A Simple Step-by-Step Guide To Digital Marketing

by Kwabena Okyire Appianing June 01, 2018
What is Digital Marketing

If you are looking to understand Digital Marketing without taking a 10-months tedious course that consumes your time and leaves you with nothing to help build your business online or kickstart your digital marketing career, this article is for you.

Why should you bother to read on? You ask..

Well, after years of monitoring the conversation on digital marketing, I have realised how difficult it is to comprehend the topic.

If you type the phrase digital marketing on your search engine, you will realise that a lot of answers use all the jargon leaving you with little to learn.

And that is about to change.

Whether you want to launch your business online, take up a career in digital marketing or simply acquaint yourself with the topic, you will not need to worry about it after reading this.

Here, I will help you find the answers to all the questions that come to mind when you think about digital marketing:

  • Are you wondering when all this started?
  • Are you stuck in the definition?
  • Do you want to know the types of digital marketing that exist?
  • Is it the tools that you can use to make digital marketing easy?
  • Is it how digital marketing compares to traditional marketing?
  • Are you concerned about the benefits of digital marketing for your business?

So, when did Digital Marketing Start?

Take a guess..

Are you thinking in the lines of the early 90s? You are right. Can you believe that digital marketing is in its late 20’s?

Yes, it is old enough to take a business or your career to the next level.In 1990, the first search engine, Archie, was launched to help computer users find specific files.

 first search engine, Archie,

Frst search engine, Archie,

 

This invention by Alan Emtage was considered the first internet search engine.

Although a major invention at the time, Archie cannot match the current search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo.

A lot of inventions have taken place since 1990 and Archie has since been phased out.

Too much on the history of digital marketing, but what is digital marketing exactly?

Like we mentioned at the beginning, previous attempts to explain this term have only made it difficult to comprehend.

Look at Wikipedia for example- what most people refer to as their “go-to” resource when searching for information online:

Digital marketing is the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium.”

How could it sound if you read all this in one sentence?

Simply put, digital marketing is when you decide to market your products using electronic media.

This could be on the internet or you can opt for offline channels such as billboards and televisions.

Does that make it easier for you?

Now, let us dig deeper on the

Different Types of Digital Marketing

If you have read, or watched a topic on digital marketing, you have heard one of these terms being thrown around:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Search engine marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Viral marketing
  • Display advertising

Have you heard any of these?

Which one have you come across so often?

Social media marketing (SMM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tops the list in this, right?

In fact, most people often refer to these two when talking about digital marketing.

But, as you can see, digital marketing is very broad.

Have you ever stopped to think what these terms actually mean?

If you have, then you know how easy it is to understand digital marketing with such information at your fingertips.

Search Engine Optimization

or SEO, is simply the process of improving your online visibility by tweaking your website content.

The main goal for SEO is to rank higher in search engines.

SEO is a non-paid digital marketing practice and the best to adopt for your brand.

Search Engine Marketing

or SEM involves purchasing advertising space on a search engine so as to improve the visibility of your website (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising.

Search engine marketing is the practice of marketing a business using paid advertisements that appear on search engine results pages (or SERPs). Advertisers bid on keywords that users of services such as Google and Bing might enter when looking for certain products or services, which gives the advertiser the opportunity for their ads to appear alongside results for those search queries.

Search engine marketing’s greatest strength is that it offers advertisers the opportunity to put their ads in front of motivated customers who are ready to buy at the precise moment they’re ready to make a purchase. No other advertising medium can do this, which is why search engine marketing is so effective and such an amazingly powerful way to grow your business.

There is a big difference between Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optmisation

SEM versus SEO: What’s the difference?

Social Media Marketing

requires the use of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Snapchat, Google+ and others to gain traffic or attention for your brand.

Content Marketing

You have seen individuals and businesses share information online in form of videos, blog articles, or a social media post.

They do this to address the informational need of their customers and entice them to take some profitable action in the process.

This form of marketing is known as content marketing

What about Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is an interesting form of digital marketing because it involves leveraging the input of a third party (could be websites or social media profiles in this case) to market your products and services.

The best part, the payment is on commission when it comes to affiliate marketing.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Influencer Marketing

Well, influencer marketing is even more interesting. This involves leveraging the services of influential people in your industry to increase your visibility and create high-impact conversations.

Email Marketing

is just that, marketing your products and services to your customers and/or prospects.

These messages could be product announcements, coupons or even season’s greetings.

Viral Marketing

is a popular form of marketing that involves creating content with the intention to make it trend, generate a buzz or go viral.

To achieve this, businesses bank on consumers of this information to spread it among their social networks.

Up to this point, you will definitely agree that there is so much than just SEO and social media marketing.

I mean, we have not even looked at display advertising and it seems as if we are done with the different types of digital marketing.

Interesting, huh?

Well, let’s make it even more interesting by expounding on the best part that we saved for last.

