What Is Digital Marketing?

Suppose that you have a well-known reputation in the footwear industry, thanks to your high quality and uniquely designed shoes. You target people who are interested in professional sports. How are you going to reach them correctly? Will you be able to stand out among other sportswear companies? The answers are directly related to promotion tools. This is where digital marketing comes in. At a time when digital communication tools occupy a large area of our lives, it is not interesting that digital marketing is very popular and overtaking traditional marketing. In this article, we will talk about digital marketing in detail. We will start with the purpose of online marketing and then talk about its types.

What Is Digital Marketing?

You can have unique products or services, or you can determine the correct price for them, but you can’t ignore promotion tools. This is because if people aren’t aware of you, they will not purchase. As most successful marketers know, the five primary promotion tools- advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, public relations (PR), and digital marketing- should be used in harmony. Digital marketing is an effective way to promote a brand by using digital and technological tools. It aims to attract, convert, and retain customers by leveraging digital strategies and tactics.

Digital marketing uses digital channels, platforms, and strategies to promote products, services, or brands and connect with potential customers online. It includes various online marketing techniques such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, etc. Digital marketing utilizes the power of the internet and digital technologies to attract an audience, drive website traffic, increase brand awareness, and ultimately achieve business goals. It involves analyzing data, tracking metrics, and optimizing campaigns to ensure effective marketing efforts in the digital space.

Why Is Digital Marketing Important?

Digital marketing is crucial due to its ability to reach a vast audience globally, providing businesses with an expanded reach beyond geographical limitations. Compared to traditional marketing channels, it offers cost-effective solutions, accommodating businesses with limited budgets. Moreover, digital marketing allows for precise targeting through data collection, enabling personalized campaigns that resonate with specific audiences. The measurable results and analytics provided by digital marketing empower businesses to track and optimize their marketing efforts in real-time. Overall, digital marketing has become essential to any business’s marketing strategy, offering unparalleled opportunities for growth and success in the digital age.

Inbound Marketing vs. Digital Marketing

Inbound and digital marketing are two distinct approaches to reaching and engaging audiences online, although they share some similarities. Digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that utilize digital channels such as websites, search engines, social media platforms, email, and online advertising. It focuses on promoting products or services through various digital platforms to reach a wide audience and drive conversions. Digital marketing strategies include SEO, social media, content, email, and paid advertising.

Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is a subset of digital marketing that centers around attracting and engaging customers through valuable content and experiences. It focuses on creating content that aligns with the interests and needs of the target audience to organically draw in potential customers and build lasting relationships. Inbound marketing strategies typically involve content creation, SEO, social media engagement, lead generation, and customer relationship management.

While digital marketing encompasses a broad range of activities, inbound marketing takes a customer-centric approach and emphasizes providing value to the audience. It aims to build trust, establish authority, and foster engagement by delivering relevant and helpful content.

The Purpose of Digital Marketing

In online marketing, our main purpose is to build direct customer relationships, strongly keep these relationships, and communicate with the customers directly. That’s why we can say that online marketing is a fast-growing form of direct marketing.

The Benefits of Digital Marketing

The Benefits of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is essential for businesses due to its various benefits. It provides a wide reach, allowing businesses to connect with a global audience and increase brand visibility. Digital marketing also enables targeted audience engagement by leveraging data insights to create personalized marketing campaigns that resonate with specific customer segments. Additionally, it is a cost-effective solution compared to traditional marketing methods, making it accessible for businesses of all sizes. The measurable results offered by digital marketing allow businesses to track the effectiveness of their campaigns in real-time and make data-driven optimizations. This leads to higher conversion rates as marketing strategies can be tailored based on insights. Moreover, digital marketing enhances customer engagement by delivering tailored content and fostering stronger connections with the audience.

Wider Reach

Digital marketing allows businesses to extend their reach beyond geographical limitations and connect with a global audience. Unlike traditional marketing methods that are restricted to specific locations or target markets, digital marketing leverages online channels and platforms to reach people worldwide. This global accessibility enables businesses to expand their customer base and increase brand visibility on a much larger scale. Whether through social media, search engine advertising, content marketing, or email campaigns, digital marketing allows businesses to engage with potential customers worldwide, breaking free from the constraints of physical boundaries. This wider reach opens up new opportunities for growth, market expansion, and increased brand awareness.

