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what is digital marketing?

What is digital marketing?

To be honest it’s a little hard to start this article. Digital marketing is a big concept and I don’t know where to start. 

In these situations, I usually start with a story. This story can be about the history of the concept. So, we start the story of digital marketing.

But before that we need to answer shortly to this question:

What is digital marketing?

To make it simple and general, digital marketing is any form of marketing via electronic devices.

So, now we know before Tesla there was no digital marketing. And should I mention that by Tesla, I mean Nikola Tesla; not Elon Musk’s company? I also don’t mean that Tesla was the inventor of digital marketing. 

There are some other definitions of digital marketing which in them, email technology is the starting point. 

That’s why Wikipedia defines it like this:

Digital marketing is the component of marketing that utilizes the internet and online-based digital technologies to promote products and services. 

To be honest, without the internet we wouldn’t have this concept in our minds like this. I mean when we’re talking about digital marketing, no one considers cable TV advertisements as a digital marketing example. But, technically, it is digital marketing.

History of digital marketing: when did it start?

To answer this question, we have to categorize digital marketing into two classes:

Online digital marketing and offline digital marketing.

Offline digital marketing history

Offline digital marketing is certainly older than the online one. 

The first platform for offline digital marketing is the radio that was invented more than 100 years ago. Some may believe that Guglielmo Marconi invented the radio. But in fact, it was Nicola Tesla who invented the radio in 1892. 

It was November 2, 1920, when the first radio ad was aired. And it was station KDKA that broadcasted that. 

After that, television marketing came in. The first generation of TV ads came about 60 years ago. The first-ever TV ad was aired on July 1, 1941, and it was dedicated to Bulova, a watchmaking company. WNBT showed this ad before a baseball game between Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. Bulova only paid something less than $10 for the ad, which would cost millions of dollars considering today’s fees.  

And then phone marketing emerged. And weirdly it’s still out there.

Also, there is another offline digital marketing method that is not like the others: huge LED panels. 

LEDs are like normal billboards but they are more futuristic. 

Talking about futuristic offline digital marketing, we should point to other ways offline digital marketing methods which are a little different. 

You may have seen phones in some stores that people can use. Those smartphones are there for people to try them on and if they like them, they can buy them.

Or you may have seen some demo CDs included in a magazine or somewhere else. 

These are digital devices, but they are offline. So, they are other forms of offline marketing. 

Although these are some interesting topics to study, this article aims to talk about online digital marketing. 

So, let’s put them behind and go for the main topic.

Online digital marketing history

The first online digital marketing platform was emailing which was invented in 1971. But targeted email marketing started around 1990. Companies started database marketing and it was the most futuristic type for marketing at those ages.

The term digital marketing was used in the 90s for the first time. 

The first clickable banner was invented in 1994 or by AT&T and 44% of the people who saw the banner had clicked on it. 

As time went by, digital marketing became more and more sophisticated. People were getting more dependent on social media. And it shaped digital marketing as we see it today.

hiatory of digital marketig

Why is online digital marketing better than offline digital marketing?

The answer is clear. Offline digital marketing ads mostly are not specific. They are not specialized. Offline digital marketing is created to be seen or to be heard by whoever possible. But do they actually like it? Maybe just a small number of them. And yet, this is expensive. 

There is something worthy to mention: People usually don’t like ads. Especially when it is not interactive.

People like to have a sense of control over everything. That’s why when there’s a recorded movie, people usually skip the ads. 

Who is to blame?

There are different ways to create an ad. But some ad creators choose the worst one.

Imagine a fat guy watching an ad about something that can “make you fit in just three weeks”. The ads usually tend to show a bad picture of fat people just to sell the product. 

They make you feel bad about yourself to make you buy it.

Why?!

Most fat people like me already don’t like to be fat. Do you have to make us ashamed of our bodies?!

Ugh. I hate TV ads.

So, I can say the only use of offline digital marketing is to show that you’re rich enough to waste your money. 

That’s it. You should interact with your possible customers. And what’s the best way to do it?

Online digital marketing.

