These days, digital marketing is such a fundamental part of the modern economic system that asking “what is digital marketing?” really is much like simply asking “what is marketing?”
Because that, really, is what digital marketing is at its core: marketing, adapted to a highly digitized day and age.
The point is, it’s a profoundly complicated question.
But if you have, well, any sort of interest into entering into the world of modern business – which, like more or less everything else, is heavily built on online platforms these days – you really ought to have at least a basic understanding of the fundamentals of marketing in the digital world.
Which is why, below, we’ve summarized the basics of just what the term “digital marketing” means in a modern context – as well as the fundamentals to using it effectively.
So grab that warm cup of joe or an awesome cup of Matcha Green Tea and let’s get into it!
Digital marketing, as you might well have picked up, is a concept closely tied to the internet and the digital world.
And since the internet is a phenomenon constantly shifting and adapting to the latest trends and developments, defining more or less anything that relates to it can get tricky at times.
Like we’ve hinted at, though, digital marketing could, at its core, be considered to be just, well, marketing, as updated to better suit a society that increasingly builds its social and economic elements on a digital foundation.
But of course, this “update” is a complex one, with a great number of facets and aspects to it.
And if you’re in the business of business, it’s essential to understand what they are – no matter what your particular business might happen to be, pretty much no member of any industry can survive without an online presence of some description.
And if you want to dominate in a digital world that is becoming more and more polluted with noise… than you have to go above and beyond and achieve digital omnipresence.
For us digital marketing is simply marketing using anything electronic…
Billboards are becoming electronic… computers are extremely powerful… we got “smart” phones… and with internet streaming becoming popular and the new norm… televisions can be thrown in there as well… car computer systems are also being connected to the internet as well and pretty much all the Internet of Things (IoT) may be used to push ads to if people really wanted to.
So essentially, everything connected to the digital world is fair game. And if you know anything about the electromagnetic spectrum then you can see how this continues to play out.
Since we are Cyber geeks, this is how we see the digital world… just frequencies
Image Source: Alma Kids
Yes, for us, sunlight is a form of energy that powers our digital world in our eyes.
We, as humans, use it all the time. Just look around at some of these homes and probably yours too, may have solar panels on the roof top or in fields to power your home.
Sunlight has energy that gets converted to electrical signals to power electronic hardware…
And those electronic hardware devices run software…
And that software can be programmed into anything we, as humans, want…
So if we really wanted to, we could run software that pushes ads to every piece of electronic hardware out there… crazy right… you can see how deep this rabbit holes goes!
But I’ll save that geeky Cyber topic for another time. Just understand that digital marketing is simply marketing using anything electronic.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It used to be pretty up in the air as to how your potential customers would find you initially.
When it came to getting the attention of individuals who might be looking for the sort of products or services you could provide, you oftentimes had to stick up ads on walls, or air them on TV, send flyers and snail mail out and just sort of hope that they’d be seen by someone who needed you.
Back in the day, the geniuses of marketers, got creative and turned snail mail into something called lumpy mail… which increased the open rate tremendously. They called it that because they use to shove big items in big envelopes along with their offer… people couldn’t resist the urge to peek inside.
All these tactics are now categorized as something you might know called traditional marketing.
But nowadays, while other avenues of spreading initial word about your company do very much exist, odds are that the vast, vast majority of new customers are going to find you through online search engines.
Why wouldn’t they?
They’re convenient, effective, and nowadays, everyone knows how to use them. Even 5 year olds…
And that, in brief, is why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is such a key element of digital marketing – because it’s one of the most effective means of ensuring that your potential customers find you when they’re looking for you.
What is it?
Well, there’s a great deal of elements to it (which is why you’d probably do well to hire an expert like us, wink wink, if you want it done effectively), but in brief, it consists of crafting your online presence in a way that is sensitive to the sorts of search terms that your potential customers are likely to put in when searching for a company like yours.
The wording your site uses is crafted in such a manner as to better catch the attention of search engines – which, in turn, means that your would-be customers are much more likely to come across you.
Digital marketers use things like keywords and longtail keywords to perform SEO these days.
And since Google is constantly updating their awesome algorithm and coming up with new ways of Artificial Intelligence then that’s why it’s advantageous to stay on top of SEO for your business.
A Keyword is not a single word these days either as you may think… like in “cars” but more like a small phrase… like in “turbocharged cars”.
And longtail keywords are even longer… like “turbocharged cars in Texas”. The difference being the longer it is… the more specific it gets… which in turn tunes you in to a specific niche and market so that you can be found in search engines.
Yes, the more specific you get… the better your chances are at ranking higher in search engines.
As we like to tell people, SEO is a long-term strategy, and one that is well worth it.
It is the #1 method for driving organic traffic to your site and for free!
Overlapping with this, of course, is the notion of paid search advertising – which, in brief, involves paying search engine companies to show up at the absolute top of certain searches.
Whether you’d rather invest in this, search engine optimization, or both, is your call – though some insight into which is more likely to draw clicks from your particular target market is pretty helpful.
And what we like to do for you and your business is always build a package, which we call a Cyber Blueprint, of a digital marketing strategy so that you can begin to achieve digital omnipresence in your local market.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Social media’s been a phenomenon for years now, and it’s only growing by the day – on any given day, someone’s creating a new account.
