If you are wondering what digital marketing is… it is advertising delivered through digital channels. Channels such as social media, mobile applications, email, web applications, search engines, websites, or any new digital channel.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to connect with current and prospective customers.
What is the role of Digital Marketing to a company?
The role of digital marketing is to help you garner new traffic, leads, and sales for your business by reaching people looking for your products and services. By itself, web marketing is the process of marketing your company online to prospective leads and high-value consumers.
While traditional marketing might exist in print ads, phone communication, or physical marketing, digital marketing can occur electronically and online. This means that there are far more possibilities for brands to reach customers, including email, video, social media, and search engines.
What Are the Benefits of Digital Marketing?
The main advantage of digital marketing is that a targeted audience can be reached in a cost-effective and measurable way. Other digital marketing advantages include increasing brand loyalty and driving online sales.
Having a strong digital presence will help you in multiple ways:
- It will make it easier to create awareness and engagement both before and after the sale
- It will help you convert new buyers into rabid fans who buy more (and more often)
- It will kick-start word-of-mouth and social sharing—and all the benefits that come with them
- It will shorten the buyer’s journey by presenting the right offers at the right time
Types of Digital Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Pay Per Click (PPC)
- Affiliate Marketing
- Native Advertising
- Marketing Automation
- Email Marketing
- Online PR
- Inbound Marketing
- Sponsored Content
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most common digital marketing tactics and the channels involved in each one.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines. SEO targets unpaid traffic rather than direct traffic or paid traffic.
This is the process of optimizing your website to “rank” higher in search engine results pages, thereby increasing the amount of organic (or free) traffic your website receives. The channels that benefit from SEO include websites, blogs, and infographics.
There are a number of ways to approach SEO in order to generate qualified traffic to your website. These include:
- On page SEO: This type of SEO focuses on all of the content that exists “on the page” when looking at a website. By researching keywords for their search volume and intent (or meaning), you can answer questions for readersand rankhigher on the search engine results pages (SERPs) those questions produce.
- Off page SEO: This type of SEO focuses on all of the activity that takes place “off the page” when looking to optimize your website. “What activity not on my own website could affect my ranking?” You might ask. The answer is inbound links, also known as backlinks. The number of publishers that link to you, and the relative “authority” of those publishers, affect how highly you rank for the keywords you care about. By networking with other publishers, writing guest posts on these websites(andlinking back to your website), andgenerating external attention, you can earn the backlinks you need to move your website up on allthe right SERPs.
- Technical SEO: This type of SEO focuses on the backend of your website, and how your pages are coded. Image compression, structured data, and CSS file optimization are all forms of technical SEO that can increase your website’s loading speed — an important ranking factor in the eyes of search engines like Google.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
This term denotes the creation and promotion of content assets for the purpose of generating brand awareness, traffic growth, lead generation, and customers. The channels that can play a part in your content marketing strategy include:
- Blog posts: Writing and publishing articles on acompanybloghelps you demonstrate your industry expertise and generates organic search traffic for your business. This ultimately gives you more opportunities to convert website visitors into leads for your sales team.
- Ebooks and whitepapers: Ebooks, whitepapers, and similar long-form content helps further educate website visitors. It also allows you toexchange content for a reader’s contact information, generating leads for your company and moving peoplethrough the buyer’s journey.
- Infographics: Sometimes, readers want you to show, not tell. Infographics are a form of visual content that helps website visitors visualize a concept you want to help them learn.
Want to learn and apply content marketing to your business? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free content marketing training resource page.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic.
This practice promotes your brand and your content on social media channels to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads for your business. The channels you can use in social media marketing include:
If you’re new to social platforms, you can use tools like HubSpot to connect channels like LinkedIn and Facebook in one place. This way, you can easily schedule content for multiple channels at once, and monitor analytics from the platform as well.
On top of connecting social accounts for posting purposes, you can also integrate your social media inboxes into HubSpot, so you can get your direct messages in one place.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
PPC stands for pay–per–click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically. Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC.
PPC is a method of driving traffic to your website by paying a publisher every time your ad is clicked. One of the most common types of PPC is Google Ads, which allows you to pay for top slots on Google’s search engine results pages at a price “per click” of the links you place. Other channels where you can use PPC include:
- Paid ads on Facebook:Here, users can pay to customize a video, image post, or slideshow, which Facebook will publish to the newsfeeds of peoplewho match your business’s audience.
