Why Digital Marketing is Important for Businesses: Tips for Creating an Effective Strategy

Written by the Amazon Team
Digital marketing is the use of online channels such as search engines, social media, email and more to increase sales. It is estimated that around 88.5% of Singapore’s population has access to the internet in 2020, with a projected figure of 93% by 2025. In fact, users spend approximately 8 hours per day on the internet on average.

As business owners, it is important to digitalize marketing strategies to capture prospective customers and potential sales. This is where you can connect with your audience digitally, which is beneficial especially for e-commerce brands.

In this article, we will touch on the different types of digital marketing, why it is important and tips on creating a digital marketing strategy.

What is digital marketing

Digital marketing, also known as online marketing, involves marketing activities that are carried out on the internet. Businesses use digital channels to attract and connect with existing and prospective customers — these channels may include social media, search engines, email, text messaging and websites.

With an effective digital marketing strategy, businesses can strengthen their online presence, build brand presence and improve sales.

Types of digital marketing

There are several types of digital marketing which can be categorized into 5 main channels:
  • Search marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Digital public relations (PR)
  • Digital partnerships
  • Digital messaging
Under each channel, there are 3 types of media: paid, owned and earned media. Here is a quick overview of the different types:
Source: Represented framework adapted from Smart Insights for Amazon Singapore. Any recommendations in this article are used for directional purposes only.
Learn more about each of the digital marketing channels below.

1. Search marketing

Search marketing refers to using paid and unpaid methods on search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Bing) to improve your business’s online presence. In turn, this may boost your website traffic.

The 3 main categories include:

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
PPC advertising involves having listings on search engine results pages, which businesses pay a fee for when a user clicks on their ad. Some examples include Google Ads, Display Network and AdSense.

Increase visibility with Amazon Advertising

Advertising helps to make your products more visible which can potentially boost sales. When selling on Amazon, use:
  • Sponsored Products — To promote individual product listings on Amazon
  • Sponsored Brands — To showcase your brand creatively and allow customers to discover your brand and products on relevant shopping results
  • Sponsored Display* — To attract customers during their shopping journey with programmatic display ads
The best part is — you only pay for the clicks that your ads receive!

*Not available on Amazon.sg yet.
● Organic search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of improving your website’s search engine rankings using non-paying methods. A popular example would be content marketing where businesses use engaging content to intrigue, attract and retain customers.

Optimize product listings on Amazon

Amazon SEO involves optimizing product listings to rank higher when customers search for items using the search function. The key elements of a product listing to work on include keywords, images, titles, pricing, descriptions (A+ content), key features and backend search keywords.

Read this guide to learn how Amazon SEO works and how to use it to your advantage.
● Link building
This is part of off-page SEO where more websites linking to yours indicates that you have higher authority in the industry in a search engine’s eyes. This is likely to affect how easily you can rank for your targeted keywords to improve traffic to your store.

2. Social media marketing

Social media marketing is carried out on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube to boost brand awareness and generate leads. Ideally, the content used on each platform should vary depending on the audience demographic.

The 3 main categories include:

● Paid strategies
Common examples of paid social media marketing include ads and content generated by influencers or key opinion leaders (KOLs).

Generate genuine customer reviews with Amazon Vine

Amazon Vine* is a programme that invites the best reviewers on Amazon to post their review of new products on Vine. Sellers are required to send their products to these reviewers for free, and will be charged a $200 one-time enrollment fee per parent ASIN after the first Vine review is published.

Through this programme, sellers can build awareness of their products, improve sales for new and slow-moving ASINs and help customers make better purchase decisions.

*Not available on Amazon.sg yet.
Organic content
Organic content is the free content that your business shares on your social feeds. Other than your followers, those who follow the hashtags you use may see your content as well.

Earned mentions
This is a type of earned media that your business gets from the public. It can be through post mentions or comments on blogs and videos.

3. Digital PR

Digital PR involves using strategies to spread information about your business to the public and the media. This is a measurable technique that can boost traffic and sales.

The 3 main categories include:

● Online advertorials
Online advertorials are curated articles about your business published on third-party websites. This is usually an unbiased piece that may include photos and a link to your e-commerce store.

● Guest blogging
This refers to writing an article on another website, ideally within the same niche. The post usually includes a link to your store to increase traffic and boost domain authority.

● Influencer outreach
Businesses can choose to send products to influencers or KOLs. If they like the product, they will be able to share about it with their following, enhancing credibility for your brand.

