Digital marketing: What, why, and how online marketing is important

Looking to get into digital marketing? Or have a small business that needs to boost its online presence?

Well, in this blog we will discuss the various aspects of digital marketing, how you can find a marketing agency, or if you are so inclined, how to take care of all of your own internet marketing needs.

First let’s cover the basics: what is digital marketing?

Table of Contents

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the process undertaken to sell products or services online. There are multiple online channels that you can leverage to do this, they include: search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, text and multimedia messaging, social media, and paid advertising.

In simple terms, digital marketing is any form of marketing service that uses electronic devices to spread its content.

Don’t be confused either, digital marketing can take place online as well as offline!

Why is digital marketing important?

The time of radio ads, newspaper ads, billboards, and (possibly) TV ads are long gone. With 85% of Americans going online daily, and 31% of them stating they are constantly online, online mechanisms have taken over the lives of many. 

So what does that mean, you ask? 

It means people are no longer consuming ads, looking for services or products like they used to. Therefore, businesses have and will continue to need to market their products where people currently are: the digital world.

Digital marketing and internet marketing services will grant you access to the droves of people spending their time in the digital world. Moreover, as mentioned before, online marketing will help you get in front of a larger audience and an audience that already has an interest in your products and services.

Finally, marketing online is more cost-effective than traditional marketing methods like print and billboards. Especially if you decide to aim for organic traffic.

6 Crucial Digital marketing Statistics

To further understand digital marketing and the importance of it, we have compiled a list of six of the most crucial digital marketing statistics to pay attention to.

  1. It is estimated that there will be over 295 million mobile internet users by 2023. This is important because mobile users are driving much of the sales that take place when it comes to local businesses as well as e-commerce.
  2. 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. This shows how important it is to develop trust with customers through reviews and great customer services.
  3. A 2020 statistics report showed that online marketers using at least three marketing channels for their campaigns realized approximately 287% more sales than those only targeting a single channel.
  4. Content marketing is 62% less expensive than traditional marketing tactics. Moreover, it generates three times as many leads compared to traditional marketing. This is important for online businesses trying to decide which type of marketing to utilize.
  5. 51% of marketers consider video as the content with the best ROI. This can be seen with the massive shift in consumer behavior to consume video content on YouTube instead of blogs.
  6. 90% of businesses state that social media marketing is responsible for increased visibility and website traffic for their business.

Now that we have seen some of the most important statistics about digital marketing, and what they mean for online businesses, we will look at the seven different components of digital marketing.

What are the 7 P’s of digital marketing?

It is important to know the different elements of digital marketing. In this section, we will go over the seven P’s of online and digital marketing. The 7 P’s of digital marketing are: product, price, place, promotion, people, process, and physical evidence.

The different Ps help you visualize and model your campaigns. This is important as it will help you determine the tools and strategies that you should use. Understanding every aspect of your marketing process allows you to build a better, more efficient, and more profitable enterprise online. Moreover, knowing how different parts of an online marketing mix connect to your company is critical in developing and executing a successful digital marketing plan.

Let’s jump into each of the 7 P’s of digital marketing:

1. Product: 

The first step in any digital marketing campaign is to create a quality product that meets the needs of your target audience. You need to research what they want and make sure that your offering matches those needs. You also need to make sure that the product is available at a fair price and in a convenient place.

2. Price: 

Pricing is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing because it affects how much money you make from your campaign. It’s important to set prices that are fair for both you and your target audience, but not so low that no one pays attention to you. Prices should also be high enough to cover the costs associated with running your business, like advertising expenses and shipping costs.

3. Place:

Where you put your content matters when it comes to online marketing. Make sure that it’s accessible from all devices and locations around the world without any HTTP status codes being returned. Additionally, choose a location for your website or blog that reflects the brand you’re trying to build (for example, if you’re selling products related to health and wellness then choosing a location like NYC would be ideal).

4. Promotion: 

This means promoting your product in the right places and at the right times so that it reaches as many people as possible. You also need to make sure that your promotional strategies are effective – this means testing different approaches until you find one that works best for you!

5. People:

People are the heart of digital marketing. Without them, everything falls apart. You need to understand your users and what motivates them in order to create effective campaigns that will drive results.

6. Process:

This is important in order for people to be able to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. You need to have a clear plan and structure in place so that everyone knows what’s expected of them, and they can track progress along the way.

