Given how easy the internet has become, would you be surprised to learn that the number of people who use the internet every day is rising?
It is. According to Pew Research, adults have increased their internet use by 5% over the past three years. Although we often say this, the way people shop has changed, and offline marketing is less effective than it once was.
Marketing is about connecting with your audience at the right time and place. You need to reach them online, as they are spending their time online.
Digital marketing is any type of marketing that can be done online.
The SEO Specialists are big believers in inbound marketing, which is a great way to engage and delight customers online. We still receive many questions from all over the globe about digital marketing. We decided to answer their questions. You can click the links below to jump directly to each question. Or, you can continue reading to learn more about digital marketing today.
- What’s digital marketing?
- Why is digital marketing important?
- What role does digital marketing play?
- Different Types of Digital Marketing
- Examples of Digital Marketing
- What is a digital marketer?
- Digital Marketing vs Inbound Marketing: Which one is it?
- Is digital marketing a good option for all businesses?
- How to Do Digital Marketing
- I’m willing to experiment with digital marketing. What now?
How do you define digital marketing?
What’s digital marketing?
Digital marketing refers to all marketing activities that make use of an electronic device or internet. Digital channels include search engines, social media and email to reach current and potential customers.
While a seasoned inbound marketer may say that inbound marketing is almost the same as digital marketing, some differences exist. I have learned a lot about these minor differences through conversations with business owners and marketers in the U.S. and U.K., Asia and Australia, and New Zealand.
Why is digital marketing important?
You can reach more people with digital marketing than traditional advertising and target those most likely to buy your product or services. It’s also more affordable than traditional advertising and allows you to track your success and pivot as needed.
Digital marketing has many significant advantages. Let’s now look at seven.
Target only those prospects who are most likely to buy your product or services.
You have little control over the audience that sees your advertisement if placed on television, in a magazine or on billboards. Although you can measure specific demographics, such as the typical readership of the magazine or the demographic in a particular neighbourhood, it is still challenging to know the actual numbers.
Digital marketing allows you to target and identify a particular audience and send them personalised, high-converting messages.
You might use social media’s targeting tools to target particular audiences based on factors such as gender, age, location, interests and networks. You might also use PPC and SEO strategies to show ads to people who have shown interest in your product, service or searched for keywords related to your industry.
Digital marketing allows you to do the research required to identify your buyer persona and helps you fine-tune your marketing strategy over time so that you reach prospects who are most likely to purchase. Digital marketing allows you to market to sub-groups of your larger target audience. This is particularly useful if you want to sell multiple products and services to different buyer personas.
It is more cost-effective than traditional marketing strategies.
You can track campaigns and reduce your spending on specific channels if they aren’t showing high ROI. This is not possible for traditional advertising. It doesn’t really matter how well your billboard performs; it still costs the same regardless of whether it converts.
Digital marketing gives you complete control over how your money is spent. Instead of spending money on PPC campaigns, perhaps you decide to invest in design software to create high-converting Instagram posts. Digital marketing strategies allow you to constantly pivot to avoid wasting money on channels that don’t work.
Digital marketing is generally more cost-effective and offers unique opportunities to make sure you get the best bang for your bucks.
If you are a small business owner with limited resources, you might consider investing in SEO, blogging or social media. These strategies can provide a high return on investment, even with low spending.
Digital marketing allows you to outrank more significant players in your industry.
It’s difficult to compete with big brands if you are a small business. Many of these companies have millions of dollars invested in national campaigns and television commercials. There are many opportunities to surpass the big players with strategic digital marketing strategies.
You might, for example, identify long-tail keywords related to your product or services and create high-quality content that will help you rank higher in search engines for those keywords. Search engines don’t care about which brand is the biggest. Instead, they will prioritise content that resonates with the target audience.
Social media allows you to reach new audiences via influencer marketing. While I don’t follow any major brands on social media personally, I follow some influencers who showcase products and services they like. This could be an option for small- to medium-sized companies.
Measurable digital marketing.