- Twitter Ads campaigns: Here, users can pay to place a series of posts or profile badges to the news feeds of a specific audience, all dedicated to accomplish a specific goal for your business. This goal can be website traffic, more Twitter followers, tweet engagement, or even app downloads.
- Sponsored Messages on LinkedIn: Here, users can pay to send messages directly to specific LinkedIn users based on their industry and background.
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
This is a type of performance-based advertising where you receive commission for promoting someone else’s products or services on your website. Affiliate marketing channels include:
- Hosting video ads through the YouTube Partner Program.
- Posting affiliate links from your social media accounts.
Native advertising refers to advertisements that are primarily content-led and featured on a platform alongside other, non-paid content. BuzzFeed-sponsored posts are a good example, but many people also consider social media advertising to be “native” — Facebook advertising and Instagram advertising, for example.
Marketing automation refers to the software that serves to automate your basic marketing operations. Many marketing departments can automate repetitive tasks they would otherwise do manually, such as:
- Email newsletters: Email automation doesn’t just allow you to automatically send emailsto your subscribers. It can also help you shrink and expand your contact list as needed so your newsletters are only going to the people who want to see them in their inboxes.
- Social media post scheduling: If you want to grow your organization’s presence on a social network, you need to post frequently. This makes manual posting a bit of an unruly process. Social media scheduling tools push your content to your social media channelsfor you, so you can spend more time focusing on content strategy.
- Lead-nurturing workflows: Generating leads, and converting those leads into customers, can be a long process.You can automate that process by sending leads specific emails and content once they fit certain criteria, such as when they download and open an ebook.
- Campaign tracking and reporting:Marketing campaigns can include a ton of different people, emails, content, webpages, phone calls, and more. Marketing automation can help yousort everything you work on by the campaign it’s serving, and then track the performance of that campaign based on the progress all of these components make over time.
Companies use email marketing as a way of communicating with their audiences. Email is often used to promote content, discounts and events, as well as to direct people toward the business’s website. The types of emails you might send in an email marketing campaign include:
- Blog subscription newsletters.
- Follow-up emails to website visitors who downloaded something.
- Customer welcome emails.
- Holiday promotions to loyalty program members.
- Tips or similar series emails for customer nurturing.
Online PR is the practice of securing earned online coverage with digital publications, blogs, and other content-based websites. It’s much like traditional PR, but in the online space. The channels you can use to maximize your PR efforts include:
- Reporter outreach via social media: Talking to journalists on Twitter, for example, is a great way to develop a relationship with the press that produces earned media opportunities for your company.
- Engaging online reviews of your company: When someone reviews your company online, whether that review is good or bad, your instinct might be not to touch it. On the contrary, engaging company reviews helps you humanize your brand and deliver powerful messaging that protects your reputation.
- Engaging comments on your personal website or blog: Similar to the way you’d respond to reviews of your company, responding to the people who are reading your content is the best way to generate productive conversation around your industry.
Inbound marketing, in simple terms, is the process of helping potential customers find your company. This frequently happens before the customer is even ready to make a purchase, but making contact early can turn into brand preference and, ultimately, leads and revenue.
Inbound marketing refers to a marketing methodology wherein you attract, engage, and delight customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey. You can use every digital marketing tactic listed above, throughout an inbound marketing strategy, to create a customer experience that works the customer, not them. Here are some classic examples of inbound marketing versus traditional marketing:
- Blogging vs. pop-up ads
- Video marketing vs. commercial advertising
- Email contact listsvs. email spam
With sponsored content, you as a brand pay another company or entity to create and promote content that discusses your brand or service in some way. One popular type of sponsored content is influencer marketing. With this type of sponsored content, a brand sponsors an influencer in its industry to publish posts or videos related to the company on social media. Another type of sponsored content could be a blog post or article that is written to highlight a topic, service, or brand.
Why is digital marketing important?
Using digital marketing, you can reach an enormous audience in a way that is both cost-effective and measurable. You can save money and reach more customers for less money than traditional marketing methods. Get to know your audience and allow them to know you personally which can help to create brand loyalty.
Digital marketing helps you reach a larger audience than you could through traditional methods, and target the prospects who are most likely to buy your product or service. Additionally, it’s often more cost-effective than traditional advertising, and enables you to measure success on a daily basis and pivot as you see fit.