7. Physical evidence (Digital evidence): 

Is essential in order for people to see how your campaigns are working and understand the impact that they’re having on your business overall. This can be anything from tracking clicks on ads to seeing which pages are being shared the most on social media.

What is the difference between Inbound marketing and digital marketing?

For a good reason, digital marketing and inbound marketing are frequently mistaken. Many of the same tools used inbound marketing, such as email and internet content, are used in digital marketing. Both are designed to engage prospects and turn them into consumers throughout the customer’s journey. The relationship between the digital marketing tool and the goal, however, is seen differently in each of the two approaches.

Whereas, digital marketing examines how individual tools and digital channels are used to convert prospects during the buyer’s journey. Multiple platforms or a singular platform might be utilized by a brand’s digital marketing strategy. For instance, a business may decide to focus on social media channels and email marketing campaigns while overlooking other digital marketing techniques.

Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is a holistic concept and approach to marketing. Whereas It starts with and keeps in mind throughout the process the overall goal, then it assesses the available tools to choose which one will most effectively reach the target audience at each stage of the sales funnel. To generate more prospects and leads, for example, a marketer may want to increase website traffic. Therefore, when creating a content marketing plan, the marketer may concentrate on search engine optimization (SEO), and use resources to produce higher-quality material such as blogs, landing pages, and service pages.

As a marketing professional, you don’t have to choose between digital and inbound marketing. The most important thing to remember is that they’re both important. In reality, they complement each other. Inbound marketing ensures that every digital marketing channel contributes to a goal by organizing and defining the goals for successful digital marketing.

What are the benefits of Online Marketing?

We know why internet marketing is important for businesses, now let’s define some of the major benefits of using digital marketing as part of a marketing strategy:

  • Online marketing is more cost-effective than outbound marketing methods (cold-calling, cold-emailing/spamming, direct mail, billboards, event sponsorships, advertising through TV, and radio).
  • Digital marketing allows smaller businesses to compete with more established bigger brands.
  • Online marketing campaigns are trackable and measurable.
  • Digital marketing strategies are flexible and can be highly reactive to the situation 
  • Digital marketing grants access to highly-motivated and interested potential customers.

There are plenty of other benefits, but these are the major ones. Marketing online can help small businesses and companies be adaptive and proactive when looking for leads. It is important to know that there are different digital marketing approaches to finding and attracting customers.

Let’s take a look at the different methods of digital marketing:

Different Internet Marketing Methods:

For this round-up of internet marketing methods, we highlight six different types. Each of the methods listed requires a different type of skill and budget. The best approach is to come up with an online strategy that incorporates aspects of each method.

As digital marketing channels continue to proliferate, it can be hard to know which one is right for your business. Moreover, digital marketing is one of the most important tools that businesses can use to reach their target audience. It allows businesses to communicate with customers in a variety of ways and can be used to increase website traffic, build brand awareness, and increase sales. 

To help you decide which marketing channel is best for your business, this section highlights six different types of digital marketing. From email marketing to social media, this section will cover the basics of each digital marketing channel.

Have a look at the six methods and see if you can do any of them in-house. And if not, you may want to reach out to a marketing agency to help with the rest.

1. Search engine optimization (SEO):

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a practice that involves improving the ranking of a website on search engines like Google. This can be done through various means, including improving the quality of the website content, adding keyword tags and Meta descriptions, and making sure the website is easy to find on Google.

Google claims that high-quality websites with relevant keywords rank higher in search results than low-quality websites without any SEO effort. In other words, if you want your website to be found by people who are searching for information related to your product or service online, then you will need to incorporate SEO optimization in your digital marketing strategy. 

There are a number of different techniques that businesses can use to improve their search engine marketing with the best SEO techniques. The most common methods involve optimizing your website content, improving your site’s design, and using keywords in your titles and content.

SEO is an ongoing process, so it’s important for businesses to regularly monitor their rankings and make any necessary changes to ensure that they continue to rank high. It can also be helpful to outsource the task of SEO to an experienced SEO agency that will help you achieve your desired results.

2. Content marketing:

Content marketing is a strategy used by businesses to produce and distribute high-quality content in order to attract and retain customers. It involves creating and distributing content that is relevant to your target audience, and using it to build relationships with them.

Content marketing is all about creating good content that people will want to read and share. It’s not just about posting random blogs or articles on your website; rather, it’s about creating high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience and useful for them. This means that you need to think carefully about the topics you choose to write about, as well as the format in which you present them.