Targeted Audience

Digital marketing allows businesses to precisely identify and reach their target audience. Businesses can gather valuable insights about their target customers’ demographics, interests, behaviors, and preferences through data collection, analytics, and customer segmentation. This information enables businesses to create highly targeted marketing campaigns tailored to resonate with their audience’s specific needs and interests. By delivering personalized content and offers to the right people at the right time, businesses can significantly increase the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. This targeted approach enhances engagement and improves the chances of converting leads into customers. Digital marketing empowers businesses to connect with their ideal customers and build meaningful relationships by delivering relevant and valuable content addressing their pain points and interests. By understanding their target audience on a deeper level, businesses can create more impactful and persuasive marketing messages that drive desired actions and generate higher conversion rates.

Cost-Effective

Digital marketing is highly cost-effective compared to traditional marketing methods. Businesses have the flexibility to choose from various affordable options that can be customized to their specific budgets and goals. Unlike traditional marketing channels, such as television or print advertising, which often require significant financial investments, digital marketing offers scalable solutions that can accommodate businesses of all sizes. Whether it’s social media marketing, email campaigns, content creation, or search engine optimization (SEO), digital marketing allows businesses to allocate their resources efficiently and reach their target audience without unnecessary spending.

Furthermore, digital marketing provides better tracking and measurement capabilities, enabling businesses to analyze the performance of their campaigns in real-time. This data-driven approach allows for continuous optimization and adjustment, ensuring marketing investments are directed toward the most effective strategies, maximizing cost efficiency and return on investment (ROI). By leveraging the cost-effectiveness of digital marketing, businesses can achieve significant results within their allocated budgets, making it a preferred choice in today’s competitive landscape.

Measurable Results

Digital marketing allows businesses to track and analyze the outcomes of their marketing campaigns with precision. Through robust analytics tools, businesses can monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, conversion rates, click-through rates, and engagement levels. Real-time tracking allows for timely adjustments and optimizations to maximize results. A/B testing and experimentation help identify the most effective strategies. Measurable results enhance accountability and transparency as businesses can demonstrate their marketing initiatives’ impact and return on investment (ROI). Businesses can make informed decisions, optimize campaigns, and continuously improve their marketing efforts by leveraging data-driven insights. Overall, the ability to measure results in digital marketing empowers businesses to drive better performance and demonstrate the value of their marketing strategies.

Higher Conversion Rates

Digital marketing excels at generating higher conversion rates compared to traditional marketing methods. By leveraging targeted and personalized strategies, businesses can engage their audience in a way that resonates with their specific needs and interests, increasing the likelihood of conversions. Digital marketing channels offer optimization techniques such as A/B testing, landing page optimization, and remarketing, which help refine strategies and maximize conversion rates. Tracking and measuring campaign performance in real-time allows businesses to make data-driven optimizations, identifying and addressing underperforming areas. Through lead nurturing strategies and personalized content, digital marketing enables businesses to guide potential customers through the customer journey, increasing the chances of conversion. Overall, digital marketing’s targeted approach, optimization techniques, and data-driven insights contribute to achieving higher conversion rates and driving desired actions from the audience.

Improved Customer Engagement

Digital marketing enables businesses to enhance customer engagement by facilitating two-way communication and personalized interactions. Businesses can share valuable content, address customer inquiries, and actively participate in conversations through channels like social media, email marketing, and interactive websites. Businesses can deliver targeted and personalized messaging to individual customers by leveraging data insights, fostering a more engaging and tailored experience. Real-time responsiveness allows businesses to address customer concerns promptly, building trust and loyalty. The ability to actively engage with customers through digital platforms cultivates stronger relationships, enhances customer satisfaction, and promotes brand advocacy.

Types of Digital Marketing 

When we want to connect people and companies directly, there are different ways to do it. This is where the types of digital/direct marketing come into play. Now, we will look at six major types in a detailed way. Let’s start with the most popular one: Social media marketing.

Social Media Marketing

Nowadays, millions of people from seven to seventy use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media networks. When something happens, the first news source is these online platforms instead of newspapers. Or, when something goes wrong, people try to make themselves heard through these online platforms. Therefore, we can say that using social media platforms as a digital marketing channel is a perfect way to be successful in your marketing purposes.

