What is Digital Marketing?

Following the phenomenal success of social, internet and mobile marketing in the last few years, the Digital industry has grown by leaps and bounds in India. Big and small brands have not only understood the power of social media but in fact have reached nirvana in effectively putting their message across to consumers.

What is Digital Marketing?

Simply put, to use all forms of digital advertising channels to promote a brand is what digital marketing is all about. These channels include television, radio and internet among others. Advertising through mobile phones, SMS / MMS / digital outdoor and banners also comes under digital advertising. Promotion is done in the same method as that used in direct marketing but in a digital fashion.

The need for every retail business, big or small, is to focus on SoLoMo: Social, Local & Mobile. If you happen to be reading this and only faintly know about this form of advertising, then welcome to the Digital party as we explain the power of this practical medium. Here is a list of 10 digital tools every retailer can work with to tap into the local market and get customers to walk in to their stores.

1. Mobile Websites and Applications

Google predicts that 85 percent of mobile devices will be web-enabled by the end of 2012. And with mobile traffic increasing exponentially on dealer Websites, possibilities are immense. But before you land on your new mobile website solution, be sure to check how it functions on Apple and Android mobile devices. Bulk sms and targeted links sent through are very effective.

2. Go socially hot with Hootsuite

It is a social media management system for management. The system’s user interface takes the form of a dashboard, and supports social network integrations for Face book, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, Mixi, MySpace, Ping.fm, and WordPress.Create a ebuzz with the social medias as these spread by your as well as your friends accounts.

3. Listing on niche industry specific web sites / mobile apps

If you are a restaurant- zomato.com. If you are a retail business that hinges on night life, events or shopping- burrp.com. Creating a business listing on the hyper local mobile app LocalBeat.in will definitely earn your business some brownie points. With customers actively writing reviews of your business, such sites create a fantastic avenue for getting feedback on customer service. It also helps in Internet Reputation Marketing. Also, Askme.com & JustDial.com are local, and category based search engines. Listings are either free or paid and can be done in a jiffy.

4. Accept mobile payments

Airtel is pumping in a lot of money on television to popularize is ‘Airtel Money’ service. Mobile payments are set to take off with an active mobile internet population of 49 Million and growing.  Other mobile service providers are gearing up to follow suit. As a merchant, you can start accepting payments via mobile phones. Visit: http://bit.ly/KuINbar

5. Google Ad words Management

Dealers looking for a low-cost way to increase traffic on their website will most likely consider increasing their Ad words spending in 2012.Google+ Local is by far the best solution for a retail business to be present across multiple Google properties. Each listing can be Search Engine Optimized by using relevant business keywords. To get started, visit google.com/places. On more tip – you can invite an official Google photographer to take pictures of your retail store. Starting with Hyderabad, Google would be creating virtual store fronts for all businesses that can be browsed in a map (street view).

6. Increasing Show Rates

Most dealers have strong visitor traffic to their Websites. The need now is figuring out how to leverage that traffic after a consumer calls chats or submits a lead to increase sales and profits. Why not advertise on a Snapdeal.com or a crazeal.com? According to Comscore, Deal /Coupon sites have grown last year and helps in turn out. Foursquare, an app available for iOS and Android mobile devices is also gaining popularity in India. From creating special privileges to offering discounts for other members, it’s a great tool. Get started@foursquare.com/business/merchants

7. Cloud Computing

It focuses on improving the online experience of users. Whether it’s chatting live, streaming or online environments – they will only get better in 2012 and this is something promoters must bear in mind to device better virtual strategies.

8. Video marketing

People will never get bored with video-watching. This is and will continue to be a powerful digital marketing tool. In fact, research points out that many marketers will take the video route to promote themselves in 2012.

9. Gaming

It will continue to explode like it is already. Thus, advertisers need to think out-of-the-box and offer digital users something unique in this space.

10. Multi-Channel Communications

Digital Marketing works best when it is combined with multiple channels. For example, a new product release can be announced using both e-mail and SMS texts campaigns. Clubbing, if well executed, can lead to excellent results. It involves a combination of push (messages being sent using email, IM, RSS, or voice broadcast) and pull (banner ads, Pay per Click, etc) Internet technologies.

Now it’s your turn. How do you plan to go SoLoMo? All the best.