Digital Marketing: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide

Some digital marketers make the internet more complicated than what it really is. However, in reality, digital marketing is straightforward to understand. Nonetheless, only with expertise and experience, you know how to execute and manage different campaigns efficiently.

Learning the basics is a good start whether you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, or interested in marketing. Digital marketing can work for any business, in any industry. Regardless of how big your company is or what you sell, investing in a digital marketing strategy can help you grow better.

But, first things first. What is Digital Marketing?

Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time. Today, that means you need to meet them where they are already spending time: on the internet.

Digital marketing is any form of marketing that exists online. This encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and websites to connect with current and prospective customers.

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

While traditional marketing might exist in print ads, phone communication, or phisycial marketing, digital marketing can occur electronically and online. This means that there are a number of endless possibilities for brands including email, video, social media, or website-based marketing opportunities.

Because digital marketing has so many options and strategies associated with it, you can get creative and experiment with a variety of marketing tactics on a budget. With digital marketing, you can also use tools like analytics dashboards to monitor the success and ROI of your campaigns more than you could with a traditional promotional content — such as a billboard or print ad.

Digital Marketing Channels

Below, you will find definitions of different channels that leading companies and brands use. The information will help you to generate more brand exposure, leads, and revenue.

  1. Content Marketing
  2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  3. Social Media Marketing
  4. Pay-per-Click (PPC)
  5. Display Ads
  6. Retargeting
  7. Email Marketing
  8. Affiliate Marketing
  9. Online PR
  10. Marketing Automation

Content Marketing

Content marketing has been around forever, but there’s a whole new thing when content marketing collides with the internet and with digital.

If you pick up your cellphone, go to Google and punch in “bicycle”, how many citations do you think you’ll get? Somewhere about 2 billion results.

Now that power came to brands, came to companies, came to individuals. That’s a tremendous shift, right in the way that you can produce information, reach audiences and earn a seat at the table with the big brands.

To maximize results, you should take into consideration the points below:

  • Blog posts: This content will be on your blog. The information should include the answers to people’s questions. Thus, you should avoid to sale here. People want to find out about you, not why your services or products are the best. Your primary focus should be giving people answers and show Google that you have the best possible content.
  • Promotional Content: This type of content will be on the main pages. Ensure that the “salesy” words are at a minimum, and all of the information is relevant.
  • Infographics: Ever heard the saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words”? Well, in this case it might be true. Infographics are a good way to put your content out there, get noticed and help visitors understand your concept.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In other words, SEO is, without a doubt, the most profitable channel. The reason for this is because people put a lot of trust in natural and organic search results. They tend to trust paid ads less.

Excellent organic ranking means that you don’t have to pay for clicks or leads, thus, making it more sustainable.

As it became one of the most advanced channels, it has become increasingly challenging. Based on the search criteria, Google has shown great interest in high-quality content, brands, and showing relevant results. Of course, “black hat” for SEO exists, Google has removed their way of gaming the system.

For effective results, you have to do things exactly how they should be, without cutting any corners. The website and content have to show integrity. Thus, a good strategy would be to invest in SEO as it’s more sustainable long term. You also have to choose an agency that understands the importance of integrity.

The only downfall of SEO is the fact that the results will not be overnight. Thus, it can take up to 6 months before you notice significant effects. However, once the results come in, you don’t have to pay further for new leads.

To figure out SEO correctly, you have to understand the core components of this strategy. These are:

3 SEO Pillars

Social Media Marketing

You should never doubt the power of social media. Social media, SEO, and PPC (we’ll get there next) make the perfect combination. If you figure out the ideal balance between the three, you can become an authority in your niche. After all, social media will allow you to communicate and engage with your customers.

For the best possible results, we recommend that you put your focus on the following platforms:

5 Social Media Tools for a complete Digital Marketing Strategy
Statistics: Statista.com

Furthermore, you can also look towards online communities and chat boards. The microsites will bring better brand awareness.

Similarly, with Google network ads, you should familiarize yourself with social ads. These ads will allow you to reach your audience more straightforward, and you can make serious money from this leads to generating machines.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

When someone is speaking about PPC, they’re referring to paid ads. In the majority of cases, these ads go through the Google AdWords network.  These ads are triggered based on keywords. In other words, the business pays when someone clicks on the advertisement on Google.

Depending on the keyword and competition, prices can range from a few cents to hundreds of dollars. Most marketers choose PPC Ad Network with Google, but Bing is the second most popular choice.

Even though you may believe that Google is doing this to make you spend more money, this channel is highly efficient at bringing new people to the website. So, you must have a marketer that manages:

  • Keyword focus
  • Geographic targeting
  • Click-through rates
  • Key metrics

One of the main reasons why Google PPC works is because the targets have shown interest in finding your particular service or product.

Display Ads

If you have an innovative product or service that you need general awareness for, this is a popular strategy that many assume. The reason for this is because keywords do not trigger these. Thus, they’re most often banners on numerous websites.

It’s important to mention that a specific keyword does not trigger these adds. Therefore, it’s a shotgun approach. You can take advantage of a lot of targeting with different types of sites, but the success rate is much lower than PPC.

On the other hand, display ads are on a continuous journey to evolve. Hence, targeting opportunities to become more advanced. If you’re looking for superior targeting approaches, this is a great strategy.

Retargeting

Without a doubt, this is a continuously growing paid ad channel. Right now, without realizing, you’re being retargeted. It’s sort of like when a creepy car is following you around wherever you go, in real life. Retargeting becomes apparent when you’re innocently surfing the web. You mind your own business, look to the side, and there it is the creepy car.

It’s known that every social network, including Instagram and Facebook, is an Ad network. Of course, Google and Adroll are a popular choice for retargeting. Even though it’s highly effective, most businesses think twice about taking on this strategy as it requires some effort.

You must use the services of an excellent graphic designer to do excellent work on the artwork of the advertisement. Additionally, you also need to add a code to your website that will mark each person that enters the site. This action will help you to retarget them.

Considering that the conversion rate for the website is a maximum of 3%, you must strongly consider it. Around 97% of people are not convinced to use your product or service for the first time around. So, having a second plan in place is an excellent idea.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a direct marketing channel through which we keep in touch with an audience and pass it on from the potential customer to a loyal customer through email communication.

The main advantage of this channel is that you have control over the relationship with your audience. Even if you make a switch from one email platform to another, the database with email addresses is yours, and you can continue your work without any major problems.

The types of emails you might send in an email marketing campaign include:

  • Blog subscription newsletters
  • Follow-up emails to website visitors who downloaded something
  • Customer welcome emails
  • Holiday promotions to loyalty program members
  • Tips or similar series emails for customer nurturing

Conclusion

If you understood that digital marketing isn’t as tricky as it looks, you should look for an agency that will implement the strategies appropriately. However, you must check reviews, and you have them explain how they will apply them. They must show that they know how to do this based on your industry and landscape.

Furthermore, it’s also essential that you stay away from the agency that will tell you that they will cut corners to get somewhere. As mentioned above, you will see significant results within up to 6 months. Give the agency an estimated budget, so you see the recommendations they give you.