What is Digital Marketing?

What is Digital Marketing?

You can learn the basics of digital marketing or even set up a social media campaign. But there are many elements to digital marketing, and they all move at a rapid pace, which makes it challenging to know everything you need to build a digital marketing career.

So what is digital marketing? Digital marketing includes all your marketing activities that take place online. Its impact on connecting customers grows every year as more people use the Internet to browse, click and buy.

According to the Digital 2022: Global Overview report, the number of people using the Internet is 4.95 billion. That’s about 63 percent of the world’s population! Mobile usage also continues to rise, as 5.31 billion people now use their phones to access the Internet.

There are a lot of potential customers to reach online, and it is the job of digital marketers to design and execute digital campaigns that do just that.

To make it easier for you, we’ve divided this blog into sections to find what you need quickly, and if you’re not sure of a term, take a look at our comprehensive glossary of digital.

What is Digital Marketing Channels?

What are the benefits of digital marketing?

What is Digital Marketing Strategy?

What are good examples of digital marketing?

How do you do digital marketing?

How do you get into digital marketing?

What is Digital Marketing Channels?

The place to start when talking about digital marketing is the variety of digital channels available. There are seven main digital marketing channels you can use to drive traffic, engage prospects, and convert.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)

social media Marketing

content marketing

email marketing

mobile marketing

affiliate marketing

Be aware, while these are the most common digital marketing channels, the evolving digital landscape means that there can be more to them. Let’s dive in and learn more about each.

SEO Marketing or Website Marketing

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a huge role in digital marketing. Ultimately, it determines how and where your content, product or service is found online.

But what is SEO in digital marketing? SEO consists of many elements, and knowing what they are and how they work is the key to understanding the importance of SEO. The factors to include in your marketing are:

Keywords – non-branded and branded keywords with high search rates and low competition

Local SEO – Locally focused content (directories) and keywords

Off-Page SEO – External and Third Party Backlinks

Content – ​​Keywords and internal links are influenced by content

Search Engine Marketing – paid marketing campaigns, e.g. Google Ads, PPC, etc.

It is essential to incorporate these SEO elements into your digital marketing strategy to increase the visibility of your site and drive traffic.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is all about optimizing your paid search advertising – unlike SEO which focuses on organic traffic.

SEM and SEO are a match made in heaven as they complement each other by ensuring that your brand has a presence on the search engines and your budget is being spread across organic and paid channels.

While the marketing techniques for SEO and SEM are different, they both need to work together. Remember that both rely on keywords to drive traffic, and this will become more important as a good UX is ranked positively by Google. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a more significant role in content and search activities.

PPC Advertisement

You must have heard the term PPC many times, but do you know its meaning? It stands for pay-per-click and is a targeted method of online advertising in which you pay for each click from an ad to your website or landing page.

As your PPC campaign directs prospects to your website or landing page, make sure those pages are optimised beforehand. You’ll need to choose a bidding strategy, research keywords, and set a budget.

This comprehensive PPC guide tells you everything you need to know if you are just starting. You can also use our handy PPC for eCommerce tracker to keep track of the budget and goals of your paid campaigns.

content marketing

The term content marketing makes this part of digital marketing self-explanatory, but it is an area that can be difficult to get right. It’s easy to create tons of content to distribute online, but the key is creating great digital content that performs.

Content marketing includes a wide range of formats, such as videos, blogs, emails, webinars, social media posts and e-books, that can be used at all stages of the sales funnel. The benefits of well-done content marketing include increased web traffic, increased customers, increased sales and loyal customers.

Influencer Marketing or Sponsored Content

Influencer marketing came into the limelight a few years back and is now an essential part of the digital marketing landscape. In short, this is when a brand collaborates with an influencer, celebrity or industry leader on social media to endorse or sponsor a product or service.

The statistics speak for themselves about how powerful this can be, with almost half of consumers relying on influencers for recommendations. The real advantage of an influencer is when the collaboration makes sense to the audience.

Take Travis Scott and McDonald’s. Through a collaboration called #cactus jack, the rapper created a limited edition menu of choice for the fast-food giant, along with selling merchandise like hoodies and T-shirts.