You should also make sure that your content is easy to find and access so that people can get the most out of it quickly. You can do this by using content writing for SEO techniques. Additionally, you should make use of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to reach a wider audience and share your content with their followers.

It can be split into two main categories: organic content marketing and paid content marketing. Organic content marketing refers to the distribution of original, unmodified content that is created by the business itself. Paid content marketing, on the other hand, refers to the distribution of third-party content that has been paid for or sponsored by the business.

The main benefits of Content Marketing are as follows: 

  • Increased traffic and website visitors
  • Increased brand awareness
  • Improved customer retention

3. Social media marketing:

Social media marketing is the use of online platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram to promote a brand or product. It’s a fairly recent trend in digital marketing, but it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular methods for reaching out to customers.

By using social media platforms, businesses can reach out to their customers and create a relationship with them. This helps them build trust and credibility, which in turn leads to higher sales figures.

The main benefits of social media marketing are as follows: 

  • It’s cost-effective. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are free to use, which makes them an affordable option for small businesses
  • It’s highly targeted. With the help of targeting tools, businesses can target their ads specifically at the users who are most likely to be interested in what they have to offer
  • It’s fast and easy to set up. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are very user-friendly, making it easy for businesses of all sizes to get started with this form of marketing.

Moreover, it is important to distinguish the two different types of social media marketing. Depending on the goal of your social media marketing campaign, you may decide to engage in traditional advertising or influencer marketing:

  • Traditional advertising: This is the most traditional form of social media marketing and involves placing ads on popular platforms like Facebook and Google. Though it may be more expensive than other methods, it has been shown to be more effective in terms of reaching your target audience
  • Influencer marketing: This involves working with influential people who have a large following on social media platforms and persuading them to promote your product or brand. Though this method is relatively expensive, it can yield very successful results if done correctly. 

4. Pay-per-click marketing

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is a type of digital marketing that allows businesses to earn money from the ads that are clicked on by their visitors. This is done by placing ads on websites and Google in order to attract a potential customer into clicking on the ad.

This type of advertising is particularly effective when it comes to web page Ads, which are designed to appear on the pages of websites where people are likely to look for information about a particular product or service. They can also be used for lead generation, which allow businesses to target potential customers based on their email addresses or other contact information.

Another form of paid ads includes showcasing your content on the top of SERP results. This helps businesses feature their content above all organic results on Google, and garnish clicks for various keywords and phrases.

The main advantage of pay-per-click marketing over other forms of digital advertising is that it’s highly targeted and allows businesses to spend less money on advertising than they would with general advertising campaigns. Additionally, it’s often more efficient because it allows businesses to measure how well their ad campaign is performing right away.

Though PPC has been around for quite some time now, it is still one of the most popular forms of digital marketing. It’s also something that can be incorporated into almost any type of website – whether it’s a personal website, an e-commerce site, or even a blog site. If you’re looking for an effective way to market your business online, then PPC may be a good option.

Just remember it takes a good amount of research to be successful at it. It can also end up being expensive if the Google Ad is not targeted enough or doesn’t produce the results you were looking for.

5. Affiliate marketing:

Affiliate marketing is a business model in which an affiliate (the affiliate’s client) receives a commission for each sale of products or services they generate.

The focus of affiliate marketing is not on the product or service itself, but on driving traffic to a partner’s website. This traffic is then used to generate sales and commissions for the affiliate, without the partner having to do any extra work. 

 affiliates can be found in all industries, including online advertising, e-commerce, lead generation, and more. The most common type of affiliate program is the commission-based program, where affiliates are paid based on the sales they generate. 

Since digital marketing is increasingly about driving traffic to websites, affiliates are an important part of any business that wants to succeed online. Affiliate marketing provides an easy way for small businesses to get started with online advertising and build their own website from scratch – without having to invest large sums of money upfront.

6. Email marketing

Email marketing is a way for businesses to send email newsletters or other emails to their customers. It’s a very effective way of building relationships with your customers and staying in touch with them.

Email marketing can be used for a variety of purposes, such as promoting new products, services, or discounts. You can also use it to communicate with your customers about important updates or changes that you’re making to your website or product.

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways of reaching out to your customers. It’s also one of the most reliable methods because it doesn’t require any special technical skills or infrastructure. All you need is an email address and some good email marketing software.

