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What are the types of digital marketing?

Since the advance of technology, marketing has never been the same. Today, businesses and marketers have utilised technology to create digital marketing. Digital marketing is a form of marketing that uses online media to spread brand messages and content. Digital marketing distributes brand messages and content through search engines, social media platforms, applications, email campaigns, and websites. This form of marketing functions to reach the target audience with conversion-oriented messages to make more sales and grow brand loyalty. Marketers know that being innovative is a part of their job description, and this is why there are many different types of digital marketing. The most popular types of digital marketing are:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
    SEO is one of the most popular, and important, types of digital marketing. SEO functions to ensure that the brand’s website, articles, and/or products land at the top of the search results on Google when specific keywords and phrases are searched for. This process requires marketers to emphasise certain keywords and phrases, but it should be noted that they should not be overly emphasised. If marketers fill up a website or article with SEO keywords and phrases, it will seem unnatural and of low quality.

Search Engine Optimisation

  • Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
    This form of digital marketing, as the name implies, sees marketers paying the publisher of the ad whenever someone clicks on the ad to increase website traffic. Google Ads is one of the most common forms of PPC advertising, while other examples are paid ads on Facebook, Twitter, and sponsored messages on LinkedIn. This is considered a short-term form of digital marketing because once the marketer stops paying the publisher, the ad is taken down.
  • Content Marketing
    This form of digital marketing aims to create and promote a range of content to get website clicks, generate leads, and ultimately make sales. The created content can be blog posts, social media posts, videos, podcasts, and more. It is important the created content is SEO rich while still being natural to grab the attention of potential customers. Besides this, the interests, needs, and wants of the target audience need to be focused on when creating the content to make sales and build the desired brand loyalty. If this does not happen, it is likely that the content marketing will be unsuccessful.

Content Marketing

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
    SEM can be described as the paid form of SEO. This form of digital marketing sees businesses buy advertising space on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). With SEM advertisers pay for the impressions that lead to website clicks, and this also assists in a higher ranking for the website in organic search results. It is recommended to combine SEO and SEM to gain optimal traffic to a website.
  • Influencer Marketing
    This form of digital marketing uses the services of individuals and businesses on social media platforms that have large followings. The aim of this form of marketing is to reach wider audiences and gain more customers. The ‘influencer’, once recruited, will become a brand ambassador of sorts and will be paid to post content such as photos, videos, or features on their website. It has to be noted that the influencers with the largest followings aren’t always the best choice. If the marketing is done well with a smaller scale influencer, the impact can be enormous.

Influencer Marketing

  • Email Marketing
    This form of digital marketing sees marketers send emails to their subscribed clients. This stimulates engagement, reinforces brand loyalty, and aims to drive sales. A popular form of email marketing is curating a newsletter for subscribers. Newsletters would contain information about the business, announcements, and even special discounts. Marketers should strive to keep email marketing exciting and informative, without overwhelming their subscribers’ email inboxes. This will ensure that the subscribers stay subscribed.

Digital Marketing Tools that are expected to be trendy in 2022

Digital Marketing - IMM Blog Image

Digital Marketing trends have continued to grow over the past year, especially given the COVID-19 pandemic. People have found different and new ways to optimise their time and entertain themselves and their families using online platforms and digital technology. The same can be said for businesses, small and big, who have had to utilise new tools to increase engagement, performance and overall value with their consumers. They have in many cases been forced to better use online strategies like Search Engine Optimisation in order to be found by customers in an increasingly competitive landscape – Google’s search results page.

Networking - IMM Blog Image

With SEO growing as a leading tactic in digital marketing, the SEO service market is looking to hit $19.5 billion by 2025 according to India West. Businesses without a SEO strategy will most definitely not be able to compete in the online world. According to this article, Google’s latest algorithm update allows marketing and business professionals to now have more control over search engine optimisation than ever before. The update also insists that businesses keep their websites up-to-date in order to promote good user experience – the better the experience, the higher the business ranks in search engine results. This on its own is a win for product or service providers that are looking to sell or market their offering online.

SEO - IMM Blog Image

But besides SEO, here’s what else is expected to be trendy in 2022!

