Nowadays we spend twice as much time online as twelve years ago and a lot has changed with that. Having unlimited access to information has dramatically changed the way we make purchases — both in B2C and B2B. That is why traditional marketing methods are less effective than they were a few years ago. Marketing is about connecting with the target audience, in the right place and at the right time. Today, that means meeting your target audience where they spend most of their time: on the internet. That’s where Digital Marketing comes in. Digital Marketing is an umbrella term for all your online marketing efforts. Or in other words: any form of marketing that is online.
But what exactly is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the promotion of your company by using online channels and concepts, such as the website, search engine optimization, digital advertising (paid), social media, blogs, etc. to achieve the objectives. From the website to online branding, there is a whole spectrum of tactics and resources that fall under the Digital Marketing umbrella. The most successful digital marketers have a clear picture of how each tool and tactic contributes to achieving the objectives. I have listed the most common Digital Marketing resources and tactics for you:
What is the difference between Digital Marketing and Inbound Marketing?
We often talk about Inbound Marketing and at first glance Inbound Marketing and Digital Marketing seem similar. Both are focused on online and content creation. And while many marketers will say that Inbound Marketing and Digital Marketing are pretty much the same thing, there are some differences. The term Digital Marketing does not differentiate between ‘push’ and ‘pull’ marketing tactics (or ‘inbound’ and ‘outbound’ methods). Both approaches fall under the Digital Marketing umbrella. Outbound methods aim to share a marketing message with as many people as possible — regardless of whether it is relevant, whether the target audience is waiting for it or not. On the other hand, marketers using inbound tactics leverage online content to attract the most important audience by only sharing content that is of value to them. One of the most powerful Inbound resources is a blog, which allows you to create content that adds value and answers questions from your ideal customer. Ultimately, Inbound Marketing is a method that uses Digital Marketing resources to attract potential customers, convert them into leads, and ultimately close the deal. Digital Marketing is simply an umbrella term to describe online marketing efforts — of any kind — whether inbound or outbound.
Does Digital Marketing also work for B2B companies?
Digital Marketing can work for any business in any industry. Regardless of what your company sells, Digital Marketing is still about defining the target audience, identifying the target audience’s wants and needs, and creating valuable content. However, that does not mean that B2B companies should do it the same way as B2C companies. In contrast to B2C companies, the Digital Marketing activities of B2B companies are generally focused on online lead generation with the aim of eventually speaking to someone from Sales. That is why your marketing strategy should be aimed at attracting and converting qualified leads via the website and other digital channels such as social media and e-mail. So that you can eventually transfer them to Sales.
What is the main benefit of Digital Marketing?
Unlike most offline marketing efforts, Digital Marketing allows you to see results in real time. If you’ve ever placed an ad in a newspaper, you know how difficult it is to estimate how many people actually saw the ad. You don’t know how many sales that ad has been responsible for — if any. With Digital Marketing, you can measure the ROI of virtually any of your marketing efforts, including:
- The number of website visitors per month
- The number of (qualified) leads per month
- The number of conversions per blog or landing page
However, there is one condition: you must have the right tool(s) to make your efforts measurable. Why? All separate channels, which you manage independently of each other, ultimately provide no insight into how much traffic, leads and customers Digital Marketing will ultimately yield to you. While you do need these results to demonstrate the added value of your efforts. Fortunately, there are tools available that can give you insight into this. Another term for this is Marketing Automation. Because Digital Marketing makes it easier to make all efforts measurable, you can also make adjustments much more easily. For example, only 10% of the total number of website visits come through organic traffic, then you know that it is a point of improvement that you can focus on.
Digital Marketing also works in niche markets
It seems clear to me that Digital Marketing is indispensable to be there wherever your customers and prospects are, namely the internet. And that does not only apply to B2B companies that operate in a large playing field, but also to B2B companies that focus on niche markets, such as companies in the manufacturing industry.
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