Digital marketing is using digital channels and tools like email marketing, social media marketing, paid and unpaid search marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO) to promote products and services. With the explosion of the internet, digital marketing has become one of the most critical ways to publicize a business and help it grow. Knowledge of digital marketing can be an asset to entrepreneurs and owners of businesses large and small. Digital marketing offers companies a chance to extend their reach, do marketing research, and foster connection and brand loyalty. Using online tools for sales, connection, and creating community, and then analyzing the data collected from those online marketing efforts can make a business more efficient more quickly than almost anything else.
Why Use Digital Marketing?
Marketing has drastically changed over the years. While original ways to promote a business might have been in the yellow pages, through print ads, and on buses and billboards, now many of those marketing efforts have leaped online. With digital marketing, you can adapt and make changes in real-time to reflect your advertising. You can also create targeted ads to be sure your products and services are reaching an interested audience.
Digital marketing efforts are highly measurable. Using analytics, you can quickly tell how many people see your ads, how they react, and what action they take based on your ads. Being able to measure your success (and where you need to improve) can help overall strategy. Plus, digital marketing levels the playing field, allowing businesses of any size to compete for clicks.
Additionally, there’s a low barrier to entry: you can start your paid digital marketing campaign for a minimum amount and build as your company grows. And digital marketing offers the unique chance to completely control where you spend those crucial advertising dollars.
Even though you can see the analytics right away, remember it might take some time to see results from your online marketing techniques (sometimes anywhere from three to six months). Even though digital marketing can be a long-term investment, once it’s in place, it will keep providing you with results.
Types of Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing channels are the vehicles used to get your brand, services, or products in front of your desired audience. Google research found that 98% of Americans switch back and forth between multiple devices in a single day. That means rather than putting all your eggs in one basket, businesses and brands must focus on a variety of channels and devices. Every customer journey is different and will have different touchpoints. That’s why it’s crucial to understand all the different ways to connect with your audience on various platforms.
Let’s dive into the different ways to connect online with your target audience.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works to develop a website’s online content to increase visibility in search engines like Google. In search marketing, the goal is for your website or online content to show up at or near the top of search engine result pages (SERPs) when using certain keywords.
Effective SEO improves a website’s quality and quantity of traffic, generating sales and improving business. SEO strategy and implementation use content, technical optimization, link building, and keyword research to ensure your website, product, or content is showing up high in the organic results. In essence, using SEO means making sure the right keywords are in the right place, thus helping get who you want to read your content, without paying for ads.
Search marketing is an effective, direct way to bring your clients to you vs. social media marketing (where you push your message out and hope people respond). Since these potential customers are already searching for a product or service your business is offering, why not have it be yours? Search marketing is an effective digital marketing technique and can be both paid and unpaid. Paid marketing refers to ads, while unpaid marketing is powered by organic SEO.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing leverages social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and TikTok to connect with a target audience. According to Hootsuite’s Digital 2021 report, more than 4.48 billion people use these platforms daily, making social media marketing a smart choice to help drive website traffic, build a widely-known brand, and gain revenue. Using modern techniques and 21st-century tools can generate more engagement, more followers, and ultimately more financial gain. With the internet and online commerce continuing to grow at an astounding rate, social media marketing is critical for global visibility and is a powerful way to quickly reach a large number of people and propel your business.
With more than 4 billion email accounts worldwide (half the population—and counting!), email marketing can be used to create community, help build a brand, and get results. It offers an opportunity to connect with your subscribers and develop deeper relationships with current and potential customers. It’s also a chance to increase sales quickly since you can reach a large number of people at once, and at a minimal cost. Email marketing is a fast and effective addition to your business’s digital marketing strategy.
Whether you’re a large organization or a small business, video marketing is a great addition to your company’s digital marketing strategy. YouTube is the second-largest search engine (coming in just behind its parent company, Google). With two billion active users worldwide, it’s a channel you can use to maximize your digital marketing efforts and build a brand. Although it can be time-consuming to plan, film, edit, market, and analyze your videos, it’s worth it in the long run. With more than 500 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute and 55% of marketers using YouTube as part of their marketing strategy, consider adding some video marketing content to your repertoire.
