Marketers go where their customers are. And that is why digital marketing has flourished in recent years. Audiences are increasingly found online in both their professional and personal lives. So, there is little doubt among modern marketers that they need to utilize digital marketing. But what exactly is digital marketing today?
In short, digital marketing is any form of marketing that takes place online. As businesses and consumers alike move away from offline channels, digital becomes a greater percentage of overall marketing efforts and budgets and a more effective way for brands to connect with their audiences.
Just as with offline marketing, marketers have a wide variety of ways to reach and engage with customers online. The most common digital marketing tactics and channels in use today are:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results, thus increasing the volume and quality of traffic to your site. As search engines constantly refine their algorithms to improve the content they deliver during searches, SEO best practices change. What works today for website optimization may not work next month, so it’s important to stay on top of the latest updates and best practices.
Online advertising is a broad category that includes several different types of advertising. Pay-per-click (PPC), such as Google AdWords, is one of the most popular of these ad types. In PPC, you pay a publisher for every click on your ad that drives traffic to your website or landing page. Native advertising has become more widely used in recent years, which places more content-focused ads alongside other non-paid content typically on news sites or blogs. Social media advertising is also a common tactic for digital marketers today.
Social Media Marketing
Unlike paid social advertising, social media marketing refers to your brand’s organic activities on social media platforms. This should include both posting content and engaging with others. Social media marketing can help boost brand awareness, drive traffic to your website and generate leads.
Driven by the idea that consumers would rather be engaged, educated and entertained, content marketing is an essential part of digital marketing today. Content marketing seeks to inform and inspire rather than explicitly promoting a brand and its products or services. Blogs, eBooks, white papers, videos, webinars and infographics are all popular types of content marketing.
Email marketing is the process of sending a sales or marketing email (usually in HTML format) to an entire list of individuals at the same time, tracking how the recipients interact with the email and measuring the overall results of the campaign. Despite being an early digital marketing tactic, it remains popular among businesses and recipients alike.
A marketing automation solution is the technology that makes executing many other digital marketing tactics possible, all from one convenient platform. These marketing workhorses help marketers efficiently execute email marketing, automated nurture campaigns, event management, creating landing pages and forms, social media posting and much more.
Which of these tactics and channels should you use? The answer is as unique as your business. It will depend on your goals, your audience, your budget and many other factors.