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Digital Marketing: Meaning and Types

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 their websites to connect with current and prospective customers.

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.

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 advertising, email 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.

Scope and Importance

Digital Marketing industry is booming not just in India but all parts of the world. The year 2016 took the industry by surprise with over 1.5 lakh job opportunities in the Digital Marketing domain. Well, the following was a bigger surprise when only the first quarter of 2017 marked for 8 lakh job opportunities.

The surveys conducted by several forums have predicted this number to grow with Digitalisation in the nation. Our Prime Minister has been actively promoting the idea of Digital India. PM Modi’s digital India campaign gained massive popularity. The initiative of Government of India is aimed at providing easy services to its natives.

Now imagine when a nation’s government is promoting the digital interaction, what do you think will be the Digital Marketing scope in that nation.

Types of Digital Marketing

We’ve arrived! It’s time to dive head first into 9 types of digital marketing. Types of online digital marketing include:

  1. Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization or SEO refers to the process of growing your online visibility in non-paid (organic) search engine results. SERPs or search engine results pages appear to users after they search for a given set of keywords using a search engine like Google or Bing. Each user receives an individualized results page based on keywords, the user’s location at the time of searching, and their browsing history.

Organic search results appear in a list and are ranked using the search engine’s algorithm. As users change the way they search and engage with online content, these algorithms change. The higher you rank on a SERP, the more traffic is directed to your site and the more chances of making a passive visitor an active customer.

  1. Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing or SEM covers the ground SEO ignores, paid traffic from search engines. With SEM you purchase advertisement space that appears on a user’s SERP. The most common paid search platform is Google AdWords. Next, is Bing Ads.

The search engine charges a marketer a predetermined amount to display an advertisement in a number of places on a SERP generated from specific keywords or phrases. One example of SEM is pay-per-click advertising or PPC. PPC refers to a digital marketing method wherein search engines charge a company each time their advertisement is clicked.

  1. Social Media Marketing

By now you know that social media is a crucial part of your marketing strategy. But do you know the ins and outs of social media marketing? Social media marketing gives you increased exposure. It allows you to connect with your consumers in a more intimate way. From this interaction, you can gain valuable customer feedback that allows you to improve your customer service, product, or service.

Using social media marketing you’ll gain more reach when you post quality content. Everything you do to increase traffic or business on your social media channels is social media marketing. Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or LinkedIn these efforts all amount to social media marketing.

Most everyone benefits from social media marketing, but B2C companies stand to gain the most. Pay attention to what your target audience talks about on social media. Engage in the conversation. Use social media marketing as a way to gauge what content you put out does well by monitoring shares and likes.

  1. Content Marketing

Content marketing refers to the practice of delivering a quality piece of content to your users to generate sales and leads. This content can live anywhere online. Tweets, a YouTube video, and blogs on your website all comprise content marketing. Content Marketing works because it melds together exceptional content with other types of digital marketing like SEO and Social Media Marketing.

  1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing refers to the process of paying for conversions. Think of it like hiring a sales person for your product or service. That affiliate earns a commission. You determine the rate for affiliate marketing.  You only pay for conversions. This means there is no upfront cost to affiliate marketing. Many bloggers or e-commerce websites use affiliate marketing.

When you choose to use affiliate marketing ensure that all of your terms and boundaries are discussed beforehand. The affiliate represents your brand, so you want them to carry your brand’s message close to them. Think about the kinds of words you want the affiliate to use. Of course, you need to make the deal work for the affiliate, too.

  1. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is among the newer types of digital marketing. Influencer marketing uses people with an enormous online reach considered experts by your target market to drive traffic and sales.

Influencer marketing is popular on social media channels like Instagram and Snapchat. Companies hire Instagrammers with large followings to promote their brand by posting one or more photos with the product. Companies now engage in Instagram or Snapchat “takeovers” where the hired influence controls the company’s social media platform for a given amount of time, most often a day. These social media takeovers drive the influencer’s following to your social media channels increasing your new followers and unique views.

  1. Email Marketing

Email marketing allows you to update your email subscribers on a regular basis about your company. This fosters a relationship unlike any of the other types of digital marketing. Your email updates provide value to your consumer. As a result, you build brand trust and brand loyalty.

The best email marketing campaigns involve a list of subscribers earned by your content and company, not paid for by your company. People who opt-in to your email subscription prove more likely to become active buyers.

  1. Viral Marketing

Viral marketing refers to a post of some sort that is trendy, funny, or strange enough to garner a massive amount of shares online. Viral marketing causes an enormous spike in website traffic over a short period of time. This is hard to do but the benefits alone make the effort worth your time.

B2C companies stand to gain the most from viral marketing. B2C companies can use social media to reach an enormous audience across all of their active platforms.

  1. Mobile Phone Advertising

Each of the types of digital advertising can happen on a mobile device. Some types of marketing using a mobile phone do not fit the above types of digital marketing.

These include SMS advertising which could prove an asset to local marketing efforts. You can prompt your consumers to use SMS to receive special offers, coupons, and updates from your company.

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