What is Digital Marketing? A Step-by-Step Guide

The number of people using the internet is increasing, and it’s going to continue to go up. In fact, currently, there are about 4.5 billion people worldwide who are surfing the web actively; that’s 59% of the global population. This is why it’s imperative for businesses of all sizes to understand digital marketing. With this in mind, let’s walk through the fundamentals of digital marketing—what it is, why you should use it, how it works for all businesses, and which elements make up the perfect digital marketing campaign. 

What is Digital Marketing 

Simply put,  encompasses all forms of marketing that are facilitated through digital channels. This includes things like: 

  • Social media 
  • Mobile applications 
  • Email 
  • Web applications 
  • Search engines 
  • Websites 
  • Any form of digital communication that hasn’t yet been invented 

In other words, if you’re communicating with your customers through a technological device, you’re participating in digital marketing. Although it certainly includes elements like content marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, and social media presence, there’s more to it than that. 

Why You Should Use Digital Marketing 

People are on their electronic devices every day, which is why you need to meet them where you know they’ll already be. As an example, Americans spend around 11 hours on their devices each day. According to WP Dev Shed, a whole lot of time you could be targeting the right audiences if you had a digital marketing strategy in place.

By incorporating processes that speak to your customers with the technology they have in their hands, you’re more likely to get attention, gain qualified leads, and set your brand up for success. But, how do you get there? 

How Digital Marketing Works for All Businesses 

Digital marketing is a multifaceted industry, which includes seven main categories: 

  • Search engine optimization (SEO). Search engine optimization is how you befriend the search engines, so people find you. It encompasses the use of strategic keywords and phrases, geotagging, and the creation of valuable, relevant, and ongoing content. 
  • Search engine marketing (SEM). Unlike SEO, which drives organic traffic in your direction, SEM relies on paid ads that show in applicable search results. 
  • Content marketing. Content marketing focuses on the creation and distribution of videos, blogs, landing pages, and web pages that your audience will find pertinent to their unique needs and desires. Professional content writers are often involved in the creation of content marketing campaigns, acting as ghost writers to help the brands they work with represent themselves in the best light possible to their audiences. 
  • Social media marketing (SMM). SMM utilizes various social media channels to engage with consumers, drive brand awareness, and increase sales. 
  • Pay-per-click advertising (PPC). PPC places ads in strategic places, such as social media platforms and search results, where users who have specific buying behaviors will see messages intentionally targeted at them. 
  • Affiliate marketing. This method enables websites and brands to gain commissions by promoting the products and services of other companies. 
  • Email marketing. Email marketing is more than just spam blasts that go out to the universe; it involves timely follow-ups with new subscribers, recently acquired customers, and long-term consumers from whom you seek ongoing loyalty. Email marketing is about both timeliness and relevance. People expect messages to be customized for them; if you’re not doing this, your emails are likely to go unread. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your digital marketing strategy, reach out to an agency that can help you navigate the process. With trained experts by your side, you’ll soon be generating more qualified leads and enjoying a boost in revenue, reputation, and brand awareness. 

Richard Parker