So, from now on the term digital marketing refers to online digital marketing in this article.

Types of digital marketing

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Pay per click (PPC)

– Native advertising

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Marketing automation
  • Inbound marketing
  • Online PR
  • Sponsored content

Now we can discover each of these terms.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO is a mechanism of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic from search engines to a website or webpage. 

SEO helps you have more unpaid traffic which is called natural or organic traffic. 

SEO is a digital marketing strategy that considers how search engines work. It also has a lot to do with computer-programmed algorithms that form search engine behaviors. 

what is seo channel in digital marketing

What’s the use of having a good rank?

There are many benefits for it but we mention just two of them:

First of all, when your website has a good rank, your brand will be seen more and you will be remembered. So, if you provide a service like fixing refrigerators, the user can reach you much much easier. 

SEO is very important for your website because when your website has a better rank on the search engine result page (SERP), it will enable you to have more visitors. And when you have more visitors, you have more potential customers. 

Types of search engine optimization:

On-page SEO: it’s all about the content that exists on the page. All the keywords, snippets, etc. When someone searches for that keyword or its synonyms, the search engine guides the user to the page that is optimized the best. So, it’s crucial to work on this part as one of the main factors to attract more visitors. 

Off-page SEO: there are some other activities that don’t happen on the page. It’s not the content but it’s related to the content. 

There’s something called “backlink”. Backlinks are the links that can redirect the user to your website from other websites. 

The more backlinks you get on other websites, the better your off-page SEO is.

Technical SEO: search engines pay attention to the websites loading speed. It’s something related to the backend of your website. It’s all about how your website is coded. CSS file optimization, data structure, and image compression are very important in technical SEO. 

Social media marketing

Using social media platforms for your marketing is social media marketing as the name suggests.

Social media marketing or SMM helps you to increase your brand awareness, drive traffic and create more leads for your business. 

There are many social media platforms but the most important ones are:

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram 
  • Snapchat 
  • Pinterest

To use these platforms, you have to create proper content for each. There are some differences between them and each one has its specific culture. 

To use social media marketing, you should keep some things in your mind. 

First of all, you need a plan.

And before creating a plan you need to consider your business’ goals. Of course, you can start social media marketing without a plan but if there’s no goal you won’t get anything.

So, before anything you have to answer some questions:

  • What’s your goal? What do you want to achieve through social media marketing?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • How does your target audience use social media?
  • What’s your message for your audience?

Here are some examples for your possible goals:

  • Building conversions
  • Creating brand identity
  • Increasing your website traffic
  • Improving communication with your audience
  • Enhancing your brand awareness

Social media marketing has five main cores:

  • Strategy

We talked about the strategy part, so let’s go for the next one.

  • Planning and publishing

This part is all about having a presence on social media. It is easy but there are some tricks to get the best out of it. It’s all about the right timing and frequency.

  • Listening and engagement

You should monitor the conversations about your brand. If they are nice, you should be delighted. But if they are not good, you should support the customers and make them satisfied before it gets worse.

  • Analytics and reporting

To strengthen your strong points and remove your weak points, you should monitor how your social media marketing is performing accurately.

  • Advertising

After you remove your weak points, it’s time to extend your business. Should start advertising and social media to reach a wider audience than what you already have. 

social media marketing

Pay per click (PPC)

It’s one of the most efficient ways for digital marketing. In this method, you only have to pay when your ad is clicked on. 

There are two important benefits to this method. 

First, it reduces the cost of operation. 

And the second is, you can reach the audience who is really interested in your product or services. Here are some examples of PPC:

  • Google ads: The most common way to use PPC is Google ads. Google puts your link on top of the results for specific keywords and you only have to pay when a user clicks on the link. 
  • Facebook Paid Ads: in this method, Facebook shows a customized video, image post, or slideshow for the users who match your business. 
  • LinkedIn Sponsored Message: you pay an amount of money to LinkedIn and LinkedIn based and the uses industrial in background send them a customized message directly.
  • Twitter Ads campaigns: Twitter charges a fee and it shows a post or profile badge in the news feed for specific audiences. 

