What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is a generic term for all marketing efforts that use digital or online technologies to promote a business, product, or service. In digital marketing, companies connect with potential and current customers through a variety of channels like a company’s website, search engines, an email blast, or a social media ad.
When it comes to digital marketing, the focus is on market segments, leads, prospective buyers, customers, loyal customers, brand endorsers, etc. Digital marketing encompasses the whole customer lifecycle, from when a person first hears about your brand, product, or service, to the moment he/she finally becomes a happy, satisfied customer who recommends your company. This typically is a fairly long journey that involves several milestones and marketing touchpoints. The role of digital marketing is to move that person from one stage to another on their way from awareness to your brand, to actively and enthusiastically recommending it to friends and family.
Online, where most spend a significant amount of time, is where companies using digital marketing connect with customers. The main channels that fall under the umbrella of digital marketing include content marketing, social media marketing, pay-per-click (PPC), email marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO). Based on the goals you are pursuing at any given moment (awareness, sales, loyalty, etc.), you will need to run various digital marketing campaigns on multiple channels to move your customers from one stage to the next.
Additionally, digital marketing is ever-changing and it’s essential that marketers continuously analyze campaign performance and review the data to discover strategic ways to improve results. This leads to another component of digital marketing: data analytics and testing & optimization. When companies test a variety of tactics and use data to drive decisions, digital marketing campaigns can succeed and produce profitable results.
How to do digital marketing?
It’s no secret that, in the digital world we live in, businesses need to have a strong online presence. Not only can digital marketing be cost-effective, it’s typically easier to measure campaigns’ results than traditional marketing channels. If you’re looking to get started with digital marketing, here are some key pointers on where to focus to grow your online presence:
- Website. First things first, focus on your website. Make sure it’s mobile-friendly, SEO-optimized, user-friendly, and able to generate leads or sales for your business.
- SEO. Your website should definitely be SEO-optimized. From developing a keyword strategy to on-page and off-page optimization, every SEO tactic is important to increase your organic ranking on the search engines and drive traffic.
- Website. First things first, focus on your website. Make sure it’s mobile-friendly, SEO-optimized, user-friendly, and able to generate leads or sales for your business.
- Analytics. Set up and use website analytics to be able to measure, collect, understand, predict, plan, and report your brand’s web activities. You can then use this data to discover ways to improve your conversion rate and returns.
- SEM. Come up with a comprehensive search engine marketing (SEM) strategy that includes choosing a platform (Google Ads, Bing Ads, etc), crafting search text and/or display ads, deciding on keywords to target, building your campaign and ad groups, etc.
- Content marketing. You can start a helpful blog on your company’s website, enable social sharing, submit content to social hubs, write eBooks/whitepapers, design infographics, or write guest posts for other blogs. Content marketing helps readers to engage with your brand and willing to share your content.
- Social media marketing. To drive traffic to your websites and increase sales through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, use social media marketing. Create meaningful content optimized for each social media account, be consistent and engage with users frequently.
- Email marketing. Set up an email service provider (ESP) to create smart email marketing campaigns. Segment your email lists based on audience behavior and preferences (likes, dislikes, location, spending habits) and customize your emails accordingly to generate the most sales and/or to develop trust.
What is a digital marketing strategy?
A digital marketing strategy is a comprehensive plan aimed at accomplishing goals such as generating more business, increasing sales, or building a community through digital channels. Digital marketing strategies can take many forms, but they should ultimately concentrate on the relationship between three main elements:
- Audiences – Who are you targeting? New customers, previous buyers, partners, etc? You want to identify a target audience or a particular group of people who would be interested in buying your products and services. Many companies create Buyer Personas, a semi-fictional representation of the ideal customer. Be specific when identifying your audience – look at age, gender, occupation, etc. and use your customer database to gather more information about your audiences. Once you’ve identified your target audience, you can determine which channel you need to invest in.
- Channels – A marketing channel is the “how” in the marketing strategy equation – this is how you will engage with your audience segment. Marketing channels include all online communication platforms like your website, social media profiles, email, blog, search engines, advertising, and devices (mobile, tablet, laptop). Based on the target audience, companies can select the channels that will be used for targeting the prospective customers. For example, if your target audience is mainly represented by women, Pinterest is a great channel to go for, as there are nearly three times many women using it than men. Check out this insightful article to learn more about target audiences and social media channels. Once you’ve decided on the channel, next comes the strategy portion – building the campaign.
- Campaign – The basic structure of a digital marketing campaign entails the following components:
- Objective. The most important component in building a digital marketing campaign is choosing very specific, concise, and clear objectives. The more specific marketers and organizations are when setting the campaign’s objectives, the more likely they will be to achieve them. Plus, objectives’ accuracy helps experts identify the rest of the campaign’s elements. A campaign’s objective can be getting more engagement on social media, attracting more traffic to the website, increasing customer base, increasing profitability per customer, entering a new market, etc.
- Competition analysis. This is a key part of any digital marketing strategy. With a good competition analysis, brands will be able to find out what their competitors are doing, what channels they’re using, how are they exactly using these channels, and what keywords they’ve been ranking for, if applicable.
- Campaign assets. Depending on the channel chosen by the marketer, the assets are the marketing pieces that speak to the identified target audience, getting current and potential customers to take an action. Assets can include display ads, text ads, search terms, landing pages, and so on.
- Campaign message. Choosing the right message and incentive for a digital marketing campaign will help a brand properly position itself to drive target audiences to take an action. Marketers should take into consideration the particularities of the target audience in order to relevantly craft and customize the campaign’s messaging. For instance, touching on how the product or services will address the audiences’ main challenges is a great start pointing.
A successful digital marketing strategy will achieve the desired results for one or more target audiences. This doesn’t exclude the possibility that a company may need multiple strategies. Moreover, due to the fact that channels and consumers are constantly evolving, a digital marketing strategy has to be frequently updated. The success of a digital marketing campaign is based on constant measurements and analytics. As metrics and data are being collected, marketers should optimize the campaign at any given point and keep track of its performance in order to get the best performance.
Why digital marketing is important?
Digital marketing has become increasingly popular and even a mandatory component of an organization’s marketing plan, as it covers the entire range of applications, technologies and online channels. With 55.1% of the world’s population (approximately 3.2 billion people) using the internet, it’s no secret that digital marketing is vital for companies that want to stand out in the digital world. To make things even clearer, here’s why, nowadays, digital marketing is important for each and every business.
- Get to the right people at the right time. Digital marketing gives you the ability to target the right people at the right time based on multiple factors like location, interests, demographics, and so on. With ad scheduling and various targeting options, you can reach the audience that will most likely generate the most sales for your business.
- Grow your business. It’s a well-known fact that online usage is continuously increasing. People use the internet, and especially websites such as Google, Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Facebook, to decide where to eat, what hotels to stay at, what beauty saloons to choose, what car wash to go for, etc. Plus, everyone keeps in touch with their friends on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Since the usage of these online channels is skyrocketing, a good digital marketing strategy will help businesses grow, become visible, connect with their customers and build trust, which will lead to generating more leads and sales.
- Get feedback and understand your customers. It’s very easy to get feedback online. Your customers can share their opinion about your products and services in real time, which will help you know if there’s anything you need to change. This also applies to the feedback that you receive for your online campaigns.
At the end of the day, it’s important to keep in mind that digital marketing is essential for any type of company. Through its strategies and tools, it contributes to the business’ overall growth and development.
How to learn digital marketing?
There are plenty of ways to learn digital marketing. From books, blogs, and online or in-person courses to becoming an intern or trainee at a digital marketing agency and marketing your own website online, the options are endless. No matter what you choose, make sure to always combine theory with practice.
For example, if you prefer learning through books, blogs, courses, or other theory-focused resources, put into practice the concepts that you learn. You can ask a family member or friend to see if they need digital marketing help for their business, search for a company that’s hiring an entry-level digital marketer, or develop a product which you can promote yourself to gain hands-on experience.
When you’re learning by applying theory to practice, it’s essential that you stay current with digital marketing concepts, best practices, and updates. Subscribe to a digital marketing e-newsletter, read blogs that talk about the latest trends in the industry, follow marketing influencers, and watch videos about digital marketing topics.
Additionally, there are numerous higher education institutions that offer digital marketing degree programs. You can earn a Bachelors, Associates, or similar degree in Communications and/or Marketing. Some of these institutions even offer students the chance to practice their skills with an internship in a work environment.
Regardless of how you decide to learn digital marketing – you should always keep in mind that digital marketing is constantly evolving and the learning process will be a continuous one. New channels, tools and applications are consistently coming out, and it’s the job of the marketer to research, implement, and master it. One thing’s for sure, you’ll never be bored as a digital marketer.
How to get into digital marketing?
Congrats on deciding you’d like to pursue a career in digital marketing! Getting into the digital marketing field is very exciting right now, especially since there are so many options you can choose from. Here are some recommendations on how to start your career:
Help small businesses. Find a mom-and-pop business or one owned by a family/friend and offer to help them with digital marketing. This is one of the best ways to get real client experience, apply your digital marketing skills, and get great value out of it.
Start a blog. If content marketing is what you want to excel at, start practicing your skills on your own blog. A great idea would be blogging about your personal development with digital marketing and what you learn. Write about the industry websites that you follow, review digital marketing applications, answer questions others in the same space want to learn more about, and create content that will increase your website traffic and impress your future employers. A blog is a great starting point to learn more about SEO and how to get your content ranked higher on search engines as well as practice social media marketing and how to increase your blog shares.
Launch a website. Have a product you want to sell? Or a service you want others to purchase? Create a website and start honing your digital marketing skills. Market your website by using digital marketing tactics like going after certain keywords and trying to get ranked for them on the search engines. Test different strategies to see what works and what doesn’t. That’s how you’ll get hands-on experience on how to market a website online.
Grow a social media account. Learn the ins and outs of social media by setting up and growing your own personal or business channels. Whether you want to learn Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, set up an account, optimize your profile, pick a topic that you want to promote, and test! Use every single digital marketing concept you’ve learned in the past and try it to see how it works when implemented to your page. Get familiar with the algorithms, check out the analytics, and come up with strategic ways to enhance the engagement of your profile.
Put your resume out there. Why not just go for it? Find and apply for digital marketing entry-level jobs or internships in-house or at marketing agencies. Highlight your passion to learn the field and showcase your growing skillset And if you’ve done any of the items listed above, you’re more likely to get it! Good luck.
What is KPI in digital marketing?
KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator and is a set of measurements (or values) that reflect performance (failure or success) in terms of progress towards business goals. In other words, KPI is a performance assessment tool. It illustrates the degree of accomplishing a goal, like getting more email subscribers, product purchases, or increasing leads.
In order to establish the KPI that is right for your business, you have to:
- understand the business and its digital marketing goals;
- turn business goals into achievable goals – this is made possible with an effective digital marketing strategy;
- select and measure your performance accurately
Typically, , any value that has the ability to impact cash flow or conversions is most likely to be a good KPI for your business.
Also, here are some attributes of an ideal KPI:
- It’s measurable – in other words, it’s the KPI that you can evaluate, monitor, and report on..
- It has a huge impact on your business.
- It’s correlated with the digital marketing goals. For example, if you want to increase your brand’s awareness through an online campaign, you’d look at unique visitors, number of page views, etc.
- It helps the business track and improve its core business..
- It has longevity and can be tracked for a long time, like year over year – this will help you with reporting and evaluation.
