Digital Marketing – Influencer

Influencer marketing is probably the latest form of digital marketing. The concept is quite similar to celebrity endorsements. However, instead of paying millions to get a Hollywood actor or a professional athlete to become a company spokesperson, influencer marketing typically involves hiring social media personalities with significant followings. These influencers will leverage their popularity to raise the profile of specific products or services, which will lead to greater engagement and conversion metrics.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is, for all intents and purposes, hiring social media personalities to promote products or brands. However, companies cannot simply pick random personalities and cross their fingers. A thorough analysis must first be performed to determine the right personality.

Aside from the number of followers, other criteria that should be considered include niche (travel, cosmetic, and fashion influencers dominate the landscape currently), location and frequency of posts. Background screening should also be performed on prospective influencers to ensure they do not have any hidden issues in the past, like criminal convictions or unethical representations.

Zach King is one of the biggest social media influencers in the world today. Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore

Strategy when dealing with influencers

Influencers are not business professionals, and as such communication and interaction with them should be handled accordingly. However, do not attempt to short-change them, as most know their value. The proliferation of websites which help to calculate their monetary value makes it so much easier for them. Besides, even if companies don’t end up hiring them, they can still publicise any underhanded tactics used during the ‘interview’ process.

Finally, be very clear on the type and value of compensation that the influencer will earn. Itemise all of the remunerations in the contract, including complimentary tickets, hotel rooms or products. It would also be a good idea to include a non-compete or non-disclosure clause in the contract.

A good relationship with influencers would also make it easier to hire additional influencers in the future.

Alternatively, you could skip the relationship building step altogether and go to a digital marketing or SEO company who already has established relationships with top industry specific influencers.

Digital Marketing – Affiliate

No, affiliate marketing is nothing like the pyramid schemes of Amway, Herbalife and other MLM companies. It’s a win-win scenario, where sellers, affiliates and end-users all reap tangible benefits – companies get sales, affiliates get bonuses, and end users get the product. The real winners though, are companies and marketers, since they do not have to invest money to generate traffic or reach new audiences. Instead, their spending is limited to paying commissions on confirmed sales. This is especially useful for newly-launched companies with limited resources or companies selling digital products.

Affiliate marketing offers an easy, no-upfront cost method to grow your business. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a marketing model where companies compensate affiliates for views, leads or sales. Affiliates obtain the traffic either by publishing their own relevant content or through advertisements.

Affiliates act independently of companies. However, they must abide by the terms and conditions stipulated in the affiliate agreement. Many affiliates gear their entire business model towards funnelling traffic to parent companies. The commissions for affiliates vary wildly depending on the industry and volume of referrals.

Affiliates drive traffic to their websites or “offers” through many different channels. For example, some specialise in running offers through Facebook ads or influencer marketing. Others drive traffic through SEO (although this can be slower to gain initial traction, once you have got going results can be exponential!). For initial information on what that is, you should check out information on digital marketing and SEO agencies and services.

Is affiliate marketing effective?

Affiliate marketing is exceptionally effective. The largest company on the internet, Amazon, owes its success to its over 900,000 affiliates. Some reports suggest that as much as 40% of Amazon’s business is derived from affiliate marketing. They are not alone – the top e-commerce companies in the world, like Ali Baba, eBay and Jingdong, are also heavily reliant on referral traffic.

Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing

Despite the many great benefits of affiliate marketing, companies must also be aware of a few of its advantages, since affiliate misconduct will also reflect poorly on companies.

The chief concern is when affiliates use black hat methods to obtain traffic. Such methods often involve installing adware on computers to redirect traffic. Another major issue is false clicks and purchases. Shady affiliates have been known to manufacture false sales and click-throughs using bots and stolen user data. Companies have to be vigilant to ensure they do not fall prey to such tricks.

Digital Marketing – Mobile

Mobile phone penetration rate in UK households has grown to 95% over the last couple of years. Out of these, 78% of adults use their mobile phones to connect to the internet. In addition, 58% of UK households own a tablet, while 42% own Smart TVs. Last but not least, around 20% of households own smartphones. And the figures for the UK aren’t unique – they are in line with other developed countries. 

With so much exposure to mobile devices, it only makes sense for marketers to tap into this captive digital market. So it should come as no surprise then to learn that mobile ads makes up the second largest ad channel in 2018, accounting for 21.9% of the total $616 billion global advertising expenditure.

The term mobile advertising has changed a lot since the 1980s. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

What is mobile advertising?