Digital marketing gives you a complete, end-to-end view of all metrics that may matter to your company, including impressions and clicks. This is one of the most significant benefits of digital marketing. Traditional advertising is helpful for specific purposes, but its most notable limitation is measurability.
Digital marketing, unlike other offline marketing strategies, allows marketers to view real-time results. You’ve probably seen an advertisement in a newspaper. You know how difficult it can be to determine how many people read your ad. It’s impossible to determine if the ad is responsible for any sales.
Digital marketing allows you to see exactly how many people have visited your website’s homepage using digital analytics software. This software is available in marketing tools such as Google Analytics.
You can see which pages they visited, their device and origin, as well as other digital analytics data.
This information allows you to decide which channels to focus your marketing efforts on based on how many people visit your site. If 10% of your traffic comes from organic search, you will need to invest some time in SEO to increase this percentage.
It’s difficult to see how people interact with your brand before making a purchase or having a conversation with you. Digital marketing allows you to identify patterns and trends in people’s behaviour before them reaching the end of their buyer’s journey. This means you can make better decisions about how you attract them to your site.
Lead Generation and Content Performance
Imagine that you have created a product brochure and sent it out through people’s mailboxes. This brochure is an example of content, although offline. The problem is, you don’t know how many people read your brochure and how many people tossed it in the garbage.
Imagine that you were able to display the brochure on your website. It’s possible to track how many people visited the page hosted on your website and collect the contact information of those who downloaded it using forms. You can measure the engagement with your content and generate qualified leads by downloading it.
Using the right technologies and tools, you can track all your sales back to the first digital interaction a customer had with your company.
This is what we call attribution modelling. It allows you to identify trends and patterns in how people search for and purchase your product. This will help you make better decisions about which parts of your marketing strategy need more attention. Which features of the sales cycle require refinement.
It is crucial to connect the dots between sales and marketing. According to Aberdeen Group, companies with strong sales and marketing alignment experience a 20% annual increase rate. This compares to a 4% decrease in revenue for those with poor alignment. Suppose digital technology can help improve the customer journey throughout the buying process. In that case, it will likely reflect positively on your company’s bottom line.
What role does digital marketing play in a company’s success?
Traditional marketing may be done in printed ads, telephone communication, or physical marketing. However, digital marketing can be done electronically and online. This opens up a world of possibilities for brands to reach their customers via email, search engines, and social media.
Digital marketing is essential at this stage for your brand and business. Every brand seems to have a website. Even if they don’t have one, they should have a digital presence on social media or a digital advertising strategy. Consumers expect digital content and marketing to be a part of their everyday lives.
In short, to be competitive as an owner of a business, you need to embrace digital marketing.
Digital marketing offers so many strategies and options that you can be creative with your marketing budget. You can use analytics dashboards with digital marketing to track the success of your campaigns better than traditional promotional content, such as a billboard and print advertisement.
What is a Digital Marketer?
Digital marketing refers to the use of many digital channels and tactics to connect customers online. Digital marketing encompasses many tactics, including the website, the business’s online branding assets, email marketing, and online brochures.
Digital marketers who are the best have a clear understanding of how each campaign supports their overall goals. Marketers can support larger campaigns through both paid and free channels, depending on their goals.
For example, a blog can be used to generate leads for a newly created ebook. These blog posts might be promoted via organic and paid posts on the company’s social media accounts. Maybe the email marketer creates an email campaign to provide more information about the company to those who have downloaded the ebook. In a moment, we’ll discuss these digital marketers more.
Different Types of Digital Marketing
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Pay Per Click (PPC).
- Affiliate Marketing
- Native Advertising
- Marketing Automation
- Email Marketing
- Online PR
- Inbound marketing
- Sponsored content
This is a brief overview of some of the most popular digital marketing strategies and their channels.
Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is the process of optimising your website, so it appears higher in search engine result pages. This will increase the organic traffic (or free) your website receives. SEO can be used to benefit websites, blogs, infographics, and other channels.
SEO can be approached in many ways to bring qualified traffic to your site. These are:
- On-page SEO: This type of SEO is focused on the content “on the page” while looking at websites. You can answer readers’ questions by researching keywords to determine their search volume, intent (or meaning), and rank higher in search engine result pages (SERPs).
