27 min read
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Updated: August 29, 2022

Everything You Need to Know About Digital Marketing

The world as we know it revolves around the internet. With approximately 61.4 percent of the population using the internet on a frequent basis, marketing efforts have understandably become digital over the last decade.

Moreover, over 90% of the world’s population use their mobile devices to go online, so introducing easier and better ways to communicate via mobile marketing is a must!

As consumers began to pivot into a more digital world, marketers began to adjust accordingly. Brands are automatically missing out on sales if they don’t have a functional search engine marketing strategy in place. Enter the world of digital marketing, i.e., any type of marketing done online.

What is Digital Marketing?

Marketing as a whole revolves around reaching the right audience with the right message at the right time. Traditional marketing campaigns appear in mediums such as newspapers, magazines, billboards, television, and radio ads. Think of any type of marketing that you don’t need internet access to see.

While these marketing channels are still utilized today, they aren’t nearly as effective as mobile marketing efforts.

Digital marketing refers to any marketing effort that is completed digitally. Compared to traditional marketing methods, digital marketing is significantly cheaper and more cost-effective; it allows for highly targeted campaigns on digital platforms your audience already uses.

Today, businesses of all sorts leverage digital marketing strategies to create effective email campaigns, social media campaigns, SEO campaigns, and other digital marketing campaigns to reach their target audience and attract new customers.

What Is the Role of Digital Marketing?

Businesses can harness the power of digital marketing in several ways, making it a key player in the success of any given brand. As digital marketing revolves around online touchpoints, brands can explore digital marketing platforms such as social media, search engine marketing, and email marketing, as well as video marketing, SEO strategies, and many more to reach the right audience.

To become and stay relevant in today’s world, brands need to have a digital marketing budget. Without a website or digital ad strategy, it’s almost impossible to generate leads.

Consider the consumer’s perspective; if you want to learn something about a particular product or service, you want the ability to research it online.

Brands can (and should) lean into different digital marketing types to help establish themselves and create a following. Play around with different content marketing platforms and mediums to find what works best for you.

Types of Digital Marketing

Below is a list of some of the most common and effective digital marketing tactics and what it takes to be successful at each one.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a digital marketing tactic that utilizes Google’s search algorithm to appear on the first page of Google’s search results. SEO involves optimizing your web pages as effectively as possible to outrank your competitors on search engines.

Simply put, the higher your page ranks on Google’s search engine results page (SERP), the more traffic your website will receive. This leads to more conversions and loyal customers in the future.

SEO campaigns are built around many moving parts to help achieve results, including:

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO refers to website content that is viewable to consumers when they’re navigating your URL. Utilizing a mix of relevant keywords and search volume intent, you can help answer questions that often appear on the SERP and outrank your competition.

choose the right keywords

Off-Page SEO

This type of SEO focuses on your website activity that occurs behind the scenes, and it is not visible to the consumer. Don’t mistake unpublished content for irrelevant content, though. Your off-page content strategy should revolve around building a link hierarchy to help show Google what keywords you care about the most.

You can also build a network with other publishers and collaborate to create a series of external links that direct traffic to your website.

Technical SEO

The third type of SEO is dedicated to the coding of the back-end of your website. All of your files, including photos, structured data, image compression, and CSS file optimization are part of your technical SEO. When done incorrectly, those assets can diminish website speed, which negatively impacts your SEO.

Regardless of the type of SEO, remember that the strategy as a whole is a long-term game. Results take at least a few months to begin to show, so be patient and know that effective online marketing tactics take time.

PPC Advertising

Pay-per-click advertising, or PPC, is the method of driving consumers to your website by paying every time they click on one of your ads through a publisher. Think of PPC advertising as a way to purchase website visitors instead of promoting your website organically.

When PPC campaigns are implemented correctly, they can produce impactful results, making the small fee that you pay per click worth it. For example, if you paid $5 for one click, but it resulted in a purchase of over $100, that margin is well worth the investment.

To build a successful PPC campaign, businesses need to complete the proper keyword research and utilize the right keywords to make ad groups. PPC landing pages must also be implemented and optimized to help drive conversions.

