What Is Digital Marketing and Its Features?

Digital marketing is using digital channels to promote products and services to consumers. Websites, mobile devices, social media, search engines, and other comparable channels are all used in this marketing. Therefore, Digital marketing became widespread with the start of the internet in the 1990s.

In other words, digital marketing is described as using various digital methods and platforms to reach out to clients. Digital marketing professionals can identify how each digital marketing activity contributes to their overall goals. Marketers can also use the free and paid channels available to assist a more extensive campaign, depending on the marketing plan’s objectives.

For instance, a content marketer could develop a series of blog posts to generate leads from a newly released ebook. The company’s social media specialist may then assist in the publicity of these blog articles on the company’s social media accounts, both paid and organically. Possibly the email marketing specialist sends out an email campaign to individuals who read the ebook, presenting them with more information about the organization.

In short, the meaning of digital marketing is doing marketing on any digital channels or platforms.

Is Digital Marketing the Same as Online Marketing?

Digital marketing is not the same as online or internet marketing. Internet marketing relates to every marketing that happens solely on the internet. Therefore, this means it can only be found on the internet. Consequently, it is quite different from digital marketing.

However, digital marketing comprises internet marketing, social media, and mobile app marketing. Additionally, digital marketing can take place on mobile devices, on a subway platform, in a video game, or through a smartphone app, whereas internet marketing occurs entirely on the internet.

Types of Digital Marketing

There are many types of digital marketing that you can use to build your crowd reach. Below are the 13 most effective types of digital marketing services.

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This is the technique of boosting organic (or free) traffic to your website by optimizing it to “rank” higher on search engine results pages. Websites, blogs, and infographics are among the channels that profit from SEO.

Several SEO or search engine optimization approaches can be used to create qualified visitors to your website. These are some of them:

(A) On-Page SEO

While looking at a website, this sort of SEO focuses on all of the content that is “on the page.” By analyzing keywords for their search volume and intent(or meaning), you might answer questions for visitors and improve your ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).

(B) Off-Page SEO

When optimizing your website, this sort of SEO focuses on everything that happens “off the page.” The outbound link, or “backlinks,” is the key to great off-page SEO. Also, how high you rank for the keywords is influenced by the number of publishers who link to you and their respective “authority.”

Accordingly, you can get the backlinks you need to boost your website by connecting with other publications. You can do it by producing guest posts on their websites (with a link to your website) and creating external attention.

(C) Technical SEO

This form of SEO concentrates on your website’s backend and how your pages are coded. Technical SEO techniques such as image compression, structured data, and CSS file optimization can all help increase your website’s loading speed. Therefore, this is a critical ranking factor for search engines like Google.

2. Content Marketing

This concept refers to creating and promoting content assets to increase brand exposure, traffic, lead generation, and customer acquisition.

Below are some of the media that can be used in your content marketing strategy:

(A) Blog Post

Writing and publishing articles on a corporate blog helps you show off your industry knowledge while boosting organic search traffic. As a result, your sales staff will have a better opportunity of converting website visits into sales leads.

(B) Ebooks and Whitepapers

Whitepapers, Ebooks, or other long-form digital documents can help website visitors learn more. It also allows you to exchange content for a reader’s contact information, generating leads and directing people through your buyer’s journey.

(C) Infographics

Readers occasionally prefer demonstration rather than just information. Infographics are visual content that aids website visitors in visualizing an idea you’d like them to understand.

(D) Audio and Visual Content

Digital marketing is frequently done through television and radio. Creating video content that can be shared online or heard on the radio can dramatically expand your potential audience.

3. Social Media Marketing

This strategy utilizes social media to advertise your brand and content to boost brand awareness, push traffic and gather leads for your business.

If you’re new to social media marketing, external tools can help you integrate channels such as LinkedIn and Facebook in one spot. This assists you in efficiently scheduling content for multiple channels while tracking data from the medium.

The channels to use in social media marketing include:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest
  • Quora
  • Blogger

4. Pay Per Click (PPC)

PPC is a website traffic-boosting technique in which an advertiser pays a publisher every time their ad is clicked. One of the most prominent forms of PPC is Google Ads. It pays you based on the “per click” for the links you place on the Google search engine result pages for the highest rank on Google’s SERP. In addition, PPC can be utilized in the following platforms:

(A) Paid Ads on Facebook

People pay to create a video, image post, or slideshow that will be shared in the news feeds of people suitable to their company’s key demographic.