All of these can help you reach your goal which can be increasing your brand awareness, increasing engagement, increasing the number of your followers, or even making them download your app. 

Native advertising

Native advertising definition is advertising by the contents that look and feel natural. It’s one of the PPC advertising forms.

For example, when you’re scrolling your Instagram feed, you may see a post that is similar to the other posts. But that is an ad.

You may find them in social media feeds or as recommended content on different web pages. 

Different types of native advertising are:

  • In-feed ads: add that you can see them in your news feed on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
  • In search and promoted lists: the ads that you see when you search for something in application stores or your Google search results. 
  • Content recommendations: when you see a banner or link when you are reading an article or something like this.

 There are many benefits for marketers to use native advertising. We just mention some of them:

1- They actually work. Consumes watch native ads by 53% more than other types of display ads. Studies have shown that native ads increase purchase intent by 18%. 

2- There’s a concept called ad fatigue. It’s the main reason people don’t like ads. After a while, people stop paying attention to the ads because they are bored. As long as advertisements are relevant and interesting, they will engage the audience. 

3- People treat native ads like usual posts and they don’t see them as usual ads. It’s because of the nature of native apps. They don’t distract users.

Content marketing

Content is the king. 

Bill Gates by saying this had a point. Content is the future but it can’t be all of it alone. 

Content can be anything. it can be a value, a product, or a service.

But with the term content marketing, we mean using content to promote something else which can be content, too. 

Let’s put it this way. You have written a book and you want to sell it. You can use content marketing to sell the book which is another form of the content itself. 

Content marketing channels are:

  • Blog posts: writing articles and publishing them in blogs can help you increase the traffic and change your visitors into leads. These articles and posts can show your industry and your expertise. It also helps you to generate organic visitors. 
  • eBooks: eBooks or long contents to help your visitors learn something. 
  • Infographics: infographics or one of the most favorite platforms to show some visual information. They say a picture can say thousands of words. Well said. Infographics approve it. 
  • Podcasts: Podcasts are recorded radio programs that are created to be heard or downloaded through the internet platforms. 
  • Apps: applications are one of the most important channels of content marketing. When you deploy an app, you will get much more engagement. But to increase this engagement, your app should bring the user content to keep him using the app. This content can be a service or any other type of content that provides value for the user.  

If you’re into apps, dwazilla can help you. We ensure you about the quality of the app because we follow the trends and we know how to create a game-changer app for your business. We work on different platforms and develop apps for mobile devices and software for platforms like Windows. 

Sometimes you as a company pay a fee to a person or another company to create and promote content about your brand, its products, or its services. 

Sponsored content works with the mind of the customer. Psychologically, when the customer sees your brand alongside other things that he enjoys, it makes your brand feel trustworthy.

If the ad is placed right, the user won’t feel it’s disrupting. And the user may even like it. 

Sponsored content is mutually beneficial for the content creator and the product creator.

One good example of sponsored content is using influencer marketers (influencers). 

People like influencers and they listen to what they say. So, if an influencer shows that he or she is using your products and he or she is satisfied with it, there’s a high chance that his or her followers follow him or her in this activity. 

Another way for using sponsored content is to practice reviewing posts. In this kind of sponsored content marketing, well-known websites talk about the experience of using your products or services. In this method, posts can be featured with your link that works as a backlink here. 

Online PR

Online PR or online public relations is where the boundaries between classic PR, social media, SEO, and marketing are kind of blurry. It’s a mix of all of your communication channels and communication tools together. 

Online PR main objectives are:

  • Communication about information
  • Increasing of attention
  • Increasing online reputation
  • Achieving the highest degree of reality
  • Measuring success
  • Create an efficient cost-benefit ratio

Online PR channels include:

  • Interviews with journalists and reporters: you should make an efficient relationship with the press. It helps you to increase your brand awareness.
  • Engaging online reviews: it doesn’t matter if the review is perfectly good or somehow bad. It’s just important to get the engagement. Don’t forget to make your brand humanized as much as possible and it’s one of the best ways to do so.
  • Engaging comments: comments are free user-generated content (UGC). Creating a conversation about your industry is one of the best ways to increase the interaction with your customers and make your brand more human-like. 

