This is a step-by-step explanation of digital marketing for absolute beginners; what does it mean? types of digital marketing and platforms used for it.
Access to the internet has become extremely convenient; more and more teenagers and adults spend their time online.
With the inception of Android and iOS phones, toys and dolls have become a thing of the past. Children and senior citizens are enjoying digital media as everything is available there.
According to pew research, there is around 1.75% increase per year in American adults going online constantly.
With this increasing online presence of the public, businesses are also going digital, meaning they are interacting with potential customers over the internet.
So, what exactly is digital marketing?
Simply put, digital marketing is the marketing of a business/brand’s products/services on any online platform.
The platforms include social media, email, search engines, and other websites that connect the potential customer to a business.
Why digital marketing is necessary?
Do you remember watching billboards while traveling in the backseat of your car?
Before this smartphone era, people actually used to observe their surroundings while traveling.
Billboards were meant to capture the attention of those watching through their car windows. The scenario has changed today; people, while traveling, are almost always on their phones.
So, the marketing efforts needed to shift to a place where people spend their time: online. According to Statista, Americans over the age of 18 spend around 10 hours/day on their electronic devices.
This is why digital marketing is imperative. If you want to capture the attention of your potential customers, you will have to capture them online which can only be done effectively through digital marketing.
What role digital marketing plays for a company?
Digital marketing helps in building brand awareness and increasing reach to your potential customers.
More reach means more sales; more sales means you have the opportunity to build trust with your online customers by scoring good reviews.
Today, you don’t even have to spend money to attract people towards your brand; targeting the public on social media is one of the most lucrative practices of digital marketing.
This means you can increase your company’s reach by making it visible to people scrolling through their social media feed.
The opportunities with digital marketing are endless; the beauty of digital marketing is that you can come up with new and more effective strategies without breaking the bank.
So, if you are not utilizing the power of digital marketing for your business, you are lagging behind.
Digital marketing is not the same for every business
Digital marketing is defined by a business through the prioritization of marketing strategies and tactics.
For instance, a marketer may create blog posts for different social media channels and promote them organically or through the paid channel.
Similarly, an email campaign can be taken as the top priority by the marketer which is an effective digital marketing strategy.
So, it may vary depending on the requirements or priorities of a business; however, every digital marketing strategy has a huge potential to make the business successful.
What are the types of digital marketing?
- Search Engine Optimisation.
- Pay Per Click (PPC).
- Email Marketing.
- Affiliate Marketing.
- Social Media Marketing.
- Sponsored Content.
- Marketing Automation.
- Content Marketing.
1. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
First of all, you need to know how search engines work: When you enter a query in the search box, search engine’s crawlers or bots (short for robots) crawl the web.
After crawling the whole internet, the results are compiled corresponding to the searched keywords; this is called indexing.
Once the crawled results are indexed, the search engine ranks the shortlisted results according to its own ranking factors.
Making your website accessible, visible, and indexable for the search engine is called search engine optimization.
Google is the most popular and most used search engine these days, so I will only talk about Google now.
There are a lot of factors involved in search engine optimization according to common sense and experience. Not all factors are known to people as Google likes it to keep them to itself to ensure people only use quality content to rank their websites.
Some factors involved are text, images, videos, website speed, website layout and design, and website’s user-friendliness among others.
Now there are 3 main types of search engine optimization.
- On-Page Optimization.
- Off-Page Optimization.
- Technical search engine optimization.
On-page SEO pertains to all the content present on a web page. The images, text, videos, and design of your page contribute to on-page SEO.
In this type, you optimize the keywords searched by the public into your written text, image alt tag, and make your website design easy-to-maneuver.
Off-page SEO is the activity “off of your page”. When another website mentions your page in their article or you guest post on another website, the link you get to your website is called inbound link or backlink.
The authority of the websites providing you backlinks and their number affect your off-page SEO. Try getting good authority backlinks to your website genuinely, this will definitely impact your Google ranking positively.
Technical SEO pertains to the back-end of your website; image compression, CSS code minification, and HTML tag optimization all relate to technical SEO that eventually affects the website speed.
Speed is an important factor considered by Google in ranking a website.
2. Pay Per Click (PPC)
The pay per click marketing method means you pay the search engine a certain fixed amount whenever a visitor clicks on the advertisement. So, your money doesn’t go to waste; you pay only when you get visitors.
There are other platforms where you can use this strategy. For example, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ad Campaign, and LinkedIn sponsored messages to name a few.
3. Email Marketing
As the name suggests, this type of digital marketing allows you to send personalized messages to your potential customer’s inbox.
To me, this is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies. When a visitor gives you his or her Email, you can send personalized and customized messages to attract them to your product or service.
Emails can include special offers, welcome for a sign up on your website, holiday deals, subscription letters, follow up messages, or more.
4. Affiliate Marketing
In affiliate marketing, you get a pre-decided commission on selling a company’s product/service.
They provide you a personalized link that you can post in your blog posts, under YouTube videos or other social media platforms. Whenever a person buys through your link, you get that commission.
Many companies and brands use affiliate marketing to promote their services and products because of its amazing power; all the work is done by affiliate marketers in return for a small commission.
5. Social Media Marketing
Social media is without a doubt the most impactful medium for online marketing as the number of potential customers keeps on rising.
The process of social media marketing is simple. You promote your products/services on different social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat.
Every platform has a method to target the users interested in your type of business.
6. Sponsored Content
In simple terms, when another company, publisher, or influencer promotes your business in a podcast, blog, or video, it’s sponsored content marketing.
Getting promoted by a third party to their audience can prove to be very lucrative. People who follow certain influencers or companies for a long time trust them.
Sponsored content can make your business appear credible and trust-worthy, improving the chances of attracting a good number of new customers.
7. Marketing Automation
The surge in artificial intelligence has allowed many fields to adopt automation in repetitive tasks; digital marketing is no exception.
Marketing tasks like sending pre-schedules messages to your email list, social media content scheduling, or lead generation can be automated using software technology.
Let’s take social media scheduling as an example: Normally, you would go to social media platforms one by one and post your content. With automation software, you just have to write the content once, set the timings, and the content will be posted on all your social media pages at a set time.
Automating repetitive tasks saves a lot of time. Now, you can utilize the saved time in other productive activities for your business.
8. Content Marketing
You may have heard the phrase “content is king”. Well, it’s not an overstatement; well-researched and well-written content can do wonders for your brand.
Content marketing is when you write a blog post or an article to interact or teach with your audience. You can use this strategy to connect and build rapport with your readers and make them your customers.
This digital marketing strategy is exceptionally powerful because it can rank your website in Google search. And, if someone types in a term you have used in any of your articles, it’s likely that your website will show up on the first page of Google search results.
Offering a valuable free ebook to your readers is an effective way to build your email list. A valuable email list is a gold mine for a digital marketer as it gives you access to the inbox of your prospective customers.
What does a digital marketer do?
A digital marketer does all the things discussed above; however, it’s not necessary that all businesses will need every digital marketing strategy. Typically, digital marketers’ role is defined by the business according to their needs and strategy.
Normally, a digital marketer generates leads, brings traffic through SEO and paid advertisements, and increases brand awareness.
Digital marketing is an ever-expanding field because business must follow their customers, and they have gone digital. Today, if you are not practicing digital marketing, you are missing out on a massive growth opportunity.
E-commerce and E-learning are prominent evidence that even universities and shops are going online. So, should you invest in digital marketing? definitely! If you are a small company, you can learn it yourself; it’s not rocket science, but it will sky-rocket your business if implemented smartly.