Is Digital Marketing Right For You?
During the past few decades, marketing has changed significantly. In the past, people would find out about products and services from TV commercials, radio spots, and even direct mail marketing. Even though these marketing tools still have their place, digital marketing is the cornerstone of most advertising campaigns in today’s world.
With so many people turning to the internet when they are looking for products and services, it is essential for all businesses, organizations, companies, and even individuals looking to attract new customers to have a presence online. For this reason, it is important to create a robust digital marketing campaign that is going to leave a positive impression on everyone. An effective digital marketing campaign can generate leads, boost conversion rates, and drive revenue growth.
What Is Digital Marketing?
At its core, digital marketing is a tool used to communicate with potential customers, clients, and business partners in the online world. Using digital marketing, businesses and companies can promote products and services using the internet. While many of the same marketing tactics used in the offline world are used in digital marketing, there are also some significant differences.
The goal of digital marketing is to let customers know that there are services and products from that organization that can meet their needs. Because so many people use the internet, digital marketing is essential. Some of the platforms included in the world of digital marketing include eCommerce businesses, search engine results pages, social media platforms, pay per click (PPC) marketing campaigns, SEO, email marketing, and more.
In this manner, to effectively compete in the hypercompetitive global economy that exists today, all businesses need to leverage these tools to craft a strong online presence that positions their company as an authority in the industry. This is where digital marketing is helpful. By employing the right strategies, businesses will be able to speak to their target market positively. Furthermore, when digital marketing is combined with offline marketing, a hybrid, crossover approach will lead to positive results that can effectively grow a business. With this in mind, it is essential to take a closer look at exactly why digital marketing is important.
Why Is Digital Marketing Important?
In today’s environment, digital marketing is one of the integral parts of growing a business. While marketing has always been a crucial part of successful companies, digital marketing is more important today than ever before. One of the first reasons why digital marketing is so important is that this allows businesses to communicate effectively with many people in the blink of an eye. Furthermore, digital marketing is incredibly cost-effective. With social media alone, there are hundreds of millions of people who use these platforms every day. Some of the most popular social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Pinterest. Also, even for businesses, it is free to create a profile on these pages. Therefore, having a strong social media presence can significantly boost a business’s digital marketing campaign’s effectiveness.
Most people use the internet daily. Many people cannot imagine going without the internet for even a day and most business operations would grind to a halt without the internet. With billions of people accessing the online world regularly, digital marketing is a business tool to communicate with these people. With most customers and clients indicating that email and text message are their preferred methods of communicating with businesses, companies must have a strong digital marketing campaign.
Finally, digital marketing is essential because it is much easier to track advertising metrics in the online world. In this manner, digital marketing is transparent when compared to other types of marketing. For example, using digital marketing, it is relatively easy for companies to track how many clicks they are getting, how many responses they are getting, and what percentage of their sales are coming directly from their digital marketing campaigns. In this manner, it is easy for companies to adjust their digital marketing approaches based on these results.
The Puzzle Pieces of Digital Marketing
To run a digital marketing campaign effectively, businesses need to understand what puzzle pieces need to work together to create a strong campaign. There are a few key parts of every digital marketing campaign. These include:
- The Target Market: First, businesses need to think about what their ideal customer is going to look like. Some of the most important factors to consider include the target market’s age, the gender of the ideal customer, the socioeconomic class, and this target market’s needs. With the proper digital marketing education, you can take this information and create a complete strategy that’s more apt to convert because you know exactly who’s looking for your product or service.
- The Products and Services of the Business: Another part of digital marketing is the products and services that the business provides. In addition to understanding the target market, companies also need to know what they provide. While this might sound obvious, customers get turned off quickly if businesses cannot answer questions about what they offer, so know your products and services backward and forward. You can judge just how well you know your product by reading through the FAQs. Read a question and see if you know the answer.
- The Metrics: Next, it is also important for businesses to understand the metrics that define a successful digital marketing campaign. While every business wants to see a boost in their sales, companies need to understand which metrics they need to track to achieve their goals. Some of the metrics that companies might want to track include clicks, likes, followers, and subscribers. These are often called key performance indicators or KPIs. What are the most important KPIs? How do these indicators affect digital marketing? These are just a couple questions that digital marketing training will answer.