Mobile advertising is a form of digital marketing which is delivered via mobile devices. It provides an opportunity for marketers and companies to deliver ads and messages to consumers on the go – well beyond the reach of traditional advertising.

Since mobile devices are typically used by a single user, advertisements served can be tailored specifically to their interests and needs – with a little help from the heaps of search and browsing data mined by search engines and social media companies. These ads tend to be highly relevant and topical, and as a result, the conversion rates are quite high.

How are mobile ads served?

With the rapid pace of technological advancements, smartphones today are as powerful as computers from as late as eight years ago. This offers marketers with a wealth of options to deliver their ads, ranging from text to banners and videos.

Moreover, since mobile users use multiple apps on their devices, these ads can be delivered while playing games, watching movies or even reading e-books!

Is your site mobile friendly?

Making your site readable and well designed on mobile is just as if not more important than for desktop. This is for many reasons including user experience, conversion rate optimisation, SEO etc.

Digital Marketing – Email

Email marketing is a concept which has been around since postal services were first established. Companies would mail flyers, brochures and sales letters, whether cold mailing or by request, to prospective customers. Most of the letters sent were actually quite similar, since copywriters tend to incrementally build, develop and improve copies based on conversion rates. One legendary sales letter written by Martin Conroy in 1976 for The Wall Street Journal is estimated to have generated about $2 billion in business for the publication.

Today, direct marketing, which has evolved into email marketing, does not command the same kind of aura it once did. Nevertheless, it is still an extremely powerful digital marketing tool; 59% of marketers believe email to be their most effective revenue generator!

Email marketing can generate revenues for businesses even when employees are fast asleep. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing entails leveraging existing client or subscription base to generate new leads, increase engagement and improve conversion. Ultimately, email marketing helps companies to make more money.

It’s important to remember that when we talk about email marketing, we’re not taking of spam bombing millions of strangers about miracle drugs. Instead, companies send highly targeted emails to people who want to receive the e-mails, i.e., former and potential customers. The pool of highly targeted prospects can be enhanced by building a subscription database using informational websites and giveaways.

It bears reminding that companies who participate in large-scale email marketing campaign must always ensure that recipients of their emails want to receive them. Otherwise, these companies are no different from Viagra-selling websites hosted in Russia.

Is email marketing still relevant?

You bet it does. 86% of business professionals preferred mode of communication is by email. This probably explains the phenomenally high click-through-rate of B2B emails – 5.27%. That means, more than one in twenty prospects will open relevant emails sent to them. Can you imagine how many salespeople companies need to hire to achieve the same level of penetration?

How are emails collected to begin with?

Collecting emails or “list building” as it is otherwise known can be done in a number of ways. The easiest is to throw up an opt-in form on your site offering something of value in exchange for singing up. This will of course be more effective if you are already driving a large amount of traffic to your site through online ads, social campaigns or digital marketing/seo services.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a complex and highly evolving concept which encompasses every areas (you will want to speak to a number of people and/or businesses to help you on your journey including an SEO company, PPC markete, social media marketing firm and content marketing whizz) . It burst into our collective consciousness in the mid-1990s, just as the world was beginning to embrace the advent of the internet. Today, digital marketing has become a vital part of modern business and has outgrown traditional analogue marketing. Digital advertising spending in 2018 accounts for 46.7 percent ($287.4 billion) of global ad spending ($616 billion).

Business executives should master the intricacies of digital marketing to stay ahead of the game. Image courtesy of Pixabay

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is essentially advertising delivered via digital mediums using the internet, which includes, but are not limited to search engine marketing (or pay-per-click advertising), social media marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO) and mobile phone advertising (through mobile apps).

Marketing done using the digital medium are inherently more effective as it can be tailored to specific demographic, household income level, age and other similar criteria. The cheaper overall cost and relatively higher return of investment also make it more attractive compared to broadcast or print ads.

In addition, certain types of digital marketing can be tailored to engage customers directly, which helps to foster brand loyalty. Speaking of brands, digital marketing offers advertisers the ability to maintain and enhance brand awareness at relatively no cost to customers which follow them on social media platforms.

Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing is not constrained to regimented ad sizes or video and audio lengths.

What types of digital advertising should companies pursue?

Instead of focusing on the popular forms of digital marketing, companies should also explore some of the lesser known digital marketing channels. Although the penetration and conversion rates might not be as effective, they might just give businesses that little bit of an extra edge in highly competitive marketplaces.

Regardless of whether your organisation operates from a purely e-commerce platform or a conventional offline business, the information in the following pages might prove to be the boost it desperately needs.