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What is Digital Marketing, and How Does It Work?

Ever wonder how targeted ads appear while you're browsing online? Perhaps it's the perfect phone case you never knew you needed or a tempting discount on a weekend break. That, in essence, is the power of digital marketing in action.

Digital marketing is vital to any modern business, and having a solid digital marketing strategy is crucial for success. It involves using digital technologies to increase brand awareness, engage with customers, and drive sales. In today's digital world, where most internet users are constantly connected to their digital devices, more than traditional marketing tactics are required.

Businesses turn to online marketing, specifically digital marketing, to reach their target audiences. Companies can create effective digital marketing campaigns and increase their online presence by utilising various digital marketing channels such as social media platforms, search engine, and email marketing.

In this blog post, we will explore digital marketing, how it works, and the different types of effective digital marketing strategies businesses, from large corporations to small startups, can use to drive their marketing efforts forward.

What is digital marketing?

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is about making connections. It's using online spaces where people hang out, learn, and entertain themselves to introduce them to what you offer. Unlike traditional marketing, which relies on flyers or billboards that people might walk past, digital marketing meets people on the screens they're glued to.

As you can see, digital marketing helps promote your brand and connect you with potential customers across various digital channels. It's about reaching your target audience – those ideal customers who could become loyal brand advocates – through social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter), search engines (Google), your company website, and email marketing campaigns.

Types of Digital Marketing

Types of Digital Marketing

However, an effective digital marketing strategy goes beyond simply blasting generic advertisements. It's also about crafting a plan to attract customers by providing valuable and engaging content.

This could be informative articles, entertaining videos, or special offers that pique their interest and encourage them to learn more about your business. It's about fostering relationships with potential customers online, not just making a hard sell from the outset.

So, how does it all come together? Digital marketers employ a combination of tactics in their marketing mix. This is to elevate your brand's presence through effective online marketing on various digital platforms. Here's a breakdown of some key methods that you might consider adding to your digital marketing plan:

1. Social Media Marketing

Aside from creating social media accounts and posting, social media marketing is also about building a thriving online community around your brand and fostering genuine interactions with your target market. It involves leveraging social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others to promote your brand and engage with your audience.

Professionals in this field create compelling content tailored to each platform's audience, such as eye-catching images, entertaining videos, and informative articles. They also interact with followers, responding to comments and messages promptly. Below are some things you can do to make it work:

  • Platform Selection: You meticulously choose the social media channels where your target audience spends their time. Depending on the industry and demographics, this could be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or a combination.
  • Content Strategy: You develop a consistent content calendar with engaging visuals, informative posts, and interactive elements like polls and quizzes.
  • Social Listening: You actively monitor conversations about your brand and industry using social listening tools like Brandwatch and BuzzSumo. This allows you to address customer concerns, participate in relevant discussions, and identify trending topics.
  • Community Management: You dedicate resources to promptly responding to comments and messages, fostering a sense of community and building relationships with your audience.
  • Influencer Marketing: You may collaborate with relevant social media influencers to reach a wider audience and leverage the influencer's established credibility.
  • Paid Advertising: You strategically utilise paid social media advertising to target specific demographics and interests, further amplifying your reach and brand awareness efforts.

Successful social media marketing requires a deep understanding of your target audience and the ability to craft content that resonates with them. It's building relationships, fostering community, and driving traffic to your website or landing pages.

2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Have you ever wondered how certain websites appear when searching for something online? That's SEM at work. It ensures your website shows up near the top when people search for keywords related to your business. This involves two main strategies:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): This involves making your website friendly to search engine results pages like Google. It involves keyword research, improving website traffic, optimising website content, and getting other high-authority websites to link to yours.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising: Conversely, paid online advertising specialists manage PPC ads on search engines like Google Ads. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, so it's a great way to reach a wider audience actively searching for products or services like yours. Bid on relevant keywords, and your digital ads will appear at the top of search results.

By combining paid ads with SEO, SEM helps ensure your message will be seen by the right people at the right time. It's a dynamic blend of adjusting, monitoring, and optimising your keywords, ad copy, and landing pages to keep your brand front and centre in the digital marketplace.

3. Content Marketing

Content marketing is about creating high-quality content that educates, entertains, or inspires your target audience. By offering valuable content for free, you establish yourself as a thought leader and attract potential customers who trust your expertise.

Below are some digital marketing efforts that you can include in your digital strategy:

  • Content Marketing Development: Develop a comprehensive content marketing strategy aligned with business goals and target audience interests. This may involve creating blog posts, infographics, videos, ebooks, or white papers.
  • Content Calendar Management: You should meticulously plan and schedule content creation and distribution across various digital marketing channels. Consistency is key to building audience trust.
  • Content Optimisation: Optimise your content for search engines by incorporating relevant keywords naturally while maintaining readability and user experience.
  • Content Promotion: As part of your digital marketing strategies, you must actively promote your content across digital channels, including social media, email marketing campaigns, and influencer outreach.
  • Content Performance Analysis: Track and analyse performance metrics like website traffic, customer engagement rates, and lead generation. This data helps your marketing department refine and tailor your content strategy to audience preferences.

