What Is Digital Marketing?

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. 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. In this guide, we will talk about the last one. We will start with the purpose of online marketing and then talk about its types;

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing

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 the fast-growing form of direct marketing.

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

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 any longer, 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. Did 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.

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 the 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. 

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 

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, webinars where people can find their specific questions, articles, and so on.

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 customers.  

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

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 the 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. 

The Pros 

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

The Cons

  • Search engines, especially Google, updates their algorithms frequently. Therefore, you need to adjust the changes and adapt them 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, as many successful managers, you should also incorporate it into your marketing strategies.

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 a cheaper method when we compared 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

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.

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

1) 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 vloggers.

2) 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.

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 some advantages and disadvantages. For this reason, you should carefully analyze them and decide which channel is the best for you. 

If you need help with your SEO strategy for your website, consider getting help from an SEO agency.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.”

Erdinc Yilmaz

Posts: 74

After graduating from the Language and Literature Department, I have used my advanced skills to edit, proofread and translate. I also enjoy writing short stories in my spare time. Now, with the rise of digital marketing, I utilize my skills to write blog posts on the latest topics.

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