Digital marketing planning and strategy is important to every company in every industry. And this definitely holds true for dropshipping and eCommerce businesses. After all, you don’t have to worry about inventory or suppliers.
Some of the most common digital marketing techniques used are listed below. It is impossible to know which technique works well until and unless it has been tested.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): The process of building and marketing your website with the goal of ranking at the top of the search engines.
- Pay per click advertising (PPC): an online advertising model with which you bid on keywords and only pay when your ad is clicked.
- Content marketing: this is best defined as any form of marketing that revolves around creating, publishing, and distributing content, such as blog posts, infographics, and white papers.
- Email marketing: a form of direct marketing in which you connect with your audience via email messages.
- Social media: a form of marketing conducted on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
- Video marketing: a marketing process in which you create, publish, and distribute videos, such as on your website, blog, and sharing platforms.
Marketing entails product development, market research, product distribution, sales strategy, public relations, and customer support. Marketing is necessary in all stages of a business’s selling journey, and it can use numerous platforms, social media channels, and teams within their organization to identify their audience, communicate to it, amplify its voice, and build brand loyalty over time.
On the other hand, advertising is just one component of marketing. It’s a strategic effort, usually paid for, to spread awareness of a product or service as a part of the more holistic goals outlined above. Put simply, it’s not the only method used by marketers to sell a product.
The popularity of content marketing has soared in recent years. Content marketing is no longer an option—a good strategy is essential to compete in the market. This is clear from the sheer volume of content being produced by marketers, with over two-thirds of businesses (67%) creating more content, than they did in the previous year.
This widespread adoption of content marketing has made it more difficult to stand out from the noise. In order to compete with ‘Content Shock’, it is becoming ever more important to question the approach, tweak and optimize the strategy, and grab the attention of your audience by providing value.
When a business rolls out a brand new product and wants to create a an advertising campaign to promote that product to its customer base, the company’s channels of choice are Facebook, Instagram, Google, and its company website. It uses all of these spaces to support its various campaigns every quarter, and generates leads through those campaigns.
To broadcast its new product launch, it publishes a downloadable product guide to its website, posts a video to Instagram demonstrating its new product, and invests in a series of sponsored search results on Google directing traffic to a new product page on its website. The advertising took place on Instagram and Google. Instagram generally isn’t an advertising channel, but when used for branding, you can develop a base of followers that’s primed for a gentle product announcement every now and again. Google was definitely used for advertising in this example; the company paid for space on Google — a program known as pay-per-click (PPC) — on which to drive traffic to a specific page focused on its product. A classic online ad.
The 4 Ps of Marketing
These 4 P’s explain how marketing interacts with each stage of the business.
Let’s say you come up with an idea for a product you want your business to sell. What’s next? You probably won’t be successful if you just start selling it.
Instead, you need your marketing team to do market research and answer some critical questions: Who’s your target audience? Is there market fit for this product? What messaging will increase product sales, and on which platforms? How should your product developers modify the product to increase likelihood of success? What do focus groups think of the product, and what questions or hesitations do they have?
Marketers use the answers to these questions to help businesses understand the demand for the product and increase product quality by mentioning concerns stemming from focus group or survey participants.
Your marketing team will check out competitors’ product prices, or use focus groups and surveys, to estimate how much your ideal customer is willing to pay. Price it too high, and you’ll lose out on a solid customer base. Price it too low, and you might lose more money than you gain. Fortunately, marketers can use industry research and consumer analysis to gauge a good price range.
It’s critical that your marketing department uses their understanding and analysis of your business’s consumers to offer suggestions for how and where to sell your product. Perhaps they believe an ecommerce site works better than a retail location, or vice versa. Or, maybe they can offer insights into which locations would be most viable to sell your product, either nationally and internationally.
This P is likely the one you expected from the get-go: promotion entails any online or print advertisement, event, or discount your marketing team creates to increase awareness and interest in your product, and, ultimately, lead to more sales. During this stage, you’ll likely see methods like public relations campaigns, advertisements, or social media promotions.
(Credit: excerpts from Hubspot)