Table of Contents
- What Is Digital Marketing?
- Why Is Digital Marketing Important in 2023?
- What Is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
- Types of Digital Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Influencer Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Podcast Marketing
- Short Message Service (SMS) Marketing
- What Are the Benefits of Digital Marketing?
- Bottom Line
- Frequently Asked Questions
Digital marketing has revolutionized how businesses attract and engage with potential customers for their products and services. Yet, it can be challenging in this fast-paced digital era to keep up with which digital strategies work best.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing—sometimes called online marketing or internet marketing—is a means of engaging with potential buyers using digital technologies. The primary goal of digital marketing is to attract interest and sales for products and services. You can conduct digital marketing on any device connected to the internet using various communication strategies, including email, text messaging, social media, and online-based advertising.
Why Is Digital Marketing Important in 2023?
Traditional marketing channels such as newspapers, broadcast television, and radio still have their place but no longer dominate with the massive audiences they commanded in their heyday. To be a successful marketer, you need to market where your audience is, and nowadays, people are on the internet.
According to Statista, there are more than 311 million internet users in the U.S. alone, and that number continues to grow. As digital usage increases, so will opportunities for digital marketing. But digital marketing isn’t just important because internet usage is so high; it’s vital because digital marketing techniques produce exceptional results.
In a recent Nielsen survey of marketers, 62% of participants reported that digital spending on social media marketing was either extremely or very effective for them. Search marketing and online/mobile display marketing each earned 57% high-to-very effectiveness ratings, while online/mobile video earned 58%.
What Is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
A marketing plan offers a road map for how you intend to use marketing to accomplish the goals and objectives defined in your company’s business plan. A digital marketing strategy details how you use digital technologies and communication to reach your target audience and convert prospects into buyers.
The best digital marketing strategists employ a variety of digital mechanisms. Search engine optimization (SEO), digital advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, and content marketing are just a few digital techniques that can work together to create extraordinary results. Your digital strategy should outline which tools you plan to use and how you plan to use them for your business.
Types of Digital Marketing
Social Media Marketing
When you look at social media stats, the number of current and projected social media users is simply astounding. It’s estimated that 4.9 billion people worldwide use social media, and experts predict that number will rise to 5.9 billion by 2027.
As of 2023, Facebook still dominates with the most active users—2.9 billion global users—followed by YouTube with 2.5 billion, WhatsApp with 2 billion, and Instagram with 2 billion. LinkedIn has more than 900 million users worldwide, while TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter, and Pinterest each have over 450 million active users. Clearly, these massive audiences present incredible opportunities for marketers.
One of the notable advantages of social media marketing is that you don’t need a huge budget to be effective. Every platform allows you to create an account for free, which means you can share content immediately, even if you don’t have money to spend on advertising. Social channels also offer paid advertising opportunities that let you create highly targeted campaigns designed to reach your ideal audience.
Social media has a solid track record for generating sales; 76% of consumers report purchasing a product after seeing it on social media. For optimal results, it’s best to focus on one or two social channels when starting out and then expand when you’re comfortable. Also, consistency is key in social media marketing; you need to engage with your audience regularly.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
At this very moment, there’s a strong chance that people on the internet are searching for the products and services your business offers. Those hot prospects will only find you if your company’s website is visible on search engine results pages (SERPs). In other words, you have to appear on Google search results and rank high there if you want to be seen.
Investing in search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the smartest marketing moves you can make. Great SEO can deliver an ROI of 700% or more. With some upfront planning, you can ensure that your website content is easy for prospective buyers to find. And, when you use compelling content and marketing messaging, you can convert more of your website visitors into buyers.
If you’re on a budget, you can get started with SEO using free tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends to do your research. Paid SEO tools are available that will make your SEO research and planning process much more manageable. The best SEO software will equip you with the knowledge you need to rank higher on Google and other search engines.
SEO can be complicated, and if you don’t have knowledge of the field, you may want to hire an expert to help you. The best SEO services can help you with every aspect of SEO, including technical SEO, on- and off-page SEO, link-building, mobile SEO, keyword research, and SEO copywriting.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
There was a time when search engine marketing (SEM) meant all forms of search marketing, including SEO aimed at building traffic organically and paid SEO, which charges a fee for sponsored posts that get priority placement on SERPs. Today, SEM mainly refers to paid search.
SEM can be especially effective for businesses that are certain their prospects are searching online for related product or service options with the intent to make a purchase. For example, if someone is searching for “plumbers near me,” they will likely hire a plumber soon.
Typically, the higher your business ranks on Google, the more traffic you can generate for your site. Hence, paying a fee to rank higher via paid advertising may give your company an edge over your competitors.
Email marketing has been around for a while but it remains one of the most powerful digital tools in the marketer’s toolbox. As of 2023, more than 347 billion emails are sent and received every day and that number is expected to climb to 376 billion by 2025. On average, every dollar invested in email marketing earns $36.
To capitalize on email marketing, you’ll need access to software to help you create email campaigns. The best email marketing software makes it easy to manage contacts, design and send emails, and track performance stats, such as email open and conversion rates.
Many businesses use a full-fledged customer relationship management (CRM) system to manage their contact databases and email marketing campaigns. The right software for you will depend on your exact business needs. It was found that the best marketing CRMs for small businesses include HubSpot, Salesforce, Zoho, and Zendesk.
