Is digital marketing something your business needs? Will it help grow your business by causing other people to know about and ultimately choose your brand? Are digital marketing benefits enough to make it worth your time, effort and money?
All good questions, and you’ll find the answers here. We’ve created a straightforward, easy-to-understand breakdown of digital marketing strategy, digital marketing examples, how to do digital marketing and more.
What is Digital Marketing?
If you’re not 100 percent sure you have a solid understanding of all digital marketing includes, that’s probably because the industry uses such a broad range of tactics and many of them overlap. Digital marketing is every form of electronic advertising that connects people with your business. Here are some of the most common digital marketing types:
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising
- Mobile Marketing
- Email Marketing
We’ll look closer at digital marketing examples later. For now, start by thinking of digital marketing as all the electronic tools your business can use to reach consumers and they can use to find you. Every business doesn’t benefit from using every tool, so the trick is identifying which ones bring the biggest return on your investment.
How Does Digital Marketing Work?
Some people can sell ice to Eskimos, but you can probably see how much more effective it would be to offer that ice to people in Texas or Florida during the heat of summer, maybe crushed with flavored syrup on top. Digital marketing is based on a similar concept – position your offer to the people who already actively need it. You’re just using digital means to reach as many of those people as possible.
Making them aware of your business is just the first step. Then, digital marketing works by driving that traffic to your business website, walking alongside them through their buying journey then converting them into loyal, repeat customers. Different digital marketing types might be effective at each stage.
Digital Marketing Examples
So how do you know what combination of tools to use to help people find you online? The role of digital marketing is to identify what groups of people are most likely to need what you offer, to figure out how best to reach them and to give them everything they need to choose you. You’re there at the perfect moment, so you win their business.
For example, let’s say you have a new laundry detergent that removes all the worst stains kids get on their clothes, and your goal is to let parents know about it. When Junior comes home covered in grass and mud, you’ve already positioned your digital marketing based on what you know Mom is about to do. She’s going to reach for her cell phone and search for the best way to remove those specific stains. Your digital marketing types work together to earn her business.
Your website marketing is designed to help her find your solution. You have invested in Google Ads that take her to a landing page with a product offer. You offer content marketing with great tips on getting laundry done, so she signs up to receive your email marketing. She checks out your social media marketing and can’t help but engage. Before long she’s convinced to place an order, and she’s happy about it because she’s been in charge of the whole journey.
Why Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the most effective way to grow your business because it’s targeted and cost-effective. So much of digital marketing happens online because that’s where people are spending their time.
- A Pew Research study found 81 percent of Americans go online on a daily basis, 28 percent are online almost constantly and 45 percent check in several times a day.
- By 2020, Statista estimates there will be 211 million mobile phone searchers in the United States.
- In 2016 alone, mobile’s influence on retail store sales in the United States was 1.4 trillion.
- 95 percent of organic mobile search visits currently go through Google.
- More than 2.1 billion people use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger at least once a day.
8 Essential Types of Online Marketing
If you’re ready to start connecting with all those potential customers and experiencing powerful results, perhaps you’re asking how to do digital marketing. What types of content should you prioritize to see growth? Let’s look at some of the digital marketing types that drive consumers to your organization.
1 Website Marketing
Your website is the center, the hub for all your digital marketing. Make website design first priority, because it’s where you introduce yourself, strengthen relationships and close the deal. If you plan PPC campaigns, create content for Facebook or post videos on YouTube, they should all lead users back to a page on your website so they can follow through. When consumers encounter your brand offline, your website marketing helps them locate you to find out more.
Your website layout, colors and graphics should all work together to communicate your message and engage the audience from the first second of the first encounter. When they can easily find what they’re looking for on any device, they attribute the positive experience they had navigating your website with your brand.
2 Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
“I already have a website,” you might be saying, “And none of that is happening.” If that’s true, it may be time to talk to a reputable web design agency. But also, know that website marketing and search engine optimization work hand in hand. You use website marketing to convert traffic. SEO is the process of getting that traffic in the first place.
Google and other search engines act like a librarian, organizing the world’s online information. Part of local SEO involves making sure your webpages have the ingredients search engines need to know what searches you’re relevant for. Then, off-page SEO weighs outside interactions and also helps your website move higher up on search engine results pages.
