What is Digital Marketing?


Weslie Oeftering
What is Digital Marketing?

As the internet continues to exponentially grow, so does its capacity to earn businesses money. One big reason for this is digital marketing. However, as is the case with much of the communications field, digital marketing isn’t just one thing; it’s many. Don’t worry though, PR Over Coffee is here to break it all down for you.

The Big Idea

Before we get down to the nitty-gritty, let’s go over the definition of digital marketing as a whole.

Essentially, digital marketing is an umbrella term that covers a bunch of smaller, more specialized types of online marketing methods.

The ultimate goal of it is to generate leads (i.e. get people who would be interested in purchasing your product to your website) and building brand awareness (which in turn generates more leads) online, rather than in print or in person.

Like I said before, there are many, many different types of digital marketing. We’ve outlined the most common for you below.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is when a company creates informational or educational “assets” (i.e. blogs, videos, downloadable ebooks or whitepapers, infographics or brochures) related to their products or industry without explicitly selling their product. In other words, it helps a company look knowledgeable and therefore more trustworthy, which often results in increased sales. An example of this is BirchBox, a monthly health and beauty subscription service for men and women. Every month, their online magazine is filled with fresh tutorial videos and articles about all the products from that month’s box. Therefore, not only do they sell the products, they show you what to do with them, too. It creates the idea that if something is from BirchBox, then it must be good – even if it isn’t.

A content marketer’s day-to-day involves using tools like Google Analytics to track activity on all of a company’s assets. This includes how many people visited the website, how many people visited each page, how long they spent there, how many views one blog got compared to another one, etc. There’s a lot of moving pieces so using and managing a content calendar to keep track of it all is also a big part of a content marketer’s job description. Organization skills are key here.

Social Media Marketing

I like to think of social media marketing content marketing’s sibling. In order for content to most effectively build awareness and drive traffic to a company’s site, it’s usually promoted on social media. However, unlike content marketing, social media marketing does dip its toe into explicitly selling things. In addition to being a place to promote educational or informational content, social media marketing is also a great tool for driving traffic to your site by launching and promoting a new product or announcing a sale. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and even LinkedIn are the most commonly used sites for social media marketing.

A social media marketer’s day-to-day is similar to that of a content marketer’s. They usually have their own content calendar that is coordinated with their company’s content marketer. This requires expert organization and communication because the timing of content is always subject to change. However, it’s not uncommon for a content marketer to also take care of social media marketing, especially if the organization is on the smaller side.

Email Marketing

Email marketing serves the same function as social media marketing but does so in a longer format. While most social media posts need to be under a certain word count to keep your audience’s attention, email marketing is a place for you to go into detail about those same topics. For example, a company’s weekly email newsletter might list their most popular blog posts from the previous week with blurbs about each one. Or, they might send their loyalty program members a link for early access to a sale they’re having. Both of those marketing tactics would be harder to accomplish using social media.

SEO

Digital marketing is nothing without SEO. Essentially, SEO (which stands for “Search Engine Optimization,” is refining your website in a way that helps it rank higher on any search engine’s results page. This is important because the higher ranked a website is, the more traffic it receives, which usually increases sales and brand awareness overall. Most websites optimize specifically for Google because it’s by far the most popular search tool.

That’s just the tip of the SEO iceberg. It’s a complex topic that I could write about all day. For more information on SEO and what it takes to do it correctly, check out our post on The Basics of SEO or reach out to the experts at Swyft who can help your business with all things digital marketing.

About Weslie Oeftering: Weslie is a student at The University of Texas at Austin and Swyft’s resident PR and marketing intern. She supports clients with social media, blogging, and tech PR activities. Swyft is a PR and marketing agency with offices in Austin, Houston, and Denver that provide services for tech companies all around the world who are seeking rapid, sustained growth. Some of their services include content marketing, social media strategy, as well as ad buys, email marketing, and media relations.

Featured Image: Nathan Dumlao via Unsplash

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