Digital Marketing Trends And Tools: How To Take Advantage Of Them?

Digital Marketing Trends And Tools How To Take Advantage Of Them

The marketing department has been considered the ‘quieter’ part of the business for years. Managers would come to work each morning, get instructions, and leave. The marketing department would then go about the business of marketing, occasionally putting out press releases or creating materials for the company’s websites.

But today, marketing is at the forefront. Companies such as HubSpot and Marketo have made marketing departments less of a silent segment and more of a ‘buzz’ segment. 

At the same time, digital marketing tools have made it much easier for marketers to communicate with stakeholders, such as salespeople, product managers, and executives.

Why Are Marketers Doing This?

Before we get into the tools, let’s discuss the underlying trends that are driving this change. First is the rise of digital marketing. More and more people than ever are using digital marketing to gain brand awareness, land new customers, and close sales.

In the past, marketing made more of an impact by being out there and talking to consumers. Whether it was radio ads, TV commercials, print ads, or billboards, marketers would go out and try to convince the public to buy their products. 

But in today’s world, people are hearing about products they’re interested in through digital marketing without needing to be sold on an interest in the product first.

The rise of the digital consumer is driving this trend. Since this year’s start, digital marketing has influenced more people to buy a product or service. Consumers have bought something after seeing or hearing about a brand through digital marketing. But that’s not all there is to it.

What Is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive web design means a layout can adjust and change based on the user’s viewing device. For example, if you visited a website on your laptop, the text would be big, bold, and easy to read. 

But if you were to visit that same site on a mobile phone, the text would be smaller and much more difficult to read.

Nowadays, people are much more focused on content than ever before. 

As a brand, you lose out on many potential customers if you don’t have a responsive site. When a potential customer is considering whether or not to buy a product or service, your brand’s website is one of the first places they’ll visit.

Why Are Consumers Flocking To Online Reviews?

According to HubSpot Blogs research, consumers are more likely to be influenced by online reviews than they are by ads. Specifically, consumers trust online reviews more than ads when it comes to influencing their buying decisions. Why? Because consumers can’t trust what they’re told. They need to find the information themselves.

In today’s world, information is power. Thanks to the internet, people can find the answers they’re looking for with the click of a button. 

That’s what makes the internet such a useful tool in the quest for product information. But it also means that the information can be fabricated or, at the very least, skewed to favor the manufacturer.

However, reviews that are posted online cannot be completely trusted. Because consumers can’t physically inspect the product, they are much more likely to be swayed by clever marketing tactics or sloppy or missing marketing materials. 

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What Is Big Data And How Does It Impact Marketing?

Big data is a term used to describe the collection of large datasets that can be used to draw meaningful conclusions about past behavior, current habits, and future trends.

This is because companies can collect so much information about customers, deliveries, interactions, and more, using various online tools. Think customer emails, past purchase history, social media posts, web visits, and more.

Big data is used to understand consumer behavior better, find trends, and target new audiences. It also allows marketers to measure the success of their campaigns and determine what’s working and what’s not. 

For example, suppose you’ve run a Facebook ad campaign for a new product, and the results show that your target audience is interacting with your ads and engaging with the content. In that case, you can reasonably assume that your ad campaign is delivering the results you’re looking for.

How Do I Get Started With Digital Marketing?

Here are the steps you can follow to become a confident, capable marketer.

  • Decide Which Type Of Marketer You Want To Be

You might be tempted to decide that you want to be a social media influencer if you’re passionate about fashion or lifestyle. Or perhaps you’ve had experience with conversion optimization and know that you can drive more traffic to a site if you want to work in digital marketing. 

But remember: there are many different types of marketers, and they all play an essential part in the company’s success. It’s important to consider your strengths and what you want to specialize in. 

For instance, did you get a good grade on your latest marketing project? Do you have a specific skill that makes you stand out from other candidates?

  • Build A Solid Foundation

You might be thinking that with all of this talk about leads, you’ll need to learn about sales and marketing to be able to generate them. But that’s not true. You’ll find that many people willing to help you develop your skills are more than happy to teach you without needing to be paid. 

You will access seasoned marketers who want to pass on their knowledge. Take advantage of these resources, and you’ll be able to develop an in-demand skill that you can use to generate leads and make money.

  • Learn The Basics

If you’re determined to learn digital marketing, you must start by learning the basics. The first step is ensuring you have a good grasp of web analytics. You’ll have difficulty understanding what metrics and data should be tracked and monitored without knowing how websites work and how they’re designed. 

