How many times have you run into the term Digital Marketing during the last 24 hours? If you own or work for a brand that is moving sales capacities from offline to online, then surely you deal with this branch of marketing every minute.
According to Semrush.com, online search volumes for “digital marketing” (in English only) is almost 600.000. That is almost 14 searches every minute, in Shakespeare’s language alone. But digital marketing specific online search is a tiny number compared to the number of times online population encounters forms of digital marketing in their daily lives.
So how do we classify digital marketing and what are its most important areas? Let’s get into the details below.
Digital Marketing is ubiquitous
Although it depends on networking and the presence of a digital device, digital marketing is almost everywhere. We live in an era where we have to escape from random information bombing in order to focus on our main tasks. Let’s take SPAM for example – we all receive e-mails on a daily basis, even if we have opted-in or not to receive news.
SPAM, the dark side of Digital Marketing, New statistics
Let’s see three statistics that give us the right image of SPAM and its role in digital marketing:
- Almost 85% of emails are SPAM during June 2020 and January 2021 according to Spamlaws.com, but the volumes decreased by 61%;
- Every day, around 122.3 billion email SPAM messages are sent on email only, reports the specialists from Talos Intelligence;
- Advertising (the most aggressive activity in a Digital Marketing plan) is the biggest global SPAM contributor. According to Spamlaws.com, advertising is responsible for 36% of total global SPAM volumes.
The bright side of Digital Marketing
On the positive side, we owe digital marketing the fact we remind or be reminded to log into our Social Media accounts and browse dozens of posts and ads daily. During breaks, we talk to our friends on Clubhouse, WhatsApp, Messenger or go to Google or YouTube and search for anything we like, from cherry tart recipes to funny videos. So in a couple of lines, we’ve just witnessed at least 5 types of digital marketing. So whether we like it or not, we live in a kind of symbiosis with online marketing.
How is Digital Marketing defined?
In this case, I thought of extracting the definition from 3 authoritative websites online and identifying the common and differentiating elements:
A. Definition of digital marketing from Investopedia (business view)
According to this popular business portal, Digital Marketing is a type of marketing that uses the Internet, social media, all types of devices (mobiles, computers, smart TVs, smartwatches), search engines and other electronic channels to reach the target audience.
B. The definition from Neil Patel (SEO view)
Neil Patel, a well-known SEO mentor and digital marketer states that Digital marketing is any form of marketing product or service that involves electronics.
In his arguments, he mentions the invention of wireless signals in 1896 by Guglielmo Marconi and the first radio transmission and states that this is how the digital marketing strategy took shape. Maybe that goes a bit too much back in time.
C. Digital Marketing definition according to Hubspot.com (eCRM automation)
Hubspot’s definition focuses on the differences between traditional marketing and digital marketing. The latter appears in the electronic and online environment and includes a set of activities that involve both electronic devices and the Internet. From Hubspot.com point of view, businesses use digital channels mainly to build promotional campaigns via email, social media, search engines, websites.
Online marketing, digital marketing, internet marketing, online media… what’s what?
The truth is that we are frequently bombarded by various terminologies: digital marketing, online marketing, internet marketing, online media and many more. So instead of getting lost in explanatory details and comparisons, we need to know that although some of them are slightly different, all four terms are governed by different consumer laws from traditional marketing.
For example, Internet marketing takes place only when we connected to the Internet, while digital marketing may appear also in brick and mortar locations like the train or metro station, at home, on mobile apps, video games and so on.
The main areas of Digital Marketing
1. Social-Media Marketing
As you may have already guessed, social media marketing is used in promoting through social channels, the interaction between individuals and groups. It focuses on the idea of targeting the consumer to develop strategies and tactics with the objective: website/application traffic, awareness, generation of potential customers.
The channels where social media marketing takes place are LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tik-Tok, Twitch, etc.
I look forward to seeing the monetization model of Clubhouse, the hottest app in social media.
2. Pay Per Click (PPC)
This type of promotion focuses on channels such as Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Bing, Twitter where you set up paid campaigns to deliver to targeted audiences.
In Google Ads, you have to pay in order to run ads in SERP (Search Engine Results Page) and rely on the keywords that are entered in the Search box.
PPC ads on Facebook can take the form of a sponsored post, a video, animation or slideshow in the newsfeed in order to be clicked by the targeted audience.
LinkedIn also allows sending targeted direct messages by using industry or company filters.
3. Automated Email Marketing
We are all familiar with emails, but don’t be surprised that this medium still has its size of the prize in terms of revenue share within digital campaigns.
Emailing is the main CRM activity (Customer Relationship Management), and the CRM team manager reports to the marketing head function.
But why is Email Marketing still working today?
Because it addresses a group of real people (way more real than on Facebook for example) that know the brand because they have interacted with the company before and have agreed to be informed periodically.
How many Facebook accounts are fake?
According to Statista.com, 16% of All Facebook accounts are fake or duplicates. The latest quarterly reports from Facebook showed that the social network eliminated almost 1.3 billion fake accounts, almost 20% vs. the previous year.
[ Image source: statista.com ]
However, billions of SPAM emails are sent (see SPAM stats above), each one following or not a defined sales funnel to transform leads into customers.
Email campaigns can have various objectives: keeping the database warm by submitting articles and freebies, welcoming new subscribers to newsletters, announcing a new event offline or online, offering discounts or delivering important user information. No matter how it’s being used, Email Marketing will always be a part of digital marketing and it has a great future ahead giving the fact that is increasingly automated, provides strong segmentation options, connectivity with big data systems and inter-connected with other digital marketing channels.
4. Search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization where you want to appear among the top results when a person performs a search using a keyword or phrase. We develop SEO after thorough research for your type of business and the market in which you operate.
SEO is known to the general public as those optimized articles that elevate you in the results of Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines of interest to the brand.
SEO is of 3 types: On-Page SEO, Off-Page SEO and Technical SEO. Let’s develop them a little in a few lines.
What is On-Page SEO?
It is done by optimizing the content of the site pages, blog articles and based on the intention of the searcher, a strategy and research to group keywords and key phrases.
What is Off-Page SEO?
It is the advantage obtained by a website from referring platforms when it receives external links. In order to master off-page SEO, you need to keep a network of bloggers, work with partner websites or high authority domains in order to improve the positions in search engines.
It is about how to compress pages, optimize site files and other techniques to make a website load faster and provide a better user experience.
Technical SEO can be performed both in the application and on Social Media, so it is also a pure digital marketing activity.
5. Search engine marketing (SEM)
SEM is a digital marketing activity that includes SEO and PPC. It’s optimizing paid ads, optimizing your account for new conversions and ROI.
6. Affiliate marketing
It is about promotion through influencers, bloggers, who receive a commission for leads or clicks.
7. Content Marketing
From my point of view, Content Marketing is part of SEM and strictly linked with SEO activities.
8. Native Advertising
Native advertising is mainly about content that a company has to pay in order to display it. It includes infographics, animations, videos, images.
9. Inbound Marketing
This activity includes everything related to creating content in order to attract relevant visitors at each stage of a customer journey.
I hope I managed to briefly outline for you what digital marketing. Every specialist wants to learn from the best, therefore I recommend you to have mentors, successful people to pursue their careers.