What Is Digital Marketing? Your Complete Roadmap

What Is Digital Marketing? Your Complete Roadmap

Today, Google accounts for 91 percent of U.S. site visits from mobile platforms. With this statistic in mind, it’s easy to see how important digital marketing has become, and how essential it is for any business that wants to succeed.

Unfortunately, plenty of companies don’t understand the ins and outs of digital marketing and aren’t sure how to make it work for their brand. I get it–digital marketing is difficult to do well.

Don’t worry, though. There is good news: you can in fact master digital marketing, and you don’t need to be a tech genius. Here’s what you need to know:

What Is Digital Marketing?

Ask Lexicon, and it will tell you digital marketing is:

“The marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers. The key objective is to promote brands through various forms of digital media.”

Here’s my definition:

Digital marketing is the process of using digital materials, like blogs, social media and visuals, to promote a product, good or service and to drive interaction with people who use digital platforms like social media and websites.

As the world has become increasingly digital, digital marketing has grown accordingly. This makes sense, given that upward of 66 percent of Americans now own at least two separate digital devices, and 36 percent own three: a phone, tablet and desktop.

Why Digital Marketing Matters

Aside from its popularity, what are the other perks of digital marketing? Here are a few to consider:

  • Snapchat users take more than 1 trillion photos annually. This breaks down to about 31,710 snaps each second.
  • During a Bustle Digital Group Survey, 81 percent of respondents stated social media was the best way for brands to interact with them. More specifically, 40 percent reported Instagram was the best platform on which to reach them.
  • Facebook messaging is exploding. Last year, Facebook announced that users on its messaging platform had sent more than 17 billion video chats. While Facebook is not alone in the messaging app field, it boasts the largest and most dominant platform; all marketers would do well to pay attention to it.
  • Online ad revenue grew by $10.5 billion last year. Companies involved in this exploding revenue include Facebook, Google and Tencent. Combined with Alibaba, these companies and a few others control upward of 7 percent of all global online advertising.

Still wondering why digital marketing matters? In addition to being lucrative (Content marketing, for example, costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing but generates three times as many leads), digital marketing is highly flexible. This flexibility makes it ideal for a world with dozens of different platforms available. Finally, digital marketing is surprisingly easy to set up–even if you’re not an internet or website expert.

The Different Parts of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is an umbrella term that refers to several highly individualized types of marketing.  The 2 main types of digital marketing are online marketing and offline marketing. Digital marketing mostly takes place online, but it has offline counterparts as well, like direct mail marketing.

The 7 best-known forms of online marketing are as follows:

  1. Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Search engine marketing, or SEM, is the process of utilizing various digital marketing tactics to appear in search engine results. Popular methods include SEO and keyword inclusion.
  2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Referred to as SEO, this digital marketing tactic increases web traffic by driving organic search results. SEO includes elements like keyword research and inclusion, content organization and link strategy.
  3. Content Marketing. Content marketing uses content, such as blog posts, videos and social media material, to drive interaction and engagement on the web.
  4. Email Marketing. Email marketing gathers user email addresses and draws on the list for targeted marketing emails.
  5. Affiliate Marketing. Affiliate marketing is a marketing arrangement in which an online retailer pays a commission to external websites for traffic or sales.
  6. Social Media Marketing (SMM). Social media marketing utilizes social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to push messages and drive interaction.
  7. Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC). A form of paid advertising, PPC advertising allows marketers to pay publishers for ads and to generate website clicks accordingly.

The Landing Page experts at Unbounce prepared an amazing info-graphic that sums up all online marketing channels in one great pie chart.

Noob Guide To Online Marketing

(Image source: Unbounce)

Digital Offline Marketing

  • Electronic billboards. Electronic billboards are an often-overlooked type of digital marketing. When placed in high-traffic areas (Times Square, for example) they can be incredibly lucrative.

electronic billboard

(Image Source: WSJ.com)

  • Digital product demos. Digital product demos are becoming increasingly popular. Designed to extend the product demo to people who are not in the geographical area, these simple and straightforward options appeal especially to new digital marketers. Digital product samples have also become popular.
  • Radio marketing. Radio marketing is another often-overlooked type of digital advertising and is particularly useful for local service companies. When targeted and specific, radio commercials can generate a great deal of revenue for a company.
  • Show sponsoring. By sponsoring a show, a company can create a digital footprint and get its brand out in front of many people at once.
  • TV marketing. TV marketing, including TV commercials, can be a fantastic digital platform for certain companies. As teleshopping becomes more popular, this method of advertising increases in demand.
  • Super Bowl commercials. While not every brand has the budget for a Super Bowl commercial (which costs about $5 million for 30 seconds), the ones that do know each one is a prime example of good digital marketing.
  • Phone marketing. Phone marketing tactics, including cold calling, most commonly feature in sales departments. These same departments may also utilize text message marketing, including giveaways, coupons, loyalty programs and QR codes.

To learn more about digital marketing, or to get started, contact our team now.

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