The global digital advertising and marketing industry is projected to reach $786.2 billion by 2026. In addition, statistics say, currently there are 167,000+ digital marketing job openings in the U.S. alone. With every kind of business embracing digital marketing techniques to expand their footprint, it is the ideal time for aspiring professionals to grasp and hone in-demand digital marketing skills and establish a lucrative career. In this article, let’s outline the fundamentals of digital marketing to provide professionals with the essential knowledge needed to stay at the top of this booming field!
What is Digital Marketing and Why it’s Important
Digital marketing refers to the process of promoting and advertising a brand’s products and services using digital channels such as social media, websites, and email. Marketers can drive impactful digital marketing campaigns using innovative strategies, such as email marketing, pay-per-click, social media marketing, and affiliate marketing, which enable them to create brand awareness and reach the target audience.
Before understanding the fundamentals of digital marketing, let’s look at some of the reasons why digital marketing is booming:
- Wider Audience: Traditional marketing tactics are usually limited to a specific demographic. In fact, digital marketing enables marketers to target a wider audience and promote a business on a global scale.
- Compete with Bigger Players: By targeting a wider audience, digital marketing techniques enable small businesses to expand their market outreach and provide the chance to compete with bigger market players.
- Reach Potential Customers: Relying only on traditional marketing tactics, such as billboards and print and newspaper ads makes it challenging for brands to reach potential customers. However, with digital marketing, it is easy to identify and reach the target audience across all digital channels and drive successful campaign outcomes.
- Track Campaign Performance: Traditional marketing campaign performance is hard to track. It is difficult to determine how many people see a specific billboard and ultimately make the purchase. In contrast, with digital marketing, it is possible to track key campaign metrics such as social media presence, web traffic, and activity with relevant tools.
- High Return on Investment (ROI): According to Litmus, email marketing ROI stands at 36x. In essence, this means for every $1 brands spend on email marketing, they receive $36 in return. Hence, companies are investing in digital marketing opportunities to take their businesses to the next level.
Types of Digital Marketing
By developing a well-rounded marketing strategy that includes promoting a brand using various types of digital marketing techniques, marketers can yield the best results. Here are the top three different types of digital marketing methodologies which are both affordable and produce high conversion rates for businesses.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is the strategy of producing content in a way to make search engines like Google rank the webpage high on the search engine results page (SERP). Google employs algorithms to determine how relevant the webpage is to the user’s search terms. Since these algorithms are continuously updated, SEO tactics must also be modified frequently to remain effective.
2. Content Marketing
Content marketing refers to informative, valuable content such as blog posts, how-to videos, and other educational resources. This type of marketing helps businesses interact with their audience and respond to their demand and queries. It can also help in generating leads and close sales.
3. Social Media Marketing
In this case, social media platforms are used as digital marketing mediums. To reach new audiences, businesses can adopt an online advertising strategy and purchase advertisements on social sites. Alternatively, to keep it affordable, they can build a company profile and create social media posts to promote new items, deals, and freshly published content.
Digital Marketing Channels and Tactics
Digital marketing channels are the digital media/platforms that marketers use to deliver digital marketing assets. Additionally, these digital channels include email, websites, social media, live chat, and video chat.
On the other hand, digital marketing tactics are methods that marketers use to optimize and deliver their marketing efforts using a combination of the above digital channels. Some common digital marketing tactics include writing blog posts, sending tweets, responding to emails, reaching out to influencers, and repurposing content.
What are the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing involves many fundamental concepts which you should master to implement the most effective marketing practices and run successful campaigns. Let us explore some of the most common ones in this section:
Understanding Your Customers
Developing a customer-centric marketing approach is crucial for designing effective digital campaigns and generating more leads for businesses. Moreover, understanding your customers is the key to delivering products and services that are more aligned with their needs and demands to foster strong customer relationships and build a better brand image.
Measurement and Metrics
Digital marketing metrics are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that marketers use to track and measure the performance of a digital marketing campaign. Some of these KPIs employed to measure a digital strategy include total website traffic, inbound links, click-through rates, cost per acquisition, cost per conversion, net promoter score, and engagement rates.
Increasing the percentage of conversions from a website or mobile app is known as Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Also, it involves marketers generating ideas for new features/improving the existing ones on a website or app, and then testing those hypotheses using A/B and multivariate testing methods to confirm their effectiveness.
Digital marketing using organic channels refers to all the content posted on social media (images, videos, blog posts) that do not involve any paid subscription. These are typically free-of-cost channels that marketers can leverage to build a customer base and engage with them regularly. Unlike paid media, this is a long-term strategy that may not yield immediate results but is helpful to build brand awareness and reputation.
Any marketing channels where businesses need to pay money to get featured online are called paid channels. Some examples of paid channels include online advertising (Facebook/Instagram Ads), Google AdWords, YouTube video promotion, and influencer marketing. What all of these paid channels have in common is that they can help businesses speed up growth to a great extent by delivering immediate results.
Email marketing is an effective way to communicate with existing and potential customers. It involves targeting an audience with generic emails for driving traffic to the website and increasing conversion rates. In fact, most email marketing campaigns constitute emails that inform recipients of fresh offers and discounts to capture their interest. However, email marketing tools (such as Mailchimp) help in generating emails and sending them to a list of potential leads to simplify the job of a marketer.
Affiliate marketing involves hiring a third party to promote a product and paying a commission to them on every sale made. The affiliate can be an individual or an entity. The affiliate advertises the product (good or service) using any social platform, such as a blog or a YouTube video. When a buyer clicks on the affiliate link for the product and subsequently purchases it, the affiliate gets compensated for it through commission.
Referral marketing is a marketing strategy where a company rewards its current customers for successfully bringing new customers (family, friends, and other contacts) into the business. This is a tactic that makes use of recommendations and word of mouth to grow the customer base of a business. Some well-known companies that have successfully leveraged referral-based marketing schemes include Dropbox, Tesla, Airbnb, and Uber.
Learning, the Emeritus Way
If you are looking to learn the fundamentals of digital marketing, you can dive deeper into this field and build a strong career with Emeritus. Enroll in our top-rated online digital marketing courses in association with renowned global universities to master the in-demand, industry-specific skills and land your dream job!
By Rupam Deb
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