your computer device and connect it to your web server using an FTP account. After you have successfully connected it to the FTP account, copy all your local files to the root of your web directory. Some good FTP clients are FileZilla, WinSCP and Cyberduck.
Currently all types of business require visibility on the Internet, whether with a website, an online store, or a blog, we must promote and show our business and even offer our services online. Although unfortunately we do not always have the necessary knowledge for this, there are three ways to create a website without writing code.
It is a very popular resource, using the visual and text editors of WordPress it will be very easy to develop the website with a few clicks. WordPress offers two types of editors to create content, one of them is the Visual Editor that does not require code, which allows you to format text in a similar way to Word documents. However, there may be cases where you need to edit your post’s html, embed a code snippet, or edit the structure of a link.
And although WordPress is free in principle, it will be necessary to pay for the template, the hosting, the domain name and the plugins.
2. Website creator
Website builders are online tools with a graphical user interface that allow you to create websites without writing code. They turn your design into a functional website. They write the code for you, configure your accommodation, your database, email accounts and the domain name.
One of the most used web creators currently is Wix, it is a web creation platform that allows users of all levels to create impressive websites without having to touch a line of code, since it works mainly with drag and drop tools. drop online. Here is a small guide to use.
Website optimization is the process of systematically improving the performance of your portal to meet its objectives, whether it be obtaining more visitors, making the blog profitable or reducing the time you spend maintaining it. Web optimization can be used to make your website more attractive and useful to your visitors.
The importance of optimizing your website
Website optimization is important because it helps your page visitors have a more pleasant experience.
Each visitor enters your blog hoping to answer a question, find a solution to a problem, or complete a task of one kind or another. So when you optimize your website, you make it easy for your blog visitors to do those tasks.
For example, if you have an e-commerce website that sells shoes, you can optimize it to increase the number of purchases made by people who visit your online store.
In this way, your business will be more profitable and easier to manage. Likewise, you will save a lot of time and money in maintaining it.
But that’s not all, even if your website is not dedicated to commerce and is just a simple personal blog, it should also be optimized.
Think about it, a small and simple blog may not seem like much in the wide universe that is the web, but if you improve it, you can do wonders with it.
Whatever your role on the internet, or the role you would like to have, you can always achieve it through web optimization.
Such optimization may sound complicated, but we assure you that it is not, much less if you have the right analysis and the right tools.
Analyze the website
Website optimization is a continuous process of constant improvement.
This is given by knowing the behavior of your visitors, developing hypotheses about what changes in your site could cause the number of visits to increase, and then measuring and evaluating the performance of the changes made.
This process allows you to define the types of tools that are useful for optimizing your website.
You should be aware that there are qualitative and quantitative feedback tools. Both are important to find the best options that will allow you to optimize your website.
But before you start using the tools available to improve your page, the first thing you should do is analyze it. It is very obvious that not all websites are created equal, and because of this, they all have different problems.
So, do a thorough analysis of your website.
What are your strengths?
What are its weaknesses?
Do you need to improve speed or SEO?
Do you need to improve other things?
These are the main questions to ask yourself when you want to opt for web optimization.
If you need it, you can consult an expert to help you with this analysis.
On the other hand, if you prefer to do it on your own, at least take into account the opinion of your readers or close friends who know your website.
Remember that a purely personal analysis may not be very objective, and what is a problem for you, may not really be for the other.
So do not forget to look for different opinions, since they can help you much more than you imagine.
Free web analytics and SEO optimization tools
The optimization of a web page must be a continuous effort, which allows improving the interface, the speed and the content that you publish. Doing this will expand your online reach significantly.
High website traffic? Who doesn’t want to do that?
Many people talk about SEO as if it were something foreign or isolated from the field of digital marketing strategy, although often people seek to improve their SEO when they migrate to other websites or start a new page entirely.
The problem is that if you’re just starting to take SEO into account right now, we’re sorry to tell you that you’ve waited too long. This is because if you don’t continually monitor your website, you’re bound to make mistakes or let opportunities go to waste.
