what is digital marketing

So, what is Digital Marketing? Digital Marketing serves a purpose like any other type of marketing, connecting with and influencing potential customers. A constantly growing need in today’s age where everything is done online, digital marketing can become a crucial factor for any business and become the life or death for it. The required knowledge to become a successful digital marketer can be acquired using free online guides — everything from eBooks to blog posts and course materials created by experienced marketers, marketing agencies, and universities.

If you believe that digital marketing is not an essential part of your day-to-day tasks, you might be surprised to realize that it is. Every time you tweet, share, post, or comment on social media, you are marketing yourself and building your online brand. If you tweak the words of an email campaign, modify the imagery for a banner campaign or reach out to a possible online advertising partner, you actively engage in digital marketing.

What is Digital Marketing?

You can do digital Marketing through various methods such as pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, blogs, and social media marketing. These methods aim to introduce the audience to your product or service and convince them to buy. Learning these methods can often be done at home, in your free time, due to the availability of free online resources on the internet.

While it may be easy to get caught up in the hype of a “new way of advertising,” it is essential to realize that any marketing is still marketing. The bottom line is to promote your product or service to an audience of potential buyers.

Digital marketing uses many of the same strategies as traditional marketing, modified to consume information online. The three most common methods people consume information online are email, search engines, and social media.

Many different types of strategies and assets can be used to reach out to people online. At this moment, you might be wondering, “What are all of these strategies, and how do I know where to start or which strategy to use?” Worry not; I have compiled a list of the most common and practical strategies you can use to get started with and grow your business today! 

Digital Marketing Assets

Almost anything can be used as a digital marketing asset. It can be turned into an online marketing tool, and we don’t even realize how many of these assets we already have at our disposal! These are some examples of help you can use as marketing tools:

Your website, Branded assets, Video content, Images, Written content, Online products or tools, Reviews, and Social media pages.

As you can probably imagine, this list scratches the surface. Many digital marketing assets will fall into one of these categories, but clever marketers constantly develop new ways to engage customers online, so the list keeps growing!

Digital Marketing Strategies

Every business or organization will implement digital marketing in ways that yield the most results for them. Here are a few of the most effective strategies you can use to get similar products.

Create Marketing and Buyer Personas

You’ll find many practices in this post. It is probably the most important one, though. There are two sections to digital marketing: Your business and Your audience.

All you do is use marketing mediums to connect your business to its audience and get them to take the actions you want. But how can you market to an audience you don’t know? Almost improbable.

It is why your initial step in digital marketing must be buyer personas. It is basically a list that contains all the information about your ideal customer or customers. These include:

The Name

Age groups

Job Profiles

Income/Salary

Location/Locality

Benefits they require from your business.

How they look for products online

Their favorite social media platforms

Their favorite customer support medium

When you have all of these details, you can focus on marketing channels that are likely to yield your business results. Furthermore, personas can make your website two to five times more effective for targeted users.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Pay-per-click advertising is a vast term that covers any method of digital marketing in which you pay for every user who clicks on an ad. For instance, Google AdWords is a form of Pay-per-click advertising called “paid search advertising.” Facebook Ads are another form of Pay-per-click advertising called “paid social media advertising.”

Paid Search Advertising

Google, Bing, and Yahoo let you run text ads on their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Paid search advertising is ideal for reaching potential customers who are actively hunting for a service or product like yours. 

Keywords are the specific phrases or words that your possible customers will type when searching for a business like yours. The more often your page uses a keyword and the more prominent the keyword’s placing (i.e., the Title), the higher you will rank in search results. You can pay search engine websites (through services like Google AdWords and Bing Ads) to showcase your advertisements in the top search results for specific keywords or related third-party websites that have partnered with the search engine. There are two different ways to pay for search advertising:

CPC is a short form for Cost-Per-Click. Every time a viewer clicks on your link or ad, you pay the search engine a fee. CPM, or Cost-Per-Impression, means that you spend every time your ad is displayed to someone on their device.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If you don’t want to pay for showing up in the SERPs, you can also use search engine optimization (SEO) to rank blog posts or pages on your site organically. You may not have to pay directly for every click, but getting a page to rank typically takes quite a lot of time and effort. However, you need to know that blogging is much more than just constantly putting the posts out. You have to design posts on your blog to solve actual problems for your viewers. You can also guest blog on other industry sites to gain access to a broader viewer base – and generate more inbound links for your website, therefore helping you boost your website’s SEO.

Paid Social Media Advertising

Almost all social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Pinterest will allow you to run ads on their websites. Paid social media advertising helps promote awareness with viewers that might not be aware that your business, service, or product exists.

