What is Digital Marketing? – A Detailed Guide

Explore what digital marketing is and how it helps businesses reach online audiences. Learn about key strategies, tools, and channels used in digital marketing.

digital marketing

By now, we all know the future of digital marketing is bright and promising. With over 66% of the world’s population using the Internet, digital marketing has become a cornerstone of modern business strategies. But what is digital marketing? What are the essential components of digital marketing? And most importantly, what are the best digital marketing strategies that will shape businesses in 2024? In this blog, we will explore every possible thing about digital marketing.

According to Research and Markets, the global digital advertising and marketing market will reach USD 1.5 Trillion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 13% over the analysis period 2020-2030. This data states the digital marketing landscape is evolving rapidly and growing massively. Businesses not leveraging this industry or still working around traditional marketing strategies will miss out on substantial business opportunities.

That is because digital marketing opens a world of possibilities to reach audiences, from SEO to social media, email, influencer marketing and beyond. Hence, more and more businesses today are going online and choosing traditional marketing over digital marketing. Let’s dive deep into what digital marketing is and why it is essential for current and future marketing. 

What is Digital Marketing?

If you are new to the digital world and wondering what digital marketing is, Here is a comprehensive guide. 

Digital marketing uses digital channels to promote products, services or brands. It is an umbrella term encompassing various online marketing strategies and tactics to reach and engage with audiences over the internet. There are different types of digital marketing which can yield excellent results when used effectively. The aim of digital marketing, however, is not always selling or lead generation; it also includes:

  • Brand awareness
  • Market research
  • Customer engagement 
  • Share information
  • Collect feedback 
  • Customer support 
  • Email subscription
  • Online reputation management 
  • Generate traffic and more

That is why everyone is trying some form of digital marketing to connect and engage with their target audience, from a small local business to a global organization. Performing effective digital marketing is the key to success. It will get you in front of your targeted audience, increase engagement and convert leads. 

Learn from India’s top digital marketer about what digital marketing is:

What is Digital Marketing [Introduction]

Key Components of Digital Marketing

You can market your product, brand or service using various digital mediums. Key components of digital marketing can help you excel in the online market. Each element of digital marketing is essential and often interconnected. The effectiveness and success of online marketing lie in understanding how each component works together to achieve overarching business goals. Here are some of the key components:

1. Search Engine Optimization

SEO is the process of optimizing web pages to improve their search engine rankings in search result pages such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. Search engine optimization mainly focuses on organically driving quality web page traffic. Though seeing your page rank in the SERPs might take a few months, your consistent work will yield great results.

How SEO Can Help Your Business?

  • Increases online visibility 
  • Drives organic and quality traffic
  • Enhances user experience
  • Offers cost-effective marketing
  • Builds credibility and trust 
  • Provides measurable results 
  • Boosts business growth

Key Aspects of SEO

  • Keyword Research: Identify and optimize the phrases and words your potential customer might use when browsing the internet. 
  • Content: Consistently publish relevant, valuable, and quality content on web pages, which are optimized with keywords and easy to read.
  • On-Page SEO: Optimizing web page search intent, content, HTML, meta tags, images, HTML, page speed, internal links, and more. 
  • Off-Page SEO: Building page authority through link building, guest posting, local SEO, promotion, content marketing, video marketing and more.
  • Technical SEO: Optimizing the page to improve organic rankings through site structuring, mobile optimizing, indexing and more.     

SEO Case Study: Urban Tree Chennai, one of the prominent real estate brands in Chennai, used effective and innovative SEO Strategies as part of their digital marketing campaign and now receives over 20,000 monthly visitors. Read the case study!

2. Content Marketing 

Content is the king of digital marketing strategies. Whether you want to write a compelling email, increase brand awareness through social media or work on SEO to drive traffic, content is the foundation of all. Conversely, content marketing is about crafting and distributing valuable content to engage the audience. Brands that use relevant and consistent content are more likely to retain their customers. 

How Can Content Marketing Help?