Plus, Google and other search engines will charge you less per click if your PPC campaigns do well. The sooner you start implementing smart PPC campaigns into your digital marketing strategy, the sooner you will begin seeing results.

Google Paid Advertising Campaigns

Google Ads

The most common type of PPC advertisements are made through Google Ads; companies can pay for high-ranking spots on Google’s search engine results page to promote their product or business.

Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is the most popular PPC platform in the world. It allows users to create PPC advertisements directly on the platform, which makes it easy to keep track of your ad’s character count.

Ranking Factors for PPC Campaigns

  • Quality score: Your ‘quality score’ is how Google rates the relevance and quality of keywords, landing pages, and PPC campaigns. The better your quality score, the cheaper you can typically get ad clicks at a lower cost.
  • Keyword relevance: Developing a relevant keyword list with organized keyword groups can help improve PPC campaigns.
  • Landing page quality: Your landing pages should have relevant content with clear language to help attract consumers.
  • Overall creativity: Your ad copy should inspire and entice your audience to interact with your brand.

Users of Google Ads can place bids on keywords, paying each time someone clicks on their advertisement. When a user searches for something on Google, the search engine quickly scans its advertising pools to see what is most relevant to the user.

Google Ads is a particularly ideal PPC platform due to the sheer popularity of Google itself. It is significantly more popular than other search engines, and it delivers a sizeable amount of traffic to your website.

Facebook and Instagram Paid Advertising Campaigns

Digital marketers can also choose to run paid advertisements on both Facebook and Instagram. Each digital marketing platform offers similar deliverables, but is tailored toward different demographics. Whether you decide to run paid ads on one or both platforms depends on your budget and overall strategy.

Ad Management

Marketers can use Facebook Ads Manager to manage both Facebook and Instagram paid ads. This makes overseeing ads on both platforms a breeze, and you can easily monitor and harvest important insights.

The main difference is Instagram is simplistic in how they set up their ads, while Facebook allows for a variety of objectives and ad sets. If you’re new to PPC ads, it’s ideal to start with Instagram to learn the ropes. Doing so can give you good practice for how to run a successful Facebook ads campaign.

Demographics & Audiences

The term ‘demographics’ refers to the majority overall user base of a brand, and ‘audiences’ refers to your account’s followers that you can reach.

It’s no surprise that Instagram’s demographic skews younger, while Facebook’s demographic covers a wide variety of age ranges.

Determining your target audience is a significant part of developing your paid ads strategy. Once you know where your demographic spends their time online, you can show up in the right spots at the right times.

Digital Marketing Strategy Goals

Defining clear goals and benchmarks for your ads is essential in determining your success metrics.

On Facebook, you select your goals from the start of each campaign, whereas most options are available on Instagram in a limited capacity compared to Facebook.

However, running an ad on the Instagram app does not allow you to alter your objectives, so this is something that you should keep in mind before moving forward.

facebook ads marketing

SEO vs. PPC: What is Better?

Determining whether SEO or PPC is a better approach for your business can be tricky and complicated, as each platform offers different benefits that should be carefully considered.

Before you implement both an SEO and PPC campaign simultaneously, know that as much as they are effective together, they can also impact one another’s results. For example, if you notice that your SEO results have been increasing, Google likely won’t keep your PPC ads running in such a high position.

Whether you choose SEO or PPC depends on your marketing goals. Do you want to start marketing a specific product through digital marketing immediately? If this is the case, we recommend opting for PPC. Pay-per-click advertising doesn’t require a ton of time to see results, and it can help drive immediate traffic to your site.

If you only have a small marketing budget, and you’re unsure how to spend it, consider opting for SEO instead. SEO experts can elevate your digital strategy to new heights and derive the most value for money.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a general term that refers to both the creation and circulation of a variety of content assets for your business. Publishing high-quality content can help increase brand awareness and deliver strong results. The more people who view this content, the more eyes on your brand.