3 Content Marketing
All the other assets you develop to build awareness, drive traffic to your site and enhance consumer relationships are content marketing. You can write blog articles to give users helpful information and establish your authority on a topic. Ebooks and whitepapers are longer content that accomplishes the same goal, and also helps grow your email marketing subscription list. A few other content marketing types include:
- Case studies
- GIFs or Memes
- Social media posts
Content helps your pages rank for relevant keywords, so it integrates with your website marketing and search engine optimization.
4 Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Social media marketing and content marketing overlap because social media is often the best place to share and promote your content. Your customers probably won’t think to visit your website on a regular basis, but they check their social media accounts every day.
Social media marketing lets you publish content and interact with your target audience places like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and LinkedIn. The potential for using social to grow your business keeps expanding, with a 10 percent increase in social media users just from 2018 to 2019.
Digital marketing strategy puts all the pieces together. You reach new audiences through social media marketing when you share your content. More people visit your website and share your content marketing, signaling to search engines the value and relevance of your content. It all snowballs together into an unstoppable traffic-generating machine. You get more customers and more income.
5 Digital Ads, Paid Search, Pay Per Click (PPC)
Only there’s a little bit of bad news. You can’t just publish a website, post to Facebook and see immediate results. It takes at least several months to see organic SEO tactics start to pay off, and just as long to build an online community through social media. Then it takes ongoing effort to maintain that momentum. Most people don’t want to wait that long.
Digital ads, also known as paid search or pay per click (PPC) advertising give your digital marketing a boost. Google Ads is one of the most popular because it lets you bid on keywords for a chance to appear at the top of search engine results pages. PPC is also one of the digital marketing strategy steps that will get you traffic through paid Facebook ads, Twitter Ads campaigns, retargeting and other campaign types.
6 Marketing Automation
You have enough to do without constantly creating and posting content, but marketing automation can make it easier. Basically, marketing automation involves a set of tools you use to coordinate between digital marketing types and to respond to each consumer automatically as they go through their buyer journey.
You benefit because you can create content and triggers all at once or in batches, then you don’t have to press “send” or “publish” every time you want your next digital marketing strategy steps to happen. Your customers benefit because they receive content tailored specifically to them at the exact moment they’re ready for it.
Everyone is happy, and marketing automation does the work for you. Your business makes more money, but you don’t have to constantly race around posting to social media, sending emails, publishing blog posts and everything else.
7 Email Marketing
When people show an interest in your business, email marketing helps you nurture that interest and create a relationship. Statista says 44 percent of Americans check their email between once and three times daily, 18 percent check it up to nine times a day, and 11 percent check it 15 or more times daily. It makes sense to send your content where their eyes are most likely to find it.
Shopping cart emails sent after the user leaves your site cause a percentage to return and complete their purchase. Email savings and discount coupons encourage repeat visits as part of your website marketing, so they boost sales. Valuable content in your newsletter builds credibility and gives you an edge over your competitors.
8 Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing positions your brand in front of consumers on their cell phones, tablet or other mobile devices. Around half of internet traffic happens on mobile, so if mobile marketing isn’t included in your digital marketing strategy, you’re seriously limiting your chances of success.
At the very minimum, you need a mobile-friendly website. You might also choose to add these elements of mobile marketing:
- Mobile advertising for email
- Personalized SMS and MMS marketing
- Mobile apps with push or in-app notifications
Do I Need a Big Budget for Digital Marketing?
If you’re thinking that all could cost a lot of time and money, you’re not wrong. Spending on digital marketing only makes sense if you get something big in return. You want exponential growth, but you don’t want to just throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. So what can you realistically expect to spend on digital marketing?
A reputable digital marketing company can help you set measurable goals, analyze where you are and where you want to be, and plan a reasonable budget. Then as you start to experience success, they’ll have a plan for refining your digital marketing strategy and reallocating your budget for even greater success.
Stoodeo can help you create a digital marketing strategy that fits your budget. When you look back, your only regret will be that you didn’t start making the internet work for you sooner.
Ready to Try Digital Marketing?
You want maximum results in the minimum time frame without wasting your business’s money. Each of the digital marketing tools we’ve talked about has its own format, analytics and best practices for business, and they need to work together seamlessly to accomplish your goals. That’s why it’s best to work with a digital marketing agency with proven success rates.
Stoodeo has been faithfully creating unique digital experiences for clients since 2006. Get in touch and let’s talk about how we can use digital marketing to grow your business online.