With how accessible the internet is today, would you believe me if I told you the number of people who go online every day is still increasing?

It is. In fact, "constant" internet usage among adults increased by 5% in just the last three years, according to Pew Research. And although we say it a lot, the way people shop and buy really has changed along with it -- meaning offline marketing isn't as effective as it used to be.

 

Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time. Today, that means you need to meet them where they are already spending time: on the internet.

Enter digital marketing -- in other words, any form of marketing that exists online.

→ Click here to download our free guide to digital marketing fundamentals [Download Now].

At HubSpot, we talk a lot about inbound marketing as a really effective way to attract, engage, and delight customers online. But we still get a lot of questions from people all around the world about digital marketing. So, we decided to answer them. Click the links below to jump to each question, or keep reading to see how digital marketing is carries out today.

So, how do you define digital marketing today?

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to connect with current and prospective customers.

A seasoned inbound marketer might say inbound marketing and digital marketing are virtually the same thing, but there are some minor differences. And conversations with marketers and business owners in the U.S., U.K., Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, I've learned a lot about how those small differences are being observed across the world.

 

What is the role of digital marketing to a company?

While traditional marketing might exist in print ads, phone communication, or phsycial marketing, digital marketing can occur electronically and online. This means that there are a number of endless possibilities for brands including email, video, social media, or website-based marketing opportunities.

 

At this stage, digital marketing is vital for your business and brand awareness. It seems like every other brand has a website. And if they don't, they at least have a social media presence or digital ad strategy. Digital content and marketing is so common that consumers now expect and rely on it as a way to learn about brands. 

Long story short, to be competitive as a business owner, you'll need to embrace some aspects of digital marketing.

Because digital marketing has so many options and strategies associated with it, you can get creative and experiment with a variety of marketing tactics on a budget. With digital marketing, you can also use tools like analytics dashboards to monitor the success and ROI of your campaigns more than you could with a traditional promotional content -- such as a billboard or print ad.

 

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How does a business define digital marketing?

Digital marketing is defined by the use of numerous digital tactics and channels to connect with customers where they spend much of their time: online. From the website itself to a business's online branding assets -- digital advertisingemail marketing, online brochures, and beyond -- there's a spectrum of tactics that fall under the umbrella of "digital marketing."

The best digital marketers have a clear picture of how each digital marketing campaign supports their overarching goals. And depending on the goals of their marketing strategy, marketers can support a larger campaign through the free and paid channels at their disposal.

A content marketer, for example, can create a series of blog posts that serve to generate leads from a new ebook the business recently created. The company's social media marketer might then help promote these blog posts through paid and organic posts on the business's social media accounts. Perhaps the email marketer creates an email campaign to send those who download the ebook more information on the company. We'll talk more about these specific digital marketers in a minute.

Types of Digital Marketing

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  2. Content Marketing

  3. Social Media Marketing

  4. Pay Per Click (PPC)

  5. Affiliate Marketing

  6. Native Advertising

  7. Marketing Automation

  8. Email Marketing

  9. Online PR

  10. Inbound Marketing

  11. Sponsored Content

Here's a quick rundown of some of the most common digital marketing tactics and the channels involved in each one.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This is the process of optimizing your website to "rank" higher in search engine results pages, thereby increasing the amount of organic (or free) traffic your website receives. The channels that benefit from SEO include websites, blogs, and infographics.

There are a number of ways to approach SEO in order to generate qualified traffic to your website. These include:

  • On page SEO: This type of SEO focuses on all of the content that exists "on the page" when looking at a website. By researching keywords for their search volume and intent (or meaning), you can answer questions for readers and rank higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs) those questions produce.

  • Off page SEO: This type of SEO focuses on all of the activity that takes place "off the page" when looking to optimize your website. "What activity not on my own website could affect my ranking?" You might ask. The answer is inbound links, also known as backlinks. The number of publishers that link to you, and the relative "authority" of those publishers, affect how highly you rank for the keywords you care about. By networking with other publishers, writing guest posts on these websites (and linking back to your website), and generating external attention, you can earn the backlinks you need to move your website up on all the right SERPs.

