What exactly is digital marketing?
Digital marketing has become an essential part of any modern marketing strategy. At its core, it involves promoting products and services online through various digital channels. However, digital marketing is more than just “marketing on the internet.” It encompasses a wide range of marketing concepts, including email marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and more.
If you’re new to digital marketing, it can be overwhelming to navigate through all the different channels and techniques. But don’t worry, in this beginner’s guide to digital marketing, we’ll take you through the basics of some of the most common and useful types of digital marketing. We’ll explain what they’re good for, how to use them, and offer some essential tips to help you get started.
Types of digital marketing
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is arguably one of the most important skills to learn in digital marketing. Why? Because SEO is how websites make their pages appear higher on search engine results pages. In other words, it helps your website get found by people who are searching for keywords related to your business. And let’s face it, when was the last time you clicked through to the second page of Google results?
By improving your website’s SEO, you can increase your visibility and gain more organic traffic, leading to an increase in leads and sales. To do this, you’ll need to understand how search engines work and what factors impact the ranking of pages. Some practices you can do to enhance your SEO are conducting keyword research, focusing on creating quality content that answers common customer search queries, optimizing your website’s structure/navigation, and building high-quality backlinks.
It’s also important to regularly monitor your website’s performance so that you can make adjustments as needed to rank higher on search engines. SEO is an ongoing process that will require continuous attention, but doing so will improve your visibility significantly and attract more organic traffic to your website.
Content marketing is where you’re really able to let your creativity shine, which makes it appealing for many, but terrifying for others. Content marketing is about creating relevant and valuable content such as videos, articles, blogs, podcasts, and more to attract, engage, and retain an audience. Content marketing is an effective, low-cost way to market your business.
When getting started with content marketing, one of the most important things to keep in mind is your audience. You need to know who your audience is, what they want, and what sort of content they would be most inclined to engage with. If you’re running a health food store, you are probably selling to a health-conscious audience that’s interested in clean eating. They may be looking for content that covers health and wellness such as meal planning, recipe ideas, and tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Once you have a better understanding of your audience, you’ll want to create a content strategy that outlines your goals, channels, and a planning schedule for posting your content. To keep track of what’s working and what’s not, make sure you are continuing to measure your results by looking at metrics relevant to assessing your goal progression.
With all that goes into content marketing, it can seem a bit intimidating, but by consistently posting engaging content for your audience, you can gain your audience’s trust and build a loyal following of customers.
SMM (Social Media Marketing)
In modern business, social media is an essential tool. Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of marketing where companies promote themselves and connect with consumers online using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others. SMM can help you achieve a range of goals, including but not limited to driving web traffic, extending reach, increasing ROI, and building customer loyalty.
However, just like any other form of marketing, SMM requires careful planning and a well-thought-out strategy. Firstly, you’re going to want to narrow down which social media channels are best suited for your brand. It’s tempting to try and use all available channels, but this can be overwhelming and ineffective. Instead, it’s best to start out by focusing on two or three channels where your followers are most active so that you can better focus on quality over quantity. Different channels will be better suited for different businesses. For instance, a B2B company might do better on LinkedIn while a visually-driven brand may find better results with channels such as Instagram or Pinterest.
Once you’ve chosen which channels you want to focus on, it’s time to develop a content strategy that is tailored to each platform. Each social media channel has its own unique audience and format, so it’s important to create content that is appropriate for each one. You’ll also need to constantly engage with your audience to build relationships and encourage them to share your content.
Finally, one of the most important steps in SMM is monitoring your efforts to see what’s working and what’s not. You can use various analytics tools to track your performance and adjust your strategy as needed. If you can do this, you’ll find that social media marketing can be a powerful tool for building brand awareness, engaging with your audience, and driving sales.
Though it’s been around since the late 70s, making it one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, e-mail marketing remains one of the most effective digital marketing strategies today. E-mail marketing has the highest ROI of any other form of digital marketing, with an ROI of 4,200%. Meaning on average, for every $1 spent on email marketing, marketers make $42 back.
To start out with e-mail marketing, you’re first going to want to build a list of subscribers who have opted in to receive messages from you. From there, you’re going to segment those subscribers into different groups based on shared psycho/demographics so that you can better tailor your content towards your audience, keeping them engaged.
Your e-mails can be used to promote your content, events, or any other marketing initiatives. However, there are a few things you need to be sure to include in your e-mails. Make sure you’re adding calls to action. These are things that prompt your subscribers to perform a desired action such as making a purchase, visiting your website, or scheduling a service. You also might want to consider informing your subscribers of sales, discounts, or free resources you’re offering as an incentive for them to stay subscribed.
Once you’ve figured out all the content you want to include in your e-mails, you’ll want to move on to visuals. The average office worker receives around 40 e-mail marketing messages a day. Meaning you need to ensure that what you’re sending stands out. Make sure that your e-mails include eye-catching visuals with compelling subject lines to draw your audience in. It’s also crucial that you are optimizing your e-mails for mobile devices since many people are accessing their e-mails through their phones.
Finally, to measure your e-mail marketing success, you can use metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. You’ll use this data to continuously improve your strategy and ensure your e-mails are providing value to your subscribers. Overall, e-mail marketing is a powerful tool that can help you build relationships with your audience, boost engagement, and drive revenue for your business.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
Search engine marketing (SEM), much like SEO, focuses on increasing a website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPS). The main difference between SEO and SEM is that SEO utilizes organic search to gain website traffic, while SEM gains traffic through paid search. One of the most popular SEM platforms is Google Ads, where businesses will bid on keywords. When a user types that keyword into Google, an ad from the bidding business will pop up. The businesses whose ads pop up will only be charged when users actually click on their ads, which is why it’s called pay-per-click advertising (PPC).
The first thing you’ll want to do is conduct thorough keyword research to figure out which terms and phrases are being used the most by your target audience to search for your products or services. Once you figure this out, you can create a targeted campaign using these keywords to reach more prospects.
Just like all the other forms of digital marketing we mentioned, you’ll want to be analyzing and monitoring your campaign to track your success. You can use metrics such as click-through rate, conversion rate, and cost per click to do this. Based on your findings, you can then adjust your bidding strategies, ad copy, and landing pages to improve the performance of your campaign.
It’s important to note that while these types of digital marketing skills can be incredibly effective, they are not mutually exclusive, and combining them can lead to even better results. Digital marketing is an ever-changing field and it’s important to keep up to date on new trends and techniques as they come up. As always, it’s important to continue testing and analyzing your efforts to improve and optimize your marketing strategy.