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Digital marketing encompasses an array of online promotional tactics designed for devices such as computers, phones, and tablets. These strategies manifest through various mediums like online videos, display ads, search engine marketing, paid social advertisements, and social media posts. In contrast, traditional marketing channels, such as magazine ads, billboards, and direct mail, offer a different approach. Notably, television, despite its digital transmission, remains closely tied to traditional marketing methods.

The dynamic digital marketing arena is experiencing rapid growth and evolution today, poised to reach a staggering $786 billion by 2026 Consequently, traditional marketing strategies are losing their former dominance. With a growing number of individuals using the Internet, businesses are presented with significant opportunities to engage with their audience. Research from Digital.com indicates that 43 percent of people perform a local search on their smartphone before visiting a brick-and-mortar store. Additionally, the 2024 State of Marketing Survey reveals that social media stands as the highest ROI marketing channel and is projected to witness substantial growth this year.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing, also called online marketing, is the promotion of brands to connect with potential customers using the internet and other forms of digital communication. This includes not only email, social media, and web-based advertising, but also text and multimedia messages as a marketing channel.

Essentially, if a marketing campaign involves digital communication, it’s digital marketing.

Digital marketing considers how individual tools or digital channels can convert prospects. A brand’s digital marketing strategy may use multiple platforms or focus all of its efforts on 1 platform. For example, a company may primarily create content for social media platforms and email marketing campaigns while ignoring other digital marketing avenues.

Any type of marketing can help your business thrive. However, digital marketing has become increasingly important because of how accessible digital channels are. In fact, there were 5 billion internet users globally in April 2022 alone.

Search engine optimization

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is technically a marketing tool rather than a form of marketing in itself. The Balance defines it as “the art and science of making web pages attractive to search engines.” Today, the most important elements to consider when optimizing a web page for search engines include:

  • Quality of content
  • Level of user engagement
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Number and quality of inbound links

In addition to the elements above, you need to optimize technical SEO, which is all the back-end components of your site. This includes URL structure, loading times, and broken links. Improving your technical SEO can help search engines better navigate and crawl your site.

If you are interested in learning more about SEO, check out these courses 

https://www.semrush.com/academy/courses/?categories=seo&duration=long

https://moz.com/training

https://ahrefs.com/blog/free-seo-courses/

https://www.mygreatlearning.com/academy/learn-for-free/courses/seo-for-beginners1

https://academy.hubspot.com/courses/content-marketing

Social media marketing

Social media marketing means driving traffic and brand awareness by engaging people in discussions online. You can use social media marketing to highlight your brand, products, services, culture, and more. With billions of people spending their time engaging on social media platforms, focusing on social media marketing can be worthwhile.

The most popular digital platforms for social media marketing are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, with LinkedIn and YouTube not far behind. Ultimately, which social media platforms you use for your business depends on your goals and audience. Because social media marketing involves active audience participation, it has become a popular way of getting attention. It’s the most popular content medium for B2C digital marketers at 96%, and it’s gaining ground in the B2B sphere as well. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 61% of B2B content marketers increased their use of social media this year.

Social media marketing offers built-in engagement metrics, which are extremely useful in helping you to understand how well you’re reaching your audience. You get to decide which types of interactions mean the most to you, whether that means the number of shares, comments, or total clicks to your website.

To create an effective social media marketing strategy, it’s crucial to follow best practices. Here are a few of the most important social media marketing best practices:

  • Craft high-quality and engaging content
  • Reply to comments and questions in a professional manner
  • Create a social media posting schedule
  • Post at the right time
  • Hire social media managers to support your marketing efforts
  • Know your audience and which social media channels they’re most active on

If you are interested in learning more about Social media marketing, check out these free courses 

https://academy.hubspot.com/courses/social-media

https://skillshop.exceedlms.com/student/collection/654330-digital-marketing?locale=en-GB

https://www.coursera.org/learn/social-media-marketing-introduction

https://www.coursera.org/learn/what-is-social?ref=buffer.com

https://www.mygreatlearning.com/academy/learn-for-free/courses/social-media-marketing

Pay-per-click marketing

Pay-per-click, or PPC, is a form of digital marketing in which you pay a fee every time someone clicks on your digital ads. So, instead of paying a set amount to constantly run targeted ads on online marketing channels, you only pay for the ads individuals interact with. How and when people see your ad is a bit more complicated.