(B) Twitter Ads Campaign

Customers can pay to get a series of posts or profile badges published in the news feeds of a specific audience, all to attain a particular business goal. For example, this goal could be part of increased website traffic, Twitter followers, tweet engagement, or even app downloads.

(C) LinkedIn Sponsored Messages

Here the users might pay to send messages to selective LinkedIn users based on their industry or experience.

5. Affiliate Marketing

This is a results-oriented promotion where you get paid to promote other people’s products or services on your business website. Affiliate marketing channels include the following:

  • Using the Youtube Partner Program to host video ads.
  • Using social media profiles to share affiliate links.

6. Native Advertising

Native advertising is a type of promotion with non-paid content on a channel and is primarily content and result-driven. Sponsored posts on BuzzFeed are an excellent example. However, many people also perceive social media advertising as “native” — for example,  Instagram and Facebook advertising.

7. Marketing Automation

Marketing automation relates to software that automates your essential marketing tasks. Many marketing departments can automate processes that would otherwise be performed manually, such as:

(A) Email Newsletters

Email automation is undoubtedly more than just allowing users to send regular emails to their subscribers daily. It can also assist you in trimming and expanding your contact list whenever needed, ensuring that only those who want to receive your newsletters get them.

(B) Social Media Post Scheduling

If you are willing to boost your business’s social media presence, you must publicize it continually. Manual posting often becomes messy as a result of this. The social media scheduling systems automate the publication of the content to the social platforms assisting in better content planning.

(C) Lead Nurturing Workflow

Creating leads and converting them into customers might take a long time. However, you can automate this process by sending targeted emails and information to leaders that meet specified criteria.

(D) Campaign Tracking and Reporting

Emails, webpages, material, people, phone calls, etc., can all be a part of the marketing campaign. Marketing automation can help you manage everything you do with the campaign. It supports and then tracks the campaign’s performance over time, depending on the progress these components make.

8. Email Marketing

This marketing process is an approach for companies to intercommunicate with their patrons. Email is frequently used to promote information, offers, and events and send customers to a company’s website. While executing an email marketing campaign, the following types of emails are usually sent:

  • Blog subscription newsletters
  • Followup emails
  • Welcome mails
  • Holiday programs for loyalty program members

9. Online Public Relations (PR)

Online PR boosts online exposure through digital magazines, blogs, and other content-related websites. It’s similar to traditional public relations, though it’s done online.

You can utilize the following strategies to boost your PR:

(A) Reporter outreach through Social Media

For example, talking to journalists on Twitter is a terrific method to build a relationship with the press that leads to earned media possibilities for your brand.

(B) Engaging the Online Reviews of the Company

If someone leaves a positive or negative review of your organization online, your first instinct may be to ignore it. Engaging in corporate evaluations, on the other hand, help you personalize your brand and convey powerful messaging that safeguards your reputation.

(C) Engaging the comments on a personal blog or website

Responding to individuals reading your content in the same manner you would reply to your company evaluations is the best approach to starting a productive conversation about your industry.

10. Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a marketing technique that includes engaging, attracting, and delighting customers throughout their buying journey. All digital marketing strategies documented above can be utilized as a part of the inbound marketing strategy. This can help create an experience that works with and not against the consumer.

Here are some examples of traditional inbound marketing vs. conventional marketing examples:

a. Blogging Vs. Pop-up Ads
b. Video Marketing Vs. Commercial Advertising
c. Email Contact lists Vs. Email Spam

11. Sponsored Content

Here you pay another company or entity to create and promote material that mentions your brand or service in some way through sponsored content. Influencer marketing is a distinguished kind of sponsored content. 

With this type of sponsored content, a brand pays an industry influencer to create posts or videos related to the brand on social media. Another type of sponsored content is a blog post or article focusing on a specific topic, service, or brand.

12. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

It becomes a fantastic opportunity for a promotion whenever a potential lead is seeking a product or service related to your product/service category. Paid advertising and SEO are excellent methods for promoting your company and capturing prospective leads. Using sponsored adverts on search engines, search engine marketing is another approach to improving website visitors.

