The essential aspects of digital marketing: Who, What, Why, & How

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing, also known as online marketing, encompasses all promotional activities that take place over the internet. It involves the use of digital channels, such as search engines, social media platforms, email, websites, and messaging services, to reach and engage with potential and existing customers. This can include communication through various forms of media, including text and multimedia messages.

How does a business define digital marketing?

For a business, digital marketing is the practice of using a variety of digital channels and techniques to interact with potential and current customers online. With the widespread adoption of digital media and devices, digital marketing has become a critical tool for businesses to build brand awareness, reach a broader audience, and drive revenue. As customers increasingly expect to engage with brands online, businesses must use digital marketing to create valuable and relevant content that connects with customers where they spend most of their time.

Effective digital marketers have a clear understanding of how each digital marketing activity supports their overall business objectives, and they use both paid and free channels to achieve their goals. By experimenting with a range of digital marketing tactics, businesses can find the best approach to engage their target audience while staying within their budget.

The various types of Digital Marketing includes:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)Content MarketingPay Per Click (PPC)Social Media MarketingNative AdvertisingOnline PRMarketing AutomationEmail MarketingInbound MarketingAffiliate MarketingSponsored ContentSearch Engine Marketing (SEM)Instant Messaging Marketing

Common digital marketing tactics:

  • SEO – optimize website for higher search engine ranking using keywords, on-page & off-page strategies, and technical optimization.
  • Content marketing – create and promote content assets to generate brand awareness, traffic, leads, and customers using channels like blogs, ebooks, infographics, and audio/visual content.
  • Social media marketing promotes your brand and content on social channels to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest are some of the available channels.
  • Viral marketing involves creating share-worthy content that spreads organically on social media.
  • PPC drives website traffic by paying for clicks. Google Ads, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer PPC options.
  • Affiliate marketing earns commission for promoting others’ products.
  • Native advertising is content-led and appears alongside non-paid content.
  • Marketing automation software automates repetitive tasks like email newsletters, social media scheduling, lead nurturing workflows, and campaign tracking.
  • Email marketing promotes content, discounts, and events while directing people to a business’s website.
  • Online PR secures earned online coverage with digital publications and blogs. Inbound marketing generally attracts, engages, and delights customers throughout the buyer’s journey.
  • Sponsored content pays another company to create and promote content discussing your brand. SEM increases website traffic with paid ads on search engines like Bing Ads and Google Ads.
  • Instant Messaging Marketing reaches potential leads through messaging platforms for flash sales, new products, updates, and customer service.

What is a digital marketer responsible for?

  • A digital marketer is in charge of promoting brand awareness and lead generation through different digital mediums that are available to a business, both paid and unpaid. Some of these platforms include: Social media, business websites, search engine rankings, email marketing, display advertising, and blogs.
  • Digital marketers focus on key performance indicators (KPIs) for each channel to measure its effectiveness. For instance, an SEO specialist would measure organic traffic to a website to evaluate the success of their SEO efforts.
  • Digital marketers may have a broad range of responsibilities in small companies, managing multiple digital channels and tactics themselves. In contrast, larger companies often have specialists who concentrate on a few key channels or tactics.
  • Ultimately, the goal of a digital marketer is to increase brand awareness, engage with target audiences, generate leads, and drive revenue using digital channels.

Which Is It: Inbound Marketing or Digital Marketing?

While “digital marketing” refers to an umbrella term for all forms of online marketing, whereas “inbound marketing” is a methodology that makes use of digital marketing resources in order to attract, maintain, and delight consumers. Digital marketing encompasses all marketing activities that use digital channels such as social media, email, search engines, and websites to connect with potential and existing customers. In contrast, inbound marketing is a strategy that focuses on creating and sharing valuable content that targets the needs and interests of specific customer segments.

Digital outbound marketing, on the other hand, focuses on reaching as many people as possible with a marketing message, regardless of whether they are interested in it. This includes tactics like banner ads that promote a product or service to a wide audience. In contrast, digital inbound marketing involves creating helpful and informative content that attracts target customers and addresses their needs. One popular inbound marketing asset is a blog, which can help a website rank for the terms that potential customers are searching for. Ultimately, both inbound and digital marketing can be effective for reaching and engaging customers, but they differ in their approach and tactics.

Do all kinds of businesses benefit from digital marketing?

Digital marketing can be applied to any industry, regardless of the products or services offered by the company. It involves the creation of buyer personas to understand the target audience’s requirements and the development of useful online content. However, each business should adopt a digital marketing strategy that aligns with its unique requirements.

In the case of a B2B company, the digital marketing focus is usually on generating leads online, with the objective of connecting them with the sales team. The primary aim is to attract and convert the highest quality leads via the website and other digital channels such as LinkedIn, which is a business-focused platform.

On the other hand, for a B2C company, the primary objective of digital marketing efforts is to drive traffic to the website and convert visitors to customers, without necessarily speaking to a salesperson. Traditional lead generation strategies may not be as relevant in this scenario. In such cases, the product features take priority, and businesses may need to employ stronger calls-to-action to encourage purchases. Social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are more popular among B2C companies compared to B2B businesses that typically use LinkedIn.

What kind of digital content should one create?

To determine the type of digital content one should create, you need to consider your audience’s requirements at different stages of the buyer’s journey. The first step is to develop buyer personas to identify your audience’s goals and challenges related to your business. Your online content should aim to address their needs and assist them in overcoming their obstacles. After identifying their needs, you should consider when they are most likely to consume the content based on their stage in the buyer’s journey. This is known as content mapping.   The aim of content mapping is to target the content based on:   The audience’s characteristics and preferences.The stage of the buyer’s journey that the individual is in, and how close they are to making a purchase.  

How to Conduct Digital Marketing:

To do digital marketing, define your goals, identify your target audience, set a budget for each digital channel, create engaging content, optimize for mobile, conduct keyword research, and iterate based on analytics. It’s essential to strike a balance between paid and free strategies, and to vary your content to appeal to different target audiences. Depending on your goals, you can choose to invest in inbound or outbound techniques, with varying expenses.

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