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Digital marketing is such a catchphrase today that it parades the Internets with a long line of acronyms: ROI, CAC, SEM, SEO, CPC, and so on.

It gets overwhelming.

But beyond all these acronyms, there is real value to it. According to a 2016 independent research [PDF] by Wild Fusion Digital Center and Pan-Atlantic University School of Media and Communication, 17% of surveyed Nigerian marketing executives will spend over 40% of their marketing budget on digital marketing in the next five years.

And the prominence of digital marketing isn’t limited to Nigeria or letting off. The Content Marketing Insitute and MarketingProf’s 2016 survey [PDF] shows that 51% of marketers expect to see digital marketing budget increase in 2017.

51% of marketers expect a digital marketing budget increase in 2017, are you one of them? Click To Tweet

People are jumping on this bandwagon …

The very obvious deduction is that digital marketing works. But what is it, really? To understand it, a breakdown of its component parts is in order. At the core of digital marketing is “marketing.” And at the heart of marketing is “promotion”. Digital is simply about connected electronic devices.

With an eye on this, digital marketing happens every time you use connected electronic devices to reach people with your content, product, business or something else.

So, is your business on social media? Yes? Then you are doing digital marketing.

That’s basic. So what’s all the fuss about?

Social media presence, though, doesn’t begin to touch the tip of digital marketing iceberg. It is a new type of marketing, but it expresses itself in sophisticated ways. This is a big, winding, fantastical rabbit hole and later in this series, we’ll tell you how far that hole goes.

For now, what’s the fuss about it?

This is no easy question to answer, but one way to understand why businesses have caught on to the idea is to inspect the benefits of digital marketing (compared to legacy marketing).

Digital Marketing Vs. Legacy Marketing

Top on the list is that digital marketing is much easier to start. It used to be that to market your business for the largest impact, you needed to sign an agency or have a contract with a big media corporation. Now, all you need is a functioning AdWords account and you are well on your way to maximum visibility.

With the tracking capability (called analytics) baked into digital marketing, it’s easier to measure your success across different stages of your marketing.

Marketing is a cumulative process and not every marketing campaign immediately leads to sales. Digital marketing lets you see what progress you are making. This is not possible with legacy marketing and you’ll often give up your marketing effort in the face of what you regard as a failure.

You can make your promotion more targeted with digital marketing. If you are selling to millennial males earning N100,000 per month with interest in travel and photography, you can speak directly to them. Using search engine marketing (a type of digital marketing), you can speak to them when they are ready to interact with you -when they are searching for services like yours.

It’s almost like magic.

With legacy marketing, all you have to go on are blurry guesses of audience delineation. Then there is the fact that digital marketing is non-linear. Instead, it’s a two-way conversation, which leads to more authentic dialogues between you and your audience.

There are more benefits of digital marketing than we can exhaust in a basic guide. So, let’s get to see how far that rabbit hole goes like we promised.

If your business is on social media, you're already doing digital marketing but there's more Click To Tweet

Digital marketing channels

Digital marketing is more sophisticated than social media presence and the many expression of this marketing movement proves it. Here are some of them:

  • SEO – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is when you improve the visibility of your business, product or website in search engine results. This process involves finding and using the right keywords in your content and copy.
  • Email marketing – This happens when you use emails to keep your customers engaged with your brand. For instance, sending new offers or useful content.
  • Content marketingCreating and publishing content that stimulates interest in your product.
  • Pay per click – Pay per click (PPC) involves paying search engines (such as Google, Bing and Yahoo) to generate direct traffic to your business or product. PPC serves up your product or business when people search for keywords related to your business.
  • Social media marketingSocial media marketing is an extension of content marketing with an organic always-on social dialogue as seen on social media. Getting social media right requires investment in the right engagement strategy. The starting point is a social media calendar. Download a customizable free social media calendar for Nigeria here.

Other channels are display ads, affiliate marketing and mobile advertising (including SMS, Ringback Tune and Lockscreen Ads)

There are many more sides to this. Alas, this article is a basic guide. The purpose of this piece is to be a jump off point for your interest in digital marketing.

What next?

The great thing about digital marketing is that anyone can do it. All you need is the skill. And all the skills you need already exist online in one form or another. You can start now.


This article was written by Gbenga Onalaja. Gbenga is a Content Strategist at Wild Fusion, Wild Fusion is Africa’s leading Digital Marketing Agency.

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