What is Digital Marketing?
Here’s What You Need To Know
Reading time: 3 minutes
Published: April 2020 | Author: Anne Casey
It is all about digital marketing in today’s world. More so when social distancing is in play and the path to survival (and sanity) is to ‘Go digital’. So… what actually is digital marketing?
Is it just Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM)? This is often what the general public thinks it is. However in reality, it is actually much much more than that. In the broadest sense, it is any marketing done online! This can include:
- Search Engine Marketing (e.g. remarketing to visitors who have been to your website)
- Search Engine Optimisation (the biggest being Google, but there are also Yahoo, MSN and others)
- Website conversion optimisation (ensuring that the visitors to your website convert to sales or leads)
- Google advertising including Google Search Ads, Google My Business, Google Shopping
- Social media eg. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and WeChat. Within social media itself, this expands again into communicating to your ‘owned followers’, paid advertising to reach a wider audience, community management (eg Facebook or WeChat groups) and even extends to customer service functions such as those in Messenger, Whatsapp and WeChat!
It can also refer to:
- Emails or e-newsletters (did you know that this is still one of the most effective marketing methods?)
- Digital platforms eg. marketing on Amazon, e-Bay, Taobao, and Lazada. These platforms are highly sophisticated with their own algorithms and rules on how to appear in search results.
- App Store and within app marketing
- Content placement or advertising with digital publishers such as Stuff and NZ Herald
Phew! So many ‘tentacles’! The good news is, digital marketing is very measurable and especially with backend access to data such as in Google analytics, keyword volumes and more, there are a lot of insights waiting to be tapped. Find out more about what is digital marketing best practice for businesses.
Is digital marketing the best marketing approach?
The most effective approach to marketing does not lie within digital marketing. Say what?! Yes, even as technology has tipped marketing on its head, the best approach comes back to the classic and well proven methodologies of ‘big picture’ marketing. Starting with insights and findings, then the strategy and plan. From there, more often than not digital channels will be part of the plan. Digital marketing really only comes into play when going through the customer journey and selecting the right channels and touch points to reach your target audience. It is still as relevant today as it was decades ago to have the right marketing strategy, message, creative and pan.
We have seen too many business starting off dabbling in digital marketing and wasting a lot of resources that do not produce the desired results. For example there is much hype around Facebook and Instagram, which is important in its own right, however it does not mean that it is right for every brand. Or spending up large on Google search ads without measuring the return on investment or that the cost of ads only keeps increasing!
Yes, with over 25 years in marketing, my thought on this has not changed!
Here’s an e-commerce digital marketing case study that shows an approach to digital marketing.
UPDATE: New funding from the Government has been approved due to COVID-19. Your business could be part of Marketing Mind’s Achieving Digital Success Programme at no cost to you. Click here for more info.