Digital marketing is using multimedia, the Internet, and the new computer technology to reach more people faster and hopefully, more effectively. Some of the digital marketing techniques used are email, podcasting, blogging, live streaming, video streaming, RSS feeds, and instant messaging. If that sounds like Greek, here’s another explanation. When was the last time you watched something online and decided to take action whether to buy an item, contact an office, or visit a place? If you felt the urge to do something about that video you watched online, then the marketing of that item worked – digitally. In fact, websites like uPrice provide an online platform that is aimed at allowing ecommerce entrepreneurs to market their various wares at a single site.
Paid Versus Free
Online businesses can choose to create their own “posts” and “ads” or hire a digital marketing expert to do it for them – whether you have a VW polo for sale in Cape Town or cater to an international market -, all businesses can benefit from online marketing platforms.
Hiring an ad agency has its advantages because online marketing is not something you can post and leave alone. It has to be monitored constantly and tweaked whenever necessary. The huge difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing is that the competition is global with the use of the Internet. This means you can have anywhere from 10 to 1 million other businesses offering a similar product or service.
Two of the common concepts in marketing online are SEO and SEM. SEO is Search Engine Optimization and SEM refers to Search Engine Marketing. With SEO, you are using “white hat” technology in trying to get a website good ranking in a search engine result. SEM has a broader scope in that the aim to advertise the website and draw more traffic to it.
To get specific results with SEO and SEM, professionals are used because they can achieve the desired results within a shorter time frame.
Lately, the range of digital marketing has widened because of the mobile phone and tablets. Businesses now have the option of mobile integration or adapting to a multiple size screen format so that the plan applies to all digital devices. With mobile integration, a business can start marketing to potential clients based on their location or their favorite mobile apps.
In South Africa
The most important reason to use digital marketing in South Africa is because of the extensive use of mobile phones. The country has an explosive number of citizens and residents using mobile phones. In a January 2013 survey, social status had no bearing on who owned a mobile phone. In fact, 75% of those from the lower income level and aged 15 and older own a cell phone. Of those who claim to not own a mobile, 46% were determined to buy one this year.
Many of those who own cell phones access the Internet. In 2012 a digital marketing campaign on Carling Black Label focused on the Carling Black Label Cup and reaching out to South Africans through social media. For every beer, one gets to vote. The traffic generated by the campaign reached over 10 million votes sent in via mobile phones. The company’s Facebook Page enjoyed a 450% increase in traffic and its Twitter account increased in followers by 600% on the first leg of the campaign and a total of 20 million entries by the end of the campaign. Last year was the most successful tournament in the history of football in South Africa. That’s the power of digital marketing.