What is Digital Marketing? An introduction

Discover the power of digital marketing and how it can help transform your business. Plus, get tips to boost your online presence and help drive results.
· 15 May 2023 · 8 minute read

What is a digital marketing strategy?

A digital marketing strategy is a comprehensive plan outlining how a business will utilise various digital channels and tactics to achieve its marketing KPIs and reach target audiences. It typically includes defining target audiences, understanding the fundamentals of digital marketing channels, and establishing objectives to measure success.

You can use multiple online channels to promote your products and services as part of a digital marketing strategy. No matter the size of your business, you can use digital marketing to:

  • connect with target audiences
  • boost brand awareness
  • help generate more enquiries or sales, and
  • promote customer loyalty.

Read on as we answer questions like, ‘What is a digital marketing strategy?’, as well as offer an introduction to the fundamentals within this space.

 

Why is digital marketing important?

Digital marketing allows everyone, from service providers, to e-commerce stores, to enterprise organisations, effectively compete in this digital era and reach their customers across a broader market. Unlike more traditional advertising campaigns, such as print or televised media, these strategies offer excellent flexibility, refined audience targeting, and often a greater return on investment.

 

Types of digital marketing

Today, business owners can access all types of digital marketing. Here, we’ll break down your options to help you build your strategy.

 

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Search engine optimisation (SEO) helps to increase your website's visibility on popular search engines like Google and Bing. To achieve higher search rankings, it helps to maintain several different aspects of the SEO fundamentals, including:

  • On-page optimisation: This involves creating high-quality, keyword-rich content, optimising meta tags, and ensuring proper internal linking.
  • Off-page optimisation: Focuses on building a solid backlink profile through methods like guest posting and link outreach.
  • Technical SEO: Think about improving both user experience, and how easy it is for search engine algorithms to navigate your site, taking steps to boost site speed, ensure mobile-friendliness, and fix crawl errors.

What is SEO going to do in your marketing strategy?

Most people today start their search for products and services with search engines, so having your website listed on results pages will help drive more online traffic. These algorithms are forever changing, so stay up-to-date on the latest best-practice measures to consistently drive more targeted traffic to your website.

 

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

'Pay-Per-Click' (PPC) advertising instantly boosts traffic and sales by placing paid ads online in high-traffic areas. You will only pay when someone clicks on your ad, ensuring better use of your marketing budget. Instead, it involves strategic keyword use, engaging ad copy, and eye-catching design.

What is PPC more likely to achieve?

PPC offers immediate ad placement on search engines like Google and social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. It enables businesses to target specific audiences, track real-time performance, and optimise campaigns for better results.

 

Content marketing

As ‘content’ is used across many marketing campaigns, many business owners often wonder, ‘What is Content marketing?’ It’s a strategic approach to creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract, engage and retain a clearly defined target audience.

When you regularly publish engaging content, you can:

  • help establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry
  • build trust with new and existing customers
  • help drive more sales.

Every content marketing strategy will be uniquely tailored to your business’s needs, preferences and pain points. Creating content in multiple formats, like blog posts, infographics, videos, e-books, and podcasts, allows you to cater to different audience preferences and increase engagement. What’s more, distributing your content through the proper channels, including your website and social media marketing, can amplify its reach and impact.

 

Social media marketing

Social media marketing means using social media platforms to promote your brand, products and services. Popular social media platforms include:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • TikTok

You can use these platforms to connect with your target audience through the use of social media advertising and organic posting. The latter involves posting engaging content and encouraging two-way communication with your customers.

A social media marketing strategy can help you:

  • connect with your target audience
  • build brand awareness
  • foster customer loyalty

What is a successful social media marketing strategy?

A well-planned social media marketing strategy must consider each platform’s unique characteristics and user demographics. For example, LinkedIn is a corporate channel that’s great for building B2B connections. Whereas Instagram is great for brands that want to show off their products and services to consumers directly.

By understanding the right approach for each social media platform, you can better target specific user segments and increase the reach of your marketing messages.

Read more about how to create a social media strategy.

 

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based partnership between businesses and online publishers who promote their products or services. These ‘affiliates’ receive a commission for each sale, lead, or action generated through their online marketing efforts, allowing businesses to tap into new audiences, increase sales, and better track marketing outlays.