- Off-page SEO: This type of SEO focuses on activities that occur “off-page” to optimise your website. What action could impact my website’s ranking? You may be asking yourself this question. You might ask. How high you rank for keywords you care about will depend on the number of backlinks you receive from other publishers and their relative authority. You can build backlinks by networking with other publishers and writing guest posts (and linking back) on these sites.
- Technical SEO: This type of SEO is focused on your website’s backend and how pages are coded. Images compression, structured data and CSS file optimisation all form technical SEO. They can help increase the loading speed of your website, which is an important ranking factor for search engines such as Google
This is the creation and promotion of content assets to increase brand awareness, traffic growth, and lead generation. Your content marketing strategy can include the following channels:
- Blog postsPublishing articles on your company blog can help you show your industry expertise. It also generates organic search traffic to your site. You have more chances to convert website visitors into leads that you can use for your sales team.
- Whitepapers and Ebooks: Whitepapers, ebooks and other long-form content can be used to educate website visitors. You can also exchange content with readers to get their contact information. This will generate leads for your company and help move people along the buyer’s journey.
- Infographics: Sometimes, readers just want to see, not hear. Infographics can be used to aid website visitors in visualising a concept that you wish to teach them.
Social Media Marketing
This promotes your brand, content, and social media channels to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads for your business. You can use these channels in social media marketing:
Pay Per Click (PPC).
PPC allows you to drive traffic to your site by paying a publisher for each ad click. Google Ads is the most popular type of PPC. This allows you to purchase top spots on Google’s search engine result pages for a fee “per click” for the links you place. You can also use PPC through the following channels:
- Paid Ads on Facebook: You can pay to have a video, an image post or a slideshow customised by Facebook. This will be published in the newsfeeds for people who are similar to your business.
- Twitter Ads campaigns: Users can pay to have a set of posts or profile badges placed in the news feeds for a particular audience. Each post is dedicated to a specific goal. Website traffic, Twitter engagement, Twitter followers and app downloads can all be goals.
- Sponsored messages on LinkedIn: Users can use this page to pay to send messages to LinkedIn users related to their industry or background.
This type of performance-based marketing allows you to earn a commission by promoting the products or services of another person on your website. These are affiliate marketing channels:
- Video ads for hosting through YouTube Partner Program.
- Share affiliate links via your social media accounts.
Native advertising is primarily content-led advertisements and is featured on platforms alongside non-paid content. BuzzFeed sponsored posts are an example of native advertising. However, many people consider social media advertising “native” — for instance, Instagram and Facebook.
Marketing automation is software that automates your basic marketing operations. Many marketing departments can automate repetitive tasks that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do manually.
- Email Newsletters: Email automation is more than just sending emails to your subscribers. Email automation can be used to shrink or expand your contact lists as necessary. Your newsletters only reach interested people.
- Schedule social media posts: You must often post if you want to increase your company’s visibility on social networks. Manual posting can be a tedious task. Social media scheduling tools make it easy to push your content to social media channels. This allows you to spend more time on content strategy.
- Lead-nurturing workflows: It can take a while to generate leads and convert them into customers. You can automate this process by sending specific emails and content to leads once they meet certain criteria. For example, when they open and download an ebook.
- Campaign tracking & reporting: A marketing campaign can contain a lot of people, emails and content. Marketing automation allows you to organise everything you do by campaign and track its performance based on how each component has progressed over time.
Email marketing is a method for companies to communicate with their customers. Email marketing is used to promote content, events, and discounts and direct people to the company’s website. Email marketing campaigns can include the following types of emails:
- Subscribe to our blog newsletters
- Follow up emails are sent to website visitors who have downloaded something.
- Emails to customers are welcome
- Loyalty program members receive holiday promotions
- Customer nurturing via tips or similar emails.
