What Is Digital Marketing? A Step-by-Step Guide
What in this Article?
- History of Digital Marketing
- Some most common FAQ
“Technology and marketing are inseparable. There are more than 1,576 marketing technology merchants out there today, and 70% of marketers demand their companies to increase investments in technology this year.”
It wasn’t always this way.
The start of digital marketing can be followed back to 1971, where Ray Tomlinson sent the very first email and set the floor to allow people to send and receive files from different devices. In the 1980s, the computers became advanced enough to store large volumes of customer information.
However, 1990 is considered as the most recognizable years for the Digital Marketing as this was the year where the Archie search engine was created as an index for FTP sites.
In the 1990s, the word Digital Marketing was first minted. By the introduction of server-client design, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications became an important part of marketing technology.
By growing demand of the market and tough competition pushed merchants to include more service into their software, for example, marketing, sales and service applications.
Marketers were boomed with huge opportunities to own a large number of online customer data by eCRM after the internet was born.
Companies were able to update the data of customer demands and capture the priorities of their experience. As a result, the first clickable banner ad being going live in 1994, which was the “You Will” campaign by AT&T and over the first four months of it going live, 44% of all people who saw it clicked on the ad.
With growing number of internet users and the birth of smartphone in the 2000s, people started using the search engine for product search and making the decisions about their needs, instead of consulting a salesperson, which created a new problem for the marketing department of a company.
With the evolution of marketing and growing demand, Digital marketing became more sophisticated. In order to retain customers, retailers must shift from a traditional marketing approach to Digital Marketing.
In reality, people spend twice time online as they used to 10 years ago. The way people shop and buy has really changed, as a result, offline marketing isn’t as useful as it used to be.
Marketing has always been about engaging you with your audience in the right place and at the right time. This is where ‘Digital Marketing‘ comes useful for the marketers.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is also referred to as ‘online marketing’, ‘internet marketing’ or ‘web marketing’. The word digital marketing has gain popularity over time. At a high level, it refers to an advertisement delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps to connect with their current and proposed customers. This word covers a broad range of marketing activities.
From your website itself to your online branding assets. There’s a huge rainbow of strategies and assets that fall under digital marketing.
Here’s a quick summary of some of the most common assets and strategies:
- Your website
- Blog posts
- Ebooks and whitepapers
- Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest, etc)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Definition: According to Wikipedia, SEO is “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results.”
Here is Google’s definition of SEO:
“Search engine optimization is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site’s user experience and performance in organic search results. You’re likely already familiar with many of the topics in this guide because they’re essential ingredients for any webpage, but you may not be making the most out of them.
Let’s make it simple by breaking down the definition in simple English. Here’s my go at it:
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine result page (SERPs) for certain keyword. In another word, it is the way to increase the organic traffic of your websites on the certain keyword.
Do you ever wonder how search engines rank the website? What factor affect the most in making your website visible on the first page of the search engine? Apart from SEO.
The answer is ‘Content’
Have you caught the idiom, “Content is king?” If not, you have now. Great content is the fuel that runs your digital marketing activities:
Definition: According to Content Marketing Institute Content Marketing is define “as strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”.
By simplifying the definitions we understand that:
Content Marketing is a long-term strategy that sharpens on developing a strong relationship with your target audience by giving them high-quality content that is very relevant to them on a consistent basis.
Social Media Marketing
I think I don’t have to say how big Social Media is and what opportunity it gives to the marketers.
It is one of the sectors which has tremendous growth rate over past 10 years, with over 1 Billion active users.
Alone Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly active users as of quarter two of 2017.
Definitions: According to Wikipedia “Social Media Marketing is the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites.”
Let’s add some more value to the definition for better understanding.
According to me, Social media marketing is the process of creating content that you have created in the context of each social media platform to gain traffic or attention of your target audience.
Are you someone who wants more targeted visitors to your site in short span of time? And you don’t have enough to do SEO.
If Yes, then PPC is for you
PPC one of the fastest way to gain more visitor to your site. It is one of the best platforms for online advertising.
Definition: According to Wikipedia PPC “is an internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites, in which an advertiser pays a publisher (typically a website owner or a network of websites) when the ad is clicked”.
As usual, the language is a bit complex to understand. So let me define you in more understandable form.
