One of the most powerful and effective tools you need to run and prosper a business (in today's digitally-driven, competitive, dynamic, and ever-evolving age) is ...
Yes, you guessed it right, mate. None other than digital marketing.
“Digital marketing” is a term that always appears way more complicated than it actually is. It is often littered with complexity and so much confusion that seems to mean something different to everyone. However, if you look carefully, it's pretty straightforward and easy to comprehend. And that's exactly what in today's article we're diving in headfirst to uncover everything about online marketing.
So without any further ado, let's learn everything about internet marketing in less than seven minutes and become a pro from a complete noob. What say?
Ready? Let's get started!
A Quick Glance Over the Digital Marketing
So what is digital marketing, exactly? If I am ever asked to sum up online marketing in just one sentence, I would say - "digital marketing is just marketing done digitally." That's all! Sounds pretty simple, right?
Today's modern marketing has become all about using online tools and communicating value to your customers, and digital marketing ensures the same. So if you are asked to explain digital marketing, you can say that it is about communicating value to your customers using cutting-edge digital tools.
The Core Definition:
Digital marketing (aka online marketing, internet marketing, and sometimes growth marketing and growth hacking) promotes and sells products / services, powering digital tools and online marketing tactics. All in all, it is advertising (and selling) via the internet.
Online marketing is an advertising effort that one implements on an online platform via digital channels, such as search engines, websites, social media, email, apps, and other digital media.
How Digital Marketing Works, Exactly?
Would you agree if I say that most of the audience (today) has moved from billboard marketing to digital advertising? Of course, you would. That's exactly why businesses need to know how online marketing actually works.
So without wasting much time, let's get to know!
To have a profound understanding of "how digital marketing works," you need to think of internet marketing as a company, where the "online marketing channels" are employees (containing varied skillsets) who work unitedly towards achieving one common goal - to help the company grow and reach heights.
You can even think of digital marketing as “Parts of Speech” where the "types" are different parts of speech (like Noun, Pronoun, Verb, Adjectives, etc.) that come (and used) together to form a sentence.
Likewise, all the components of online marketing team up to generate traffic, create awareness, and convert leads into loyal customers to ultimately maximize ROI.
The Importance of Digital Marketing in Today's Age
In a world where there are over 4.7 billion active internet users worldwide (that's more than 60% of the world's total population, the number is ever-increasing) and 68% of all online experiences begin with search engines, it's crystal clear that the internet is entwined with everything we do.
People are rapidly moving online. That's why harnessing the power of digital marketing becomes critical for businesses.
Online marketing is cost-effective, helps businesses reach people where they spend their time, surpass competitors, compete with bigger names, gives faster and better results, caters to mobile phone users, strengthens brand reputation, and offers higher ROI (every business owner's favorite).
The digital marketing industry is dynamic and ever-changing. It has become an integral part of what business means to its customers. Today's consumers heavily rely on digital means to research products. That said, around 81% of shoppers research their products online before buying.
In fact, it is believed that marketing leaders usually spend 75% of their total marketing budget on internet marketing only. They leverage the power of digital marketing because it brings miraculous results for them. Try it out all by yourself; I bet you will be stunned by its outcomes.
Top 7 + 1 (Widely Used) Different Types of Digital Marketing
You must be wondering - how many types of digital marketing are out there? Well, if we look closely, online marketing can be broadly broken into seven main categories - SEO, PPC, SMM, SEM, content marketing, email marketing, and influence / affiliate marketing.
Here, we have provided a brief overview of each. Plus, we have also listed one bonus “type” that is gaining popularity worldwide. So let's dive in to know!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO improves the overall searchability and visibility of your website. SEO is about optimizing your content to appear higher in search results. Higher the ranking, the better the conversion. In fact, SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate. SEO (if done right) can help you rank higher on Google and drive online (organic) traffic towards your portal. And the best thing is, SEO is absolutely free. Yay!
To put it simply, PPC is when you search for something on Google and see ads displayed at the top of the results page. It is an online marketing model where marketers run ad campaigns on Google Ads and pay a fee every time someone clicks on the ad. Businesses leverage PPC to drive traffic, conversions, and sales from potential customers. Around 79% of marketers say that PPC is hugely beneficial for their business.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Social media marketing is all about using social media platforms to market products / services. Businesses create tailored content for each social media platform to drive engagement and promote their offerings. Through SMM, anyone can find and connect with their potential audience, build their brands, and ultimately drive revenue. Around 92% of US marketers in companies will use SMM for marketing purposes by 2022.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
As the name suggests, SEM is the marketing of search engines. Nearly 63% of users are more likely to click on a paid search ad on Google. SEM is an act of using paid strategies to increase the visibility of a website in search engine result pages (SERPs). You can think of it as an SEO (but paid). SEM is about buying traffic through paid listings, referring to paid search marketing.
To rank higher in SERPs, you need to create engaging, high-quality, well-researched content related to your industry and domain. Content marketing is the process of planning, creating, distributing, sharing, and publishing clear, relevant, and consistent content to provide information to readers and eventually drive lucrative customer action. Having said that, nearly 70% of marketers actively invest in content marketing.
Email marketing is used to inform, promote products, generate interest, drive sales, and build a community (and loyalty) around brands via effective emails. It's a type of "proven to work" marketing that involves sending emails to prospects and customers. In fact, research has shown that companies receive an average ROI of $ 42 for every $ 1 spent. That's an ROI of 4200% . Isn't it impressive?
Influence / Affiliate Marketing
Both influencer and affiliate are a type of online networking marketing that leverages the power of influencers or industry experts for marketing purposes. With influencer / affiliate marketing, companies enlist eminent, famous faces to endorse their products or services on social media platforms or affiliate websites. About 17% of companies spend over half their marketing budget on influencer marketing only.
Display Advertising (The Bonus One)
Display advertising is the marketing of products / services through visuals like images and videos on the network of publisher websites, such as Google Display Network, Facebook, etc. It's graphic advertising on internet websites, apps, or social media. The main purpose of display advertising is to deliver general ads and impactfully convey brand messages to potential customers.
How to Make a Foolproof Digital Marketing Strategy?
I won't lie, but almost every marketer is seeking the apt answer to this million-dollar question - how to make a digital marketing strategy that doesn't fail and guarantees success?
Would you believe me if I say I have cracked this “tough nut to crack” question? Okay, okay. I understand why you won't. How about reading on and deciding all by yourself?
Sounds fair? Jump right in then!
To create an infallible internet marketing strategy, you need to know what your users are going to type.
That's all you need to do! Trust me.
To make a reliable online marketing strategy, understand your user intent, empathize with your potential customers, and think about what steps they will take next.
Let's understand this more closely!
To create an effective digital marketing strategy - first, identify your target market, the ideal customers (prospects) you want to connect with.
Spend some time digging into your ideal target market, gauge their demographic details (such as age, gender, income, occupations, etc.), where do they live - city, state, province, country, pay heed to their psychographic details ( like attitudes, interests, opinions, behaviors), and other considerable details.
This way, you will be able to form a clear picture of who your ideal market is. And once you understand that, all you need to do is leverage all the digital marketing tools, apply them accordingly, and see the wonders.
Try that out. It really works wonders!
Wrapping It Up (Quick Recap)
All right! So that was it about digital marketing. From what digital marketing means, how it works, its importance to popular online marketing channels, and how to create a killer, proven-to-work internet marketing strategy, we covered it all.
Does the term "digital marketing" appear as one tough nut to crack to you (yet)? I don't think so. In fact, I believe this quick guide to digital marketing has turned you into a complete pro. And now you're ready to take your business from zero to hero. Right? Give me a high five (you maven).