  • Technical SEO: This type of SEO focuses on the backend of your website, and how your pages are coded. Image compression, structured data, and CSS file optimization are all forms of technical SEO that can increase your website's loading speed -- an important ranking factor in the eyes of search engines like Google.

Content Marketing

This term denotes the creation and promotion of content assets for the purpose of generating brand awareness, traffic growth, lead generation, and customers. The channels that can play a part in your content marketing strategy include:

  • Blog posts: Writing and publishing articles on a company blog helps you demonstrate your industry expertise and generates organic search traffic for your business. This ultimately gives you more opportunities to convert website visitors into leads for your sales team.

  • Ebooks and whitepapers: Ebooks, whitepapers, and similar long-form content helps further educate website visitors. It also allows you to exchange content for a reader's contact information, generating leads for your company and moving people through the buyer's journey.

  • Infographics: Sometimes, readers want you to show, not tell. Infographics are a form of visual content that helps website visitors visualize a concept you want to help them learn.

Want to learn and apply content marketing to your business? Check out HubSpot Academy's free content marketing training resource page.

Social Media Marketing

This practice promotes your brand and your content on social media channels to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads for your business. The channels you can use in social media marketing include:

  • Facebook.

  • Twitter.

  • LinkedIn.

  • Instagram.

  • Snapchat.

  • Pinterest.

If you're new to social platforms, you can use tools like HubSpot to connect channels like LinkedIn and Facebook in one place. This way, you can easily schedule content for multiple channels at once, and monitor analytics from the platform as well.

On top of connecting social accounts for posting purposes, you can also integrate your social media inboxes into HubSpot, so you can get your direct messages in one place. 

Pay Per Click (PPC)

PPC is a method of driving traffic to your website by paying a publisher every time your ad is clicked. One of the most common types of PPC is Google Ads, which allows you to pay for top slots on Google's search engine results pages at a price "per click" of the links you place. Other channels where you can use PPC include:

  • Paid ads on Facebook: Here, users can pay to customize a video, image post, or slideshow, which Facebook will publish to the newsfeeds of people who match your business's audience.

  • Twitter Ads campaigns: Here, users can pay to place a series of posts or profile badges to the news feeds of a specific audience, all dedicated to accomplish a specific goal for your business. This goal can be website traffic, more Twitter followers, tweet engagement, or even app downloads.

  • Sponsored Messages on LinkedIn: Here, users can pay to send messages directly to specific LinkedIn users based on their industry and background.

Affiliate Marketing

This is a type of performance-based advertising where you receive commission for promoting someone else's products or services on your website. Affiliate marketing channels include:

Native Advertising

Native advertising refers to advertisements that are primarily content-led and featured on a platform alongside other, non-paid content. BuzzFeed-sponsored posts are a good example, but many people also consider social media advertising to be "native" -- Facebook advertising and Instagram advertising, for example.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation refers to the software that serves to automate your basic marketing operations. Many marketing departments can automate repetitive tasks they would otherwise do manually, such as:

  • Email newsletters: Email automation doesn't just allow you to automatically send emails to your subscribers. It can also help you shrink and expand your contact list as needed so your newsletters are only going to the people who want to see them in their inboxes.

  • Social media post scheduling: If you want to grow your organization's presence on a social network, you need to post frequently. This makes manual posting a bit of an unruly process. Social media scheduling tools push your content to your social media channels for you, so you can spend more time focusing on content strategy.

  • Lead-nurturing workflows: Generating leads, and converting those leads into customers, can be a long process. You can automate that process by sending leads specific emails and content once they fit certain criteria, such as when they download and open an ebook.

  • Campaign tracking and reporting: Marketing campaigns can include a ton of different people, emails, content, webpages, phone calls, and more. Marketing automation can help you sort everything you work on by the campaign it's serving, and then track the performance of that campaign based on the progress all of these components make over time.

Email Marketing

Companies use email marketing as a way of communicating with their audiences. Email is often used to promote content, discounts and events, as well as to direct people toward the business's website. The types of emails you might send in an email marketing campaign include:

  • Blog subscription newsletters.

  • Follow-up emails to website visitors who downloaded something.

  • Customer welcome emails.

  • Holiday promotions to loyalty program members.

  • Tips or similar series emails for customer nurturing.

Online PR

Online PR is the practice of securing earned online coverage with digital publications, blogs, and other content-based websites. It's much like traditional PR, but in the online space. The channels you can use to maximize your PR efforts include:

  • Reporter outreach via social media: Talking to journalists on Twitter, for example, is a great way to develop a relationship with the press that produces earned media opportunities for your company.

  • Engaging online reviews of your company: When someone reviews your company online, whether that review is good or bad, your instinct might be not to touch it. On the contrary, engaging company reviews helps you humanize your brand and deliver powerful messaging that protects your reputation.

  • Engaging comments on your personal website or blog: Similar to the way you'd respond to reviews of your company, responding to the people who are reading your content is the best way to generate productive conversation around your industry.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing refers to a marketing methodology wherein you attract, engage, and delight customers at every stage of the buyer's journey. You can use every digital marketing tactic listed above, throughout an inbound marketing strategy, to create a customer experience that works with the customer, not against them. Here are some classic examples of inbound marketing versus traditional marketing: 

  • Blogging vs. pop-up ads

  • Video marketing vs. commercial advertising

  • Email contact lists vs. email spam

Sponsored Content

With sponsored content, you as a brand pay another company or entity to create and promote content that discusses your brand or service in some way.

One popular type of sponsored content is influencer marketing. With this type of sponsored content, a brand sponsors an influencer in its industry to publish posts or videos related to the company on social media.

Another type of sponsored content could be a blog post or article that is written to highlight a topic, service, or brand.

To learn more about sponsored content, check out this blog post.

What does a digital marketer do?

Digital marketers are in charge of driving brand awareness and lead generation through all the digital channels -- both free and paid -- that are at a company's disposal. These channels include social media, the company's own website, search engine rankings, email, display advertising, and the company's blog.

The digital marketer usually focuses on a different key performance indicator (KPI) for each channel so they can properly measure the company's performance across each one. A digital marketer who's in charge of SEO, for example, measures their website's "organic traffic" -- of that traffic coming from website visitors who found a page of the business's website via a Google search.

Digital marketing is carried out across many marketing roles today. In small companies, one generalist might own many of the digital marketing tactics described above at the same time. In larger companies, these tactics have multiple specialists that each focus on just one or two of the brand's digital channels.

Here are some examples of these specialists:

SEO Manager

Main KPIs: Organic traffic

In short, SEO managers get the business to rank on Google. Using a variety of approaches to search engine optimization, this person might work directly with content creators to ensure the content they produce performs well on Google -- even if the company also posts this content on social media.

Content Marketing Specialist

Main KPIs: Time on page, overall blog traffic, YouTube channel subscribers

Content marketing specialists are the digital content creators. They frequently keep track of the company's blogging calendar, and come up with a content strategy that includes video as well. These professionals often work with people in other departments to ensure the products and campaigns the business launches are supported with promotional content on each digital channel.

Social Media Manager

Main KPIs: Follows, Impressions, Shares

The role of a social media manager is easy to infer from the title, but which social networks they manage for the company depends on the industry. Above all, social media managers establish a posting schedule for the company's written and visual content. This employee might also work with the content marketing specialist to develop a strategy for which content to post on which social network.

(Note: Per the KPIs above, "impressions" refers to the number of times a business's posts appear on the newsfeed of a user.)

Marketing Automation Coordinator

Main KPIs: Email open rate, campaign click-through rate, lead-generation (conversion) rate

The marketing automation coordinator helps choose and manage the software that allows the whole marketing team to understand their customers' behavior and measure the growth of their business. Because many of the marketing operations described above might be executed separately from one another, it's important for there to be someone who can group these digital activities into individual campaigns and track each campaign's performance.

Inbound Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: Which Is It?

On the surface, the two seem similar: Both occur primarily online, and both focus on creating digital content for people to consume. So what's the difference?

The term "digital marketing" doesn't differentiate between push and pull marketing tactics (or what we might now refer to as ‘inbound' and ‘outbound' methods). Both can still fall under the umbrella of digital marketing.

