The Situation – Demand and Relevance of Digital Marketing
If you are reading this then you are a Digital Native, a generation of digital innovators and consumers.
This Digital transformation influenced the way business is perceived and operated. At first, every business was only trying to build a presence online (in the heart of the digital space) because it’s cool and it increases corporate credibility, then came the need to leverage on this technology for marketing, expanding market reach, and increasing sales. Hence, the need and demand for ‘Digital Marketing’.
From the woman selling tomatoes from her farm, to the restaurant buying the tomatoes to prepare soups, to the hungry banker who can’t wait to have his break so he can visit the restaurant and have a plate of Pounded Yam and Egusi for launch, the use of social media platforms, emails, and search engines literally puts life’s important decisions in their palms and on their screens.
The Tomato-seller has a website where she markets her farm produce to buyers, the restaurant has social media profiles where it uploads eye-catching images of foods available, and the banker searched for ’restaurants near me’ and conveniently placed an order for Pounded yam and egusi on his mobile phone. This is a relative scenario that happens almost every 30 seconds somewhere in Africa (My Statistics).
Most Consumers spend their time online and businesses need to be present where customers attention is, this made Digital Marketing the most important activity for many brands today, and Digital Markers the most sought after professionals.
The Challenges – The shortcomings in the field of Digital Marketing and how it is affecting Businesses
Digital Marketing is still finding its base in many parts of the world, especially Africa where most brands are just waking up to the use of digital platforms for business purposes.
The tendency for most business to fully grasp the full potential of digital marketing is still in view.
Schools and Institutions started incorporating Digital Marketing into their curriculum less than a decade ago.
The acknowledgment of digital marketing as a degree and career is still very recent.
Digital Marketing is diverse and has many subsectors, including email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, PPC, and Search Engine Optimization. It takes time and practical experience to be an expert in all the sectors of Digital Marketing, so most Digital Marketers focus on one aspect alone, BUT brands need a Digital Marketer that can deliver on all aspects.
The question this article answer is how do you become that Digital Marketing Specialist that can maximize the potential of all aspects of Digital Marketing to create more sales and conversions for Brands.
The Solution – How to become a digital marketer that can solve business challenges and bring the changes that every brand wants.
In my book Digital Band Marketing, I explained this core aspect of Digital Marketing in details;
- Content Marketing – A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services. – Wikipedia
- email Marketing – The act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. – Wikipedia
- Social Media Marketing – A form of marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve your marketing and branding goals. – WordStream
- PPC (search and Display) – PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically. Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC. – WordStream
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – This is the Digital Marketing strategies implemented to increase audience engagements and optimize a brand’s visibility on search engines.
If you are new to Digital Marketing, and you want to develop your full potential then you must understand that It takes time to learn it all but the good news is that some of this aspects are interrelated so all you need to do (Which I’ve done for you already in this article) is to find the connection, understand the relationships, and create a learning pathway for yourself.
The Pathway – How to be a competent and certified Digital Marketing specialist
Step 1: Start With Social Media, you will need it all along the way.
Social media is where instant communication and gratification takes place now, it is where your potential clients meet with their friends and family, it is where they share and comment on what matters to them. So, no matter the level of a business or its nature, using social media to engage with customers is a prerequisite for digital marketing success.
Social media management and marketing is not a joke, it takes a considerable amount of focus and dedication to keep up with the demands, you have to learn how to be engaging, consistent, and always have something to share.
Another challenge is that there are more than 60+ relevant social media platforms out there, picking your field can be tough, and selecting the right platform that suits a particular business must be well discerned. So, how do you know which social media platform to learn about and which ones are good for a particular type of business?
I will save you the stress and recommend 5 top social media platforms and their purpose to (help you determine the nature of business they are good for), and platforms where you can learn more about them and get certified.
1. Linked in
Purpose: For professional networking and B2B (Business to Business) marketing.
Purpose: For general Business and Personal connection.
Purpose: For quality instant and concise communication.
Purpose: For visual attraction, awareness creation, and engagement with corporate and personal brands
Purpose: For Video Sharing, Inspiring, educating and entertaining audience.
Step 2: Learn SEO Tricks and Hacks
SEO is of high relevance to Digital Marketing. It is the most cost-effective way to connect with people (pòtential customers) who are looking for you. What SEO does is basically to use the keywords in your contents as a link to connect your brand to people who are searching with the keywords.
More than 60% of consumers use the Search Engine to research products and services, and compare options on what to buy before actually buying them. Hence, Brand’s visibility on search engine result page determines if it’s potential audience can find and engage with it online or not. Learning to implement standard SEO tricks and hacks to boost the presence and visibility of a brand on the search engine is an infallible skill for smart Digital Marketing Specialists.
SEO is like the magic wand that can fulfill all interests, from awareness and engagement to conversion and sales, every brand wants the benefits of SEO, and every smart Digital Marketing Specialist must be able to make search engines work for them.