One of the most common types of PPC is search engine advertising, and because Google is the most popular search engine, many businesses use Google Ads for this purpose. When a spot is available on a search engine results page, also known as a SERP, the engine fills the spot with what is essentially an instant auction. An algorithm prioritizes each available ad based on a number of factors, including:

  • Ad Quality
  • Keyword relevance
  • Landing page quality
  • Bid Amount

PPC ads are then placed at the top of search engine result pages based on the factors above whenever a person searches for a specific query.

If you are interested in learning more about Pay-per-click marketing, check out these free courses 

https://www.simplilearn.com/learn-ppc-basics-free-course-skillup

https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/resources/lessons/ppc-and-paid-search

https://www.semrush.com/academy/courses/ppc-fundamentals-course-with-joel-bondorowsky/

https://skillshop.exceedlms.com/student/catalog/list?category_ids=53-google-ads?use_local=true

Content marketing

As mentioned, the quality of your content is a key component of an optimized page. As a result, SEO is a major factor in content marketing, a strategy based on the distribution of relevant and valuable content to a target audience.

As in any marketing strategy, the goal of content marketing is to attract leads that ultimately convert into customers. But it does so differently than traditional advertising. Instead of enticing prospects with potential value from a product or service, it offers value for free in the form of written material, such as:

  • Blog posts
  • E-books
  • Newsletters
  • Video or audio transcripts
  • Whitepapers
  • Infographics

As effective as content marketing is, it can be tricky. Content marketing writers need to be able to rank highly in search engine results while also engaging people who will read the material, share it, and interact further with the brand. When the content is relevant, it can establish strong relationships throughout the pipeline.

If you are interested in learning more about Content marketing, check out these free courses 

https://academy.hubspot.com/courses/content-marketing

https://www.mygreatlearning.com/academy/learn-for-free/courses/content-marketing-basics

https://www.simplilearn.com/free-content-marketing-training-course-skillup

https://www.hubspot.com/resources/courses/content-creation

https://www.coursera.org/learn/content-marketing

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a digital marketing tactic that lets someone make money by promoting another person’s business. You could be either the promoter or the business that works with the promoter, but the process is the same in either case.

It works using a revenue-sharing model. If you’re the affiliate, you get a commission every time someone purchases the item that you promote. If you’re the merchant, you pay the affiliate for every sale they help you make.

Some affiliate marketers choose to review the products of just 1 company, perhaps on a blog or other third-party site. Others have relationships with multiple merchants.

Whether you want to be an affiliate or find one, the first step is to make a connection with the other party. You can use digital channels designed to connect affiliates with retailers, or you can start or join a single-retailer program.

If you are interested in learning more about Affiliate marketing, check out these free courses 

https://www.mygreatlearning.com/academy/learn-for-free/courses/affiliate-marketing

https://www.udemy.com/course/free-affiliate-marketing-course-for-beginners/

https://www.emarketinginstitute.org/free-courses/affiliate-marketing-certification-course/

https://www.simplilearn.com/affiliate-marketing-for-beginners-course-skillup

https://www.classcentral.com/subject/affiliate-marketing

Influencer marketing

Like affiliate marketing, influencer marketing relies on working with an influencer–an individual with a large following, such as a celebrity, industry expert, or content creator–in exchange for exposure. In many cases, these influencers will endorse your products or services to their followers on several social media channels.

Influencer marketing works well for B2B and B2C companies who want to reach new audiences. However, it’s important to partner with reputable influencers since they’re essentially representing your brand. The wrong influencer can tarnish the trust consumers have with your business.