Here’s what I think PPC is essentially a process of buying visits to your websites rather than earning it organically.
Have you ever thought how do blogger make money? Why do they keep blogging? Why are numbers of blogs increasing every single day?
Do you know that there is more than 390 Millions blog on Tumblr itself?
The answer is for Passive income. And how is it possible?
For 99% of people, affiliate marketing is how they begin their blogging career.
Definition: In simple word, it is the way where you promote other people’s product on your blog and earn some part as a commission if people end up buying that product.
Is your mailbox look something like my mailbox?
Filled with promotional messages offering a different kind offers, services, etc.
It’s because of Email Marketing
Definition: It is a way to reach the targeted audience directly through the electronic mail. Unlike spam, direct email marketing reaches those engaged in your business’ area of expertise.
It is one of the most cost-efficient methods that you can apply to gain the more targeted audience to your website.
Some Benefits of Email Marketing:
- Easy to reach mobile consumers
- Fast and effective way to keep your consumer informed about your latest product or services
- Easy to integrate into your marketing tactics
- Large reach (There are 3x more email accounts than Facebook & Twitter accounts combined.)
- Drive Conversion (CTR of an email campaign is around 3% of total recipients, whereas the average CTR from a tweet is around 0.5%.)
Definition: Wikipedia defines “Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automates repetitive tasks”.
In simple word, It is the use of an application to automatically add names and addresses from your database onto the letters and envelopes you wish to send to your targeted audience by mail.
Have you noticed when you log in to Amazon your details are automatically fetched and displayed on the top left bar?
Here is the snapshot that gives you the more clear view of what marketing automation is
Benefits of Marketing Automation:
- Reduce the staffing cost
- Save time
- CRM Integration
- More effective
- Easy to target potential audience on multiple channels
- Never stop A/B testing for your campaign
- Consistency, Efficiency, and Personalization
Definition: Mobile marketing is the way of using mobile platform for marketing your business to appeal to mobile device users.
It is a multi-channel, digital marketing strategy aimed at reaching the target audience on their smartphones or other mobile devices, via websites, email, SMS and MMS, social media, and apps.
As you can see in the graph, users are spending huge time with their mobile devices than ever before.
And more than 80% of internet users own a smartphone.
So now you can understand why mobile marketing is one of the biggest platforms that you can have to promote your website or blog.
Some other interesting statistics about mobile marketing:
- 22-70% of email is first opened on a mobile device depending on your target audience, product, and email type.
- 48% of users use their mobile internet on a search engine.
- 84% of B2B buyers more often use their smartphones to access merchants’ content.
Some most common FAQ
Does Digital Marketing Work for All Businesses? B2B and B2C?
Digital marketing can work for any industry. Despite what your industry offers, digital marketing is still about creating the content according to buyer personas.
B2B stands for Business to Business Marketing. In B2B digital marketing tactics are usually centered around lead generation. Linkedin is the perfect example of B2B marketing, where your LinkedIn connections are industry people who analyze your posts for natural worth and you can have a good working relationship based on earlier communications.
Ahead of your website, your effort will be focused on the business-focused channel.
B2B stands for Business to Consumer marketing, in this your digital marketing effort is to attract your targeted audience to your website and make them become consumers without consulting with the salesperson.
Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram are the perfect example of B2C marketing, which has an edge over business-focused platform Linkedin.
What benefits does Digital Marketing Offer?
- It allows digital markets to see the actual result in real time, which gives an edge over offline marketing.
- Easy to measure ROI of your marketing effort
- The most cost-effective way to sell your business
- It allows you to target your potential buyers
- Higher Revenue
- Website traffic and Lead generation
What type of Content Should I Be Creating?
The idea behind the content creation depends on your target audience at different steps in the buyer’s journey. The ideal way is to start by creating your buyer personas to identify your audience needs.
You can analyze your buyer personas by understanding:
- The qualities of the person who will be consuming it.
- How close that person is to make a purchase (i.e., their lifecycle stage).
How Long Should I wait to See Results?
With easy to measure ROI, you usually feel like you’re ready to see results much quicker than you might with offline marketing. Though, it finally depends entirely on the scale and effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy.
If you spend your time in building quality content according to your buyer personas to attract and convert them, then you’re expected to see mighty results within the first 4-6 months.
I hope this guide opened your view a little and answers all your questions about digital marketing.