4. Digital partnerships

Digital partnerships refer to the collaboration of two companies with the same or similar target audiences. Often, the product or service provided by both companies are complementary.

The 3 main categories include:

● Affiliate marketing
This is an advertising model where businesses compensate third-party advertisers (or affiliates) when sales are generated. These affiliates tap on their following to promote relevant products and services and earn commissions from sales.

Boost sales with Amazon affiliate marketing

The Amazon Associates Program is a type of referral marketing that enables content creators and bloggers to monetize their traffic. When affiliates talk about your products, it influences their audience to make a purchase as they trust their recommendations.

Leverage the Amazon Associates’ audience to gain more sales for your products when you sell on Amazon.
● Co-branding
Co-branding is a partnership of two or more brands on a product or service, usually for a limited time. For example, a potato chip manufacturer can collaborate with a seafood restaurant to create chili crab flavored chips.

● Co-marketing
Co-marketing is when two brands work together to promote each other’s existing products or services to their respective audiences. For example, brand A and B can hold a joint giveaway to expose their audiences to the other brand’s products.

5. Digital messaging

Digital messaging, also referred to as business messaging, is when a company communicates with their customers through channels such as text messaging, email, live chat on your website and social media direct messages.

The 3 main categories include:

● Publisher
Leverage a publisher’s newsletter where they promote your products to their subscribers, expanding your reach.

● In-house
Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) can be done in-house using your own resources to promote products to customers who have subscribed to your newsletter.

● Partner
If you have partnerships with other brands, they can also promote your products to their pool of subscribers.

Why digital marketing is important

Digital marketing allows you to learn more about your customers, connect with them and use different channels to promote your product or service. Here are some benefits of digital marketing:

Reach more customers from anywhere

In the past, marketing your product was limited to traditional methods and prospective customers could only see your billboard ad if they drove past it.

With digital marketing, you can leverage several channels such as search engine marketing and social media marketing to reach more customers from anywhere and at any time. This convenience can bring more exposure to your business.

Customize marketing campaigns by channels

It is important to deploy a cross-channel strategy — the more channels your business uses, the higher the number of potential customer touchpoints. This provides more opportunities for customer engagement and introduces more communication channels between the brand and customer.

To leverage the unique aspects of each marketing channel, businesses should also look into varying the copy, promotions and images used in marketing messages across different channels in creative ways. Digital marketing then allows for channel attribution; you can know which channels have been most effective and use those learnings for campaigns moving forward.

Learn more about customers

Digital marketing enables businesses to test the effectiveness of promotions and messages. They can also help you understand your customers better such as the peak times they visit your website and what attracts them to make a purchase.

Additionally, an effective social media strategy can promote engagement with your brand and help you build relationships and loyalty with your customers. Having a strong relationship with your customers makes your brand more relatable and sets you apart from competitors.

Affordable method of advertising

Digital marketing is generally considered as an affordable advertising method. For example, you can:
  • create a professional e-commerce website using templates for free or for a small fee
  • create social media accounts for free
  • use ads and only pay for the clicks that your ad receives
  • subscribe to an email newsletter service with competitive rates
  • analyze the channels that are driving the most return on investment (ROI) and direct your budget to those channels
The flexibility of marketing channels allow even the smallest of businesses to adopt a digital marketing strategy.

Measure effectiveness of campaigns

As all efforts are done digitally, you can set goals and track key metrics to analyze the effectiveness of your campaigns. For example, you can look at the number of leads and conversions for each landing page.

From there, you can make tweaks and further refine your campaigns to improve their effectiveness. These valuable insights can help grow your business.

Make informed marketing decisions with Amazon Brand Analytics

Brand Owners selling on Amazon can leverage Amazon Brand Analytics to gain valuable insights. Data provided includes your product’s performance, customer search terms and your competitors.

This allows you to make smarter, strategic decisions about your products and marketing activities.

Tips for creating a digital marketing strategy

It can be challenging to develop and execute a digital marketing strategy, especially for beginners or small businesses. Here are some tips and key pointers to take note before you get started.

Identify your audience

When planning a marketing strategy, you have to first identify your target audience and demographics such as age and gender. Understanding your target audience gives you a better grasp of which marketing channels to use and how to craft your content to relate to them.

Craft marketing goals based on business goals

Crafting marketing goals requires you to start with the end in mind — start from defining your business goals and think about how your digital marketing efforts can help you achieve them. Once you have your business goals in mind, you can craft your marketing goals with the SMART framework.