Email marketing

Email marketing is one of the old-fashioned ways of online digital marketing. But it is still useful and companies use this method to achieve their different goals.

These goals can be informing users about new content, discounts, and events.

 In fact, companies still use email marketing to communicate with their audiences. 

These types of emails can be:

  • Newsletters
  • Customer welcome emails
  • Loyalty program members
  • Holiday promotions
  • Tips about the services or products
  • Follow up emails

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based advertising that you receive a commission to promote another company’s product or services on your website or other social media platforms. 

Affiliate marketing is a common tactic to increase sales and generate significant online leads for more revenue. 

It’s beneficial for both the parties, the brand, and the affiliate marketer.

It can be hosting video ads in your YouTube partner program or posting affiliate links on your social media accounts. 

In affiliate marketing three parties are involved:

1- Main sellers or product creators

2- Affiliate marketer or advertiser

3- The consumer

We give you a little more detail about each one of these.

  • The seller or the brand is not necessarily involved in the marketing activity. But they can be the advertiser and profit from the revenue. 
  • The affiliate or publisher or marketer can be an individual or a company that markets the product for the seller. If they succeed in selling a product or service, the affiliate receives a portion of made revenue. Some affiliates have targeted audiences which makes choosing them easier for the sellers. 
  • This cycle can’t be formed without the consumer part. The consumer buys the product and the seller and the affiliate share the profits.

Some people believe that affiliate marketing increases the final costs, so they have to pay more for the product or the service. It is wrong. Affiliate marketing is another way of marketing. And companies usually consider the marketing expenses in the retail price.

There are different ways for affiliate marketers to get paid:

  • Pay per sale: this is the most common way for affiliate marketers to get paid. In this method when the consumer buys the product, the affiliate marketer gets the percentage of the sale price. 
  • Pay per lead: there is another program to pay to the marketers but it’s a little more complex. In this program, the affiliate should pursue the consumer to visit the seller’s website and complete the wanted action. This action can be buying a product, subscribing to a newsletter, downloading an application, or even filling out a form.
  • Pay per click: in this program, the focus is on incentivizing the affiliate to redirect customers from their platform to the seller’s website. So, the more traffic the affiliate marketer creates for the seller’s website, the more s\he will get paid.

Common types of affiliate marketing channels are influencers, bloggers, email lists, and large media websites.

Marketing automation

Marketing automation is the use of software that excludes your basic marketing operations automatically. This method is a procedure of advertising in which machines get the job done. You just need to set up the desired processes and the advertising software automatically runs what you have asked it. It can integrate processes and practice its duties on a specific schedule.  

Marketing automation has many ways but the most important ones are:

  • Email newsletters: marketing automation tools let you choose to whom you want to send your emails. It gives you a list and this list can be extended by time. So, you will interact better with your audiences.
  • Campaign tracking and reporting: campaigns are something complex. They have many factors like email content, web page, phone calls, social media platforms, and more. Marketing automation lets you sort everything in a running campaign. It also lets you track the performance of the campaign and its progress over time. 
  • Making more leads: in these programs, you can automate the process by sending emails to specific customers that include specific content. For instance, you can check if a customer has opened a link or downloaded your app. If the answer is yes, more content will be sent to the customer.
  • Scheduling your social media posts: growing your social media is a time-consuming process. If you want to be seen, you must post frequently and on time. Talking about time, you may know about it, not every time is the most suitable time to post content on your social media. You can create the content anytime, but it’s important when to post it. You can make it an automated process so it will deliver better results. 

Inbound marketing

In simple words, inbound marketing is about creating content that is valuable for the people and makes them follow you. It’s not only about creating content, but it’s all about becoming the user’s friend. 

Selling is a process and the buyer experiences many stages in this process. Inbound marketing refers to engaging and delighting customers at every stage of buying.

Its final goal is to build a lasting relationship with customers. It’s important to make a meaningful relationship with them and make your customers feel valued.

