With the advent of the Internet, there have been so many things in our lives that have evolved and changed. One of those things is the way we market our businesses. More and more, business owners are turning to digital marketing to approach their customers instead of using the traditional advertising methods of yesteryear.
In this article, we will explore some of the most common types of digital marketing and why it is so important to use in this day and age.
What is Digital Marketing?
Also known as online marketing, digital marketing refers to all marketing efforts that take place over the internet. Businesses use various online channels to promote their brands and to connect with customers. Anyone who uses a computer, mobile phone, or other digital media interacts with digital marketing.
Many brands have websites, and the ones that don’t will probably have social media accounts or some way to advertise online. And researching brands online has become the most common way for consumers to learn about brands before they buy. Therefore it makes sense to put together a marketing strategy centered around the digital world to get customers aware of your brand.
Types of Digital Marketing and Why They’re Important
To put together digital marketing strategies for any organization, you will need to identify the types of marketing methods out there. All types have different benefits that can promote your brand in different ways.
Once you have a grasp of what each type can offer and why they’re important, you can choose the avenues that will be best for your business. The following are the most common types of digital marketing in use today.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine marketing (SEM) is paid or unpaid digital marketing on search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Any unpaid advertising under the SEM umbrella refers to search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is the process of improving a website or web page to increase its visibility on search engines. This is done through keyword research, which searches for the optimal words or phrases that consumers will use online. Using these target keywords on your site will signal to search engines that your site is a match for the searcher.
Search engines will also use content indexing to understand what the content of your site is all about. Even the smallest details like adding alt text for images and transcripts for video and audio content can help the search engine zone in on the meaning of your content.
SEO marketers will also format links, URLs, and sitemaps the right way so the crawler will understand how your site fits together.
Why it’s important:
Search engines use link structure, content indexing, and keywords to understand your site. So, when the search engine is clear on what your site represents, it will be able to match the right searcher to you. With SEO marketing, you can increase the likelihood you will be found on search, and can increase your likelihood of a sale.
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing
Pay-per-click or PPC marketing occurs when an advertiser pays a fee every time their ad is clicked. These ads are all over the web pages and include ads before YouTube videos and mobile app ads. But not only is PPC used in paid ad campaigns but also is added to the promoted search engine results that you see at the top and sides of your results page. But once you stop paying, the ad doesn’t exist anymore, making it a short-term marketing option.
The ad spend of your PPC ads and search results promotion will depend on how difficult it is to match for that keyword. Highly competitive keywords will cost more than the ones that nobody searches for or is trying to rank for.
You can tailor your ads to your specific area, or pay for your PPC to be shown to people all around the world.
Why it’s important:
With PPC, you can get quick results and are said to be more likely to convert over organic traffic. This is probably because those that click are more likely to have a high purchase intent.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing refers to the marketing of your business on social media platforms. A social media strategy should be used to make sure the content is coordinated and consistent.
The efforts on social media should be in line with the rest of the company’s marketing plan. This ensures all marketing material communicates the brand story in harmony. Many marketers use digital marketing tools like Buffer or Later to schedule and automate their posts to keep a consistent stream of content flowing for their followers.
To understand how their posts are doing, marketers will use analytics data to review the engagement their posts got. Based on the metrics, they can then make decisions around what will make future content successful. If your marketing campaigns are not getting the numbers you desire and there is a low return on investment (ROI), the company can pivot to a new strategy instead.
Why it’s important:
Social media marketing allows the company to connect with the audience. On social media, you can understand the wants and needs of your ideal customers. Based on their feedback, you can refine your product/service to what your customers want. Then you can build your brand, make more sales, and drive more website traffic.
Content marketing refers to the creation, publishing, and distribution of content for increased brand awareness. The best way to do this is through storytelling and information sharing. Typical content includes things like blog posts, white papers, e-books, videos, and podcasts.
The content should encourage the reader to continue down the sales funnel, one step closer to becoming a customer. It could include calls to action (CTAs) prompting them to get more information, sign up for the email list, or to move forward with a purchase.
For your content to be successful in the sea of content, content marketers should focus on providing value in what they create. Their content should not simply promote the brand or sale.