And as more and more countries, regions and people connect to the internet… they quickly jump on Social Media Networks to collaborate.
Marketers picked up on this quickly, of course; and nowadays, you’d be hard-pressed to find a business that doesn’t have some form of social media presence.
But it’s hardly just a matter of creating an account on whatever platform seems to be the biggest at the moment and then spamming it with promotions and ads. There’s a great number of variables.
For starters, as you’re likely aware, there’s a fair few social media platforms out there, and whichever one is trendiest at the moment might not be so next month; while maintaining ads and accounts on all of them is way too costly, both in terms of money and time, for most companies.
Thus, when picking your platform, an understanding of your target market is pretty essential, as it’ll help you gain insight into which platforms they’re likely to be most present on.
And then there’s the matter of the actual marketing – it is, like most forms of marketing, pretty multifaceted, and again it ought to be shaped primarily by your target market.
Many folks tune into social media for the latest updates; and thus, no matter what your company may be or what platform you’re using, maintaining an account offering updates on all the latest developments, promotions and whatnot in your business is likely to be useful in any circumstance.
But even these can be implemented in a number of ways – with specific buzzwords or hashtags, or with audio-visual elements, or a great many other things, depending on the platform.
The implementation of these updates ought to be carefully planned out, and kept in line with both the nature of your target market and the identity of your business or brand.
And then there’s the alternatives, of course. A major one of which is…
Sponsorships and Endorsements
Now, naturally, this is an aspect of marketing that has been around long before the internet; but like so many other aspects of marketing, the advent of the digital age has made it both much more accessible and much more complicated.
Celebrities, nowadays, are more common than ever – and a fair bit more diverse in what they become famous for.
And of course, a good portion of modern celebrities have become famous through online means.
Social media, in particular, is one of the most fertile grounds for growing stardom.
And as far as businesses are concerned, one of the great things about social media or internet celebrities is that they tend to have extensive audiences, but to also be much more accessible (and affordable) than more “traditional” celebrities.
In brief, one majorly effective form of digital marketing is to have your brand or business endorsed or promoted by an internet celebrity.
It ought to be carefully planned out, of course – your choice ought to be based on proper research into which online celebrities are likely to be followed by your particular target market, and which ones they’re most likely to respect the opinions of.
But done properly, a social media or online celebrity endorsement can have the widespread reach of the best sort of digital marketing, with the added bonus of coming from an external source not directly affiliated with your company – which, in the eyes of many consumers, lends it an extra level of legitimacy.
But if you’re a small, medium or even most large businesses out there… you’re probably not gonna spend the dollars getting The Rock or Pink to endorse your products…
These are left to the real big dogs of the world… the one that need that edge in a multi-billion dollar business…
But don’t feel at a lost if you can’t sign Oprah… Because the best thing you can do is get testimonials from all your clients… and video testimonials are king.
Many in the business of digital marketing have a tendency to look down on email marketing.
After all, it was arguably the very first form of digital marketing, and in an industry that’s so sensitive to all the latest developments and trends, it might be seen as a bit outdated – especially since the invention of spam filters.
In reality, though, email marketing most decidedly still has a role to play in digital marketing – even if it might need to be tweaked a little to adapt to modern trends.
After all, email’s hardly a dead form of communication, is it?
Now, to be sure, spam filters are very much a thing, and emails that are very obviously just pushing a product aren’t likely to be widely read. But that’s hardly the only form of email marketing.
Just don’t make your emails sound and look like a Nigerian Prince who needs to get his money out by using your bank account and you should be good to go…
Cyber professionals know what I’m talking about here hahaha.
In fact, one real blessing in the business of email marketing is newsletters.
You know, regular emails that offer recipients updates on your business – and, sometimes, the industry that you’re in in general.
When properly crafted, newsletter can be among one of the most effective forms of marketing.
Well, for the most part, newsletters are something that recipients sign up for (which, incidentally, ought to be made an easily accessible option on your site) – meaning that, when they receive them, they’re much more likely to read them and take in their contents.
As a result, when they read about, say, your latest promotion, or your new product, they’re much more likely not just to pay attention, but also to consider further business with you – if they’ve signed up, then they’re pretty much an established member of your target market, after all.
And in marketing this is called warm clients. Because people are already familiar with you and your product and you’re not just walking up to them or knocking on the door of their house and saying “want to buy this”.
Of course, it’s important to be sure that your newsletter actually feel like, well, newsletters, rather than just glorified ads – they ought to be informative and enjoyable to read, as well as promoting your business.
But done well, they’re likely to be a serious bolster to your business.
Anyways, I just wanted to provide somewhat of an intro by quickly describing What is Digital Marking.
In hopes that those who don’t know what it is are now aware of it and can use it to increase their personal brand and their business.
Either way I hoped this helped.
If you liked this article then take a look at our Guide to Comparison of Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing.
About CyberBlueprints.com, Inc:
We are a Digital Marketing Agency that specializes in Website Development | Search Engine Optimization (SEO) | and Paid Digital Advertising (PPC, Facebook Ads & Google Ads) to help you dominate your local market through a powerful Digital presence.
We are located in beautiful Chesapeake, Virginia right next to Virginia Beach. We service all of Hampton Roads (Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Suffolk…) and pretty much anyone on the internet!
There are plenty of businesses and people taking advantage of the digital world to increase their traffic, leads and sales… will you be next?