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What Is Digital Marketing? Everything You Need To Know

Would you believe me if I tell you that the number of internet users is still increasing?

According to Pew Research, constant internet usage among adults increased by 5% in the last three years.

The growing numbers of internet users every day is the main reason behind the fall of traditional marketing, it is not as effective as it used to be a few years ago.

Marketing simply means connecting with your target audience at the right place and at the right moment which means you have to connect with them where they spend most of their time i.e. Internet.

This gives birth to a new form of marketing called Digital Marketing.

In this article, I’m going to discuss

  1. What is digital marketing?
  2. Digital marketing examples.
  3. Role of a digital marketer.
  4. Traditional vs digital marketing.
  5. Is digital marketing for all businesses.
  6. Do you need to spend a huge amount on digital marketing?
  7. What type of digital content you should create?

Let’s get started

1. What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is a broad term that includes all the marketing effort on the devices connected with the Internet. It leverages search engines, social media, emails, etc to connect with prospects and customers.

Defining digital marketing from a Business perspective

thinking

From the above definition, it is clear that digital marketing includes the use of various tactics and mediums to connect with the prospect where they spend most of their time.

Successful digital marketers have a clear picture of how each digital marketing campaign aligns and support the overall goal.

Depending on the goals marketers decide to run paid or free campaigns or a combination of both.

For example, a content marketer can create an ebook to generate leads for the business. 

A social media marketer can help promote the ebook through free and paid campaigns.

An email marketer can create an email campaign specifically for users to download the ebook.

2. Digital Marketing Examples

a. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO

SEO is the process of optimizing a website according to the Google search engine guidelines to rank higher in search results.

Ranking higher means more organic(free) traffic to the website.

SEO is further divided into three categories

  • On-Page SEO: This type of SEO focuses on the content of a website. You can do keyword research and find out what are your ideal customers searching for then optimize the website content to rank higher in the search results
  • Off-Page SEO: This type of SEO focuses on techniques that happen “off the page”. In layman terms Off-Page, SEO is building backlinks for a website. The number of backlinks from high authority sites can drastically improve your search engine rankings.
  • Technical SEO: This type of SEO focuses on the backend of a website, like a website’s speed, loading time, website architecture, etc. websites with lesser loading time rank higher in the search results.

b. Content Marketing

content marketing

Content marketing includes the creation and promotion of content for the purpose of generating brand awareness, generating leads, bringing in more traffic and ultimately more customers.

These are the channels involved in content marketing.

  • Blog Posts: Publishing informative articles on your blog gives you a chance to demonstrate your expertise and helps in bringing more organic traffic. Blog articles also help you generate more leads.
  • Ebooks: eBooks are long-form content, an ebook is generally in-depth that covers almost an entire topic. Ebooks are a great way to generate leads in return for the information you provide.
  • Infographics: Infographics are a great way to educate your readers through visual content.

c. Social Media Marketing (SMM)

social media marketing

SMM is the practice of promoting the content or brand on different social media channels to increase brand awareness, generate leads, increase traffic.

Popular social media channels are.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest

d. Pay Per Click (PPC)

pay per click

PPC is the technique to drive more traffic to a website by paying the publisher every time an Ad is clicked. The most popular PPC channel is Google Ads, where you can pay Google to get the top slots its search engine results page at a price per click on your Ad.

e. Affiliate Marketing

affiliate marketingAffiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing where you receive an incentive for promoting someone else’s products or services on your website or vice-versa.

f. Marketing Automation

market automation

Marketing automation refers to software that can automate basic or recurring marketing operations. It helps the marketing department to automate their repetitive tasks, such as

Email Newsletters: Automation software doesn’t allow you to automatically send emails but they do allow you to shrink or expand the email list so that only targeted readers will get the emails.

Social Media Post Scheduling: In order to build your presence on social media you need to post more frequently. Social media automation tools post your content for you so that you can focus on your social media strategies.

Lead Nurturing: generating and converting leads is a tedious process. These tools allow you to send specific lead nurturing emails to convert your customers.

g. Email marketing

email marketing

Email marketing is a way to communicate with your audience. Businesses usually promote content,  discounts and upcoming events through emails.

Types of the email you can send in your email marketing campaign.

