Updated: Jul 30
Search Engine Optimization, Pay-per-Click, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Marketing Analytics, and Affiliate Marketing are the eight major categories of digital marketing.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing refers to a wide range of marketing tactics and technologies that are used to reach consumers online. It has revolutionized the marketing industry as a form of online marketing that allows organizations to establish a brand identity.
Types of digital marketing
Rogers discussed some of the most common types of digital marketing, giving a brief overview of each:
Search engine optimization
The goal of SEO is to raise a company's ranking in Google search results, resulting in increased search engine traffic to the company's website. To accomplish this, SEO marketers investigate the words and phrases that consumers use to search for information online and incorporate those terms into their own content. According to the "Beginners Guide to SEO" by leading SEO software company Moz, SEO encompasses many elements, ranging from the words on your web pages to how other sites link to you on the web to how your website is structured. According to Salary.com, an SEO specialist can earn around $70,058.
So, what are some of the things that can help a site's SEO? It's critical to understand that one of the things that makes SEO difficult is that the answer always depends on Google and its most recent algorithm. Keeping this in mind, here are a few of the most important things for SEO strategists and marketers, in general, to understand about how SEO works today, as compiled by Moz:
Content indexing – It is critical to allow search engines to clearly "read" your site content by including alt text for images and text transcripts for video and audio content.
Good link structure – It is critical that search engines can "crawl" your site structure and easily find all of your content. An SEO specialist can do a variety of things to properly format links, URLs, and sitemaps so that site crawlers can find them.
Keywords and targeting keywords – One of the fundamental building blocks of SEO is properly deploying your keywords – i.e. the search terms you want your site to be found for in your content and headers. Stuffing your content with as many keywords and keyword variations as possible is no longer a good practice. Writing high-quality content with keywords in headers and a few times in crawlable page content is now considered best practice and will help pages rank higher in search results.
Pay Per Click
Pay-per-click advertising and promoted search engine results are examples of pay-per-click advertising. This is a short-term form of digital marketing, which means that once you stop paying, the ad disappears. PPC, like SEO, is a method of increasing online search traffic to a business.
Pay-per-click advertising can refer to advertisements that appear at the top and sides of search results pages, advertisements that appear while browsing the web, advertisements that appear before YouTube videos, and advertisements that appear in mobile apps.
Another distinction between pay-per-click and SEO is that you only pay for results. In a typical PPC model, such as a Google AdWords campaign, you will pay only for clicks.
when a person clicks on your ad and visits your website Pay-per-click advertising allows you to spend virtually any amount of money. Some businesses may see results after investing only a few hundred dollars, but many large corporations spend tens of thousands of dollars per month on pay-per-click advertising.
The cost of running an ad or promoting your search results is primarily determined by the level of competition for your keywords. High competition keywords (those that many people search for and for which many sites compete) will be more expensive, while lower competition terms will most likely be less expensive.
When you create a pay-per-click campaign, you can specify whether you want your ad or promoted results to be shown to users worldwide or only within a specific geographic area. According to Google, if you are marketing a physical store, the ability to tailor by location allows you to avoid wasting ad dollars by serving ads to users who do not live anywhere near your store.
Social media marketing
This includes everything a company does on social media. Although almost everyone is familiar with social media, marketers must approach it in an integrated and strategic manner. Social media marketing entails much more than simply posting to social channels and responding to comments.
For efforts to be effective, they must be coordinated and consistent, rather than an afterthought. There are many online tools available to automate and schedule social media posts to help keep posts consistent, but marketers should only use automation as a tool, not a "set it and forget it" solution. Users will quickly figure out if there is no real person behind the posts.
Social media marketers should not operate independently of other marketing functions. Social marketers must collaborate with the company's larger marketing team to coordinate their message across all platforms, online and offline so that the entire brand tells the same story.
Analytics is an important aspect of social media marketing: social media marketers must be adept at analyzing the performance of their posts and developing strategies based on that data. According to marketing writer Jayson DeMers, another reason for marketers to consistently measure and track their campaigns is that this data allows them to demonstrate a particular campaign's return on investment and whether it provided any value to the company.