Even if you don’t have a lot of experience in the SEO world, it’s important to stay on top of things.
By doing a check from time to time, you can see how your web page is ranked on the net, if there are any increases in site errors, or how well your traffic volume and your position in search engines is increasing.
Chances are, if you are reading this article, you have used or at least installed Google Analytics. And if you haven’t, then you should use it as soon as possible. This tool is a must have for all websites.
The most valuable SEO information is information that helps you better understand visitors and how they interact with your site. No free tool collects this data like Google Analytics.
It does an unmatched job of providing the information that helps you understand the number that matters most: the number of visitors that stay and interact with your page.
You can use Google Analytics to monitor your traffic performance on a monthly basis, and this allows you to compare that performance.
Once you notice a significant difference in your traffic, chances are you want to switch to another tool to find out what’s causing the changes.
Just like the dashboard of a car, it is a comprehensive and mandatory analysis tool that will help you steer your website in the right direction. You’ll be able to measure speed, condition and more accurately. Replace assumptions with real data – it’s useful, easy to use, reliable, and free.
Pros and Cons of Google Analytics
Google Analytics provides you with aggregated, historical, and collected data about your website, how people got there, and what people did on your blog.
Most of the other tools will be based on samples and estimates, and won’t give you the last part, i.e. how did the traffic behave on my website?
As for the downsides, Google Analytics used to give data on the keywords used by visitors and how they got to your blog. But that kind of detail is no longer provided by such a tool.
However, Google Analytics is not alone in the hard work of optimizing your website. Fortunately, there are other applications, plugins and tools that will also help you to make your blog the best on the entire network.
It is just a matter of finding the one you need the most, and the one that best suits your needs.
Other web analytics tools
To optimize the SEO of your page, there is no plugin more recommended than SEO by Yoast, one of the star WordPress tools. SEO by Yoast will take care of all the technicalities that come with SEO, and it will do it in the most efficient way possible.
SEO by Yoast can be a somewhat complicated plugin for those who are just starting out in this area, but there are numerous tutorials online that will facilitate their installation and management. So do not worry if you do not understand it at first, you will soon manage to handle it perfectly.
Speaking of plugins, others that could be very useful are Smush and Image Compressor. These are also WordPress tools, and are dedicated to reducing the weight and size of images, without affecting their quality.
In this way, the images you publish on your website will load much faster, and the speed of your blog will improve.
But images are not the only factor that can affect the performance of your website, since the cache can also slow it down and make the interface tedious to navigate.
If the cache is too overloaded, feel free to use WPoptimize, Optimization.io or Total Cache.
These three tools not only free up cache space, but also manage it to prevent you from exceeding your limit. In this way, your website will load at a much higher speed, since it will weigh less.
Don’t feel like you have to download all these tools and use them at the same time. As we said earlier in this note, analyze well what weaknesses and strengths your page has, and based on them work to improve it.
Nor can we fail to recommend the plugins offered by WordPress, which are undoubtedly the best on the net to optimize web pages.
There are free and paid, but they all have in common a good quality, and endorsement of the site that is offering them, as well as their creators. Don’t underestimate the power of WordPress, or the tools it offers.
Finally, always remember that things get better with dedication, patience, discipline, the right tools, and some help. In this sense, do not despair if the optimization of your website is not achieved immediately, since with hard work you can achieve this goal.
If you’re under the impression that the easiest way to create a website for your business or personal use requires a lot of capital or the ability to speak nerd fluently, you’re wrong!
Times have changed, particularly with regards to the logistics of website development that you can do yourself (Do It Yourself). Nowadays you don’t need to write a single line of code, and what’s more, you can create a fully functional, professional, personalized website for your business or for simple self-expression in just one afternoon.
The past decade has seen the steady rise of website building platforms, simplifying the site building process to the point that beginners with the most limited technology skills will find it not only manageable but also enjoyable to create their own custom websites. .
Content management systems like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace are three of the most popular platforms on the web today, and the easiest ways to create a website, so it’s probably wise to use one of these options.
