Social-Media-Roadmap by Yoel Ben-Avraham via Flickr

Intro to the World of Digital Marketing

Marketing is really important

Entrepreneurs are notorious for giving marketing efforts a backseat to product development, funding and other immediacies. This oversight costs them. A solid marketing strategy should be built into the business plan from the start and implemented as soon as you have a minimum viable product (MVP). As Mark Cuban says, “sales cure all.” The inverse corollary would be that a dearth of sales dooms an enterprise.

Digital marketing is the future

Not that traditional marketing (mailers, TV & radio ads, magazine ads, etc.) is going anywhere. Digital marketing, however, will continue to grow. It makes sense, right? People spend a lot of time looking at screens. More time, probably, than they spend looking at anything else.

B2B or B2C?

Is your offering intended for individual consumers (business to consumer) or for other businesses (business to business)? An example of the former would be a fitness app, while a data storage and retrieval service falls into the latter category. B2B and B2C marketing strategies will share a number of commonalities, but also have some important differences. B2B customers will demand much more detail before they purchase. B2C customers respond more to emotional appeals. And so on. One significant commonality, however, is that both types of marketing target individuals — if you’re selling to a business, you’re selling to someone in that business who makes purchasing decisions.

Know your customer

Regardless of whether you are B2B or B2C, targeted marketing is essential to any digital campaign. If you’re selling your fitness app, shotgun style, to the general public, you’ll be far less successful than if you target middle-class female purchasers between the ages of 24 and 47 who attend yoga classes and have gym memberships. Unless your fitness app aims to motivate sedentary customers to get moving. Your target demographic, in that case, might include people who watch reality TV and have memberships in weight-loss programs. If you market your data services to businesses in a blanket fashion, you’ll sell far fewer subscriptions than if you reach out to, say, IT directors in midsize companies (e.g., $20M to $200M annual revenue).

Digital marketing channels

Once you know who you’re selling to, how do you actually reach them? Pathways include SEO, social media, search engine PPC, paid social, blogging and more.  Your choice of channels will depend on your target customer. It will also rely on trial and error, and careful tracking of results so that you can adjust accordingly. Below is a brief description of a few of the channels you might end up using:

  • SEO (search engine optimization): With search engine optimization, you’re trying to appear as close to the top of the first page of search results as you can be. This is a highly competitive and constantly changing game, and has an entire science and body of tactics devoted to it.
  • Social media: You maintain company social accounts and interact with followers. Your goal: to attract as many followers as possible and build awareness of your brand. Depending on your product/service, you can often sell directly from your social page.
  • PPC (search engine): Pay per click advertising on search engines involves linking a digital ad to a specific keyword or set of keywords. If you’ve chosen “weight loss program” as one of your keywords (phrases are still called keywords, by the way), your ad will hopefully appear when someone Googles that phrase. The qualifier hopefully points to the competitive nature of paid advertising. As with SEO, in most market segments you’ll find many advertisers trying to elbow one another out for the same keywords. And, as with SEO, winning the in the PPC arena is an entire science in itself.
  • Paid social: You run ads on social media platforms. These can be pay-per-view (PPV) or PPC. You target these by selecting specific demographic data, which can get incredibly granular. Facebook allows you to screen by dozens of criteria, including entertainment preferences, home ownership, type of vehicle owned, family situation, travel habits, career and much more. Other platforms have their own targeting systems, but the gist is the same: you show your ads to the people you want to, exclusively.
  • Content marketing: One of the most important — and overlooked — aspects of digital marketing. Your goal: to sell indirectly by establishing yourself as a respected expert. Content marketing involves a ton of research, blogging, guest blogging, social media posting, writing and publishing articles, etc. Imagine you’re looking for a shoe repair service in Tucson. You Google that exact keyword. At the top of the page, a paid ad (PPC) appears, promising fast service, low prices, etc. Midway down, you see an article: “Shoe Repair: 10 Things to Avoid.” You can’t help but click on it (after all, if there are ten potential mistakes, you don’t want to make one of them). You’re impressed by the article, and, in the author byline, what do you know — she just happens to run a shoe repair service in Tucson. Would you contact her, or the PPC advertiser?