Different digital channels to help improve your content marketing include:

  • Blogs: Does your company site have a blog section? If it doesn’t, consider adding one. It’s a space to publish relevant, timely articles for your audience to keep them engaged with your brand. Your blog section can also help generate organic search traffic and increase the chances of converting.
  • Infographics: Another supplementary content marketing piece is an infographic. Infographics are pieces of visual content that bring statistics to life and keep your readers engaged. They can be combined with blogs or optimized on their own.
  • Ebooks and white papers: Long-form content such as e-books and white papers can help educate your readers. You can also be strategic and provide readers with engaging content in exchange for their contact details.

A content marketing strategy is a part of SEO, so results won’t happen overnight. Be patient and consistent!

Email Marketing

email marketing

Email marketing is another important and effective digital marketing strategy. Companies tap into email marketing to communicate with many people. It’s an ideal way to promote products, send discounts, or communicate essential information with your audience.

You may wonder whether email marketing messages are still relevant or outdated. In reality, the numbers prove that email marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels available.

85% of adult internet users have an active email account, and the number of active email users by 2023 will be 4.3 billion. Plus, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42.

With email marketing, you can create targeted and personalized messages that build meaningful relationships with your customers. Just like social media, email marketing is scalable and can be used to reach larger audiences or smaller lists.

If you aren’t sure what email marketing platform to use, make sure to research your options and develop the right messaging for audiences at every stage of the marketing funnel.

Social Media Advertising

It’s impossible to mention digital marketing without mentioning social media marketing. Brands can tap into the power of social media networks to build brand recognition and drive traffic.

In today’s world, the most popular social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Each platform has different primary demographics and uses, so research where your target audience spends their time online.

There are five core components that work in tandem to create an effective social media marketing strategy: strategy, planning & publishing, listening & engagement, and analytics & reporting.

Strategy

Consider how social platforms can help your business reach and surpass its goals. Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate engagement, or drive website traffic? Once you have a better handle on your strategy, you can pinpoint which social media channels you need to be on and begin to produce content accordingly.

Whatever your social media marketing goals are, they should always follow the SMART framework and be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. You also don’t have to be on every social media platform, only the ones your audience uses.

Planning & Publishing

Social media is home to nearly 3 billion people, so take advantage of simple interactions that promote your brand. Write and share engaging blog posts and push out content that your audience will enjoy.

Take advantage of social media scheduling top digital marketing tools such as Sprout Social, Hootsuite, CoSchedule, and Buffer to put the process on auto-drive.

Listening & Engagement

As your brand following begins to grow, you’ll start to figure out what type of content does well and what type of content doesn’t get high engagement.

You can also practice social listening and see what consumers have to say about your brand without letting you know directly. These insights are extremely valuable to your brand and can shed light on where you can improve your business.

A not so obvious but great way to interact with your audience is via social media polls. They offer entertainment and collect important research and data. Social media marketing polls are also an effective strategy to receive feedback at a low cost with a quick turnaround.

Analytics

Digital advertising performance will determine what strategies are working and what strategies need to be changed. Utilize the analytics that comes with social channels like Facebook and Instagram to create even more successful campaigns in the future.

According to a report by Deloitte, 49% of respondents said analytics is a key factor in better-making capabilities. Analytics drive search engine optimization, increase sales, identify innovation opportunities, forecast financial performance, and help understand financial drivers.

Social media marketing

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a digital marketing methodology in which you attract customers and engage with them positively throughout the buyer’s journey*. Inbound marketing is typically a combination of the aforementioned marketing tactics to help create a positive experience for the customer.

On the opposite hand, outbound marketing consists of disrupting your consumer with information that they didn’t ask for.

Inbound marketing techniques revolve around attracting, engaging, and delighting your target audience. Examples of inbound marketing include blogs, organic social media marketing, SEO website text, e-books, and webinars, just to name a few.

The buyer’s journey describes a buyer’s path to purchase. No one wakes up and decides to buy something on a whim. They go through a process to become aware of, consider, evaluate, and then decide to purchase a product or service. A good inbound marketing campaign produces content that reaches buyers at every stage of their journey.

Affiliate Marketing

This is a type of digital marketing during which brands receive a commission for promoting another company’s products or services.

Affiliate marketing is based on revenue sharing, meaning that if you find a product that you like, you can promote it and earn a commission in return. The ‘affiliate’ refers to either an individual or a brand that publishes the content on behalf of the merchant.

For example, eBay, Amazon, and even Home Depot have affiliate programs in which advertisers only pay commissions when a conversion happens. This benefits both the company and the affiliate involved, so it’s a win-win situation.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is the process of using influencers, or external content creators, to advocate, promote and engage with your brand’s message on digital marketing channels, such as social media.

Essentially, they are content creators on social channels with a large audience. Kim Kardashian is an iconic influencer, for example, although a micro-influencer with a significantly smaller following of between 1000 and 100,000 can be equally effective.

Micro-influencers focus on niche areas and are regarded as industry experts or topic specialists, rather than mere celebrities. When influencers present your brand or services to their audience, they augment brand awareness and hopefully convert their audience into your customers.

Popular influencer marketing tactics might include:

  • Partnering with an influencer to create co-branded products or campaigns
  • Using influencers to create video marketing, blog posts, and social media ads for your brand.
  • Product reviews on social media platforms
  • Product placements in creative content
  • Sharing unique coupon codes, so the influencer’s audience gets a great deal

When venturing into this type of content marketing, make sure you choose influencers who resonate with your brand and that you have a clear idea of what you wish to achieve.

Can I Run a Successful Digital Marketing on My Own?

Digital marketing work is possible to do on your own, but that doesn’t mean it will be done correctly. Smaller companies may have one person dedicated to the company’s digital marketing efforts, while larger companies may have a marketing team.

There are some areas of digital marketing that you may be able to pick up on your own, such as organic social media posts or inbound marketing. If you’re patient, you can also approach digital marketing with a trial and error attitude, but this won’t yield as effective or timely results.

Many businesses decide to pass their digital marketing efforts onto digital marketing agencies, so they can focus on other important aspects of improving the business. Professional digital marketers have the knowledge and resources to effectively communicate your marketing message. They save both time and money.

How to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Channels

If your digital marketing is done in-house by a member of staff, you’re probably already tapping into improved revenue potential. It’s likely a portion of your target audience is being reached, although there is probably more can you do to leverage social media accounts, and improve your digital marketing assets.

Understanding how your target audience spends their time online helps you show up in the right place at the right time to attract their attention. Don’t rush into this process, however; digital marketing works best with a strong strategy behind it.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to fine-tune your digital marketing efforts, our team at Comrade is happy to help.

Whether you’re new to digital marketing or you simply want to explore new channels and platforms, we are ready to help your business thrive.

Contact us by filling out our online contact form or call us at (312) 265-0580, and we’ll even provide a full marketing audit free of charge. Simple as that.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does a digital marketer need to know?

To succeed in digital marketing, you need to possess a wide range of skills and knowledge. Basically, you need to be savvy about how data shapes and drives the customer experience across various platforms and master a few tools, including Google Ads, Google Analytics, social media ads managers, etc.

Do you need to know coding for digital marketing?

Understanding code is now of great importance for most of the jobs in the IT industry. And digital marketing is not an exception. If you plan on marketing your project on your own, you absolutely need to develop a set of programming skills to do the job right.

Is digital marketing difficult?

We'd not be honest in saying that digital marketing is an easy job to do. When going on to market your project, you should be ready to accept that this job is also extremely demanding, and it takes a lot of hard work and willingness to face high competition and take risks to succeed.

Where can I find your company?

Comrade originates in Chicago, but we worked all around the United States. We can help your business grow and increase revenue whenever you are. We have offices across most major cities in the US. For example, we can offer digital marketing services in Kansas City or Portland. You can even find our internet marketing experts in San Antonio! If you want to know more about our Chicago digital marketing agency or find out how exactly we can help you, contact us via the phone or email.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you would like to discuss your project, reach out to our specialists.

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About the Author
Sasha Berson
Sasha serves as Managing Partner and VP of Client Solutions for Comrade Digital Marketing, a Chicago-based marketing agency dedicated to solving client’s most pressing digital challenges.
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