A few months ago, my brother made an impression on me by scorning the idea of advertising in general – as he bitterly spat venomous words my way it got me thinking well, that’s pretty much what I do. But it’s a changing game. Whilst writing a few articles to help steer students into digital marketing, I thought it time I put up a little celebration of the field. So here’s a few quick ideas about what makes digital marketing great:
1. Anyone can do it
All you really need to be a successful digital marketer is time. Anyone can advertise anything online, without prior experience or knowledge. And you don’t have to be technically minded, or a strategic thinker, for it to work. A case in point, my friend at Mamma Gz has marketed an entire business of bespoke cakes by networking on Facebook. She got to this stage in spite of a dislike of computers and a short attention span. And she didn’t do it through bookish marketing strategy, she did it by demonstrating her skills and personality.
2. Digital marketing is incredibly diverse
There are dozens of factors that make online marketing a madly varied field. It’s appealing because you have:
- Plenty of social media platforms to choose from.
- Plenty of tools to plan strategies.
- Plenty of different content types to play with.
- Plenty of people to connect with.
All of this amounts to one point: digital marketing gives you options. It gives you freedom. If you find one strategy isn’t working, you can move to another platform entirely. I’m a writing specialist, but I dabble in photo and video editing and social media strategies (just look at the amazing picture at the top of this article), and if I get bored of these I’m sure I could incorporate something entirely different into my marketing foray. Like interpretive dance. Working in digital marketing, I will never get bored.
3. Marketing online leans towards honesty
Advertising has always had a bad rap for the hard sale or dishonest claims. These aren’t areas that successful advertisers would generally endorse, but online the forceful advert is even less likely. Banner ads and flashing images may still prevail everywhere you look, but only a hack digital marketer would rely on such things. The trend has shifted towards useful, helpful content, as was made clear recently at BrightonSEO.
Marketing online works because it is not about directly selling a product, it is about appealing to people’s interests. Providing helpful content (or rather, providing what the reader wants) is the most likely route to success. It leads to more honest principles and to generally ‘positively good’ advertising. When I write business blogs, the aim is to endear the reader to the business, not to shove a product down their throat.
4. Everything can be analysed online
Part of what has made that high-quality content marketing possible is that everything can now be backed up in numbers. The customer journey can be clearly seen, so you can confidently state, for instance, that your content that helped someone with a problem sold more books than your videos of humorous animals. In my case, for instance, I can clearly see that one post on my English teaching website is selling more from a minor review of a recognised textbook than my various creative efforts to promote my own novel. You can see what works and what doesn’t, and readjust accordingly.
This builds on the first point, that anyone can do it, because astute people who are delving into the world of online marketing without any experience can see for themselves how to improve their efforts.
5. The world’s the limit
And finally, because it’s what makes digital marketing so delightful – you can reach anyone online, with anything. At no extra cost. I’ve done work with people in Los Angeles and in Russia through my site (lest you don’t know, I’m based in Brighton in the UK myself). Someone bought my eBook from India. I will likely never hear from the vast majority of people who visit my sites, but I can see where they come from and it fascinates me, and makes it all the more inspiring to keep doing what I do.