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  • Writer's pictureMarc Primo

What Is Digital Marketing? Types, Strategies & Best Practices

By Marc Primo


Digital marketing stands out as a potent tool for boosting awareness, interest, and sales of your products or services. Through digital platforms like social media, websites, search engines, and messaging services, digital marketing reaches your audience effectively.

To excel, it's crucial to grasp the digital strategies that resonate with your target market. This piece delves into the top digital marketing tactics and best practices to help you achieve your business objectives.



What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing, also referred to as online marketing, delivers messages through digital channels accessible on electronic gadgets such as phones, computers, and tablets. Digital marketing and traditional marketing, like print ads and direct mail, both aim to boost product awareness and shape purchasing decisions for increased sales. The key contrast lies in the utilization of internet-connected technologies by digital marketing to interact and connect with specific audiences.


The inception of the World Wide Web in 1989 laid the foundation for the rise of digital marketing. The expansion of business websites, advances in email technology, and the advent of immensely popular social platforms have fueled a rapid surge in digital marketing. Online marketing has become an integral element in the marketing strategies of most businesses, not only due to the widespread adoption of digital technologies but also because of its ability to yield exceptional results.


Types and Strategies of Digital Marketing

Creating a strong digital marketing strategy for your business begins with gaining a thorough understanding of the most impactful digital marketing methods. Here, we outline six essential types of digital marketing: social media marketing, search engine marketing (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email marketing, mobile marketing, and content marketing.


Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing stands out as a leading digital marketing strategy. In the United States, a staggering 308 million individuals engage with social networks monthly. Across all age groups, people turn to social media for entertainment, social connections, niche information, and online shopping.

Businesses aiming to boost visibility and sales can benefit from integrating social media into their marketing strategy, as highlighted by social media statistics. With 78% of internet users turning to social media for brand information, and almost half of U.S. consumers revealing they have made purchases through social platforms, it's evident that leveraging social media can be a valuable asset.

Prominent social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, WhatsApp, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and X (formerly Twitter) dominate the scene. Emerging platforms like BeReal and Poparazzi are continuously making their way into the market.

The social media landscape is in constant flux. Take Twitter for instance, once a leading platform, it now seems to be facing challenges. Since Elon Musk acquired Twitter in 2022, the platform has seen a decline of about 32 million users. On the other hand, TikTok only emerged on the global stage in 2017 but now boasts over 1.7 billion monthly active users. It's imperative for digital marketers to stay vigilant to the evolving dynamics of social media platforms.


SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial digital marketing tactic for businesses looking to enhance website traffic. It involves optimizing your website to secure high rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs), particularly on Google.SEO focuses on directing organic traffic to your website. In contrast to paid advertising, SEO attracts visitors through unpaid searches. With approximately 8.5 billion Google searches daily, businesses have abundant opportunities to showcase their products and services. Achieving a high Google ranking is crucial for boosting website traffic.


PPC Advertising

PPC advertising functions just as the name suggests: you are charged a fee each time a user clicks on your digital ads. The advertising platform influences the cost, the potential traffic for your promoted post, and the level of competition for similar ads. Google Ads stands out as the leading PPC platform globally. Many businesses that utilize SEO marketing also delve into PPC advertising on Google. Paid Google ads are displayed above organic search results, providing a strategic advantage that can significantly boost traffic to your website.

Email Marketing

The advertising platform influences the cost


To excel in email marketing, it's crucial to craft a plan for gathering email addresses from both clients and prospects. Numerous companies acquire emails during customer interactions, occasionally providing exclusive offers to entice subscribers. Your business website serves as an excellent platform to present incentives to visitors, facilitating the expansion of your email database.


Growing and nurturing your email list is crucial for effective email marketing. It's essential to honor the communication preferences of your subscribers and deliver only the information they desire. Additionally, ensuring compliance with legal requirements, such as adhering to the CAN-SPAM Act, is key to achieving success in email marketing.


Instead of handling business emails manually, many marketers opt for email marketing software. The top email marketing tools simplify the task of maintaining an updated email database by managing new subscribers and unsubscribing seamlessly for you.


Mobile Marketing

With over 310 million smartphone users in the U.S., it's no wonder that mobile marketing has surged in popularity among businesses. Typically delivered through text or SMS, mobile marketing boasts impressive open rates of up to 98%, making it a highly effective strategy. While text messaging reigns as the primary method for mobile marketing, notifications from mobile apps and social platforms also reach smartphone users. The realm of business applications for mobile marketing continues to broaden each day.


Content Marketing

Digital marketing thrives on compelling content that captivates audiences and involves potential and existing customers. Content marketing encompasses a variety of content types tailored for use in digital marketing strategies. This versatile approach includes blogs, infographics, whitepapers, ebooks, videos, podcasts, quizzes, slide decks, and webinars. Unlike traditional advertising, content marketing focuses on subtly informing, educating, or influencing target markets rather than overtly promoting products or services.


Content marketing can help you establish authority on specific subjects or generate buzz for your brand. A major benefit of content marketing is its flexibility to fit any budget. You can opt for a DIY approach that costs mere pennies, or if your budget permits, collaborate with copywriters, videographers, designers, and other content experts to craft compelling content for your business.


Benefits of Digital Marketing

Budget-friendly: You can engage in some forms of digital marketing, such as email and social media, with little to no money.

Measurable results: Most forms of digital marketing allow you to measure key performance metrics, including total number of impressions, CTRs, cost per conversion, overall conversion rates and more.

Improved brand awareness: With so many people using digital devices to access social channels, texts and emails, you have near-unlimited potential to generate awareness for your brand and products.

Strong engagement: Digital marketing lets you create compelling content via text, images and video, leading to strong customer engagement.

Strong ROI potential: Digital marketing often earns a more substantial ROI than traditional marketing and advertising tactics.

Global and regional reach: Depending on the digital marketing tactics you choose, you can limit your reach to a local or regional area or use digital channels, such as YouTube and TikTok, where your content can reach a global audience.

Flexibility: You can change or adopt new digital marketing strategies relatively quickly.

Digital Marketing Best Practices

While digital marketing can be very effective for building business results, you must understand the drivers of success. When you embrace direct marketing best practices, you’re far more likely to achieve the stellar results you want.


Establish Your Digital Marketing Goals

Before engaging in any type of digital marketing, you must establish SMART goals. Specifically, what do you want to accomplish? Examples of top digital marketing goals include:


Increase website traffic

Build brand awareness

Boost brand engagement

Become known as an expert in your industry

Generate more qualified leads

Expand your email prospect database

Increase sales

Define Your Target Audience

Before choosing digital marketing channels and content strategies, it's crucial to define your target audience clearly. Without this, you might end up with messaging or tactics that miss the mark. Start by identifying common traits like age, gender, income, education, location, interests, and buying behavior. Then, dive deeper into understanding your audience's challenges and desires. Once your target audience is well-defined, tailor your digital marketing messages to demonstrate how your business addresses their core issues or fulfills their needs.


Bottom Line

Digital marketing stands out as a potent asset for businesses, driving visibility and sales for their offerings. Various strategies such as social media marketing, email campaigns, SEO, PPC ads, and content marketing promise impressive returns on investment. What's remarkable is that digital marketing is accessible to businesses of all sizes, proving to be a valuable tool across the board.

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