  • Builds brand awareness and trust
  • Boosts customer engagement 
  • Nurtures long-term customer relationship
  • Enhances SEO and web page visibility 
  • Drives traffic and conversion
  • Establishes the brand’s expertise
  • Supports other digital marketing strategies

Critical Aspects of Content Marketing

  • Content Format: Utilizing different content formats such as blogs, infographics, video scripts, website content, social media posts and more and distributing them through various online channels to reach targeted audiences. 
  • Content Strategy: Understanding and developing a content strategy that resonates with the company’s marketing objectives and outlines content formats, distribution channels, and metrics for tracking ROI.
  • Quality and Relevance: Developing well-written, engaging, valuable and relevant content that resonates with the audience. 
  • SEO Optimization: Optimizing developed content for search engines by adding relevant keywords, meta descriptions, tags and SEO-friendly structure to improve visibility in SERPs. 
  • Consistency: Updating content regularly (based on schedule) that keeps audiences engaged and improves the site’s SEO.    

Content Marketing Case Study: Success Gyan, an educational platform offering world-class education at an affordable rate, used an excellent content marketing strategy to promote the brand. EchoVME Digital created an exclusive landing page to offer every detail about the platform and know how to participate in the campaign created by the agency. The brand received a 60% rise in profile visits and 100k organic impressions. Read the case study.

3. Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Social media platforms today have become a goldmine for reaching and engaging with targeted audiences. Unsurprisingly, social media marketing is a pivotal part of digital marketing strategies. This branch of digital marketing uses social media platforms to distribute content and connect with audiences to drive leads. It involves publishing excellent content on brands’ social media profiles, engaging with followers, running social media ads and measuring results. 

How Can Social Media Marketing Help?

  • Enhances brand awareness
  • Improves customer engagement 
  • Amplifies brand presence and expertise
  • Builds meaningful relationships 
  • Increases SEO and drives traffic
  • Collects customer feedback 
  • Displays brand authenticity 

Key Aspects of Social Media Marketing 

  • Choosing Platform: Identifying social media platforms that align with the business’s goal, brand’s idea, and where the target audience is most active.
  • Strategic Planning: Defining goals and objectives of the social media campaigns, which can be brand awareness, customer engagement, lead generation or increasing sales. 
  • Organic Promotion: Reach and engage with audiences organically by sharing posts, photos, videos, memes, stories, and more. 
  • Paid Social Media Advertising: Utilizing paid advertising models tailored to specific demographic and psychographics segments to reach and engage with a broader audience. 
  • Engagement and Feedback: Responding to comments and queries to build brand authority and trustworthiness and collecting feedback to create stronger customer relationships.

Social Media Marketing Case Study: Wink Salon, Chennai’s leading salon, needed to make its mark on social media to increase its footfall. The brand aggressively started social media marketing campaigns, such as running Facebook ads, promoting the brand on Instagram, creating engaging posts and more. It won the Best Salon in the City award in 2017 and drove 20,000+ social media followers. Read the case study

4. Email Marketing 

In an era dominated by social media, videos, and instant messaging, email remains a powerful tool for marketers. Email marketing is a direct form of digital marketing wherein the message is communicated directly to the targeted audiences. Brands and businesses use email marketing to connect with their audiences by sharing valuable information, promoting business, offering discounts, collecting feedback and more. Effective email marketing converts potential customers to loyal buyers/fans.   

How Can Email Marketing Help?

  • Allows personalized/direct message
  • Increases brand awareness and ROI
  • Reaches wide audiences 
  • Boosts conversions and sales
  • Retains and re-engages customers 
  • Measures results effectively 
  • Builds strong relationships 

Key Aspects of Email Marketing 

  • Email List: Encouraging website visitors to sign up for email lists by offering incentives such as discounts, exclusive content, newsletters, and more.
  • Segment the Audience: Grouping your audiences based on their demographics, buying history, interests, preferences and more to send targeted and personalized emails.  
  • Email Content: Writing informative and compelling emails with the subject line, body and call-to-action (CTA) will boost email open rate. 
  • Design and Layout: Designing visually appealing and mobile-friendly emails makes them easier to read without triggering spam filters. 
  • Email Automation: Using email automation tools for sending automated responses and maintaining the frequency of emails based on the audience’s behaviour. 

