A Guide to Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is taking on the world at large. Traditional forms of marketing are falling short to digital, and that is because most audiences spend most of their time on devices. As a company/brand, it’s pivotal that they understand who their audience is and where they can find them. Social media and the internet have taken over, so it makes sense that marketing efforts have followed suit. Here is a breakdown of what digital marketing is, the skills of a digital marketer, and where this career path will take you.

 

Define Digital Marketing

 

When you think of digital marketing, you probably think of ads on social media. Although that is a portion of what makes up digital marketing, there are a lot of other areas that full under that title. Digital marketing is, “the use of the Internet, mobile devices, social media, search engines, and other channels to reach consumers”. There are various channels and paths within digital marketing, so let’s break it down.

 

The Avenues

 

SEO

 

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a free service that uses keywords on the back end of a website to draw in customers. A great example of when you would see SEO is when you create a search on Google. You may notice or have thought to yourself, why are certain websites shown first compared to others? That is because the company invested a lot of time and energy into optimizing their SEO.

 

SEM

 

SEM sounds similar to SEO, but it stands for Search Engine Marketing. This form of digital marketing is different from SEO because it is not a free service; it is a paid service. A great example of SEM could be the usage of Google AdWords. Google AdWords is a pay-per-click service that uses popular keywords, similar to SEO, and an account gets charged for every Google ad that a user clicks.

 

At the top of your Google search, you may have noticed websites that say [Ad] beneath it. That advertisement is a remarkable example of SEM in the works. Companies and brands pay and bid on keywords to be the first paid search engine result to show up on your Google search.

 

Social Media Marketing

 

This form of digital marketing is pretty self-explanatory. Social media marketing is a paid advertising service that companies/brands use to promote themselves on social media. Nearly every single person could agree that they’ve seen social media marketing in real-time because it’s one of the most visible forms of digital marketing.

 

Social media marketing has become incredibly advanced, from putting sponsored posts in your Twitter feeds to using your microphone on Instagram to advertise something you were previously talking about out loud. A lot of questioning about ethics and security goes into social media marketing, but there are also ethical ways of doing so.

 

Email Marketing

 

Email marketing is a way for companies and brands to reach out to customers that they already have. What I mean by this is once a customer makes an account and buys their products, they will use email marketing to promote sales and deals to convince them to make another purchase.

 

This form of digital marketing has advanced to the point where they can send you an email if you have an item in your cart that you have not yet purchased. Brands will email you to try and convince you to buy that item and doing this also brings privacy concerns into question.

 

The Future

 

For those of you that want to get into digital marketing but aren’t sure where to start, try starting in one of the career paths and see where it takes you. The best part about digital marketing is that although you might specialize in SEM or social media marketing, it is all intertwined. You will eventually learn to use the data in all aspects of digital marketing, and it makes it easier to move around within that space.

 

Although the future is unknown, digital marketing will continue to grow in the future. As technology makes advancements and audiences begin to use new devices, apps, etc., the business of digital marketing will follow.

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