John F. Oppendahl coined the term content marketing at a meeting at the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1996. Since then, marketers have used the term to describe all forms of communication that deliver value to targeted recipients. A strong content marketing initiative can generate significant results for your bottom line, as compelling content can build your follower base and drive sales.
Content marketing can take the form of the written word, audio, visuals or video. Blogs, e-books, case studies, infographics, white papers, podcasts, checklists, how-to guides, and short- and long-form videos are all popular forms of content marketing. You can engage in content marketing or promote your content via a variety of outlets, including websites and social channels.
The best content marketing techniques offer useful insights that potential buyers want and need. You can use content marketing to inform, entertain, educate or persuade. The most effective content marketing is never salesy but rather influential or enlightening. If your content is good enough, it can go viral as people share your amazing content with others who have similar needs and interests.
The rise in social media use and the number of breakout social stars with massive fan bases has sparked a meteoric rise in influencer marketing in recent years.
Influencers have large or highly targeted audiences that follow them via social media channels. As the name implies, influencers can use their “influence” to prompt fans to buy certain products or services. For example, if Selena Gomez, who has over 420 million Instagram followers, creates an Instagram post where she’s applying a particular brand’s mascara, sales for that product can skyrocket.
While an influencer’s recommendations can sway purchase decisions, those recommendations aren’t offered for free. Influencers charge a fee for recommending products and services to their followers. These fees can vary and are based on follower count, audience engagement, and type of post such as, for example, a brief mention or a lengthy personalized promotion.
Some influencers have millions of social followers while others have smaller audiences, but their fans might be ideal for your brand. Influencer marketing can be pure gold for businesses whose target customers align with an influencer’s fan base.
Video is so important to today’s marketers that it deserves special attention as one of the most effective and compelling digital marketing techniques you can employ for business growth.
You can use video marketing on your website, in social media, as a form of content marketing or as part of your influencer marketing campaigns. In a study from animated video production company Wyzowl, 87% of marketers reported that video marketing has helped them increase sales, and 92% said video delivers a good return on investment.
The most popular types of videos used by marketers include sales, explainer, testimonial, and product demonstration videos. In 2022, according to the Wyzowl study, 71% of marketers used videos in their social media.
Ever thought about starting a podcast for your business? Are you considering marketing your products and services via advertising on popular podcasts in your business niche? Both can be sound digital marketing strategies.
Thousands of businesses use podcast marketing to help create product awareness and establish their brand as a trusted authority. There are several ways to tap into the power of podcast marketing. You can choose to launch your own podcast, appear as a guest on podcasts in your business niche, or buy advertising time on relevant podcasts.
Short Message Service (SMS) Marketing
SMS or text marketing is a means of communicating with potential buyers via simple text messages. SMS marketing delivers exceptionally high open rates, as studies have shown that recipients open an impressive 98% of text messages.
However, there are a few drawbacks to SMS. You are limited to 160 characters in a single message and there is no opportunity for visual design. Plus, under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), you must have written permission to text someone before sending promotional messages—not everyone is eager to sign up to receive advertising on their phones.
You can get started with SMS marketing by working with a texting service. The best mass texting services make it easy to get your company’s marketing messages out to your customer and prospect base.
What Are the Benefits of Digital Marketing?
Every type of digital marketing has its benefits. For example, marketing on LinkedIn is a terrific way to reach business professionals, while Instagram and TikTok have unlimited potential for B2C businesses. Meanwhile, email marketing lets you maintain an online relationship with your contact base, and content marketing helps you deliver high value to potential buyers.
Here are a few top benefits of digital marketing:
- Options that fit every budget: You can get started with digital marketing on a shoestring budget or invest even more for more substantial results.
- Potential to go viral: People love to share great content. Digital content is easy to share, and the best content gets shared often, which expands your marketing reach.
- Easy to get started: You just need a few things, such as a social account and a smartphone or computer, to launch a basic digital marketing effort.
- Track recipient behavior: Most forms of digital marketing let you monitor content views and engagement. You can also track what viewers do after seeing your content.
- Strong return-on-investment (ROI) potential: Digital marketing can produce stellar ROI when properly executed.
Digital marketing offers unparalleled opportunities to reach your ideal buyers and drive sales for your business. The most popular types of digital marketing include SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing. You don’t necessarily need a large marketing budget to get started with digital marketing. Even better, businesses are seeing significant ROI from their direct marketing investments.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the types of digital marketing?
The most popular types of digital marketing include email marketing, SEO, influencer marketing, SMS marketing, and social media marketing. Content marketing, video marketing, and paid search are also excellent digital marketing techniques.
What is the easiest type of digital marketing?
While every marketing effort requires a solid strategy, social media marketing is one of the easiest areas of digital marketing to start with. You can set up an account for free on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, or other social channels. Once your account is live, you can post valuable content about your products and services immediately.
What is the best digital marketing platform?
The best digital marketing platform is the one where your ideal buyers spend their time. For B2B businesses, LinkedIn is often the top platform. For local service-based businesses, Google Ads is a great platform. Instagram and TikTok are leading digital platforms for consumer goods and services.
What is the best social media management software for digital marketers?
The best social media management software are Buffer, SocialPilot, and Sprout Social. Hootsuite is the best software for those managing multiple platforms, while Zoho Social is best for individual creators.
Is digital marketing a good career?
A digital marketing career is an excellent choice for those drawn to marketing, have strong communication skills, and are comfortable working with digital technologies. Consider earning an online digital marketing degree to jump-start your success in this field.