It’s no secret that the world of digital marketing is evolving.
From the way we consume content, to the channel through which we receive it, to the tools we use to grow and engage our audience, the way we approach marketing in the digital era is transforming.
If you’re looking to expand your digital marketing knowledge, this definitive guide is for you. We’ll cover everything from marketing strategy to digital marketing tools, with particular emphasis on the most advanced methods and the most up-to-date trends. By the end of this guide, you’ll understand everything you need to know to launch and grow a successful online marketing campaign.
The Evolving Role of Digital Marketing
The digital marketing landscape is changing.
Thanks to the continued evolution of mobile devices and the wide availability of fast and reliable internet connections, consumers have more options than ever when it comes to finding content.
From news websites to YouTube channels, Instagram to Snapchat, consumers can find exactly what they want, when they want it, through various digital channels.
Traditional websites focused on product sales grew quickly in the early 2010s as more and more consumers shifted to finding information and engaging with businesses online. Thanks to the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape, the role of digital marketing has evolved to include engaging with consumers on social media platforms and search engine optimization (SEO)-boosted websites. Businesses must develop marketing strategies and plans to take advantage of this new digital world.
These days, anyone with a smartphone can easily access the world’s best content, regardless of their location. Thanks to the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape, the roles of web content creators and social media mavens have blurred, meaning that businesses can benefit from a multi-channel approach when engaging with audiences.
In 2014, HubSpot Blogs’ Director of Marketing, Neeraj Arora, wrote an article explaining the changing roles of marketers in the digital era. He wrote:
“In the past, marketers focused on selling products and attracting customers. Today, marketers need to understand the needs and wants of customers across different digital channels and measure the success of their campaigns.”
With the emergence of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), digital marketing is evolving yet again. Thanks to the success of the Pokémon Go game, digital shoppers are more likely to be using their smartphones in the store instead of in line at the grocery store. This is creating a massive shift in how businesses can engage with consumers.
Similarly, as the role of marketing in society shifts to include more engagement and less sales, traditional marketing tactics like advertising and PR are no longer as effective. Thanks to the rise of content marketing, businesses can now use digital marketing to drive interest in their brands, offering, and products, as content creators produce valuable content consumers want to engage with, on a regular basis.
Why B2C Marketing?
Whether you’re a business to consumer (B2C) marketer or a commercial (B2B) marketer, your approach to marketing will be different.
B2C marketers typically work for businesses that sell products or offer services to consumers, so the goal is to get people to buy stuff. B2C marketing, also known as digital marketing, is all about marketing a brand or product, whether it’s a new product being launched or an existing brand expanding into new markets.
B2B marketers, on the other hand, market businesses to other businesses for the purpose of gaining sales. The term B2B marketing can be used to refer to both marketing for a specific company as well as marketing a specific product, service, or trend from a company’s perspective (i.e., promoting a brand).
As a B2B marketer, your goal may be to generate leads, boost brand awareness, or drive sales. For instance, if you’re a marketer for a software company, your goal may be to get other businesses to try your product or service so you can gain new sales.
While there are many similarities between the approaches of B2B and B2C marketing, there are also some key differences. As a B2B marketer, you may work for a marketing agency that provides various services for clients or, if you work independently, you might take on the role of a marketing consultant for a business looking for advice on marketing strategy.
One of the main distinctions between B2C and B2B marketing is in the approach to planning. While a B2C marketer might plan a marketing campaign around a series of ads that promote a specific product or service, a B2B marketer will typically use a more strategic approach. They’ll lay out a plan that includes everything from defining the target audience to developing key messaging and metrics to measure success.
If you’re wondering how to begin your digital marketing journey, this guide will guide you through the essentials required to successfully build and grow a business capable of producing compelling content that will attract, engage, and retain customers.