Marketing techniques have evolved as the ways in which consumers get information change. Radio advertising led to TV advertising, which then shifted to digital marketing with the rise of the internet. Besides these natural market progressions, the COVID-19 pandemic is driving the scope of digital marketing even further online.
While TV remains a prime advertising medium for many businesses, digital marketing allows companies to reach a global audience online. As digital marketing initiatives continue to grow at a brisk pace, the number of jobs in the field is naturally increasing.
This article will cover the various topics and digital marketing niches’ that will help you explore the various career opportunities in the field, including:
- Digital marketing analytics
- Social media influencers
- Video remains king
- Artificial intelligence
- Augmented and virtual reality
- Omni-channel marketing
- Content to become more interactive
Why Do Companies Use Digital Marketing?
As the scope of digital marketing technologies evolves, companies are staying current by adding online components to their brick-and-mortar stores or combining various digital marketing strategies to create an internet presence.
Because most consumers use smartphones and research products online before buying, digital marketing strategies are crucial to businesses. But companies across the globe also employ digital marketing to more easily target their audiences online and via mobile devices — and many are seeing a significant return on investment (ROI) because of these efforts.
Ease of Audience TargetingWith digital marketing, businesses can use data to target audiences based on factors like gender, age, location, interests, and education. Companies can also retarget potential customers who are already familiar with their brand using different methods and messages for each audience. There are advanced online marketing certifications that can help digital marketers learn how to best target audiences.
Low Investment, High ROIThe cost per lead with digital, or inbound, marketing, is 61 percent less expensive than traditional marketing. Businesses that advertise on social media, use paid search and employ other digital strategies spend considerably less on their campaigns. This is because many companies use pay-per-click (PPC) strategies to keep costs down and target specific audiences. Generally speaking, digital marketing campaigns offer both a greater and faster ROI.
Reaching Mobile UsersThere are more than 14 billion mobile devices worldwide, and that number is projected to grow to almost 18 billion by 2024. Because almost all smartphones have internet access, it is easier than ever for businesses to reach potential customers anywhere, anytime.
The Scope of Digital Marketing: Social Media and Beyond
More than half of consumers discover companies through social media news feeds. Companies can reach almost 1 million customers via Instagram alone, and more than 9 million businesses use Facebook to connect with consumers.
Companies leverage social media platforms for both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) digital marketing campaigns.
- B2B: To generate leads, B2B marketers are active on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. They also often rely on PPC campaigns to reach their target audiences without spending too much money.
- B2C: B2C marketers focus on improving brand awareness and attracting customers to their websites and products using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
While posting ads and content on Facebook and other popular platforms continue to be an effective way to reach your target market, the scope of digital marketing encompasses much more than just social media. In addition to social media, savvy businesses also employ the following methods to reach new audiences while building (and maintaining) their brand awareness:
- Paid search: Marketers pay Google and other search engine companies a fee whenever someone types in your keyword, and their ad is shown at the top of the search results (“PPC” model).
- Organic (or natural) search: This method takes more finesse than PPC since marketers are using keyword analysis and other search engine optimization (SEO) methods to naturally push their content to the top of the list of natural search results on Google and other search engines.
- Email marketing campaigns: Believe it or not, email marketing campaigns (if done properly) are still very effective at reaching your target market, and they’re also very accessible for small businesses.
- Content marketing: Publishing helpful articles, guides, tutorials, and other online content (in addition to webinars and podcasts) that engages your target audience is the essence of content marketing.
- Webinars: This is a great way to provide something of value to target consumers while also promoting your brand and products.
- Podcasts: Compelling audio content is another way to reach your audience and can be used in conjunction with other media for broader marketing campaigns.
The Scope of Digital Marketing in 2021 is Much Larger
Digital marketing trends evolve each year as more companies enter the space and new technologies emerge. Looking ahead to 2021, here are some trends that will help continue to shape this space.