As we said above, all the major promotion tools should be used in harmony. Do you remember it? Well, let’s say you want to use influencers on Instagram to grow your business. They will share your products or services in their stories so that you will be able to reach more potential customers. That’s why we can say that you are going to use advertising and affiliate marketing as well as online marketing.

social media marketing

The Pros 

  • The most important advantage of social media marketing is that compared to other promotion tools like TV ads or short-term sales promotions, you will reach only the actual customers. What does it mean? You will be able to target specific customer segments based on your products or services. For example, you produce make-up products, such as lip glosses, blushes and bronzers, mascaras, lashes, and so on. Your target customers are probably 18 and 45-year-old women. Now, you can detect make-up influencers on Instagram. 
  • You can reach higher conversion rates and increase engagement. Thus, you will be able to improve customer loyalty.

The Cons

  • Like Google or other search engines, social media networks adjust their algorithms unexpectedly. Therefore, you should always follow these changes and adjust your business accordingly.
  • Engagement on social media platforms is not always a good thing. Many people check the social media accounts of businesses before purchasing anything from them; they take a look at their comments and feedback. If someone finds a negative comment or criticism of your products or services on your business account, for example, you may lose a sale. 

Email Marketing

Emails are still one of the most important digital marketing types. Most retailers are still using email marketing for mainly seasonal promotions and discount announcements.

In order to send an email to your potential or current customers, you need their permission. Therefore, you should invite your website visitors to join your email subscriber list. At the end of the day, you will be able to send emails about promotions, discounts, recent news, special events, satisfaction surveys, etc. 

email marketing

The Pros

  • You can record the sales in your customer database systems: How often do your customers buy from you, what do they buy, and when do they buy? After the answers to these three questions, you can send reminder emails to current customers. It will increase loyalty to your brand and create a substantial customer lifetime value. 
  • It is easy to prepare an email, and the cost is relatively lower than other promotional tools. 

The Cons

  • If you send emails to people without their permission, you may face legal issues. 
  • You need to find catchy and robust email titles to catch people’s attention at first glance. Don’t forget that people receive dozens or even hundreds of emails every day. Be unique to be read. 
  • If the current subscribers can’t find a way to unsubscribe, they will get angry. You don’t want angry customers, do you?

Content Marketing 

Content marketing can be more comprehensive than other promotion tools. It includes texts, blog posts, educational videos like DIY or how-to videos, e-books, and webinars where people can find their specific questions, articles, and so on.

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Marketing cannot be considered independent of content marketing. In other words, regardless of what type of marketing tools you want to use, you have to incorporate content marketing into your process. It will help your customers to find what they are looking for and answer their questions. Thus, you will be able to generate more sales and create strong relationships between you and your customers.  

content marketing

The Pros

  • When you publish high-quality content, unique and authentic content, people will remind you that you are a reliable source. It will strengthen your position in your industry.
  • While educating and entertaining your target audience, you can grow your brand and drive search engine optimization.

The Cons

  • You should be consistent and regular in order to be effective. It means that your content should be related to each other and be published on a regular basis. In addition, you have to meet the needs of your audience; otherwise, you can’t be remembered easily by them. 
  • There are hundreds or even thousands of content like yours on the web. How are you going to stand out from your competitors? Be unique and try to do what hasn’t been done before. It is going to be very challenging.

Search Engine Marketing

As you may guess, most internet users review only the first page of search results. You need to be on the first page; otherwise, people will not visit your website. At this point, we have a question for you: Have you ever heard of search engine optimization, or SEO for short? 

SEO helps you rank higher on search engine results (SERP). Having the best content on your website is not enough; you should adapt the content based on what search engines want, especially what Google wants (because Google dominates the search engine world with approximately 70% market share. )

To be effective in search engine marketing, you should optimize your website for search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo! etc. Do you have any idea how to achieve this? Including Google all search engines use their own unique algorithms to decide how relevant your website and content are to the keywords that people are searching for. 

search engine marketing

The Pros 

  • When customers see your business on SERP organically, you will have a strong position in their eyes.  
  • You can easily measure search engine marketing effectiveness. It means you can determine what you are doing right and wrong on your website by looking at your website data through SEO tools like Moz, Ahrefs, or SemRush.

The Cons

  • Search engines, especially Google, update their algorithms frequently. Therefore, you must adjust and adapt the changes to your website. 
  • You should behave ethically and not try to fool Google and other search engines. They are smarter than all of us. 
  • If you don’t know how to use SEO in an effective way, you should get professional support. However, it will increase your costs in the short term. 
  • Ranking high in the SERP should be your long-term focus. Therefore, it does take time and effort to achieve it.

