Digital marketing can refer to any marketing campaigns that use digital technologies like the internet, social media, smartphone apps, and email.
In some ways, digital marketing looks very similar to traditional marketing. You still have to write compelling content and give people beautiful designs that convert them from casual consumers into buyers.
In other ways, digital marketing varies significantly from traditional marketing. That’s what we’ll look at today in this article.
The Most Popular Types of Digital Marketing
The definition of digital marketing differs somewhat depending on who you ask. Most experts agree, however, that the following types of digital marketing standout as the most popular options:
- Content marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Search engine marketing (SEM)
- Social media marketing (SMM)
- Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
- Email marketing
- In-app marketing
Content marketing includes a huge variety of content forms, such as blog posts, social media posts, videos, and infographics.
The best content marketing educates consumers about products and services. The audience gets a couple of soft calls-to-action that encourage them to spend money. Content marketing, though, is mostly about increasing brand awareness and establishing brands as authorities.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO refers to strategies that make websites more appealing to search engines. Ideally, you can use SEO to get your site on Google’s first page of results. Strategies involve:
- Choosing long-tail keywords.
- Checking the number of keywords in your documents.
- Including links that take readers to authoritative sites.
- Getting links from authoritative sites.
- Writing engaging posts that readers want to share.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEO and SEM have a lot in common. The biggest difference is that SEM often requires paying search engines to get an “Ad” icon next to your listing.
Regardless, you need to:
- Research and choose the right keywords for your marketing campaign.
- Bid on keywords that will entice potential customers.
- Optimize product descriptions and landing pages to convert casual readers into buyers.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) has become synonymous with Google Ads (formerly Adwords). Basically, you bid on keywords that you want to use in your advertisement. When people click on the ad, you have to pay Google a predetermined amount of money based on your bid.
In return for payment, Google will place your ads at the top of its search results.
With so many filters purging unwanted emails from your account, you might assume that email marketing died a long time ago.
On the contrary, 59% of consumers say that marketing emails influence them. Also, 59% of businesses say that email marketing gives them the best ROI.
In-app marketing is about as straightforward as it gets. Marketers know that the average gamer spends more than 200 minutes using mobile apps. Instead of charging money for those apps, you can make them free by dropping advertisements between levels.
Why Brands Need Digital Marketing to Succeed
The University of Oxford estimates that the average American spends more than 6 hours per day interacting with digital media.
Knowing this, it makes sense to invest in digital marketing because it reaches people more often than traditional forms of marketing. Even newspapers now have exclusive digital content. Many don’t even bother publishing print versions because it costs too much money.
With digital marketing, you meet people where they are.
You also get a stronger return on investment (ROI) when you focus on digital marketing.
A 30-second ad on television costs about $115,000. That doesn’t include the cost of writing scripts, hiring actors, and producing the advertisement. If you want to do something crazy like air your ad during the Super Bowl, expect to spend somewhere around $5.25 million.
Granted, the prices change depending on your audience’s size. You’ll spend a lot more money in L.A. than Mayberry.
Digital marketing costs less and potentially converts more people. Producing a digital video can cost up to $7,000. Then, you put it on YouTube for free, embed it on your site, and share the video on Facebook.
That’s not to say that digital marketing is cheap. You still need to consider the costs of hiring writers to create blog posts, analysts to study your campaign’s effectiveness, and designers to make your site look attractive.
Still, you will never come close to the $115,000 mark for a 30-second ad spot.
Measuring the Success of Digital Marketing Campaigns
Digital marketing campaigns produce a ridiculous amount of data that can help you gauge success. Most professionals focus on specific key performance indicators (KPI) to determine a campaign’s success or failure.
The great news is that you can always adjust a failing campaign to make it more effective. You can always tweak digital content.
Professionals argue about which KPIs matter most. There’s no reason to get involved in that debate, though. Just know the following popular KPIs to help you measure your digital marketing campaign’s success.
Landing Page Conversions
This is how many people who visit your landing pages become paying customers. If you need more conversions, write stronger content that will convince people to pay. Feel free to try different versions of your landing pages to see which ones work best.
(It also helps to learn more about the changing customer journey so you can meet potential customers where they are on their paths.)
Mobile Traffic Conversions
More people access the internet through smartphones than traditional computers. The pages that work well on desktop computers, however, don’t necessarily meet the needs of people using phones. Track your mobile traffic conversions to help you decide whether you need different content and designs for mobile users.
What looks wonderful on a large screen might look like cramped nonsense on a smartphone.
Social Media Performance
Your social media presence shouldn’t focus on conversions. You do need it, however, to expand your brand awareness, establish authority, and build rapport with your audience.
Tracking social media performance can tell you things like:
- What types of posts appeal to your audience.
- The best times to release posts.
- How you can adjust content to make your posts more appealing.
If you see your social media engagement slipping, then you know it’s time to make a change.
Other KPIs to Consider
These three KPIs will help keep your digital marketing campaigns on track. It’s not an exhaustive list, though. Far from it! Other KPIs that you might want to track include:
- Monthly new leads.
- Cost per lead.
- Cost per conversion.
- Retention rate.
- Attrition rate (customers you’ve lost).
- Time to conversion.
- Monthly website traffic.
- Time on page.
- Website conversion rate.
- Call-to-action performance.
- Click-through rates.
- Page authority.
Yes, there are a lot of ways to analyze your digital marketing campaigns. You can start investigating the above KPIs once you’ve mastered the most important indicators.
7 Top Resources for Developing a Successful Digital Marketing Project
You can’t create an entire digital marketing campaign on your own. It doesn’t matter if the title on your office door just says “GURU,” you still need help.
Hopefully, you have a marketing team that can help you create and test new ideas.
Even if you don’t, you have plenty of apps and services that can help you develop a successful digital marketing project.
Services for Content Creation
You need terrific content for your marketing project to work.
Scripted’s network has thousands of freelance writers with the experience to create evocative content that keeps readers entertained and convinces them to spend money.
Upwork can connect you with professionals experienced in writing, photography, video production, website design, and anything else you might want to outsource.
If you plan to write your social media and blog posts, get a Grammarly subscription to improve your writing style. Grammarly checks your content for correctness, clarity, engagement, and delivery. It will also compare your content to millions of websites to make sure you haven’t accidentally plagiarized existing pages.
[Read: What Do Consumers Want from Branded Content?]
Apps for Tracking KPIs
Your website host and social media account probably give you access to basic data analysts. They don’t tell you much beyond how many people viewed your posts, though.
You’ll need to get an app to take a deeper dive into the KPIs that matter.
Sisense can analyze a ridiculous amount of data to help you understand conversions and revenue sources. It’s made for sales teams, but it has plenty of tools for optimizing marketing campaigns, too.
Asana is one of your best options for creating marketing projects, assigning tasks, automating boring jobs, and helping your track KPIs.
Free Apps for Digital Marketing
Not ready to spend money on digital marketing tools. Luckily, you have some free options.
Wordtracker has a free tool that helps you discover new keywords for your market. It also has paid options that you can decide to use later if the free tools impress you.
Using a keyword too many times on a page can kill your Google ranking. Prepostseo analyzes your text to tell you how often you use words. It will also give you a percentage of a word compared to other words in your document. Perhaps best of all, you can use Prepostseo to analyze published content by plugging in your URL, or you can paste unpublished content to optimize it ahead of time.
Looking at the Future of Digital Marketing
To get even more from your next digital marketing campaign, check out Get The Most from Digital Marketing.