In addition to Instagram and Twitter, there are several free options for spreading your message. Google My Business, eBay, Facebook Messenger, and Marketplace are some other options.
In other words, social media marketing is far more involved than simply managing your personal Facebook or Twitter profile. It necessitates a combination of creative thinking and objective, data-driven strategy, and it may be an excellent fit for professionals who enjoy combining these two disciplines. According to Salary.com, a social media analyst with a bachelor's degree can earn around $68,230.
To raise brand awareness, content marketing employs storytelling and information sharing. The ultimate goal is for the reader to take a step toward becoming a customer, such as requesting more information, joining an email list, or making a purchase. Blog posts, resources such as white papers and e-books, digital videos, podcasts, and much more can all be considered "content." In general, it should first and foremost provide value to the consumer, rather than simply advertising the brand or attempting to sell something. Content marketing is about developing a long-term, trusting relationship with your customers that can lead to many sales over time, rather than just making a single transaction.
Content marketing complements other types of digital marketing by incorporating SEO search terms into new website content, and the content created can be shared as social media posts and in email marketing publications. Analyzing your content marketing analytics can reveal a lot about your customers: what are they looking for when they visit your site? What types of content keep them on the site longer and looking around? What types cause them to lose interest and leave?
Content marketing, as opposed to PPC, is a long-term strategy. According to Marketo, a marketing automation company, marketers build up a library of content (text, video, podcasts, etc.) over time that will continue to bring users to the site via search engines. This content library also promotes brand awareness and raises your profile as an information resource. And, if users are visiting your site for information, you want them to remember you as an authority when it comes time to buy.
Content marketing is an excellent opportunity for those who enjoy writing, as well as video and audio production. However, as with all aspects of digital marketing, it necessitates strong strategic and analytic abilities.
Despite the rise of social media, mobile applications, and other channels, email remains one of the most effective -, according to Rogers. It can be used as part of a content marketing strategy to provide value to consumers and eventually convert them into customers. According to the American Marketing Association, email marketing professionals not only understand how to create compelling campaigns but also understand optimal audience outreach and are skilled at analyzing customer interactions and data and making strategic decisions based on that data.
Many different analytical measures are available in email marketing software, but two that marketers are constantly striving to improve are the open rate – the percentage of recipients who opened the email – and the click-through rate – the number of recipients who opened the email and clicked on a link in the email. According to Constant Contact, a leading email marketing software company, there are numerous things marketers can do to make their emails more appealing to users and more likely to be opened. These are some examples:
Create a Sense of Immediacy – Writing email copy that informs recipients that time is running out to take advantage of a special offer or that there are only a limited number of offers available can increase the number of people who click through to your website.
Customize Your Email – Including the recipient's name in your emails and subject lines has been shown to increase open and click-through rates. (For example, "Katie, a special offer just for you.")
Allow Recipients to Choose Their Preferences – Allowing users to choose how frequently they want to hear from you can help keep some of your email subscribers subscribed and clicking on your emails.
This type of digital marketing focuses on reaching your target audience via their smartphone or tablet. People are reached by mobile marketing through text messages, social media, websites, email, and mobile applications. Marketers can tailor offers or special content to a specific geographic location or time, such as when a customer enters a store or attends an event.
According to a recent TechCrunch article, Americans now spend five hours per day on their phones. This represents a 20% increase over the previous quarter. Users are also spending far more time in apps than in mobile browsers. In 2017, users spend far more time with apps than they do with television. According to the TechCrunch article, 15% of that app time is spent on entertainment apps like Netflix and Hulu, 19% on Facebook's mobile app, 12% on other social and messaging apps, and 11% on gaming apps.
According to Retail Dive, 45 percent of all shopping involves a mobile device in some way, whether it's used to do research, compare prices, or make a purchase. That figure is 57 percent for the majority of Millennials (defined by the Pew Research Center as people born between 1981 and 1997).
Marketers understand the importance of taking your message to where your customers are, and the evidence is clear: your potential customers are on their phones.