You’ll also need to know how to use popular website builders and the various platforms they use, such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Once you have the basics down, you can take a more in-depth look at conversion optimization, email marketing, and website design. These are all important areas of digital marketing, but they can also be quite overwhelming if you’re not careful. 

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By taking your time and slowly progressing to advanced topics, you’ll be able to develop the skills you need to become a successful and in-demand marketer. 

  • Build A Portfolio

Now that you have the basics down, you can start to build a portfolio. This is going to be your source of employment and potential clients. Instead of rushing into things, take your time and create a document that’s comprised of all of your best work. 

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Be sure to include case studies, customer reviews, articles you’ve written, and anything else that can be used to demonstrate your skills. Having a portfolio will allow you to showcase your work to potential clients and open up more opportunities for you.

In the same way, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter provide a space for people to share stories and engage with their audiences, digital marketing communicates with customers and potential customers to grow a business.

Digital Marketing Methods

Marketing professionals often say “content is king” when describing the importance of creating high-quality content to attract potential customers. Well, yes. But “content is king” doesn’t just apply to traditional print advertising and billboards; it applies to social media platforms, display ads on websites, and emails.

In today’s digital marketing world, there are myriad ways to communicate with customers and potential customers. Your chosen method depends on your budget, target audience, and goals.

Although there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to digital marketing, the following digital marketing methods tend to prove the most effective.

  • Outreach Marketing

Outreach marketing was historically the mainstay of most marketing departments. This type of marketing involves interacting with potential customers through various forms of media to gain their trust and convince them to purchase your products or services. 

Outreach marketing can be highly effective, provided you have the time and resources to carry out adequate campaigns. It is a slow and steady approach that many companies consider to be a ‘safer’ alternative to aggressive marketing tactics.

  • Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is pretty self-explanatory—you’re sending messages to customers to invite them to take specific actions. 

For example, if you’re a clothing brand and you want to invite women to the Women’s Spring Fashion Festival, you could send them a direct mail invitation encouraging them to attend the event.

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM, or search engine marketing, is a form of direct marketing in which you pay to have your websites and blogs appear at the top of search engine results when potential customers search for your product or service. 

SEM is a fairly new marketing form and incredibly effective because it allows you to target the right audience.

  • Social Media Marketing (SMM)

SMM, or social media marketing, involves using social platforms to attract, engage, and retain customers.

The most popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, provide a public forum for people to share stories, pictures, and video content. This content often includes marketing messages promoting businesses and products. 

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In addition, many social media platforms provide you with detailed reports on the demographics of your audience, their interests, and various metrics relating to the popularity of your content.

If you have a small budget, you may decide to prioritize spending on social media over other digital marketing methods because it’s less expensive.

  • Email Marketing

Email marketing is when you invite people to take action by sending them marketing communications via email. Essentially, you are engaging with potential customers and encouraging them to either buy your product or service, fill out a form, subscribe to your newsletter, or visit your website. 

Email marketing is also referred to as digital marketing because it uses digital tools to attract, engage, and retain customers.

Many marketers consider email marketing the least expensive and most efficient digital marketing method because you can target the right customer with a specific message without wasting money on pricey ads. 

Because consumers are increasingly receiving marketing emails as a part of their daily routine, it’s almost guaranteed that your email will reach a potential customer who is interested in your product or service. 

Another advantage of email marketing is that you can create automated campaigns that will send out personalized emails based on specific actions taken by visitors to your website.

What Is Responsive Marketing?

Responsive marketing is a term used when describing the process of creating digital content that automatically adjusts to fit different devices, including desktop computers, tablets, and mobile phones.

The concept of responsive marketing originates from the theory that the internet will one day be accessible on the go. Thus, content should be viewable and functional on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. 

If you’re writing blogs now, you’re already using responsive marketing. Whenever you make minor adjustments to the text or the layout of a blog post, the layout will automatically adjust to fit the screen size of a mobile phone or tablet. 

This creates a more seamless and aesthetically pleasing user experience for your readers, which can result in more clicks and downloads of your content.

Choosing The Right Approach

An important aspect of getting started with digital marketing is to determine how much you’re willing to spend on different approaches and what results you are looking for. With any type of marketing campaign, it is essential that you measure the results and determine how much money you are spending. 

It is essential to put dollar signs in front of the eyes of the people who make decisions involving your company’s marketing budget. This way, they will be reminded of the importance of evaluating cost versus benefit and keeping money in mind during the creation of your marketing plan.

Remember, your marketing budget will dictate the limits of what you can and cannot achieve; therefore, it is important to be realistic about what you can afford.

Hopefully, this article gave you a good idea of how to get started with digital marketing and how to choose the right approach for your budget!

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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