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Digital Marketing: How Do You Define It?


hether you define the term digital marketing very broadly or more narrowly, t...
Email Marketing
Inbound email marketing is email sent to a list of contacts who have all signed up (opted in) to receive

Are they looking to be informed, entertained, have customer service needs addressed?
What kind of content do they sha...
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Digital Marketing: How Do You Define It?


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The term digital marketing comes up in practically every marketing conversation, but how exactly are people defining the term? What do you mean when you use it? Read on for an overview of a broad array of digital marketing strategies, guidance on how to build a strategic plan for your digital endeavors, and useful success metrics.

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Digital Marketing: How Do You Define It?

  1. 1. Digital Marketing: How Do You Define It? W hether you define the term digital marketing very broadly or more narrowly, thereʼs one thing for sure: the definition changes rapidly. New technologies, evolving devices, changing user behaviors and new social media platforms all have an impact on what digital marketing is and how itʼs practiced. In the broadest definition, digital marketing encompasses the internet, social media, smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles. It involves using traditional marketing practices in these digital channels plus a slew of new technology-enabled tactics. Inbound Digital Marketing Inbound or pull marketing is marketing that draws interested customers and potential customers in by offering value in the form of information, entertainment and/or useful content. It seeks to provide customers the information they need, when they need it and where they are looking for it. The focus with inbound marketing is to be found by customers, not to broadcast to a wide swath of potential customers with the hope of converting a fraction of them. Inbound digital marketing tactics include: • Content Marketing: Blogs, podcasts, videos, webinars and online events, white papers, case studies, ebooks, opt-in emails and newsletters. • Social Media Marketing: Using social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, etc. to connect with customers and prospects, build brand awareness and engagement, support SEO, generate leads and keep customers engaged with your brand and products. Paid advertising on social media. • SEO: Search engine optimization includes blogging, meta-description tags, title tags, keywords/phrases and social media integration, all in service of increasing your websiteʼs rankings with the search engines. Higher rankings translate to more traffic and higher awareness. • SEM: Search engine marketing is the paid ads on search engines that appear when users enter certain search terms. • PPC: Pay-per-click advertising is advertisements on search engines and websites linking to your landing page, which is a sales oriented page. • Paid Search Advertising: Paying to place keyword focused ads on search engines like Google and Bing or on content sites across the internet. May be banner or text link ads. Digital Marketing Strategy by Sharon Moore  1 
  2. 2. Email Marketing Inbound email marketing is email sent to a list of contacts who have all signed up (opted in) to receive emails and/or newsletters. Outbound email marketing involves sending emails to contacts in your own database who have not specifically opted in to receiving emails and/or to purchased contact lists. Like all direct marketing tactics, outbound email marketing will have a low response rate. Inbound email marketing increases engagement with customers, moves potential customers along the sales funnel, helps launch new products and services, builds awareness and preference, and drives conversions. Mobile Marketing Mobile marketing involves reaching people on their mobile devices in a relevant, timely manner with targeted messages and useful information to generate leads, make sales and build loyalty. Tactics include emails, SMS (text messages), MMS (messages containing images, text, audio and video), web banner ads, QR codes, location-based marketing, app ads, mobile search advertising. Sales can be made directly from the web or by getting the individual to make a call and purchase by phone. Responsive web design is another aspect of effective mobile marketing. Affiliate Marketing A collaborative marketing tactic where other websites, portals, eNewsletters, blogs or reviews sites carry either banner or text link ads for your business. You pay a commission for every time a visitor, customer or sale for your business is generated through an advertisement on their website. Compensation models vary, but the transaction model is simple: you pay them for generating business for you. Affiliate marketing can greatly expand your reach on the internet. Digital Marketing Strategy When creating a digital marketing strategy itʼs critical to focus first on your objectives. Are you interested in building awareness for a new product, increasing customer loyalty, driving sales or generating qualified leads? Most likely, you have more than one objective to achieve. Without clarity on exactly what you want to achieve, digital marketing can quickly turn into a costly and time-consuming endeavor that canʼt be easily measured for effectiveness. Your digital marketing objectives should tie in closely with your overall business objectives. Whatever your objectives may be, itʼs important to understand your competitors, customers and market both broadly and specifically in terms of digital channels. Some questions to examine when building your digital strategy include: Competitors • • • • • Where do they rank on Google? What social media platforms do they use and how? What kind of content do they share on their website? What are they promoting on their website and how? How do they engage with customers? Customers • • • What social media platforms do they prefer? What kind of content do they download? Are they willing to exchange personal data for content?
  3. 3. • • Are they looking to be informed, entertained, have customer service needs addressed? What kind of content do they share? Market • • • • • How do customers engage with companies in your industry? Typically, how long is the sales cycle? What are the roles / titles of typical purchasers in your industry? What are their purchase criteria? Are purchases transactional or based on established relationships? Answering these questions will help you decide which are the best digital channels to pursue and the right mix of tactics to use, within the context of your overall marketing budget. Once you have an overall digital strategy in place, itʼs important to lay out a specific plan for developing and delivering fresh, relevant and highly sharable content that will engage prospects and customers. An editorial calendar and assigned roles, deadlines and training will keep your content plan on track. Digital Marketing Results Think through how you will measure the results of your digital strategy before you begin. Be realistic about what can be measured. You may not be able to generate a specific ROI metric (i.e. the net return of the marketing investment divided by the cost of the marketing investment). What you can assess is those metrics that can be found in Google analytics or similar tools, and available on social media platforms such as: Awareness: Blog posts, News Articles, Press Releases, Social Media Content • • • Increase in first time visitors to website Increase in search engine rankings Positive social media metrics: followers, likes, retweets Consideration: Content  Blogs, white papers, webpage content, newsletters, FAQs • • • • • • • • Increased total page views Longer duration of website visits More actions completed on website Leads generated through contact forms Downloads of featured content Comments on blog posts Audience forwarding of content Lower bounce rates Conversion • • Sales through the website Customer word of mouth via positive online reviews, social media sharing, blogging Thereʼs no doubt you will be pursuing a digital marketing strategy. Find success by planning around bottom line business objectives and measuring results regularly. Digital Marketing Strategy by Sharon Moore  3