What is Digital Marketing? The Ultimate Guide And 7 Effective Strategies to Get Started

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Are you trying to gain more attention for your business? Let’s answer, “what is digital marketing?” and get you started today.

Did you know that there are over 30 million small businesses in the US alone?

The world of business is saturated with companies. For pretty much whatever you can imagine, there’s a company already selling it!

While this is amazing for consumers, it’s not so great for businesses; 30 million is a whole lot of competition, after all.

Getting heard over all of the business noise is becoming harder every year, and digital marketing has become more important than ever. If you think it’s time to drive your brand forwards and start earning big profits, this is exactly what you need.

Take a look at our guide answering what is digital marketing? and how to get started to make sure your business stands out.

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What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is used by businesses around the world, both big and small, to promote their brand.

Marketing isn’t a new idea, with TV ads, billboards, and leaflets being decades (even centuries!) old now, but this method takes all of that branding and puts it online, instead.

Today, effective online marketing channels include using email, search engines, and social media to connect with future buyers from your target market. You’ll find digital marketing used to promote commercial companies as well as non-profit organizations. 

There are tons of ways that companies are using the online world to target customers who are browsing on both mobile devices and desktop computers and achieve their brand goals.

From social media marketing and SEO to the design of your own website, there’s a wealth of ways you can grow your online presence and convert browsers into buyers (more on that later!).

digital marketing is a good idea
Digital marketing is a good alternative to traditional marketing, or it can support your online and offline marketing efforts.

Is Digital Marketing a Good Idea?

The main reason that you should be using digital marketing is that your competition is using it as well. 

In fact, around 64% of businesses have their own website, meaning that they’re already looking to target their audience online. 

These smaller companies understand that digital marketing strategies will reach a wider customer base for fewer dollars than traditional marketing campaigns. 

There’s also the fact that over 4 billion people are now online.

That’s an absolutely massive audience that’s waiting to be tapped into, and with the global capabilities of the web, you can reach a much higher percentage of them than you might think!

Not to mention, digital marketing is really budget-friendly. Of course, there are certain techniques that are going to cost you, but in general, you can do it on a tiny budget and still see the benefits!

Just focus on the strategies that cost less at first until you’ve established yourself, and only start putting in more money once you’re earning it. 

digital marketing strategy
A successful digital marketing strategy can give current and prospective customers a chance to engage with you and increase brand awareness.

What Can a Digital Marketing Strategy Do for You?

Once you’ve got the know-how to create a good marketing strategy, there are no limits on what your business can do!

Here are just a few examples of how digital marketing can take your company to its next level: 

1. Establish Your Brand’s Identity

Brand identity is all about how recognizable you are to people. For example, you only have to show that iconic Nike swoosh, and most people will be able to identify the brand that they’re looking at, showing that Nike has an incredibly iconic identity.

Your brand is an image that tells the world what your company is all about, so it needs to not just stand out, but create positive connotations, too. 

A digital marketing strategy can help promote your brand and evolve your image. Eventually, customers will start to recognize you and begin to trust your product.  

2. Preserve Your Customer Base

A digital marketing strategy will help secure a loyal customer base that will always come back for more.

When you engage your audience through social media, blogs, newsletters, and more, they won’t even need to search Google for what they’re looking for; they’ll instantly think of you!

When they start to recognize and trust your brand name, they’ll return and purchase your products over and over again. 

What is digital marketing? It's a way to amplify your mission.
What digital marketing is, when used effectively, is a way to amplify your brand and products to the people at the right time.

Digital Marketing Channels

Now that we’ve covered the broad strokes of what digital marketing is, we need to look at the digital marketing channels (AKA approaches or strategies).

There are tons of marketing channels out there that you can use to attract your target audience, boost your profits, and grow your brand. These include: 

1. Content Marketing

Content refers to images, videos, blogs, infographics, and anything else your company puts out into the digital world to share.

It’s a great way to reach a wider audience, create long-lasting relationships with your users, and show your brand as an industry leader.

It’s also a great way to promote your products, so get creating!

2. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is possibly the most talked-about digital marketing strategy. Many small businesses make the mistake of thinking social media marketing is all there is to digital marketing and put all of their eggs in the social media basket.

The days of getting massive organic (free) reach on social media are largely over. That said, social media is a great place to share your content, engage with your customers, and, if you play your cards right, get traction on search engines.

For example, YouTube, Pinterest, and now Instagram and TikTok videos also get indexed on Google search. We recommend taking a holistic approach to your digital marketing. Create content once, post it to your website, share it on social media channels, and create a video to maximize your exposure.

The key is to search engine optimization at every phase.

search engine optimization seo digital marketing tactic
If you want to rank higher in search engine results, you need to develop a search engine marketing strategy (SEO, Google ads, etc.) to support your content marketing strategy.

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s the process of increasing your site’s ranking on search engines, like Google.

With over 25% of all searchers clicking on the first result, and barely any moving past the first page, being up in the highest positions is vital!

SEO uses techniques like keyword optimization, link building, and content creation to help boost your rank and improve your online visibility. 

4. Live-streaming 

A live stream lets viewers watch your videos in real-time. All you need to go live is an internet-connected device and a platform with live capabilities, like Instagram. 

