Digital Marketing: The Basics
Marketing has always been about connecting with your target audience in the right place and at the right time.
Now that we are in the digital age, you need to meet prospective customers where they are already spending most of their time – on the internet.
In case you haven’t heard, the internet currently runs the world. A recent study by Pew Research reveals that 53% of Americans attest that the internet is essential, while an Ofcom study reveals we now need a steady connection to the internet, with two in five British adults (40%) checking their smartphones, on average, every 12 minutes.
These statistics serve to remind us that the internet’s influence is escalating, and its continued accessibility throughout the globe has altered the way people live.
To succeed in 2020 and beyond, marketers should not only have creative minds and qualitative skills – they must also keep track of the latest digital marketing trends to reach today’s customers who depend on the internet to make buying decisions.
What is Digital Marketing?
In simple terms, digital marketing (also referred to as online marketing, internet marketing, and web marketing) is a practice that encompasses all marketing efforts that uses the internet.
It is executed through various digital avenues, including email, search engines, social media, mobile apps, etc.
Every business has a specific audience they are targeting, and the purpose of digital marketing is to reach each business’s target consumers through the internet and other digital channels.
If you want to attract more prospective customers, grow your business, and keep ahead of the competition, you should implement online marketing strategies sooner rather than later.
5 Basic Components of Digital Marketing
There are dozens upon dozens of digital marketing components that you must be familiar with to be a successful digital marketer. Nevertheless, we have reduced these components down to five, as they are enough to give you a foundational understanding of how digital marketing works and how all of its components fit together.
1. Your Business Website
First and foremost, your business website or e-commerce site is the hub of your business online. It’s where you have the liberty to brand your business the way you want and connect with your target audience in a meaningful way.
In other words, your business website is your brand identity.
Why is a business website important?
This is where you ultimately want to direct prospective buyers that you will have won over through other digital marketing strategies.
Once prospective buyers land on your business or e-commerce website, you can gently guide them down your conversion funnel and turn them into paying customers.
2. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Marketing
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to a number of marketing tactics designed to boost your rankings in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
You’re maybe wondering – of what significance is achieving top rankings on the SERPs?
Research shows 75% of searchers never click past the first page of search results. As such, ranking top of SERPs translates to more leads, more phone calls, more customers and more money for your business.
So, how do you make your website rank highly on search results? There are several SEO strategies that can help you attain a high ranking on SERPs, including:
● Streamlining your website’s design and navigation to enhance the user experience
● Increasing your website speed to ensure that it loads faster
● Creating high-quality and relevant content that addresses searchers’ questions
● Earning backlinks from authoritative sites
Properly implemented SEO is a long-term digital marketing strategy. As such, you shouldn’t expect to see results overnight.
Although it requires constant upkeep to sustain top rankings, SEO is guaranteed to give results that are well worth the investment for your business.
3. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
PPC is an excellent online marketing strategy for maintaining a website’s presence in the Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs).
The difference between SEO and PPC is that SEO relies on organic traffic, while PPC relies on paid traffic.
Note that every click that is generated from your Pay-Per-Click campaign will cost you, regardless of whether that click turns into a lead or not.
The biggest advantage of PPC, though, is that it produces instant results, whereas SEO takes time before you can see results.
If you decide to pay for traffic and see instant results rather than enjoy free organic traffic and wait for a while before seeing results, Google Ads (previously Google Adwords) is one of the best places to start.
Google Ads is a marketplace where marketers bid on certain keywords to have their clickable ads appear at the top of Google’s search results page.
Another example of PPC advertising is Facebook Ads. It is a digital marketing practice that involves paying Facebook to advertise your business on its social media platform.
Google Ads and Facebook Ads are similar in the sense that both platforms require companies to pay to promote their brands via the internet.
4. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is generally the process of posting organically on your social media platforms and generating traffic from those platforms to your business website.
You can use your social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and LinkedIn to propagate your social media marketing campaigns.
When executed properly, social media marketing can have a viral effect, showcasing your brand to thousands of prospective customers.
Lately, however, many social media platforms have started minimising the effectiveness and reach of organic social media posts, requiring businesses to pay for adverts through the platform.
5. Content Marketing
Content marketing is a crucial component of digital marketing as it gives businesses the opportunity to present valuable content to their respective target audiences.
The purpose of content marketing is to offer helpful and relevant information to consumers so that they can trust your brand and perceive you as an authoritative figure in your industry.
There are different strategies that fall under the content marketing category, including blog posts and articles, infographics, videos, podcasts, and more.
If executed properly, content marketing can generate 3x more leads than traditional marketing.
Other marketing strategies that are considered as components of digital marketing include email marketing, influencer marketing, and affiliate marketing.
Integrating all these components into your web marketing campaign is guaranteed to attract more customers to your business, convert them into paying customers, and ultimately help you grow your business and increase your ROI.
As far as digital marketing for business is concerned, the digital avenues that you decide to use will fall under the following categories:
● Owned media: This is the media that your brand owns, including your business website, blogs, apps, and social media platforms. The content that you create, including blog articles, videos, and podcasts are also part of your owned media.
● Paid media: This is media that you pay for, as in the case of PPC advertising. In other words, it’s the media where you pay for visitors or conversions through display ad networks, search, or affiliate marketing.
● Earned media: This is where your brand earns publicity from customer testimonials, reviews, and ratings. Earned media also includes word-of-mouth that can be stimulated through viral posts and conversations in blogs, social media, and other communities.
● Shared media: This constitutes the content that you or your influencers share on social media platforms.