I hope this article gives you a sense of the importance, breadth, and depth of digital marketing, and encourages you to delve deeper into the various aspects I have touched on. Happy selling!

About the Author:

Jacob Andra Jacob Andra is a 2014 graduate of the University of Utah. He is the online sales and marketing manager for US Translation Company, an SLC-based localization firm specializing in helping technology and medical companies go international. He can be reached at 801-631-2927, or via his LinkedIn profile.

15 thoughts on “Intro to the World of Digital Marketing

  1. Hi Jacob,

    Digital Marketing is definitely here to stay! With marketing any new business or brand there is trial and error, but we need to keep doing what works! Thanks for the great insight Jacob. 🙂

  2. Hello Jacob Andra, I agree with your points of various strategies which can be used in digital marketing. I want you to add few more points which are extremely important in generating leads and engaging the customers.

    1. Email Marketing
    2. Inbound Marketing

    In today’s digital marketing world, we have to use all available channels for maximum reach and customer engagement.

  3. I completely agree with you about importance of digital marketing. Though it is growing with really amazing speed, digital marketing can be quite a tough task when it comes to SEO. I was just wondering, whether video marketing or youtube marketing should be considered under the social media marketing or completely different type of marketing?

  4. It is true that with search engine optimization, you’re trying to appear as close to the top of the first page of search results as you can be. This is a highly competitive and constantly changing game, and has an entire science and body of tactics devoted to it.

  5. The future is digital marketing, and in near future getting good professionals is difficult because they occupied with some best … so learn and grow in the digital marketing… Even the companies which don’t have any online business they wish to start ASAP.

  6. The facts are that digital methods of communication and marketing are faster, more flexible, sensible and smooth, so it is possibly unsurprising that once the technology became available we began quickly moving into the digital age. The good news is that digital offers just as much likely to marketers as it does to consumers.

  7. Digital marketing is surely the future for any business, be it a B2B or B2C or any mix. Utilizing multiple channels properly is the key to success. The more we can diversify our digital marketing planning, execution, and investments, the better results we can expect. It’s all about creatively targeting the right people at the right time, converting them into sales, measuring the data, tweaking the execution and repeating the process again and again.

    Soumya Roy
    Founder & Lead SEO Trainer

  8. Digital Marketing is surely here to stay! With marketing any new business or brand there is trial and error, but we need to keep doing what works! The future is digital marketing, and in near future getting good professionals is difficult because they occupied with some best. Thanks for the great insight.

  9. Hi Jacob,
    Super-brilliant post! Completely agree with you that the future is digital marketing.

    Actually, digital marketing is no more just a concept.The process of digital marketing has already been started. And now it has become inevitable to almost every kind of business to have a good background in digital media, especially on social media.

    But one thing you escaped here is -” E-Mail Marketing”. Seeming as ineffective, but scheduled email with product or offer description gets 20% more response from the customers. So, it works. Still now many big company platforms are using this trick very successfully.

    Thanks, Jackob for such an informative article. Hope to get such more articles from you.

  10. Thanks, Jacob for sharing this wonderful article. I absolutely agree with everything you have written here about the introduction to digital marketing. If we look at digital marketing today, it’s on the rise!

  11. Thank You for Sharing Good Article,
    Digital Marketing is very Useful for Promoting Products through using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also mobile phones, display advertising.

    Advantages of Digital Marketing:
    1. Most people are starting their buyer’s journey online.
    2. Your customers are on social media, and digital marketing helps you reach them.
    3. SEO and local SEO helps you reach more qualified buyers online.
    4. Digital marketing helps you connect with mobile customers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *