An introduction to Digital Marketing in Zimbabwe
Are you still skeptical of Digital Marketing? Well, here are some stats;
Of the World’s total 7 Billion people, 3.5 are now connected online.
Of those 3.5 Billion people who are connected, over 2 Billion use Social Media.
From these statistics, you can see that at least 50% of the world’s total population now uses the internet at least once a day and that number is not going to decrease any sooner.
If your business doesn’t have a Digital Marketing Strategy by now, then you need to start reevaluating your priorities because it is the future. And businesses that utilize this vast platform surely have an assured future.
In this article, I’m going to address two issues with regards to Digital Marketing; The introduction and some of the most popular methods of Digital Marketing.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital Marketing is what it is, Digital Marketing. Okay, seriously. Digital Marketing is a method of marketing that makes use of online platforms and channels like Social Media, Google’s Display and Search Network, and Applications to increase brand visibility and improve business sales.
In simpler terms, Digital Marketing is any kind of Marketing that is done via Online platforms.
Apart from being done via online platforms, Digital Marketing makes use of various digital presentation tools to present information in ways that grab people’s attention.In the 21st century, attention is gold because there are so many distractions and things that are demanding people's attention. Click To Tweet
So, by utilizing tools like infographics, images, written text, videos and audio, Digital Marketers leverage on the power of these tools to increase the visibility of the brands they represent.
Methods of Digital Marketing.
1. Search Engine Optimization(SEO)
Search Engine Optimization or SEO, is a technique that is used in Digital Marketing primarily with the purpose of enabling your website to rank higher in search.
To explain briefly, when a person encounters a problem, their first pot of call is searching on google. If your website has an answer to their query and optimized for search, it will appear higher on the results page, SERP.
SERP is an acronym for Search Engine Results Page, and SEO will help with making sure that your site appears on the first page of SERP when people search for solutions online.
2. Social Media Marketing. (SMM)
In 2017, the 7 most popular Social Media channels and user populations are;
1. Facebook with 1.8 Billion users.
2. Whatsapp with 1 billion users
3. QQ with 877 million users
4. WeChat with 846 million users
5. QZone with 632 million users
6. Tumblr with 550 million users
7. Twitter with 317 million users
I put this data to give you an insight of how valuable Social Media is before I give you the definition of Social Media Marketing.
Now, to the definition. Social Media Marketing is leveraging on the large user numbers of Social Media users to increase both brand visibility and revenue.
Under Social Media Marketing also, there is what is called influencer marketing. Influencer Marketing is now popular and being driven by the rapid growth of Instagram and SnapChat.
To define Influencer Marketing, I’ll start by defining what influencers are. Influencers are Social Media users who have managed to gather huge audiences of loyal followers. And due to their large audiences, influencers have the ability to change public perspective on an opinion, product or service.And due to their large audiences, influencers have the ability to shift public perspective on an opinion, product or service. Click To Tweet
Influencers are super heroes and Influencer Marketing makes use of these heroic powers of influencers to market products or services. Yes, with an influencer, a 140 character tweet can mean the difference between a profit and a loss for your brand.
3. Content Marketing
Now, Content Marketing can be tricky to define. Why? Because all of the web consists of content but not all of it is marketing. But, nevertheless, even if all of the web consists of content, web content is written or produced for various purposes including, educational, entertainment, informational and marketing.
The process of content marketing is in some circles called copy-writing. basically content marketing focuses on producing web content for the purpose of increasing brand visibility and driving sales.
The channel most marketers use for content marketing are Websites and they do this through blogging. And by blogging, there are best practices that have to be used to make your content marketing efforts more fruitful.
4. Inbound Marketing
Oh, I just love inbound Marketing. First off, Inbound Marketing is one of the most forms of online marketing. It makes use of the sales funnel that consists of three stages, Awareness, Consideration and Decision to drive revenue growth and sales.
To briefly define the three stages, I’ll make use of James, a customer.
James wakes up and his feet are sore, he’s not sure what the problem is. So he goes on google to try and find what his problem is. After searching for a solution, he finally finds out that his shoes are now small. He knows his problem, so he now goes to stage two of the sales funnel.
On stage two, James searches again, this time he’s looking for cheap shoes via google, come on! Boy’s on a budget. He finds out a shop, that has nice formal shoes going for $6.5 which takes him to the final stage of the funnel.
So James has found several sites which cheap shoes. He now looks at and compars the reviews of those sites to figure out which one is credible and delivers quality. He finds oni.com and he buys his shoes, job well done.
Now with inbound marketing, a brand tries to capture a potential customer while they are in one of the three phases any of them. They do this firstly by thinking like the customer and trying to figure out problems a customer might face and provide answers to these problems.
If not so, they will target a customer who already knows the solution but wants to learn more. And finally they target that customer who’s ready to buy the solution.
5. Pay Per Click(PPC)
Pay per click or PPC is one of the most measurable and cost effective method of paid advertising. Both online and offline.
With PPC as the name says, you only pay when someone clicks. Depending on how you target your Ads, this is a win-win for both parties.
Most people know PPC as only being a part of google’s advertising network, AdWords but PPC is pretty much everywhere. Facebook’s ad system utilizes PPC, same with Twitter and Linkedin.
So, a PPC ad basically redirects traffic from social media or search results back to a landing page on your website, which is the backbone of all your online marketing efforts.
Apart from pay per click, there is also a method of online advertising that focuses on Pay Per viewable 1000 impressions. Here again, as the name suggests, you’ll pay for every 1000 people that view your Ad.
6. Email Marketing
Email Marketing is the most engaging method of online Marketing. The open rate for emails is above 30% and this can be classified as very high because the engagement rates of other online marketing methods average at 2%.Email Marketing is the most engaging method of online Marketing. Click To Tweet
Emails are mostly used as channels of communication between brands and their clients. And brands can use these channels for promoting their products, discounts, promotions and events.
Now that you know what Digital Marketing is and some of the methods of Digital Marketing, we’ll be discussing the methods of Digital Marketing in our next post.