A live stream creates a sense of trust and leverages a connection that leaves a customer feeling like they know your company better now. It’s like giving them a sneak peek behind the curtain, which audiences absolutely love!

5. Visual and Voice Search

Businesses are enhancing their websites for optimal visual searches, which are becoming a bigger part of the online world every year.

Visual searches use AI and machine learning to classify an object’s color, size, and shape in just the same way as the human brain can.

Consumers are also starting to rely on voice-activated search with the rise of tools like Alexa. This means that your website needs to be optimized for their searches, which are usually localized (where’s the nearest Italian restaurant?) and use longer key phrases rather than keywords.

With millions of Americans now owning voice-activated search tools, this is something you shouldn’t miss out on!

6. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing refers to a performance-based marketing strategy, where a company rewards another business or individual that refers visitors to their website.

It’s become a big source of income for influencers, and you’ll see a lot of affiliate links on social media.

digital marketing brings your products to new customers
An effective digital marketing strategy shares your products and services with a targeted group of potential customers.

How to Get Started With Digital Marketing

It’s all well and good talking about how great digital marketing is, but when it comes to how to do digital marketing, you might feel overwhelmed. Where would you even start? To help, here are some tips for setting yourself up:

1. Get the Essentials

When setting up your business, you’ll have to create a branded domain name for your website.

If you can, make sure this includes a keyword, like www.dogcatpetgroomersexample.com. It’s also a good idea to get a branded email address as this will make you look much more professional and help establish yourself as an online brand. 

It’s also a great idea to start setting yourself up with all the great business tools out there!

For example, Google Workplace is a great free productivity tool that can help your stay organized and focused, while QuickBooks is a wonder if you need to sort your accounts but don’t have the budget for an accountancy team. 

2. Build Your Customer Profile

A customer profile is like an outline of your ideal customer based on their goals, lifestyle, desires and more. Marketing companies analyze data such as customer likes/dislikes, demographics, and buying histories to help build up their profiles. 

Analyzing this data helps categorize your different customer behaviors and plan your product campaigns to meet their needs. 

mobile marketing website design
Mobile marketing is always a consideration when designing your web pages. You can never forget everyone has a smartphone.

3. Design Your Website

A good website is essential to your success. Even if you have amazing digital marketing that’s bringing you tons of traffic, a bad website isn’t going to convert customers and you won’t see your profits grow.

Let’s take a look at some aspects of good websites that you can use to build your own:

  • Professional, modern design
  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Fast loading speeds
  • Well-written content that engages and informs
  • A clear brand image throughout
  • Calls to action to direct users

If you’re not sure how to design a great site, it’s well worth hiring a professional to do it for you. It’s an investment that should pay off in the future!

4. Google Business Profile

List yourself locally with your free Google Business Profile to get more local attention.

This is a completely free service that can help boost your SEO and get you more local attention, so take advantage of it! Along the same line of thought, make sure to add yourself to Google Maps, too. 

content marketing digital marketing strategy
Every blog post, email marketing campaign, podcast episode, and video created and sent online or shared on social networks is a piece of content to connect you with potential customers.

5. Create Content

We’ve already spoken a little about content marketing, and now it’s time to start making your own. Consider what your users are interested in and trends within your industry to come up with content ideas, and watch what your competitors are doing.

Good content should engage your audience, encouraging them to like, share, and talk about what you’re publishing. 

Effective content can also attract inbound links, which are links from other websites to your own. These are great for SEO and will help Google see you as a more authoritative site. 

Google will also crawl your content sources to get a clearer picture of your company’s goals and mission. When Google has found your site once, they’ll return to your site again and again when more relevant queries come along. 

6. Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great, budget-friendly way to start marketing your brand.

There are different ways you can start email marketing, including emailing businesses that could stock or promote your products on their own website.

You should also start to curate a client email list to send out newsletters with information about deals, new products, and to keep them in the loop with any business news.

Your email list might be tiny at the beginning, but don’t worry! It’s sure to grow over time.

To encourage more people to sign up, make sure you offer something in exchange for their email address, like a 10% discount on their next order – you should see a big spike in the number of emails you’re getting!

google analytics digital marketing
It’s important to use Google Analytics and other tools to measure and analyze your digital marketing efforts.

7. Analyze Your Results and Outcomes

You can use free tools like Google Analytics and those that come with your website to analyze your data.

By checking how many people are visiting your website, which pages they’re clicking on, and how many sales you’re making, you can start to get a better idea of what’s working and what isn’t. If you post a blog and see a spike in traffic, take that as a good sign!

You can also analyze email sign-ups, where your traffic is coming through, and shares of your content, all of which provide valuable insight into how well your marketing is doing.

You can also review the click-through rates, the number of impressions and the number of viewers reached if you’re distributing content through tools like Instagram Insights. 

Keep an eye on the data regularly. It’s the best tool you have for developing your marketing strategy and optimizing your techniques.

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What Are Your Next Steps?

If you’re ready to dive deeper into what digital marketing is and how it can help your business subscribe to our email list. We are actively creating several digital marketing courses.

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