There are two major KPI categories: internal KPIs and external KPIs. Internal KPIs are those used by marketers to measure and optimize the performance of digital marketing campaigns and are not reported to the clients or the management. Some example of internal KPIs: ROI of outreach, conversion rate of outreach, email deliverability rate, email open rate, and e-mail response rate. External KPIs are those indicators with a huge impact on a business, such as goal conversions, task completion rate, cost per acquisition, average order value, and conversion rate.
Developing a company’s KPIs is something that our digital marketing experts can help with – reach out to us for a one-on-one discussion about establishing, using, and measuring KPIs in your marketing strategy.
What does digital marketing consist of?
Digital marketing consists of all online marketing channels, which is mainly social media marketing, content marketing, pay-per-click (PPC), email marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO).
- Social Media Marketing: When digital marketers use social media platforms to promote a brand, a product, or a service; also applies to interacting with followers, posting updates, and getting feedback in real time.
- Content marketing: Focuses on crafting, publishing, and sharing relevant content online for a variety of target audiences.
- Pay-per-click (PPC): Involves paying a publisher (Google, Bing, etc.) to direct their traffic to a company’s website. Typically, you pay whenever the ad is clicked.
- Email marketing: Sending out newsletter campaigns via email to help build a strong relationship between the brand and current or potential customers.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): Technical and creative tactic used to increase organic ranking in the search engine results. Higher ranking typically increases brand awareness and drives traffic to your website.
As digital marketing is constantly evolving, more channels may come into existence and become popular, while others might drop off. For this reason, it’s essential for businesses to have a multichannel approach, by utilizing multiple channels and extending your reach. This way, the consumer will be more likely to convert (purchase a product or service, click a call-to-action link, open an email, fill out a registration form, write a review, download an eBook, and so on) and return.
How to get a job in digital marketing?
There are certain things you can do in order to land a job in digital marketing. Learning the basics of the field is the first recommendable step. Regarding education, there are several degrees one can attain such as a Bachelor’s in marketing, advertising, communication, etc. Plus, there’s a plethora of free courses out there taught by skilled and experienced digital marketing professionals. Even companies like Google and Bing have their own marketing courses you can enroll in.
To increase your chances of obtaining a digital marketing job, hone your skill set by:
- Mastering communication – Since a big part of marketing is communication, aspiring digital marketers should be able to easily communicate with their potential employers and clients, as well as pitch their ideas.
- Practice – You can create and manage a social media page, start a blog, send email newsletters for your holiday list, freelance, or launch a small website. There are tons of free resources, so sign up and start practicing.
- Volunteer your services – Try to find someone who needs help with digital marketing and offer your services free of charge or at a low rate, until you improve your skills. For example, you can ask a friend who owns a business to help them with their digital marketing efforts.
- Attend industry events – This is a great way to learn new things and network with fellow digital marketers. Check out local digital marketing events that take place in your area. Who knows – maybe you’ll shake hands with your future employer there!
- Apply for an internship – As the online world is constantly evolving, more and more companies are searching for digital marketing interns. Doing an internship can be a good opportunity for starting to build your career.
- Reach out to a digital marketing expert – Find someone in the industry you want to learn from and ask to shadow them. Nowadays, it’s pretty convenient to confidently approach professionals through LinkedIn.
Creating a strong resume is vital for getting that sought-after digital marketing job. Craft a simple, yet outstanding resume where you list your education, skills, and experience. As a digital marketing rookie, you may not have much experience to add, but you can outline everything that you’ve learned by practicing and improving your skills. Nowadays, marketing resumes often have skillset levels. Thus, you can mention if you are a beginner, intermediate, or expert in e-mail marketing, PPC campaigns, SEO optimization, etc.
Moving forward, you should check out entry-level digital marketing jobs. Read the job descriptions carefully and make sure that your resume is following the companies’ guidelines. Apply to the jobs that you think would best suit you and that offer you the chance to be trained by a more experienced marketer. Best of luck!