You probably don’t have the budget for that level of celebrity, but micro-influencers can be a great way to promote your brand without a huge budget. Influencer marketing also includes native advertising (sponsored content/advertisements) or online PR, so consider this when designing your influencer marketing strategy. Use this toolkit to track your influencers, so you know they will share your interests with you. How appropriate are the brands and audiences?

email marketing

Email marketing is a structured, systematic process for delivering marketing messages to target customers. Email is the oldest form of online communication and is still very effective in bringing customers through the sales funnel and driving conversions.

With the expiration of third-party cookies on Google, the email will become more critical. As a first-party data channel (i.e., information collected directly from customers), companies will become more dependent on email for communication and conversion.

It’s an invaluable channel to connect with your prospects and customers, so take some time to clean out your database, change your email marketing strategy, and drive customers.

social media Marketing

Social media marketing is an essential part of any modern marketer’s toolkit. It offers exciting and effective ways to connect with customers through various content.

While there were once a limited number of social channels, the networks on offer are growing and attracting new users every day. This offers excellent opportunities for marketers: just think of the viral possibilities on TikTok or the live stream features on WeChat.

It’s a level playing field for social media marketing, so do your research and choose your channels wisely. It’s not about being on every track but about being on the right channel for your brand and audience.

Take a look at our social media marketing resources if you are trying to figure out where to start or need more information on a specific platform.

affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing has been around for decades, but many marketers are still unsure how to use it. What is Affiliate Marketing? This is when a company endorses another company’s products and gets paid (based on a systematic deal) for a click, lead, or sale.

It works as a cycle by tracking the affiliate link, so it can be linked to a sale which is then credited to the affiliate. Amazon regularly uses this tactic to lure customers to their products through third-party sites to significant effect.

This strategy is commonly used by influencers, bloggers, large publishers or companies that include ads in their emails. This can be very useful for brands that want to plug in the growing number of customers looking for a third party or influencer recommendations before buying.

video marketing

According to Wyzowl 2022 Research, 81 percent of marketers feel that video marketing has a direct and positive impact on sales. The role of video in driving sales has grown steadily since 2016 and will continue to be a significant trend in 2022.

Video is one of the most popular content formats, and TikTok and Instagram’s recent focus on video content has solidified its role in audience engagement and lead generation.

Video is essential because it provides a way to educate and inform customers engagingly. It is a core part of social media marketing, but it can also help increase engagement on your website and landing pages or can be used to offer live webinars to capture email data.

SMS Marketing

SMS (or short message service) marketing is an effective method of sending promotional campaigns or transactional messages to customers who have given prior consent.

Juniper Research found that in 2020, global mobile business messaging traffic reached 2.7 trillion, up 10% from a year earlier, driven by growth in online retail. This channel can be used by marketers to communicate with customers, provide support, promote products and send transactional messages.

instant messaging marketing

Instant messaging marketing is when two people participate in a conversation through a messaging app. It can be text-based or can be used to share images and videos between parties.

The channel has come into its own over the past two years and has been used by people worldwide to communicate with friends, family and brands. When Facebook acquired the WhatsApp platform, it became clear that it was a channel with tremendous marketing potential.

It provides marketers with the opportunity to directly connect with customers without the noise of social media or search engines. Brands like KLM and Santander already use this effect to enable queries or updates. There’s a channel to check if you’re not already using it.

omnichannel marketing

Digital marketing is no longer just about digital. It’s about integrated marketing across channels that work with traditional marketing, not in competition.

As the customer journey evolves and more touchpoints are introduced, businesses should use an all-encompassing approach in their marketing. The goal is to create a unified experience. If a customer uses an event coupon or clicks on a social media post, they will have a relevant and accessible online journey through your omnichannel eCommerce campaign.

Take the Starbucks Rewards app as an example. The app enables customers to add money which will allow for purchases and the option to check and reload cards via the mobile, website, in-store or in-app. If you make an account change or add money, it will be updated in real-time across channels. This is a great way to build customer loyalty and provide a seamless experience.

