By now, you’re familiar with the term digital marketing. But what is digital marketing exactly? And what purpose does it serve? In the most basic terms, digital marketing is the promotion of brands through various types of electronic media. It’s the umbrella for all online and mobile marketing efforts you are making. Things such as social media, your website, banner ads, and email marketing can all fall under this. A staggering 94% of B2B buyers researching online before making purchase decisions. It’s clear that digital marketing is an important strategy to employ. Let’s explore what is digital marketing and why it matters. We’ll start by breaking down the various digital marketing assets and tactics and how to make digital work for you.
What is Digital Marketing? The Different Pieces
Let’s start with the most obvious one. You need a website in order to survive in today’s day and age. Your website might seem like such a necessity that you don’t even think of it as a tool. However it’s essential to your digital marketing strategy. It’s how people find you on the web and where they go to buy from you. Digital marketing spans various types of electronic forms and media, so make sure that your website is responsive. 80% of internet users are turning to a smartphone to search the internet. You want to ensure that these users are getting the best website experience possible.
Your website should be the center of all your online marketing efforts. The ultimate goal is to drive visitors to your website. From there you can convert them into customers. Whenever you’re devising email or social media strategies, remember that your goal is always to drive traffic back to your website. Another way to get website traffic is search engine optimisation (SEO). This is the process of using certain keywords and tactics to ensure your website ranks highly on search engine result pages (SERPs). Your first priority should be developing a good website, then using other online tactics to get that website noticed.
Your website is the one place that you can totally control how your brand is perceived. There are no format requirements that you have to meet. This is the place you want to make your first impression on customers, so make it a good one. When asking yourself “what is digital marketing”, your website is the first place you need to look.
A blog is an example of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing involves using online resources to attract customers to your website. It brings your ideal customers in, rather than trying to push your product or service out. A blog is a good example of this. You can write about the things your ideal customers would be interested and offer them genuine solutions. Let’s say you’re a fashion website that sells clothing. You could write a fashion blog offering advice on how to dress for school. The people who would be searching for that type of advice are exactly the type of customers you’d want. This would mean you’ve successfully drawn them in with your inbound marketing.
Email marketing is a type of digital marketing that can be very successful. This is especially true if you have an e-commerce company. Emails can be an excellent way to keep yourself fresh in your customer’s mind. Emails are easily customisable for each customer’s specific wants and needs. This makes them much more effective than some marketing techniques that aim to appeal to everyone. If you include a link to coupons or deals, that’s a call-to-action that will lead them directly to your website, and (hopefully!) to a conversion.
This might be the most popular form of digital marketing. Most businesses have a Facebook account these days, and many have Twitter or Instagram as well. This is particularly successful because it puts you right in front of the customer where they are likely spending most of their time online. Remember those blog posts from earlier? Social media is a great place to post these and ask for feedback from followers. Not only is this a great way to increase interaction, you can use this as a way to find out what people do and do not respond to.
PPC Advertising (Think Facebook Ads, Google Adwords)
Another way to market online is by purchasing ad space. This can involve Google ads, retargeted ads, or banner ads. Each ad functions differently, and could be used in different scenarios. Paying to have your website show up at the beginning of a search can help customers find you. However some might not click on your website because it’s not organically high-ranking. This a type of PPC (pay-per-click) advertising. In the case of Google, you would only pay the company for each click you receive on your website.
Banner ads can successfully capture a consumer’s attention. But be sure that you’re making a quality creative that won’t drive customers away. Retargeted ads are ads that show up to people who have already visited your website. This is a good tactic because they’ve already expressed interest in your brand in the past. This means they could be persuaded to visit your website again. Online ads also have an easily measurable ROI.
Why Digital Marketing
We’ve covered what is digital marketing and what it’s various forms might look like. Now let’s get down to why you need it. Digital marketing makes it incredibly easy to measure your results. You can also see what was a success and what wasn’t. Unlike traditional marketing efforts, you can observe in real-time how different strategies are driving sales. This helps you make smart marketing decisions and tweak what you must in order to get more sales.
But perhaps the most important part of having a digital marketing strategy is simply this: you can’t afford not to. Digital is bigger than ever, and will only continue to grow. Companies without a good strategy integrating their website, social media, and online advertising will be at a disadvantage. Don’t keep asking yourself “what is digital marketing?” Go out and start applying it. The future is leaning towards digital marketing; don’t get left behind.