THe Difference Between Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing

It utilizes an assortment of digital channels like SEO (search engine optimization), social media and PPC (pay per click) to entice audiences towards a prospective brand. Digital marketing uses internet as the core medium of promotion which can be accessed using electronic gadgets like computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Internet marketing techniques such as search engine marketing (SEM), e-mails form an integral part of digital marketing. Moreover, it also includes non-internet channels like short messaging service (SMS) and multimedia messaging service (MMS), callbacks, etc. All these different channels form an integrated part of digital marketing. Digital marketing is considered a BTL Below-The-Line marketing as it targets a smaller and more concentrated group and works on forming loyal customers and creating conversions.

SMO or (SMM), on the other hand, is a branch or subset of digital marketing that excels at promotion using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and so forth. It makes the use of social media for the purpose of marketing. Social media relies heavily on the interaction of the users, sharing information and forming a community of sorts and hence has a ‘social’ element to it. It utilizes the creation of artistic content which is presented accordingly to lure the audience towards your products or services and create a brand following.

According to Zephoria Digital Marketing Consultants, there are over 1.71 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide. This means that statistically Facebook is too big to ignore and hence, should be a vital part of your social media marketing strategies. Online video consumption on such platforms has been on a steady rise and is the next big thing in terms of marketing strategies. SMM is also a BTL Below-The-Line marketing as it relates to segregated groups formed over common interests on social media platforms.

Companies looking to address their marketing needs need to choose between a digital marketing agency or a specialist agency. If you are looking for someone to plan out your entire marketing strategy, then a digital marketing agency would be a good choice. However, if you are looking for someone to only handle the social media aspect of your strategy, then you are better off working with a specialist agency.

With the extreme popularity of digital media, people are more willing to incorporate digital marketing into their everyday lifestyle. As per the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) report, Internet ad revenues in the United States reached a staggering $27.5 billion in the first half of 2015.This has opened up several job opportunities world over. There is a high demand; however, we experience a dearth in the skilled workforce as people are still coming to terms with the rapid evolution of digital media.

To meet the increasing demands of talented individuals, there are several online courses in digital marketing available. A quick Google search on this topic will enlist a host of institutes that offer the mentioned lessons. The courses run for a number of days where all the related topics under the umbrella of digital marketing are addressed. Students gain valuable insights into the subject that enables them to carve a niche for themselves.

The digital marketing course includes basic understanding of marketing and advertising concepts and fundamental knowledge of statistical and analytical tools. They are also given comprehensive information about email marketing, SEO/SEM, pay per click, mobile marketing, online video among others.

Social media marketing courses include an in-depth understanding of the principles of social media, major social media sites, social media strategy and measuring social media. It offers a look into the strengths and weaknesses of the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. and delves deeper into the newest trends surfacing on social media.Social media is an indispensable part of digital media strategy. SM platforms are leveraged for the purpose of branding of a product or service as it provides a more interactive medium open for a two-way conversation. Digital marketing is more relevant in terms of creating brand awareness, marketing or reputation management. Although they have different online applications, they serve the larger purpose of brand advancement and customer conversion into leads and sales. Consumers have become more brand conscious with active participation and most spoilt for choice with the plethora of options available online. Their share in the overall marketing strategy has grown manifold rendering traditional strategy techniques obsolete. The rate at which digital media is advancing, it won’t be far fetched to imagine a future where virtual reality has transpired to every aspect of our existence.

Working With a Digital Agency – Part 2

Choosing a digital agency

So now that you’ve realised how important the digital world has become and what benefits it can bring you, it’s time to make the next wise decision… which agency to use. This choice is going to depend on two main factors, what you want to achieve and how much you’re willing to spend, or rather, invest.

Firstly, what do you want to achieve? Any digital activity you choose to undertake should provide you with some kind of benefit – preferably a measurable one – that can ultimately be given a monetary value.

Coming up with a clear idea of what you want to achieve can be very tricky as there are thousands of possibilities that could benefit your business, achieve nothing or actually waste your company’s resources. It wouldn’t be practical to discuss all the possibilities in one blog post but it would be advisable to ask yourself: ‘How can I use digital to motivate my clients or potential clients to do more business with me?’, and take it from there. Here’s a tip: find out what questions or complaints you receive most from you customers and consider whether these can be addressed through some kind of digital application.

The purpose of this blog post is to give you advice about working with a digital agency so we’re not going to focus too much on various digital methodologies. We’ll have a look at those in later posts.

For simplicity we are going to use a general example to explain the process.

In our example, let’s say that you have a website that sells stationery online. You would like to improve the navigation (menus, item search etc.) of your site, speed up the transaction process, integrate your ordering system with that of your suppliers, make it easier to find your site on search engines and improve the general layout and appearance. You’ve also thought about adding a login section for businesses who buy in bulk, an increasingly important part of your business development. The thought of a regular newsletter has also crossed your mind but you’re not sure what it would be about.

Based on this broad idea, you are going to need an agency that can do web design and development, web application development, search engine optimisation as well as being able to build and implement content management systems and integrate database information.

The second major factor that’s going to play a role in selecting the right digital agency is what kind of budget you are able to commit to your digital strategy.

There are a host of digital agencies and deciding which one to use can be quite a challenge. Let’s break the industry down into different players based on the budgets they work with.