Content marketing is an innovative way of planning and creating the right services and/or products and delivering them to your target audience. The marketing landscape is changing. It’s not just about aggressive, in-your-face advertising anymore. It’s about generating interest and providing consumers with information about products, services, and brands they need or want in a more organic-feeling way. Content marketing can be used across a variety of channels including websites, blogs, apps, social media channels, print publications, and more.
Ways to Leverage Digital Marketing
When it comes to digital marketing, there are several ways to get your brand, products, and services in front of interested eyeballs.
Earned media is when your product is promoted by likes, comments, shares, or organic celebrity influence. It goes hand in hand with unpaid marketing, or essentially any organic marketing and advertising effort. Every share, every like, and every click helps promote visibility and credibility online and propel a business forward—without costing a penny. Unpaid marketing can include creating content like social media posts, photos, and videos.
Unlike earned media, which is dictated by others, owned media you have control over. Owned media can include your website, the content you create, and your email list. Since business owners don’t own social media names or accounts, make sure you collect emails because once you’ve created your email list, you own that, and can follow up at any time.
Paid media means paying for sponsored content, promotions, and ads that target a specific niche audience. In 2021, social media advertising spending is expected to top $47 billion, a number that highlights the explosion of paid marketing. Types of paid media can include sponsorship, branded content, influencer-generated content, pay-per-click, and display ads.
Create a Digital Marketing Framework
Create a successful marketing framework by defining your business strategy—really drill down on your overall priorities. This means tackling big questions for yourself and your business, product, or brand such as why does your company exist? What are your goals?
Next, be sure you have a value proposition—essentially, a promise to your customers. What do people get as a result of doing business with you? You’ll also need to determine your unique selling proposition: how do you stand out? What sets you apart from other similar products, businesses, or brands?
Creating a customer strategy means identifying exactly who you are trying to reach and why. Who is best suited for your products or services? Who are your ideal customers? What are their pain points? What problems do they need to solve? What is the outcome they desire? Digging into these hard questions and understanding as much as you can about your target audience allows you to get to know your community on a deep level, and better create messages, ads, and content to meet their needs.
Elements of a Digital Marketing Strategy
When putting together the elements of a successful digital marketing strategy, first, you’ll need to determine the larger goal for the company and how this digital marketing strategy will get you there. Next, you’ll brainstorm the objective, which is the specific steps to achieve the larger goal. Then you’ll nail down your tactics which is how you’ll achieve those objectives.
Once you’ve figured out your goal, objective, and tactics, you’ll need to decide how you want to measure your success. These tangible results are called Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which are indications that you are on track—and can help you know when to change course if you’re not.
Another element to consider is resources. What resources will you need to bring your digital strategy to your target audience? For example, these resources could be time, money, and/or content, to name a few. Having an understanding of what resources you have and what you need will help shape your budget.
Finally, once you have your digital marketing strategy in place, you can start measuring your success. Did you reach your goals? If not, why not? You can always learn from your tactics and results, for better or for worse. By keeping a close eye on your results, you can change your tactics to better achieve your goals.
Most importantly, remember that digital marketing strategy takes time. You won’t immediately see what’s working and what isn’t. But once you have all the elements in place, you can continue to refine your strategy until you’re satisfied.
Do Market Research & Communicate With Your Audience
Market research is the process of gaining insight into your target audience to determine their needs, what they value, and the best tactics, channels, and messaging you should be using. It’s also a good way to figure out what you can do to separate yourself from the competition and show how your products and/or services are different from others in your industry. There are many ways to gather feedback from your audience, such as how they found your product or site and what they thought of it. You can get this information by asking your customers directly via surveys and emails, as well as using analytics to collect and interpret data about your customers and how they engage with your site.