This methodology includes three phases:

  • Engage: 

you should present your solutions for the customer problems.

  • Attract: 

You should play the role of a good adviser to make them trust you. This goal can be reached through creating valuable content.

  • Delight:

Should try to support your customers to find success with their purchase.

Each one of these parts has some specific strategies. 

  • Attracting strategies:

To attract your target audience, you have to create proper content. The content can be blog articles, content offers, and social media posts.

Using the content, you should show value to your customers and solve their problems. 

  • Engaging strategies:

When you want to engage with your audience ensure you’re communicating in the best way. This communication should make them want to make a long-term relationship with your company. 

  • Delighting strategies:

 The concept of delighting inbound strategies is all about ensuring that the customers are happy after the purchase. You should support the customer as an adviser and expert.

You should try to make customers feel that you are helping them, not just selling them your services or products. 

Inbound marketing has experienced many changes through the years. The classic examples of inbound marketing are:

  • Pop-up ads
  • Commercial advertising
  • Email spam

But new methods are more user-friendly. Here are the examples:

  • Blogging
  • Video marketing
  • Email contact lists

What is a digital marketing strategy?

Digital marketing strategy is described as a series of actions that utilize online marketing channels to achieve specific goals. These channels can be owned, paid, or earned media.

It’s the first thing you need to consider before doing any big movement like running a campaign.

Before choosing a strategy, you need to find your needs and desired goals. So, since you have a unique company, you need to have a unique strategy.

Any digital marketing strategy should set some goals for the short, medium, and long term.

You better keep in mind that long-term goals are not necessarily more important than short-term ones.

specifying your goals lets you develop a better plan for your business. 

What’s the difference between digital marketing campaigns and digital marketing strategies?

A digital marketing strategy is something that you need to create before running a digital marketing campaign. Digital marketing strategy is a map and digital marketing campaign is the trip.

How to create a digital marketing strategy

Now you know the importance of a good digital marketing strategy. But do you know how to make one?

Here are some steps to create a proper digital marketing strategy.

  • Create your customers’ personas

If you want to design a successful digital marketing strategy, first, you should know your customers better.

and what’s the best way to know your possible customers better? Creating buyer personas.

Customer personas are those persons that show the people who are interested in your business.

Most successful companies have some types of people who are interested in the products or services. Creating authentic personas helps you understand each of these types better and deeper. The more your knowledge is about your customer, the better digital marketing strategy you will make.

To create an efficient buyer persona, you should document some demographic information like their location, age, income, and job. But if you want to make it even better, you will need more information like their goals, interests, challenges, and hobbies.

Having this information, you can form their personas and create a more efficient digital marketing strategy.

  • Set your goals

As we mentioned before, there are different types of goals in a digital marketing strategy. goals are the most important part of any digital marketing action plan. you cannot create a digital marketing strategy without knowing what you want to get. You can start that trip but you won’t know where you will get. 

To set a goal first you need to know some basic information:

  1. What do you want to achieve?
  2. When do you want to reach your goal?
  3. How will you measure your achievement?

There’s a concept called S.M.A.R.T goals which you can use for your digital marketing strategy. The term stands for:

  • Specific

Your goals should be specifically defined. Things like having more visitors are general and will not help you. Unit something specific like having X number visitors.

  • Measurable

You should use proper tools to measure your success. That’s why it’s important to set specific goals.

  • Attainable

Many companies fly high and forget to set realistic goals. It’s a common mistake but it’s not acceptable. You can dream about things but you shouldn’t get confused between dreaming and setting goals.

  •  Relevant

It’s important to keep in mind that what you’re doing should support your idea of achieving your goals. There are many beneficial activities that may not help you reach your target. Concentrate on your goals and do what you need to do.

  • Timely

Again, as we mentioned above, there are different types of goals: Short-term ones, medium-term ones, and long-term ones. it is crucial to set a time frame to check if you have obtained your goals or not. So, it is important to have deadlines.

  • Audit your current digital marketing strategies

You can’t improve when you don’t audit what you have already. it is important to have a complete understanding of what you’re doing and then you can understand how you can improve it. 