If you are interested in learning more about Influencer marketing, check out these free courses 

https://www.mygreatlearning.com/academy/learn-for-free/courses/influencer-marketing

https://later.com/training/influencer-marketing-course/

https://www.coursera.org/learn/influencer-marketing-strategy

https://academy.meltwater.com/courses/Social-influencer-marketing-certification

https://bootcampdigital.com/training/

 Mobile Marketing

This digital marketing type is focused on reaching your target audience on their smartphone or tablet. Mobile marketing reaches people through text messages, social media, websites, email and mobile applications. Marketers can tailor offers or special content to a geographic location or time, such as when a customer walks into a store or enters an event.

In February 2021, Statista conducted a survey in which 46% of the respondents claimed they spend between five to six hours a day on their phones for personal use. In addition, 22% stated they spend 3 to 4 hours a day on their phone, according to Statista, and from the end of 2020 to the beginning of 2021, mobile users in the U.S. around 40 minutes a day on social media apps, with Facebook and Instagram holding the largest audience.

If you are interested in learning more about Mobile Marketing, check out these free courses

https://www.coursera.org/learn/mobile-marketing-optimization-tactics-and-analytics

https://www.simplilearn.com/learn-mobile-marketing-free-training-course-skillup

https://www.shiksha.com/online-courses/free-mobile-marketing-courses-certification-training-st593-tg233

https://www.hubspot.com/resources/mobile-marketing

https://www.mygreatlearning.com/curriculum/mobile-marketing-course

Marketing Analytics

One of the major advantages of digital marketing is that it is highly trackable and measurable. Once, the only trackable marketing pieces were coupons and similar direct mail offers. If a customer used the coupon, you knew the message resonated.

Today, analytics allow marketers to track user behavior at a highly detailed level:

  • How many times they click on a link
  • How much time they spend on a web page
  • How often they open emails and much more

But the vast amount of information available about digital marketing performance can feel like drinking from a fire hose, and marketers must be able to truly understand what the data mean and how they should inform strategy.

There are many tools available for measuring the success of digital marketing campaigns, and many marketers will use some combination of these tools, depending on their needs and their audience. One of the most used tools for marketing analytics is Google Analytics, which can be customized in nearly endless ways to measure:

  • How your site is performing
  • Which keywords are bringing users to your site
  • How users are navigating through your website and much more

Having good, accurate analytics and the know-how to interpret them can help marketers “fail fast,” quickly cutting campaigns that aren’t working and building better campaigns around concepts that have a proven track record of success. Over time, you won’t just be using analytics to measure your campaigns — the analytics will also inform and improve your campaigns.

If you are interested in learning more about  marketing analytics, check out these free courses

https://www.mygreatlearning.com/academy/learn-for-free/courses/analytics-in-marketing

https://www.classcentral.com/course/market-analytics-4868

https://acadium.com/courses/marketing-analytics/

https://www.edx.org/learn/marketing-analytics

https://www.coursera.org/courses?query=marketing%20analytics

Marketing automation

Marketing automation uses software to power digital marketing campaigns, improving the efficiency and relevance of advertising. As a result, you can focus on creating the strategy behind your digital marketing efforts instead of cumbersome and time-consuming processes.

While marketing automation may seem like a luxury tool your business can do without, it can significantly improve the engagement between you and your audience.

Marketing automation lets companies keep up with the expectation of personalization. It allows brands to:

  • Collect and analyze consumer information
  • Design targeted marketing campaigns
  • Send and post-digital marketing messages at the right times to the right audiences

If you are interested in learning more about Marketing automation, check out these free courses

https://www.hubspot.com/resources/courses/marketing-automation

https://www.mygreatlearning.com/academy/learn-for-free/courses/marketing-automation-essentials

https://www.simplilearn.com/free-marketing-automation-training-course-skillup

https://academy.hubspot.com/courses/automation-strategy

https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/resources/lessons/marketing-automation_marketing-automation-fundamentals_jvu0

Email marketing

The concept of email marketing is simple—you send a promotional message and hope that your prospect clicks on it. However, the execution is much more complex. First of all, you have to make sure that your emails are wanted. This means having an opt-in list that does the following:

Individualizes the content, both in the body and in the subject line

States clearly what kind of emails the subscriber will get

An email signature that offers a clear unsubscribe option

Integrates both transactional and promotional emails

You want your prospects to see your campaign as a valued service, not just as a promotional tool.

