What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is a broad term that encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to connect with current and prospective customers. It’s a way to promote products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media, differing from traditional marketing in that it involves the use of channels and methods that enable an organization to analyze marketing campaigns and understand what is working and what isn’t – typically in real time.
The Evolution of Digital Marketing
The term ‘digital marketing’ doesn’t differentiate between push and pull marketing tactics (or what we might now refer to as ‘inbound’ and ‘outbound’ methods). Both can still fall under the umbrella of digital marketing. Digital outbound tactics aim to put a marketing message directly in front of as many people as possible in the online space — regardless of whether it’s relevant or welcomed. For example, the garish banner ads you see at the top of many websites try to push a product or promotion onto people who aren’t necessarily ready to receive it.
On the other hand, marketers who employ digital inbound tactics use online content to attract their target customers onto their websites by providing assets that are helpful to them. One of the simplest yet most powerful inbound digital marketing assets is a blog, which allows your website to capitalize on the terms which your ideal customers are searching for.
Key Strategies in Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is an umbrella term for all of your online marketing efforts. Businesses leverage digital channels such as Google search, social media, email, and their websites to connect with their current and prospective customers. Here are some key strategies:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is the process of optimizing your website to “rank” higher in search engine results pages, thereby increasing the amount of organic (or free) traffic your website receives. The channels that benefit from SEO include websites, blogs, and infographics.
This term denotes the creation and promotion of content assets for the purpose of generating brand awareness, traffic growth, lead generation, and customers. The channels that can play a part in your content marketing strategy include blog posts, Ebooks and whitepapers, infographics, and online brochures and lookbooks.
Social Media Marketing
This practice promotes your brand and your content on social media channels to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads for your business. The channels you can use in social media marketing include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Google+.
Companies use email marketing as a way of communicating with their audiences. Email is often used to promote content, discounts and events, as well as to direct people towards the business’s website.
Inbound marketing refers to a marketing methodology wherein you attract, engage, and delight customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey. You can use every digital marketing tactic listed above, throughout an inbound marketing strategy, to create a customer experience that works with the customer, not against them.
The Importance of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing helps you reach a larger audience than you could through traditional methods, and target the prospects who are most likely to buy your product or service. Additionally, it’s often more cost-effective than traditional advertising, and enables you to measure success on a daily basis and pivot as you see fit.
There are a few major benefits to digital marketing. Let’s dive into four of them, now.
1. You can target only the prospects most likely to purchase your product or service.
2. It’s more cost-effective than traditional marketing methods.
3. You can see your results in real time.
4. You can adjust your strategy in real time to get the best results.
In the end, digital marketing is a crucial part of every marketing strategy, and if you’re not using it, your business is likely missing out on key opportunities to reach more customers and grow.