What is Digital Marketing?

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If you Google that, there’s over 1.3 billion results. Most of the top results are either a wikipedia page or a hyper long form content guide giving you the ins and outs of digital marketing.

Now, don’t get me wrong, that’s often GREAT. I’ve ready a bunch of long form content guides over the years and they, in many cases, provide a lot of insight and knowledge.

But in the world of noise, it’s really nice to just sit back and enjoy a bite sized guide for once. That’s what you’re looking at here.

Let’s do a short intro…

Digital marketing is a form of marketing done online, and is usually defined as using electronic devices as aid. It does not always involve an online audience, however. It can also be done on a digital billboard (although it’s old) or other places with a digital display, sound, or other form of media touching your senses.

But let’s not get too deep. This was a bite size, right?

An overview of digital marketing

I am not going to be long-winded on these, just to give you a hint of the online digital marketing.

Digital marketing can be summed up into:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM)
  • Pay-per-click Marketing (PPC)
  • Affiliate Marketing (AM)
  • Email Marketing

Now, that’s not to say you can’t find other rabbit holes to go down but this is the general idea. One could argue that App marketing is another area and I’ve also come across the term mobile marketing, but I believe that today, our phones are more than just a “mobile” and the term is getting too broad.

Read on below this to find out a short definition and example of each.

But digital marketing can be done offline, too?

Yes. There’s radio, TV, calling etc. and then you have the digital marketing within an omni-channel, which Neil Patel defines as the enhanced offline marketing. Well, he does not link it with the omni-channel, I do.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO, in it’s easiest definition (my own) is to rank in the search engines (Google, Bing, etc… but mostly Google – let’s be honest here).

What it also means is to optimize your website or web property to be established as an authority in the eyes of Google. You have the technical side of SEO and also the user experience side (which I think is more important in the long run). This is internal SEO.

You’ve also got external SEO, which is mostly technical in the sense of backlinks, anchor text profiles, guest posting etc. Backlinks being the focus for most SEO-professionals.

If you’re looking for SEO-advice, I can very much recommend Brian Dean and Neil Patel for  more actionable type of content. And Ahrefs, Moz, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Diggity Marketing for more SEO-industry stuff.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM is a bit ubiquitous. It’s more of an umbrella term, which incorporates both SEO and PPC (see below). To take up as much real estate in the search engine result page (SERP), you want to improve your blog’s, business’ or page’s SEM.

Content Marketing

Content marketing has grown so large and is now being utilized by most digital marketers in one way or another. You can start a corporate blog and give away inside knowledge for free. There are ebook giveaways, infographics to be shared, guest posting on other blogs etc.

An interesting take on this is the content marketing strategy used by GE. While you may not think they’re in the most sexy industry, the used this to their favor. Instead of talking about boring everyday stuff, they create content about their jet engines and locomotives.

It’s what I always say, you want to either educate, entertain or inspire people.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

If there’s one area that has blown up and is continuing to grow, it’s social media marketing. There are courses, meetups, checklists, blog posts and even university programs to become a social media marketer. And by all means, I think this is understandable given where the industry is going.

Take instagram for example, it is probably the number one platform in 2018 and beyond for anyone who’s building a brand of any kind. LinkedIn is a form of social media that can give you great leads if you work with it. And YouTube is just another beast altogether. Want high engagements fast? Go to Facebook and do a live stream.

What people have to understand, however, is that Social media is waaay past just posting your shit online and expecting a return. It’s called SOCIAL media. You go to the platform to engage with your audience. Don’t start a social media account for your business unless you’re prepared to spend at least a handful of hours a week to engage and curate the content you put up.

Pay-per-click Marketing (PPC)

I said that PPC falls under the SEM umbrella. This is not 100% the truth. While it does so if we’re talking Google Ads, but PPC is a general term used for Facebook Ads and other advertisement as well.

But PPC means the traffic that you pay for. If you go to Google Ads to register an account and put up a search ad, you do so because you want to bid on certain keywords in your niche and gain visitors to your site.

Let’s say that you sell Headphones. You find that “active noise cancelling headphones” have 1,900 searches per month. You decide that you need some of that traffic to your ecommerce site. So you hop on to Google Ads, write a couple of ads and hit publish. We enough of a budget (which can start fairly low) you will soon start to see traffic to your site. Now if they purchase something or not, that’s another level.

Affiliate Marketing (AM)

Affiliate marketing by definition get’s a lot of bad rep. Understandably so. It has and is known for housing a lot of scammers in the industry. Go to YouTube and search for “how to make money online” or even “digital marketing” and you will soon find yourself looking at videos of guys (mostly) telling you about how they crashed their lambo but it doesn’t matter because they’ve got another one in the garage and oh “here’s my bank account – LOL”, claming how they make $10,000 per microsecond.

However, not everyone’s like that and affiliate marketing means to promote someone else’s product or service and under different terms be paid a commission to do so.

Say, instead of selling headphones, I blog about them. So I have the keyword “active noise cancelling headphones” with 1,900 searches. Let’s write a blog post about them titled: Best active noise cancelling headphones. After all is said and done, I can promote a pack of headphones from Amazon.com and whenever someone clicks on the link and make a purchase, I get a commission – I.e. I get paid.

If you want to read more on affiliate marketing, check out pixelmarketers.com

Email Marketing

You know what happens on Black Friday, right?

All those hundreds of emails that land in your inbox. They’re all part of someone’s email marketing sequence. Someone or a business, at some point collected your email address. With your permission (you read the terms & conditions… right?), they can now send you emails with promotions and content that you’ve subscribed to.

Email marketing basically is that. You collect an email and with their permission, send them promotional offers.

Thank you for reading, don’t forget to share this, please

If you’ve liked this mini-guide about what digital marketing is, please go ahead and share it with your colleague or a friend. You will create a win-win situation for all of us.

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Robin Wiman

Robin Wiman

Maximizing business performance and profitability.

Building strong foundations based on data-driven decisions and business intelligence.

These are things I love to do — shaping ideas into robust, high-performing business models that attract customers and positions businesses for high growth.

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