One of the primary benefits of digital marketing is that it is extremely trackable and measurable. Coupons and similar direct mail offers were once the only trackable marketing pieces. If a customer used the coupon, you knew the message was getting through. Today, analytics allow marketers to track user behavior in great detail: how many times they click on a link, how long they spend on a web page, how frequently they open emails, and so on. However, the vast amount of data available about digital marketing performance can feel like drinking from a fire hose, and marketers must truly understand what the data mean and how it should inform strategy.
This not only allows marketers to learn what works with consumers and adapt their marketing messages in the future, but it also allows them to demonstrate their value to the company. Understanding all of this data and using it to make strategic decisions is a critical component of a digital marketer's job, and it distinguishes them from their traditional counterparts.
There are numerous tools for measuring the success of digital marketing campaigns, and many marketers will use a combination of these tools, depending on their needs and audience (Fortune magazine reported that many marketers are using over 100 applications in their total marketing process.) Google Analytics is a popular marketing analytics tool that can be customized in virtually infinite ways to measure how your site is performing, which keywords are bringing users to your site, how users are navigating through your website, and much more.
Having good, accurate analytics and the ability to interpret them allows marketers to "fail fast," quickly cutting campaigns that aren't working and building better campaigns around concepts that have a proven track record of success. Over time, you will not only use analytics to measure your campaigns but also inform and improve them.
A digital marketing degree program will teach you about a variety of topics relevant to your marketing career, such as marketing plans and strategies, branding, mobile marketing, and digital advertising.
Affiliate marketing, also known as influencer marketing, has grown in popularity among many organizations as a means of bridging the gap between consumers and businesses. But what exactly is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing takes advantage of the increasing popularity of industry experts and social media influencers. In exchange for compensation, your organization will collaborate with these third-party influencers to promote your products or services. Influencers will collaborate to engage their audiences with posts, blogs, or videos in order to bring in more business and generate new leads for your organization.
Affiliate, or influencer marketing, has grown tremendously in recent years, with new media such as TikTok, Instagram, Youtube, and blogs becoming a mainstream form of entertainment, news, and shipping. Affiliate marketing has grown in popularity as a form of digital marketing. According to Inc.com, the affiliate marketing industry will be worth $6.8 billion by 2020.
Marketers' job opportunities are expanding. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts a 10% increase in the number of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers. According to the BLS, the median salary for these positions in 2020 was $141,490.
Hobson explained that digital marketers help the larger marketing team and the overall company's strategic goals by implementing marketing strategies in the online environment. According to Rogers, digital marketers strive to be a voice for the customer and how they want to interact with a brand digitally. "(Marketers) approach the brand's channels strategically to maximize investments, drive traffic and conversions, and manage integrated digital content," she explained.
Because digital marketers must always be where their customers are, they must stay up to date on changes in technology, social media, and software.
Technology evolves quickly; today's popular social media app may be obsolete by next year, but many fundamental marketing principles remain constant.
According to Rogers, many employers now require experience in Google Analytics, Google and Facebook Ads, HubSpot, and Hootsuite. A master's degree in digital marketing program will teach you the fundamentals of tools like these, as well as how to explore and apply them through coursework. They are also looking for candidates who are proficient in Adobe Creative Suites and have a working knowledge of SEO and keyword research.
However, some critical pieces of the marketing puzzle have not changed since the days when companies primarily advertised in print, radio, and television. All marketers require strong communication skills as well as a solid understanding of marketing principles.
According to Rogers, employers include these soft skills alongside technology-related skills in job posting requirements.
"Communicating a marketing message to a target audience is a basic tenant of marketing," she explained. "... We must be able to communicate not only with our teammates, but also with customers, executives, and others. These people are our target audience, and without strong communication skills, our messages will not be received as we intended."
Because digital marketing is a rapidly changing space, it is critical for businesses to stay current on new and emerging strategies, according to Hobson. There are numerous ways that businesses accomplish this, some of which are handled by digital marketers and others by other departments.
"It's never been more important to stay ahead of the competition," Rogers said. "Because the business landscape is changing so quickly, it has become a critical strategy to include looking to the competition to help inform your own digital strategy."
Southern New Hampshire University's Alexa Gustavsen '21 is a writer. Join her LinkedIn network.