And to have a better understanding of your current digital marketing strategies you need to know some basic concepts. 

  • Earned Media

any kind of content about your business that is not created by you is called earned media.

Earned media range from awards to articles about your business. For example, if your application wins the second prize for its UX design, it’s a form of earned media. You haven’t paid to get that position, but you have earned it. When someone encourages other people to use your services or products and you don’t pay that user, it’s earned media.

  • Owned Media

Any kind of media that’s you have made is a form of owned media. Owned media can be blog posts, social media profiles, your website, or any image that you produce.

  • Paid Media

As the name suggests, any kind of media that you pay to advertise your business is paid media. Paid media mostly refers to advertisements like social media ads or PPC ads. you have to choose wisely to whom your paid media will be shown. It’s the only way to enhance your digital marketing strategy. If you can choose wisely the people who are interested in your products and your services, there’s a high chance that you reach your goals much easier. 

After gathering information about your media, you can audit your current digital marketing strategy and try to make a better version of it. For example, you will find out that pay per click is the most suitable strategy for your company. And also, you can find your weak points. Having this information helps you manage your budget more efficiently and run a better campaign.

  • Set a budget

You may have very wonderful plans for your digital marketing strategy, but are your resources enough to make it possible?

You should know exactly how much you can spend.

There are many different tactics that you can spend your money on. But the best tactic is using multiple tactics. You should not overspend your money on just one way to advertise your service or product. 

And money is not your only resource. People are one of the most essential resources you need to have. You must consider how many people you need to work with to run your campaign. 

There is something else you need to consider: tools.

People need tools to help you run your campaign. Some of these tools are for free but you have to pay for some of them. Google Analytics is one of those free tools which can help you monitor your campaign efficiently.

Who is a digital marketer?

Digital marketers help your company increase brand awareness and lead generation through all the digital channels. 

They usually focus on a different key performance indicator (KPI) to measure companies’ performance in marketing. 

Nowadays digital marketers have different trolls in big companies. But in small companies, there still is a chance that there is someone who is in charge of all of these activities. 

Let’s get to know better some of the digital marketing specialists:

  • SEO manager

SEO managers check organic traffic as the main KPI. Their main objective is to get a better rank for the website on Google. They usually work directly with content creators to make them produce Google-friendly content.

  • Content marketing specialist

Content marketing specialists check the time on page, YouTube channel subscribers, and overall blog traffic as the main KPIs. 

They are usually digital content creators. But there’s a connection between them and some other departments to make the campaigns run better. 

  • Social media manager

These specialists check follows, shares, and impressions as the main KPIs. They establish a schedule for content that should be posted. They usually have a close relationship with content creators.

Conclusion

Digital marketing is the key to success nowadays. 

It has many benefits like cost efficiency and increasing brand awareness. Digital marketing works with any kind of business and it’s more useful than any traditional method of marketing. 

You can measure your success in digital marketing and it helps you remove your weak points. 

There are really big companies that because of weak performance in digital marketing people will not remember them as big players. And on the other hand, some small companies have played the game very well and everyone thinks they are really big companies. 

It’s the power of marketing.

FAQs:

What is the difference between native advertising and sponsored content?

There’s a little difference between them. Any kind of sponsored content is somehow native advertising but not all of the native advertising can be sponsored content.

Does digital marketing help all businesses?

Digital marketing can help any business in any industry. Big or small, no matter. Digital marketing involves building out personas and helps you identify your audience needs. But as mentioned before, any company is unique and needs a unique digital marketing strategy. 

What is the difference between B2B (business to business) digital marketing and B2C (business to customer) digital marketing?

In B2B digital marketing the main goal is to create more leads. Your digital channels should support your salesperson. Social platforms like LinkedIn are better for this kind of digital marketing.

But in B2C digital marketing, your goal is to attract people to your website and change your visitors into buying customers. In this kind of digital marketing, you should focus on call-to-action (CTA) stuff. So, Instagram and Pinterest are bigger platforms for B2C companies. 

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