So What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital Marketing goes by many names. You may have heard it called internet marketing, web marketing or even online marketing. The truth is they are the same. The way that I explain it to people is that digital marketing is any form of promoting your website or business using any online resources such as your website, social media, search engines, etc.
Popular Types of Digital Marketing
The truth is there a ton of different options when considering advertising online. In this article I’ll cover all the major types of digital marketing you should familiarize yourself with. I’ll also provide a brief description of each to get you started.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
In its simplest form, SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to improve how high your website appears in search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. SEO is one of the biggest misunderstood forms of digital marketing. Do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with SEO and the basics of optimizing your website for better rankings in unpaid or organic search results.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is one of the most popular forms of marketing for startups and small businesses. It is also one of the cheapest and easiest forms of promoting your business. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat allow you to reach huge audiences for free.
Most social media networks also have paid advertising options as well. Paid options allow you gain exposure to audiences you would otherwise not be able to reach through organic social media strategies.
Email marketing is one of the most popular and complex forms of digital marketing. It allows you to repeatedly communicate directly to your audience’s inbox. You can encourage them to take action on your website or social media page. If you’re using any form of online marketing, you should take advantage of an email marketing service.
This will allow you to collect names and email addresses of your website visitors. Once they have signed up you can target them directly through emails. There are many clever strategies for email marketing but for now just know that if you have a website you should be collecting email addresses.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising & Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
I’m sure you’ve heard of Google AdWords, Bing Ads or even Facebook Ads. These are all forms of PPC Advertising. With PPC Advertising you pay a service such as Google or Facebook to display your ads. You bid on the top spots of search results in an auction style format.
If someone clicks on of your ads they are directed to your website or landing page. There are many types of PPC Ads to choose from such as text ads (as shown above), product ads, display ads and more.
If you’ve ever seen a banner ad on a website chances are you’re familiar with display advertising. With display advertising you create images or animated graphics to display on other websites. These websites should feature content or topics related to your business.
The most popular service for this type of advertising is The Google Display Network. In display advertising you upload graphics to display on a large network of other websites. In turn they get paid for every member of their audience who sees or clicks on your ad.
Check Out Google Display Network
The idea behind content marketing is to create blog posts, videos and social media posts related to your products. However, the purpose of this content is not to directly sell your products. Here’s an example: If I ran a company that sold lawn and garden equipment I might start a blog on my existing website where I give out tips for maintaining a healthy lawn.
The purpose here is to give your readers something for free. In turn they are more likely to purchase from you because you’ve established a relationship. Instead of pushing them to buy something from me I could encourage them to sign up to an email newsletter.
If they choose to sign up for my email newsletter I have built a level of trust with them. This makes them a more qualified lead for my business. So when the time comes that I do push them to buy from me, they are more willing to do so.
Not only does content marketing help boost SEO is it also useful for gaining authority in your market.
Affiliate marketing is like a virtual sales person who gets a commision for referring sales for products or services. So let’s say you run a photography blog where you give your audience tips for shooting great photos. You might use affiliate marketing to promote another company’s photography equipment.
If someone from your website clicks an affiliate link and completes a purchase on another site, you get a commision for that sale. it’s a great way to make money selling products without having to setup and maintain an online shopping cart. It’s also great for product manufacturers looking to sell more products to a wider audience.
There’s no denying that videos are a great way to engage your audience. With the advances of smartphone cameras the need for expensive equipment is going by the wayside. Sites like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram allow you to post videos to their site and share them with virtually everyone online.
Let’s say you have a product or service you would like to advertise. You can create a short video ad which will run before popular videos. Preferably ones relating to your target audience. Think Pay-Per-Click for video.
Check Out YouTube Ads
Digital Radio Marketing
There has been some resurgence in the world of radio thanks to services like Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio and Podcasts. I generally think of this area of marketing in two categories: internet radio advertising and podcasts.
With internet radio advertising you can create short audio advertisements to target consumers. Based on their location or music preference these ads will play between songs or programs.
Podcasts are a great and relatively simple way to create an audio radio show where you talk about anything related to your niche. Podcasts are great for building authority. If your podcast can generate a decent number of followers you can also have other companies pay you to sponsor your show.
So What’s Next?
If you’ve enjoyed this article I encourage you to sign up to my email Newsletter. I will be taking a deeper dive into each of these forms of digital marketing and giving out tons of advice, tip and tricks and resources to get you started setting up successful digital marketing campaigns.
- Familiarize yourself with good SEO practices
- Research which social media sites you plan to utilize
- Register with an email marketing service
- Without getting into details, start making an overall digital marketing plan
- Are you looking to grow an audience or generate traffic?
- Are you trying to sell a product or service?
- Are you trying to simply gain exposure to build your brand?
By doing these four simple things you will already have a leg up on your competitors. Even if you don’t have a website yet I would encourage you to do some online research. Do a search for “good SEO practices” and create a quick plan on which social media services you intend to use and how.
Based on your overall marketing plan start piecing together which forms of internet marketing will help you achieve that goal.