According to data from DataReportal, there are 5.22 billion mobile phone users in the world.
Out of these, 4.88 billion use the internet as of October 2021.
If you’re a marketer, we’ll give you a few moments to let that sink in.
Recovered yet? Cool! Now, we know that upon seeing these massive numbers, your digital marketing plan suddenly came to your mind.
If you’re still in the process of building one, don’t fret! We’ve created a handy guide on all things digital marketing — its definition, importance, types, benefits, and proven methods.
What is Digital Marketing?
With the figures we’ve mentioned above, it’s not anymore surprising that smartphone and online users would only continue to increase. Due to this rapid technological shift, more and more businesses are rethinking their marketing strategies to adapt — including being present mostly online.
In comes digital marketing.
So to put it simply, digital marketing is any form of marketing done online. That email invitation you received from a music streaming app? Digital marketing. That new video ad from a beverage company well-known for tugging at people’s heartstrings come Christmas time? Again, digital marketing.
Now that we’ve defined what digital marketing is, what then is its importance?
Going back to our point about this currently unstoppable smartphone era, the digital marketing of a top marketing digital agency ensures that your brand really goes out there. It builds brand awareness, engages more prospects, and is undeniably less expensive compared to conventional marketing methods. It also allows for more flexibility in terms of making adjustments to your marketing plan depending on the need.
Digital Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing
So what about inbound marketing? You might be wondering how it differs from digital marketing, or if they even have a difference at all.
While inbound marketing technically falls under digital marketing, the former is more of a methodology rather than a method itself. It uses digital marketing collateral such as blogs and other targeted material for the main purpose of engaging and nurturing qualified leads. On the other hand, digital marketing is a more generic term used to describe any type of online marketing, whether those are inbound or outbound.
Creating Digital Marketing Content
The buyer’s journey has got to be one of the most crucial foundations of marketing. You’d have to deliver quality content to customers at exactly the right time, in their exact location in their journey.
To help you do this, creating detailed buyer personas is a great way to start. This helps you identify your target customers by researching their purchase behavior, goals, the demographics they belong to, and their specific challenges or pain points.
The content you’ll make must be able to help your audience attain their goals and address their pain points. After which, you’ll gauge when they’re ready to consume your content depending on where they are in their journey, otherwise known as content mapping.
Here are the content types we recommend you use at each stage of the buyer’s journey:
- Awareness — Blogs; explainer videos; infographics to be posted on social media
- Consideration — Whitepapers; ebooks or audiobooks; interactive webinars
- Purchase Decision — Any form of social proof, such as case studies or testimonials
Types of Digital Marketing
We’ve talked about the content — let’s proceed to the ways through which digital marketing is done.
Here are the most common types of digital marketing that have launched many companies to fame in recent years.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is one of the most powerful things you could ever leverage for your digital marketing campaign. Whether through on-page, off-page, or technical SEO, it’s about generating organic page traffic through keyword research; networking for backlinks, and structuring your website’s backend to land on those coveted spots on search engines’ results pages.
- Affiliate Marketing. This form of digital marketing involves promoting another brand’s product or services on your page in exchange for a commission. Affiliate marketing can be done by featuring sponsored content on a website, or by posting affiliate links on your socials.
- Content Marketing. Considered one of the most effective types of digital marketing, content marketing uses materials such as videos, blog posts, infographics, research materials, webinars, and any other form of written or visual content to drive brand awareness and increase lead engagement.
- Social Media Marketing. Digital marketing isn’t digital marketing without social media. And with 78 billion people globally having social media accounts, it would be an unwise decision to opt-out of these promising marketing channels. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Snapchat are among the top social media channels you could create a presence and boost sales. Most of these platforms now also provide businesses with an analytics dashboard so you could track engagements in real-time.
- Paid Search. Pay-per-click or PPC’s most common forms include Facebook paid ads, Google ads, Twitter Ads campaigns, and those Sponsored Messages you often see in your LinkedIn inbox. You can post content that will target a specific audience segment or, such in the case of Twitter Ads, achieve a specific goal like increasing tweet engagement or hiking up app downloads.
- Email Marketing. An oldie but definitely a goodie, businesses use email marketing to promote exclusive offers to their customers; follow up with an unfinished sign-up; send brand-relevant content or welcome new customers. Subscription newsletters are also among the most common email types, as well as referrals for loyalty programs intended for customers who are nearing the end of their buyer’s journey.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
- It allows you to target specific prospects.
Compared to traditional marketing methods, digital marketing enables you to target highly specific audiences that express intention to engage and convert. Again, you do this by generating and delivering equally personalized content and messaging.
The amount of personalization you can do with digital marketing is just boundless. For example, social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram allow you to select the audience of your ads based on their age, location, gender, known network, and interests. This can also give way to marketing to sub-group within a larger audience segment.
- It gives you a competitive advantage even against bigger brands.
Competition in the market is fiercer now more than ever before, and digital marketing is one surefire way of ensuring that your brand can keep up in the race.
While the marketing budgets of bigger brands may be daunting, a well-executed digital marketing strategy can beat out your competition! This is because brand names don’t really matter for search engines — these prioritize top-quality content relevant to the target audience. So don’t give up just yet, because you still have a winning chance!
- Metrics are your best friend.
Another thing that sets digital marketing apart from traditional means is its measurability.
Make sure you have set up Google Analytics correctly. Metrics such as post views, clicks, shares, comments, average time on page, and bounce rates can all give you insights into how effective your campaigns are. These also give you an opportunity to assess which channels need more attention and track user behavior as they move further down the funnel.
- It is more cost-effective.
Digital marketing gives you more control over your budget, meaning you get to adjust your spending on channels that are not really driving results. A more cost-effective way if you ask us — conventional forms of advertising such as print ads or billboards will require you to spend the same amount, regardless of whether they’re gaining traction or not.
Gearing Up For Digital Marketing
You might already be doing digital marketing one way or the other — you just have to ramp up your strategy so that you could target and engage prospects more effectively.
To be wherever your target audience is means also having an omnichannel marketing strategy to reach audiences across various touchpoints. But whatever your chosen method is or be it one of those we’ve mentioned above, digital marketing is one of the best ways you could create a positive experience for your prospects and customers, all while giving your brand the boost it needs.