Google Ads is the most popular SEM service. Such paid advertisements display on the number one spot of the results pages, giving them rapid visibility. This is also a fantastic example of successful native advertising.

13. Instant Messaging Marketing

Marketing your products and services via messaging platforms is a quick way to reach out to potential customers.

This is effective even if you don’t have their contact numbers. It’s easy to inform your customers about flash specials, new goods, or order status updates. It’s also a quick option for customers to contact customer support if they have questions or require additional information. You can send text messages straight to a mobile phone or use platforms like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to deliver texts.

Why is Digital Marketing Important?

Through digital marketing, businesses can access a more extensive audience than through traditional marketing strategies. As a result, you can prioritize customers who are most likely to purchase your products/services. It’s also less costly compared to conventional advertising. Furthermore, it lets you monitor the results daily and adjust according to the necessities.

There are a few significant advantages of digital marketing. They are as follows.

(i) You can concentrate your efforts on interested customers

If you advertise on TV, in a magazine, or billboard, you have little control over who sees it. Specific demographics, such as the magazine’s average audience or the demographic of a particular neighborhood, can be measured, but it’s still a guessing game.

Digital marketing, on the other hand, allows you to target a highly particular audience and send customized, high-converting marketing communications to that audience.

For example, you may use social media’s targeting features to offer social media ads to a specific demographic based on criteria like age, gender, geography, hobbies, networks, or behaviors. You can also use PPC or SEO strategies to target visitors who have expressed interest in your product or service or search for specific keywords related to your industry.

(ii) It’s less expensive than traditional outbound marketing

You can monitor campaigns daily with digital marketing, reducing the amount of money you spend on a platform that isn’t yielding a high return on investment.

On the other hand, traditional forms of marketing are incomparable. It makes no difference how well your advertisement performs; whether it converts or not is unimportant. With digital marketing, you can control how you invest your money.

(iii) You can compete with larger businesses using digital marketing

Competing with significant companies having millions of dollars in the budget for television advertisements or national campaigns is undoubtedly difficult for small companies. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to outrank the significant players by implementing intelligent digital marketing strategies and initiatives.

(iv) It is measurable

Digital marketing can give you a comprehensive, end-to-end perspective of all the data that matter to your company. This includes impressions, shares, views, clicks, and retention time on the page. Therefore, this is one of the significant benefits of digital marketing. Traditional advertising has some limitations, the most important of which is its lack of measurability.

For example:

a. Website Traffic

By implementing digital analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, you can see the exact amount of visitors who have viewed your website’s homepage. With digital analytics data, you will see how many web pages they accessed, what device they used, and where they came from, among other things.

b. Content Performance and Lead generation

Assume you’ve designed a product brochure and mailed it to people’s mailboxes. The problem is that you do have any idea how many people have seen your brochure or how many have discarded it.

Now imagine having that booklet on your website. You could use forms to track the number of people who have visited the page and to acquire the contact details of those who have downloaded it.

Here. You can track how many people are engaged with your content and also generate qualified leads by having them download it.

c. Attribution Model

You can track your sales to a customer’s first digital touchpoint using a successful digital marketing strategy with the correct tools and technologies. This is known as attribution modeling. It enables you to identify patterns in how people research and purchase your products. Additionally, this helps you to make better decisions about which aspects of your marketing strategy to focus on and which parts of your sales cycle to improve.

(v) A digital marketing plan is adaptable and adjustable

A marketing strategy takes time and effort to develop and implement. Generally, you’ll have to persist with a system until it’s completed and evaluate the results after some time has passed.

On the other hand, often, things do not go according to plan. You may discover halfway through that a calculation was incorrect, an assumption was mistaken, or an audience did not react as planned. It’s beneficial to be able to pivot or alter your plan along the road because it saves you from having to start from scratch.

(vi) Digital marketing improves your conversion rate and lead quality

Since digital marketing makes it easier to track your marketing efforts, it’s also easier to improve your conversion rate. If you can quantify the impact of each strategy, you can develop more robust plans. Continuously refining your techniques would enhance your conversion rate. Investing in online marketing ensures that everything is in place to maximize conversions.

