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The term ‘Digital Marketing’ has been around for a while but it seems to be coming into its own in recent years.

In this blog post, we are going to understand in depth what is Digital Marketing and how to best use it to leverage your presence and brand equity online.

So let’s get to the core of it…

What Is Digital Marketing? – [ Definition ]

At a macro level, Digital Marketing refers to advertising delivered through digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, podcasts, mobile & web applications or any new digital channel.

To put it simply,

Digital Marketing is a form of advertising and marketing of products or services that involves the use of electronic devices or the internet.

The main objective of Digital Marketing is to make what you offer, look good online.

In the early days of the Internet, Digital Marketing was more commonly referred to as Internet Marketing, Online Marketing or E-Marketing.

Digital marketing is a powerful way to connect your business with your target audience.

Philip Kotler is often regarded as the father of Modern Marketing.

digital marketing experts
digital marketing experts

When it comes to who could be regarded as the father of Digital Marketing, the 3 names that distinctly come to my mind are Seth Godin, Rand Fishkin & Neil Patel.

what is digital marketing
what is digital marketing

Marketing vs Advertising: What is the difference?

Advertising involves a company or brand paying to get its message in front of a targeted group of people sometimes also referred to as the Customer Avatar.

On the other hand, Marketing is a much broader term. It includes not just every aspect of advertising, but also the research needed to serve those ads properly, to price those goods and services competitively, and to monitor the efficacy of all related efforts.

To put it simply, advertising refers to all the activities of a company driven towards making its products and services known to its target audience and marketing refers to all the activities of a company driven towards making its products and services desirable to its target audience.

In this blog post, I’m not just going to tell you in detail what is digital marketing but also all the various aspects of digital marketing so that you get a holistic perspective on it.

Here’s a small glimpse of everything we will be covering…

So let’s get started with…

What Are The Different Digital Marketing Channels?

Here’s a list of some of the different Digital Marketing Channels you can use to create an effective Digital Marketing Strategy for yourself or your brand:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Content Marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) | Paid Advertising
  • Social Media Marketing & Strategy
  • E-Mail Marketing & Email Outreach
  • Video Marketing
  • Podcast Marketing
  • Mobile Apps Marketing
  • Website Analytics & Conversion Rate Optimisation
  • Sales Funnel Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Chatbot Marketing
  • Marketing Automation

Let’s take a look at each of these Digital Marketing Channels…

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results.

Definition:

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through natural or organic search engine results.

In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search engine results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users.

These visitors can then be converted into leads, customers & even raving fans!

The 4 Core Pillars of SEO are:

  1. Technical SEO
  2. Content
  3. On-Page SEO &
  4. Off-Page SEO

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a way of marketing your products and services that leverages the power of creating and publishing extremely valuable, useful and relevant content that helps your brand attract and retain a clearly defined target audience – which, ultimately helps drive profitable customer action & behaviour.

Creating quality content, however, is only the first step in the process. To be effective, content marketing must be integrated into your overall marketing strategy.

This strategy must also be supported by specific goals, metrics, and a content calendar that will help you meet your business objectives.

The ultimate objective of Content Marketing is to capture leads and move them along your sales funnel toward becoming paying customers.

blog post creation checklist
blog post creation checklist

SEO vs Content Marketing:

SEO & Content Marketing are often used interchangeably and confused to mean one and the same. They might be closely related but they differ slightly in their approach & meaning.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Content Marketing are two different approaches to improving your Google rankings.

While SEO relies on giving Search Engine Algorithms exactly what they’re looking for, Content Marketing helps you create content that people are looking for on their own.

Both approaches have their strengths, and an Integrated Digital Marketing Strategy should always take into consideration both these approaches in creating a holistic digital marketing campaign.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) | Paid Advertising

Search Engine Marketing(SEM), is a form of advertising that uses online ads to drive brand awareness and consideration.

You can think of SEM as the online equivalent to traditional forms of advertising, like Print, TV, and Radio.