Instead, the goal is to create a relationship with the customer and promote lead generation. That is why this is geared toward a more long-term focus. As the amount of content grows, there will be a library of things the user can read, listen to, and experience to get to know your brand.
Ideally content should include elements of SEO to help search engines find it. You can also check out the metrics on how well your content performs and adjust accordingly.
Why it’s important:
When you build the content for your brand, you are increasing Internet users’ brand awareness of your company. You will establish yourself as a valuable resource, which can encourage future sales. Additionally, you are driving more people to your site which gives more domain authority and possibly better search results.
Email marketing refers to the use of email to promote your products or services. One of the oldest forms of digital marketing, it is still one of the most effective. It helps convert customers over time.
Fortunately, there are lots of email marketing platforms like Mailchimp where you can easily send your emails, as well as collect analytic data about who opens your emails and the click-through rate. The best email campaigns create a sense of urgency, are personalized to each audience member, and allow subscribers to easily unsubscribe if they prefer to opt-out.
Why it’s important:
Email marketing retains existing customers, which is much easier to do than finding new customers. It allows you to stay in touch with customers and website visitors, building trust over time for long-term sales.
With the increase in phone use, the need for mobile marketing has also increased. Mobile marketing refers to the use of text messages, websites, social media, email, and apps to reach audiences on their smartphone or tablet.
This content is tailored especially for mobile users. Marketers can send special offers or personalized content based on the mobile users’ location or time. Targeting your audience geographically means you can localize your efforts to your area, or wherever your target customers exist.
Mobile marketing content is the most shareable, and therefore the most viral. With a few taps on the screen, your content is whisked so quickly across the globe, allowing it to take off at rapid speed.
It has also been found that mobile ads tend to get better responses from those considering purchases than regular ads. People don’t see ads as much when they are on the desktop as they are easier to ignore. A mobile ad is placed front and center, allowing it to ruminate in potential customers’ minds, possibly leading to a future sale.
Why it’s important:
Since mobile users are a massive part of your user base, mobile marketing is a great opportunity to structure your content toward them. This means you have a wider reach, which in turn means more sales.
Affiliate marketing, sometimes called influencer marketing, is when an affiliate makes a commission for marketing someone else’s products or services. Influencers collaborate with the brand to make content that promotes their brand. The content includes anything from social media posts to blogs, to videos. The goal is brand awareness as well as new leads and sales.
Companies can benefit from the already-established relationships audiences have with influencers. Audiences have developed trust with the influencer, and thus are more likely to buy something the influencer promotes.
Why it’s important:
Affiliate marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing techniques for brand promotion and lead generation. You will spend less money on traditional marketing ads, while at the same time promoting trust and being creative.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
For small businesses and large corporations alike, digital marketing is necessary for success. So, why is digital marketing important? Here are the main reasons digital marketing should be a huge part of your marketing efforts:
- Cost-effective: The great thing about marketing online is that starting profiles on most platforms is free.
- Lead generation: There is a higher conversion rate for online marketing over traditional advertising. This is because you can immediately learn about people engaging with your ad in real-time. You can then get them on your email list, which will eventually open up more opportunities for sales.
- Can reach your target audience: The days of TV and newspaper ads are now mostly gone. The reason is that these ads are targeted at the general public. But with digital marketing, we are better able to target customers by the demographics that best suit our customer profiles. You can now zone in on things like age, gender, income level, location, job, and interests.
- Brand awareness: In the past, it was very difficult to show the public the efforts of your brand. But since most of us are glued to our screens these days, we are exposed to brands constantly.
- Engage and retain customers: Since the Internet is such an effective tool for communicating with your customers, you are more likely to engage and retain them. Establishing relationships with your customers is the best way to ensure long-term trust and sales.
Create an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy
Are you ready to get your digital marketing campaign started? Be sure to contact marketing experts to help you identify your business needs and explore your marketing goals. Try out several aspects of digital marketing to see what works best for your business.
There is SEO, PPC, social media, content marketing, email marketing, mobile marketing, and affiliate marketing. Once you’ve seen what works for you, focus on those things and improve them until they work seamlessly.
The importance of digital marketing cannot be understated. With it, you can generate leads for your business at a low price, while reaching your target audience, engaging with them, and increasing brand awareness. This is why digital marketing is here to stay.