Digital marketing is a vast umbrella term that covers multiple areas from SEO to blog writing and distribution channels to budgets. In this guide, we’ll help you to understand the key pillars of digital marketing, enabling you to build your own digital marketing strategy to optimize advertising through online channels such as search engines, your websites, social media, email, and mobile apps.
What Is Digital Marketing?
The term digital marketing refers to the use of digital channels to market products and services in order to reach consumers. This type of marketing involves the use of websites, mobile devices, social media, search engines, and other similar channels. Digital marketing became popular with the advent of the internet in the 1990s.
Digital marketing involves some of the same principles as traditional marketing and is often considered a new way for companies to approach consumers and understand their behavior. Companies often combine traditional and digital marketing techniques in their strategies. But it comes with its own set of challenges, including implicit bias.
- Digital marketing involves marketing to consumers through any number of digital channels, including websites, mobile devices, and social media platforms.
- This form of marketing is different from internet marketing, which is exclusively done on websites.
- Digital marketing is a broad field, including attracting customers via email, content marketing, search platforms, social media, and more.
- One of the biggest challenges digital marketers face is how to set themselves apart in a world that is oversaturated with digital marketing ads.
- Digital marketing comes with various challenges, including implicit bias.
How does digital marketing work?
Digital marketing uses a range of strategies to reach customers, whether the aim is to tempt them into making a purchase, increase their brand awareness, or simply engage with your brand. Modern digital marketing comprises a broad system of channels, including:
- Social media
- Content marketing
- Website marketing
- SEO (search engine optimization)
- PPC (pay per click) advertising
To achieve the true potential of digital marketing, marketers must dig deep into today’s vast and intricate cross-channel world to discover strategies that make an impact through engagement marketing.
Engagement marketing is the method of forming meaningful interactions with potential and returning customers based on the data you collect over time. By engaging customers in a digital landscape, you build brand awareness, position yourself as a thought leader, and place your business at the forefront when the customer is ready to buy.
Why is digital marketing important?
By implementing an omnichannel digital marketing strategy, marketers can collect valuable insights into target audience behaviors while opening the door to new methods of customer engagement.
Additionally, companies can expect an increase in retention. According to a report by Invesp, companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers. Compare that to companies with weak omnichannel programs and they have a retention rate of just 33%.
Digital marketing continues to evolve. For example, the increasing variety of wearable devices available to consumers affords new opportunities to market to them. Forbes also forecasts that social media will become increasingly conversational in the B2B space, video content will be refined for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes, and email marketing will become even more personalized.
The benefits of digital marketing.
Digital marketing can help you get to know your audience, learn important information about them, and provide metrics that will give your marketing team credibility. The benefits of digital marketing include:
1. You will get to know your audience.
Digital marketing offers the perfect way to get to know and connect with your audience. You can test offers and messages and get an insight into the peak times they visit your website. If you have a social media strategy — and you really should — you can build relationships with them faster and more easily. Attune yourself to your audience and you’ll build credibility that can set you apart from the competition.
2. It doesn’t cost much.
Compared to traditional marketing methods, digital marketing is cheap. There are fewer overheads. You can create a slick, professional website for a relatively small cost, using one of the many templated systems or paying more for a bespoke creation. You can create social media accounts for free, and partner with an email newsletter provider for a competitive price. Relatively cost-effective, digital marketing is suitable for even the smallest of businesses.
3. You can market to anyone, anywhere.
With digital marketing, your potential reach is huge. You can connect with customers on the other side of the world, in multiple time zones, as seamlessly as though you were taking out an ad in the local newspaper (easier, in fact). You can expand your market reach and grow your business in ways that would have seemed impossible before.
4. Digital marketing is adaptable.
Withdigital marketing, you can be fast, fluid and nimble in your approach. Trial different strategies, assess the results, and try something different the following month — or week. Get access to real-time data to help inform your business decisions — there’s no need to wait weeks to see the results of a campaign.
5. You can personalize by channel.
Your marketing must deploy cross-channel functionality from teams with multiple skillsets to engage customers where they are in that precise moment. For example, each social media platform includes different audiences and expectations, so marketing may look different for each. This includes tone, imagery, offers, and scheduling of your posts.
6. You can measure campaigns and set KPIs.
Digital marketing supports a vast universe of metrics that can be utilized to determine the effectiveness of your marketing. Start by setting your goals for each channel and the metrics you want to see for them. You can track the number of conversions and leads, visits to your website, and much more — giving you plenty of valuable insight to help grow your business.