Online PR refers to the process of securing earned coverage online through blogs, digital publications, and other content-based websites. It is similar to traditional PR but online. To maximise your PR efforts, you have the following options:
- Social media outreach for reporters: For example, talking to journalists via Twitter is an excellent way for you to build a relationship that will result in earned media opportunities for your company.
- Online reviews for your company: You might instinctively avoid touching a review about your company from someone online. Engaging company reviews can help you humanise your brand, deliver powerful messaging, and protect your reputation.
- Engaging comments on your blog or website: Responding to people who read your content the same way as you would to company reviews is a great way to start productive conversations about your industry.
Inbound marketing is a method of marketing that aims to attract, engage and delight customers at all stages of their buying journey. To create an experience that is positive and helpful for the customer, you can use any digital marketing tactics listed above. These are classic examples of how inbound marketing compares to traditional marketing.
- Pop-up ads vs blogging
- Commercial advertising vs video marketing
- Email contact lists vs spam
Sponsored content is content where your brand pays another entity or company to promote it.
Influencer marketing is a popular form of sponsored content. Sponsored content is when a brand sponsoring an industry influencer to post posts or videos about the company on social networks.
A blog post, article, or other types of sponsored content, could also be used to highlight a topic or service or brand.
This blog post will provide more information about sponsored content.
What is a digital marketer?
Digital marketers are in command of pushing brand awareness and lead generation through all the digital channels — both free and paid — that are under a company’s control.
These channels include social media and company websites, search engine rankings, email advertising, display advertising, and company blogs.
Digital marketers usually focus on one key performance indicator (KPI) for each channel to accurately measure company performance across all channels. For example, a digital marketer responsible for SEO measures the website’s organic traffic — traffic that comes from people who have searched Google to find the page.
Today, digital marketing can be done by many different marketing professionals. One generalist may be able to manage many of the digital marketing strategies described above in small businesses. These tactics are more effective in larger companies where multiple specialists focus on one or two digital channels.
These specialists are just a few examples:
Main KPIs: Organic traffic
In summary, SEO managers get the company to rank on Google. Using a mixture of approaches to search engine optimisation, this person might work immediately with content creators to ensure the content they create performs well on Google — even if the company also posts this content on social media.
Content Marketing Specialist
The main KPIs are:
Time on page and overall blog traffic. Subscribers to YouTube channels
The content marketing specialists are digital content creators. They keep an eye on the company’s blog calendar and develop a content strategy that incorporates video. These professionals often collaborate with other departments to ensure that the launches of products and campaigns are supported by promotional content on every digital channel.
Social Media Manager
Principal KPIs: Follows. Impressions. Shares
Although it is evident from the title that a social media manager plays a key role, the specific industry they work in will determine which social networks they manage. Social media managers create a schedule for posting company written and visual content. This employee may also collaborate with the content marketing specialist to develop a strategy on what content to post to which social networks.
(Note: According to the KPIs, “impressions” refers to the number of times a business’s post appears in a user’s newsfeed.
Marketing Automation Coordinator
Principal KPIs: Campaign click-through rate, email open rate, and lead-generation (conversion rate) rate
Marketing automation coordinators help choose and manage the software to allow the entire marketing team to analyse customer behaviour and measure their growth. Many of the above-described marketing operations can be performed separately, so it is vital to have someone organise these digital activities into campaigns and track their performance.
Which is better: Inbound Marketing or Digital Marketing?
The two appear similar on the surface: They both happen primarily online. Both work to create digital content that people can consume. What’s the difference between them?
Digital marketing doesn’t distinguish between push or pull marketing tactics. We might refer to them as “inbound” and “outbound” methods. Both can be included in digital marketing.
The goal of digital outbound strategies is to get a marketing message in front of as many people online as possible, regardless of its relevance or acceptance. The banner ads at the tops of many websites attempt to push products or promotions onto people who may not be ready.
Marketers who use digital inbound tactics rely on online content to draw their customers to their websites. They provide assets that can be helpful to their customers. A blog is one of the most effective inbound digital marketing tools. It allows your website to capitalise upon the terms that your ideal customers search for.
