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Digital marketing is the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium. It can also be the promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media.

Online marketing also called digital marketing, eMarketing or internet marketing, refers to advertising and marketing efforts that use the web technology to drive sales as well as sales leads from websites, emails or phones. Online marketing can be broken down into more specialized areas such as web marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, web analytics, online advertising etc.:

Web marketing includes e-commerce websites, informative websites, online advertising, blogging and search engine optimization (SEO).

Email marketing involves both advertising and promotional marketing efforts via e-mail messages to current and prospective customers. Email marketing yields better result when used to market current customers and targeted prospects rather than blind prospect.

Social media marketing involves both advertising and marketing efforts via social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter etc.

Search Engine Marketing is about making a website more visibility in search engine organic results. Search engines produce sponsored results and non-sponsored (organic) results based on what is been queried in the search engine.

Basic Online Marketing Strategies

Want to start marketing online but wondering how to go about it, the strategies listed below will make it easy for anybody to start off on a right foot.

Strategy 1 – Have an Online Presence

The first step to successful online marketing is to have a base on the web. This could come in the form of a website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter handle, LinkedIn company etc. Any of those will give you a web address through which people can find you on the World Wide Web. Make sure the web presence is optimized for major search engine.

Strategy 2 – Online Advertising

After an online presence, the next line of action is to make current and prospective customer know about this. This can be easily done by advertising the webpage especially online. Small businesses get bothered with this strategy, because it makes them open up their wallet. And majority of them have limited resources to deploy toward online marketing. There is nothing wrong with free online marketing, as long as you realize they are not. ‘FREE’ online marketing take a considerable time investment, meaning they are only free if your time is worth nothing.

Strategy 3 – Directory Listings

Adding your business to appropriate directory listings (local directory listings, business directories, etc.) is another way of marketing online that takes little time and is relatively inexpensive. Whatever business groups you belong to, such as your Chamber of Commerce, probably have websites where they allow members to list their businesses online and perhaps seven place ads at discounted rates. Vconnect offers online directory listing service at both free and premium listing.

Strategy 4 – Get Social Online

Joining conversation on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Nairaland, Google+ etc by posting, commenting, liking and tweeting are all opportunities for online marketing. Online marketing through social media requires a much more subtle technique than marketing online through advertising or directory listings. The trick is to participate intelligently and actually attempt to converse rather than just advertising your products or services.

The downside of social media is that it is time-consuming. If you want to do it well and see any real benefit from it, you have to work at it. The beautiful part is that it can really generate a lot of buzz about your products/services if something that you have done online (a post, a video, oran article) becomes viral.

Strategy 5 – Online Networking

LinkedIn deserves special mention in any discussion of online networking. Its stated purpose is to help the world’s professionals connect with one another to accelerate their success. As of this writing, LinkedIn has over 2 million members in Nigeria. It is a powerful tool for online marketing, giving you the opportunity to connect with potential customers in a particular industry, professional level, income range etc.

Like social media, online networking requires taking a subtle approach to marketing. The same basic rule that applies to face-to-face networking applies to online networking too. Give, give, give and don’t worry about receiving; you will, likely in bigger, more powerful ways than you ever imagined.

Strategy 6 Email/Bulk SMS Marketing

Email and or Bulk SMS marketing is one of the best and most powerful ways of marketing. Once you have developed an email list, (developed, not bought), you are, in effect, preaching to the converted, sending your marketing message directly to people who have already indicated some interest in your products or services.

Email/SMS is an excellent tool for building relationship with your customers and letting you get repeat business from them.

Data analytics need to be performing to determine the effectiveness of email and SMS marketing to know what is working, what to tweak or what to stop.

DIGITAL MARKETING

There are a number of ways brands can use digital marketing to benefit their marketing efforts. The use of digital marketing in the COMPUTER era not only allows for brands to market their products and services, but also allows for online customer support through 24/7 services to make customers feel supported and valued. 

By using Internet platforms, businesses can create competitive advantage through various means. To reach the maximum potential of digital marketing, firms use social media as its main tool to create a channel of information. Through this a business can create a system in which they are able to pinpoint behavioral patterns of clients and feedback on their needs.

Brand awareness has been proven to work with more effectiveness in countries that are high in uncertainty avoidance, also these countries that have uncertainty avoidance; social media marketing works effectively

When companies set out to use digital marketing, the main goal is to increase sales and make more money.

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Ikuejawa Abiola Oladeji

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