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Marketing in a Digital Age

Since the invention of the printing press back in the 15th century, people have been marketing their products to drive up their profits especially amidst competing businesses. The Industrial Revolution led to an explosion of more goods to be sold and more mediums to market them through.

Today, the idea of promoting one’s business and its products has evolved into a dizzying number of different branches to reach more people through more outlets.

Marketing in a Digital Age

Let’s take a look at the branches of marketing that are absolutely necessary for any business to comprehend and potentially incorporate into their marketing strategies in this high-speed age of information.

1. Brand Marketing
Brand marketing concerns itself with building a specific public image to promote a product and/or service. This image is built on the desires of a business’ target audience, making it something these potential customers can relate to, and then engaging with them on avenues they are most likely to welcome the promotion.

2. B2B Marketing
When it comes to marketing from one business to another, the demands are more complex than simply appealing to these potential clients’ interests (unlike that of B2C marketing). Businesses have bigger needs to address that require plenty of educating from the marketers to guarantee that their solution is the best option for the prospects.

There are also different buyer roles from the prospects that need to be taken into account when creating the message, so that it suits their varying perspectives. Other important considerations are the interactions with clients’ sales teams and the inherent length of buying cycles that affect how a B2B company analyzes the effectiveness of its marketing campaigns.

3. Referral Marketing
Referral marketing sets its eyes on creating a marketing team out of a business’ loyal customer base, using their devotion to its products and/or services as an endorsement for the business itself. The process focuses on nurturing the relationship with customers to make them trust the business enough to publicly vouch for the quality of its offerings.

Referral marketing is effective, because it leverages the trust people have with their family and friends. They will more likely believe in whatever they’re loved ones are saying about the value of a certain product instead of what a company is touting.

4. Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing is reaching out to an audience through the entire spectrum of mobile devices, ranging from basic cellphones to smartphones to tablets. The methods employed for this type of marketing used to fall mainly into the push type of technique with “cold call” text messages. With the advent of mobile Internet connections, cold call emails and multimedia messages are also added.

Now that most mobile devices enjoy mostly the same online experience of desktop computers, similar online marketing methods in that platform have also begun to be used in mobile marketing.

5. Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is essentially the catch-all term that encompasses all types of marketing done through the use of the Internet. It covers everything from “push” marketing techniques (e.g. email and instant messaging) to “pull” marketing techniques (e.g. pay-per-click advertisements and content marketing).

As the Internet continues to become an integral part of people’s lives, digital marketing is quickly turning into a crucial avenue for every business looking to thrive today and tomorrow.

Methods of Digital Marketing

Considering how big digital marketing is as an umbrella term, it is worth discussing the many methods that fall underneath that major category, in order to get a clearer picture of what businesses can do to reach out to their audience using this technology.

1. Search Engine Marketing
SEM focuses on promoting a website and its products and/or services through search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing to gain traffic. The methods of gaining traffic can be divided in two: 1) through “organic” and free traffic via search engine optimization (SEO); and 2) through paid advertisements.

SEO deals with optimizing both the internal and external aspects of a website to increase its ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs), while buying ads simply makes the website’s link more visible on the SERPs.

2. Keyword Marketing
Directly underneath SEM is keyword marketing, as it is closely tied with gaining traffic through search engines. Keyword marketing basically concentrates on using keywords that are highly relevant to the business on its website to improve its ranking on SERPs.

Keywords are the words people type into search engines to find what they’re looking for. By developing a good keyword marketing strategy, a business will be able to promote its products and/or services effectively through providing exactly what its target audience is searching.

3. Inbound Marketing
As opposed to more traditional “outbound” marketing, such as advertisements and sending emails to get people’s attention, inbound marketing relies on creating and sharing valuable content to lure a target audience into becoming loyal customers.

It is a general strategy that involves understanding the prospects, and giving them what they want through personalized content delivered by way of various channels, such as blogs and social media. The process is then taken a step further by nurturing these customers through a consistent and constantly evolving marketing cycle.

4. Social Media Marketing
This particular type of marketing is all about harnessing the power of social media to promote a product and/or service. Social media includes everything from comprehensive platforms (e.g. Facebook and Google+) to dedicated channels (e.g. Twitter and Instagram). For a more detailed discussion about social media marketing you can click here and watch Salehoo’s video on 4 Ways to Advertise Your Strore.

There are billions of people who use social media, and its main goal of connecting people who share interests nigh-instantaneously make it an invaluable tool in any online marketing campaign.

5. Content Marketing
Content marketing shares much of the same defining principles of inbound marketing. It revolves around the tried and true philosophy that the best way to attract high quality leads and turn them into a devoted customer base is to create compelling content that caters to their interests.

The difference lies in how inbound marketing is more of the overall approach, as it takes into account what needs to be done after generating leads.

Great content can be in the form of articles, infographics, podcasts, or videos.

6. Article Marketing
As the name suggests, article marketing is about writing articles to be posted on different websites in order to drive traffic towards the page of the product and/or service being promoted.

However, article marketing is usually associated with the unethical method of simply spinning already published ideas, then sending them to a lot of low quality article directories to gain lots of links.

Guest blogging on respected websites, however, is a fair way of doing article marketing, as it means creating quality content and gaining quality links.

7. Video Marketing
As another subcategory of content marketing, video marketing uses videos hand-in-hand with other relevant marketing materials to promote a business and/or its offerings. These videos can range from slick productions, such as full-fledged commercials and fluidly animated kinetic typographies to simple shoots like sit-down interviews and customer testimonials.

8. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a type of referral marketing, promoting a business’ products and/or services via the efforts of a third party or an “affiliate”. Affiliates can do their promotion through whatever means they can, and the distinguishing characteristic of this kind of referral marketing is that the affiliates make money off of the commission from every sale they generate.

The key advantage is that businesses that make use of this method get their marketing done by people who are driven to do it. They also get promotion from all sorts of different avenues, thereby widening their reach.

As much marketing approaches as we’ve tackled here in this article, this is by no means a comprehensive list. If you believe there are other marketing techniques relevant to the modern business paradigm worth mentioning, please do so in the comments.

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