What is Digital Marketing?

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By Devon Higgins

Digital marketing is an umbrella term that encompasses several strategies such as:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Display Advertising
  • Social Networking
  • Link Building
  • Content Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Pay Per Click Advertising
  • Email Marketing
  • Online PR Outreach

Collectively, it’s about marketing your business’s products and services through digital technologies. Although digital marketing includes non-internet channels such as SMS advertising, callback and on-hold mobile phone messages, and digital displays, the strategy primarily involves marketing on the Internet.

As mobile technology grows and Internet access becomes more widespread around the world, having a digital marketing strategy becomes even more important for your business. Just check out these figures: according to Pew Research, to 77% of Americans go online daily. 83% of them use a mobile device to access the net. Globally, according to We are Social, over 4 billion people (about half of the world’s population) has access to internet. And that number is increasing by about 7% annually. That’s A LOT of people!

The rapid development of technology changed the way consumers behave and how companies use technology for marketing. Because digital platforms and devices are increasingly integrated into business and everyday life, digital marketing campaigns have become a more prevalent way to reach an audience.

Digital marketing provides you the opportunity to touch base with your target market, which, considering the numbers above, can be HUGE! Digital marketing allows you to engage and interact with your audience to help increase web traffic, conversions, customer loyalty, brand awareness, and of course, sales.

Common Digital Marketing Practices

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    – a series of techniques aimed to increase visibility and rank in search engines with the hope of increasing the amount of organic traffic to your website. To make the best of SEO, it’s important to have a clear and technical grasp of how search engines work. In addition, you need to keep up to date with search engines’ algorithms and frequent updates.

– Technical SEO – refers to server or website optimization techniques that allow search engines to crawl, index, and interpret your website more effectively. Usually, this involves technical aspects such as optimizing URL structures, redesigning website navigation, increasing website loading speed, and more.

– On Page SEO – refers to optimizing individual web pages so they rank higher in search engines and gain more traffic. This usually involves injecting the right keywords into the content and HTML source codes, including meta descriptions, using the right tags, and more.

  • Link Building (Off-page SEO)

    – a number of methods that involve 3rd party authoritative websites linking back to your website. Link building increases viewership and link juice, and improves your branding and credibility. Choose links that are relevant or related to your business or industry. It’s also a good idea to check the trust and authority scores of the web pages you’re linking with. Pages with bigger trust and authority scores are credible sources, and they can also bring your ratings up as well.

  • Content Marketing

    – a variety of techniques that focus on using content to generate brand awareness, generate leads, and increase traffic. Most importantly, content marketing helps nurture rapport, trust, and relationship with your customers. When creating content, you should focus on publishing quality articles. Do not focus too much on quantity (how many words in your content), but do keep in mind that you need to maintain a regular publication schedule. Google loves regularly updated sites!

  • Social Media Marketing

    – a way to promote your brand, generate leads, and interact with your market through various social media channels. The key here is engagement. Your posts should be interesting so that viewers will be enticed to click likes or post comments. Interact with your viewers by responding to their comments, thanking them for the likes, etc.

  • Affiliate Marketing

    – as an affiliate, you receive commissions for promoting another business’s products or services on your website through an affiliate program. You get a bigger chance of commission if you choose an affiliate program that promotes products and services that your audience need.As a company, you can advertise and sell more of your products or services by offering promoters—bloggers, for example—a financial incentive via an affiliate program.

  • Pay Per Click (PPC)

    – a method of driving and increasing traffic to your website by paying a publisher each time someone clicks your ad. Google Adwords is a perfect and common example of a PPC strategy. Enabling Adwords allows you to put your website on the best slots on Google’s search engine results page (SERP) at a determined price per click of each link you place. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn also has paid booster programs similar to PPC.

  • Email Marketing

    – a strategy wherein you promote your business, offers, events, discounts, etc. by emailing prospects and clients. Subscription newsletters, welcome emails, and follow-up emails are just a few of the various kinds of documents that can be used in an email marketing campaign.

  • Online PR

    – an approach that focuses on online coverage via blogs, e-magazines, e-news, blogs, and content-based websites. Strategies usually include reaching out to reporters, responding to online reviews, or interacting with your viewers in social media.

  • Mobile marketing

    – a technique that involves sending marketing messages to leads’ or customers’ phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Mobile marketing is a great strategy that you can use to provide your audience with time and location-sensitive marketing messages.

The Digital Marketing Team


A small business might have a single, highly skilled digital marketer to manage the entire digital marketing strategy for the entire company. But, as you can see, planning and implementing a digital marketing strategy can be quite a significant undertaking. In fact, most businesses create a team focused entirely on their digital marketing efforts. Such a team may consist of these types of positions:

  • SEO specialist

    – focuses on increasing organic traffic as well as online visibility. The specialist usually coordinates closely with content creators to ensure that the content produced will rank high in search engines.

  • Content creator

    – composes quality, interesting, and engaging content. He/she tracks their work with a content calendar and coordinates closely with other departments to ensure that products and services are adequately supported with digital content.

  • Social media manager

    manages the company’s social networks, establishes a regular posting schedule, and shares company content and updates to a variety of channels. This person is usually tasked with increasing the likes and followers of a business as well as engaging with people who send questions or issues via social media.

  • Digital Marketing Manager/Director

    – develops, implements, and manages a business’s marketing campaigns. He or she creates strategies that enhance brand awareness, drive traffic, and acquire leads within the digital space.

Planning a Digital Marketing Strategy


Dr. Dave Chaffey, co-founder and content director of online marketing advice publisher Smart Insights, explains that for a digital marketing strategy to work, it has to be structured in 3 general stages.

1. Opportunity

  • Review your marketplace so you could set your Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound (SMART) objectives properly.
  • Analyze current key performance indicators (KPIs) of your business as well as your competitors through customized analytics.
  • Study your customer’s personas, buying attitude, and purchase journey. This allows you to determine your digital marketing capability, allocate the right resources to your strategy, and spot opportunities for growth.

2. Strategy

  • Review your proposition so you can clearly express what your business is providing to your customers.
  • Have a clear explanation/description of how exactly your business can help them satisfy their needs.
  • Segregate target market segments based on personas, demographics, location, etc. Then define marketing approaches that are specific to each segment.

3. Action

  • Set a budget, management processes, touch points (targets), and content creation schedule for each planned strategy.
  • Provide a detailed and scheduled format of digital communications and processes that your digital marketing team should follow.
  • Make sure all platforms and systems used in implementing your strategy work and complement each other.

Finally, remember that digital marketing, ultimately, is about nurturing a long-term communication relationship with your customers using multiple strategies. Thus, your strategy should be structured in such a way that allows customers to engage with you just as much as you engage with them.

Source

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/what-is-digital-marketing

Devon Higgins

Devon came to FolioWebsites with a background in digital marketing and communications. With a BA in Marketing from Michigan State University and previous experience working with both big business and non-profits, Devon brings a well-rounded perspective to the team. Outside of FolioWebsites, you can find Devon coaching and playing soccer, socializing in downtown Grand Rapids, or going on adventures throughout the great state of Michigan.

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