SEM vs SEO

Search Engine Marketing refers to an approach that uses paid methods to appear in search results while Search Engine Optimisation refers to an approach that uses organic/natural/unpaid methods to appear in search results.

The 4 Main Pillars of SEM are:

  1. Know What Your Goals / Objectives / KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) are
  2. Testing
  3. Return on Investment (ROI)
  4. Leveraging & Scaling

Social Media Marketing & Strategy

The internet has made it possible to reach out to millions of people in a short period of time.

Social Media Marketing is a way of harnessing the power of Social Media to reach out to potential customers, get feedback on products, build a brand name, and more.

Social Media Marketing involves using social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others to market your business and products.

Social Media Marketing is a way to drive people to your website and create awareness for your brand.

Social Media Marketing is not simply posting on social media sites. It is not another word for branding.

It is not a replacement for SEO or SEM. Social Media Marketing is not a standalone strategy. It is not a campaign.

It is also not simply about putting something out there and hoping people find it. It is not about creating pages on social media sites just to have a presence on them.

An ideal Social Media Marketing Strategy is the one that finds a way to tap into the power of communities and networks to create brand awareness, foster relationships, and spread your message & mission with the world.

Email Marketing

Email Marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your audience, whether it is your customers, employees or potential customers.

Email Marketing is the process of sending emails to a list of people who have consented to receive emails from you.

Email Marketing is also known as Direct Marketing or Permission Marketing.

Email marketing is a form of Electronic or Digital Marketing that enables businesses to promote and sell products directly to consumers via email.

Video Marketing

Video marketing is a great way to get your message out to your audience.

Video Marketing lets you visually demonstrate a key message or idea, which is much more engaging than just reading words on a page.

Video marketing is especially useful for creating “how-to” content since it’s hard for your audience to misinterpret your message if it’s demonstrated in a video.

And no, Video Marketing is not the next big thing.

It’s already a big thing and if you wish to create an effective digital marketing strategy, you need to have Video Marketing fully integrated into it!

Podcast Marketing

Podcasting is a great way to share information with the world. It is a way to take a person’s voice and put it online, where anyone who has time to listen can listen to it.

A podcast is a file that contains an audio recording. Podcasting is a form of internet distribution for audio files.

It’s kind of like a radio show that you control. You can create your own program on any topic, put it on the web, and people can listen to it whenever they want.

If you have friends or co-workers who really like the same things you do, you could even record a show together and share it with the world.

Not only is podcasting a great way to market your business, but it’s also a great way to communicate with your customers, or even just promote your product in a fun and engaging way.

Mobile Apps Marketing

In our modern digital world, the major trends are shifting more and more towards mobile communication, be it SMS, Email, MMS, or Social Networking.

For businesses to be successful in the digital world, it is important for them to adapt to the mobile culture and make use of Mobile Marketing.

Creating & developing an environment where you can leverage your brand equity on Mobile devices through the use of Apps, SMS’s, Email & Social Networking is something that more are more companies these days are intending to accomplish.

Web Analytics & Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

Web analytics is important because you have to know how you are doing.

If you have a business website, you need to know if you are getting customers.

If you are getting customers, you need to know what is bringing them to your website.

If they are on your website, you need to know what they are doing, what pages they are visiting or coming from. And so on and so forth.

In fact, you should be doing analytics for your website because it helps you find ways to make it even better.

On the other hand, Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is a process that focuses on improving website conversions.

This is achieved by improving the usability of a website, which is accomplished in a variety of ways, including user experience design, copywriting and user testing.

Conversion rate optimisation is the process of enhancing the proportion of visitors to a website that convert into customers.

Sales Funnel Marketing

A sales funnel is also known as a digital marketing funnel. It is a visual representation of a company’s sales process.

It’s usually divided into 5 Stages: 

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Desire
  4. Decision
  5. Action.

A sales funnel marketing is a marketing technique used to create a potential customer, convert the potential customer into a customer, and ensure the customer stays a customer for the duration of her lifetime.

