Most businesses are now realizing the importance of online marketing and how to use digital marketing to promote their brands. In fact, over 42% of American businesses are now performing some kind of digital marketing for marketing managers according to HubSpot. So it’s clear that digital marketing is here to stay. But, what exactly is digital marketing and how can you utilize online marketing to promote your brand? In this article, you are going to learn about the various forms of digital marketing and how to use online marketing to promote your business or brand. Consider this your one-stop-shop for all your digital marketing related needs.
What Is Digital Marketing?
As mentioned above, 42% of American businesses are now performing some form of digital marketing. This is an increase of 7% from the previous year and 10% from 2016. But what exactly does digital marketing mean? Simply put, it’s the modern use of digital technologies to market a product or service.
There are four forms of digital marketing which I’ll discuss below. They are SEO, SMM, PPC, and Content Marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO, or search engine optimization, seeks to improve the ranking of a website or blog on search engines like Google. You’re probably familiar with SEO if you’ve ever shopped online; you type in a few keywords, and the search results list items that match those words. For example, if you’re searching for a specific brand of shoes, the results will likely include a variety of websites that sell those shoes as well as other brands of shoes. This is because Google optimizes these searches to show the best possible matches for what the user is searching for.
SEO essentially gives your website and/or blog the best shot at being found by potential customers when they use search engines. In general, the higher your rankings on popular search engines the more chance you have at being found by potential customers. And that, in turn, can lead to more sales.
How do you achieve high search engine rankings? There are four basic steps you need to take. Before you start implementing these steps, it’s essential to define your target audience; understand who you’re trying to reach and what they want. To do this, you need to perform market research. This involves speaking with potential customers to find out what they want and don’t want, as well as evaluating different methods of communicating with this audience.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
SMM, or social media marketing, seeks to gain popularity and engagement with potential customers on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This is a widely-used type of digital marketing that allows you to target your audience based on various demographics and interests. Considerable growth in SMM was observed in 2016, which saw a 34% increase in the number of businesses using this type of marketing.
Why do businesses turn to SMM? There are several benefits to using this type of marketing. For one, you can connect with consumers who are already interested in your product or service. In addition, you can use social media to listen to and understand what your audience is saying about your brand. Furthermore, you can use social media to engage with potential customers and encourage them to become repeat buyers or even brand ambassadors. Finally, you can use social media to discover new opportunities that might lead to further sales, which is why almost all marketers are involved in some form of SMM.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
PPC, or pay per click, is a type of advertising that is very similar to SEO but focuses on generating revenue instead of just improving your search engine rankings.
The great thing about PPC is that you don’t need very high rankings to make it extremely effective. You just need to have a web page and you need to have people clicking on it. When a consumer clicks on an advertised link, they are usually taken to a website with some form of commercial intent. If you’re running an eCommerce store, this might be products related to your niche or interests. For example, if you’re into makeup and you click on an ad for a beauty product vendor, you’ll be taken to their website.
The downside to PPC is that you need to have a budget in mind when planning your ad campaign. You also need to know how to measure the success of your campaign. This form of digital marketing is relatively easy to implement but requires a lot of attention to detail to be able to achieve the best results.
Finally, let’s not forget about content marketing, which incorporates both written and visual content to attract, engage, and delight potential customers. The content marketing hype cycle often goes through four stages. These stages are:
- Incitement: This is the “coming soon” stage where the content marketing team waits for the right moment to release the content. In this stage, the content creator hopes to either arouse interest in the audience or just make people curious about what they will discover.
- Convince: Once you’ve incensed the reader, you can use the content to further convince them into action. This stage is all about using the authority of an expert to persuade the reader to take a certain action. You might want your audience to visit your website or buy your product, but you will most certainly want them to do something more specific (e.g., make a donation, sign up for your email list, etc.).
- Realize: As the name suggests, the purpose of this stage is to make the reader really notice and understand the value of the content. In other words, you want them to “realize” the benefits of what you are promoting. This might include educating the audience about an important issue related to your niche or providing valuable information that they can’t get anywhere else.
- Inspire: Finally, you want to inspire the reader to perform an action that will have a positive impact on your business or brand. For example, if you’re writing about finding the best iPhone deals, you want to inspire someone to go out and buy an iPhone. Or, if you’re a lifestyle blog, you want to inspire your audience to live a better life.
As you can see, content marketing is a bit of an all-rounder. You will use different types of content to attract, engage, and delight your audience. However, the bottom line is that content marketing is used to attract, engage, and delight an audience so that they become long-term customers or even brand ambassadors. If you want to create irresistible online marketing promo codes and win big, you should consider using all of these forms of digital marketing to spread the word about your business.