Digital outbound tactics aim to put a marketing message directly in front of as many people as possible in the online space -- regardless of whether it's relevant or welcomed. For example, the garish banner ads you see at the top of many websites try to push a product or promotion onto people who aren't necessarily ready to receive it.

On the other hand, marketers who employ digital inbound tactics use online content to attract their target customers onto their websites by providing assets that are helpful to them. One of the simplest yet most powerful inbound digital marketing assets is a blog, which allows your website to capitalize on the terms which your ideal customers are searching for.

Ultimately, inbound marketing is a methodology that uses digital marketing assets to attract, engage, and delight customers online. Digital marketing, on the other hand, is simply an umbrella term to describe online marketing tactics of any kind, regardless of whether they're considered inbound or outbound.

Does digital marketing work for all businesses?

Digital marketing can work for any business in any industry. Regardless of what your company sells, digital marketing still involves building out buyer personas to identify your audience's needs, and creating valuable online content. However, that's not to say all businesses should implement a digital marketing strategy in the same way.

B2B Digital Marketing

If your company is business-to-business (B2B), your digital marketing efforts are likely to be centered around online lead generation, with the end goal being for someone to speak to a salesperson. For that reason, the role of your marketing strategy is to attract and convert the highest quality leads for your salespeople via your website and supporting digital channels.

Beyond your website, you'll probably choose to focus your efforts on business-focused channels like LinkedIn where your demographic is spending their time online.

B2C Digital Marketing

If your company is business-to-consumer (B2C), depending on the price point of your products, it's likely that the goal of your digital marketing efforts is to attract people to your website and have them become customers without ever needing to speak to a salesperson.

For that reason, you're probably less likely to focus on ‘leads' in their traditional sense, and more likely to focus on building an accelerated buyer's journey, from the moment someone lands on your website, to the moment that they make a purchase. This will often mean your product features in your content higher up in the marketing funnel than it might for a B2B business, and you might need to use stronger calls-to-action (CTAs).

For B2C companies, channels like Instagram and Pinterest can often be more valuable than business-focused platforms LinkedIn.

What is the role of digital marketing to a company?

Unlike most offline marketing efforts, digital marketing allows marketers to see accurate results in real time. If you've ever put an advert in a newspaper, you'll know how difficult it is to estimate how many people actually flipped to that page and paid attention to your ad. There's no surefire way to know if that ad was responsible for any sales at all.

On the other hand, with digital marketing, you can measure the ROI of pretty much any aspect of your marketing efforts.

Here are some examples:

Website Traffic

With digital marketing, you can see the exact number of people who have viewed your website's homepage in real time by using digital analytics software, available in marketing platforms like HubSpot.

You can also see how many pages they visited, what device they were using, and where they came from, amongst other digital analytics data.

This intelligence helps you to prioritize which marketing channels to spend more or less time on, based on the number of people those channels are driving to your website. For example, if only 10% of your traffic is coming from organic search, you know that you probably need to spend some time on SEO to increase that percentage.

With offline marketing, it's very difficult to tell how people are interacting with your brand before they have an interaction with a salesperson or make a purchase. With digital marketing, you can identify trends and patterns in people's behavior before they've reached the final stage in their buyer's journey, meaning you can make more informed decisions about how to attract them to your website right at the top of the marketing funnel.

Content Performance and Lead Generation

Imagine you've created a product brochure and posted it through people's letterboxes -- that brochure is a form of content, albeit offline. The problem is that you have no idea how many people opened your brochure or how many people threw it straight into the trash.

Now imagine you had that brochure on your website instead. You can measure exactly how many people viewed the page where it's hosted, and you can collect the contact details of those who download it by using forms. Not only can you measure how many people are engaging with your content, but you're also generating qualified leads when people download it.

Attribution Modeling

An effective digital marketing strategy combined with the right tools and technologies allows you to trace all of your sales back to a customer's first digital touchpoint with your business.

We call this attribution modeling, and it allows you to identify trends in the way people research and buy your product, helping you to make more informed decisions about what parts of your marketing strategy deserve more attention, and what parts of your sales cycle need refining.

Connecting the dots between marketing and sales is hugely important -- according to Aberdeen Group, companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve a 20% annual growth rate, compared to a 4% decline in revenue for companies with poor alignment. If you can improve your customer's' journey through the buying cycle by using digital technologies, then it's likely to reflect positively on your business's bottom line.

What types of digital content should I create?

The kind of content you create depends on your audience's needs at different stages in the buyer's journey. You should start by creating buyer personas (use these free templates, or try makemypersona.com) to identify what your audience's goals and challenges are in relation to your business. On a basic level, your online content should aim to help them meet these goals, and overcome their challenges.

Then, you'll need to think about when they're most likely to be ready to consume this content in relation to what stage they're at in their buyer's journey. We call this content mapping.

With content mapping, the goal is to target content according to:

  1. The characteristics of the person who will be consuming it (that's where buyer personas come in).

  2. How close that person is to making a purchase (i.e., their lifecycle stage).

In terms of the format of your content, there are a lot of different things to try. Here are some options we'd recommend using at each stage of the buyer's journey:

Awareness Stage

  • Blog posts. Great for increasing your organic traffic when paired with a strong SEO and keyword strategy.

  • Infographics. Very shareable, meaning they increase your chances of being found via social media when others share your content. (Check out these free infographic templates to get you started.)

  • Short videos. Again, these are very shareable and can help your brand get found by new audiences by hosting them on platforms like YouTube.

Consideration Stage

  • Ebooks. Great for lead generation as they're generally more comprehensive than a blog post or infographic, meaning someone is more likely to exchange their contact information to receive it.

  • Research reports. Again, this is a high value content piece which is great for lead generation. Research reports and new data for your industry can also work for the awareness stage though, as they're often picked-up by the media or industry press.

  • Webinars. As they're a more detailed, interactive form of video content, webinars are an effective consideration stage content format as they offer more comprehensive content than a blog post or short video.

Decision Stage

  • Case studies. Having detailed case studies on your website can be an effective form of content for those who are ready to make a purchasing decision, as it helps you positively influence their decision.

  • Testimonials. If case studies aren't a good fit for your business, having short testimonials around your website is a good alternative. For B2C brands, think of testimonials a little more loosely. If you're a clothing brand, these might take the form of photos of how other people styled a shirt or dress, pulled from a branded hashtag where people can contribute.

How long will it take to see results from my content?

With digital marketing, it can often feel like you're able to see results much faster than you might with offline marketing due to the fact it's easier to measure ROI. However, it ultimately depends on the scale and effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy.

If you spend time building comprehensive buyer personas to identify the needs of your audience, and you focus on creating quality online content to attract and convert them, then you're likely to see strong results within the first six months.

If paid advertising is part of your digital strategy, then the results come even quicker -- but it's recommended to focus on building your organic (or ‘free') reach using content, SEO, and social media for long-term, sustainable success.

Do I need a big budget for digital marketing?

As with anything, it really depends on what elements of digital marketing you're looking to add to your strategy.

If you're focusing on inbound techniques like SEO, social media, and content creation for a preexisting website, the good news is you don't need very much budget at all. With inbound marketing, the main focus is on creating high quality content that your audience will want to consume, which unless you're planning to outsource the work, the only investment you'll need is your time.

You can get started by hosting a website and creating content using HubSpot's CMS. For those on a tight budget, you can get started using WordPress hosted on WP Engine and using a simple them from StudioPress.

With outbound techniques like online advertising and purchasing email lists, there is undoubtedly some expense. What it costs comes down to what kind of visibility you want to receive as a result of the advertising.

For example, to implement PPC using Google AdWords, you'll bid against other companies in your industry to appear at the top of Google's search results for keywords associated with your business. Depending on the competitiveness of the keyword, this can be reasonably affordable, or extremely expensive, which is why it's a good idea to focus building your organic reach, too.

How does mobile marketing fit into my digital marketing strategy?

Another key component of digital marketing is mobile marketing. In fact, smartphone usage as a whole accounts for 69% of time spent consuming digital media in the U.S., while desktop-based digital media consumption makes up less than half -- and the U.S. still isn't mobile's biggest fan compared to other countries.