(vii) You can engage people at any level with digital marketing

It’s crucial to engage your audience as soon as possible. Linking earlier in the buyer’s journey can help the lead move through the customer funnel more quickly. You may do this using digital marketing from the beginning to end or at any moment. Using digital channels, you can trace your customers’ whole purchasing journey. Converting leads demands understanding and insight into how customers move and operate.

Digital Marketing Challenges

There are specific challenges for people who operate in digital marketing. For example, digital channels are continually expanding, and digital marketers must stay up with how they work, how users utilize them, and how to apply them to sell their products or services effectively.

Receivers are increasingly swamped with rival advertisements, making it more difficult to attract their attention. Therefore it is challenging for digital marketers to filter through the vast volumes of data they acquire and then apply that information to new marketing initiatives.

The challenge of correctly getting and analyzing data demands a marketing plan based on a complete understanding of consumer behavior in digital marketing. This could, for instance, require a corporation to investigate new consumer behavior forms, such as website heatmaps, for a better understanding of the customer journey.

Overcoming these digital marketing challenges can ensure your digital marketing strategies achieve the desired goals that you have always expected for your business.

What does a Digital Marketer do?

Digital marketers generate leads and increase brand awareness throughout the company’s digital channels, both free and paid. These channels include social media, the company’s website, search engine rankings, email, display advertising, and corporate blogs.

The digital marketer typically focuses on a different key performance indicator (KPI) for each channel to precisely monitor the company’s performance throughout all channels. For example, a digital marketer in charge of SEO is responsible for measuring the “organic traffic” coming to a website. One specialist could be in the order of multiple (above-mentioned) digital marketing tactics simultaneously in small businesses. Larger firms hire individual specialists to focus on single or multiple digital channels using the above approach.

Below are examples of some specialists:

SEO Manager

Main KPI: Organic traffic

Content Marketing Specialist

Main KPI: Overall Blog Traffic, Time on Page, Youtube Channel Subscriber Analysis

Social Media Manager

Main KPI: Follows, Impressions, and Shares

Marketing Automation Coordinator

Main KPI: Campaign Click Through Rate, Lead-generation (Conversion rate), open Email rate

How To Do Digital Marketing?

Define the goals

When starting with digital marketing, you must establish and define your goals because your strategy will be tailored to those goals.

If you want to increase brand awareness, you should use social media to connect with new audiences. Nonetheless, suppose you want to boost sales of a particular product. In that case, it’s vital to work on SEO and content optimization to attract potential consumers to your site in the first place. You could also try PPC campaigns to boost traffic through paid ads to increase sales.

Identify the target audience.

The ability to target relevant customers is one of the most powerful features of digital marketing, but you can’t take advantage of it unless you’ve identified your target audience. Of course, your intended audience might change depending on your channel or goal(s) regarding a particular product/campaign.

For example, you may have observed that most of your Instagram audience is younger and enjoys hilarious memes and short videos. In contrast, your LinkedIn audience includes older professionals seeking more precise advice. You’ll have to customize your content to cater to these distinct target audiences.

However, starting from scratch, look at How to Find Your Target Audience.

Estimating the budget for each digital channel

The elements of digital marketing to be included in your strategy influence your chosen budget. The good news is that you won’t need much money if you’re focusing on inbound strategies like SEO, social media, and content production for an existing website. Inbound marketing focuses on creating high-quality content that the target audience wants to read. The only input you’ll need is your time and effort unless you want to outsource the task.

You can begin by designing a website and using a Content Management System to create content (CMS). For those on a budget, you may start with WordPress hosted on WP Engine, a simple theme from StudioPress, and the Elementor Website Builder for WordPress to design your website without coding.

Additionally, strategies such as online advertising and acquiring email lists involve investment. However, the cost varies according to the visibility level resulting from the advertisement.

For example, if you use Google AdWords to implement PPC, you’ll compete with other businesses in your field to appear at the top of Google’s search results for keywords related to your business. But, again, this might be reasonable or incredibly expensive, depending on the keyword’s competitiveness, which is why it’s a good idea to focus on growing your organic reach.

Maintaining a balance between paid and free marketing strategies

A digital marketing strategy must be paid for and free to be truly effective.

For instance, if you spend time creating comprehensive buyer personas to identify your audience’s needs and then focus on creating high-quality online content to attract and convert them, you’ll most likely see quality results within the first six months, despite spending little on advertising.

