Digital Marketing 101: An Overview
Today, over half of the entire world’s population uses the internet. This means if you are not leveraging the web in your marketing strategy, you are losing out on a lot of business.
If you want to know what digital marketing is and how to start applying it today, you are in the right place!
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is a way of connecting brands with their customers using means of electronic communication, such as social media and web pages. Digital marketing can be separated into three elements: reaching customers/discovery, informing or nurturing relationships, and converting the audience to paying customers.
Each of these steps plays a vital role in the success of a digital marketing strategy. But whichever step you are on, it is important to keep in mind your sole aim is to provide value to your audience.
Why Is Digital Marketing Important
Digital marketing offers some other significant advantages to those who use it, beyond the unprecedented access to potential customers. One advantage – it is an efficient way to nurture your current customer base.
For example, if you wanted to send out an important message to your customers without digital means, you would have to prepare and then post many letters physically. Whereas digital marketing can do the same task in a matter of minutes using email or social media.
In other words, digital marketing allows you to build a more scalable business for a lower cost than traditional marketing methods.
Another thing to note is that we live in an information age. People are well connected on the internet via social media. If you create a good product, people will happily share it with others, potentially resulting in much faster growth of your product.
There are countless other benefits to digital marketing, such as the ability to target particular demographics and offering a better user experience and being more cost–effective than other forms of marketing. However, we won’t run through all these today. Instead, let’s look at the different components of digital marketing.
Your Website And Its Design
Your website is the bread and butter of your digital marketing strategy. You have control of the design, which means you control the user’s experience when they visit your site.
Therefore, you want to design it to suit your digital marketing strategy. Are you aiming to generate online sales? Are you looking to build long-term relationships with clients? Or do you have a promotional offer you want to push?
The end goal of your strategy dictates everything from the layout of your website to the colors you use and the content you upload to it.
But no matter your end goal, some things should remain consistent:
- It should be easy to use. Customers will leave if the site is too confusing.
- There should be a clear path for the customer from entering the site to the desired interaction
- The site should be secure
- The site should load quickly
- It should be optimized for mobile
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
So, your website is set up and optimized for your digital marketing strategy. But how do you get customers to visit? Enter: SEO.
SEO is the method used to get your website to rank on the front page of Google and other search engines. Like all the digital marketing components mentioned in this article, SEO is a vast topic. However, here are the most fundamental techniques to help your content rank:
– Pick keywords relating to your business goals
When creating content for your website, include these keywords in the headings and body of the text. Refrain from stuffing your content full of keywords to cheat the algorithm. Doing this does more harm than good. Instead, create natural content which is helpful to your audience, with the keywords embedded where applicable.
– Optimize your website backend
Search engines use crawler bots to analyze websites to rank them on Google. This means you should optimize your site for these bots. Also, ensure that internal and external links are working, create an XML site map and clean up your code. Cleaning your website’s backend should result in an overall better user experience and higher search engine rankings.
One of the OG digital marketing components was email marketing. Interestingly, email marketing has again begun exploding in popularity in recent years. This is because it is a peer-to-peer medium, meaning no big-tech company controls the level of visibility you have to your audience.
Email marketing is used once you collect your audience’s emails and is a powerful tool when used correctly.
Social Media Marketing
Finally, the new kid on the block: social media marketing. There are various ways to use this component. Different social media apps have distinct advantages and disadvantages. For example, Tik Tok is excellent for discovery, whilst Instagram is better for nurturing an existing audience. You can also use paid ads to target a particular section of social media users.
Many businesses use SEO and social media to get discovered, then send clients to their websites to convert them or collect their emails and convert them there.
Pro tip: Encourage your social media following to engage with you on multiple platforms. Social media companies have been known to unexpectedly delete users’ accounts, so you want to have a following in more than one place!