Digital marketing is a process in which we can sell products and services by using the internet as a medium. It is marketing of products by using digital technology. Some major companies which make use of digital marketing are online shopping companies like Amazon, Flipkart, automobile companies like Tesla, BMW, Toyota to even fast food and beverage companies.
Digital marketing uses many methods like:
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is a technique used by companies to include the right keywords in their website’s content to ensure their link shows up on the first page of Google when someone searches for those terms.
Search Engine Marketing
Similar to SEO but covers more than just writing content. It also includes emails, SMS, banner ads on sites and so on. It mainly refers to marketing content to get it higher in the search results particularly through paid advertisements.
For those who regularly visit your website, you write attractive, meaningful content that will make them stay longer and come back to your site more often.
Social media marketing
Using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram as a means of marketing your product/service.
Email and SMS marketing
Email and SMS marketing is done by writing attractive and interesting titles to grab people’s attention when they are going through their mail or SMS.
Customer Relationship Management
A company’s effort to handle issues in the digital marketing strategies. eCRM tools have been developed to make CRM decisions.
These methods are useful in analyzing Customer’s view, Customer’s needs and it helps in keeping track of one’s own website and the position of competitors website on the search engine results page. Thanks to its low-cost in terms of advertising and simplicity in production (you just need a PC with internet to make a digital marketing campaign), it is no longer restricted to large, high-budget companies.
Where and what to learn?
Since digital marketing is a very new phenomenon it is hard to find any courses on the subject in traditional education like BBM or MBA. If anyone is interested in working in this industry, they can study a separate digital marketing course available online on many websites like lynda.com, coursera.com and websites of recruitment companies.
There are various digital marketing courses available online. One can study about Google AdWords, SEO/SEM, content writing or creating ad campaigns on social media. Each course is taught in a different manner and their costs also vary.
These courses are usually in video format with either a person teaching and then recording it or just a side-show of images and text with a voiceover explaining the subject.
The duration of Digital Marketing Courses
A digital marketing course can be for a few hours long to a few months long in duration. It really depends on how much content it covers. Individual courses on SEO/SEM and other parts of a digital marketing course would take a student about 4-6 hours to learn. But if we were to look at the digital marketing course as a whole, it could take more than a month.
In websites purely built for teaching courses like lynda.com or coursera.com, there is usually an introductory video telling you about the subject matter of digital marketing, it’s importance and what courses their website offers. You can decide which course package to buy and learn from based on that video.
Choosing a right Digital Marketing Course
The features of digital marketing course offered from professional websites are:
Cost: Courses from such high-profile websites would usually cost around 4000 INR and even higher depending on the length of a course.
Exam/test: Once you register and start learning, an online exam or test will be conducted in the end to test how much you’ve learned.
Certificate: You will be given a grade and marks and a final certificate. This certificate acts as proof that you have basic knowledge about digital marketing and you can add it to your resume and it’s a bonus when you are looking for a job in the digital marketing industry.
You can also access digital marketing courses from YouTube. These courses could be uploaded by individuals or organisations who are either a specialist in the field or just want to share some information.
Pros: The pros from learning on YouTube is that it’s free, there are videos that are just an hour or two in length and you can watch at your free time and don’t have to write an exam at the end.
Cons: The major cons of learning from YouTube is that you don’t get a certificate stating you completed a Digital Marketing Course at the end. Those who teach these courses might not be experts and chances of getting misleading or just wrong information is very high.
Relevance of such courses and the connections with traditional marketing courses
Digital Marketing has slowly become a mandatory subject for those who are studying MBA or PGDM in Marketing. Professors are expected to understand the current trends and new technology and do relevant research on it before they can teach it to aspirants. This makes access to digital marketing in traditional education difficult and is thereby delayed. It could maybe take another year or so before it becomes a regular subject.
To understand digital marketing in a more practical sense let’s look at an example. The digital marketing strategy of an education company or website would be where the term “MBA Course” is used to increase their position online through digital marketing. SEO techniques like adding the college name, give some good review about it, by adding necessary details which are required for students like question papers, Syllabus, Exam pattern, etc gives high traffic to the website and acts as simple and effective advertising. The search term “Good MBA colleges in India” gets a good amount of traffic with the help of people who are online very often and their search is regarding academics. Using keywords to attract relevant customers helps in targeting the right customers at right time.
In order to understand and use the various strategies of internet marketing, anyone can study digital marketing courses online or even offline through centres. Careers that can be built by studying digital marketing courses include SEO content writer, SEM specialist, Social Media Manager, CRM specialist, Google AdWords copywriter and many more posts.
You can work in digital marketing and use strategies you’ve learned through courses and from experience to build your brand and company, possibly to a global scale.