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What is Digital Marketing and How Do I Get Started?

Updated: Jul 10, 2021



Digital marketing, online marketing, internet advertising…whatever you call it, marketing your company online is a big deal these days. internet usage has more than doubled over the past decade and this shift has massively affected how people purchase products and interact with businesses


What is Digital Marketing?



“Basically, digital marketing refers to any online marketing efforts or assets. Email marketing, pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing and even blogging are all great examples of digital marketing—they help introduce people to your company and convince them to buy.”

Here are some of the most common digital marketing assets and strategies businesses use to reach people online:


  • Your website

  • Branded assets (logos, icons, acronyms, etc)

  • Video content (video ads, product demos, etc)

  • Images (infographics, product shots, company photos, etc)

  • Written content (blog posts, eBooks, product descriptions, testimonials, etc)

  • Online products or tools (SaaS, calculators, interactive content, etc)

  • Reviews

  • Social media pages

Most digital marketing assets will fall into one of these categories, but clever marketers are constantly coming up with new ways to reach customers online, so the list keeps growing!



DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGIES

The list of digital marketing strategies is also constantly evolving, but here are some of the strategies most businesses are using:



PAY-PER-CLICK ADVERTISING

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is actually a broad term that covers any type of digital marketing where you pay for every user who clicks on an ad. For example, Google AdWords is a form of PPC advertising called “paid search advertising” Facebook Ads are another form of PPC advertising called “paid social media advertising” .


PAID SEARCH ADVERTISING

Google, Bing and Yahoo all allow you to run text ads on their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Paid search advertising is one of the best ways to target potential customers who are actively searching for a product or service like yours.


SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)

If you don’t want to pay to show up in the SERPs, you can also use search engine optimization (SEO) to try and rank pages or blog posts on your site organically. You don’t have to pay directly for every click, but getting a page to rank usually takes quite a bit of time and effort (for a more in-depth comparison of paid search and SEO.



PAID SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING

Most social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Snapchat will allow you to run ads on their site. Paid social media advertising is great for building awareness with audiences that might not be aware that your business, product or service exists.


SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Like SEO, social media marketing is the free, organic way to use social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter to market your business. And, just like SEO, organically marketing your business on social media takes a lot more time and effort, but in the long run, it can deliver much cheaper results.


CONVERSION RATE OPTIMIZATION (CRO)

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the art and science of improving your online user experience. Most of the time, businesses use CRO to get more conversions (leads, chats, calls, sales, etc) out of their existing website traffic.


CONTENT MARKETING

Content marketing is another fairly broad digital marketing term. Content marketing covers any digital marketing effort that uses content assets (blog posts, infographics, eBooks, videos, etc) to build brand awareness or drive clicks, leads or sales.


EMAIL MARKETING

Email marketing is the oldest form of online marketing and it’s still going strong. Most digital marketers use email marketing to advertise special deals, highlight content (often as part of content marketing) or promote an event.


AFFILIATE MARKETING

Affiliate marketing is essentially paying someone else (a person or a business) to promote your products and services on their website.


As you can see from the list above, there are a lot of different ways to market your business online, which is why many businesses either hire an agency to manage their digital marketing efforts or pay for an in-house marketing team and marketing automation software to cover their marketing needs.



How Do I Get Started?


different digital marketing strategies:


  • Paid search advertising

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

  • Paid social media advertising

  • Social media marketing

  • Conversion rate optimization

  • Content marketing

  • Email marketing

The core of every successful digital marketing campaign, however, isn’t a guide. Regardless of which strategies you choose to use, here are 4 questions you need to answer before you get started with digital marketing:



1. HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED TO MAKE?

To figure out what you need to spend on digital marketing, you first need to clarify what your goals are. How you approach digital marketing can vary quite a bit depending on whether your ultimate goal is to drive clicks, conversions or leads, sales, revenue or a certain return-on-investment (ROI).


Clicks and even conversions are great, With that in mind, the first thing you need to determine before you decide what your digital marketing budget should be is to decide how much revenue you want to drive.




2. WHO ARE YOU MARKETING TO?

Once you know how much money you want to make from digital marketing, you need to identify who you are marketing to. This is critical, because different buyer personas require different marketing tactics. And, even more importantly, different buyer personas turn into different types of buyers.


So guess what? If you don’t understand your buyer personas, you can’t create an effective digital marketing strategy!


If you’ve got a sales team, talking to sales can be one of the fastest ways to get a decent buyer persona together. After all, they’re the ones who talk to your customers the most, right?


However, even talking to your sales team and doing a little research isn’t enough to really get at the level of detail you need to put together an effective digital marketing plan. To do that, you need to get on the phone and call your actual customers.


Ask how they found you, why they converted and what convinced them to pay you. This information will give you a ton of insight into your marketing and sales process that you can use to both improve the performance of your advertising and choose your marketing budget.




3. WHAT ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS WORTH?

Typically, people look at buyer personas as a good way to craft an effective marketing strategy. Buyer personas are great for this, but they are also an important part of putting together an effective digital marketing plan.






4. HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED TO SPEND TO REACH YOUR GOALS?

At this point, things are pretty simple. Just take your CAC, average purchase order value and average number of purchases , you can just use the average lifespan of each buyer persona).





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