Including paid advertising in the digital strategy can undeniably yield better results. However, focusing more on organic (free) expansion through content, SEO, and social media is essential. This would ensure long-term and sustainable success. 

Whenever in doubt, try both and repeat as you learn which channels — sponsored or free — work best for your brand.

Creating engaging content

It’s time to start creating material for all of the different channels. You’ll use it when you’ve determined a budget and selected your target audience. Social media posts, blog posts, PPC advertisements, sponsored content, email marketing newsletters, and other forms of content can be used.

Naturally, any material you develop for your audience should be fascinating and engaging, as marketing content aims to raise brand awareness and boost lead generation.

Optimizing the digital assets for mobile devices

Mobile marketing is another significant aspect of digital marketing. Smartphone use accounts for 69 percent of the time spent viewing digital media in the United States. On the other hand, desktop-based digital media consumption accounts for less than half — and the United States remains mobile’s least enthusiastic supporter compared to other countries.

This means that mobile-friendly digital ads, web pages, social media photographs, and other digital assets are critical. Digital marketing also includes business apps that support customer interaction for buying products. 

Those who interact with your company online using mobile devices should have the same favorable experience as those who interact with your company on a desktop. This entails using a mobile-friendly and responsive website design to make browsing on mobile devices more user-friendly.

In addition, it could also involve lowering the length of your lead generation forms. Thus making it easier for individuals to download your content on the move. It is essential to keep in mind the reduction of social media image and text size while viewing on mobile devices. 

There are numerous ways to optimize your digital marketing assets for mobile users. Additionally, it’s critical to evaluate how the experience will transfer on mobile devices when adopting any digital marketing strategy. Therefore, by always keeping this in mind, you’ll be able to create appealing digital experiences for your target audience. This, in turn, gives you the expected result or outcomes.

Conducting keyword research

Digital marketing is about connecting specific audiences with customized content, which is impossible without thorough keyword research.

Keyword research is critical for optimizing your web pages and content for effective SEO. This ensures people find your company via search engines. Additionally, social media keyword research can aid in marketing your products or services across various social media platforms.

Keyword research is vital even if you don’t have a full-time SEO specialist. Make a list of high-performing keywords related to your products or services, and think about long-tail variations for more options.

Repeat and learn based on the measured analytics

Finally, learn and understand how to pivot based on analytics. This is crucial for developing a long-term and successful digital marketing strategy.

For example, you might discover after a few months that your Instagram audience isn’t as engaged in your material as it once was, but they adore what you’re doing on Twitter. Sure, this could be an opportunity to rethink your Instagram approach, but it could indicate that your audience prefers to consume branded material through a different channel. 

However, you might discover that an older web page isn’t receiving as much traffic as it did earlier. So you need to ensure upgrading or removing the page for visitors to find updated and relevant content. Digital marketing offers a wide range of options for long-term success, but it is entirely up to you how to take advantage of them.

Digital Marketing Examples:

Dove’s “Real Beauty” Campaign

Dove decided to deliver a statement as we continue to study how social media affects children, particularly young females. The Reverse Selfie campaign features a teenage girl altering her looks by doing the absolute opposite of just about everything she did to get ready for a selfie. The purpose is to increase awareness about the adverse effects of social media on self-esteem.

This is a fine example of content marketing based on your target audience. In this campaign, Dove successfully addressed the overlooked effects of the growing social media.

Lego’s “Rebuild the World” Campaign

Since it speaks something about the brand, this is an excellent example of a digital marketing effort. In this ad, Lego makes a statement on critical global issues to communicate with its audience.

It is becoming increasingly vital for businesses to debate global concerns and demonstrate alignment with their customers in this way in today’s world. This campaign’s primary goal is to spread the brand’s story and messaging.

Since 89 percent of the customers prefer purchasing from brands that reflect values, this was smart.

Integrating Digital Marketing Into Your Strategy: Final Thoughts

Every time you can connect with your target audience, you have a chance to convert a lead into a customer. By allowing you to reach out to potential customers, digital marketing opens up many possibilities. It’s an exIt’sent tool to market your business, service, or product through social media platforms, websites, text messaging, or any other online medium.

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