You want your business to grow, you want more customers, more sales. But how do you do that? When your budgets are tight, and your time is limited. There are some of your big competitors who have plenty of cash to burn on advertising and sales promotional activities. They have plenty of resources to make noise. They can lend expensive TV ads or buy full-page ads in national newspapers and magazines. So how can you a small business owner compete? The answer lies in Digital marketing campaigns.
Marketing has always been about connecting with your audiences & delivering business intended messages at the right place at the right time. For more than 5 decades, consumers’ media consumption & communication channels were highly dependent on offline media such as Newspapers, magazines, Television, Radio, Billboards, paper leaflets ads, and many more. Today, the majority of media consumption is driven by online channels through mobile and computers. That means you need to meet them where they spend the time, I.e., internet. Any marketer needs to be there where your consumers are.
India as a country ranks 3rd in digital media consumption. Adult persons are spending an average of 1 hour 30 minutes on digital platforms versus 3 hours 30 minutes on traditional platforms, Digital is growing at a faster rate as compared to traditional media.
In simpler words, any form of marketing activity that is happening online through digital channels is digital marketing. Now there are different channels of digital marketing to reach your target audience. Every channel has its characteristics, own formats, and own set of rules. Some channels are used for engaging your target audience such as social media, some channels are useful for getting people to know & reach about your business such as business websites and some channels are used to broadcast information such as e-mailers.
Common Digital Marketing Channels are:
- Search Engine Optimization (Organic Traffic)
- Search Engine Marketing (Paid Traffic)
- Social Media Optimization (Organic Reach)
- Social Media Marketing (Paid Reach)
- Email Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Content Marketing
Digital marketing is any other type of marketing wherein you communicate with your potential customers and try to influence them for a possible gain to a person or brand. In the digital world, you connect with online people.
Many small and medium-sized businesses have demonstrated the achievement of business goals with the help of digital tools. Digital has been complimenting business objectives and has been considered as critical success strategy especially for B2C setups.
Reaching customers through digital channels offer several advantages from those of traditional channels. Through digital channels, we can set our target audience as precisely as we want. For example, Sumit travels, a travel agency can target newly married couples or those who are engaged in recently for their honeymoon packages. An online retailer offering products and services to senior citizens can target people with a specific age group, gender, and other demographics. A local restaurant can target its nearby area for its food delivery services. A high street spa & saloon can offer exclusive packages through targeted campaigns to those who are their existing customers and visited at least once.
The second big advantage of digital marketing is measurement. Through real-time data dashboards, it is possible to track every penny spent on campaigns. It is possible to drill down major data points of campaigns to a level you never imagined. it is possible to analyze the effectiveness of campaigns you have been running, even for a shorter period.
Why do we need to integrate digital campaigns?
To understand the integration of digital marketing campaigns, let’s take the example of Sumit, he owns Sumit’s tours, an independent travel agency. He creates one of its kind travel packages for his customers. These packages are very unique and serve the exact needs of individuals. He is not competing directly with big holiday companies.
In the past, he struggled to get his voice heard. He used Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn when he had time, and now & then he took out adverts in local newspapers and magazines. But the problem was his marketing activities were irregular and the message was inconsistent. His brand did not build up any momentum.
What was the problem?
- Inconsistent Marketing Campaigns
- Compartmentalizing Channels
- Spray and Pray tactics
- Myopic marketing plans
- Opportunity Loss due to inefficiency
Integrated digital marketing is a way of combining all other parts of digital marketing channels into one framework. One of the problems that we see in the entire industry is everybody has a different approach to each channel. Each channel work in their silos which is usually inefficient. A lot of people might post blogs and do SEO, but they do not share it on social media, they might post on social media, but the reach is very poor resulting in low social visibility.
Sumit thought about integrating each of his digital tools for better efficiency.
He adopted a structured framework of integrating all his digital marketing campaigns, for a fixed monthly budget with a set marketing objective. Sumit’s tours website now publishes a weekly blog post that has unique content like holiday destination ideas with an infant, backpack trip with friends, quick weekend getaways in nearby metro cities, etc.
The packages are then posted and sponsored through his social media channels while generating email leads. He keeps on sending his blog posts summary through monthly newsletter emails. The newsletter emails also include content from his YouTube channel such as customer testimonials on a holiday, hotel reviews, quick tips for a destination, and so on.
Customers are also encouraged to upload videos from their holidays which are featured on his YouTube channel. In a peak holiday booking period, the company runs online advertisements campaigns on google and Facebook, whereas in quieter months he offers special discounts and exclusive deals. Once a year he also publishes a detailed report which gives him free media coverage in other portals.
Now a potential customer experiences a consistent message across a multitude of marketing channels and because each digital channel no longer works in isolation, they serve the purpose to amplify each other. Each channel leverages the potential of other channels to gain maximum possible momentum.
Sumit’s voice is now being heard. Now customers are beginning to resonate with other people, they have become fans on Facebook, followers on twitter, subscribers on YouTube, comments on forums, and blog posts. They are no longer just customers; they are their brand advocates. They try to be echoing Sumit’s message to a wider audience. As a result, Sumit gets more customers and makes more sales.
So, if you want your business to grow, try to integrate digital marketing campaigns. You will be amazed to see the effectiveness of each channel ultimately growing your brand.
Be Like Sumit!
Mom & Pop Shop sells utility items in his neighborhood. To give a value-added service to his customers, he had set up a WhatsApp Business account which has a catalog of critical or fast-moving items with pricing. He has also set up Payment modes in the catalog. Now, customers can simply send a message with their requirements and followed by payment receipt.
While acknowledging the order, the shopkeeper sends a confirmation on available delivery slots. He delivers goods at the doorstep also requesting a positive review in his online listing. The shopkeeper also broadcasts and post stories of regular discounts on slow-moving items to his regular customers frequently.
Similarly there are many examples where in small businesses can use digital tools for their marketing, integrate them and grow their business.