There is no point in working in traditional and digital marketing silos. Streamline your marketing processes with the customer at the centre for B2B and B2C companies using an all-encompassing approach.

What are the benefits of digital marketing?

As we have already said, the wonderful thing about digital marketing is that it allows you to engage customers across multiple touchpoints.

This means that you and your brand can build relationships with prospects and customers in a way that creates meaningful and hopefully long-lasting relationships. Let us look at the significant benefits of digital marketing in detail.

reach new audiences


You already know about the billions of people you can connect with and influence online. But do you know that there are no limits to digital?

Unlike traditional marketing, the possibilities of engaging are limitless, as your social media post or blog article can be read by anyone around the world at any time. The time difference doesn’t matter online, and with scheduling and automation, you can reach people on suitable days and at the correct times.

You can also create interesting content to reach new audiences. So if you are struggling to engage a particular audience, create a targeted campaign that runs that group on relevant digital channels.

Enable Hyper-Targeting – Location, Demographics and Psychology

Digital marketing gives you the ability to target specific audiences through segmentation. You can target individuals in your online marketing campaigns based on their location, demographics (e.g. gender, age, job role) or psychology (goals, desires, interests).

But before you target someone, you need to know who you want to connect with. The way to do this is by building a buyer persona. Simply put, a buyer persona is your ideal customer. That doesn’t mean it’s just one person; you can have a few individuals representing your diverse audience.

Understanding your audience means you can optimize content and reach channels that are relevant to that individual. If you’d like some help developing a personality, just download our buyer persona template.

be cost-effective

Forget about putting an ad in a magazine or paper and wondering who reads it, or handing it to passersby in a busy shopping mall, wondering if someone uses the discount. One of the significant benefits of digital marketing campaigns is that they are trackable and cost-effective.

In all of your campaigns, whether it’s paid search or display advertising or social media, you can limit spending to keep track of costs. This means you can set a daily, weekly or even monthly budget to stick to what was agreed upon and never overspend.

The best way to do this is to plan your budget from the beginning and set your limits for a certain period.

get measurable results

Along with being cost-efficient, digital marketing is measurable. You can easily select Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and track them over digital channels.

The secret to KPIs is to focus on important metrics. Avoid vanity metrics like likes or comments on social media channels. Instead, you need to set clear, action-oriented KPIs that show measurable results like conversion rates, sales, and revenue — the things that matter to the bottom line.

Download our Goals and KPIs Toolkit if you need help tracking your analysis.

Personalize and customize campaigns

It’s no surprise that relevant and personalized campaigns tend to perform better. HubSpot’s State of Marketing 2021 report found that message personalization is the top strategy email marketers use and improves engagement rates by 20 per cent.

It is the same across all digital channels. Think about your Twitter feed, for example: Would you click on an ad that had nothing to do with your interests? Or, when you browse a website, do you come across related content in your travels? Watch the video below to see the importance of personalization in communication and user experience (UX).

To cut down on online noise, marketers need to create content that is relevant and timely. Incorporate personalization into your marketing strategy to help you reach your persona, but also engage them with content that interests them.

Easy to adapt or change strategy quickly

Digital is fast. This means you can adapt and change content or campaigns quickly. This can be a huge advantage when you realize that one of your social media campaigns is not performing. You can limit the audience, change the location, or change the message to see if it makes a difference.

It also has the advantage of being able to test campaigns or copy. A/B testing is invaluable to many marketing teams because they can try out two drives simultaneously to see which one resonates.

This avoids spending time and money on a campaign that will never work out because you’ve learned the best route to go from the start. If you’re new to A/B testing, just watch our expert video or download our toolkit to see what’s included.

Engage audiences at different stages of the funnel

If you have been reading about marketing, you must have heard about marketing and sales funnels. There are parts of the funnel that provide marketers with a way to create content that brings a prospect on a journey with the goal of conversion.

The funnel has four stages, as shown in the image below:





The funnel is important because each step needs to be nurtured in a way that matches the level of intent of the customer. For example, a person at the awareness level is just browsing, so they might want to know more about your product or area. Whereas in the decision-making stage, one needs credibility and assurance in the form of something like customer testimonials or reviews.

