Welcome to Web Marketing 101, where we will teach you the foundations of digital marketing. This article will cover everything you need to know to get started, including marketing concepts like online marketing vs. offline marketing and paid vs. organic marketing.
Marketing versus Branding
Marketing is the process of promoting a product or service to the public. It includes public relations, advertising, and sales. Essentially, marketing is a form of branding, but branding is much more than advertising or product. It includes designing a logo, creating marketing materials like brochures and business cards, and so on.
Branding is the identity of a product or service. A brand is usually associated with a company, organization, or business unit, and it represents the image and value proposition of that entity. When you create a brand, you are creating a marketing identity for a product or service that is only as good as its perception in the marketplace. The stronger the brand, the stronger the identity.
What is Digital Marketing?
“Digital Marketing” is the use of marketing and communication strategies to attract customers using online platforms like display ads, SEO, and social media.
While digital marketing strategies have existed for several years, the term “digital marketing” wasn’t coined until the 2000s, when marketing managers recognized the value of digital media in marketing and decided to integrate the practices into their strategy. This strategy is used to attract potential customers to a business via the web, and it is often combined with SEO and content marketing.
Why should you learn about digital marketing?
If you are just starting your career or are looking for a career change, marketing is a popular choice. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for marketing managers is expected to increase by 20% between 2020 and 2026.
Digital marketing is a growing field, and the demand for skilled marketers continues to rise. Additionally, marketing is a key part of the marketing communications plan, so you’ll always have a role in marketing. Finally, the concept of digital marketing is easy to understand, and it has a lot of applications beyond just selling products online.
The Evolution of Digital Marketing
Traditional marketing is similar to digital marketing, but it used to be focused more on physical media like newspapers and magazines. Back in the day, marketing managers would design billboards, set up pop-up stores, and plaster the city with ads. Now, with the rise of the digital world, all of those tactics are obsolete.
The evolution of digital marketing is fascinating to watch. It all began with a tweet.
In 2013,marketing guru and entrepreneur Neil Patel noted that 68% of consumers had engaged with a brand or product via social media. At the time, Facebook’s share of the U.S. market was over 75%, and marketers were scrambling to figure out how to use this massive platform to their advantage.
Patel knew that he could cut through the clutter by helping businesses better understand the power of social media to attract and retain customers. In 2014, he co-founded HubSpot, a software company that created a hub for businesses to communicate and collaborate online.
With HubSpot, companies can track the activity of their customers on their websites and social media channels. They can see what content is performing well and try new things with a fresh set of eyes. Additionally, HubSpot helps companies measure the results of their marketing efforts, which is extremely valuable information to have.
Other software companies, like Blue Corona, provide similar services but for B2B marketing.
Today, social media is much more than just a platform for marketing. It is an integral part of a customer’s entire digital experience. For example, if you use Facebook to look up a local business, it will also tell you about their blog, photos of their food, and even when they are open for business. All of this information is presented to you because Facebook knows you are a local person searching for a business you can trust.
Paid vs. Organic Marketing
If you’ve ever bought a product or service and later found out that the branding and marketing were all a part of a larger scheme, you might feel cheated. This is similar to how you would feel if you found out that a company had used dishonest marketing practices to trick you into buying their product.
Paid marketing is any marketing activity where you pay for the advertorial or there is an incentive for the consumer to click on it. The term ‘paid’ does not necessarily mean that the marketing was dishonest; you might find that the branding and messaging was completely authentic, but the method of attracting people to the campaign was not.
Organic Marketing is all the various methods you use to attract potential customers ‘without paying for each individual action’. It is usually a mixed approach that incorporates digital marketing, direct marketing, and word of mouth marketing. Because these are all valid forms of marketing, it means that you are not cheating consumers if you use all three together.
For example, say you are a bakery and you want to promote your cakes to people in the area. You could put up signs in local parks and cafes, run Facebook ads, and even organize tasting sessions for potential customers. All of these are organic methods of marketing and all are considered valid options.
The only difference is that with organic marketing, you don’t pay for each action. So if someone sees your sign in a park and decides to try your product, you haven’t actually ‘paid’ for that person to find out about your bakery. You are simply acknowledging that they might be interested in your product and giving them the opportunity to try it. Similarly, if someone decides to buy your product after viewing your online advertisement, you didn’t actually pay for that impulse buy. You are simply providing them with enough information so that they can make an informed decision.
If you’re new to marketing, you might not be prepared for how much change there is in the world of marketing automation. When you hear people talk about ‘traditional’ marketing, you might think they are referring to a time when all the marketing was done manually. This is not the case at all!
Marketing automation is the use of software and automation to streamline marketing campaigns. It makes campaigns much more efficient and less error-prone. Think about how much time you would waste if every time one of your ads failed to capture a lead, you had to go back and re-do all the work. Or, what if you put up a new billboard, but the sign was stolen a few weeks later? You would then have to start all over again from the beginning.
Using software to automate marketing makes campaigns much more efficient and less prone to mistakes. Plus, it gives you the ability to scale your efforts quickly and effectively. Marketing automation allows you to conduct A/B tests and see which campaigns are performing the best. Think of all the time you would save if you didn’t have to re-invent the wheel every single time you launched a new campaign.
Basic Data Analysis
One of the most valuable things you can learn in any marketing or business course is how to analyze basic data. Even the marketing methods you are most familiar with have changed over time, and so has the way marketers use data. If you are able to look back on past campaigns with fresh eyes, you can spot patterns and predict future results with more confidence.
You might be familiar with the concept of A/B testing. This is where you try out different versions of a campaign and track the results. In the world of marketing, A/B testing is much more than just running a test. It is a way of thinking about optimization and experimentation.
Imagine you are a bakery and you want to test whether or not people prefer cake over pie. For this experiment, you would implement an A/B test where you change the name of one of your products from ‘pie’ to ‘cake’ and track the results. Perhaps you found that people preferred the pie, so you would keep calling your product pie and try out new recipes for your next batch of product.
When you look back on your career in marketing, what will you remember? Is it the brands you worked for or the campaigns you spearheaded? Is it the numbers you crunched or the conversations you had? Whatever it is, it will be a valuable insight to you and your future endeavors.