What is Digital Marketing?
I bet this is not the first time you came across the term ‘digital marketing’ and I’m pretty sure you have encountered tons of digital marketing across different media and platforms. In fact, chances are you have even come across related terms such as online marketing, internet marketing, affiliate marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, SEO, mobile marketing, and so on.
Let’s not get into the fact that every day we see adverts on our mobile application, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, websites, radio, television, electronic billboards, etc. The fact is I’m trying to let you know that you have experienced different forms of digital marketing even without knowing what it is all about.
Okay. Let’s cut the crap and dive straight into the meaning of digital marketing. Digital Marketing is any form of marketing that involves the use of digital media such as radio, television, computer, the internet, telephones, and so on. Yes, you read that right, digital marketing does not have to do with the internet alone, it cuts across all digital platforms through which people can be reached.
Digital Marketing is a broad term that covers various ways of getting out the word about your brand, product, or services. Digital marketing can be overwhelming when you try to understand everything about it. This is why many professional marketers focus on a particular sub-niche of digital marketing and many brands have a team of professionals who specialize in different forms of marketing to achieve their brand marketing objectives.
How is digital marketing different from other traditional forms of marketing?
Digital marketing has a lot of things in common with traditional marketing. In the least, the objective is always the same; getting people to do business with you. However, digital marketing is also different from traditional marketing in many ways such as:
Channel: while traditional marketing employs non-digital channels such as print, direct mail, trade shows, door-to-door marketing, seminars, conferences, billboards, etc. Digital marketing uses digital channels such as internet, electronic devices, etc.
Capacity: traditional marketing can reach a limited number of people at once but digital marketing can reach an unlimited number of people at once. Again with traditional marketing, you are limited by time and space but in digital marketing, you are not limited by time and space.
Measurement and analytics: It is difficult to measure the impact of your traditional marketing efforts but with advanced tracking and analytics you can measure and analyze every single piece of data about your online marketing efforts.
Pace: traditional marketing takes a lot of time to convert but with digital marketing, you can start getting results in minutes.
Cost: traditional marketing consumes a lot of time and money to set up and maintain but digital marketing is far cheaper and sometimes you need to just set it up once and it keeps working on its own.
Ease of business: with digital marketing, customers can just buy in one click but in traditional marketing, they have to spend a lot of time and energy to go to stores and buy.
Why does it Matter?
Why should you care about digital marketing? Well, if you have been following statistics, or even simply observing what is happening around you, you’ll notice that there’s a heavy shift from analog to digital methods of conducting business. If you don’t want to drown, you should not swim against the current.
Moreover, the covid-19 pandemic taught the world a great lesson and even the few people that were reluctant in moving to digital business models saw how they could lose their business in a twinkle of an eye. That alone is enough reason for anyone thinking in the right direction to start thinking seriously about how to move his/her business online or at least move some departments such as marketing.
So far in this post, we have tried to explore every aspect of digital marketing in its most comprehensive sense. However, from here we are going to focus mainly on digital marketing done on the internet which also called online marketing or internet marketing. Stay tuned.
Digital Marketing Jargons
Here we are going to define some common terms you will come across in your digital marketing journey. Let’s dive straight into it:
Impression: number of people that saw your advert/post
Engagements: number of people that liked, shared, commented on your posts
Leads: these are people who have shown interest in your business.
Lead magnet: what you offer people to attract their interest and to do business with you.
Targeting: a particular group of people that you would like to see your adverts.
Retargeting: a way of reaching people who have shown some level of interest in your business even after they have left your page/website.
Conversion: this is when a customer completes a desired action such as purchase, submitting an email, etc.
Split Testing: this is a way of testing different ad copies to know which converts better than the other.
ROI: Return on investment
SEO: Search Engine Optimization
SEM: Search Engine Marketing
CTR: Click-Through Rates
PPC: Pay Per click advertising
CPC: Cost Per Click
CPA: Cost per Action/Cost per Acquisition
CPM: Cost Per Mille(per thousand)
CTA: Call to Action
What about Plans and Strategies?
Just like in everything else, digital marketing requires adequate planning and the use of the right strategies to achieve the desired results. Without adequate planning and implementation using the right strategies, it is very difficult to succeed in any digital marketing endeavor.
What you need to start your digital marketing journey
Website: this is like your business address where people can reach you on the internet. It could be a full website or a store hosted on other websites or a landing page or even a free website. But basically, that is the most important thing you need to start your journey.
Computer: In order to create and manage different businesses online, you need a computer or a mobile device with access to the internet.
Skills: you need to learn the basic skills of the online business you are trying to set up or at least pay someone else who knows to help you out.
Forms of Digital Marketing
Image: branches of a tree with digital marketing
Digital marketing is a tree with so many branches. We have several forms of digital marketing which we are going to discuss briefly in this post.
SEO: searching engine optimization is a way of optimizing your content so that it ranks on the top page of Google. SEO is such a powerful strategy because it helps drive tons of organic traffic to your website. Organic traffic is the free traffic you get from Google search. When your posts appear on the top page of Google search results, people are most likely going to click through and read your posts or visit your webpage.
Paid Marketing: this includes all forms of paid promotions in which you pay to drive traffic to your website. It encompasses all forms of PPC, native ads, banner ads, search engine marketing, social media ads, etc.
Email Marketing: this is the use of emails to promote products. In email marketing, you need to first build an email list by collecting people’s emails legally and then you establish a relationship with them, and then you send them offers that they might like or something similar to what they have purchased before. Email marketing is still one of the most powerful forms of marketing available today.
Social Media Marketing: this includes all strategies that are used to promote products or services on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, etc.
Affiliate Marketing: this involves partnering with others to sell your products or services in exchange for commissions. In affiliate marketing, people promote your products for you and you only pay them a certain percentage when people have actually bought the product. You don’t have to pay anything if people don’t buy.
Content Marketing: this is another form of marketing in which people promote their brands through different types of content such as blog posts, social media posts, podcasts, youtube videos, infographics, etc.
Mobile Marketing: Mobile marketing has to do with promoting your products through mobile applications. This can be in the form of building mobile applications for your brand or product or even advertising in other people’s apps.