The ability to reach millions, probably billions of users using just your laptop and some skills in Digital Marketing.

Let’s take an example of a typical Advertisement in a newspaper before we begin with what Digital Marketing is.

This is an advertisement for Chetan Bhagat’s book “Half Girlfriend” on the front page of The Times Of India.

Let’s assume this AD has been published only in the city of Bengaluru on a typical day. The number of total TOI subscribers in Bangalore is around ~ 5 lakh copies every day.

The approximate cost for setting up this ad would be around Rs. 91 Lakhs which will be seen by approximately 5 lakh people. Cost/view = Rs. 18.2

What percentage of people do you think will pay attention to this AD? 10–15% at max? This is almost 75,000 people. Let’s take 1,00,000 as a safe number.

How will Chetan Bhagat and his publishers know how many people actually purchased or pre-booked the book because of this very advertisement? They won’t, right?

According to me, this is a very inefficient form of advertising. You are spending almost Rs. 91 lakhs to potentially reach out to just 1 lakh people. That’s almost Rs. 91 per impression.

Traditional marketing channels involve – Banner ADs near roads, Fliers, Newspaper ADs, Posters, etc. None of these channels give you important insights into how your marketing campaign is performing, because you can’t measure important metrics like :

Number of people viewing the AD
Time spent viewing the AD
People who visit the website/store to inquire more
Number of people who actually buy because of the said campaign
Digital marketing makes it possible to show your ads to the targetted audience right on their mobile phones, laptops/desktops, smart TVs, or tablets.

There are 2 major divisions in digital marketing.

Organic – You spend time, not money.
InOrganic – Where businesses pay to achieve goals.
Our smartphones are nothing but advertising screens for the advertisers, who display ADs that are customized to your personality.

The Times of India charges advertisers because they guarantee a certain number of impressions/views. Right?

Let’s take some examples to understand digital marketing.

Facebook – We use Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Whatsapp, “n number” of times throughout our day. Facebook takes this opportunity to serve us very targetted advertisements.

You can target people based on their age, gender, city, the mobile phone they use, the network they are on – 4G, 3G, wifi
The college they went to, the year they graduated in.
Their buying habits/behavior on the internet.
Their likes, dislikes, and a lot of other interesting points.
I mainly use Facebook ADs to get Leads. My AD is served only to the people who fall in the following categories. I can’t share very specific identifiers but here’s a broad selection.

People in the age group of 26–32 who are in a relationship/ engaged/ married.
People who live in cities like – Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Noida, Jaipur, and Surat.
People who have shown check-ins at international airports, and have been found to engage in online shopping always.
People who own – iPhones, Google Pixel, and other flagship phones.
Running ADs on Facebook is all about experimenting madly to find the right niche. There are different types of ADs that you can run on Facebook. But let’s not get into the details for this answer.

Facebook tracks our interests and serves ADs to us which are personalized and there are higher chances of us clicking and engaging with the brand.

Example – I will not be shown advertisements for “A posh honeymoon package trip” or “A luxury car, which I can’t afford”.

I would rather be shown advertisements about “Startup events around Bangalore”, “Interesting self-help / motivational books”, “bright clothes” etc.

Here’s a look at how my Facebook AD looks.

Sneak peek into one of my Advertisements. 🙂 You can see the age grouping, the interests, and the cities.

Facebook offers another very interesting tool called – Facebook Pixel. Pixel allows you to track your website visitors and display targetted ads to them on Facebook / Instagram.

Quora – Well, Quora lets businesses advertise on their platform as well. With an active readership in millions, Quora can accurately target advertisements to its users.

A person following topics like – Books, Literature, Art, Philosophy is likely to click on an advertisement of a “Book” or “a book event”.

I target people who have followed topics like = “Gifting, Wedding ideas, best gift ideas” etc.

LinkedIn – People on LinkedIn are usually professionals. So you’ll mostly find businesses selling their software – Sales automation, Marketing automation, HR Services, Web development.

I haven’t experimented with LinkedIn ADs yet.

Twitter – Usually content websites, news websites, and online magazines advertise actively on Twitter.

I haven’t experimented with Twitter ADs yet.

Google – This is where it gets interesting. There are millions of smaller websites that have viewership in millions, thousands, tens of thousands, or more.