Digital marketing analysis is typically done after the fact. Marketers will publish a piece of content, for instance, and then check to see how effective it was after a few weeks. This is certainly helpful, but real-time analytics is beginning to shake up the world of digital marketing. Conducting real-time analysis allows marketers to both individualize content for smaller subsets of consumers and respond much more quickly to their performance.
Social Media Influencers
Advertisers in all sectors are connecting with social media influencers to help enhance their brands. This is proving to be an effective digital marketing strategy, largely because consumers tend to trust other consumers more than companies advertising products. Expect more companies in 2021 and beyond to use these influencers to drive sales.
Also, expect to see fewer celebrities promoting products, as consumers have grown relatively weary of their endorsements. Instead, the trend is moving more toward influencers who have more direct relevance to the product. One great example is make-up artist James Charles, who has become a celebrity but also has expertise specific to cosmetics, which Cover Girl has tapped for its promotions.
Video Remains King
Video will remain a top strategy in 2021, as digital marketers capitalize on users’ short attention spans and desire to view content instead of reading it. Since 74 percent of consumers in the United States watch online videos each week, this medium will continue to play a significant role in connecting customers and businesses. Most social media channels support video hosting and sharing.
One trend to watch out for is SEO for images and video. Typically, people type in keywords relating to a particular image or video, but this can be tedious. More and more users are discovering that they can use existing or new images to search for other, closely related images online. This profoundly increases the scope of digital marketing. By adding relevant keywords to the titles of their images and videos, including alt text in image descriptions, and using other such methods, advertisers will make it easier for potential customers to find them.
Artificial intelligence (AI) enables digital marketers to better analyze user data so they can further customize the customer journey. AI helps companies understand a great deal about customers and how to best target audiences.
AI also provides users with a more personalized experience, giving them customized assistance at each stage of the buying process. Businesses can achieve this customer experience by automating ads to targeted audiences using programmatic advertising. Programmatic advertising is expected to account for more than 72 percent of online marketing spend in 2021.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Companies will continue to use augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in their marketing strategies to enhance brand awareness and satisfy customer demand. Companies like Starbucks, Nivea, and Volkswagen have launched successful AR and VR campaigns to offer customers an experience that better connects them to their brands and products.
While today’s consumer expects every business to at least have an online presence, using a variety of media to engage your target market in a seamless manner is ideal. Often referred to as “omni-channel” marketing, this approach does away with any barriers or “silos” that different media may impose. For instance, a product advertised on television should also have an online tie-in that’s optimized for both desktop and mobile users.
The point is, consumers may use a variety of media to learn about and engage with your product (or service) before and after they buy. If there isn’t a smooth handoff among these different platforms, then it may hurt the experience and result in a lost sale.
Content to Become More Interactive
Interactive content is nothing new, but it’s beginning to be embraced as an effective marketing tool more than ever. Not only do they increase the amount of time a prospective customer engages with your brand, but they allow you to capture more data and, in turn, fine-tune your digital marketing strategy.
From the perspective of expanding the scope of digital marketing, interactive content might include contests (e.g., “comment on this post and share it to your timeline to enter”), polls, surveys, or even games. Giving users more opportunities to interact with your brand also plays into the ultimate goal of greater personalization.
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Careers in Digital Marketing
Digital marketers should follow the latest developments and incorporate them into their strategies. As more companies turn to online advertising to reach a wider audience, digital marketing jobs continue to grow.
Digital marketing managers in the United States earn average annual salaries of more than $75,000. Other high-paying digital marketing roles include social media marketing specialists, PPC experts, digital marketing consultants, digital analytics experts, and search engine optimization (SEO) managers. Bloggers and YouTubers also have opportunities to write and video blogs professionally for digital marketing purposes.
There are many digital marketing careers available, but you’ll need a solid understanding of all techniques in the scope of digital marketing to succeed in 2021, especially considering the new challenges the pandemic has created. Simplilearn’s free Digital Marketing Fundamentals program helps digital marketers master the basics of this fast-growing discipline. Through dedicated online training, you can learn all you need to know about social media, PPC, SEO, web analytics, email, and content and mobile marketing so you can launch and maintain effective campaigns.
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