What is making affiliate marketing so popular?

Affiliate marketing's popularity stems from its accessibility and potential for steady revenue. Businesses can attract a wide range of affiliates, easily monitor their performance, and foster strong relationships through competitive commission rates. The result? Consistent exposure and a reliable income stream.

 

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing involves partnering with individuals with a significant online following and robust credibility in their niche. By collaborating with these influencers to promote your brand, products, or services, you tap directly into their following. In doing so, you leverage their ‘influence’ over a target audience to increase awareness, trust, and engagement.

Influencers can help promote your products and services by:

  • publishing sponsored posts
  • writing products and services reviews
  • offering giveaways of your products and services to their audiences
  • acting as advocates for your brand on social media platforms.

What might an influencer marketing campaign look like?

Content creators and social media personalities are aplenty these days, making it somewhat difficult to identify the right influencers to represent your brand. Consider their audience demographics and content style, and even request information on their engagement rates.

Once you believe you have found the best fit, you will want to balance clear objectives from the campaign with the influencer’s creative freedom, coming together with the right tools to measure campaign results.

 

Email marketing

Email marketing is a highly effective, long-standing and proven digital marketing strategy built around sending targeted, personalised emails to lists of subscribers. Businesses can use well-structured email campaigns to repeatedly nurture leads, promote offers, and share valuable content. Moreover, these campaigns allow direct communication with customers, helping to maintain a strong relationship.

What’s the appeal of email marketing?

While some might see it as outdated, email marketing continues to prove that it offers a high return on investment (ROI) and the ability to drive customer retention.

Brands can build quality email lists by encouraging visitor subscriptions via their website or social media. Then, by segmenting contacts based on demographics, interests, or behaviour, they can deliver more relevant content to each subscriber.

Tips for email marketing success

  • Crafting compelling subject lines
  • Designing visually appealing email templates
  • Optimising for mobile devices

Regularly monitoring email performance metrics can refine your email marketing strategy and achieve better results over time.

 

Benefits of digital marketing

Digital marketing can help you to reach customers where they spend a lot of their time – online. So, how much does the average person spend on the internet? Research suggests it’s as much as 6 hours per day. This is why digital marketing is important.

If businesses want to grow and succeed in today's competitive landscape, the types of digital marketing mentioned above offer a range of benefits, including:

  • Increased Reach and Visibility: Expand your reach and visibility by connecting with potential customers in a wider geographic setting. By leveraging various online channels, businesses can reach new markets and tap into previously inaccessible audiences.
  • Client Targeting Options: Digital marketing offers advanced targeting options, enabling businesses to better reach specific demographics, interests and behaviours. Such precision ensures your marketing messages resonate better with the right audiences, resulting in higher conversion rates.
  • Boosted Engagement: Businesses can interact with their audiences through social media, email, and other online channels to bolster better engagement. Consistent two-way communication fosters stronger relationships and encourages brand loyalty.
  • Advanced Analytics & Optimisation Potential: These platforms and tools offer advanced analytics capabilities, providing businesses with valuable insights into campaign performance and customer behaviour. Such insights can inform data-driven decisions and fuel ongoing optimisation, ensuring marketing efforts continue to deliver the best results.
  • Communicate with Audiences at Each Stage of the Pipeline: From initial brand awareness, through to consideration for products and services, right down to direct conversions, digital marketing allows businesses to engage with potential customers at every stage of the buyer's journey. Creating targeted content and communications can help guide prospects down a pathway that nurtures them towards a specified goal.
  • Cost-Effective and Measurable Results: With the features described above, digital marketing often proves more cost-effective than traditional marketing methods, providing better control over marketing budgets. Additionally, digital marketing enables businesses to track the performance of their campaigns, allowing for data-driven decisions and ongoing optimisation.
  • Greater Flexibility: The various types of digital marketing allow businesses to adjust and optimise campaigns in real-time, responding quickly to market changes and capitalising on new opportunities.

 

Digital marketing includes a wide range of online strategies that you can use to help achieve your business goals.. Embracing this ever-evolving landscape, can help you unlock new possibilities, stay ahead of the competition, and work towards creating lasting success for your business.

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