Step 3: Start Content Marketing
Content is what the internet is made up of, it is what we strategically put together to attract customers and engage with them. Without content there will be no marketing at all, there wouldn’t even be communication. Content is what we see, read, hear, and touch. Content is all around us. Digital marketers need to start thinking of contents in this light, and that is why the saying “content is King” will ever be true.
But one fact that may not stay true is how the king rules for every brand, how brands utilize contents to meet its business interests. This depends on the knowledge and capacity of the Digital Marketer, his/her aptitude in consistently creating and sharing materials (videos, blogs, whitepapers, articles) with potential to build and nature leads into paying customers.
Step 4: Complement Your efforts with email Marketing
You know how to make search engines work for you with your SEO Tricks and Hacks, you know how to engage with your audience and make the most of social media, you can also use content marketing to build a strong bonding with your audience. Now is the time to learn how to use email to nurture your audience and build loyalty, such that they become your brand ambassadors.
With the rise in remote working, email usage is on the rise and many companies rely on email as their sole means of corporate communications, both internally within the organization and for external communications. Email is a platform that encourages personal rapport and promotes profitable communication between brands and their customers.
The email has grown to be so important as a part of Digital Marketing such that brands are willing to offer their customers free valuable service or product in exchange for the customer’s email contact. It is an integral part of Digital marketing that requires constant and immediate attention such that the need to automate responses to customers query, onboarding message series, orientation workflow and user-triggered responses became necessary, now a lot of brands automate their email processes and engagement, this includes welcome message when customers subscribes, reminders when user abandon cart, notifications on newly published articles, and many more activities you’re already experiencing with your email (but may not be paying attention to).
You can also get certified by Active Campaign, one of the leading email Marketing Platforms. Click here to signup and take the free email Marketing and Automation Course by Active Campaign.
Step 5: Boost your tractions with Search Engine Marketing and PPC Ads
You want to be able to give your clients measurable values for their investment. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is one of those aspects of Digital Marketing that requires a careful approach. Unlike other aspects, it requires financial inputs and strategic cost control measures, setting bids and negotiating with advertising partners like Google and Hubspot.
Search Engine Marketing involves paying the search engine to display your content when people search for relative keywords to what you offer. Search Engine marketing Works Just like many other PPC advertising platform most times, the payment is made per click on your content.
A lot of brands are spending huge money on this aspect and don’t get the desired results. This is because most digital marketers are not using the GAME Formula discussed below.
Click Here to take a Search Engine Marketing course by Isaac Rudansky
Bonus Step: Stay Tuned to my website
The Acts – How to remain relevant as a Digital Marketing Specialist
Do you want to be a specialist that is up to date in digital marketing? Follow this 5 Acts
1. Attend Networking events, conferences and Seminars
Recommendation: Use Eventbrite
2. Connect with Digital Marketing Experts around the world
Recommendation: Download Brand24’s report on the Top 100 Digital Marketers
3. Join Digital Marketing Communities and Groups
Recommendation: Join the Largest Digital Marketing Community
4. Use Google Alert to keep Yourself updated
5. Practice Continuous Learning
The Winning GAME Formula – How to be a Digital Marketing specialist that delivers measurable results
The GAME formula helps you focus on what really matters in Digital Marketing. Digital marketing is not about the tech, it is about the psychology behind its application. A lot of Newbie Digital Marketers focus on the tech aspect of the marketing, I always try to make them understand that tech is just the tool, the real marketing is the psychology behind your Digital Marketing strategies.
GAME is an acronym
A- Avatar (or Ideal Customers)
M- Marketing Funnel
Identify your goals. What is the brand trying to achieve, what are your targets, how do you measure success, what is your timeline like, What do you hope to achieve with the specified budget? Getting a clear understanding of what the goals of your digital marketing projects help you develop a better and effective digital marketing strategy.
Avatars are representations of who your ideal customers are. Business is about people, and you must understand the people who are your customers so that you can connect with them where they are, how they prefer, and when they want. You need to understand what makes your customers want to buy from you and the factors that influence why they consider what you offer.
Leading Digital marketing specialists build customer avatars and understand that a perfect understanding of their ideal customer is crucial for successful Digital Marketing.
Every Marketing has a funnel, it is the phase of marketing from awareness (top of the funnel) to the actual conversion/sales.
Evaluate your processes every now and then, check for your excesses, statistics, and data that gives an insight into how effective your efforts are. Evaluation is not something you do at the end of a Digital Marketing project, evaluation is relevant at every point from planning and designing to testing and implementing. Always evaluate!
Evaluation often calls for a good knowledge of analytics and how to identify insightful data.
Click here to take an advance analytics course – by Global learning Lab
Digital Marketing is a relevant and fast-growing market. To become a Digital Marketing Specialist you must find your Pathway through its diversity, follow the Act to stay relevant, and understand the GAME formula to keep winning.