Create a level playing field for brands big and small

Global brands benefit from digital marketing, but the same applies to smaller brands. The best part about digital is that it levels the playing field and provides equal opportunities to organisations of all sizes.

You have access to social media networks that can deliver personalized messaging and use customer relationship management platforms to streamline your email marketing. Your organisation may also set budget limits for display ads and search marketing to ensure that you live up to your potential.

Sure, a more prominent brand can have a bigger budget and a bigger marketing team. But if you understand your personality, have identified the major digital channels to use, and know what content works, your small business is well on its way to online success.

What is Digital Marketing Strategy?

An excellent digital marketing strategy is at the heart of any successful organization. It is intended to guide all of your marketing activities, so make sure you take the time to research and plan from the beginning.

What makes an excellent digital marketing strategy?

What makes an excellent digital marketing strategy?

Several steps can help you build a robust digital marketing strategy:

Set your SMART goals:

 It is essential to know your goals, establish realistic KPIs, and plan to get there.

Clarify your audience: Know who your target audience is and build individuals to ease their pain points. Don’t try to target everyone!

Conduct analysis: Understand which marketing activities were successful and unsuccessful in the past.

Choose your channels: Knowing the proper channels for your brand can be difficult. Do some research to identify channels that best suit your business and audience.

Keep an eye on the following significant marketing trends – often, early adopters benefit from new technologies and trends. Make sure you know what’s going on to get the first-mover advantage.

Set a budget – Know what marketing budget you have and plan activities based on that.

If you follow those six steps, you’ll be on your way to creating a comprehensive strategy for your business.

What is Lead Generation in Digital Marketing?

The ultimate goal in digital marketing is to generate leads – the process of attracting and nurturing prospects to convert them into customers. The more tips you have, the more opportunities you can convert into sales.

The key to increasing leads is knowing your audience. If you target the right people at the right time, you are more likely to convince them to give you your contact details. That’s why planning your customer journey is essential.

Do you know where your prospects are coming from? Are they active on Facebook or LinkedIn? What provides them with your information – is it an eBook, free trial or discount?

Often the best way to figure this out is to create a customer journey map that covers all touchpoints. Once you understand your customer, you can design content and campaigns to drive lead generation.

Inbound vs Outbound in Digital Marketing

Inbound and outbound marketing are essential parts of your marketing strategy. It can be beneficial to do both to increase brand awareness and to engage prospects.

Outbound marketing conveys information to a prospect through marketing activities such as events, TV commercials and cold calling. In contrast, inbound marketing is all about drawing people to your website through activities such as social media posts, display ads, and blogs.

But what are the pros and cons of each? Let’s find out.

B2B vs B2C Digital Marketing

There are two types of buyers in marketing — business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) — and they require different marketing strategies.

Digital Marketing

The main difference between B2B and B2C is their behavior. B2B customers want to work with other businesses and are driven by logic in their purchasing decisions. At the same time, B2C customers are more about emotions and want to buy something for themselves.

As you can see from the example below, types behave differently in the marketing funnel. Typically, it takes longer to close a B2B deal due to the number of stakeholders involved and the nurturing required, but the rewards are usually higher due to the value of the business. B2B leads take less time to close but typically have less value, so volume is essential for any B2C business.

What are good examples of digital marketing?

There are many great digital marketing campaigns out there for inspiration. Brands – big and small – use digital channels in new and innovative ways to connect with people.

For example, take the 2022 Super Bowl. With an audience of around 113 million people, the competition for ad slots is fierce among brands, and if you get the place, it is essential to stand out. Check out Lay’s and its celebrity stars Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen or Uber Eats featuring Jennifer Coolidge.

On a smaller scale, many companies are making waves by taking a stand on social issues, like Patagonia, a lifestyle brand on social media. Or some brands are banking on their customers to post user-generated content that costs very little and can do wonders for brand awareness.

