Digital marketing often gets used synonymously and interchangeably with other terms like online marketing or social media marketing. However, it is more correctly an umbrella term to describe any marketing activity utilizing digital media This also includes non-Internet solutions. In today’s world, every business needs a digital marketing strategy. Don’t you agree?
The reason the term can sometimes become confusing is there is a lot of crossover. As an example, Social media marketing (SMM) includes aspects of content marketing, behavioral targeting, mobile marketing, and more. Therefore, SMM is digital marketing that can fall under the sub-label online marketing. However, there are aspects of digital marketing that are not online—or not completely.
Push notifications to a digital device does not technically fall under online marketing. An app on a phone could notify a potential customer, when they are near your store, there is an in-store event or sale. You don’t want them to go to your website. You want them to go into your physical location. Make sense?
So, Digital marketing goes beyond online marketing, and will include solutions specific to phones, tablets, gaming devices, and even things like digital billboards, smart televisions, and digital radio. Digital marketing also maximizes returns on investment by using targeting methods that focus not only on demographics, but online and offline behaviors and location. Are we starting to make sense?
I have created a very short list of common solutions used by digital marketers. Keep in mind, this is not all-inclusive. It is just a jumping off point to get one started in the right direction.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM) includes those activities to increase rank in search engine results. It includes both paid advertising and search engine optimization (SEO). In order for a website to gain the most traffic from search engine, it must show up on the first page of search results. This is the goal of search engine marketing.
Content marketing focuses on creating and distributing valuable and relevant original and curated content to attract and retain a targeted audience—with the ultimate goal of increasing leads and driving sales. This includes the creation and use of blogs, videos, photos, and more. The use of informative or entertaining content attracts customers to your brand, and gives them a reason to return to your website of social media page even when they are not ready to buy.
Influencer marketing identifies individuals that themselves have significant influence over potential buyers, and aligns marketing activities around those people. Influencer marketing activities can include:
- Marketing to influencers—increases awareness within the influencer’s community
- Marketing through influencers—using influencers to increase awareness within a targeted audience
- Marketing with influencers—turning influencers into a supporter, backer, or promoter
Behavioral targeting’s aim is to increase the effectiveness of advertising using a customer’s behavior information. It allows for broad targeting of interests and buying styles, or more narrow targeting, such as previously viewed web sites or products. So, for instance, if a customer’s profile shows he or she is a “coffee drinker,” advertisements about coffee products can be shown specially to that person. This increases your return on investment by making sure those most likely to buy are the ones seeing your ads. Cool, right?
Mobile marketing sends promotions to cell phones, smart phones and other handheld devices. These tend to be short and simple marketing messages focused on participation-based campaigns, but can be used to entice potential customers to visit a mobile website.
- SMS & MMS marketing—similar to email marketing, sends messages, images, or videos to a user’s phone
- Push notifications—sends notifications on the top of a smartphone or other digital device screen
- App-based marketing—apps allow for direct engagement, payment, and targeted advertising
- In-game mobile marketing—delivers promotional messages within mobile games
- Mobile web marketing—web pages and advertising specifically designed for mobile devices
- QR codes—sends URL or other information to customer’s phone when they scan a 2D image with their built-in camera
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing (SMM) uses social media networks to increase brand awareness or website traffic and, much like search engine marketing, works to improve organic reach alongside paid social media advertising. The best practices of SMM focuses on building a community before a call to action. A brand can build trust and credibility, earning the sale before customers are ready to buy.