What is digital marketing (and do I need it)?

Digital marketing might be a buzzword wherever you look, but do you really know what it means? Today we asked the online marketing whizz kids at Zebra 360 Digital Marketing Agency for a quick-and-simple guide to what they do, and why your company needs it.

Online is the place to be

It’s no secret that online marketing is the place to be these days. We spend most of our days hooked to the internet, and it’s had a knock-on effect on how we find businesses and purchase products. In that sense, digital marketing is easy to understand- it’s finding a way to connect to and influence your potential customers online.

This means there’s a large number of marketing types you could try out. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is huge, as is social media marketing. Blogging needs to be in every marketer’s toolkit, and email marketing plays a huge part in customer retention. Very few companies should be focusing on only one of these, however. Rather, you need a holistic, streamlined, and effective overall campaign to help drive ROI and convert customers to cash without breaking the bank.

What is a ‘digital marketing asset’?

Cutting through the jargon, if it’s online and a potential marketing tool, it’s your ‘digital marketing asset’. Many people don’t realise how many of these are already in place. Think of these:

  • Websites
  • Social Media Pages
  • Logos and other iconic parts of your branding
  • Images and Videos you’ve created
  • Written content like eBooks, guides, and blogs
  • Customer feedback and reviews

The list is far from exhaustive, but you get the idea. Once you’ve overhauled and synchronised these assets so they all speak a clear brand message and a recognisable brand identity, you can delve deeper into the best types of digital marketing for your business.

Types of digital marketing

Let’s take a look at some of these strategies.

1)   PPC

Pay-per-click is a catch-all term for advertising online where you pay every time a customer interacts with your ad. Famous types of PPC include Google AdWords (paid search advertising) and Facebook Ads (paid social media advertising).

2)   SEO

Search Engine Optimisation is a method of online marketing that will boost your rank with Search Engines organically, without paying for the position. It is a slow, but effective, type of marketing built around creating compelling content that focuses on keywords important to your industry that people might search for.

3)   Social Media Marketing

Paid social media advertising, or running ads on social platforms, is one method of social media marketing, but it’s not the only one. You’ll also leverage ‘free’, organic, use of social media platforms to grow your credibility with your customers and establish your brand presence.

4)   Content Marketing

This broad term covers using content- blogs, eBooks, videos, images, and more- to drive clicks, boost ROI and sales, and build brand awareness.

5)   Email Marketing

You guessed it- this is direct online marketing through emails. It’s a strong way to market yourself, but has to be done the right way. No one wants a reputation for spam!

6)   Affiliate Marketing

In affiliate marketing, you find partner businesses or people to help promote your business through them, leveraging their influence for your beans.

These are far from the only types of digital marketing, but they’re the most common you will encounter.

Does digital marketing work?

The short answer is yes- but it has to be done right. It’s very easy to get lost in the frenzy of new marketing types and simply end up wasting money and time. What works for a large multinational isn’t the same as what will work for a mom-and-pop startup. Factors like size, industry, target demographics, and many others play into what digital marketing will work best for you. Marketers draw two broad distinctions- business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) firms, but there’s a lot more to consider when setting up a winning digital strategy.

Nor is digital marketing something you can ‘set and forget’. It needs constant oversight, and you need to reliably track your ‘metrics’, or the data that tells you what is working, what isn’t, and who is consuming your advertising efforts. Campaigns then need to be adjusted for the best effect.

While digital marketing is easy to get started with, over time you might find it overwhelming to try and balance your marketing efforts with your need to run your core business. That’s where online marketing agencies like Zebra 360 Digital Marketing Agency can step in to assist you in creating streamlined marketing campaigns that focus their energy in the right place and don’t waste your ad budget chasing the wrong things. With digital marketing set to be the future of all marketing, getting it right can be critical to the survival of your business in the modern marketplace. Why not consider dropping the team an email today, and start your digital marketing journey off on the right foot?