A sales funnel consists of multiple steps that start with a cold audience and leads them towards a warm audience, where they will eventually have a higher chance of becoming a customer.

If you run an online business and aren’t using a sales funnel, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.

Sales funnels are the lifeblood of any business.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which you earn a commission by promoting someone else’s (the merchant’s) product.

Affiliate Marketing has the potential of generating multiple sources of income for you & your brand.

When it comes to Affiliate Marketing, you get paid a commission every time someone buys a product using one of your special links.

The great thing about Affiliate Marketing is that you don’t have to handle any logistics, processing, or customer service required to send your prospect to the merchant’s website.

Once you get your affiliate links set up, you only need to drive traffic to them using any of the above marketing methods you prefer.

Chatbot Marketing

Chatbot Marketing is the best way to engage with your audience. It’s not a new concept: in the past chatbots have been used to answer simple questions, make reservations, order food, make travel arrangements, and more.

Today, chatbots are taking their capabilities to a new level. Those capabilities are centred around marketing: Chatbots can be used in many ways to help market your products and services.

Chatbot Marketing helps to increase customer engagement and interaction, improve brand credibility and drive sales.

Chatbots can help businesses of every size, across industries, reduce costs and increase sales.

You’ve probably heard of chatbots in various forms, from Siri to Facebook chatbot, and even in Slack.

Chatbot Marketing, however, is different. It is the process of leveraging chatbots to promote your business. The most commonly-used marketing chatbots are Facebook Messenger chatbot and SMS chatbot.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is the process of using software to automate marketing activities.

Such activities include tasks like creating personalized emails to customers, managing social media, and even sending marketing campaigns through email, social media, and SMS.

The goal of marketing automation is to increase sales and marketing effectiveness with less staff.

It is important to note that not everything that can be automated should be automated.

Some tasks – such as creating a sales presentation or generating a list of leads, should still be handled by human marketers.

It’s also important to note that although marketing automation is an exciting new technology, it’s not a silver bullet.

Businesses will still need to have a solid marketing strategy in place to take advantage of its features.

blog niche workbook
blog niche workbook

How Does Digital Marketing Work?

If you would like to know how Digital Marketing works, you need to re-wind the clock by at least 25-30 years to get some historic perspective.

In the early 1990s, if we wanted to buy a Television, our options were pretty limited.

Firstly, there weren’t that many Television Manufacturing Brands, to begin with, and even those Brands, didn’t have as many different models or variants as we have these days.

We would either read an ad for a TV in the newspaper or listen to a commercial on radio or television about it, get a recommendation from a friend, relative or colleague and that’s about it.

Based on the limited options available, ads and recommendations made to us, we would decide on which Television Set to buy.

Now let’s fast-forward, to this time and day…

Things have changed drastically.

what is digital marketing?
what is digital marketing? – ultimate guide

Here’s a small sampling of a few factors we put into consideration before purchasing a Television:

  • What would be the size of the Smart TV we need to buy based on available space and budget constraints
  • What would be the type of display – LCD, LED, OLED etc.
  • Do we have brand loyalty towards any particular manufacturer?
  • What models are available and what features do we want?
  • What would fit our budget and give us the best bang on the buck?
  • What are the online ratings and reviews of other buyers for a particular TV model?
  • What is the general online consensus of the people using a particular brand?
  • Would we get a better price to buy it online or from a retail store/outlet?
  • What is the product warranty and guarantee?
  • What do your friends, relatives & colleagues have to say on the above? etc.

We would be doing a good deal of research online just to arrive at a specific television brand and model to consider for purchase.

And after all our due diligence, we would then decide on a specific TV Brand and Model.

A lot of our decision for making the purchase is influenced through online channels such as e-commerce websites, online reviews and ratings etc, and that’s a classic example of Digital Marketing in action.

Most purchasing decisions begin online.

Therefore, in today’s day and age, it is mission-critical for every brand to have an online presence.