- The Methods: Finally, businesses also need to think about which methods they will use to help them reach their target market in a sustainable, efficient way. Some of the tactics include search engine optimization, pay per click marketing campaigns, email marketing, search engine marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, and more. With a firm plan in place, businesses can make sure that their methods will reach their target market. But, without someone well-trained in these digital marketing tactics, there’s no way to succeed, which is where digital marketing education comes into play.
These are just a few of the many puzzle pieces that you’ll learn about when training in digital marketing classes, certificates and degrees. By taking a closer look at the various methods, all companies will develop a healthy plan to reach their audience, but not without the help of someone who understands the dynamics of the digital world in a way that’s both practical and useful.
What Makes Up Digital Marketing?
Search Engine Optimization
One of the most important parts of digital marketing is search engine optimization, also known as SEO. A strong SEO campaign aims to help businesses, organizations, and companies rank highly for key search terms and phrases. For example, if someone works in the restaurant industry, they will want to rank highly for “restaurants near me” or something similar. In this manner, an SEO campaign aims to leverage the Google algorithm to try to rank at the top of the search results list. Given that most people will click on a result from the first page, SEO is one of the cornerstones of digital marketing.
Several important factors are going to play a role in an SEO campaign, including:
- Targeting the right keywords, including long-tail keywords
- Collecting positive reviews
- Posting high-quality, helpful content regularly
- Having a menu that is easy to navigate
- Posting graphics such as images and videos
- Running a strong backlink campaign
Importantly, those who earn a digital marketing online degree might also hear about something called local SEO. This is one of the most important trends that is currently evolving in the digital marketing field. Many people are conducting searches for products and services in the local area. Some of the triggers that will tell the search engine to pull up local results include:
- Searches with “near me”
- Searches with zip codes
- Searches with city names or town names
In this situation, the search engine will track someone’s IP address and pull up results in the local area. Suppose a business ranks highly for local searches. In that case, Google might place a company in something known as the Google 3-Pack, a coveted spot with added information on the business, including positive reviews and an image. Given that most people will select a result from the Google 3-pack, this is a significant digital marketing goal. For businesses to compete with large companies and corporations, they need to leverage local SEO power.
Search Engine Marketing
SEO and search engine marketing (SEM) go hand in hand. While SEO focuses on the technical aspects of search results rankings, search engine marketing focuses on how to get there. Both SEO and SEM have to be executed well to come up with a strong digital marketing strategy.
One of the most critical digital marketing jobs of search engine marketing professionals is to figure out how to hit the always moving target of the Google algorithm. There are some situations in which SEM professionals will even try to predict which changes will take place and when they are going to happen.
In addition, search engine marketing also focuses on predicting the behavior of shoppers, clients, and potential customers. For example, one of the most significant shifts that is taking place is that people are using their phones to shop for products and services. One of the parts of this shift involves using voice commands to shop for products and services. SEM professionals will adjust digital marketing campaigns to match these shifts and others.
Content marketing is one of the most organic parts of digital marketing. In contrast with the incredibly technical natures of SEO and SEM, content marketing focuses on creating engaging, organic content that will capture the attention of customers directly. One of the most basic content marketing forms involves blog posts and articles; however, this is only one form of content marketing. Some of the other types of content marketing include images, videos, podcasts, and different kinds of promotions.
Those who are looking to land the top digital marketing jobs need to find a way to reach customers in an effective, personal way. Even though it is harder to track results for content marketing, this is still one of the most important parts of digital marketing itself. Content plays a tremendous role in generating inbound traffic and generating leads. For this reason, digital marketing professionals will help businesses develop a strong, comprehensive strategy that will form the personal connections required to create conversions and sales.
Social Media Marketing
One of the essential tools in digital marketing today is social media marketing. In the current environment, there are hundreds of millions of people who access social media daily. For this reason, social media is one of the easiest ways that businesses and companies can reach potential customers. At the same time, this field is also becoming incredibly complex because new social media platforms are popping up every day.
Even though many digital marketing online courses attempt to address how these platforms are different, this is becoming a bigger and bigger challenge. The good news is that it is free for most businesses to set up a profile on these social media platforms. Therefore, companies must think about what platforms are going to work well for them. Some of the most popular social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
In addition to using these profiles to gather more followers, businesses can also advertise directly on social media platforms. These ad campaigns can often be tailored to meet the business’s needs, ensuring that their ads only show up in front of people who have a good chance of converting. In this manner, social media is one of the most significant and most versatile parts of digital marketing.