This means it's essential to optimize your digital ads, web pages, social media images, and other digital assets for mobile devices. If your company has a mobile app that enables users to engage with your brand or shop your products, your app falls under the digital marketing umbrella, too.

Those engaging with your company online via mobile devices need to have the same positive experience as they would on desktop. This means implementing a mobile-friendly or responsive website design to make browsing user-friendly for those on mobile devices. It might also mean reducing the length of your lead generation forms to create a hassle-free experience for people downloading your content on-the-go. As for your social media images, it's important to always have a mobile user in mind when creating them as image dimensions are smaller on mobile devices, meaning text can be cut-off.

There are lots of ways you can optimize your digital marketing assets for mobile users, and when implementing any digital marketing strategy, it's hugely important to consider how the experience will translate on mobile devices. By ensuring this is always front-of-mind, you'll be creating digital experiences that work for your audience, and consequently achieve the results you're hoping for.

I'm ready to try digital marketing. Now what?

If you're already doing digital marketing, it's likely that you're at least reaching some segments of your audience online. No doubt you can think of some areas of your strategy that could use a little improvement, though.

That's why we created Why Digital Marketing? The Essential Guide to Marketing Your Brand Online -- a step-by-step guide to help you build a digital marketing strategy that's truly

 

 

The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing

The perfect resource for beginner-to-advanced digital marketers looking to learn new skills or hone existing ones.

The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing is full of insights and strategy for business owners, marketing professionals, students, and anyone else looking to hone their current skills and get up to speed on the latest in digital marketing.

Read it now to build or refine your digital marketing plan without the false starts and missteps that come with doing it alone.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the act of promoting and selling products and services by leveraging online marketing tactics such as social media marketing, search marketing, and email marketing.

When you get down to it, digital marketing is simply marketing.

It's how today's businesses are getting their message in front of their best prospects and customers.

Rule #1 in marketing is to make the right offer at the right time and in the right place. Today, your customers are online: hanging out in social media, staying updated on news sites and blogs, and searching online when they have a need.

Digital marketing puts you in those same channels, so your best prospects can see you, learn more about you, and even ask questions to learn more about you and your products or services.

If you're new to digital marketing, it may feel overwhelming to think about mastering all the online marketing tactics used in digital marketing.

We get that...

And yes, there are different tactics you'll need to learn. But they all work together to create a foundation for your business: attracting prospects, nurturing relationships, and making offers your audience will appreciate and respond to.

Let's take a closer look at how that happens.

How Does Digital Marketing Work?

In many ways, digital marketing is no different than traditional marketing. In both, smart organizations seek to develop mutually beneficial relationships with prospects, leads, and customers.

But digital marketing has replaced most traditional marketing tactics because it's designed to reach today's consumers.

As an example...

Think about the last important purchase you made. Perhaps you purchased a home, hired someone to fix your roof, or changed paper suppliers at your office.

Regardless of what it was, you probably began by searching the Internet to learn more about available solutions, who provided them, and what your best options were. Your ultimate buying decision was then based on the reviews you read, the friends and family you consulted, and the solutions, features, and pricing you researched.

Most purchasing decisions begin online.

That being the case, an online presence is absolutely necessary—regardless of what you sell.

The key is to develop a digital marketing strategy that puts you in all the places your followers are already hanging out, then using a variety of digital channels to connect with them in a multitude of ways...

...Content to keep them updated with industry news, the problems they're facing, and how you solve those problems...

...Social media to share that content and then engage with them as friends and followers...

...Search engine optimization (SEO) to optimize your content, so it will show up when someone is searching for the information you've written about...

...Advertising to drive paid traffic to your website, where people can see your offers...

...And email marketing to follow up with your audience to be sure they continue to get the solutions they're looking for.

When you put all these pieces together, you'll end up with an efficient, easy-to-operate digital marketing machine. And while it looks intimidating to build that machine from scratch, it's as simple as learning and integrating one digital marketing tactic at a time.