4. Email Marketing

Another solid digital marketing strategy is through email marketing. This tool is powerful for nurturing leads, building brand loyalty, and driving sales. When done strategically, it lets you connect with your audience personally and deliver targeted messages that resonate. Here's how you can leverage this marketing campaign:

  • Building an Email List: Implement strategies to build a permission-based email list, ensuring recipients have opted-in to receive communication. This could involve offering valuable lead magnets like ebooks or discounts.
  • Segmentation and Targeting: Segment your email list based on demographics, interests, or purchase history. This allows for targeted email campaigns with personalised content that resonates with your specific audience segments.
  • Email Design and Automation: Utilise automation in your digital marketing campaign to create visually appealing and mobile-friendly email campaigns. Automation allows for scheduling emails and sending triggered messages based on user behaviour.
  • A/B Testing and Optimisation: Conduct A/B testing on different aspects of your email campaigns, such as subject lines or call-to-action buttons. This data-driven approach allows you to optimise your campaigns for higher open rates and click-through rates.

Other Digital Marketing Tactics

Other Digital Marketing Tactics

Social media, SEM, content and email are the most popular digital marketing techniques, but you may find a different mix that works best for your target market. Here are some additional tactics that you can integrate into your comprehensive digital marketing strategy:

Mobile Marketing

Another digital marketing tactic you have to consider is mobile marketing. Think about it: how often are you glued to your phone these days? Exactly. Mobile marketing lets you connect with your audience where they are – on their mobile devices and tablets. This could involve reaching your audience on their smartphones and tablets through SMS marketing, developing mobile apps, or location-based advertising.

Video Marketing

People are wired to be visually engaged, and videos are a fantastic way to grab attention and tell your brand story compellingly. Here's where video marketing shines. Whether showcasing your products in action through product demos or simplifying complex concepts with explainer videos, viewers clearly understand what you offer.

Don't forget the power of social proof – customer testimonials on video build trust and credibility. Encourage customers to create videos related to your brand and then share them on your digital channel to encourage engagement.

Influencer Marketing

Another form of digital advertising is influencer, which involves collaborating with individuals with a significant following. Influencer marketing allows you to harness the influence of established social media personalities or industry experts within your target market. By partnering with relevant influencers in your industry, you can tap into their established audience and gain trust by association. This influential voice endorsing your brand can be a game-changer.

Marketing Automation

Managing a comprehensive digital marketing strategy can be time-consuming. Marketing automation tools offer a valuable solution by automating repetitive tasks such as scheduling social media posts, sending email campaigns, or nurturing leads. This frees up valuable resources to focus on higher-level strategic initiatives and campaign analysis. You can continuously optimise your strategy for maximum impact by leveraging data insights from your automated campaigns.

Chatbot Marketing

Chatbots provide a cost-effective and convenient way to offer 24/7 customer support on your website. These AI-powered chatbots can answer basic inquiries, troubleshoot common issues, or even guide users through buying. They provide a personalised touch and ensure your brand remains accessible and helpful whenever your customers need it. Chatbots can collect user information and qualify leads. So, customise your chatbot interactions based on user preferences.

Voice/Visual Search Optimisation

The way people search for information is constantly evolving. Voice assistants and visual search engines like Google Lens are gaining significant traction. Optimising your website and content for these emerging search methods ensures your brand's visibility when someone asks, "Hey Siri, where can I buy the best running shoes?" This forward-thinking approach positions your brand for success in the ever-changing digital landscape.

How do you become a digital marketer with e-Careers?

How do you become a digital marketer with e-Careers?

If you're looking to refine your digital marketing skills or switch to a rewarding career in digital marketing, we offer a comprehensive suite of Digital Marketing courses. Industry experts develop these courses, which are highly recognised by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI), which is responsible for establishing the benchmark for global digital marketing qualifications.

Explore our DMI courses today!

Conclusion

The field of digital marketing is brimming with possibilities, and the tactics explored here are just the tip of the iceberg. As consumer behaviour evolves, so will the strategies that drive successful brand engagement. The key to staying ahead of the curve is continuous learning and exploration.

By effectively integrating these strategies, you'll witness the benefits of digital marketing. You can expand your reach, foster more profound engagement with your target audience, and achieve your unique business goals. Remember, the key lies in experimentation, data-driven analysis, and continuous refinement to ensure your digital marketing efforts deliver optimal results.

Take charge of your digital future and unlock exciting career possibilities. Contact us at +44 (0) 20 3198 7700 or ask@e-careers.com.

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