Nearly everyone in the business world has heard about digital marketing, but how exactly does it work? Here is the ultimate guide to digital marketing.
The internet offers a lot of potential in reaching more customers. Yet Competition is fierce, as you have 1.8 billion websites online vying for attention.
To ensure that your business gains traction and presence, you have to work on every aspect of your digital marketing. For this, you need to pay attention to certain details such as content and optimization.
Today, we will look at content and optimization, and explore how you can help grow your business online with digital marketing.
What is Digital Marketing?
To start, let us look at what digital marketing is. Digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that utilize electronic devices or the internet. Thus, businesses take advantage of these digital channels to advertise and spread awareness.
These channels include search engines and social media. They also include email and other websites. The goal of digital marketing is to connect with customers, both potential and current.
Inbound marketing and digital marketing have massive similarities in strategy and approach. It may refer to the same thing in spirit. What makes it different is the tools used to achieve the needed goal.
The Purpose of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is an essential aspect of an online business.
Traditional marketing takes the aspect of advertising through print ads. They also use signage, hand-outs, and banners. The use of phone communication and physical marketing stand out in attracting customers.
Similarly, most businesses have a website that brings awareness to their brand. It also lists their services, products, and other pertinent details.
How Businesses Define Digital Marketing
The digital marketing tools and tactics depend on the type of business that you run. For instance, a content marketer would focus on content creation and optimization. With that approach, they create blog posts to bring awareness to an upcoming ebook or manual.
This can also lend towards video marketing, using video as the means to market such content. Informative clips to share details then bring awareness to this new product.
The tools you use also define your methods in marketing. An email marketer would take advantage of email lists and use an email campaign to advertise.
Meanwhile, social media marketers use the business’s social media account. With it, they include links and promote the blog posts to customers. This creates a backlink that leads to the website.
Each aspect of digital marketing has a role and intended effect for businesses. Later on, we will look at these tools as we explore how they can help you with your digital marketing strategy.
Why Choose Digital Marketing?
Why should you consider going for digital marketing? It is due to the impending shift of the market.
Here are some of the benefits that you can gain from digital marketing:
- Opens a channel for interaction with your prospects.
- Provides easier means to gauge their needs.
- Increases reach to a global scale.
- Reach more customers using less money.
- Helps establish brand loyalty.
- Easier tracking of responses.
- Get immediate response from customers.
- Encourages interaction and engagement.
With how the internet works, both potential and current customers have internet access. They can also access it on the go thanks to mobile devices such as smartphones. With it, they can find a business within their area.
Through this, customers can also discover your business. With the right digital marketing methods and tools, they can find your business. We will explore the tools that you can take advantage of and the methods used in digital marketing.
Digital Marketing Types
Digital marketing comes in various forms. Each form provides a means to promote brand awareness and presence, with tools that work well in doing so. Here are the main digital marketing channels that you can use for your business.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a method used to set up your website. It takes advantage of the search engine algorithm. It uses content and other means to bring your website to appear at the very top item on the search results.
This works well with the combination of quality content and keyword research. There are a lot of factors that come to play with this method.
This works hand in hand with other forms of digital marketing. Such as content marketing and pay-per-click (PPC).
Another method that you can use is content marketing. You use various forms of content to entice and engage your customers. The good thing about this is in the many forms that content can take.
One such form is through blogging. Blog posts can take the form of articles and promotions in written form. These provide informative content aimed at educating readers.
You also have podcasting. These come in the form of discussions and commentaries in audio format. These work great as a means to encourage interaction and also to promote.
Podcasting works great for discussing topics. It also works great as a means to promote products and services. All while providing relevant information.
If you want something that engages people more, you can use video content. This also provides a means to entertain and educate. Thus, making it an effective medium with its high rate of retention and engagement.
Social Media Marketing
Another aspect that you can engage in is through social media. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram stand out as useful channels for businesses to engage customers with. It is also one of the strategies to drive traffic towards your blog or website.
Through social media, you can link your blog posts and your website here. You can also engage with customers through consistent posting of content. You also get to reply to customers with their inquiries and comments.
Platforms like Instagram take advantage of interaction and engagement. This pushes the popular posts to go viral.
The same goes with Facebook when it comes to sharing posts among connections. Through this, you can reach more customers and generate leads in the process.
Email still works well as a medium for digital marketing. It stands out as an effective communication tool.
It finds its use in providing promotional material, newsletters, and other forms. You can use them for sending customer welcome emails, follow-up emails, and much more.
With email marketing, you have a tool that promotes customer nurturing. This lets you keep in touch with them, providing a means to encourage them to do business with you again. This is where an email list helps.
One of the factors to look into is email list portability. You can read about it to help you more with email marketing.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
This method stands out as a means to drive traffic to your website. How this works is that you pay a publisher for every click on your ad. Notable tools used for PPC include Google Ads, where you get the chance to be on top of the search results at a price.
You can see this on other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. These take the form of Paid Ads on Facebook, and Twitter Ad campaigns.
This method uses performance-based advertising. It is a type of marketing that would also warrant its own section with its intricate details.
How this works is that you have someone else conduct the promotion. After which, they receive a commission from a successful sale.
A good example of this is in the form of affiliate links posted on social media accounts. On YouTube, they come in the form of video ads hosted through the YouTube Partner Program.
In line with the previous method is through sponsored content. In this case, you have a different company promoting your business as a brand. The company requested to promote your brand creates content that discusses your products and services.
This approach allows you to employ the use of influencers. With their audience base, you can take advantage of the reach and influence they cast on them. This results in you having more customers checking out your products and services.
You can see this in podcasts and videos. There, you encounter them promoting the brand that sponsored their content. You also see this in the form of guest posts in blogs and articles.
The Tools For Digital Marketing
As digital marketing strategies come in variations and styles, you also have a myriad amount of tools at your disposal. Using these tools would allow you to build up brand awareness and online presence. These tools are among the many that you can choose from, depending on your marketing strategy.
Social Media Tools
These come in organic and paid tools. Organic social media tools allow you to gauge and employ optimization methods for social media, focusing on organic growth. Paid social media tools work well on paid ad campaigns, taking advantage of their capability to go beyond organic reach.
Tools that you can use include Sprout Social and Woobox for organic. Meanwhile, you have Nanigans as one for paid social media tools.
Email Marketing Tools
For email marketing, you need specific tools and systems to help you with your email campaigns. Among these include HubSpot Email Marketing, Marketo, and GetResponse.
Website Testing Tools
These tools focus on optimizing your website on the design aspect. It also helps you measure other factors to see what can bring more customers to view your website. These tools include the likes of Unbounce, Optimizely, and Hotjar.
Video Hosting Sites
For use with video marketing, you need to have your videos hosted. Aside from YouTube, you can take advantage of the other video hosting sites to ensure they remain secure and stable. For instance, you can check out hosting sites like Vimeo and Wistia.
These two video hosting platforms provide beneficial features that can help your brand. Aside from maintaining video quality, they also provide easier sharing and ad-free hosting.
Content Creation Tools
Creating content such as blog posts and infographics can come off as intensive. On the bright side, you have a lot of tools that you can use at your disposal. You can check out platforms such as Canva for creating unique images for web design.
Knowing how well your website’s content and traffic does on a regular basis helps you plot your goals and key metrics. For this, you need the likes of Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics. These tools can help you gauge your website’s performance.
Customer Service Tools
You also need a means for customers to get in touch with you for anything they need help on. LiveChat is one of these tools, where you provide a proactive approach to customers and visitors on your website. Meanwhile, you have Zendesk that puts everything together in one channel.
This is one of the more intensive bits, where you need a digital marketing company focused on SEO to help. There are a lot of SEO tools that you can use, but what makes this tricky is in finding the right fit for your business.
One of the more standout options is Moz, which helps you with your SEO campaigns. Another tool you can look into is SEMRush.
Start Pushing for Digital Marketing Today
Digital marketing is now a necessity for online businesses. You need to have the right tools and the right strategy to work this out. When in doubt, you can also get help from a capable digital marketing company.
To help you get started, we have the tools that you need to plan out your digital marketing strategy. We also have guides that can point you in the right direction. You can check them out right now, or you can also contact us to help you with any questions that you have.
Thanks for reading this article! Leave a comment below if you have any questions, and if you want to learn more about blogging, content marketing, and social media strategy, be sure to sign up for the Blogging Guide Newsletter!
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Casey Botticello is a partner at Black Edge Consulting. Black Edge Consulting is a strategic communications firm, specializing in online reputation management, digital marketing, and crisis management. Prior to founding Black Edge Consulting, he worked for BGR Group, a bipartisan lobbying and strategic communications firm.
Casey is the founder of the Cryptocurrency Alliance, a Super PAC dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain advocacy. He is a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania, where he received his B.A. in Urban Studies.