SMART stands for:
  • Specific — Well-defined, unambiguous
  • Measurable — Quantitative, has a criteria to measure your progress
  • Achievable — Attainable, able to achieve
  • Realistic — Sensible, appropriate, relevant
  • Time-based — Time frame to achieve the goal
Creating goals based on the SMART framework provides businesses with a sense of direction and clear focus.

Set a budget

To spend within your means, it is good to set a budget for all digital marketing efforts. This ensures that your business is spending money consciously and more efficiently towards meeting your targets.

Select key digital marketing channels

There are many digital marketing channels that you can tap on to grow your business. Analyze your brand personality, the goals you have defined, where your target audience is and your budget to determine the best channels to help you achieve your goals.

Create intriguing content

After selecting the channels to use, start crafting your content — this can be for social media posts, blog articles, PPC ads, email newsletters and so on.

Keep in mind that any content you put out should be engaging, intriguing and attractive to your target audience. This helps to raise brand awareness and generate traffic and leads.

Attract customers with engaging brand stories and products

Stores on Amazon allow businesses to create an elevated shopping experience. By using this feature, you can include engaging content such as text, images and videos to showcase your brand and products.

Stores play a key role in driving awareness and consideration for your brand, potentially boosting sales as customers are more familiar with your products.

Analyze campaign results and refine strategies

Analyzing campaign results allows you to identify areas done well and rooms for improvement. By understanding what could be done better, you can refine your campaigns by making tweaks where necessary. This means that you can create more effective campaigns to achieve your goals.

Digital marketing case studies on Amazon

Over the years, various brands have been able to achieve success with their digital marketing campaigns through Amazon. Here are the success stories of Supreme Grubs and Aerospring Hydroponics:

Case study #1: Supreme Grubs

Nikola Rudic founded Supreme Grubs to bring insects, particularly the black soldier fly larvae, to farmers or pet owners who raise poultry or pet fish. Aside from being packed with nutrients, these fly larvae help to save the earth as the flies feed on food compost and reproduce fast, helping to reduce the carbon footprint in the food production process compared to traditional agriculture.

The brand launched on Amazon in May 2021 selling to the United States (US) on Amazon.com and later expanded to Singapore on Amazon.sg in March 2022.

Digital marketing efforts: Keyword research tools, Pay-per-click ads and tools to manage customer reviews.

Supreme Grubs used Sponsored Product ads on Amazon to spread awareness about their products amongst those searching for relevant keywords and participated in shopping events such as Prime Day to gain new customers. They also used external tools to track and manage customer reviews to ensure timely replies.

On Prime Day, they received 7 to 8 times more orders than usual. From these orders, there was a good number of customers that were new to the brand. The increase in the number of purchases leads to more positive customer reviews, which is likely to boost sales further.

Case study #2: Aerospring Hydroponics

Aerospring Hydroponics started when the founders Thorben and Nadine Linneberg wanted to grow their own food source at home, but faced a space limitation. So, they created an outdoor and indoor vertical hydroponic system that was later US patented in 2020.

Currently, Amazon is their main sales channel in the US, Canada and Europe. In fact, sales from the US accounts for about 65-70% of their global revenue.

Digital marketing efforts: Amazon listing optimization/SEO, and pay-per-click ads (Amazon, Meta and Google ads)

Aerospring Hydroponics ensured that they used best practices (A+ Content) for listing their products on Amazon by using bullet points and explaining the features in detail. Additionally, they also used Amazon ads, Meta Ads and Google search ads to reach more customers in the US and Europe.

By 2021, their revenue doubled every year and increased close to 350% yearly in the US.

FAQs about digital marketing

What is the difference between digital marketing and inbound marketing?
Digital marketing looks at different channels as standalone elements to reach customers.

On the other hand, inbound marketing is a cohesive, holistic marketing approach that creates unified campaigns across multiple channels to generate high-quality leads.

To maximize the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, digital marketing should work hand in hand with inbound marketing. This can potentially allow your business to convert more customers naturally.
What is the difference between inbound and outbound marketing?
Outbound marketing is a traditional approach to marketing that pushes messages to potential customers. For example, through seminars, telemarketing and road shows. The cost is usually high and it is usually not as effective in attracting customers.

Inbound marketing is when you use online channels such as social media and search engine marketing to pull customers in using engaging content. This approach provides a higher chance of securing a high-quality lead as customers are engaging with your content out of interest.

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