Social Media Marketing

Like SEO, social media marketing is the organic, free way to use social media channels like Facebook or Twitter for marketing your business. And, just like SEO, organically selling your business on social media takes a lot more effort and time, but in the long run, it can deliver much cheaper results. 

Organic marketing means marketing your brand, product, or service directly on your business Facebook or Instagram page to your social following.

Paid advertising means paying for your work to be shown to a larger audience than just your social following. The significant part about paid advertising is that you get to choose who you want to see your ads on interest, behavioral, and demographic-based targeting.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the science and art of improving your online user experience. Most of the time, businesses use CRO to get more conversions (leads, calls, chats, sales, etc.) out of their existing website traffic.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is another reasonably extended digital marketing term. Content marketing covers any digital marketing tactic that uses content assets (blog posts, infographics, eBooks, videos, etc.) to promote brand awareness or drive clicks, leads, or sales.

Native Advertising

Ever scroll to the bottom of an article and see a list of suggested articles? That’s native advertising. Most native advertising comes under content marketing because it uses content to gain clicks (“you’ll never believe what happens next!”). Often, native advertising can be a little hard to spot since it is usually mixed in with non-paid content recommendations, but that’s the point.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is pretty much the oldest form of online marketing, and it is still going strong. Most digital marketers use email marketing for advertising special deals, highlight content (often as part of content marketing), or promote an event. The first email sent was in 1971, and businesses have been using email as a medium to send messages about the services and products they sell to their contact lists ever since.

A contact list is the list of email addresses of everybody who has expressed interest in your business and permitted you to follow up with them through email. Permission has to be given in one of two ways – implied or expressed.

Anyone who takes part in a business transaction or interaction with you gives implied permission to follow up via email. You grant “implied permission” to a company to follow up with you when making a purchase, making a donation, or entering a contract. An instance of this is an emailed receipt after making an online transaction; by trusting this company enough to engage in a transaction, you are implying that they have your permission to follow up with you about that transaction.

If there is no implied permission, you must get an expressed impression from someone before sending any email messages. Expressed consent is when you ask a customer for permission to send them emails, and they agree. You must include all related contact information about your company and the option to unsubscribe from your contact list at any time.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is basically paying someone else (a person or a business) to promote your products and services on their website. Companies bring on influencers or other companies to promote their products and take a small commission for every successful purchase made through them(influencer). It’s a win-win situation for both parties and saves money on advertising. An example of affiliate marketing is a Youtube Channel that reviews and talks about barbeque equipment. Amazon can bring this channel on as an affiliate where they put a unique link created for them for the viewers to go to the Amazon website and buy the product from Amazon itself. Through this special link, the channel earns a commission, and amazon makes sales well.

Provide a Great Customer Service Program

You probably would not categorize customer service as a part of your marketing for offline businesses in the past. But in the digital world, it is best to look at customer service as a marketing platform.

Since news spreads around – and fast, you provide awful customer service today. You see it on Twitter tomorrow. You go out of your way to resolve a customer’s problem today, and you see it on Facebook tomorrow.

Before you know it, you have either established a reputation for awful or excellent customer service. As you might guess, an excellent reputation for your customer service will bring in even more customers. As it shows, you care about your customers.

Tracking Results

Putting efforts into digital marketing activities is excellent. But you have to ensure that these efforts are bringing the desired results for your business.

Of course, the results you are looking for will depend on your goals as a business. Why do you engage in digital marketing? Most companies do so for the following reasons: Brand awareness, Product promotion, Building an audience, Capturing leads, Acquiring customers, and Making sales.

Regardless of your goals for digital marketing, how do you measure success or failure? It’s essential to measure results because you can improve your digital marketing strategies and understand what works and what does not.

Make sure that you can measure results on marketing mediums like social media, search engines, emails, and your website – don’t engage in activities that take up your time and money but that you can’t measure.

Does Digital Marketing Work?

Digital Marketing is a great option and is becoming a necessary part of growing any business and simply selling a product or service. There are two types of companies that use different types of marketing strategies. Business-to-business(B2B) and business-to-consumer(B2C). 

B2B companies will implement email advertising and content marketing strategies to sell their products to other companies. They cannot rely on social media marketing as much. B2B marketing is longstanding, and the goal is to create a long-term relationship, which is usually within a very niche market.

B2C companies, on the other hand, sell products such as kid’s toys or apparel, which the companies can sell directly to the consumer and don’t cost much. These companies implement social media advertising and pay-per-click advertising strategies, which direct consumers to their website, making an immediate purchase.

Knowing your product and who you wish to target, whether it’s other businesses or consumers directly, will help narrow down the most effective strategies for you.