Top Tier

Many of the major advertising agencies have digital agencies, often multiple agencies.

In some cases global revenues are in the hundreds of millions but they often do not separate out digital work. Top tier agencies can handle the most complex of digital builds. They often do not take projects worth less than 100k GBP and daily rates often exceed 1,200 GBP per day.

Second Tier

According to New Media Age, in 2008 there were 17 standalone digital agencies in the UK with billables of more than 4m GBP. The second tier of digital agencies have billables of between 2-4m GBP. Leading agencies in this tier often aspire to blue-chip projects while engaging in high-profile media websites to generate a higher profile. They often develop specialist technology skills or sector knowledge, such as e-commerce, booking technology or database management but will often rely on outside companies to provide them with specialist skills. Daily rates average around 900 GBP per day.

Third Tier

Third Tier digital agencies often take web and design work from their local area. Aspiring companies in this tier will often specialise in a sector (travel, music, motoring etc) and rely heavily on the design pedigree or relative inexpensive entry point. With billables of less than 2m GBP, many are boutique agencies. A select few have strong ambitions to move into Second Tier. Some strike it lucky with a big client win, some specialise in marketing or highly technical projects. Day rates vary but are often more than 600 GBP.

Don’t simply choose a top tier agency if you don’t require their full set of services and could receive the same services from a second tier agency at a much lower rate. You also wouldn’t want to use a second tier agency in order to save money if you require extensive services that they don’t generally offer, thus putting them in the situation of having to employ extra staff to cover all your needs. This would increase time to completion as well as the daily rate making the project just as expensive as, or even more expensive, than running it through a top tier agency.

Some other factors to take into consideration when choosing an agency are:

  • Client lists – What kind of clients do they have and how do these compare to you. If you find your company is fairly similar to the ones that have worked with a particular agency, then perhaps they would be a good option to contact.
  • Experience – What kind of skills and experience does the agency have? How long has it been doing business? A company that has been around for many years and has grown over the years at the same or faster pace than the industry would be one worthy of consideration.
  • Previous projects – Have a look at what kind of work the agency has done in the past. Keep in mind what your requirements are and try to find an agency that has delivered projects with similar criteria.
  • Awards – There are a multitude of organisations that present awards across various categories to digital agencies delivering outstanding projects. Agencies that have received awards from reputable organisations are proud of their work and eager to take on new projects.
  • Agency culture – Once you have spoken to a few agencies and examined their profiles, select one that has a culture similar or compatible with yours. Working with an agency you get along with will go a long way in helping fulfil the project objectives on time and on budget.

Here are several ways to locate digital agencies in case you were wondering:

One way is by submitting tenders on various tender sites requesting submissions for proposals from agencies. You can also consult directories such as New Media Age and conduct searches on the internet. If there are sites that you aspire to be like, find out who designed them and add them to your shortlist.

Once you’ve selected your agency, the real fun starts. In the next post we will consider how to set out a clear project brief and objectives. This is a vital part of working with a digital agency successfully and will prevent much confusion and delay later on in the project if done right.

Why You Should Hire Digital Marketing Consultancy Services

Determining marketing strategy for a successful business is a difficult decision. While some businesses have happily embraced the latest strategies, many are still struggling to keep up with trends. Digital marketing can be overwhelming, thus one needs to fully understand the risks and complex challenges. Digital consulting firms can help your business gain a competitive advantage. They help businesses create effective internet marketing strategies that are focused primarily on promoting the business services and products. Moreover, the marketing plan includes expanding brand awareness.

Benefits of a digital consulting company:

Keep up with the latest marketing trends

Every business cannot hire their own in-house marketers for social media updates, search engine optimization, content marketing or even branding news. Businessmen are so buried in their daily tasks, that digital marketing does not have any room to grow, change or evolve. In such situation, experts can be of great help. They are well abreast of the latest trends, tools, technologies to serve the businesses better.

Interpretation of what is beneficial for the company

With a lot of information of digital marketing, businessmen may get confused between best practice and spam. As the search engines are looking for internet spam, it is important to move in the right direction. A team of professionals have the experience as well as understanding to guide in the right direction.

Enhanced knowledge of tools

Digital marketing consultants have worked with every tool. They know what works and what is best for companies in various situations. They have thorough knowledge about every tool and thus a business does not have to spend money on less important overpriced tool. They can guide you properly and help you find the right tool that can save your time while increasing your sales.

Monitor the competition

It is always important to know where your competition lies. Online marketing consultants monitor the performance of the competitors online. They research and find out the digital marketing strategies the competitors are implementing and make sure that your company is way too ahead of them. The consultants provide tips and recommendations on implementing strategies that can make you stay in front of the competition.

Expertise and know how

The experts offer an opportunity for most businesses to increase sales. Every business wants to grow and be successful and thus with expertise and know how, one can achieve best results. An expert always has the background and also focuses on increasing the traffic, leads and sales for business.

Choose your marketing consultant

You may think that taking digital consultation is expensive. But it is completely opposite. If you pick your own in-house team and select the tools required, the overall cost will definitely increase the price of the services provided by experts. Moreover, they are expert in their field and offer exceptional talent without all the cost associated with in-house staff. Hiring a digital marketing consultant is a great step for your business. By making this, you are positioning yourself to take advantage of different digital marketing opportunity.