Which is why we've put together this guide: To help you build or refine your own digital marketing plan without the false starts and missteps that come with doing it alone.

What Are the Benefits of Digital Marketing?

Having a strong digital presence will help you in multiple ways:

Learn the Strategies That Get Real Results

Be aware, the digital marketing scene is ever changing. Gurus, podcasts, and bloggers declare a tool or tactic hot one week and dead the next.

The truth is, digital marketing is less about "digital" and more about "marketing," largely because digital marketing has come of age. Its fundamentals have already been established.

At DigitalMarketer, our objective is to clear the confusion about the tactics that work and how to use them to grow your business. We stand firmly against the so-called "gurus" who promote the next "shiny object" or "quick fix" that will reportedly kill email marketing, digital advertising, or search engine optimization.

Here, we're all about the fundamentals.

As you'll see in this guide, these 8 core disciplines of digital marketing will be critical to your business growth today, tomorrow, and for years to come. Each of these disciplines will be covered in depth in a chapter of this Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing as shown below.

About The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing

Digital marketing isn't magic, and you don't need to be a computer whiz to be good at it. If you offer a product or service that the market desires, you can successfully market them in digital channels using the strategies taught in this guide.

The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing doesn't present hype about the latest flashy tactics in marketing—digital or otherwise. Instead, this resource covers foundational disciplines such as content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing, always in the context of the goals that businesses care about.

These goals include acquiring new leads and customers, monetizing the leads and customers you already have, and creating communities of brand advocates and promoters.

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No problem! Just enter your email address and we'll send you the PDF of this guide for free.

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What You'll Learn

In each chapter, we'll cover 4 key aspects to the strategy being discussed:

The Methods: the strategies and processes you'll use to create your plan and execute it in your own business. This is the bulk of each chapter—because in digital marketing, how you execute a strategy is key. And in this Guide, we share the exact methods we use here at DigitalMarketer.

 

The Metrics: the numbers you'll watch to measure your success and identify areas that need tweaking (or are worth doubling down on).

 

The Lingo: the terminology used by experts, so you can communicate intelligently (even if you don't consider yourself a pro).

 

The Roles: the people in your organization who will likely have responsibility for planning and running each digital marketing tactic.

 

We've organized this Guide in a logical progression. Though you can jump around, learning the tactics in whatever order you feel you need them, we recommend you read through the chapters in order.

Take your time. Read and study one chapter at a time. Apply what you learn. And when you feel you've got the methods up and running, move on to the next chapter.

You'll be surprised at how quickly you can implement these digital marketing tactics if you focus on them one at a time. Then, when everything is up and running, you can focus on optimizing and improving your processes for maximum growth.

Ready to start?

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CHAPTER

01

Your Digital Marketing Strategy Template

The Customer Value Journey is the strategic foundation of everything we do here at DigitalMarketer. It's the master template upon which every other digital marketing discipline and tactic is built.

The Customer Value Journey helps you automate the entire customer acquisition process, so you can sell without overtly selling and promote your product or service without ever being pushy or creepy.

The key is a "conversion funnel," a multi-modality campaign that seamlessly and subtly leads a prospect to a desired action...

And does so in a way that builds trust and customer loyalty.

Learn all 8 stages and how you'll use them to create a winning strategy for your business.

CHAPTER

02

Developing a Content Marketing Strategy

Done right, your content marketing will not only attract prospects but also move them through a marketing funnel to drive more sales and grow your business.

It does that by taking content marketing out of the blog...

What do we mean by that? Simply that content marketing can't do its job if it's limited to blogging. It's so much more than blogging.

You see, content marketing is a full-funnel tactic, meaning it should deliver valuable content at every stage of the Customer Value Journey.

To move your prospect through the Customer Value Journey, you'll need to create content that satisfies their needs at each of the 3 conversion funnel stages: Awareness, Evaluation, and Conversion.

You'll learn all about it—including how to plan your content marketing strategy and how to create "perfect" content—here.

CHAPTER

03

Crafting a Digital Advertising Plan

The secret to powerful digital marketing is traffic. If you can master traffic acquisition, you have a solid foundation for higher sales and growth.