Inbound marketing, at its core, is a method that uses digital marketing assets to engage and delight customers online. Digital marketing is a generic term that describes all online marketing strategies, regardless of whether they are inbound or not.
Digital marketing works for all businesses.
Digital marketing applies to any industry. No matter what product or service your company offers, digital marketing can still be used to build buyer personas and identify the needs of your target audience. But that doesn’t mean all businesses need to implement a digital strategy.
B2B Digital Marketing
Your digital marketing efforts will be focused on business-to-business (B2B) companies. The goal is to generate leads online and get someone to contact you. Your marketing strategy should aim to convert high-quality leads via your website and other digital channels.
You’ll likely choose to concentrate your efforts beyond your website on business-focused channels such as LinkedIn, where your target audience spends most of their online time.
B2C Digital Marketing
Depending on your product price, your business-to-consumer (B2C) company may have a goal to drive people to your site and convert them into customers.
You’re less likely to be focused on ‘leads” in the traditional sense and more likely to concentrate on creating a buyer’s journey that is accelerated from the moment someone visits your site to the moment they make a purchase. You might have to place your product features higher up on your marketing funnel for a B2B company than it would be for consumer business.
B2C companies often find channels such as Pinterest and Instagram more valuable than LinkedIn.
What type of digital content should you create?
Your audience’s needs at various stages of the buyer’s journey will determine what content you create. To identify your audience’s needs and goals concerning your business, you should first create buyer personas (use these templates or makemypersona.com). Your online content should help them achieve these goals and overcome their obstacles.
Next, think about the time they are most likely to be ready for this content relative to their buyer’s stage. This is called content mapping.
Content mapping is a way to make sure content is mapped according to:
- Buyer personas are the characteristics of the person who will consume it.
- How close they are to buying (i.e. their lifecycle stage).
There are many options for content format. These are the options that we recommend at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
- Blog posts: This combination is excellent for increasing organic traffic, especially paired with solid SEO and keyword strategies.
- Infographics: They are very shareable. This means that they can increase your chances of being discovered via social media when other people share your content. These infographic templates are free and can be downloaded here.
- Video clips: These are easily shared and can be used to help your brand reach new audiences through hosting them on platforms such as YouTube.
Take into account the stage
- Ebooks: These are great for lead generation because they offer more information than infographics or blog posts, so people are more likely to share their contact information to get it.
- Research reports: This is another high-value content piece that is great for lead generation. You can also use research reports and industry data to increase awareness since the media often pick them up.
- Webinars: Webinars can be a valuable consideration stage content format because they provide more detail and interactive content than short videos or blog posts.
The Decision Stage
- These are case studies: If you want to influence a buyer’s decision, case studies can help.
- Testimonials: Short testimonials on your website are a great alternative to case studies if they don’t work for your business. B2C companies can think about testimonials looser. These might be photos of people styling a shirt or dress for a clothing brand. They can also be pulled from a hashtag so people can share their experiences.
Digital Marketing: How to Do It
- Define your goals.
- Identify your target audience.
- Set aside a budget to cover each channel.
- Find a balance between paid and unpaid digital strategies.
- Engaging content is essential.
- Mobile optimisation: Optimise your digital assets
- Do keyword research.
- Based on the analytics you measure, iterate.
Defining your goals
It is crucial to identify and define your goals when you first get started in digital marketing. You’ll be able to craft your strategy differently depending upon those goals. If your goal is to increase brand awareness, you might be more focused on reaching new audiences via Social Media.
You might also want to increase sales of a product. If that is the case, you need to focus on SEO and optimising your content to attract potential buyers to your site. You might also consider testing PPC campaigns to drive traffic via paid ads if you are aiming for sales.
It doesn’t matter what case it may be. It’s easier to create a digital marketing strategy once you’ve identified your company’s top goals.
Identify your target audience.
We’ve already mentioned this, but digital marketing offers the most significant opportunity to target specific audiences. However, you cannot take advantage of this benefit if you have not identified the target audience.
It is important to remember that your target audience may differ depending on the channel you use or your goals for a particular product or campaign.
