What is Digital Marketing?
And why digital marketing matters to your business and marketing goals
By Meredith Dunn
Meredith is a BECK Digital enthusiast with a weak spot for business planning, full cycle digital marketing and killer content.
If you have a company website (and you should!) and want to reach customers online (who doesn’t?), chances are you’ve heard about the importance of digital marketing. But exactly what is digital marketing? Hint: It’s more than just having a few social media accounts and writing blog articles for your website.
Digital marketing is an umbrella term for all of your company’s online marketing efforts.
Unlike traditional marketing, which typically includes TV, radio, print, newspaper and billboard ads, digital marketing increases your exposure on the internet. And no matter what type of business you own, digital marketing is crucial to reaching online customers, as over 77% of Americans go online daily and 79% say they make purchases online. Online marketing is integral to your overall marketing plan.
A website alone won’t get your business noticed online. A well-developed and comprehensive digital marketing strategy is essential for attracting customers, promoting your products, boosting clicks, generating leads, increasing sales, and appearing in Google’s top search results.
Here are a few of the most common online tactics that fall under the digital marketing umbrella:
- A well-designed company website – it should be fast, mobile-friendly, secure, and optimized for SEO. If it isn’t, you risk tanking your entire digital marketing plan.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) is an organic, unpaid process of increasing the rank and visibility of a website in search engines, like Google. Part of a smart SEO strategy includes building backlinks, or links from quality online references that drive users back to your website.
- Search engine marketing (SEM) boosts your rank in search engine results with paid marketing, such as search campaigns, Google Ads, Google Shopping or remarketing.
- Pay per click (PPC) is a paid form of SEM marketing in which companies pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked online.
- Content marketing focuses on educating and building relationships with your target audience by providing consistent, high-quality content. Content can be in written, visual, audio, or multimedia format, such as blog posts, videos, webinars, enewsletters, Slideshares, podcasts, infographics, and more.
- Social media marketing (SMM) uses social media platforms to promote your business, engage with customers, and grow your online following.
- Email marketing is straight-forward: this approach promotes your business and services via emails. Email marketing has a high ROI compared to other types of marketing. Tip: be sure your emails have UTM parameters for tracking in Google Analytics so you can track the results after you hit send!
- Landing pages are web pages built specifically for capturing leads. These are generally built in response to clicking an online ad, marketing promotion or email.
It’s worth mentioning that there is also a division of digital marketing that includes offline marketing. This type of promotion uses electronic devices to engage customers or drive them online (digital billboards, cell phone cameras and QR codes, texts and messaging, geo-targeting, etc.). Used carefully, offline marketing tactics may enhance your online or broader marketing efforts.
Digital marketing is a mammoth topic that is ever-expanding. Knowing the basics is wise for any marketer, but eventually, marketers will need to master digital marketing to keep pace with competitors, users, and online trends. Try a few of these strategies to get going (or hire an agency!), and you’ll be on your way to greater digital success in no time.
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