However, there is a little more to this than just choosing your platform, and we are about to follow all these steps to create a website.
1.Choose a domain name
Your domain name is part of the URL or address of your site and is the name by which visitors will get to know it. The best domain names are easy for your audience to remember, so they can access your website on the go.
If you’ve been doing business for a while without a website, you should consider having your company name on your domain, so that your current customers can find it.
Or, if you are looking to build an affiliate website, you can include the brand, product, or theme of the website you are creating in your domain name.
Domain names may be the most important part of building your website, since once you choose one, you will be branding your website. Visitors will get to know your site with this name, so it is not advisable to change them frequently, if not necessary.
You can buy a domain name from a domain agent of your choice or directly through your hosting company. Please note that your hosting service provider may offer a free domain as part of their hosting plan, so wait until you have chosen your hosting plan before purchasing a domain. This step is just about choosing that perfect name.
2.Choose a Hosting Plan
A web hosting company or a hosting service provider, is the company to which you will pay an annual fee to store your website with all its contents on one of its private servers, so that site visitors can access your website. Just think of a server as one of the giant bookshelves in the giant library that is the Internet.
Once you have chosen a domain name and have purchased it, a hosting service provider will be your next destination. Bluehost is one of the best hosting options and one of the most popular for WordPress-run sites, offering a variety of plan options, from personal to highly attractive commercials.
Try Bluehost Now
Be sure to do your research while you buy your hosting plan; You must choose a plan that you can trust and that you can grow, which means powerful servers with the ability to manage the audience of your website.
Other things to look for are registration and renewal costs, trusted technical support, and an easy-to-use dashboard. Bluehost meets all of these charts and we recommend it as a trusted server to grow with.
3.Choose a Platform
The platform or content management system (CMS) you choose will provide you with a framework of pages, galleries and content spaces; basically a complete website; all you have to do is add your media and personalized content.
Depending on the platform you choose, you will find thousands of customizable themes and designs with different business models in mind at your disposal. On top of that, you’ll have a long list of plugins that will provide add-on features to make sure your site really works for you, with all the useful extra features you might need.
More than 25% of websites are based on the WordPress platform, making it the most popular platform used today. With its easy-to-use interface, constant updates and extensive theme options, this is a management system that we recommend.
WordPress makes it very easy for anyone to start and run their own site fully in a functional way. It is one of the simplest platforms you can use to create a website without any previous coding experience.
Now, your hosting provider will probably offer a simple one click WordPress installation that will have your site ready for customization in 5 minutes. If not, don’t stress; Just visit the ‘Download WordPress’ tab on the WordPress.com website and you’ll also be guided through the process there.
WordPress is constantly updated and you will find updates available on your ‘dashboard’ or ‘WP editor’ on a regular basis, once yours is installed. Always make sure to allow these updates as they include security features and bug fixes that no WordPress or WP website user can do without. Updating regularly will keep you safe and the operation of your site will be competitive and fast.
At this point, you’re probably thinking this is going to cost you a fortune, but WordPress is not only the best way to create a website on your own, it’s also open source software, and that means it’s completely free to download. !
There are paid WordPress packages available that offer additional benefits, but a free basic package will meet your needs when you first start.
steps to create a web page
5.Choose a Theme
Think of a theme like the visual appearance of your website. This will determine the colors and design. Choose your theme carefully, not just choosing one that looks good, but one that has good functionality and good reviews.
Your theme can always be changed at a later stage, but you should avoid changing it frequently as this can have negative SEO and brand effects.
WordPress has many themes that you can choose from on its platform. There are also other theme providers like Studiopress, Optimizepress and Elegant Themes, which can be used depending on your needs.
Plugins are basically small applications that can be installed in your theme to provide additional functionality on your website. So remember it as a ‘companion app or function’ and you will get the idea.
A plugin will contain anything from shared social media icons to email contact forms. Many sites use plugins to organize their site exactly how they want it.
