Much like other industries such as entertainment, sport, and commerce, the internet has had a huge impact on the world of marketing, both revolutionizing and liberating the methods used to promote businesses and their products.
Before the internet, much of the marketing focus was on video and audio marketing, targeting the consumers of radio and television programs – while there was much more of a reliance on marketing in physical formats such as newspapers, billboards and flyers.
If you’re a regular user of internet-enabled devices such as laptops, mobile phones, and tablets, you’ll know that advertising is ever-present wherever you go on the internet – showcasing the endless number of ways brands can now market to consumers that would have been impossible to reach before.
Read on to find out more about how the world of digital marketing has changed and evolved, alongside the growth of technology and the internet.
If one particular aspect of the internet has truly revolutionized digital marketing, it’s social media. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter host combined user counts totaling in the billions, meaning they essentially serve as public squares, where people gather to discuss the latest trends and events and talk about their interests.
This has provided a platform for incredibly successful marketing practices, as brands can now access consumers in a comprehensive range of ways. While media such as television and radio did provide a way to reach media consumers in the past, it was never with such a large concentration of people in one space, or with anything like the same precision.
It’s incredible to think now that if you go back a decade, social media platforms were not earmarked as the future of digital marketing, as they existed in a far inferior state in terms of both functionality and usership. Compare this to the present day, and you’ll find it difficult to find popular brands that are not on all social media platforms, where different strategies are deployed depending on the social media site itself and how the users of that platform respond to different content.
These platforms have created a world of infinite possibilities for brands as they now have access to detailed analytics for every ad, allowing them to finely tune parameters in order to target specific groups of consumers, as well as using this data to create a more successful advert in the future.
One of the main differences between marketing on social media and marketing on traditional media such as tv and radio is that there is no base cost to use these platforms – while tv and radio ads are always subject to a fee from the broadcaster. It’s very much in a business’s interest to invest in their digital marketing, but it’s possible to grow an audience organically, just by producing engaging, high-quality content.
Browser Cookies, Analytics Cookies or simply cookies, are a highly effective and technologically advanced tool that can powerfully target consumers using their data, which is harvested as they browse on the internet.
This means that when consumers are browsing pages such as Instagram and Facebook, they will receive highly-relevant ads for products they have recently showed interest in – and with such precise targeting, there is a much higher chance of a purchase or conversion than simply being shown an advert blind as on television.
It would have been impossible for marketers to collect this kind of data before the introduction of the internet and consequently cookies, in anywhere near the same kind of detail that is on offer in the modern day – and even though it was possible to collect data on customers and use this data to create better adverts, it was with none of the same efficiency or precision that allows incredibly quick turnaround rates.
What’s more, companies using this consumer data can easily break down their customers or potential customers into distinct groups – allowing them to create marketing campaigns that directly target this demographic, meaning there are multiple versions of the advert that are shown to the appropriate group depending on that user’s cookies. This is great for businesses as it gives them the chance to reach more groups of people, while also providing reassurances that investment into marketing and advertising will be a success.
Search Engine Optimization
Another way that digital marketing has changed over time is the rise to prominence of Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. Search engines have established themselves as an indispensable part of internet functionality, allowing users to access the incomprehensibly vast amount of information available online with precision, speed and accuracy. There are many things you can do to help your website succeed.
Time spent perfecting an SEO strategy can provide incredible boosts to website traffic, brand authority and (as a result) the company’s bottom line. Of course, with such many businesses now having a dedicated online presence, whether through hosting their own website or using social media accounts, the art of Search Engine Optimization has become a profession in its own right, such is the detail and dedication required to get it right.
In order for a business to be successful in SEO, time needs to be spent beforehand identifying exactly how the business will use its assets in an SEO format – and keywords play a critical role in this happening. The term keyword is used to identify a word or phrase that consumers may enter into a search engine when looking for a certain product, and optimizing your site for this keyword will lead to a higher position in search rankings (Search Engine Ranking Position, or SERP).
As it can never be guaranteed what exactly a user will type into their search engine to look for a product, it’s important to use SEO analytics tools such as Google Search Console – an analytics platform that gives businesses a detailed insight into consumer activity and which particular terms are those that need including to guide traffic to the site.
For example, for a laptop manufacturer such as Lenovo, if they wanted to push their new range of 17 Inch Lenovo Laptops, they would optimize the product site not just for this phrase, but a whole range of phrases that match the search habits of consumers when looking for similar products.