Marketing campaigns have evolved greatly during the past decades.
While they mainly started out as print ads (as early as 1472, according to Infolinks), they then evolved into radio ads, TV ads, and finally internet ads.
Internet ads are what we call Digital Marketing. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, “Digital Marketing is the use of digital channels to promote or market products and services to targeted consumers and businesses.”
Those really started in the mid-1990s, with advertisers paying website owners to place their ad in exposed spaces peripheral to the website’s own content.
Digital Marketing is now taking over, as it is more affordable than traditional marketing, and allows you to reach a wider audience faster.
Marketing methods are not the only things that have changed. Users too don’t shop the way they used to. Nowadays, 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before a buyer even reaches out to sales.
It is very important to take into consideration the buyer’s journey, which can be broken into 3 stages:
In the Awareness stage, the buyer is most likely unaware of your company and the fact that they have a need. It is important to make your brand/product known to them so that they know what you do and how you can help them. For that, you should focus on how you can solve their problems, not on your product or brand.
Once a buyer realises they have a problem, they’ll do what everybody does: ask Google. They will research all the options available to them, reviews, testimonials, educational material, etc, so you’ll want to have all those well displayed on your website. Once again, do not try to sell your product, instead, have a blog offering them content they can use and they’ll naturally decide to choose you, as you clearly have their best interest at heart, regardless of your price.
As Unilever’s Senior Vice-President of Marketing Marc Mathieu puts it, marketing used to be about creating a myth and selling it and is now about finding a truth and sharing it.
That way, you will create a bond of trust with a potential buyer.
After this comes the Consideration phase: the user has narrowed their choice down to a few companies and will do some more research to find out how exactly a company can address their particular pain points. They will do in-depth comparisons and may reach out for further inquiries.
After that, it’s time to make a decision. To help this process, have case studies and testimonials of happy customers on your website so that the buyer can see how happy others are with your product.
Once they’ve chosen you, don’t think it’s over and you’ve won: have a clear checkout process and don’t forget that a simple aftercare email can go a long way.
With ads, you’ll want to know who your user is so that you can tailor your content to them.
A good way to do this is with cookies: advertisers can track a user’s habits online, allowing them to target their ads to that user.
Just remember, you’ll want your ad to be solution based, not product based.
To plan your content, you’ll want to ask yourself this: what will inspire, engage and retain your customers?
What kind of language, voice, tone, length will you go for?
Using emotion is a good way to get your message across and be memorable.
Creating viral video content is what you want (easier said than done, I know), as videos are the most popular form of content today.
You can also use infographics: according to Hubspot, “eye-tracking studies show internet readers pay close attention to information-carrying images. And actually, when the images are relevant, readers spend more time looking at the images than they do reading text on the page.”
If you’d like to find out more about Digital Marketing, do check out those websites: