What is Digital Marketing?
With reports showing that businesses are investing more of their budget into digital marketing than ever before, now is the ideal time to pause for a moment, and take a closer look at what digital marketing is all about, and how it can help you grow.
Digital Marketing: The Basics
The term ‘digital marketing’ may seem like a bit of a complex buzzword on the surface, but the truth is that it has a very simple and straightforward meaning.
Overall, digital marketing can be described as any marketing activity that helps businesses connect with audiences through online channels. This may be through your website, through social media, through search engines, or any other platform.
However, there’s no one single activity that can explain what digital marketing is all about. It’s very much an umbrella term that incorporates a wide range of online activities that are designed to raise brand awareness, drive traffic to a website, boost conversions, maximise sales, and help businesses achieve their online goals.
Digital marketing is different to other forms of marketing, like traditional marketing (eg. television ads), print marketing (eg. magazine ads), and word of mouth marketing. While the fundamentals remain the same – forming connections with audiences – digital marketing activities take place exclusively in the digital space.
Types of Digital Marketing
As you might expect, there are many different activities that fall under the digital marketing umbrella. Some of the most popular activities used today include:
- PPC Marketing
PPC, or Pay Per Click, is a paid digital marketing method that enables businesses to create an advert that search engines such as Google will display for relevant user searches in return for a fee. As PPC isn’t organic – it’s not a natural way of connecting with customers – it often gets a bad reputation amongst marketing purists. However, with PPC ads displaying above organic results in the SERPs, this method can be highly effective for smaller brands struggling to compete in rank.
- SEO Marketing
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is an organic digital marketing method that’s somewhat of an umbrella term itself. SEO incorporates activities like search engine marketing, content marketing, user experience, mobile responsiveness, and a whole host of other techniques that help algorithms to better understand the meaning and context of a website, and ensure that site is displayed to audiences at the right time. SEO is an effective method for boosting awareness and driving more traffic to a site.
- SM Marketing
SMM, or Social Media Marketing, refers to any marketing activity that takes place through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and more. Like SEO, SMM is very much a category in itself, encompassing activities such as influencer marketing, polls and surveys, video marketing, and much more. The biggest advantage of SMM over other types of digital marketing is reach, with audiences encouraged to share marketing materials with friends and followers.
The Digital Advantage
While other forms of marketing undoubtedly still have their place in the marketing landscape, the advantage of digital marketing activities like PPC, SEO, and SMM is abundantly clear. That advantage is control. While there is some degree of control in more traditional advertising – businesses can choose where a billboard ad is placed, for example – there’s little predictability in who views those advertisements.
Digital marketing is different. PPC, SEO, and SMM all give businesses greater control over who sees their advertisements and campaigns. Digital marketing is much more targeted than more traditional marketing, typically resulting in improved ROI.
Why Use Digital Marketing?
Ask 10 people what the secret to successful marketing is, and you’ll get 10 different answers. However, we think we can all agree on one thing: marketing success is firmly rooted in the idea of connecting with the right people, at the right time.
When we approach marketing from this angle, it’s easy to see why digital marketing isn’t a ‘nice to have’ but a critical necessity that’s absolutely essential for success.
Ask yourself this: where are your customers?
If you answered ‘online’, you’d be right. In 2021, more than half of the entire world was online. That’s 4.66 billion individual, active users across the globe. And the pandemic only heightened web usage, with 21% of people purchasing a product online for the first time during the crisis. Customers are online. You must be, too.
Need help getting started? That’s exactly what we’re here for. Get in touch to find out more about finding the right digital marketing activities to help you meet your goals, whether that’s building a presence, increasing awareness, or boosting sales.