Some are bigger than others and if possible you should try to keep the number of plugins to a minimum as they don’t always work 100% in harmony and can slow down your site.
7.Upload Your Content
Now that you have followed our process to get your website up and running, it’s time to upload content to your website in the form of articles or information.
Upload your media and content, customize your colors and menus, and start creating an audience for your website.
Having trouble finding what to write about the first time?
The best way to create a content plan is to use a good keyword search tool. Google Keyword Planner used to be the free tool of choice, but since website owners have been provided with less and less information, it has become imperative to have a paid tool at your disposal.
Our keyword tool offers keyword suggestions, so you can use them to write your article and let you know how difficult it will be for you to get traffic to your article about your keyword.
Developing a website is not as complicated as it sounds. If you are interested in being the person who manages your website on a daily basis and has full control over its content, these steps to create an easy website will be useful for you to manage your own website.
The hardest part is getting the process started, but once you get started you’ll never look back and be ready to drive traffic to your website in no time.
Digital marketing is the component of marketing that utilizes internet and online based digital technologies such as desktop computers, mobile phones and other digital media and platforms to promote products and services. Its development during the 1990s and 2000s, changed the way brands and businesses use technology for marketing. As digital platforms became increasingly incorporated into marketing plans and everyday life,and as people increasingly use digital devices instead of visiting physical shops, digital marketing campaigns have become prevalent, employing combinations of search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, campaign marketing, data-driven marketing,e-commerce marketing, social media marketing, social media optimization, e-mail direct marketing, display advertising, e–books, and optical disks and games have become commonplace.
Digital marketing extends to non-Internet channels that provide digital media, such as television, mobile phones (SMS and MMS), callback, and on-hold mobile ring tones. The extension to non-Internet channels differentiates digital marketing from online marketing.
The development of digital marketing is inseparable from technology development. One of the key points in the start of was in 1971, where Ray Tomlinson sent the very first email and his technology set the platform to allow people to send and receive files through different machines. However, the more recognisable period as being the start of Digital Marketing is 1990 as this was where the Archie search engine was created as an index for FTP sites. In the 1980s, the storage capacity of computer was already big enough to store huge volumes of customer information. Companies started choosing online techniques, such as database marketing, rather than limited list broker.These kinds of databases allowed companies to track customers’ information more effectively, thus transforming the relationship between buyer and seller. However, the manual process was not as efficient.
In the 1990s, the term Digital Marketing was first coined,. With the debut of server/client architecture and the popularity of personal computers, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications became a significant factor in marketing technology. Fierce competition forced vendors toinclude more service into their software, for example, marketing, sales and service applications. Marketers were also able to own huge online customer data by eCRM software after the Internet was born. Companies could update the data of customer needs and obtain the priorities of their experience. This led to the first clickable banner ad being going live in 1994, which was the “You Will” campaign by AT&T and over the first four months of it going live, 44% of all people who saw it clicked on the ad.
In the 2000s, with increasing numbers of Internet users and the birth of iPhone, customers began searching products and making decisions about their needs online first, instead of consulting a salesperson, which created a new problem for the marketing department of a company.In addition, a survey in 2000 in the United Kingdom found that most retailers had not registered their own domain address. These problems encouraged marketers to find new ways to integrate digital technology into market development.
In 2007, marketing automation was developed as a response to the ever evolving marketing climate. Marketing automation is the process by which software is used to automate conventional marketing processes. Marketing automation helped companies segment customers, launch multichannel marketing campaigns, and provide personalized information for customers. However, the speed of its adaptability to consumer devices was not fast enough.
Digital marketing became more sophisticated in the 2000s and the 2010s, when the proliferation of devices’ capable of accessing digital media led to sudden growth.Statistics produced in 2012 and 2013 showed that digital marketing was still growing.With the development of social media in the 2000s, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, consumers became highly dependent on digital electronics in daily lives. Therefore, they expected a seamless user experience across different channels for searching product’s information. The change of customer behavior improved the diversification of marketing technology.
