To provide the simplest definition, digital marketing is an umbrella term for the marketing of products or services using digital technologies.
Online marketing is by far the most important segment of digital marketing. As traditional channels like TV and radio become less and less valuable, online marketing continues to take up bigger and bigger segments of companies’ marketing budgets, with millions of businesses marketing exclusively via the Internet.
Consider this post an introduction to digital marketing—Digital Marketing 101, if you will—which breaks down the most common channels and gives you a comprehensive framework for understanding this ever-evolving industry.
What Is the Purpose of Digital Marketing?
Like any form of marketing, the purpose of digital marketing is to promote and sell a product or service. More specifically, the purpose of digital marketing is to connect a business or organisation with its target audience via digital channels.
There are currently over 3.3 billion Internet users worldwide, with this number increasing every day. Technological device ownership continues to increase as well, with 92% of U.S. adults owning at least a mobile phone.
One of the things that separates digital from traditional marketing is the capabilities of modern technology. Digital marketers are focused primarily on targeted, measurable activities. They want to zero-in on the “right” audience and measure the results of their efforts. In the past, targeting looked like taking out a regional TV ad or running an ad in a niche magazine, but today’s technology allows for a much more refined, measurable approach.
For example, a digital marketer today can run a Facebook advertisement targeting only 20-year-olds interested in the band Coldplay. They can see every view, like, comment, and click and then use a tracking pixel to see exactly what people do after they click on the ad. This data can then be used to create ads that perform better.
There are currently 7 primary channels used to acquire traffic:
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Paid Advertising
- Social Media Marketing
- E-mail Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Influencer Marketing
These channels offer businesses a scalable way to acquire and increase traffic over an indefinite period of time. Furthermore, they have become so prominent that it would be fairly easy to find a full-time job specific to any one of these categories.