Where Should I Start?


Digital Marketing

One thing in digital marketing is sure, nothing is certain. Trends change, algorithms change, and new competitors will join the market. My advice? Start wherever you can! Be ready to adapt to changes and learn the tools first, then how to implement them, and finally how to strategize so you can get the maximum results. Think of it like driving a car, and you need to first learn about the vehicle, how each part functions, and finally, how to implement all of it to move about successfully. Keep experimenting and learning new things. 

Want your website to rank higher in search engines when searched for specific words? Learn SEOs and start a blog. These tools will help you boost your business to whole new heights and drive traffic to your websites. Build an emailing marketing list if you want to share content and information with your regular customers. Wish to test paid waters? Try boosting your first Instagram or Facebook post!

Getting certified in Digital Marketing can help you learn much more about the tools and strategies directly from the experts.

How Do I Get Certified?

Google Ads certification is a professional accreditation awarded to digital marketers who display efficiency in Google Ads’ basic and advanced aspects. It is crucial for anyone looking to get started in digital advertising and works in the display, search, mobile, video, or shopping advertising space. It is essential for Pay-Per-Click (PPC) professionals, who constantly use Google Ads to monitor, implement, and track campaigns. Getting Google Ads certified will require you to complete two certification exams — the Google Ads Fundamentals exam, which covers foundation concepts, the advantages of paid advertising and best strategies for handling paid advertising campaigns, and any of its varied digital advertising courses on offer — you can choose from the display, search, mobile, shopping, and video ads.

The Digital Marketing Institute offers perhaps the definitive digital marketing certification, given to those who successfully complete the examinations and finish the course curriculum with Certified Digital Marketing Professional status. There are three distinct levels of qualification; Professional, Leader, and Master. This accolade will genuinely make an impression on potential investors and business partners.

Google Digital Garage teaches you the foundations of digital marketing. It provides a general certification covering building your online presence, analyzing performance, deciding your site and business goals, and much more. It’s a crucial first step into digital strategy, analytics, and display advertising that provides certification you’ll want.

Is It Worth Paying for a Digital Marketing Course?

Suppose the success of your business hinges on effective online marketing campaigns, like most modern companies. In that case, it is well worth paying a one-time fee for a digital marketing certification that displays your expertise to potential business partners and investors.

The Hootsuite Social Media Marketing Certification offered by Hootsuite Academy costs USD 199. It provides you with an industry-recognized certification that demonstrates your social marketing expertise to potential investors and clients. After paying the course fee, you also receive a listing in the Hootsuite Certified Professionals Directory and a permanent online certificate you can link to your website, blog, or other online profile.

There is a broad range of accreditations and paid digital marketing courses out there. When choosing whether to pay for a digital marketing course, ask yourself how much value the certification or certification will bring you personally and professionally, then work out whether the fee justifies the reward.

5 Free Affiliate Marketing Courses

Affiliate marketing is the business of selling other people’s products for a commission — known as an affiliate fee. Suppose you are looking to advertise and sell your products via an affiliate network. In that case, it is essential to enhance your more comprehensive inbound marketing skills and ensure that you are familiar with practical online advertising principles. We have listed multiple courses below to help you round out your skillset and increase your understanding of this vital area of digital marketing.

  1. The Unbounce website conversion course is a free online course spanning multiple topics, all created to help you learn how to get higher conversions from your landing pages, an essential tool in your digital marketing wheelhouse.
  2. The Google Ads online training course is divided into sections covering digital sales and display, search, video, mobile, and shopping ads disciplines. It gives you a fantastic insight into how affiliate marketing functions on Google’s network.
  3. HubSpot Academy provides a cost-free and comprehensive digital marketing course with over four-and-a-half hours of information delivered through 38 lectures — absolutely free! You will learn about inbound marketing and lead nurturing, as well as a broad range of essential digital marketing disciplines, from SEO to landing page optimization.
  4. Google provides a free course on promoting a business using online advertising, consisting of five modules with video tutorials that will help you create a successful advertising and marketing strategy comprising email marketing, video, and display ads.
  5. Google’s free guide to Google Ads is created to quickly get you up to speed, with modules on getting started, mobile optimization, and best practices to help you create display ads that convert clicks into sales.

Conclusion

The results you will get through digital marketing will be far greater than what is known as the hope-and-pray method, which is uploading something and hoping and praying that it gets any engagement or is even viewed by an audience. There is no correct or incorrect way to learn how to be a digital marketer. Still, I have learned that the best digital marketers are hungry for results, quick to adapt, and committed to learning and broadening their knowledge in the industry.

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