Keep in mind, though, there's more to digital advertising than throwing up an ad and hoping for results. (Well, I guess you can... but that's not the most effective paid traffic strategy...) You have to have a plan, and you have to know how to separate the winners from the losers. (Yes, some of our ad campaigns flop, too!)

We rely on 7 types of ads that generate...

  • Sales (to the tune of 3,858% ROI positive)

  • Leads (we've generated as many as 72,033 leads from one campaign)

  • Retargeting audiences (almost as good as an email list, you'll want to know how to build retargeting lists)

Here, you'll learn the secrets to crafting a digital advertising plan that actually works.

CHAPTER

04

Developing a Social Media Strategy

"Going social" isn't simply about being active on Facebook and Twitter. It's about being present where your audience hangs out—so you can engage with them, build relationships, and make offers your followers will love.

Being on social matters because 79% of US internet users are on Facebook and more than half keep up with the news through social media.

But there's more to social media marketing than simply being on it. Your end goal isn't more "Likes." It's more sales. Which is why we've broken down social media marketing into 4 stages of the Social Success Cycle.

Learn the Social Success Cycle and how you can use it to attract your fans and followers, engage them, and even sell to them through social media.

CHAPTER

05

Following Email Marketing Best Practices

Forget any rumors to the contrary. Email is alive and well—and if you know how to use it, it will help you exponentially grow your business.

In fact, a study from DMA and Demand Metric found that email had a median ROI of 122%. That's 4 times higher than any other marketing channel! The key to generating that ROI, of course, is mastering the foundations. Things like...

  • Making sure your emails get delivered to your prospect's inbox

  • Getting your email opened

  • Generating engagement, so your prospect takes the action you're asking for

  • Automating the entire process

Learn the role of email in a growing business and how you can use it to quickly move prospects and customers through the Customer Value Journey.

CHAPTER

06

Designing Your Search Marketing Strategy

Search marketing has radically changed in the last few years. But we see that as good news! Today, search engine optimization (SEO) can boost your website's traffic and visitors' trust while supporting your other digital marketing disciplines, as well.

Every year (sometimes, every few months), Google releases another algorithm update. Search marketers who are "playing the system" often get hit hard, losing the rankings they've achieved.

But search marketers who use white hat tactics and understand Intent-Based Search Marketing do well. Because they're optimizing their website for their users first—which is what the search engines really care about.

If you want to compete in the search channels and attract free organic traffic to your website, this chapter is for you. Learn the right way to do SEO here.

CHAPTER

07

Applying Website Analytics to Your Digital Marketing

If numbers aren't your thing, we've got you covered. Website analytics is a powerful tool for helping you figure out what's working, what's not, and what to do next.

And the way to get started has nothing to do with numbers. It's simply about asking the right questions...

  • What types of visitors are failing to convert?

  • Are we producing content our audience wants?

  • Which pages can produce more leads and sales?

Once you have the answer, you simply need to follow 3 guiding principles...

  • Give data a job

  • Use testing to turn your questions into strategies

  • For the things that are hard to measure, give them context

Learn our low-stress process to use analytics to optimize your website—an easy-to-understand approach anyone can use.

CHAPTER

08

Leveraging Conversion Rate Optimization to Drive Growth

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) may sound hard, but it doesn't have to be. It's a simple methodology that anyone can learn to turn existing traffic into leads and customers.

For most marketers, CRO calls to mind A/B testing to determine the best button color or hero shot. But testing is just 1 of 8 steps in the CRO Cycle.

To see real improvements in your digital marketing, you need to implement the entire cycle...

Developing a proven process to systematically convert mediocre offers into winners and existing winners into breakout cash cows.

Learn the entire CRO Cycle, so you know how to make small tweaks that can turn 1% returns into 10%, 25%, or higher returns. Read here to learn our simple, repeatable framework that helps you consistently improve results on your website.

CHAPTER

09

What's Next?

The foundations you've learned in The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing are solid and you're well on your way to mastering digital marketing.

Now, it's time to refine your skills and get all the gears in your marketing machine working smoothly and efficiently.

Here's the next step...

START CHAPTER 1

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