Digital marketing is also referred to as ‘online marketing’, ‘internet marketing’ or ‘web marketing’. The term digital marketing has grown in popularity over time. In the USA online marketing is still a popular term. In Italy, digital marketing is referred to as web marketing. Worldwide digital marketing has becom the most common term, especially after the year 2013.
Digital media growth was estimated at 4.5 trillion online ads served annually with digital media spend at 48% growth in 2010. An increasing portion of advertising stems from businesses employing Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA) to tailor advertising for internet users, but OBA raises concern of consumer privacy and data protection.
Growing a business isn’t easy. First, you need a viable idea. From there, you need to discover a profitable niche, define a target demographic and have something of value to sell them. Whether you’re peddling products, services or information, getting the word out has become increasingly burdensome. And without the right marketing strategies to fuel your growth, churning a profit and staying afloat is virtually impossible.
However, identifying the right strategies to market your business is often likened to rocket science. How do you get your message to the right audience and do it effectively? How do you boost visibility and increase sales while sustaining a profit with a converting offer? Today, with so much vying for our attention from social media, to search engine optimization, blogging and pay-per-click advertising, it’s easy to see why most are ready to pull their hair out.
The truth is that what got you to this point in business is likely not going to get you to the next level. If you’re feeling stuck, join the fray. Most entrepreneurs are so busy working “in” their businesses that they fail to work “on” their businesses. As a result of dealing with the day-to-day operations of a company that includes customer hand-holding, supply-chain demands and more, we often neglect to wield the right marketing strategies that will help fuel our business’s growth.
What does it take to do that? Simply put, you have to take a step back for a moment. You have to analyze and understand the basic mechanics of your message and how to effectively reach a larger audience without losing your shirt. The secret to all of this? No matter what marketing strategy you use, if you don’t have an effective sales funnel and optimize your conversions, you’ll just be throwing money away.
What are the best marketing strategies to use? Most businesses are faced with a conundrum. It’s a Catch-22. There’s a clear need for increased visibility to drastically improve sales. But in order to get more visibility, businesses have to spend more money. When that well runs dry, what are you supposed to do?
There is no obvious and clear answer to that question that covers all situations. But there are things that can be done today, right now, even on a shoestring budget, to reach more customers without breaking the bank. However, it all boils down to time. If you lack the money, you sure better have the time to put in the sweat equity.
Either way you slice it, as long as the fundamentals of a sound business are there and you’re working tirelessly to build an authentic relationship with the consumer by sincerely trying to add value, then there are 10 go-to strategies you can use to market any business online.
1. Use social media.
You can’t ignore social media. That’s where all the so-called magic is happening. Some businesses have been built solely on the backs of social media. It can be intimidating at first. Sure. But as you build momentum, you’ll find posting on social media to get easier and easier over time.
Of course, you could also hire a social media manager if you have money to burn. But if you don’t, just be yourself. Be authentic. Post your thoughts. Post your products. Post anything that you find relevant and useful that would help your audience either learn more about you and your business, or about the industry that you’re in.
Use direct messages on platforms like Instagram and even Snapchat or Twitter to reach out to other successful businesses or even to communicate with potential customers who might be looking for your products and services. This is very powerful marketing.
2. Create video tutorials.
One of the most effective ways to get the word out on your business is to create video tutorials. Teach people something useful. Walk them through it. Hold their hands. Step-by-step tutorials are all the rage. The better you are at this, and the more value you provide, the quicker you can boost your visibility, and ultimately, your sales.
Today, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google. Whenever someone wants to learn something visually, they head there. You’ve likely done it yourself countless times. So just ask yourself what you could teach in your business that would help consumers solve some pain point? What got you into business in the first place?
The hardest part? Hearing your own voice playing back and even seeing yourself. Now, you don’t have to appear visually on camera, but you’ll likely need to be heard. You get used to it over time. But you can’t ignore the visibility and reach of YouTube so get out there and start making authentic and useful videos today, right now.