Google provides 2 platforms –

To website owners where they lease out spaces on their websites to display ADs and be paid by Google.
To businesses who want to advertise and earn money (Bloggers, Vloggers, YouTubers earn through this platform of Google – Google Adwords)
Examples to understand this better.

A Fashion Blogging website would have advertisements for businesses selling – “Bridal Dresses”, “latest trending clothes” etc.
A sports website would have advertisements majorly about “sports academies”, “sports equipment” etc
A food blogging website would have advertisements for “restaurants”, “exquisite cuisines” etc
Google owns another brilliant platform – YouTube.

You can advertise on YouTube which is said to have a higher engagement. Visual ADs are said to appeal more to the audience. No wonder, you are spammed with ADs by Zomato and Swiggy.

This was pretty much about INORGANIC ADs where businesses pay to advertise themselves to their target audience.

A major chunk of digital marketing is about using Organic methods like SEO, Email marketing through list building to grow a business.

Let’s discuss this in brief as well.

Quora – I majorly write answers to drive traffic to my website. It takes efforts, not money in doing so. Although I have been inactive since (Jan’20) – Quora has been very kind in sending traffic to Stoned Santa’s website. (That’s the power of ORGANIC reach)
Facebook – Interesting posts that engage the audience get shared more and reach higher people. Facebook has cut down organic reach significantly.
Instagram – Giveaways and other campaigns are actively used by me to gather eyes on our page.
My answers on Quora have helped me drive a lot of traffic to my website, Thank you Quora.

Here’s a quick preview of my Google Analytics. Yes, Google gives you a tool to monitor and track your daily traffic. There is more information which gets shown, but this should give you an idea.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

Well, if you search for “Cafes near me”, you’d see a number of results on Google, right? How likely are you to click on the first link?

Advertisers and businesses compete with each other to rank themselves at the top. SEO is another long answer, so let’s not get into the details.

I want Stoned Santa to be the top result for the following phrases –

Handmade gifts, personalized gifts, unique gifts, etc
Gifts for parents, gifts for siblings, rakhi gifts, Diwali gifts, etc
Anniversary gifts, birthday gifts, etc
But, it’s not just my business who wants to rank on the top for such important phrases. So companies aggressively advertise and bid for the top positions.

I don’t want to be paying for traffic all the time. How do I increase my visibility on Google?

We plan to write high-quality blogs on the following topics to generate quality original content.

Interviews with our artists – This helps us expand our artist network and also enables us to generate high-quality content that’s related to Art – This is great for SEO (Google loves High-quality content)
Blogs about different gifting ideas – Anniversary Gifts, Retirement gits, etc
Blogs about art and design in general – This content attracts artists to our website helping us to grow our artist community
Detailed blogs about our products and services – This helps potential customers read about our products, and it helps them make their decision better
The idea is to write high-quality content that will be read and appreciated by the users. SEO is a tiring and lengthy process that requires a lot of research and months or even years of patience.

Creating high-quality is an intensive process (This answer took me 3 days to write), but it’s a one-time investment that keeps paying dividends even while you’re sleeping!

There is a lot more to SEO, but let’s limit this much for this answer.

I am an entrepreneur and marketer who loves experimenting. Hence I mix my experiments with online + offline channels to drive sales for my venture.

Marketing is all about experimenting with different ideas and channels to achieve your campaign goals. It’s always good to have a lot of data to analyze and improvise your experiments/campaigns.

Digital marketing gives you the ability to potentially reach billions of users from a single room. But traditional marketing is equally effective if planned and executed well.

Do you know what’s a killer? A combination of digital and traditional marketing methods. I will tell you what we did.

We recently advertised in over 400 Uber Cabs in Bangalore with only Rs. 35,000 being invested. With 40 days since we have gone life, we have made almost Rs. 2.5 lakhs in revenue.

Every visitor who came to our website was re-targeted with ADs on Facebook because of the brilliant invention by Facebook – Facebook Pixel.

If you see an AD in a cab and its AD is displayed on your Facebook again. You’re highly likely to click and engage with the brand.

That’s a brief preview of Digital Marketing. There’s a lot more to this. It’s so much fun learning and experimenting around.

I would love to answer your questions in the comments.

Meet my startup – Stoned Santa.

It’s funny and creepy how much information we shed every day and how that information is used by capitalists to make money and do a lot more.

Courtesy: Shashank Shekhar


Alif Media Solutions

The Top-rated Web and Media company in Malappuram, Kerala.

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