Email marketing is a proven, effective technique all on its own: 89% of surveyed professionals named it as their most effective lead generator.

It can be even better if you incorporate other digital marketing techniques such as marketing automation, which lets you segment and schedule your emails so that they meet your customer’s needs more effectively.

If you’re considering email marketing, here are a few tips that can help you craft great email marketing campaigns:

Segment your audience to send relevant campaigns to the right people

Ensure emails look good on mobile devices

Create a campaign schedule

Run A/B tests

If you are interested in learning more about  Email marketing, check out these free courses

https://academy.hubspot.com/courses/email-marketing

https://www.simplilearn.com/learn-email-marketing-free-course-skillup

https://www.mygreatlearning.com/academy/learn-for-free/courses/email-marketing

https://www.hubspot.com/resources/courses/email-marketing

https://mailchimp.com/resources/email-marketing-courses/

https://acadium.com/courses/email-marketing/

The benefits of digital marketing

Digital marketing has become prominent largely because it reaches such a wide audience of people. However, it also offers a number of other advantages that can boost your marketing efforts. These are a few of the benefits of digital marketing.

A broad geographic reach

When you post an ad online, people can see it no matter where they are (provided you haven’t limited your ad geographically). This makes it easy to grow your business’s market reach and connect with a larger audience across different digital channels.

Cost efficiency

Digital marketing not only reaches a broader audience than traditional marketing but also carries a lower cost. Overhead costs for newspaper ads, television spots, and other traditional marketing opportunities can be high. They also give you less control over whether your target audiences will see those messages in the first place.

With digital marketing, you can create just 1 content piece that draws visitors to your blog as long as it’s active. You can create an email marketing campaign that delivers messages to targeted customer lists on a schedule, and it’s easy to change that schedule or the content if you need to do so.

Quantifiable results

To know whether your marketing strategy works, you have to find out how many customers it attracts and how much revenue it ultimately drives. But how do you do that with a non-digital marketing strategy?

With digital marketing, results monitoring is simple. Digital marketing software and platforms automatically track the number of desired conversions that you get, whether that means email open rates, visits to your home page, or direct purchases.

Easier personalization

Digital marketing allows you to gather customer data in a way that offline marketing can’t. Data collected digitally tends to be much more precise and specific.

Imagine you offer financial services and want to send out special offers to internet users people who have looked at your products. You know you’ll get better results if you target the offer to the person’s interest, so you decide to prepare 2 campaigns. One is for young families who have looked at your life insurance products, and the other is for millennial entrepreneurs who have considered your retirement plans.

More connection with customers

Digital marketing lets you communicate with your customers in real-time. More importantly, it lets them communicate with you. Think about your social media strategy. It’s great when your target audience sees your latest post, but it’s even better when they comment on it or share it. It means more buzz surrounding your product or service, as well as increased visibility every time someone joins the conversation.

Easy and convenient conversions

Digital marketing lets your customers take action immediately after viewing your ad or content. With traditional advertisements, the most immediate result you can hope for is a phone call shortly after someone views your ad. But how often does someone have the time to reach out to a company while they’re doing the dishes, driving down the highway, or updating records at work?

With digital marketing, they can click a link or save a blog post and move along the sales funnel right away. They might not make a purchase immediately, but they’ll stay connected with you and give you a chance to interact with them further.

Conclusion

At this point, you should possess a thorough grasp of digital marketing’s essence and its capacity to fortify your business within today’s fiercely competitive landscape. Irrespective of your goals or financial capacity, you can formulate a digital marketing strategy and begin engaging with new audiences by following the outlined steps in this guide.

 

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