Digital marketing is a method of advertising a company’s goods or services online through apps, sites, social media and search engines. This form of marketing focuses on reaching consumers through their phone, laptop, or any other smart device.
Digital marketing is an ever-evolving field. Billions of people actively use the internet, and because of that, marketing has shifted from traditional commercial ads, billboards and paper ads to web-based approaches.
We’re going to dive into the basics of digital marketing for beginners, as well as the different forms of digital marketing. If you’ve considered starting a career as a digital marketer, or you’re simply interested in the field, read on for our beginner’s guide to digital marketing.
How Is Digital Marketing Different from Traditional Marketing?
The first step in learning about digital marketing is to understand how it differs from traditional marketing.
- Traditional marketing involves methods such as building catalogs or printing ads in newspapers, whereas digital marketing involves communicating with an audience through methods such as social media, email, blogs and more.
- There are more avenues to choose from when relying on digital marketing instead of traditional marketing tactics. Traditional marketing is limited to TV, radio, newspapers, and phone calls. In the digital marketing landscape, there are numerous delivery channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, blogs, apps, websites and more.
Despite the differences in digital and traditional marketing, both methods have similar objectives. Choosing which marketing channels to use entirely depends on the purpose of the marketing. Both styles of marketing, however, need to focus on the target audience first and foremost before setting up any marketing strategy.
Types Of Digital Marketing
Now that you have a basic understanding of digital marketing, it’s time to dive a little bit deeper into the specifics. There are many areas of focus when it comes to digital marketing, and each focus can be used for different purposes. If you’re looking to start a career in digital marketing it’s important to have an understanding of all of these areas that we are about to speak of. You can also make a career out of specializing in one specific area.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
- Search Engine Optimization is the practice of optimizing a website so that it shows up on the first page of search engines like Google. It’s important that your website shows up as high as possible on the search page as well. This is so that visitors searching for specific keywords related to your site will find you.
- SEO can be used for more than just general web searches. It can also be used to rank images, videos, books, shopping, news and more.
- Search Engine Optimization includes the use of keywords and keyphrases, image optimization, outbound and inbound links, and visitor engagement among other practices.
- The strategies of SEO keep changing, and it’s important to stay up to date with the latest practices. Some factors that can play a part in the evolution of SEO practices are a change in search engine algorithms, a change in consumer behavior, and an increase in competition.
2) Search Engine Marketing (SEM):
- Search Engine Marketing takes SEO a step further by including paid promotions and advertising on search engines.
- Search engines usually show the paid results above the unpaid results on SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).
- Frequently used services for SEM include Google AdWords and Bing Ads.
- SEM is an effective method to display your ad to your target audience only.
- SEM is synonymous with PPC or a pay-per-click business model. This means that you are only charged when someone clicks on your ad. The cost-per-click varies depending on the competition.
3) Email Marketing:
- An email address is a person’s main point of contact after their physical address and phone number. Because of this, email marketing is the oldest form of digital marketing that’s still in use today. According to Radicati’s latest email statistics report (2017-2021), the number of emails sent and received per day is increasing at an average rate of 4.4%.
- Email marketing requires permission from internet users before you can send them an email. When sending out marketing emails, there must also be an option for users to unsubscribe.
- Email marketing can be as simple as thanking new customers for their purchase, promoting new products, sharing monthly newsletters, sending out exclusive content and more. Email marketing can also get quite complicated if you’re launching a new product or service, or using email marketing as your main marketing tool.
- Luckily, there are many platforms that will help you automate your emails. You can use automation tools like MailChimp or ConvertKit for email marketing services.
4) Online Advertising
- You’ve probably noticed banners across websites or blogs. Well, those online ads are an essential aspect of digital marketing.
- Digital marketers use tools like Google AdSense, which allows you to automatically display ads on different targeted websites.
- Ad networks usually display the ads based on the related keywords, locations, and interests.
- Some websites even have their own advertising departments. This makes it easy to contact them and buy space on their websites.
5) Smartphone Marketing
- Smartphones have become a staple in our everyday life. So naturally, digital marketing is often targeted towards smartphone users.
- As per the report by Esendex, a business communication provider, text messages had a 94% global average open rate in 2018. Therefore, smartphone marketing is a great opportunity to promote products and services online.
- Some popular ways to do smartphone marketing are by getting your audience to sign up to receive promotions through text message; or creating apps that send targeted notifications to a user's phone.
6) Content Marketing
- An important segment of any digital marketing campaign, content marketing is used to gain customer loyalty and trust, improve SEO results and promote products and services. The main aim of content marketing is to engage with the target audience through written content, video content, and more.
- Content marketing can be presented in the form of blog posts, videos, webinars, and more.
- To improve SEO results, you can create content that is useful to your audience and contains targeted keywords and phrases, as well as internal and external links.
7) Social Media Marketing
- Social media has become one of the primary ways businesses can reach existing customers, and cultivate a new audience.
- Savvy brands are strategic about their social media posts, crafting unique content for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other channels.
- Social media marketing consists of two main categories: organic posts, and paid content. Organic posts are free, and typically only reach existing followers. Paid social media campaigns are promoted to users who don’t yet follow the brand, but fall into their targe demographic.
8) Viral Marketing
- Viral marketing is a feature of social media marketing.
- Viral marketing is a modern approach to digital marketing. It’s all about creating a viral post that spreads across the web quickly. Usually these viral posts are found on social media as a written post, a video or a meme.
- Being able to create viral posts is an art, and if you master it you will likely have a very abundant career.
Digital marketing is a huge industry that is continuing to grow and evolve everyday. There is a lot that goes into it, but it can be an incredibly fun and rewarding career. If you’re interested in becoming a digital marketer, Thinkful’s digital marketing course is the fastest way to kickstart your career.