Perhaps you have noticed that your Instagram audience is mostly younger and enjoys quick videos and funny memes. However, your LinkedIn audience is a mix of older professionals looking for tactical advice and more strategic ideas. To appeal to these diverse audiences, you’ll need to diversify your content.
You can also look at How to Find Your Target Audience if you are just starting out.
Set aside a budget to cover each channel.
The budget you decide to spend on digital marketing will depend on the elements you want to include in your strategy.
You don’t need a lot of budgets if you focus on inbound strategies like SEO, social networking, and content creation for an existing website. Inbound marketing is all about creating quality content that your audience will enjoy. Unless you plan to outsource, your only investment is your time.
Hosting a website is the best way to get started. You can also create content with a CMS such as WordPress. Ask us how we can build you a blog to host your content.
There is always an expense when using outbound methods like buying email lists or online advertising. It all comes down to the level of visibility that you desire from your advertising.
To implement PPC with Google AdWords, for example, you will bid against companies in your industry to be at the top of Google’s search results when searching keywords that are related to your business. This can vary depending on the competition of the keyword. It’s also possible to be very expensive. Therefore, it’s essential to work on increasing your organic reach.
Find a balance between paid and unpaid digital strategies.
Digital marketing strategies are likely to require both paid and unpaid elements to be truly effective.
In the first six months of your campaign, you can expect strong results if you invest time creating buyer personas that help you identify the needs and then focus on creating high-quality online content to convert and attract them.
If paid advertising is part of your digital strategy, the results may be even faster.
It’s best to concentrate on increasing your organic reach (or ‘free”) through content, SEO and social media. This will ensure more long-term success.
If in doubt, you can try both and iterate as you discover which channels — paid and free — work best for your brand.
Engaging content is essential.
Once you have an idea of your audience and a budget, you can start creating content for all the channels. These content could be blog posts, social media posts and PPC ads. Sponsored content and email marketing newsletters are all possible.
You must make sure that your content is engaging and interesting for your audience. The purpose of marketing content should be to increase brand awareness and lead generation.
Mobile optimisation: Optimise your digital assets
Mobile marketing is another crucial component of digital marketing. Mobile marketing is another critical component of digital marketing. According to Oberlo, U.S. smartphone use accounts for 70% of digital media consumption and that is increasing each year. In contrast, desktop-based media consumption makes up less than half.
It is essential to optimise digital ads, web pages and social media images for mobile devices. Your app can be used by customers to interact with your brand and shop for your products.
Mobile users should have the same positive experience when interacting with your company via mobile devices as those who use desktop computers. To make it easier for mobile users to browse your website, you should consider making it responsive or mobile-friendly. This could also include reducing the lengths of your lead generation forms to make it easier for people to download your content from their phones. It’s crucial to consider a mobile user when creating social media images. Mobile devices have smaller image dimensions, and text can be cut off.
There are many ways to optimise your digital marketing resources for mobile users. You must consider how mobile devices will experience the experience when developing any digital marketing strategy. This will ensure that you create digital experiences relevant to your audience and help you achieve the desired results.
Do keyword research.
Digital marketing is about reaching targeted audiences with personalised content. This can’t be done without keyword research.
Keyword research is essential for optimising your website for SEO. It also helps ensure that people can find your business via search engines. Social media keyword research is also helpful for marketing products and services through various social channels.
You should still conduct keyword research, even if you don’t have an SEO strategist. You can create a list with high-performing keywords related to your products and services. Long-tail variations are also an option.
Based on the analytics you measure, iterate.
Your team must learn how to pivot using analytics to create a long-term digital marketing strategy.
Perhaps your audience doesn’t seem interested in your Instagram content after a few months, but they still love your tweets. This could be a chance to reevaluate your entire Instagram strategy. Still, it may also indicate that your audience prefers another channel for consuming branded content.
Alternatively, you might find that a website isn’t receiving the traffic it used to. To ensure that visitors find the most current and relevant content, you might want to update the page or get rid of it completely.
Businesses have incredible opportunities to grow through digital marketing. But it is up to them to make the most of these flexible opportunities.