Digital marketing is the use of digital channels to promote products or services. It encompasses a wide range of activities within the digital landscape. Whether you are already an established business online or completely new to digital marketing, taking the time to brush up on these digital marketing fundamentals will help you elevate your business to the next level. 

As we know, a strong presence online is now a non-negotiable for any business or brand. If you do not invest in your online brand, your business will not meet its potential growth. 

With over 5.3 billion internet users and millions of businesses competing for these users’ attention, you might feel a little overwhelmed by how crowded the digital marketplace is? Or perhaps you’re not sure where to start with digital marketing? Maybe you’ve already launched a business online and want to brush up on your digital marketing knowledge. Whatever your current skill set, don’t worry, we are here to break it down for you.

Within this blog we will dive further into the fundamentals of digital marketing and how you can implement them within your business for success, growth and developing your presence online.

What is digital marketing? the essentials made clear
Work desk with a laptop and notebook

What is Digital Marketing?

As aforementioned, digital marketing is the art and science of promoting products or services using various digital channels. It has revolutionised the way businesses connect with their target audience and achieve their business objectives. It encompasses a diverse range of strategies, each designed to reach specific goals and drive tangible results. Within this section, we will outline some of the key principles within the framework of digital marketing. 

What is digital marketing? the essentials made clear
  • Social Media Marketing: Social media platforms have become indispensable tools for digital marketing. Social media enables businesses of all sizes to connect with their target audience on a personal level. By sharing engaging content, fostering interactions, and running targeted ads, businesses can build brand awareness, drive traffic to your website and generate leads.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: PPC advertising, such as Google Ads, allows businesses to pay for their website to appear at the top of search results or on other relevant websites. This targeted advertising method generates immediate traffic and can be highly effective in driving conversions.
  • Content Marketing: Creating valuable, informative, and engaging content is the foundation of successful digital marketing. By consistently publishing high-quality content that addresses your audience’s needs and interests, you can attract visitors to your website and establish your brand as an authority. This content might range from image, video or perhaps blog content and will appear on various platforms. 
  • Mobile Marketing: Mobile marketing focuses on reaching and engaging target audiences using mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. This involves optimizing websites for mobile viewing, creating mobile-friendly content, and running mobile advertising campaigns. When choosing this option, consider where your audience spends their time online. Do you have a younger audience? If so, this might be the digital marketing tool for you.
  • Display Advertising: Display advertising involves placing visual ads, such as banners, images, or videos, on websites or mobile apps. These ads can be targeted to specific audiences based on demographics, interests, and online behavior. Next time you browse online, notice where display advertising pops up and consider how you interact with it.
  • Native Advertising: Native advertising incorporates ads into the natural flow of content on a website or platform, making them less intrusive and more visually appealing. These ads often match the style and format of the surrounding content, blending seamlessly into the user experience.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Similarly to Influencer Marketing, affiliate marketing involves partnering with other websites or individuals to promote products or services. Affiliate marketing generally consists of collaboration with another brand opposed to an individual. Affiliates earn a commission for each sale generated through their unique referral links or codes.

How do I get started with Digital Marketing?

Some fundamental questions to consider when creating your first digital marketing strategy:

  1. Start off by defining some goals for your digital marketing… What do you hope to achieve? For some business owners they hope to drive traffic to their website. Others might want to sell more products. What is your goal? Let this goal inform the choices you make next. 
  1. Consider who your target audience is and where are they present online? Consider their age, sex, income, location, interests… This will inform the platforms that you target and help you to choose the right channels.
  1. Once you know where your customers are present online, it’s time to start creating valuable content! As mentioned earlier, this content will vary in form. Think about the formats that your target audience would like to see.
  1. Begin to establish a strong social media presence. This gives your brand authenticity online and verifies your business to your target audience.
  1. Once you have established a presence on social media, consistently, it’s time to track your results. These results will include engagement metrics and insights from the individual platforms you are present on. 
  1. Continuously stay up to date with competitors. Observe their presence on their platforms, their content and how they engage with their customers. Perhaps there is something for your to take away from this and implement within your own strategy

The Principles of a comprehensive strategy

Once you have outlined the aforementioned core fundamentals of your digital marketing strategy, it is time to actually plan the strategy itself. With this information you can begin to create a detailed plan. This plan may take the structure of a table format. You can use Canva to create this, including links, copy and relevant content. 

You might also consider using AI to help you formulate your strategy. AI has the potential to give you new ideas and revise your original plans.

Tips to upskill your current digital marketing

Once you have created your plan, consistency is key to deliver measurables. Each week, review what you did the week before and compare the analytics from within the relevant platform. From there you can gauge what your audience find interesting.  

Moving forward, then consider what works to inform the next stages of your marketing strategy. Questions to consider include: 

Am I present on the correct channels?

Am I optimising my content in terms of SEO and Keyword Research?

Is my social media presence strong and consistent?

Am I staying up to date and relevant with trends?

Remember, digital marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time, effort, and consistent dedication to see tangible results. By following these tips and adapting your strategies as you learn, you can effectively leverage digital marketing to drive growth and success for your business.

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