Updated: Jul 26
Updated July 2023
Parts of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing should be a part of your overall marketing strategy. Let’s break down those parts and specializations. Because it’s such a broad umbrella term that it can mean a whole host of things, this is part one of a two-part "overview" of digital marketing and its major parts.
This strategic form of marketing consistently provides customers and clients with relevant and valuable material. This valuable material is content your audience finds useful because it’s tailored and targeted to them.
“…providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.” - Content Marketing Institute
Content marketing is the creation, production and distribution of content. Content is made and then marketed. Some examples of content marketing are newsletters, infographics, podcasts, blog posts, e-books, presentations, videos and webinars.
Your content positions you as an authoritative resource. As that resource, your audience looks to you for information, education, entertainment and/or insight. This is an area of expertise of its own. The whole point of this content is to help or ‘improve the lives’ of your intended audience in some way and in turn, drive them to act by purchasing your products or services. It’s ultimately building customer loyalty.
Business Dictionary defines this as “[d]igitized content (text, graphics, audio, and video) that can be transmitted over internet or computer networks.” Without media and content, what would you use to market your business? Digital media includes graphic design, presentations, videos, animations, apps, and anything that’s consumed digitally. These are the assets used.
Content Writing (and Copywriting)
This type of writing is varied and requires a well-rounded writer. Writing is paramount in marketing. It’s one of the major ways an idea and information is communicated to the masses. This significant part of digital marketing literally sets the script for all other aspects of marketing. Content writing is researched and executed in a particular tone and style for a particular audience.
There’s web copy for webpages and landing pages. There are blog posts on any number of topics for the blog site. There are press releases, articles, web stories, whitepapers and guides that require specialized knowledge on a subject.
Then there’s copywriting for advertising; pay-per-click ads, social media ads, brochures and flyers. Any type of promotional or marketing collateral needs copywriting. While content writing and copywriting often needs to adhere to tight deadlines, it’s a skill that requires some time and planning.
SEO & SEM
About half of us probably knows that SEO stands for search engine optimization and about a third of us knows that SEM stands for search engine marketing. Less than a quarter of us probably knows what SEO and SEM are, why they’re important and how to incorporate it in marketing campaigns. Search engine optimization is the cornerstone of digital marketing because without it, you wouldn’t be found online.
Optimizing your website, social media profiles, digital media, and any form of content involves strategy and proper execution. Methods involve researching relevant keywords, topics, linking to trustworthy and authoritative sources and ensuring local search is accurate and complete.
People rarely click past the first page of a search engine result page (or SERP). So, the goal is to rank somewhere on that first page. There are white-hat and black-hat tactics to ranking on search engines to get found. White-hat tactics include incorporating rich, original content that provides useful information to users who visit your website. *wink* *wink* Think back to content writing and digital media.
You want to stay away from black-hat tactics as it's an attempt to game the system. This gets you seriously hurt. Not really, but it does end up digitally ‘hurting’ your business because you may not be found organically through search.
Black-hat tactics include keyword stuffing, which is sprinkling irrelevant or unnecessary words and phrases throughout your piece of written content to placate the search engine. Don’t do this. If it isn’t authentic, people and the bots will detect that.
Search engine marketing is paid search advertisement: pay-per-click (PPC) ads, (i.e.: Google Ads, Bing Ads). This is “a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to 'earn' those visits organically.”
With this, we get into cost-per-click (CPC) and click-through-rate (CTR) to determine how the paid ads are performing. These metrics let you know how much of your budget is being spent on a click, CPC, and how often those clicks convert, CTR, via a percentage. Implementing PPC takes research, data analysis, copywriting, and intimate knowledge of your customers.
Local search marketing is a part of SEO and SEM as well. It leans more towards physical locations appearing in relevant geographic searches. Think of Google My Business, Bing Places for Business and Yelp for Business Owners. Having a presence on these platforms is crucial for local search. Ensuring your business name, address, phone number and website URL is filled in, correct and consistent across the internet is key.
Social Media Marketing
This form of marketing gradually caught on like wildfire. How does "gradual" and "wildfire" exist in the same line? Because social media. More and more businesses have accepted social media as an important part of marketing. More and more businesses have incorporated it for building relationships with customers. Many are learning to leverage social media's potential for business.
There are several platforms that provide several avenues for reaching different audiences. You know the big giants: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. It isn’t enough to post content on social media. You must share valuable content tailored to the users you want to reach. Connect with like-minded businesses and actively engage. Create interesting content and consistently share. This ties back to content marketing.
Because businesses virtually don’t exist on social media without advertising, this segues into social media ads. Many marketers are aware now that organic reach has gone down - for businesses. Paid advertisement is the name of the game. It has almost become a requirement to spend money to be seen on Facebook. This is especially true for new businesses establishing themselves on social.
There are even more parts and specialties within digital marketing, touched on in the next post here.
Want to learn more about digital marketing and how best to use it alongside other marketing efforts? Connect with J. E. Hill Digital Marketing on social media.
J. E. Hill Digital Marketing specializes in content writing and website content management. Learn more about my services.