Before we talk about how digital marketing process works, let’s first answer the question – what is digital marketing means? Digital marketing is a way to promote brands and products online and through other digital channels with the power of the internet. Most of the businesses have a specific audience they are trying to reach, and digital marketing services aim to help businesses reach these target consumers through the internet and other digital avenues online.
There are a number of different digital technologies available that marketers and companies use to get their marketing message to their target audiences. In addition to their website, a digital marketing company might also use PPC and display ads, email marketing, mobile technology like smartphones, social media, and other mediums to attract and engage their target consumers.
Digital marketing is vital for modern businesses because the internet plays a significant role in how today’s consumer makes purchasing decisions online. The internet also impacts how consumers actually purchase their products and services online. This makes it imperative for businesses to not only be present online but to boost visibility as much as possible.
The days of browsing at a physical store location and asking sales associates for more information about products are gone. Now, consumers use the internet to get the information they need to make an informed purchasing decision, even if they still visit the physical store location to make their final purchase.
That’s where digital marketing comes in. It helps your business reach these consumers wherever they are in their digital buyer’s journey.
The 5Ds of digital marketing
To understand the importance of digital marketing to the future of marketing in any business, it’s helpful to think about what audience interactions we need to understand and manage online. Digital marketing today is about many more types of audience interaction than website or email. The 5Ds define the opportunities for consumers to easily interact with brands and for businesses to reach and learn from their audiences in different ways:
Digital devices – audiences experience brands as they interact with business websites and mobile apps typically through a combination of connected devices including smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, TVs and gaming devices.
Digital platforms – most interactions on these devices are through a browser or apps from the major platforms or services, that’s Facebook (and Instagram), Google (and YouTube), Twitter and LinkedIn.
Digital media – different paid, owned and earned communications channels for reaching and engaging audiences including advertising, email and messaging, search engines and social networks.
Digital data – the insight businesses collect about their audience profiles and their interactions with businesses, which now needs to be protected by law in most countries.
Digital technology – the marketing technology or match stack that businesses use to create interactive experiences from websites and mobile apps to in-store kiosks and email campaigns.
How Digital Marketing Works: Each Tactic Explained
It’s important for business owners to understand how digital marketing works so that they can make smarter decisions about their digital marketing campaigns. The key to understanding how it all works is getting to know each element of digital marketing and recognizing how each can help you reach your marketing goals. We’ll go through each digital marketing tactic below and explain how you can use each one for your own business.
In many ways, your company’s website is the cornerstone of your digital marketing strategy. This is where many of your target customers first get an impression of your brand, and more often than not, this is where your leads will eventually convert into paying customers. So let’s talk more about how your website plays a role in how digital marketing works.
The goal of digital marketing is to attract, engage, and convert your leads. Many of the tactics that you will use to do this will ultimately lead your target customers back to your website to get more information or make a purchase.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to “rank” higher in search engine results pages, thereby increasing the amount of organic (or free) traffic your website receives. The channels that benefit from SEO include:
This term denotes the creation and promotion of content assets for the purpose of generating brand awareness, traffic growth, lead generation, and customers. The channels that can play a part in your content marketing strategy include:
Ebooks and whitepapers.
Online brochures and lookbooks.
Social Media Marketing
This practice promotes your brand and your content on social media channels to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads for your business. The channels you can use in social media marketing include:
PPC is a method of driving traffic to your website by paying a publisher every time your ad is clicked. One of the most common types of PPC is Google AdWords, which allows you to pay for top slots on Google’s search engine results pages at a price “per click” of the links you place. Other channels where you can use PPC include:
Paid ads on Facebook.
Promoted Tweets on Twitter.
Sponsored Messages on LinkedIn.
This is a type of performance-based advertising where you receive a commission for promoting someone else’s products or services on your website. Affiliate marketing channels include:
Posting affiliate links from your social media accounts.
Native advertising refers to advertisements that are primarily content-led and featured on a platform alongside other, non-paid content. BuzzFeed-sponsored posts are a good example, but many people also consider social media advertising to be “native” — Facebook advertising and Instagram advertising, for example.
Companies use email marketing as a way of communicating with their audiences. Email is often used to promote content, discounts, and events, as well as to direct people toward the business’s website. The types of emails you might send in an email marketing campaign include:
Blog subscription newsletters.
Follow-up emails to website visitors who downloaded something.
Customer welcome emails.
Holiday promotions to loyalty program members.
Tips or similar series emails for customer nurturing.