In easy words, digital marketing is any type of promotional effort done on the Internet. It includes every kind of advertisement, piece of content, website, social media post, business-related email, and more that you access from your computer, smartphone, or any other connected device. While this explanation is comprehensive, it does not give you sufficient information to determine how digital marketing affects all industries and how consumers make purchasing decisions for products and services today.
Digital marketing terminology has existed since the beginning of the 21st century, but it has been a part of the consumer world ever since the invention of radios, telephones, and telegraphs. Today, anyone who speaks about this type of marketing online, at business meetings, conventions, or in shops, is not talking about radio advertisements anymore. The concept has grown to include a wide variety of activities, platforms, and methods that can help any freelance individual or online business succeed in this increasingly connected world.
Why Focus on Digital Marketing?
According to the latest statistics from 2019, 58.7% of the population of the entire world has access to the Internet. This number continues to grow as technology improves and spreads into less-developed areas. No matter who you target with your product or service offerings, your potential customers are undoubtedly online and getting the bulk of their information from there. This behavior is especially true for demographics more likely to make online purchases regularly.
Billions of searches are made every day on Google, and many of them focus on the end goal of purchasing a product or hiring someone to perform a service to solve a problem. If no one can find your offers on the Internet, your business will not succeed. That is one of the main reasons why digital marketing matters.
What are the Five Main Types of Digital Marketing Today?
Although the entire realm of online marketing covers virtually anything you can do to get attention for your business online, five types of digital marketing dominate most strategies.
1 – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Marketing (SEM)
When it comes to digital marketing, optimizing content for search engines tops the list of things to do. Whether you create a blog post, Facebook comment, YouTube video, or anything else, it should use effective SEO practices. Social media marketing includes optimization and paying for placement at the top of the results pages.
2 – Content Marketing
Creating high-quality, engaging, valuable, and properly optimized content in the form of website articles, blogs, social media posts, podcasts, videos, and more is all a part of this important digital marketing method. Content creation and sharing are practically the cornerstones of most successful online marketing strategies if you do not want to pay for every single impression or click you get.
3 – Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Regularly scheduled posts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social media platforms can build your audience, generate leads, and convert them to customers or clients. This quicker form of content marketing continues to grow in popularity.
4 – Pay-per-click Marketing (PPC)
The Google AdWords system represents the most popular PPC opportunity online today. To put it simply, you pay every time someone clicks on your ad associated with a specific keyword or phrase. Google AdWords buy visits to your website more quickly and regularly than most organic optimization practices would. It can get expensive if you do not manage your campaign effectively or if you target high-value keywords.
5 – Email Marketing
Many people complain about spam emails, gathering a subscriber list, and sending out important information and offers to them is one of the most effective ways to engage in digital marketing. People who opt in to get this information have already vetted your company and find something valuable about it. They are eager to hear more from you, so they are more likely to take action when you present them with a great opportunity.
What are the Most Popular Digital Marketing Formats?
Within those five primary methods of digital marketing explained above, various content formats work for different purposes. For best results with any of them, you need to research your audience and determine what they are most likely to respond to.
The majority of digital marketing efforts used in the world today are textual - website page content, blog posts, social media posts, PPC ads, email marketing, and more. Every piece of text you use in your overall promotion strategy should include proper SEO, valuable information or solutions the audience needs, and some type of cold action to draw your audience closer to the end goal: contact or purchase.
With the extreme popularity platforms like YouTube and the increasing prevalence of sharing videos on social media platforms and other places online, video content has become a significant player in the overall Internet marketing world. Depending on the focus of your business, these can include everything from an interview with a celebrity, a message from your CEO, a fun cartoon to entertain children, or an introductory how-to video about a particular task or product.
Graphic and Display Ads
Digital marketing also includes advertisements that are purely graphical designed to capture attention, convey some small amount of information, encourage viewers to click to get more and boost brand recognition and reputation online. These show up frequently on social media but are also used on websites directly and interspersed with video clips and other content.