Mobile Marketing

Nowadays, marketing is not just about in-store buying; mobile marketing is more effective than ever. Smartphones, tablet computers, smartwatches, e-readers, other cells/mobile phones, and so on. People spend most of their time on these mobile devices to instantly check product reviews, features, and prices. Therefore, the importance of mobile marketing is increasingly increasing. The small size of mobile devices allows people to carry them everywhere and make purchases whenever they want quickly. That’s why, like many successful managers, you should also incorporate it into your marketing strategies.

mobile marketing

The Pros 

  • According to studies, SMS has a higher interaction rate and click-through rate (CTR) when compared to other types of digital marketing. People check their mobile phones more frequently. That’s why you can catch your customers’ attention immediately. 
  • Text message is cheaper when we compare it to other promotion tools like TV ads or printed media. 
  • Especially if you are a local brand, you can easily inform local customers about the latest news and special offers via your promotional messages. Thus, you will be able to catch the attention of your local audience. 

The Cons 

  • Unlike computers, mobile devices have smaller screens to view the overall content. Therefore, you need to optimize your content for mobile devices. At this point, you need mobile SEO.
  • To be successful in mobile marketing, you need customers’ phone numbers. As in email marketing, however, you should get permission from your customers to send them your text messages; otherwise, you may face legal sanctions.

Affiliate Marketing

In affiliate marketing, business owners promote their brand’s products or services through people who already have their own audience. For instance, influencers on Instagram, vloggers on YouTube, or bloggers on the web can be preferred for your affiliate marketing purposes. As a business owner, the idea is simple: you pay commissions or some other bonuses to influencers, vloggers, or bloggers to promote your products and services on their own social media accounts.

In affiliate marketing, there are two significant reward types you can use.

  • Pay-Per-Sale: As its very name signifies, you pay a certain amount of commission for each purchase made by customers through an Instagram influencer or Youtuber vlogger.
  • Pay-Per-Click: It doesn’t matter whether a sale is made or not made by customers. You pay the commission based on the number of people that click on the content.
affiliate marketing

The Pros 

  • The risk level is low. Spreading information among people is quicker than ever: You don’t need face-to-face conversation.  
  • You don’t need extra people working for you. While your existing workers continue to work in the background, you can create strong advertising campaigns and increase your revenue. 
  • To start affiliate marketing, you don’t need to invest. It means that, unlike other promotional tools, you can grow your brand almost at no cost.  

The Cons 

  • When we consider the importance of the internet, we can’t ignore high competition in almost all fields. You need to be prepared for this challenging situation. Do you want to become an affiliate partner with that vlogger on YouTube? Your competitors may already be there. Sorry for that. 
  • You need to target the right audience, and it will be hard to catch the attention of the right people. This is because you will not have a direct relationship with your potential customers.

Digital Marketing In Short 

To be successful in your industry in the long run, you should use online/web marketing and other marketing promotion tools together. In other words, each promotion tool, from advertising and personal selling to public relations and online marketing, should be carefully blended. Today, we have talked about digital marketing and its types; social media marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing, content marketing, mobile marketing, and affiliate marketing. Of course, each has its advantages and disadvantages. For this reason, you should carefully analyze them and decide which channel is the best for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions About

It depends on what you offer and what your potential customers are. The channel- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram- in social media marketing depends on the types of your audience you try to reach. This is because different social media networks play different roles in attracting and persuading customers. 

Of course, it has disadvantages as well as advantages. The first disadvantage is related to security and privacy issues. There are many legal considerations around using customers’ data for marketing purposes. As we talked about above, you can’t send an email to customers without their permission. Another disadvantage is that negative feedback can be visible to other customers, and it may damage your brand image in the minds of both current and potential customers.

 There are different ways to do it. First, look at your previous and current sales figures, and compare them with each other. Second, check the number of likes, comments, and followers on your social media accounts. Third, check your website. To do this, there is a standard tool: Google Analytics. The artificial intelligence will tell you how many visitors your website is currently getting and where these visitors are coming from.

 Unlike TV ads, online marketing is customized. It means that you can target a specific person/people with your message. On the other side, in the TV ads, you target everyone who watches the ads at that moment. 

There are lots of ways to do it, but the most frequently used method is to offer a discount. For example, you can say, “To get an extra 15% off your 1st order, join our email subscriber list.”

Gizem Akmanlı

Posts: 205

Jr. SEO Content Editor at Dopinger, Gizem Akmanlı graduated from Literature department. With her interest in content production and editing, she managed a blog for 5 years, then turned to digital marketing and started to develop herself in the field of SEO. She is a supporter of sustainable living... Read More

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