Email Marketing Case Study: Credai FairPro is an apex body of private real estate developers in India aimed at promoting their FairPro event and encouraging more buyers to invest in properties. The brand used social media posts, social media ads and content marketing to promote the event. They sold over 2000 event tickets, generated over 5,400 leads, and adopted email marketing to reach them. Read the case study.

5. Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Pay-per-click (PPC) is the top digital advertising model that allows brands to increase their online presence and drive sales by running social media ads. The most sought-after platforms for social media ads are Facebook, YouTube, Linkedin, and Instagram. The brand needs to pay a fee every time someone clicks on these ads, unlike traditional ads, where the brand has to incur costs based on the ad’s reach. Moreover, brands can choose their ad targeting based on keywords, demographics, gender, behaviour, location, etc. PPC campaigns are best for brands looking to drive instant and measurable results. 

How Can Pay-Per-Click Help?  

  • Drives instant traffic 
  • Offers targeted advertising 
  • Provides immediate results
  • Has budget control option
  • Improves return on investment 
  • Increases conversion and sales
  • Measures results effectively 

Key Aspects of Pay-Per-Click

  • Keyword Research: Choose and implement the right keywords when crafting PPC campaigns that align with the search queries of the targeted audience. 
  • Bidding Strategy: Adopting a bidding strategy that keeps your ad at the prime position on social platforms and search engine results. 
  • Targeting: Defining the audience based on their demographics, purchase history, interests, gender, location and more to ensure the ad reaches the right audience. 
  • Launching and Testing: Launching the campaign and regularly testing different elements of it to understand which works best and optimize the campaign accordingly. 
  • Measuring: Setting up a conversion tracking system to measure and analyze the effectiveness of the PPC campaign performance. 

Pay-Per-Click Case Study: Vellore Institute of Technology, one of Tamil Nadu’s most prominent universities, aimed to promote its BBA course through social media. PPC campaigns were created to target parents of Tamil Nadu and build brand awareness. The posts were created in different formats to attract parents to the university’s BBA course. Over 8,600 leads were generated, and 40+ conversions for management quota. Read the case study.

Other Components of Digital Marketing 

Digital marketing is a dynamic way of improving website ranking, promoting products, creating brand awareness and generating leads. However, to get the best out of your marketing efforts, it is best to incorporate various components when creating a plan. Here are other components of digital marketing:

Affiliate Marketing:

It is a simple but one of the most effective digital marketing methods. Falling under performance-based marketing, affiliate marketing is a strategy where brands pay commissions to external websites to drive traffic or generate sales from their referrals. Affiliates can select the products/services they want to promote on their website, blogs, and social media handles based on their audience’s interests and needs. Pay-per-sale is the standard model followed by affiliate marketing. 

Influencer Marketing:

Influencer marketing has gained tremendous importance in digital marketing. Instagram and Facebook are the top platforms brands use for their influencer marketing campaign. This marketing model involves partnering with famous and influential social media users to help their audience discover a brand or business and its products or services. With a whopping global influencer marketing market value standing at 21.1 billion U.S. dollars, it is clear that this component of digital marketing is here to stay.    

Mobile Marketing:

Mobile marketing has recently become essential to brand digital marketing strategies. It is primarily because of the increasing and broad dependence on smartphones. In simple terms, using marketing strategies to reach customers through SMS, MMS, apps, and responsive websites is called mobile marketing. It allows for more personalized and immediate engagement with users. It is essential for brands to come up with mobile-optimized content to increase the retention rate.  

Top 5 Digital Marketing Strategies for 2024

After getting a clear idea of what digital marketing is, it’s time we dive into digital marketing strategies that will work in 2024. Most of the strategies are formed relying on digital marketing trends for 2024. Include these top digital marketing strategies to fuel your marketing plan in 2024.

Personalization Powered By Artificial Intelligence 

Artificial intelligence has taken the internet by storm, and businesses that leverage this technology will have a competitive edge over the market. Personalizing marketing messages and recommendations for every customer is the best way brands can use A.I. This will lead to higher engagement and conversion rates. Moreover, creating content, predicting customer behaviour, and targeting the right audiences are other ways to embrace this technology. 