1. Artificial Intelligence technology tools

Building and Decor South Africa reports that personalisation is a key factor in the buying decisions of 86% of e-commerce customers. Therefore, the rise of Artificial Intelligence tools being used to understand consumer trends, clicks and interests will continue to rise amongst Digital Marketers next year. To customise e-commerce experiences such as sending coupons or relevant re-engagement emails, e-commerce service providers are already using big data to predict consumers’ demographics and behavior. This information all comes from the technology embedded in AI. The bigger attraction for organisations is the ability to automate digital marketing processes.

Artificial Intelligence technology - IMM Blog Image

2. Chatbots and Digital Voice Assistants

Business 2 Community reports that due to the success of digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, more people have become excited about the idea of chatbots and digital assistants. It gives customers an experience that is personalised which in turn will build their brand loyalty. We forecast that as early as 2022, businesses of all sizes will have to integrate chatbots into their digital marketing strategy in order to increase customer engagement.

Chatbots and Digital Voice Assistants - IMM Blog Image

3. Augmented and Virtual Reality Marketing

A number of digital marketers are currently using Augmented Reality ads. The experience that Augmented Reality offers is life-like and more exciting than just scrolling through product images. As COVID-19 has forced millions of consumers to buy online, the e-Commerce space has taken off, hence more spending occurred during 2020-2021 (read more about that here). With more people now habitually shopping online, creating alternative realities, or bringing the feeling or experience of a store or brand to the consumers own hands, allows for greater reach and will revolutionise the way we shop. Digital Marketers will have to integrate forms of AVR into their strategies in the coming year.

Augmented and Virtual Reality Marketing - IMM Blog Image

Conclusion

There are many more tools that Digital Marketers are going to need to optimise in the

upcoming year. As we’ve all seen with the revolution of technology becoming more and more consumer-based over the past year, it’s becoming pressing that marketers start rolling with the tech and finding their place in strategising in the unknown. From Chatbots to Virtual Reality, both rely heavily on Artificial Intelligence, therefore making the three intrinsically linked. We’ve already seen how platforms such as TikTok have exploded over the past two years (read more about that here), we now need to think of innovative ways to integrate these tools onto these mega-platforms.

 

Visual Searches – Get the big picture

Visual Searches – Get the big picture

To quickly bring you up to speed, a visual search is when you use a real-word image (screenshots, internet image or photograph) as the origin for an online search. In other words, you take a picture, hit search and the visual search browser will show you similar images found online. You can then click through on any these images to get more information like what it is, how to make it or where you can get one.

This is very appealing, we are after all a visually orientated species and can understand a picture in less than second, much faster than it takes us to process text. In fact, 62% of millennials want visual search over any other new technology. Visenze

But how does it work you say? Well without getting too technical visual search is powered by computer vision which is the technology that helps computers understand what they are seeing. To a computer a picture is just a bunch of numbers. But if you use machine learning to ascribe meaning to a certain set of numbers and use enough data a computer can learn to associate similar sets of numbers and can cross reference them to gain context.

Visual Search Platforms

The platform that brought visual search into the limelight was Pinterest and in 2018 reported over 600 million visual searches every month. Not far behind is Google Lens and Bing Visual Search.

A number of retail outlets have also developed visual search apps to help you shop with them including Amazon, e-bay, Walmart, Ikea and the list is growing every day.

How Marketers can take advantage of visual searches.

When we go into a shop to buy clothes, we don’t read the label first, and that is what makes visual search such an exciting prospect for Marketers. There is now a way to engage our primary sense when searching online.

With more and more searches being done with visual search image SEO is more important than ever.

Here are a few hints to help get images SEO ready:

  • Use structured data where relevant: mark up your images
  • Use alt attributes to describe the images
  • Find unique images — not stock photos
  • Make them high quality if you want AI to figure out what’s on it
  • Add them in a relevant place, where they provide context to the text
  • Use descriptive filenames, not IMG168393.jpg
  • Add captions where necessary
  • Use the right sized images
  • Always compress them!

To be on forefront of visual search technology you can build visual search capability into you web inventory. And finally advertise your product on Pinterest if you have a visually related product.

As with so many innovative concepts those with vision and foresight will take advantage of the opportunities offered by visual search and the rest will be left playing catchup.

To learn more about how Search Engine Optimisation and Content Marketing can help put your brand on the map sign up for the IMM Search Engine and Content Marketing Short Course. Call us on 0861 466 476 or visit www.immsc.co.za for more information on this and the other courses we offer.