The way we do business has changed dramatically over the past few years. The internet has opened a door of opportunity for companies to expand like never before. Businesses are moving towards virtual marketplaces in order to target customers across the globe.
The field of digital marketing leverages connected devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets to promote products and services online. Marketing professionals are able to harness the power of social media, develop catchy email campaigns and tailor ad strategies in a way that can transform a brand.
We’ll outline exactly what digital marketing is and what areas you'll need to learn to start your career. We’ll discuss how to learn digital marketing and look at the focused education programs available to kickstart your digital marketing career.
Brand plays a huge factor in the success or failure of a business. A company must not only produce a quality product or deliver an excellent service; to succeed, they also need to create an appealing brand that stands out from the competition.
The brand identity must be effectively communicated to the target audience using creative marketing techniques. Digital marketing is a great way to achieve this and helps businesses gain market share over their competitors.
The Problem with Traditional Marketing
Traditional marketing methods such as TV and radio advertising, newspaper listings, and business directories can be expensive. There’s also no guarantee that the messages actually reach the intended audience.
The return on investment (ROI) for each advert is usually low and hard to calculate. This often makes traditional marketing unviable for small start-up companies looking to compete with large conglomerates.
The Advantages of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is a relatively new field in the marketing industry. It’s a concept that’s made possible by recent technological advancements and an increasingly connected world. Digital marketing has changed the way brands connect with their customers forever and has helped level the playing field between large and small businesses.
Companies can now laser-target their customers, track and measure conversion rates, and calculate the exact ROI for an online campaign. Data collection is generally the first step in digital marketing. After collecting, storing, and analyzing customer data, a digital marketer can make informed decisions to achieve business goals.
If you want to learn digital marketing there are several fundamental principles you need to understand. Let’s look at some of these core concepts in more detail.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search engines are one of the most effective ways to promote your product or service online. The key distinction with SEM campaigns is that you’re providing users with exactly what they want.
Unlike traditional adverts that interrupt a user, SEM allows you to laser-target customers actively looking for your product or service. For this reason, sales conversion rates are generally higher in SEM campaigns than any other form of digital marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The process of SEO aims to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to a website. This is achieved by improving the rank of a website within a search engine. Google currently has over 85% market share so digital marketers tend to focus on Google rank.
As most users click the first search result, achieving the top spot is extremely valuable. Similarly, dropping off the first page can reduce profits significantly. Google uses an algorithm to determine where to rank websites for a given search term.
As search engine rank can mean the difference between success and failure for a company, digital marketers must always consider the SEO algorithm. Here are some factors that are believed to be used by the Google algorithm:
Content: For search engines, content is king. Regularly updated, original, and useful content can help a website perform better in search engines. The content should be SEO-friendly and accessible. Search engines can detect if the content has been copied from another site, so it’s important to always produce original articles.
Keywords: Keywords are phrases entered by users when searching online. Before building a website digital marketers need to identify common keywords. This process is called keyword research. By naturally including popular keywords and phrases on your site, you can increase the relevancy of your content for specific search terms. There are a lot of free resources on the web to identify keywords. Google’s keyword planner is one of the best tools available.
Links: The quality and quantity of inbound links can boost a site’s ranking. A website that has lots of other sites linking to it, is considered more respected, useful, and original. The Google algorithm uses this data as an important ranking factor.
Images: A picture paints a thousand words, and search engines know this. By including relevant images on your site, you can add value to your content and make the information more digestible. By including a description (using HTML alt text) on images, you help search engines understand the image context.
Titles: Search engines look at page titles to get an idea of what the site is about. Headers on the page itself are also considered. These are coded into a site using HTML header tags. Including keywords in title and header tags can help a site rank for particular search terms.
Social Media Marketing
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat are popular social media sites. They collect data on their users which can be leveraged by digital marketers to create extremely focused marketing campaigns.
For example, a men’s fashion store in New York can set up a targeted social media campaign to only message local men in the New York area. This can be an extremely cost-effective marketing tool.
Twitter is another powerful platform used by digital marketers. It can be used to run promotions, competitions, and directly connect with customers.
Companies create videos, blog posts, and other online content for targeted audiences. This can help businesses boost their brand image, convert users into customers, and rank higher in search engines.
Email is a powerful form of communication in the business world. It’s used for lead generation (converting prospects into customers) and communicating with existing customers.
By capturing customer email addresses, companies can build large email lists. Email marketing software is used to communicate with these lists. Companies can update their customers on company news, run promotions, or offer discounts. Thousands of emails can be sent and tracked instantly.
As customers have already opted-in to these lists (they have given the company permission to contact them) email marketing conversion rates are higher than traditional marketing techniques. They’re also much cheaper to run. This means email marketing campaigns often have a much better ROI than physical mail-shots or leaflet drops.
Tools like Constant Contact, Drip, and Mail Chimp are commonly used to run email campaigns.
Google Analytics is a free tool that helps digital marketers measure a campaign’s success. It reports data on website traffic and is vital to optimizing and improving digital marketing efforts.
Using your google account, you can add any website you want. Google Analytics collects and monitors users’ activities on a website and records a huge amount of user data. The total number of views, average user session, bounce rate, and goal completion are some of the metrics provided.
How to Learn Digital Marketing
If you have a passion for technology and want to help companies promote their products online, a career in digital marketing awaits. Enroll in our online digital marketing bootcamp to get started. You’ll learn all the skills necessary to get hired at a top marketing firm. The course is put together by industry experts who will support you every step of the way. Part of the program involves building a professional portfolio to help you stand out from the crowd and land your dream job. Schedule a call with us to learn more.
You might be interested in reading some of our other digital marketing blog posts including Careers in Digital Marketing (and how much they pay).