  • Blog subscription newsletters.
  • Follow-up emails.
  • Customer welcome emails.
  • Tips or similar series of emails for customer nurturing.

h. Online PR

online public relation

Online PR is the technique to market your brand to reach a wider audience 

It’s similar to the traditional PR except here it is done through the online channels. 

Top online PR channels include social media, online reviews, etc.

3.  Role of a digital marketer?

role of digital marketer

Digital marketers are responsible for creating brand awareness, generating more traffic and leads through free and paid channels.

These channels include social media, email, display and search advertising, search engine rankings and your own website or blog.

Different digital marketers focus on different key performance indicators (KPIs) for various channels.

For example, an SEO manager measures the website’s organic traffic.

In a small organization one digital marketing manager can handle almost all the activities but in larger organizations specialists are required to perform different activities.

Here are some examples.

SEO Manager

An SEO manager is responsible to get the website on the first page of the Google search results using various optimization techniques like On page, Off Page and Technical SEO.

Content Marketer

Content marketers are responsible for creating digital content that can perform in terms of search engine rankings, engagement, etc.

They work in coordination with other departments to ensure that all the campaigns align with the promotional content.

Social Media Manager

Social media managers are responsible to handle the social media channels for the company, they work closely with the content marketers to develop content strategies like which content to post on which channel, etc.

4. Traditional vs Digital Marketing

traditional vs digital marketing

Traditional marketing is the technique which helps you to reach a semi-targeted audience with various offline channels.

These channels include

  • Print Media (magazines, newspaper, etc)
  • Broadcast (TV, Radio, etc)
  • Direct Mail (Catalogues, postcards, etc)
  • Telephone (telemarketing, SMS marketing, etc)
  • Outdoor (Billboards, etc)

Traditional marketing is still effective but not as it used to be.

Technology has evolved and allowed a business to reach and connect with their target audience like never before.

Here are some of the drawbacks in traditional marketing

  • Higher cost
  • Limited customization options
  • Poor campaign management
  • No control over the timing

On the other hand, digital marketing overcomes almost all the shortcomings of traditional marketing, it has lower cost, fully customizable campaigns better campaign management and full control over time.

5. Is digital marketing for all businesses?

Digital marketing can work for any kind of business in any industry.  It also involves creating a buyer persona and then creates unique and valuable online content for them. Different businesses use digital marketing in different ways.

B2B 

If your organization is business-to-business (B2B) then your primary goal is to get high quality leads for your sales team via your website and other supported channels.

Probably you’ll want to focus on professional social media channel like Linkedin where your target audience is mostly spending time.

B2C

If your organization is business-to-customer (B2C) then your primary focus is to convert website visitors into paying customers. 

B2C companies focus on channels like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google Ads.

6. What type of digital content you should create?

type of content

The kind of content that you need to create depends on your target audience and at what stage they are in the buyer’s journey.

You need to create a buyer persona to understand the problems or challenges your audience is facing and how you can provide solutions to these problems.

Here are some recommendations,

Awareness Stage

  • Blog Posts: Works great in driving organic traffic
  • Infographics: Visual content gets more social shares, works best on social media.
  • Short Videos: Just like infographics these videos are also very shareable and can increase your social media presence.

Consideration Stage

  • Ebooks: Works best for lead generation as they are more detailed than blog posts.
  • Webinars: These are a more comprehensive and interactive form of visual content 

Decision Stage

  • Case Studies: Having case studies on your website works great for those who are ready to make a purchase decision.
  • Testimonials: If you don’t have time to invest in case studies consider making short testimonials they also work best.

7. Do you need to spend a huge amount on digital marketing?

budget

It totally depends on what aspect of digital marketing you’re focusing on.

If you’re focusing on SEO, social media, content creation for a preexisting website then the only investment you can make is your time unless you’re planning to outsource these services.

If you don’t have a website, consider making one on WordPress, it’s good and economical.

If you’re focusing on online advertising, like Google ads, social media ads, then it will definitely include some expenses.

For example, in PPC advertising on Google, you focus on keywords, some keywords have more competition than others.

Depending on the competition of the keyword PPC can be really cheap or really expensive.

Final Thoughts

So that’s all about digital marketing if you’re already doing it, good but if not then start doing it ASAP because it’s 2019 and sooner or later your business will die out in the offline world.

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