Conversion Rate Optimization
Another important tool in digital marketing is conversion rate optimization. Of course, the goal of any marketing campaign is to increase revenue. To ensure that these goals are being met, it is important to look at the conversion rate. A conversion takes place when someone completes a desired action. This could include:
- Buying a product
- Subscribing to a service
- Clicking on a link
- Becoming a follower
- Leaving their contact information
The most significant reason conversion rate optimization is so important is that it drives the ROI of digital marketing investments. Conversions are great; however, if it costs more money than the conversion is worth, then the conversion rate optimization will be low. Therefore, all companies need to follow their conversion rates properly and keep their conversion rate optimization as high as possible. This is going to play a major role in the success of any digital marketing campaign.
Even though email is one of the oldest methods of internet communication, it is still used regularly. Furthermore, many people get emails sent straight to their phones. Therefore, this is one of the most critical digital marketing methods and plays a crucial role in helping people reach their target audiences. For this reason, all businesses need to leverage the power of email marketing.
When it comes to email marketing, the goal is to generate as many conversions as possible. Of course, a conversion can mean different things, depending on the goal of the campaign. For example, some email campaigns might try to increase sales; others might attempt to increase subscribers. Therefore, it is good for all businesses to think carefully about how email marketing can play a role in their digital marketing campaigns. This is a quick, easy, and cost-effective tool that can reach a larger number of people very quickly.
One of the most popular paid search options, pay-per-click marketing (also called PPC), is one of the cornerstones of digital marketing. With this strategy, the goal is to purchase ad space on various pages and search engines to immediately get the business’s name and its products or services in front of a broad audience. PPC marketing usually stands in direct contrast to SEO. While SEO is not nearly as expensive as PPC marketing, it also takes much longer than PPC marketing. With a strong PPC campaign, businesses should start seeing instant results.
Through Google, marketers can place ads at the very top of key ad pages. These ads will be labeled as “sponsored links,” so some people might overlook them; however, the evidence also shows that this is a very effective strategy because the ad is displayed above the top search results. Even though Google is the most popular platform for PPC marketing, some of the other popular platforms for PPC marketing include YouTube, Bing, and Yahoo.
Even though this strategy does require an investment, a single click can lead to a sale as long as it is partnered with the right landing page. Furthermore, businesses are only going to be charged for an ad when someone clicks on the link.
Affiliate marketing is a rapidly growing area. The goal of affiliate marketing is to bring numerous channels that will allow the business to increase its visibility across multiple channels.
When businesses use affiliate marketers, they partner with influencers who will promote the company’s products and services. For example, the affiliate marketer likely has numerous followers across multiple channels. They will try to convince their followers to purchase the products and services that they are promoting. Then, when the affiliate marketer makes a sale, they will earn a small commission on the product.
Over time, businesses can track which affiliates are useful and which are not. Then, they can hone in on affiliates with a target market that will benefit from its products and services. This can go a long way toward getting products and services in front of more people.
As part of your digital marketing education, you’ll focus on each and every one of these elements of online marketing. This is true whether you’re pounding it out in a digital marketing bootcamp or taking a self-paced digital marketing online class.
Adopting Strong Digital Marketing Best Practices
What are some of the strongest digital marketing best practices that you can employ? It probably won’t surprise you to find out that most are based on advances in technology.
The popularity and effectiveness of chatbots and conversational marketing is growing fast. People want to get the answers they want when they want them, which makes the artificial intelligence market extremely excited. In digital marketing, a chatbot using conversational marketing can address a concern in the middle of the night when all customer service centers are closed and save a conversion in the process.
Voice search is another big deal in the future of digital marketing best practices. Consumers can now ask Google, Alexa, Siri and others to search the internet, answer questions and even order from websites. Optimizing your digital marketing strategies to include voice search isn’t an option any longer, it’s a necessity.
Other best practices include personalization, video marketing, micro-moment marketing, social ecommerce (shoppable posts) and omnichannel marketing.
The Future of the Digital Marketing Field is You
Without a doubt, digital marketing is the future of advertising. Sure, there will always be a television and radio presence, but the mobility provided by our vast collections of digital devices has created a demand for well-trained individuals who understand the power of the internet and where marketing is going in the future. Is that you?