Listening and engagement tools provide a unique opportunity to make changes. These tools will condense all messages and mentions of your business, product, brand, and/or targeted keywords and hashtags into one place so you can keep a pulse on how your brand is being received. Social listening also provides a way to stay on top of ever-changing social media trends, can help identify new revenue streams, and get important industry tips.
Remember that while there are plenty of tools to help collect, track, and measure data, synthesize information, and provide notifications, the human connection is still at the root of a brand’s success. Interacting through a Q&A session, responding to a customer’s problem, promptly answering a follower’s question, or simply engaging on a human level is crucial to growing and maintaining your brand.
Peek at Your Competitors
Well, perhaps it’s a bit more than a peek. Get to know your competitors as well as possible. What are their top online traffic sources? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What is their value proposition? Check out their profiles on various channels and see who their followers are. You can even do a competitive analysis to get a deeper understanding of similar businesses. See where they are succeeding and where they’re falling short. Knowing what your target audience is interested in can help you create content to keep them interested in you. Evaluating what your competitors are doing right (and even more importantly, what they’re doing wrong, so you can do it better) can help build your brand from the ground up. The more you know about your audience, the more you can create strategies to meet your goals—and avoid what doesn’t.
Careers for Digital Marketers
Digital marketing is a broad field that encompasses various advertising elements and one that companies across sectors can utilize. Companies within any industry can use digital marketing to establish a presence online. Social media, analysis, and search engines are all different paths that digital marketers can take, depending on their focus and interests. Digital marketers have a few various paths they can focus on within the field: social media, analysis, and search engines, among others. Best of all, those with expertise in the field can be flexible, working in-house, on a small team, or even freelancing from home.
Digital marketers are responsible for designing, managing, and reviewing digital marketing campaigns. They also use data analytics to review digital marketing campaign results and provide guidance for future campaigns. According to Indeed, these professionals typically start with a salary of about $61K a year, a number that increases depending on location, niche skills, or other areas of expertise within the field.
Another position where those with content marketing skills can thrive is as marketing analysts. Across the United States, marketing analysts can expect to make around an average of $60K annually, with salaries fluctuating depending on location. These professionals assist companies with their marketing initiatives, provide analytical support, develop strategies, work on finding the right audiences, perform competitive analyses, and optimize channels. In the US, Web Optimization Specialists earn an average yearly salary of about $64K. Web Optimization Specialists analyze data and web traffic and make targeted recommendations to increase user engagement and improve the end-user experience.
Hubspot breaks down some other positions where digital marketing strategy comes into play: “A content marketer, for example, can create a series of blog posts that serve to generate leads from a new eBook the business recently created. The company’s social media marketer might then help promote these blog posts through paid and organic posts on the business’s social media accounts. Perhaps the email marketer creates an email campaign to send those who download the ebook more information on the company.”
Those with digital marketing expertise are in demand in industries across the board. Think about adding some digital marketing skills to boost your employability,
Learn Digital Marketing
Digital marketing classes teach how to use the various platforms to your advantage. Those ready to dive into the field can check out Noble Desktop’s digital marketing courses. You can attend in-person classes at Noble Desktop’s New York City location or attend live online digital marketing courses from anywhere in the world. You can also find other digital marketing courses, bootcamps, and certificate programs in your area using Noble Desktop’s Classes Near Me tool.
For a more comprehensive look at digital marketing strategies, take a look at Noble’s Digital Marketing Strategies bootcamp. The bootcamp is a 12-hour course that delves into the important role digital marketing strategy plays in a company’s overall success. Students will complete hands-on projects and learn ways to succeed at digital marketing, including how to establish goals, objectives, and KPIs.
The bootcamp is also offered as part of the 78-hour Digital Marketing Certificate, which delves deeper into each aspect of digital marketing including developing an end-to-end marketing strategy through hands-on classes where you work on your business or company as a project. You even get free retakes for one year!
Other resources offered by Noble Desktop include its digital marketing blog which has detailed articles about social media marketing and Google Analytics, among others. You can also check out Noble’s seminar on YouTube entitled The Pillars of Digital Marketing Success.