With the onset of the digital age, online businesses and activities like blogging have become a few common sources of income for many. The internet has opened up millions of opportunities for people of all age groups to make a living for themselves. Marketing allows you to enhance the visibility of your business or personal brand and spread awareness about it.
As the technology evolved, new forms of marketing started coming up, like digital marketing. Let us understand what digital marketing is, and how it has helped businesses thrive, and paved their way to success through the years.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital Marketing is the use of resources on the internet to promote products and services. It consists of all technologies and tactics that help one reach their audience online.
You use digital channels to raise brand awareness and reach out to potential customers to develop your business. This form of marketing is especially useful when you are looking to connect with specific customers.
Digital marketing services are easily accessible online and are affordable even for small businesses. It is easy to measure the stats of each campaign when compared to traditional marketing.
Digital marketing also makes it much easier to reach out to a large audience, and even connect to global audiences.
Evolution of Digital Marketing
The 1990s was the period in which the term “digital marketing” was first used. Like most industries, it is also growing at a fast rate, all thanks to advancements in technology and the internet.
It is necessary to understand the current stage of digital marketing and its history if you are somebody who deals with digital marketing processes every day.
1. The Rise of Search Engines
In the period of the 1990s and early 2000s, we saw the rise of search engine giants like Google. As one of the most popular browsers Netscape entered the scene, more people started being aware of the web and search engines.
Search engines like Google use bots to crawl websites and store them to put them out as results when a user search using relevant keywords. This gave rise to practices like SEO or Search Engine Optimization, SEM or Search Engine Marketing, etc.
- We also saw the Panda update in 2011 which started to reward websites for the value they offer their users and customers. SEO became a game of ranking and creation of the best content coupled with SEO strategies to obtain those ranks.
- The Pigeon update brought about by Google in 2014 changed the way local search was used, and how it influenced businesses. It also led to an improved number of location-specific searches helping to bring a huge shift in the digital marketing scene.
2. Cookies In Digital Marketing
Cookie, invented by Lou Montulli and John Giannandrea shouldn’t be missed out when discussing the evolution of digital marketing. It was invented in order to collect and track user data like browsing habits, and interests.
A cookie is used to collect user data to help improve and tailor one’s services and marketing strategies according to the information collected.
Such consumer data also helps create targeted marketing campaigns to strengthen a brand’s relationship with its customers.
Businesses started using Customer Relationship Management tools in order to enhance customer experience and satisfaction. They help create more user-generated content to manage marketing campaigns for specific audiences.
3. Introduction of the social media
Social media plays a huge role in creating and promoting oneself on the internet. But today we use social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook for more than just personal communication.
Businesses use social media platforms to reach out to a wide audience and convey their message to them.
MySpace was the first ever social networking site created in 2003, which set the standard for other social media sites to follow.
Facebook, one of the most popular social media platforms, began its journey in 2004. In 2007, the first self-service advertising feature was introduced by Facebook helping so many online businesses.
4. Mobile-First Marketing
- In 2016, Google launched its AMP project or Accelerated Mobile Pages project for the search engine optimization of mobile sites.
Google placed importance on rich content like graphics and animations that worked alongside ads to provide the best UX.
It was also started to enhance the experience of mobile phone users by actions like improving the page loading speed of mobile sites.
- The mobile-first indexing was started in 2018. It meant that the mobile version of a website will be shown as the primary version.
With these new updates, Google’s ranking criterions changed. It started giving more rewards to websites that were optimized to provide a great experience to mobile users as well.
Such initiatives positively contributed to the development of opportunities in digital marketing for millions of businesses.
5. Engaging Content
Brands started including interactive content like contests and games in order to gain new customers and retain them.
These forms of content are now extensively used to gain the attention of Gen Z, which is the latest generation of consumers.
They are now important elements that are included while crafting a digital marketing strategy. We also saw trends like voice search, coming up as a way to conduct searches.
The Future of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing services and solutions have always been a blessing for businesses, regardless of how big or small they are. The increased dependence of brands on digital marketing tools and services tells us that they are here to stay.
The current trends show that there will be more use of AI technologies in business operations and social media activities like content creation.
More brands will be seen to jump on the bandwagon of trending technologies like marketing automation, Augmented Reality &Virtual Reality (AR & VR), etc.
Understanding the current trend patterns and predicting the future ones is necessary to knit the ideal marketing strategies for your business. Making full use of the upcoming digital marketing technologies also eases the process of reaching out to the right audience.