Your digital marketing campaigns don’t have to be big-budget affairs. Think about what interests your audience and engage them on social media or reach them via email. Ultimately it’s about getting your brand out there for the right reasons.

How do you do digital marketing?

If you are interested in pursuing a career in digital marketing, there are many roles to choose from. The first step is usually becoming a digital marketer. In this role, you will be responsible for generating leads and increasing brand awareness using a variety of digital marketing channels.

When it comes to advancing your career, the main thing is to consider where your interests lie. Are you more about being an all-rounder who deals with multiple marketing activities, or do you want to specialise in a specific area?

To help you figure this out, we’ll look at different digital marketing roles.

  1. Do Content Marketing

Content marketing is an essential part of digital marketing. This is how your audience sees and engages with your brand. There is no such thing as a typical day because a business has a lot of material requirements / Let’s see what a content marketer does.

Written Content – ​​This includes blog, email and website copy

Video Content – ​​As a format that drives high engagement, videos are important in organic and paid channels

Social Media – Traffic and leads can be successfully gone through content posted on social media networks

Gated Content – ​​This type of content advances because users need to provide their information to access it. Examples include e-books or whitepapers.

An essential part of this role is also creating an editorial or content calendar and schedule so that you are consistently creating original content. You will also need to analyse the data to see which materials are working and what are not.

  1. Manage Social Media

Social media is vital to any business as billions of people worldwide log in to use one or more social platforms every day. Social media management comes in because updating and sharing content across platforms requires a lot of work, be it Twitter or Instagram, Facebook or TikTok.

Being one of the main ways to increase engagement, managing a social media network requires many skills. These include content creation or dissemination, analysis, research, strategy development, SEO and customer service.

If you are interested in becoming a Social Media Manager, just check out our eBook.

  1. Manage SEO Activities

To find your brand and content, you need to use SEO. Using the right keywords means that your content will be seen by the right people and move your content up the rankings on search engines.

But what does an SEO Manager do? There are several essential things to do when you manage SEO:

Website, social media and content optimization

website content management

keyword research

talk backlinks


Campaign organization and planning

Website monitoring and user analysis

If SEO is where you’re interested, familiarize yourself with the vocabulary of our A to Z SEO.

  1. Do PPC Campaigns

B2B and B2B brands use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns to generate leads. A PPC specialist is a core part of any marketing team, so let’s see what a PPC specialist does daily.

Design Landing Pages: There is no point in putting effort into PPC ads that drive people to an irrelevant and poorly designed landing page. A PPC expert knows what makes a good landing page that converts.

Research Keywords: Like an SEO expert, keywords are essential in PPC. A PPC specialist’s job is to research the right keywords and integrate them into campaigns.

Algorithmic Watcher – Search engines like Google frequently tweak and update their algorithms, and it’s essential to take those changes into account to make sure your PPC ads are seen.

  1. Do Search Engine Marketing

As we mentioned earlier, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is all about optimizing your paid campaigns. But what does an SEM specialist do to achieve this?

Some skills are required to manage SEM, such as data analysis, writing, SEO, A/B testing and strategy. All these help in understanding search engines and rankings.

Ultimately, this role is all about getting paid campaigns in front of the right people on the proper channels.

How do you get into digital marketing?

Digital marketing is an exciting and fast-growing industry with many opportunities for motivated and passionate people. If this is a career for you, there are a few things you can do to land your first digital marketing job in the industry:

Learn about the industry

Earn an Accredited Digital Marketing Certification

Connect with peers and industry leaders

Subscribe to blogs or podcasts that follow trends and give advice

Build your social media profile and build a portfolio

Look for Internships or Consider Freelance Digital Marketing Work

Apply as a Digital Marketer in an Agency

Hopefully, these steps will help you build your brand and relationships that will lead you to a great job in digital marketing.

Start your digital marketing career today!

A career in digital marketing is rewarding, and the best way to get your first job is to have the skills required by the employer. DMI’s Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing will provide you with the knowledge and core skills you need to stand out from your peers. You’ll know how to plan, execute and analyse campaigns that increase brand awareness and generate leads.


Leave a Comment