The concept of digital marketing is rather simple. You have a website or blog, and you try to make people visit it. What’s more, you want them to stay there, read your content, and eventually make a purchase.
In today’s world, everyone and their mother is doing digital marketing. If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either doing digital marketing yourself or have at least heard of it. If not, maybe it’s time to find out more.
Why Should You Understand Digital Marketing?
In short, digital marketing is important because it allows you to communicate with and interact with potential customers without having to pay for each and every conversion. In addition, digital marketing is a form of marketing that is measurable, and allows you to track the results of your efforts. If you want to know how effective your marketing efforts are, you can always look to your numbers rather than your eyes.
On the other hand, other forms of marketing, such as magazine spreads and radio ads, can be cost-prohibitive. Not to mention the fact that you may not be able to track the results of these efforts.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Put simply, digital marketing is the use of technology to market a business or product. It is also sometimes referred to as online marketing or web marketing. When we refer to digital marketing, we usually mean the marketing done solely through digital channels, such as social media and websites.
There are four main components to digital marketing:
These are the platforms that you use to communicate with and gain access to potential customers.
The most popular digital channels are social media, websites, and blogs. Your choice of which ones you utilize will depend on your target audience. For example, if you’re marketing to small businesses, you may want to focus on developing a website. If your target audience is mainly made up of potential customers, however, you may want to focus on using social media channels.
You can’t accurately determine the success of your digital marketing efforts without measurement. Just because you have a website or social media pages doesn’t mean that you’re automatically generating revenue and interest. That is why you need to measure the results of your digital marketing efforts. This involves using metrics and tracking tools to determine the effectiveness of your campaigns.
These are the actions you take to engage with potential customers via digital marketing. The most popular activities include:
- Content publishing: Creating and curating content that is geared toward potential customers.
- Outsourced marketing: Hiring third parties to help you spread the word about your business or product.
- Social media marketing: Using social media platforms, such as LinkedIn or Twitter, to engage with potential customers.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): Improving your website’s ranking in search engines, such as Google.
- Email marketing: Using email marketing to communicate with past customers and encourage them to engage with your content.
- Video marketing: Using video to attract and engage potential customers.
- Blog outreach: Building a community and engaging with bloggers and media personalities to promote your brand.
- Website re-design: Making your website look professional and relevant.
- Content marketing: Using content, such as articles or videos, to attract, engage, and convert potential customers to leads and eventually to customers.
It is also important to note that some of these activities, such as content publishing and social media marketing, can be considered forms of digital marketing, while other activities, such as SEO and email marketing, can be considered components of digital marketing.
These are the applications, platforms, or websites that you use to carry out your digital marketing activities.
The most popular tools for digital marketers include:
- Hootsuite: An all-in-one social media management tool that helps you to schedule content, monitor mentions, and engage with followers.
- Buffer: An app that helps you to schedule and post to different social media channels simultaneously.
- WordPress: A free, open-source content management system that allows you to build and publish your own website.
- HubSpot: A marketing automation tool that allows you to create highly personalized marketing campaigns.
- MailChimp: The go-to app for mass email marketing, which allows you to create automated campaigns that reach a large audience.
- Quora: A question-and-answer website that allows you to ask questions and find the answers you need.
- Youtube: The #1 video-sharing website that allows you to create and upload videos.
- Instagram: The world’s largest photo-sharing website that allows you to gain access to a massive audience.
- Vimeo: The video-sharing website that is similar to Youtube but does not require you to be logged in to see videos.
- Snapchat: The photo-sharing app that allows you to share photos with your followers.
- Flickr: The world’s largest online community of photographers and artists who can share their work with you.
- LiveChat: An online chat application that provides you with a platform to have an immediate conversation with customers, regardless of whether they are in the United States or another country.
- DocuSign: A professional email and document management platform designed for business.
- HubSpot Blogs: A series of educational blogs that cover a range of subject matters useful to digital marketers, such as email marketing and marketing analytics.
- MailChimp Blogs: A series of marketing and business blogs that discuss a range of subject matters useful to digital marketers, such as SEO and content strategy.
- Salesforce Marketing Cloud Blogs: A network of marketing and business blogs that cover a range of subject matters useful to digital marketers, such as lead generation and marketing analytics.
- MarketingCharts Blogs: A network of marketing and business blogs that cover a range of subject matters useful to digital marketers, such as marketing analytics and data visualization.
To put it simply, digital marketing is a lot of things. It is the use of technology to attract, engage, and convert potential customers to leads and eventually to customers. As a business owner or marketing professional, you will no doubt be charged with the responsibility of understanding and implementing digital marketing into your strategy.
Certainly, there are many tools out there that can make the process of understanding and implementing digital marketing easier. These tools can also help with the execution of your strategy. For example, HubSpot can help you to create and send highly personalized marketing campaigns to customers.
With this in mind, it is important to note that not all tools or applications out there are made equal. Some, like HubSpot, can really help you to understand and build a strong marketing foundation. Others, such as Google Analytics, can help you to track the results of your efforts, but won’t necessarily allow you to understand what is happening under the hood.
How Do I Begin My Exploration Of Digital Marketing?
To start your exploration of digital marketing, the best thing to do is to simply dive in and start using the different tools and applications available. This way, you can gradually build your understanding of what is entailed in implementing a digital marketing strategy.
Once you have a basic understanding of what digital marketing is and how it works, you can start to ask more specific questions about your unique situation.
For example, if you have a clear idea of the overall purpose of your digital marketing strategy, you can ask yourself, “How can I use digital marketing to reach my target audience?” This question can then be further broken down into more specific questions, such as: