Updated: Jan 26
One way to describe digital marketing would be to compare it to teenage sex: “everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it…”. While this particular joke might seem absurd, it isn’t exactly that much off point.
You see, while the term digital marketing gets tossed around a lot, which makes the greatest majority of people believe they know what exactly that is. However, if you ask these people to explain what content marketing, PPC or SEO are, they might pause for a moment or even fail to give an answer altogether. In other words, not only are they not using them, they aren’t exactly sure what these methods entail at all. With this in mind and without further ado, here are several most common types of digital marketing that every business will encounter, or be in need of, sooner or later.
1. Pay-per-click (PPC)
The first digital marketing method we are about to discuss is the popular PPC marketing. Here, the website owner is directly paying to the advertisers for every visit that comes through their website. The way this works is quite simple – you display an ad on someone’s website (let’s say blog) and every time someone clicks on this add, you pay that particular blogger a fixed fee. The best thing about this method is that it is quite easy to quantify, seeing how you pay for the exact figure of traffic boost that comes to your website. Bloggers trying to earn money this way might either go with affiliate marketing or Google AdSense, so they should be first two stops for an aspiring business willing to invest in PPC strategy as well.
2. SEO (Search engine optimization)
Another term that a person getting started in the world of digital marketing is about to encounter is the SEO. Still, what is SEO exactly? In order to give an answer to this question, one must first know how search engines work. You see, an internet is a vast sea of data and information and without at least some form of pattern or organization, one wouldn’t be able to find anything they are looking for. This is where search engines come in. Through a complex algorithm, search engines sort, rank and display this data as search results. SEO is merely a process to improve your website’s standing on the World Wide Web.
3. Social media marketing
Another thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that social media aren’t simply meant for reconnecting with your high school friends. A lot of companies are using platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as the main platforms through which they promote their business. However, this requires a no small amount of planning and a huge deal of strategizing.
For instance, every network has its own audience, which is why you should first identify your target demographics. If you plan to sell arts and crafts items, your platform of choice should probably be Pinterest, while for digital tools and software you might want to try YouTube. At the end of the day, the greater your reach, the better, which is why you should always try to create a solid presence on at least several platforms at once.
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4. Content marketing
The best way to make people interested in what you have to offer is to actually present them with something that adds value. This, however, means that you should come up with quality content that either entertains, educates or gives your audience something to think about. The greatest problem with content marketing is the fact that it requires a lot of research, work and talent. Still, if you manage to meet all of these requirements, the results are bound to follow.
Finally, while some may assume that email marketing is dead, nothing can be further from the truth. On the contrary, this particular method of outreach has been on a steady rise since the dawn of the internet, making it a true anomaly in the world of digital marketing. Nonetheless, in order to make it work, you need to A) learn how to make your audience interested by using as little words as possible and B) learn how to make a killer subject line. Moreover, keep in mind that in 2017 people mostly read emails through their mobile devices, which is why you should also find a way to make your emails mobile-friendly.
As you can see, digital marketing is hardly a rocket-science, yet it is still horribly underused by most businesses out there. Unbelievable as it may sound almost half of small businesses in the U.S. didn’t have a website in 2016. This figure alone might be enough to explain why 90 percent of all startups and SMBs fail within the first five years of doing business. Make no mistake, a strong online presence is mandatory in 2017 and the only way to achieve it is through adequate digital marketing.