Digital Marketing – A Simple Guide to Understand What It Is

Digital Marketing. The strategy which is part of every discussion in marketing & branding meeting these days.

I came across the term Digital Marketing while exploring methods to grow my business online and generate more leads in 2009.

Now, it has become an essential aspect of the marketing & advertising industry.

All businesses are finding a way to include it as a part of their marketing and advertisement campaigns.

Digital Marketing is the future and that’s why it is an essential skill to acquire as a marketer.

I have come up with this simple guide which will help you explore the basics.

First, let’s look at the definition:

Digital Marketing is the ability to deliver advertising & marketing through various digital mediums such as email, search engine, social media, web & mobile applications.

Most of the experts say that Digital Marketing means advertising through devices connected to the internet.

From my experience, I have learned that there are two methods of Digital Marketing:

  1. Online
  2. Offline
Digital Marketing Representation BeingFounder
BeingFounder Digital Marketing Representation

Let’s take a deep dive into both methods. 

Online Digital Marketing:

You know the term “online”, which means any device connected to the internet.

Let’s keep it very basic. Any electronic device connected to the internet serving the marketing or advertising content is known as Online Marketing.

Online marketing is the pillar and most used form of digital marketing as you know that most people use smartphones and internet today.

Look at the latest info graph below by Datareportal on digital connectivity around the world.

what-is-digital-marketing-2020-april-global-statshot-report-april-2020-beingfounder
Image Source: Datareportal

Whether you search for anything on Google, follow a celebrity/brand on Instagram, or read an article online on your phone/computer. All of these methods represents a form of online marketing.

Don’t worry if you are not able to understand specific terms, as we will cover them in the next articles.

Let’s go through different types of online marketing methods used:

1. Search Engine Optimization 

Sometimes, a question comes to your mind. And you want an answer immediately!

The first thing that you do is, go to Google and search for an answer.

Google is the most popular search engine and you can search for any question’s answer that you have on your mind.

You type in your question and hit the search button. And, you see list of different websites related to your search. These results are called top-ranking results or first-page results.

The process of achieving this top-ranking result in search engines is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

SEO is method of achieving higher ranking in search engines to get more visibility and visitors to the webpages.

Visitors or Users are mostly referred as “Traffic” in Online Marketing.

The top ranking and higher visibility using SEO generates traffic to the web page which is popularly known as “Organic Traffic” or “Organic Search Traffic.”

Brands use the term “organic” for their metrics as they don’t pay anything to search engines for ranking on top or higher in search results.

2. Search Engine Marketing 

What you learnt above was everything about unpaid or organic results.

Apart from organic page results, you may have seen some results on top, bottom, or side of the query you searched for with a small “Ad” tag on it.

These results are the paid advertisements on search engines, which is known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

The traditional and simplified method for paid advertising on the search engine is a Pay per Click (PPC).

3. Social Media Marketing (SMM) 

We all use different social media platforms to stay connected with our family and friends to share moments using messages, photos & videos.

Brands started using social media platforms to share content to connect with the audience and increase their website traffic.

Social Media Marketing is the use of social media platforms by brands to connect with the audience by promoting content to increase website traffic and sales.

In the advertising industry, it is famous as SMM.

There are three primary reasons for the popularity of social media platforms in the advertising industry:

  1. Targeted Audience.
  2. Ease of Direct engagement.
  3. Analytics & Reports.

Some of the popular social media platforms used daily are:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Twitter
  5. Whatsapp
  6. Snapchat
  7. Youtube

Social media platforms are popular. Even celebrities use it to stay connected with their fans.

There are individuals with a large following on social media platforms who are as famous as celebrities are.

And, they impact their followers (audience) thought process, they are known as Social Media Influencers.

Brands use these influencers to do marketing for their product and endorsements. This type of marketing is famous as Influencer Marketing.

It is a popular method of SMM used amongst social media channels right now.

4. Content Marketing 

You reading this article right now OR a service page of any website OR even your bank website page for some information. All of this is known as “Content” in terms of Online Marketing.

Content Marketing is popular as it’s the only way to top in search engines.

Content is beneficial to reach users through different channels like social media, emails or newsletters.

The strategy of content distribution through different channels to maximize the reach/exposure is called Content Marketing.

5. Email Marketing 

Do you receive emails for discount offers, product launch or any kind of promotions?

Yes, we all do!

This marketing tactic is how brands keep their customers updated by sending them personalized emails to maintain engagement.

It’s straightforward to understand this online marketing method. Any kind of promotion & marketing done using emails is known as email marketing.

Email marketing is the traditional method of digital marketing.

6. Affiliate Marketing 

Did you ever buy something after taking a review from your friend or family member?

The answer is Yes!

In the online world, we all check for reviews, product explanation articles or videos, or endorsements from celebrities or influencers whom we follow for a recommendation of the products or brands.

Their job is to recommend the products, services & brands. They may ask you to click the link in their blog or videos to get discount offers.

So, when you click the link and make a purchase following the link. The endorser gets paid as a percentage of that sale.

This method is called affiliate marketing. An online creator who may be a blogger, Youtube channel creator or influencer acts as a partner, a.k.a. Affiliate for the brand to endorse and sell their products to receive commissions.

*In the next few weeks, Affiliate Marketing Guide is releasing. Do follow @BeingFounder on Instagram to stay updated.

Offline Digital Marketing

1. SMS marketing

70% of the population use a mobile phone. Keeping this fact on hand, what other methods could be better than SMS for advertising without the internet connection?

Let it be your bank or your local restaurant or your barbershop. All of them use this offline digital marketing method. It has a higher open rate than emails.

2. IVR or Robo Calls

Sometimes you receive a call from an unknown number. As soon as you pick up the call, you hear the recorded voice message.

The term for pre-recorded calls is IVR (Interactive Voice Response).

This method is very popular amongst banks to keep their customers updated. Because of this, it is widely popular for marketing and promotions too.

3. TV & Radio Ads

Television Ads are the boss of all offline advertisements as they can reach a wider audience. Yet, these idiot boxes are necessary entertainment units of every home.

We may think radio Ads are not much popular now, and people are moving to online music using applications like Spotify, Gaana etc.

Brands use radio ads for their promotions as it has a unique ability to serve advertisements in the local language.

Rest offline marketing channels includes Electronic Bill Boards and telemarketing.

I am not going to get into details of these methods because you know what they are. We have seen it since our childhood.

I think we have covered the basics of Digital Marketing to understand what it is and where it is useful.

Digital Marketing FAQ’S

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital Marketing means the ability to advertise through digital mediums such as email, search engine, social media, web & mobile applications.

What are the methods used for Digital Marketing?

There are two methods used to deliver advertisements using digital marketing:
1. Online Marketing
2. Offline Marketing

What are the types of Online Marketing?

Online Marketing means the delivery of advertising through any digital device connected to internet. Below are some popular methods of Online Marketing:
1. Search Engine Optimization
2. Search Engine Marketing
3. Social Media Marketing
4. Influencer Marketing
5. Content Marketing
6. Affiliate Marketing
7. Email Marketing

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