In today’s digital age, a lack of a digital marketing strategy is a fast-track to failure. Surprisingly, 49 percent of organizations still don’t have a digital marketing strategy. Is your business one of them?
Digital marketing goes way beyond just having a website and social media profiles. Even if your business is doing well through word-of-mouth and traditional marketing methods, you are leaving revenue on the table by not investing in your digital marketing strategy. A digital marketing agency can help you squeeze every dollar of revenue out of your digital presence. Before we get into some the different types of digital marketing, let’s define digital marketing.
What is Digital Marketing and Why is it Important?
Digital marketing refers to marketing activities that involve digital devices. By default, this includes internet marketing strategies like social media marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing. It also includes marketing that involves mobile devices like phones and tablets. Digital marketing includes any marketing distributed through digital channels. The following forms of marketing all fall under digital marketing:
- Content Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Search Engine Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
Digital marketing typically involves the internet and the phrase is often used interchangeably with internet marketing. As you’ll see in the next section, none of these types of digital marketing can lead to success on their own. They all depend upon each other.
So, you know what digital marketing is, but why is digital marketing important?
88 percent of Americans have Internet access, so regardless of your target demographic, they are on the Internet. Furthermore, search engines drive 93 percent of all website traffic. The more visible you are on search engines, the more traffic you’ll get. It sounds simple, but ranking on the first page of Google is easier said than done. Digital marketing is important because it is a focused effort to improve your visibility in search engines and on social media platforms relevant to your business. It also includes your website design, app design, and email marketing campaigns within its focus.
I can guarantee the top contender in your niche has a strong digital marketing strategy.
Your customers are on the internet. They rely on search engines and posts on social media to learn everything they can about a brand before they make a purchase.
We live in an increasingly connected world and more purchases are being made online than ever before. Search engine results and social media posts now play a key role in the mainstream buyer’s decision-making.
Digital marketing is how you inject yourself into the conversation and get noticed in the online marketplace. To do this, you need a digital marketing strategy.
What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
A digital marketing strategy is just like any other marketing plan, with the only difference being it focuses specifically on how you will use digital channels to achieve your business objectives.
To define your digital marketing objectives, ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I want to achieve with my digital marketing strategy?
- When do I want to achieve it by?
- What types of digital marketing will be most useful?
- Which social media channels are my target audience using most?
- How much money am I willing to invest to achieve my objectives?
If you don’t already have a buyer persona for your business, now is the time to create one. Creating a digital marketing strategy starts with your target customers. Digital marketing techniques are more efficient than traditional marketing techniques because digital behavior is much more trackable.
The more you know about the digital behaviors of your target customers, the easier it is to create and distribute content that moves them along the buying journey. Consider creating a survey asking your current customers about how often they check their email, use search engines, and spend time on social media. Ask them which social media platforms they use the most. List the demographics of your target audience, as well as the hopes and pains that cause them to need your product or service.
Once you have a buyer persona and clear marketing objectives tailored towards said persona, you’re ready to plan the action phase. What do you need to do to achieve your objectives within the desired timeframe?
This part involves a bit of project management. As you can tell from the list in the previous section, there are a lot of types of digital marketing that all play a role in a holistic digital marketing strategy.
Once you choose the types of digital marketing you’ll be using, you need to create a “subplan” for each digital marketing channel. How are you going to use the combination of search engines, website design, mobile, social media, and email to achieve your digital marketing objectives? Let’s look at these digital marketing channels in more detail.
What are the Different Types of Digital Marketing?
Consider your marketing objectives when choosing which types of digital marketing to focus on. If you want to build brand awareness, search engine optimization and social media marketing are your best options. If you want to focus on building relationships with your target audience, email marketing, and social media marketing are good choices. It’s important to note the differences between the types of digital marketing are not black and white. Many of these strategies overlap, as you’ll see in the following section.
Understanding the different types of digital marketing and the role each one plays in a holistic marketing mix is important even if you plan on outsourcing to a digital marketing agency. Below is a brief introduction to each type of digital marketing, as well as how each one can be used to reach your marketing goals.
Great content is the foundation of all digital marketing techniques. Content marketing is creating and distributing content for the purpose of educating consumers and answering the questions they have regarding your product or service. The end game is establishing trust with your target audience while also signaling to search engines that your website is an authoritative site in your niche.
Content marketing includes all efforts to get your content seen by more people. While search engine optimization gets its own section, these two types of digital marketing rely heavily upon each other. Many executives use content marketing as part of a personal reputation management strategy to establish themselves as experts in their niche. The quality of your content marketing efforts relates directly to the quality of your content. Good marketing content helps a reader make a decision by answering their questions. Consider hiring freelance writers to create content on a regular basis.
Content marketing is the first on this list because it includes all of the other types of digital marketing on this list.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization includes all marketing techniques designed to help a website rank on the first page of search engine results pages for keywords relevant to their niche. It is broken down into three areas: On-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
On-page SEO focuses on things that happen directly on your website. The core component of on-page SEO is your keyword strategy. Every piece of content you create is based on your list of keywords relevant to your niche. In the age of voice search, question-based keywords are great short-term targets. Which questions do your customers need to be answered before they make a purchase?
Off-page SEO focuses mostly on building a strong backlink profile, as search engines use links to determine the quality of a site’s information. This aspect of SEO centers on forming relationships with other webmasters and writers.
Finally, technical SEO focuses on things like website design. It also includes behind the scenes stuff, such as creating an XML sitemap and tweaking other metadata.
Search Engine Marketing
Many people confuse search engine marketing with search engine optimization. The difference is search engine marketing refers to paid techniques used to improve search results, with the main method being pay-per-click advertising.
Google Adwords is the most used platform for PPC advertising since Google is the dominant search engine. It works like an auction. You set a price-per-click you are willing to pay for being shown at the top of a result for a certain keyword, then Google analyzes the bids and chooses the ones most likely to get clicks. It may seem like they would always choose the highest bid, but the reality is there are several factors that go into the decision.
Affiliate marketing is a type of digital marketing that involves collaboration with another business. You promote this business’s products or services on your website, and in exchange, you get a commission on each lead that your partner converts.
Affiliate marketing isn’t a strategy for every business, but it can be a great tool for tapping into a new audience.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is arguably the most important type of digital marketing in your digital marketing strategy. Today’s consumer is highly skeptical of a brand they can’t research and connect with on social media. You have to build and maintain a strong digital presence on the social media channels frequented by your target audience.
Facebook is an absolute must for all types of brands, while Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube all have their uses depending on your niche. Social media platforms are also used to find and work with influencers in your niche who can help amplify your brand.
Email marketing is the use of email to nurture leads through the buying cycle. Many companies use email capture forms as the call-to-action for the content they create as a part of their content marketing and search engine optimization strategies.
The goal is to build an email list of leads who find your content valuable enough to get it delivered directly to their mailbox.
Mobile marketing is one of the hottest types of digital marketing and is only showing signs of growing. Having a website that functions well on mobile is crucial to the success of your business.
Mobile marketing also includes social media marketing, as apps like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are used predominantly on mobile devices. Smart companies are taking advantage of being able to build relationships with their target audience in real time.
Types of Digital Marketing – Final Thoughts
Now that you are familiar with the different types of digital marketing, you are ready to create a targeted digital marketing strategy designed to get results. Our team of content writers, SEO experts, and experienced strategists are well-versed in their given areas of digital marketing. If you want to learn more about how these digital marketing strategies can help your business thrive, contact us for a conversation.
Digital Marketing Strategy: How to Structure a Plan
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