Email marketing has several benefits that make it a top choice for businesses: 

  • It’s quick and easy to set up, making it ideal for small businesses that don’t have time to invest in other forms of marketing
  • It’s cost-effective, given the fact that you only need a few emails sent out per month to achieve significant results
  • It’s highly reliable, as spam complaints are rare and people tend to open most emails they receive
  • Email Marketing can help build trust and loyalty with your customers, which is essential in any business relationship.

As mentioned above, a mixture of all six of these elements will help develop a sound marketing strategy and help you reach your overall marketing goals. Work with your team to see if anyone has experience or expertise in the different marketing methods. If yes, have them devote time to using them to promote your website. And if no one does, consider reaching out to a digital marketing agency for help.

Business Type B2B and B2C Digital Marketing:

Digital marketing and the types of digital marketing services you will need to acquire from an agency will differ depending on the type of business you have. It is essential that you familiarize yourself with the differences between B2B and B2C digital marketing approaches. 

Furthermore, by knowing the differences, you will be able to more effectively choose the approach and marketing methods you will need to employ. Let’s look at a couple of examples of how the two differ:

  • Business to Business (B2B) digital marketing campaigns usually have a decision-making process that takes more time. Furthermore, the increase in time frame typically means a longer sales funnel as well. Therefore, if you are marketing for your B2B, use online marketing methods that use strategies that focus on relationship-building. On the flip side, business-to-consumer relationships are usually short-term and thus don’t need extensive relationship-building strategies.
  • B2B deals are driven by data and evidence. Whereas, they want to be 100% sure that your business can provide the services or products that will do exactly what it was designed to do. Business-to-consumer products and services are more emotionally based and focus on making the customer feel good about whatever they purchase.
  • Business to business transactions typically requires the input of more than one person, as it usually entails a more expensive purchase and something that will be intertwined with the buyer’s business for a longer period of time. Therefore, while working on B2B transactions focus on content and materials that are easily downloadable, or shareable amongst different people. B2C transactions and customers, on the other hand, are usually one-to-one transactions and are driven by their emotional connection with the brand or product.

This, of course, is not an extensive list, and there will always be exceptions to the rules. For example, a business-to-consumer company may have an expensive product – phones, computers, cars, swimming pools, hot tubs, etc. – and thus require more informative and in-depth content than a low-ticket item. 

As you will see in the next section, this is where knowing your target audience pays off. By understanding how they think and behave, you will be able to formulate your marketing strategies accordingly.

Components of Digital Marketing – How to do it

Online marketing or digital marketing can be a complex process. However, if you break it down into smaller manageable steps, it will be easier to start. In this section, we highlight the four overarching steps to be taken when deciding the direction of your digital marketing campaigns. 

1. Setting SMART Goals:

The most important element of digital marketing is identifying and setting SMART SEO goals for your company. It is the first step to your online marketing journey as depending on what your overall goals are for your business, will dictate what type of techniques you employ. 

Remember, while setting goals, make them: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This is the best formula for setting goals that can help you reach your desired outcome.

Finally, SMART digital marketing goals will dictate the actions that you take. For example, if you are looking to increase your overall organic traffic, you will need to spend resources on SEO and content marketing. 

Setting goals is one thing, however, step two is just as important, as small businesses need to know which audience they are targeting with their online marketing goals.

Let’s take a look.

2. Identify your target audience:

Marketing campaigns online, as mentioned, allows for businesses to target a specific audience. Whereas, by defining who your potential customers are, what they are looking for in terms of product, service, or brand, and where they live, you can tailor-make your content to specifically target them.

If a company can define its target audience and its demographic as well as behaviors, a digital marketing campaign can employ methods and techniques that specifically target them.

For example, if you are a dentist in Portland, Oregon, you will be looking for clients in your surrounding area. Therefore, focusing on your local SEO marketing will more than likely provide the biggest results.

Defining and targeting an audience with your online marketing campaign will provide you with a better return on investment (ROI).

A great resource to look at when trying to define and target your audience is Hubspot’s How to Find Your Target Audience.

3. Establish a budget for each digital channel:

After determining your goals and target audience, you will want to determine your budget. Depending on if you decide to take care of your online marketing campaign in-house or by trying to find a digital marketing agency to work with, will determine the level of investment you will need. 