Have you visited a website, blog or a forum before and bumped on an advert that prompts you to make a purchase or take a form of action on the internet?

That’s

Display Advertising

Other than placing their adverts on search engines or social media, brands can also buy an advertising space on another website.

Does this make you feel like you know a lot about digital marketing already?

Digital Marketing Tools

How about we take a look at the digital marketing tools to make you even more knowledgeable.

So far, the internet has a wealth of tools that can help in your SEO, search engine marketing and social media marketing efforts.

The tools are even fun when you get to analyse them in terms of the form of marketing that they help execute.


Search Engine Marketing Tools

There are a number of tools that can help improve your websites organically (SEO) and through paid search engine advertising (SEM).

These include:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Google Adsense
  • Keywords Everywhere
  • Small SEO Tools
  • Social media marketing tools

Who doesn’t fancy automation when it comes to managing their social media?

Sometimes you get busy and managing your social media accounts can be overwhelming.

If you get to that point where automation is the way to go, here are a number of tools to get you going:

  • Buffer
  • Hootsuite
  • Sprout Social
  • Schedugram
  • Reply (by Buffer)

Is there a form of marketing that we forgot to mention a tool?

Oh, yes!

Email marketing it is.

Well, when it comes to emails, Mailchimp does the magic.

Good thing about using MailChimp is that it is absolutely free when you have 2,000 contacts in your database.

Who doesn’t love freebies when it comes to business?

Most of the tools come with a free plan which makes digital marketing even more profitable.

Talking about profits, is marketing on the internet really that important for a business?

To answer this question, let us analyse some of the key benefits of digital marketing to a business in terms of:

  • Cost
  • Number of customers
  • Ease of use

How much will it cost a business to reach 10,000 potential customers in a day? A lot, I guess.

Right?

Imagine being able to cut on cost and reaching the same audience for a dollar or less.

 

Makes a lot of financial sense, doesn’t it?

 

That’s how big business can reap from the digital space. And the conversions are just as good.

When it comes to numbers, we are talking over 2.2 billion monthly active users on Facebook, over 3.5 billion searches on Google and over 1 billion YouTube users.

All this points to the number of potential customers who are waiting to interact with a business online.

Where else can one get all these numbers?

The best part about internet marketing is that most platforms allow for targeted advertising so that you don’t end up selling your products to people who can’t buy from you.

Isn’t that an absolute value for your money?

The value doesn’t stop on the reduced cost and a large number of potential customers.

 

There is more when you think about the ease of use.

Digital marketing channels are designed with a user-friendly approach and it’s only a matter of time before you have mastered how to leverage the channels for business.

The gem of all this lies in the automation.

 

Tell me you will not like it if I told you that you can schedule your monthly tasks in a day.

That’s how much time digital marketing tools can save for a business.

Talking about saving businesses, what would you do if asked to choose between digital marketing and traditional marketing to save your business.

Will you go digital, or stick to the same old?

Most people would rather stick to what has been with us for ages and that’s just fine.

 

But how does digital marketing compare to traditional advertising?

Traditional marketing helps you promote your products and services using such tools as magazines, books, newspapers, billboards or flyers.

Although it is known to provide a wider reach and attract new audiences, traditional marketing falls short in some areas where digital marketing seems to thrive.

I mean, think about it…

When was the last time you had an opportunity to voice your opinion after viewing an ad on Tv or after seeing something on a billboard?

It’s rare, right?

That’s the major drawback with traditional marketing- it leaves little to no room for feedback.

Digital marketing, on the other hand, thrives on the voice of the consumer.

The fact that you can simply comment on social media ads or a blog post to air your opinion makes digital marketing the go-to form of marketing when you need instant feed for your advertising campaign.

But is that all on the pros of digital marketing? There is more..

Digital marketing is not all about the numbers, there are great tools that allow you to track the performance of your adverts so that you can make informed decisions in future campaigns.

 

From Google Analytics, KissMetrics, CrazyEgg to Heap, these tools do a wonderful job in tracking advertising data for you.

So, are you still holding on to the same old or would you rather go digital?

They say if your business is not online, you are missing out on a space where your customers are already talking about your business.

If you need proof to ascertain that digital marketing is tremendously on the rise, the 2018 internet penetration report is here to prove it.

I guess it does not take much convincing to make you believe how much digital marketing is transforming the world of marketing.

Businesses are reaping heavily by leveraging digital marketing to cut on costs and run things fast and efficiently- and so should yours.


Key Takeaways

Let’s make this guide a bit simpler to understand.

What do you need to remember when it comes to digital marketing?

  • Digital marketing is simply reaching your customers and prospects using electronic media.
  • There are different forms of digital marketing which range from search engine optimization, search engine marketing, content marketing, viral marketing to display advertising.
  • You can use a range of digital marketing tools for your business such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Small SEO Tools, Google Keyword Planner and others

Are you intrigued by this guide?

 

Don’t forget to tell us what stood out for you in the comments section.

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