As a brand, the main thing for you to keep in mind is to put yourself in as many places as possible where your ideal target audience hangs out.

You need to understand the pulse of your audience, keep them updated on all the latest industry news, better understand the problems your customers are facing and create content that helps them solve those problems!

As a brand, you need to leverage the power of Social Media channels and platforms to educate, delight & engage with your target audience.

Use the power of Content Marketing & Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) so that your content ranks high on keywords that are important and relevant to you & your brand.

Use Paid Advertising to drive traffic to your website where people can have a great product experience and also get great offers & deals to make it easy for making a purchase.

Have an E-mail Marketing and follow-up strategy in place to keep in touch with your target audience and keep your brand on top of your customer’s mind.

When you put all of the above pieces together, what you will end up with is a well Integrated Digital Marketing Strategy that will serve you and your customers well for a very long time.

When you’re just starting out, a well-oiled & integrated digital marketing strategy might come across as extremely overwhelming and intimidating, but the good news is that you don’t need to master all the digital marketing strategies at one go!

You can tackle them one at a time, integrate the strategy fully well and then move on to the next one.

Just focus on one strategy at a time and in the long run, you will have built a well-oiled digital marketing machine!

Click on the link below to get yourself started…

Examples of Digital Marketing

Here are a few examples of brilliant Digital Marketing in action!

Digital Marketing Case Study – Amul India:

When it comes to brand positioning and social media marketing campaigns, Amul India has got its strategy on point!

Amul India is one of the most legendary Poster Brands not just online but also offline.

They know the exact pulse of what’s happening and trending and they are pretty opinionated about their stand on issues in a very positive way.

Here’s an example…

amul india cricket campaign
amul india cricket campaign

Digital Marketing Case Study – Amazon India:

When Amazon entered the Indian E-Commerce Market, it was quite a crowded and highly competitive space which included successful and popular brands such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, Myntra & Jabong.

But in just a few, what Jeff Bezos has been able to achieve in the Indian Market is nothing short of remarkable.

Using the power of Amazon Prime, they provided 24-hour guaranteed delivery for a slew of e-commerce products.

They also included Amazon Prime Video & Amazon Music Subscription free with their Prime Membership which makes it highly appealing.

They have priced Kindle Unlimited, Audible Membership and many other subscriptions at a highly competitive price to make it lucrative.

Digital Marketing Case Study – UberSuggest:

Neil Patel is the mastermind behind the huge success of UberSuggest.

In the early days of UberSuggest, when the product had very few users, he kept all the functionality of the tool absolutely free.

Since it provided a great deal of utility and value, a lot of users flocked to it and that’s how UberSuggest considerably increased its user base.

A little later, Neil Patel introduced a freemium model and the users had to create an account to use the service.

The way the freemium model worked was that the users had a certain finite number of keyword ideas and searches available each day and if they happened to exceed it, they would be asked to upgrade to a paid plan.

Much later, as of now, in early 2021, the premium version of UberSuggest is available at a monthly subscription as well as a one time or lifetime price.

This kind of phased rollout and marketing strategy is simply brilliant!

Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing are two marketing methods often used by businesses to promote their products and services.

Both have their strengths & weaknesses, and it all depends on the goals of the business and its target market.

Traditional marketing includes methods such as print advertising, television and radio advertising, direct mail marketing, and other promotional strategies.

Traditional Marketing is far from dead.

In fact, many companies are turning to Traditional Marketing to supplement their Digital Marketing Campaigns.

Digital Marketing, on the other hand, uses the internet and other digital channels to market a business’ products and services as we have already seen from our discussion above.

Digital Marketing vs Social Media Marketing

Some people think that there’s no difference between digital marketing and social media marketing.

In reality, the two are very different, and the impact and effectiveness of each can’t be compared.

Digital Marketing uses both online and offline methods to reach out to the target audience & also includes Social Media Marketing as one of its Channels of Marketing.

On the other hand, Social Media Marketing is limited only to online methods and strategies.

Social Media Marketing may focus on one or more social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.

Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing is the process of bringing customers in by providing high-quality content that will get them involved – such as blogs, ebooks, guides, infographics, and whitepapers.

Inbound marketing starts with you knowing who you are and who you want to attract. It’s about creating content that attracts that audience.

Outbound Marketing is the process of actively reaching out to your audience to sell them on your products.

Outbound Marketing is the opposite of Inbound Marketing.

It focuses on Advertising, whereas Inbound Marketing focuses on attracting customers through Content Marketing.

Outbound marketing is based on generating interest through advertising and promotion, rather than letting the customer discover the product or service through inbound marketing efforts.

While Outbound Marketing is still a viable strategy, Inbound Marketing is quickly becoming the gold standard for Digital Marketing.

Inbound Marketing vs Content Marketing

From our above discussion, it might become obvious to you that the two terms, Inbound Marketing & Content Marketing are a lot similar or perhaps one and the same.

But, the truth is that both these terms differ slightly in their meaning.

Content Marketing primarily focuses on the creation & distribution of content across various multiple channels, viz. writing a pillar content piece & sharing it on social media and various related groups and communities to ensure that it is read and shared.

On the other hand, Inbound Marketing focuses on making your website and the content on it, attractive & appealing to your target audience so that they perform a well-defined objective or a call to action on it, viz. completing a survey, opting into your company newsletter, completing a form, following on social media or even making a purchase.

Content Marketing focuses on blogging and content creation, whereas Inbound Marketing considers a large variety of methods from blogs to social media to video & even podcasts.

Content marketing is a single strategy, whereas Inbound Marketing is a complete methodology that focuses on drawing customers in with multi-channel traffic sources.

How To Create A Digital Marketing Strategy?

Now that you know why having a Digital Marketing strategy is mission-critical for your business, let us break down the steps need for you to create a well-integrated Digital Marketing Strategy.

1. Determine Your Digital Marketing Goals & Objectives

The first step is to determine what your Digital Marketing goals and objectives are. What would you truly want to achieve in terms of your Digital Marketing strategy?

What Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are important to you and your brand?

2. Choose Appropriate Digital Marketing Channels

The next step is to determine which are the appropriate Digital Marketing channels that can help best execute your marketing goals and objectives.

As we have seen from above, certain digital marketing channels require money & certain channels require time and effort.

The ideal method is to go about choosing the right mix of digital marketing channels from both categories that can provide you with the highest leverage and return on your investment at every stage in your digital marketing journey.

3. Estimate & Set Your Digital Marketing Budget

The next step is to estimate and determine how much adequate at the same time realistic budget would you need to allocate towards your digital marketing budget.

You also need to determine the budget allocation for all the different paid digital marketing channels you wish to incorporate in your digital strategy.

4. Develop An Integrated Digital Marketing Strategy

Once you have your budgeting in place, the next step is to plan & develop a holistic, all-encompassing integrated digital marketing strategy based on both the paid and organic digital marketing channels that you had chosen earlier.

5. Launch & Execute Your Digital Marketing Strategy

This is the step where the rubber meets the road!

In this step, you will be actually going about launching and executing your digital marketing strategy in the most meticulous and optimal manner possible.

6. Track & Monitor Your Digital Marketing Campaign

The next step is to closely track and monitor your campaign.

Check for tweaks, refinements & changes you think are appropriate as you go ahead with the launching and execution of your strategy.

7. Tweak, Refine & Improve Your Digital Marketing Campaign

At certain specific intervals, it is important for you to pause & reflect on the performance and efficacy of your marketing campaign.

You need to continually tweak, refine and improve your digital marketing strategy when it comes to the various digital marketing channels.

Sometimes you might even need to take a look at some new marketing channels if the existing channels aren’t performing to your expectations.

8. Measure Your Digital Marketing ROI

The penultimate step is to measure your digital marketing return on investment.

This step doesn’t just involve measuring the ROI but also ascertaining how it can be further improved.

9. Automate & Scale Your Digital Marketing Strategy

And finally, the ultimate step is to discover & identify all the aspects of your digital marketing strategy that can be automated using digital tools, technology and apps so that you can slowly scale & streamline your digital marketing process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Latest Digital Marketing Trends?

Here are some of the most promising current Digital Marketing Trends:
– Voice Search, Smart Speakers & Voice Assistants
– Conversational Marketing
– AI-Driven Chatbots
– Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning for Marketing
– Consumer Privacy & Consent
– Personalised and User-Centric Marketing
– Influencer Marketing
– Video Marketing
– Visual Search
– Big Data & Deep Learning
– Website Security & Safety
– Social Media Stories, Reels & Bite-Sized Digestible Content
– Browser & Mobile In-App Push Notifications
– Omnichannel Marketing
– Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR) Technologies
– User-Generated Content
– Marketing Automation
– Emergence of Personal Brands
– Content Marketing etc.

What Are The Benefits Of Digital Marketing?

– Improves Consumer Experience
– Helps Target The Right Audience
– Engage the Customer at Every Buying Stage
– Helps Generate Consistent Leads & Sales
– Helps Achieve Better Conversions
– Accurately Measure All Results
– Helps Your Brand Gain Credibility
– Gets You A Better Return on Investment (ROI)
– Creates A Level Playing Field For The Market

Who Is A Digital Marketing Specialist?

A Digital Marketing Specialist is an individual or a professional, who is skilled in creating, implementing and managing marketing campaigns through Internet, utilizing various digital marketing tools like pay-per-click, search engine marketing, social media marketing etc.

A Digital Marketing Specialist knows & has a solid understanding of various digital marketing strategies and tools.

What Does A Digital Marketer Do?

A Digital Marketer is a person who promotes a company through digital media.

A digital marketer might advertise via social media, email marketing, or blogging; might create and manage e-commerce websites or online communities, or write online product reviews or comparison shopping sites.

Digital marketers usually work with a team of other marketers who also help spread the word about a company’s products and services.

Digital marketers need to do more than just post ads online. They need to create content that engages potential customers and help build the online marketing presence of their company.

How Much Does Digital Marketing Cost?

There is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to the cost of digital marketing.

Digital marketing is the most cost-effective and efficient way of marketing your product or service.

The only thing you need is a computer and an internet connection.

There are a wide variety of digital marketing channels & strategies you can use & the cost of digital marketing primarily depends on these channels & strategies.

If you are limited by budget or resources, you can get started with social media and content marketing and only a little bit of paid advertising.

Once your social media & content marketing efforts start showing results and bring you more financial resources, you can then think of reinvesting some of your profits into various paid digital marketing channels.

What Are Some Examples of Digital Marketing Services?

Here are some examples of different Digital Marketing Services you can avail from a Professional Digital Marketing Agency:

– Search Engine Optimisation Strategy (SEO)
– Content Marketing & Blogging Strategy
– Content Promotion & Distribution
– Social Media Marketing
– Email Marketing
– Video Marketing
– Online Advertising
– Mobile Marketing etc.

Recommended Reading:

  1. What Is Digital Coaching | Ultimate Guide On How To Become A Digital Coach
  2. How To Write The Perfect Blog Post [ 11-Step Ultimate Guide ]
  3. How To Find My Blogging Niche [ How To Choose The Right Niche For Blogging! ]
  4. Highly Profitable Blog Niche Ideas In 2021 & Beyond!
  5. 25 Deadly Blogging Mistakes To Avoid (And How To Fix Them!)

If you found this blog useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Digital Marketing Pinterest Board & check this post later when new updates are published!

digital marketing - the ultimate guide
digital marketing – the ultimate guide

Now that you have an in-depth understanding of Digital Marketing, I would love to hear from you what your biggest takeaways were?

Which aspects or channels of Digital Marketing are you going to integrate into your Internet Marketing Campaigns?

I’m looking forward to hearing from you in the comments section below…

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