What is digital marketing?

The digital revolution was born in the summer of 1981 when IBM introduced the world’s first PC. The system came with roughly 50 kilobytes of memory that can process text, play games, and hook up to your television. Businesses saw great potential in this new system and began to take advantage of its compact computing power in many ways. Though this first allowed businesses to reach a significant amount of people in a short amount of time, to convert them into customers first required digitizing customer and prospect information.

Fast forward many years later and the importance of digital marketing has never been greater. But what is it exactly? Digital marketing is the promotion of your product/service via online or digital channels such as social media platforms. While the Internet is the most popular and most closely channel associated with digital marketing, other include mobile apps, mobile instant messaging, electronic billboards, digital television, radio channels, and wireless text messaging. Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing involves an organization using online channels and experimentation of different methods to analyze and understand what digital marketing campaigns are working effectively, what needs improvement, and what needs to change. Digital marketers monitor online activity such as sales conversions, goals, what content works and doesn’t work, what is being viewed, and for how often and for how long.

Nowadays, a consumer’s life can revolve around digital marketing channels.

Digital marketing is about finding different ways to present the right content and the right ad to the consumer at the right time. While print is still going strong, it has seen a drop in readership, and people are switching from cable to on-demand shows brought to them by digital companies like Netflix. A text message can direct a consumer’s attention away from an ad being shown on a billboard or at a bus stop. Streaming music has slowly begun to replace radio, and by paying for services there will no longer be advertisements interrupting us. To see reviews and pictures about a local business, Google Local and Yelp has already replaced Yellow Pages.

People are using their mobile devices to scan barcodes, chase details, and finding cheaper products or services online. As a business, you must stand out or capture the consumer’s attention on these online platforms. With so many digital marketing tools, channels, and interaction points, digital marketing can become overwhelming. To narrow the landscape, there are three types of media that marketers use online: paid, owned, and earned. Your paid media is everything that you have invested in such as Facebook paid ads, display marketing, and Google Adwords. Owned media are channels such as your website, list of customers that you send e-mails to, and a blog with an active readership. Earned media would encompass your efforts: your social media accounts, mentions on other blogs, and any articles written by you.

All of these channels will overlap, similar to how a user will interact with all three of your channels simultaneously. Together, these serve as the foundations for digital marketing. At the end of the day, digital marketing is the prospect of putting your business in front of a global audience and guiding them through your content, ads, and anything else keeping in mind the ultimate goal you want to accomplish.

There are many digital marketing terminologies used by marketers to define their strategies and outcomes. To make things simpler, these are some of the most common terms that you will hear marketers use.

Perhaps one of the most important components of digital marketing is telling what the consumer should do next – your Call to Action. A call to action is a way to provoke a response. For example, your call to action can include telling your audience to give your YouTube video a thumbs up or to go follow your blog. Call to Actions typically includes a verb, such as Buy Today or Save Now. These appear after you’ve presented content about your business or a topic you were addressing.

Most often you’ll find them on banner ads, website landing pages, and in social media posts. If your target consumer follows your call to action, you will often encounter what is called the Bounce Rate. The bounce rate is referred to as a visitor to your website, page, or blog post but leaves immediately without clicking on other links. The bounce rate is presented in a percentage of these visitors.

That bounce rate visitor must have come from somewhere such as an email promotion or an advertisement shown. Regardless of where they came from, you will want to measure your Click-Through Rate. Your click-through rate refers to how many people are clicking on your ads or links in your email campaigns. This will give you an idea of what digital marketing strategies are working and what needs improvement. For example, if you find that there is a high click-through rate for Ad A on facebook but not on Ad B, you should consider what changes you need to make to Ad B or review where and to whom the ad is shown. When a person views your ad, it is called an impression and the click-through rate is in relation to the number of impressions. Impressions are often associated with frequency.

Frequency is defined as the duration of time one user sees your advertisement. If you have 15 impressions of an ad, with a frequency of three, then that would mean five individual people would have seen that specific ad. Your ads have the sole purpose of convincing the user to carry out your intended goal. This could be making a purchase or downloading an application. Once they have successfully completed what was intended for them, they have been converted.

Your conversion rate that you see on your reports in Google Analytics is the percentage of visitors who have completed your intended goal. A Tracking Pixel is what is installed on your website to track ad views, conversions, and website visits. When a consumer fails to complete the goal you intended, it is called Abandonment. A consumer follows a particular path laid out for them by you to complete a transaction or an online form. However, they decided to leave the process early. A continuous goal in the field of digital marketing is to reduce abandonment as much as possible.

Interested in Digital Marketing? For me, a blog is a pretty god place to start as you can then get your hands dirty to see how to market it better!

Check out my related post: Six Digital Marketing Trends to Budget for Today [Infographic]

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