Digital marketing as a definition, is an overarching term used to cover all marketing tactics through digital media. Digital media is anything encoded on a machine-readable device. As you can imagine, there are many techniques that can be incorporated into your digital marketing strategy. I’ve introduced a fairly comprehensive diagram of the types of digital media and the resulting digital marketing opportunities. There are a few categories that I’ve left off of this list if they overlap or can be associated with many elements. I will address each digital marketing technique in later lessons but this will be an overview and specifically, a comparison of how some of these techniques work together.
First, those that did not get added to my diagram were, as I’ve mentioned, not specifically tied to any one digital media and instead stem from a philosophy of marketing or a specific approach to generating interest and capturing leads. The way an agency markets themselves often indicates their specific strengths as well, but, it’s better to read the fine details of proposals and review some of their successes to understand the full picture of who you are working for and how they identify goals, define objectives and digital KPI’s. Also, you need someone or in many cases an agency skilled at data-driven marketing. Data-driven marketing is about combining data from your different digital inputs to measure results against each other and be able to review attribution across multiple channels. The process of reporting requires a lot of technical skill as well as the ability to analyze and interpret the high-level goals and business questions that need answering. First, here is some sub-categories of digital marketing that did not make the diagram.
Content marketing is still fairly broad and therefore was left off of the diagram, but it covers creating good, readable, engaging content across a website’s pages, their blog, and repurposing content in other formats and across the web. Some common formats can be e-books, video, and even podcasting. Good content keeps people coming back and is the foundation for SEO in 2016.
Some digital marketing categories cover a philosophical approach of internet marketing and usually tell you something about the type of reporting metrics they focus on. For example, inbound marketing is more ‘wooing’ and outbound marketing is more ‘pushing’ content, in a nutshell. Inbound is about providing great content and focusing on inbound funnels, i.e. lead generation, that ultimately result in email marketing based on customer preference. Outbound is more of a traditional media term used for cold calls or door-to-door tactics but there could be digital tactics that are more pushy and could be categorized as digital advertising or PPC. Specifically, for traditional outbound marketing tactics, Sr Management typically sticks by the sales motivational approach of, you will get a sale for every X number of people, persistence, persistence. Which, I don’t necessarily disagree with. But, from a digital media perspective it is less clear which one is ‘outbound’ by traditional methods. If I were to create a scale of marketing tactics with one side being ‘interrupting’ and ‘annoying’ prospects through outbound as opposed to ‘delighting’ and ‘wooing’ through inbound, there would definitely be a difference between media choices, just not as drastic. Even digital advertising, such as display banner advertising, can be approached differently than TV commercials as display ads can be run through varied audience segmentation and therefore is not quite a form of ‘mass distribution’ that would be less interrupting than traditional TV.
Finally, direct-response marketing is about compelling calls to action and evoking an immediate response and traditionally is focused toward direct mail or email marketing. Other things like lead generation, A/B testing, conversion rate optimization are all things that can improve upon the existing digital marketing strategy and ensure a healthy approach to digital marketing.
Concepts on the diagram include:
Social media marketing is marketing through social media (duh). These are awesome tools for engaging with consumers and taking advantage of the audience preferences that are built into these platforms.
Affiliate marketing is about finding other websites who want to promote the material on your website. So, let’s say you have a product that you would like to get out to more people. One way to do this is to sign up for an affiliate marketing program where you provide promotional information and guidelines for others to share your product with their network, and they get a cut off of the sale.
Search engine marketing is anything that promotes a website to search engines. This primarily includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO), both off-site SEO and on-site SEO, Paid Search Advertising which is also called Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising, and Display Banner Advertising. Paid Search and Display could be under the umbrella of Paid Media, as they are in many agencies as they handle any sort of paid trafficking of ads of all kinds (including video and static, animated, or other rich media format ads).
Mobile marketing is marketing on mobile devices which can include tablets, gaming devices, and, of course, the mobile phone through apps or text messaging applications.
Email marketing has already been addressed some, but when you have opt-in from consumers, then you have people who are interested in the message that you have been sharing and are the best kind of prospect for your thought leadership, products and services. Breaking these down into previous interactions with your website and email responses can help provide insight into your next email.
Online marketing covers any promotion requiring an internet connection. Those that made the online marketing portion in the diagram require an internet connection. Those that are not in the circle could be online but don’t always require access to consume the media.
Finally, digital marketing strategy as a whole is about identifying the ideal customer, determining the right audiences and where they are consuming media and targeting through personal, customized messaging. Continuing education on digital trends and new practices is important for keeping up with more efficient methods of distributing the message and automating the process when you can. User experience and a customer focus is necessary to keep the right perspective for your website and the content that you generate. From there, many tactics can help identify and solve the problems your audience need answered or simply, visibility when they are ready to ‘buy’.
It all comes back to the needs of your audience and considering how to provide guided consultation through answering questions that people are wanting answered whether that’s through search engines, your website, or community oriented sites.