Optimizing Content for Voice Search

Optimizing voice search content is an excellent digital marketing strategy. More and more people are using voice search and voice assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant. It will be brilliant for brands to optimize their content for voice search. However, this must be done carefully as people use long phrases and more natural language when using voice search. Hence, the optimization tactics for voice search will vary from text-based optimization.  

Leveraging The Power of Video Content

Video is the most engaging form of digital content. According to Wyzowl, on average, people spend 17 hours per week watching online videos, and 52% are likelier to share video content than any other form of entertainment. 88% of video marketers believe video is essential for their overall marketing strategy. Capitalizing on different video marketing content forms and platforms can boost engagement. Short-form videos, live streams, behind-the-scenes, and Q and A sessions can engage the audience in real time.   

Building Relationships Through Customer Service

Customer service can make or break a brand in the current digital era. Offering excellent customer service to build customer relationships has become more critical. By providing top-notch service, brands can cultivate a loyal following that refers new costumes to your businesses, spreads positive reviews, and returns for more purchases. Not to forget, retaining customers is always cheaper than acquiring new customers. Focus on promptly responding to customer queries, personalizing interaction and building community on social platforms. 

Creating a Seamless Omnichannel Experience 

Omnichannel is a customer-centric marketing approach that incorporates all platforms and channels, delivering a unified brand experience to customers. From social media to website, emails, in-store and mobile, omnichannel marketing provides a consistent message across all touchpoints. Creating a recognizable brand identity, crafting valuable content, and spreading the brand message evenly across all channels is a tremendous omnichannel marketing strategy. Ensure you track the performance to understand what’s working and what’s not. 

Integrating AR and VR

Though relatively new in the world of digital marketing, augmented Reality and Virtual Reality have become mainstream marketing tools for brands to offer an immersive shopping experience for their customers. Virtual Reality lets users experience products and services more memorably. Augmented Reality, on the other hand, lets customers interact with products and services in real-world scenarios. Both options mainly focus on keeping the customer engaged, leading to increased interest and retention in the brand. AR and VR are also important because they make your brand stand out from the competitors, showcasing innovation and forward-thinking.  

A successful digital marketing strategy involves a mix of various aspects tailored to the needs and goals of a business. Keeping up-to-date with the latest technology, tools, and trends in digital marketing is vital to stay competitive in the market. Following these digital marketing strategies in 2024, you can create a digital marketing plan to help you reach your targeted audience and achieve your marketing goals. 

To Summarize 

Digital marketing is an indispensable tool for brands and businesses to grow online. Whether you are a budding entrepreneur, a business owner, or a marketing professional, understanding the power of digital marketing can help you achieve business success. 

An excellent way to start with digital marketing is by taking up a reliable digital marketing course. DigitalScholar is India’s leading institute offering various digital marketing courses with in-depth and practical training. Take that first step towards a successful and regarding digital marketing career. 

What kind of practice do you follow for your digital marketing strategies? What strategies work best for your brand? What do you think is the future of digital marketing? We would love for you to share your comments.

FAQs

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing involves promoting brands, products and services online through digital channels/platforms such as search engines, social platforms, email, mobile apps and websites. It has a range of marketing strategies that help brands reach targeted audiences and increase engagement. 

Is there a difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing?

Yes, traditional marketing relies on mediums like print, T.V., radio, and banners, while digital marketing uses online channels to promote products, brands and services. Digital marketing performs better than traditional marketing on various parameters like reach, engagement, cost, flexibility, tracking, and measuring. 

What are the key components of digital marketing? 

Search engine optimization, Pay-Per-Click advertising, Social media marketing, affiliate marketing, email marketing, mobile marketing, content marketing, influencer marketing, and search engine marketing are some of the key components of digital marketing. 

Should small businesses invest in digital marketing?

Yes, small businesses typically have a small budget, and digital marketing offers various cost-effective solutions to promote a product or service. Moreover, with digital marketing, even a small brand can compete with larger companies by using effective marketing strategies. 

Do digital marketers get paid well?

Digital marketing is one of the highest-paying fields with good earning potential. The demand for digital marketing skills is growing, leading to high job openings in the industry. However, the salary package will vary widely depending on factors such as location, experience level, freelancing, company size and more. 

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