3. Start blogging now.
Sure, you could start a blog. If you don’t have a blog for your business, then you need to start one immediately. But you don’t just have to blog on your own blog. Most people find blogging mundane because they lack the visibility. The truth is that your blog is going to be like a barren desert unless you know what you’re doing.
But this isn’t just about posting your ideas on your own blog. You should start authority blogging. Use platforms like Medium to post content. Answer questions on Quora and Reddit. Or get out there onto LinkedIn’s publishing platform. These are all authority domains that anyone can post on, which have massive audiences, giving you instant and immediate reach right now.
When you do blog, ensure that you blog effectively. Don’t post thin content. Think about adding value. Worried about revealing all your business secrets? Don’t be. Give away the farm. Give people so much value that you instantly become an authority in their eyes. This is one of the most powerful strategies you can use to market any business.
4. Understand search engine optimization.
This is an area of marketing that I’m incredibly passionate about. But it’s also an area that many people are deathly frightened by. Yes, SEO can be frightening. But it can also be powerful. And when you learn to leverage it and you learn SEO the right way, the sky truly is the limit.
There are companies out there who teach you how to use shady PBNs and other link schemes to “trick” Google. It might get short-term results, but in the long term, you’ll land in hot water. You can’t take shortcuts with SEO. Just like in business, you have to put in the work and the time if you want to see the results.
Some tips for doing this the right way? Don’t spam keywords. Hands down. This is one of the biggest mistakes most people make. Create your content for humans while also paying homage to search engines. But more importantly, ensure that whatever it is that you’re conveying is insightful, engaging, unique and adds a tremendous amount of value.
5. Leverage influencers.
Want to get the word out there and boost your visibility on social media without taking years to build the audience? Then you should certainly leverage influencers. But the key is to find the right influencer. You don’t have to go with influencers with millions of followers. You could opt for micro-influencers with tens of thousands or even a hundred thousand followers.
The trick? Find the right influencer in your niche so that you’re targeting the right audience. It’s not just about spreading your message. It’s about spreading your message to the right consumer base. If you can do that properly, then you can likely reach a sizable audience for not much money invested when you think about the potential profit it can return.
If your sales systems and products are in place, then this makes sense. If you have an offer that’s clearly converting, and it’s simply about more visibility, then this is likely the right marketing strategy for you right now. Assess the situation and reach out to influencers and gauge their pricing. Do small tests and see what works, then scale.
6. Build a great lead magnet.
So much effectiveness in marketing really does boil down to creating a great lead magnet. I’ve found that the right lead magnet presented to the right audience can have explosive results. The best way to do this is if you can identify the right pain points and present a solution in your lead magnet, then you’re well on your way.
What problem are consumers facing in your niche? What made you get into business in the first place? Ask yourself these questions before building out your lead magnet. The better you identify the problem or pain points at the outset, the better you’ll be at actually addressing that with a solution in your lead magnet.
What type of lead magnet should you build? That could either be an ebook, a cheat sheet, a checklist, a video and others. Of course, it’s not just about the lead magnet. You have to have a squeeze page with sizzling sales copy to get people to drop into your funnel. But it all starts with a great lead magnet. The better it is, the more effective you’ll be at reaching your audience.
7. Use Facebook ads with re-targeting.
One of the most powerful methods you can use to market just about anything these days are Facebook ads. With Facebook, you can reach a very specific audience and you can do it very easily. You can target by interest, age, relationships status, geographic location, and so much much more.
But the trick here to getting great results isn’t just about click-traffic. You have to focus on conversions and re-targeting through pixels. If you don’t know how to install the Facebook Pixel on your site, then you absolutely must learn how to do this right now. Even if you’re not running Facebook ads, you can build your audience with a pixel.
Pixels track everyone who comes to your site, and you can build custom audiences around them. For example, if you post content about how to learn to drive a semi-truck, and you track visitors with pixels, you can then market truck driving certification to people who have already shown an interest in that already because they visited that specific page. And your conversions will skyrocket.
8. Use LinkedIn the right way.
Do you have a video on your LinkedIn profile? Did you know that you can easily add one? Why not take the time to introduce yourself and your business. Link that to your profile description. This is an easy way to passively market your business, and when it’s done right, it can lead to shocking results.
If you have lots of connections on LinkedIn and you’re not really posting on there, start immediately. You can reach a large audience, especially when your posts go viral. This is a great place to convey the entrepreneurial journey. Talk about your challenges and tell stories. The more effective your stories, the larger your potential reach when you go viral.
You can also reach out to other businesses and collaborate with like-minded entrepreneurs on LinkedIn. It’s a great go-to resource for all things business and too many people overlook this.
9. Create an affiliate program.
Most people don’t understand the power of affiliate marketing. Affiliates can provide massive fuel for growth. But approaching the right partners isn’t always that easy. You have to have good conversion if you want the bigger affiliate to take you seriously.
I’ve found that navigating the affiliate minefield can be tricky. It takes persistence and it takes true grit to make it through. Most of us get discouraged after a few setbacks, but you can’t allow emotions to get in the way when it comes to affiliate. Build an affiliate program and start reaching out to potential affiliate who can assist you.
There are loads of websites you can use as well such as E. Brian Ross’s JVZoo, or Tim and Eileen Barber’s ClickBank and Commission Junction to get the word out.
10. Use Email Marketing Sequences
Part of any good sales funnel is going to be an email marketing sequence. These are the automated messages that go out to users once they subscribe to your list. Use your email sequence to build a relationship with the subscriber. Be authentic and transparent. And convey your journey.
Use the email responses and clicks to segment your list. For example, if someone clicks on a specific link, they’ve clearly shown an interest in something. Tag that subscriber to market to them later. If someone buys, tag them as a buyer. Identifying your buyers and the interests of your subscribers is huge for segmenting.
When you do send broadcasts, split test. Split test everything, in fact, You never really do know what’s going to be the most effective until you pull the trigger and really test it out. This will help you understand what your audience responds to better, making you a better communicator, and better able to sell to your customers.
You don’t have to run your entire business over the internet to benefit from online business opportunities. Small businesses might only need an email address to communicate with their clients, customers and suppliers electronically. Other businesses might use their website to conduct their entire business online.
The many benefits of online business include:
Global access, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Improved client service through greater flexibility
Faster delivery of products
Less paper waste
Opportunities to manage your business from anywhere in the world.
Customers may prefer to visit your website to find out about your products and services, instead of visiting you in person. They will also expect to see your website address and your email on business cards and other promotional materials.
Online business opportunities
How you manage your business online will depend on the products or services you offer. You may be able to use the internet to:
Run an online shop
Manage your suppliers
Communicate with your customers, and get their feedback on your business
Offer services online
Allow customers to make reservations or appointments online
Manage your finances, such as online banking, tax and employee pay
Keep in mind that your business, as well as the variety of online tools available, is constantly changing and evolving. While you might not plan to have a website immediately when you start operating, it’s still a good idea to think about whether you will need one at a later date and what you will use it for.
When you are planning the online aspects of your business, you should:
Research your competitors and other businesses that use online tools
Decide what aspects of online business will benefit your business
Review your budget to work out what you can afford
Familiarise yourself with any laws and regulations that will apply to your online business activities
Consider your requirements, including what software you need and what types of computer equipment you need to run it
Plan for risks, such as computer viruses, scams, data theft and loss of or damage to hardware
Think about what training you or your staff might need
Be realistic about the time and budget you will need to manage the online aspects of your business.
HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR STARTUP IDEA
Have you ever had a genius business idea struck you only to fizzle out in the end because you have no idea of how to bring your startup idea to the next level? Well, to help you get started, here is a concrete step by step guide to develop your startup idea.
1.Consider and analyse the relevant markets
Firstly, consider the market niche(s) that your startup idea is applicable to. What are the needs of the industry and its consumers? Are there any unresolved problems faced by the industry? Is your startup idea going to bring resolutions and improvements to the situation? You can refer to industry-specific authority sites to keep you constantly updated with the latest trends. For example, Techcrunch is an excellent technology blog that talks about the latest products, and shares the latest news in the tech world. It also profiles new startups and provides an overview of up and coming fledglings in the market.
An excellent source of inspiration is TED, which is famous for its widely known slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading”. It is a treasure chest of information about everything imaginable under the sky. It is incepted as a conference where experts in various niches convene to share their insights on issues that can bring about revelations and raise awareness. Presenters usually have around 18 minutes to talk about their topic and the focus of their presentation can span from the latest advancements in a field of discipline to societal issues that they wish to heighten the awareness of. After attending the talks or watching its videos, you will leave feeling more inspired than ever
2.Note down your ideas and expand them
At this stage, you might have identified needs or areas that can be improved upon. Note them down with a tool such as Evernote. Evernote allows you to save clippings of web pages, images and even attached documents and powerpoint slides. You can create several notes and sort them out according to topics and genre. Evernote can be accessed via various platforms such as windows, ios and android. A simple click of the sync button will ensure that your notes are synchronized across all platforms.
3.Carry out competitive analysis
Competitive analysis is a great way of comparing and predicting how your business will stand up against your competitors in the industry. Is your business able to fill in a void that’s left untouched by others?
Here’s how to go about executing your competitive analysis:
4.Model your business
If the idea of creating a business plan seems too tedious and clunky, you will delight in using Leancanvas and Canvanizer. They are templates that emulate a one page business model. It is easy to add and update the model. You also get to enjoy a clear overview of the following nine building blocks of your business model: customer segments, value propositions, channels(to reach out to clients), customer relationship, revenue streams, key resources, activities that create value, key partners, and cost structure.
5.Create/design/sketch your mockup and then test it
The time has long past the stage where you have draw sketches on a whiteboard and scribble all over the place. Online tools such as Balsamiq and Framebox allows you to create wireframes and export it in different formats such as jpg or pdf. There are several buttons or components of a web application for you to choose so you can put together your sketch easily. Want to get feedback on your mockup sans unnecessary distractions and confusion? InfluenceApp is the way to go. You can upload your design in various formats and assimilate the rest of the documents to form a complete presentation. You can then share the final mockup with your teammates simply by sharing a URL, and they can provide feedback simply by pinning comments on the specific elements of the design. It’s that easy!
6.Execute a market survey
No business ought to be launched without the execution of a market survey. Websites such as Survey Monkey allows you to create an online questionnaire and send the URL to your targeted audience. This transcends geographic boundaries which is one major advantage compared to on-field survey as you can gain a broader, global perspective.
Another alternative is to conduct a focus group session before or after the completion of your Minimum Viable Product. This is where you invite people from your targeted demographics to participate in a group discussion on the products or services. A focus group can help you achieve the following:
· Finding out consumer’s first impression of the product or services based on packaging and marketing campaign
· Gathering customer’s real time feedback on the virtues and vices of the products/services
· Tweaking your marketing strategies and improving your product before the final deliverable
7.Develop your final product
The next step would be to implement the tweaks and necessary adjustments to create the final product. During this stage, there are several project management softwares to help you keep tab of the progress. Trello and Agile Zen are some good recommendations. The template is divided into different stages (or boards) where individuals can be assigned to be in charge of different sections. Tasks can be moved from one stage to another, e.g. from backlog to working to approved. This gives a very clear picture of the progress of each project segment and what needs to be done.
8.Gathering customer feedback and measuring your business results
There are lots of uncertainties about a business but what if you can get answers to the burning questions you have if things aren’t going as expected? Kissinsights help you to reach out to your audience. You can install it on your website and visitors will be prompted with two questions when directed to your home page. You have the flexibility to control who is exposed to the survey. Another tool that you should not miss out is Kissmetrics. It tracks the surfing and purchasing behaviour of your visitors and provides you with valuable information such as where they came from. This handy information helps you to further refine your marketing strategies and improve your site navigation.
The last two steps will be revisited again and again as your business continuously develops and adapts to the market.