Another factor that will dictate the budget you will need is the goal you chose. For example, if you decide to focus on inbound techniques such as social media, search engine optimization (SEO), or content creation, you will require a smaller budget compared to any outbound marketing techniques like paid advertising.

Inbound marketing and outbound marketing will have drastically different budgets. Inbound marketing is focusing on techniques that go after free organic traffic, whereas outbound marketing means you are trying to buy traffic. Therefore, make sure to spend time looking over your goals, budget, and audience before you choose which path you want to take.

4. Create engaging content:

Now to put it all together, you will need to produce content, either for your content marketing efforts or for your paid ads. No matter the direction you take, you will need to have well-formulated content that speaks to your audience and grabs their attention.

Moreover, make sure that the content is high-quality and is in line with your brand image. Content and copywriting will help your business stand out online, and help drive organic traffic to your website. Focus on keywords that you know your audience is searching for. To find the right keywords, use a keyword research tool (a free tool will work just fine) or Google’s webmaster tools (like Google Search Console) to see where your traffic is already coming from.

7 Challenges for Digital Marketers

For a business to be successful they need to develop a strong online marketing strategy. In order to maximize success, a digital marketers should focus on the seven biggest challenges.

1. Learning About Your Customers

Learning about your customers is one of the most important challenges for digital marketers. You need to be able to understand their needs and wants in order to create content that’s relevant and engaging.

To learn about your customers, you need to collect as much data as possible. This can be done through surveys, interviews, or data analysis tools like Google Analytics. Once you have this information, you can start to understand how your customers behave and what they want. From here, you can start to generate leads that are specifically designed for your business.

2. Generating Qualified Leads:

Generating qualified leads is another challenge that digital marketers face. You need to find a way to connect with your target audience and convert them into paying customers. This may involve creating beautifully designed websites, creating compelling content, or partnering with trusted third-party marketing agencies.

3. Creating Engaging Content:

Creating engaging content is another key challenge for digital marketers. You need to make sure that your content is easy to read and understand, while also being entertaining and interesting. This will help you attract new readers and followers, who in turn will help you generate more leads and business opportunities.

4. Making Websites Accessible

Some of the biggest challenges for digital marketers are making their websites accessible to people with disabilities. This means that they need to make sure that their content is easy to read and understand, while also keeping things simple and organized. They need to make sure that their website looks good on all devices, regardless of how old they are or what language they’re using.

5. Strategizing Mobile-First

Another challenge for digital marketers is figuring out how to best serve their audience on mobile devices. This means creating solutions that work well not just on desktop computers, but also on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. It also means utilizing responsive design principles so that your website looks good regardless of the device or screen size it’s being viewed on. In addition, they should focus on making sure that their website loads quickly so users don’t get frustrated with wait times. 

6. Maintaining Brand Consistency and Authority

It’s important for digital marketers to make sure that their brands remain consistent across all channels – online, offline and across different media types (like video). This way, customers know who they’re buying from and they have a sense of trust in the brand. Furthermore, it’s vital to make sure that your website remains authoritative – meaning it reflects your brand values accurately and without distortion. 

7. Staying Current With Google’s Algorithms

Google has been known for its constantly changing algorithms – which can dramatically affect how you rank in search engine results pages (SERPs). In order to stay ahead of the changes it is important to understand the direction Google is going with their algorithm and what kind of websites and content they prefer.

Additionally, it is essential that websites only use white hat SEO methods for their on-page SEO, off-page SEO elements as well as content development. By using white hat methods, you can ensure that your website will stay in compliance with Google’s guidelines, and develop a long term successful digital marketing campaign.

Key Takeaways – Digital Marketing

There are many components to digital marketing that need to be understood and considered before a business starts online marketing.

Our biggest suggestion is to develop and discuss the business’s overall goals and objectives. If these goals are well defined (remember SMART goals) the company will have a much easier time determining the different digital marketing strategies that will be needed, as well as the budget for it.

Once again, doing online marketing in-house can be difficult and resource-heavy. It may be a better idea to look for a digital marketing agency that can provide all the online marketing services you are looking for. We know it may be scary to engage with a marketing firm, and that’s why we have a ‘how to choose a good marketing agency’ resource! Have a look, and make sure you are comfortable with hiring a firm to provide internet marketing services for your small business.

Clear Door SEO, an SEO agency in Portland, Oregon provides an array of services to meet your digital marketing needs. Take a look at our SEO services. Or contact us directly to set up an appointment to discuss your specific needs.

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