US businesses will collectively spend over 120 billion dollars on digital marketing by the year 2021. If history is any indicator, that number will continue to grow as we push towards 2030.
Why is digital marketing so big in today’s internet-first economy? Because it works!
But what exactly is digital marketing?
That’s probably not a question that most of you feel comfortable asking. After all, everyone assumes that every business worth its salt is seasoned when it comes to all things related to online promotion.
To make sure that you don’t get left in the digital dust, below, our team outlines the definition and role of digital marketing.
What Is the Definition of Digital Marketing?
There are a lot of competing definitions out there when it comes to digital marketing. Our favorite way to describe the term is as an umbrella that encompasses a variety of marketing mediums which use the internet.
So, when you’re browsing the web and see an advertisement pop up, that’s a form of digital marketing. If you read a blog post that has a call to action at the end of it, that’s also a form of digital marketing.
What Is the Role of Digital Marketing?
Businesses love to spend money on digital marketing. The amount that they’re spending begs the assumption that digital marketing serves some massive benefit to those willing to invest in it.
That benefit, boiled down, is that digital marketing allows companies to engage with an increasingly “internet native” population.
A recent study found that there are over 4 billion people that use the internet regularly. 95% of Americans now own a mobile phone. People are spending billions of hours every day consuming online video.
All of those facts tell us that marketing via those digital mediums is increasingly becoming the best way to get in front of consumers.
Popular Means of Digital Marketing
Now that you have an understanding of what the role of digital marketing is and know its definition, we’d like to break down these different types of digital marketing as they’re likely to be your entry points into the medium.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s the practice of optimizing your web content so it’s likely to surface higher in Google and other search engine results.
There is a lot to be learned about the discipline of SEO. Our recommendation is to start your learning by reading a beginner’s guide and building your understanding from there.
We’re all familiar with ads. We see them as popups on websites, we see them as sponsored results on Google, and as sponsored posts on Facebook.
While ads are needing to become increasingly intuitive in order to pique the interest of an increasingly “ad blind” population, there’s no doubt that ads still work to drive engagement online.
Content marketing is any form of content that a business shares online in hopes of building trust with consumers.
We frequently see content marketing in the way of blog posts or infographics which offer readers and viewers free value up front. After sharing value with consumers, most content marketing pieces will go on to try and ask audiences to take action like buying a product or opting into a mailing list.
Social media is an excellent (and completely free) way to engage with customers across a variety of meaningful platforms. Most businesses have accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. B2B focused companies tend to have profiles on LinkedIn.
If you’re not leveraging email marketing as a digital marketer, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity to drive sales. Many of the world’s best marketers tout email as the most effective means of engagement when it comes to boosting their revenue.
To get started with email marketing, sign up with a provider like MailChimp and leverage their popup form/embed form builders which will allow your website visitors to opt into your list.
Affiliate marketing is a form of digital marketing where people promote your products on your behalf in exchange for a commission.
Affiliates are a not only powerful in that they allow you to employ a virtually unlimited amount of salespeople, but they’re also extremely affordable since you don’t pay anyone anything until they’ve driven a sale for you.
There are a lot of affiliate marketing platforms that you can partner with online which allow you to get set up with bringing on affiliates without needing to be tech-savvy.
The only caveat with affiliates is that some may use “black-hat” methods to promote your products in hopes of driving a sale. These methods could work to undermine your brand’s reputation.
To help avoid those risks, do your best to partner with quality affiliate platforms and always vet your affiliates if possible.
Wrapping Up “What Is Digital Marketing”
Digital marketing means marketing online. The role of digital marketing in modern business is to help companies connect with rapidly growing online audiences.
If this article has interested you in upping your digital marketing game, that’s good news! We think that you’ll notice an immediate uptick in brand engagement by incorporating any of the digital marketing methods that we’ve outlined above.
Best of luck to you as you continue to take your brand to new heights.
Want to read more outstanding, free content on how to grow your business? If yes, check our more of our articles on Power Inception today!
You’ll be glad you did!