Digital marketing is a way for businesses to establish an online presence on the Internet and market products to prospective buyers. The Internet is such a vast domain that new businesses seem to crop up every day on every digital and social media platform known to date. Facebook, Amazon FBA, Shopify, Magento and many others are all mediums for would-be entrepreneurs that want to get themselves known and find people to buy their products.
The trick to this type of digital marketing is being able to leverage the Internet’s capability in order to reach your desired audience and sell your product. While it’s not bad to get money, an entrepreneur’s main focus is to deliver value. By delivering value to your customer, the market will reward you appropriately based on what your product is worth.
A word of caution for prospects that are looking to get into the game: this is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme. Building a side hustle/business takes hard work, dedication, and persistence. Dan Lok, the King of high-ticket sales and author of FU Money often said, “The number one trait of entrepreneurs is to be able to endure pain for long periods of time.”
Marketing via the digital space is another term for online marketing/internet marketing via electronic devices. It is usually dependent on where you want to drive traffic and on which digital marketing avenues you want to focus. Online marketing involves the use of digital sales funnels as a way to set prospective customers on a path and veer them towards your product page so that they take advantage of your offer.
Because the Internet is a vast domain of networks, it can be hard to figure out where to start. Competition is fierce, and it’s hard to stand out in a crowd where your competitors might have resources that are vastly superior to what you have. The focus here is to instill confidence within you so that you’ll be comfortable working in the online digital space.
Internet marketing isn’t just restricted to one, but instead has multiple mechanisms and techniques available for driving sales.
More consumers are going online in order to shop, and the Internet is the quickest way to reach them. The ‘Buy’ button on any product listed on Amazon illustrates this point perfectly. Here is an excellent Dan Lok video that discusses the advantages of this form of digital marketing versus traditional marketing.
Like multi-level marketing and affiliate marketing that came before it, marketing when it comes to digital spaces comes in different flavors. We’ll explain to you what the different flavors are so that you’ll have a more grounded foundation before doing your side hustle on the Internet or choosing to pursue a career in the digital marketing field.
Still figuring out where to start? We’ll show you a listing of terms that you should familiarize yourself with so that you’ll be able to get a foothold to start your online business or get an online marketing job.
Spark Logix also has a good article that you can use as a quick reference that discusses different types of online marketing.
Search engine optimization or SEO is the practice of getting traffic to visit your website organically. This involves implementing changes within your organizational website so that it will be easier for customers to find your business on the Internet. Because search engines put out so many results in a single query across multiple pages, businesses have looked for ways to leverage their brand name and essentially put themselves up as a ‘first search item’ on any search engine.
SEO can sometimes be complex because there are many factors that impact your website’s ranking.
Regardless, search engines are focused on delivering the best results to customers based on the granularity of their search queries. What that means is that searches are both relevant and of a high caliber based on what the searcher seeks.
Search engines are designed to crawl or scan multiple websites in order to deliver a superior search experience. Relevant results will often place first based on the types of keywords or topics that are inputted into the search engines. They will also determine the experience based on the actual relevance of the results themselves.
SEO usually falls into the domain of the three major search engines that are in existence today:
- Microsoft’s Bing
*According to smartinsights.com, roughly 75% of all searches are done on Google, while over 90% of all mobile searches are done on Google.
How SEO works is that people will type in key words on something they’re looking for. It could be blog posts, videos, or product pages of something that they want to buy. Lyfe Marketing has an article that explains SEO here for further reading.
Search engine marketing or SEM is a means of purchasing ads via search engines in order to get traffic to your site. Some of the common terms that are associated with search engine marketing include PPC (pay-per-click), PPC and paid search advertising. Below are just a few of the important terms and acronyms you’ll need to familiarize yourself with to get a better foothold on this subset of internet marketing:
- Paid search ads
- Paid search advertising
- PPC (pay-per-click)
- PPC (pay-per-call)
- CPC (cost-per-click)
- CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions)
Search engine marketing helps companies gain market online by purchasing ads through search engines such as Bing, Google or Yahoo. Best practices when it comes to using SEM in your operations will usually revolve around promoting websites in results pages in order to optimize on conversions and brand presence. The successful use of SEM is usually dependent on the following:
Getting traffic to visit your websites usually entails some form of ad placement with compelling copy to direct prospects to your landing pages and convert them into customers. Google Ads is a form of pay-per-click marketing and it is the most popular iteration of search engine marketing that exists today. It operates by utilizing search algorithms on keywords that are paid for in searches.
Pay-per-click is a model of marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time a prospect clicks their ad. It’s a method for purchasing visits and getting customers to your website, rather than attempt to get visits in an organic fashion. Basically, you bid for ad placement through a search engine’s links when someone executes a search on a keyword related to your business offering.
Search Engine Land features an article that discusses SEM at length.
Content marketing is developing content such as blog posts, white papers, videos and other similar content to begin, extend or enhance existing business relationships. Oftentimes, businesses are looking for ways to solve problems, and they lean towards content creators to make content for them that will enhance their market.
Copywriting is an example of content marketing, and perhaps one of the oldest forms of marketing that dates as far back as the prevalence of ad men in the 70s. Copywriting is a way of using words and converting them into cash. A more granular definition has been popularized by Dan Lok, whose definition of copywriting is: “To begin, extend, or enhance business relationships, including salesmanship in print.”
Businesses will also use other platforms such as YouTube via paid advertisements in order to promote themselves through the use of strategic ad placement. Many of the world’s most prominent business entities use content marketing to enhance and expand their brand. Examples of these companies include Cisco Systems, John Deere, Ford, and Microsoft.
Social media marketing or SMM is leveraging the marketing capabilities of major social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter in order to draw in traffic. This form of internet marketing involves the sharing and creation of content on these platforms in order to achieve your business goals. Each platform has built-in features that businesses can purchase to advertise their presence on the Internet.
People will search social media sites in addition to conventional search engine queries in order to find new content or products that are out on the market. Before starting with social media you’ll need to take into consideration what your business’ goals will be. Here are some questions you’ll need to ask when formulating your goals:
- Who will your target audience be and what message are you trying to convey to them?
- What do you hope to achieve?
- How will your audience use social media?
Marketing your business through social media platforms can help you enhance your business, including:
- Building conversions and gaining traffic to your website
- Raising awareness of your brand
- Making a positive brand association and creating a brand identity
- Improving interaction and communication with your audience
WordStream has a solid article on social media marketing that you can read here.
Video marketing is a way of utilizing video content to attract customers and draw in traffic to your websites. Hubspot recently released an article explaining the current trend of video content where 87% of companies use video content as a part of their marketing strategy for 2019. Video content marketing became more prominent in 2018 compared to 2017 due to speedy production timelines along with low production costs and being able to generate video has created a return on investment.
Compared to copywriting, video is an attention getter. A professionally-made video is bound to draw in viewers as they tend to be much more animated, making video content a vital tool in a marketer’s inventory. People have the ability to record high-quality 4K videos on their smartphones and edit them into short clips through video apps like InShot, making it easy to release videos through different social media platforms.
According to Hubspot’s research, people would prefer being informed about brands through video content. Strategically placed videos on landing pages are capable of increasing conversion rates by 80%. Videos are short but concise enough to help buyers make a decision if they want to opt-in on a product or not.
Video has not only become useful for brand awareness but is adept at guiding customers through the buying process. Knowledge-based videos, support video calls, and customer reviews are just a sampling of the versatility of video content to audiences worldwide.
If you’re still curious about the kind of videos that can be made in order to inform your audience, here’s a listing to give you an idea:
1. Demonstration/demo videos: Video that demonstrates how products work.
2. Brand videos: Informational video that talks about the company brand.
3. Event videos: Videos that talk about events that will occur in relation to the business.
4. Expert interviews: Content where subject matter experts are interviewed on the capabilities of a product.
5. Instructional videos: More or less a how-to tutorial on products. Think of it as instruction booklets but much more animated.
6. Explanation videos: Often ties with other videos explaining certain subjects that a person is not familiar with further in-depth.
7. Animated videos: Videos that often have animated graphics to help better inform audiences.
8. Customer testimonial/case study videos: Reviews from either one or multiple customers who give their take on the pros and cons of a product and how it improved their lives.
9. Live videos: A behind-the-scenes look where events occur live with increased participation rates from audiences.
10. 360*/virtual reality (VR) videos: Content where viewers will have a 3D/virtual reality-oriented perspective
11. Augmented reality (AR) videos: A digital layer added into how you are seeing the real world. A case example is the placement of a table in your house’s dining room.
12. Personalized message videos: A one-to-many methodology where a business owner is addressing the content directly to the audience, making it more personable than text or email.
6. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a means of earning commissions by partnering up with a major business entity and promoting their products through your business. You look for a product that you like, promote it and earn profits for each sales transaction that occurs.
A more nuanced definition of affiliate marketing can be found on Neil Patel’s website here. In short, it is a process of spreading product marketing and product creation across multiple parties, where each party gets a share of the revenue based on their contribution to each transaction.
There are four entities involved that help determine the success of an affiliate program:
Merchant – Merchants are known by many names: a seller, a brand, a retailer or vendor. These are the entities that produce and sell products in the marketplace. An example of this is Microsoft where they sell their Windows 10 operating systems and Office 365 products worldwide. Microsoft is recognized globally for servicing their customers, both corporate and individuals alike.
Affiliate – Occasionally known as the publisher; these folks are responsible for handling the marketing aspect of the product.
Consumer – Your customer base – the folks that you want to buy your product. Affiliates will usually market to consumers based on the channels that exist: digital billboards, search engine queries via blog marketing content or social media platform. Sometimes the consumer will know whether they are part of an affiliate network or not.
Some affiliates will opt to let their customers know of their marketing being incentivized financially in order to be transparent, while others tend not to. When buying products or services, the customer still will go through regular buying processes while the affiliate party will still gain a commission on the product sold.
Network – Considered only by some to be a part of the affiliate equation. Networks will usually act as intermediaries between the merchant and the affiliate.
This type of marketing is advertising your product using email campaigns. It is essentially another form of copywriting that, depending on how the copy on the email is written, can help you develop relationships between you and your client base. It is a step-up from direct mail campaigns of the past where instead of sending correspondence via snail mail, you’ll market to your clients via email.
The downside to email marketing is that oftentimes the copy that’s written in the email isn’t necessarily good. Customers will categorize emails that could’ve converted them into buyers into the spam or deleted folders if they are bombarded constantly with spammy email campaigns. This level of treatment gives email marketing a bad name.
Best practices when it comes to email marketing include developing your own email list as opposed to buying one, and thus encourage participation by having your prospects opt-in instead of opt-out. Emails are also often opened via smartphones, so you can focus on optimizing them for mobile use. In a match between social media marketing and email marketing, email reigns as king. This is simply due to the fact that customers may not necessarily use Facebook or Instagram.
Prospective customers have a stronger likelihood of seeing emails than social media posts. If you post something on a social media platform, it does not necessarily mean they’ll see it (which is where Facebook and Instagram ads come into play). The Balance offers some insight into email marketing that you can find here.
ORM stands for online reputation management. What it does is that it addresses, monitors, and mitigates results pages from search engines, or mentions them in Web content and online media pages. Even before the inception of the Internet, companies were often curious as to how their customer base perceives them based on internet searches.
Good public relations between the companies and their customers usually result in career advancement for individuals, being accepted by the general public and increased sales. On the opposite end of the spectrum, being criticized on social media can have a negative effect on a company. Materials that are monitored can include articles from content creators and journalists that have posted something of importance for the public to know.
Online reputation management will often interface with the multiple methods of marketing that are mentioned above in this article. Different types of media that are usually monitored during an ORM campaign typically include:
- Mainstream/traditional websites
- Consumer review sites like BBB
- Social networks I.E. LinkedIn and Facebook
- Sites that review individuals
- Article repositories
- Collaborative websites such as Wikipedia
- Bookmarking/social news sites
- Discussion forums
- Collaborative research websites
- User-created content such as YouTube videos
Questions that should be asked often when checking how your company’s reputation is:
- How prepared are you in crisis management if there are bad comments about your product?
- What are customers’ perceptions on your competitors in terms of products and services?
- Are you willing to listen to customer inputs in order to improve their satisfaction? How open are you to the good and bad of your products?
Search engine optimization can be considered a subset of search engine marketing. Search engine marketing is a subset of online/internet marketing in order to attract customers to landing pages and get them to buy products they would be interested in. PPC is designed to get potential leads to click on your ads based on how they’re placed within your SMM platforms.
When you encounter these terms, you’ll often find that they interact with one another in some shape or form based on how they translate in online business transactions.
Dan Lok, Tony Robbins, Dean Graziosi, Richard Branson, and Gary Vaynerchuk are all examples of entrepreneurs that have found success through marketing in the digital space. If you asked any one of them, they would tell you that one of the key things that you’ll learn when starting or running a business is that failure is a natural part of the business world. This statement is in deep contrast to what academic institutions teach their students regarding failure, which is hardly how the real world works.
Remember that statement we mentioned earlier to you about being able to withstand pain? Again, failure is a part of that.
Some additional skills that you’ll learn which sometimes isn’t always related to marketing include:
- Time management
- Social skills
- Leadership skills
- Fighting under pressure
Companies are constantly looking for people to market for them via the digital space. It is a skill that is in high demand. Usually companies or businesses are interested in people who have a background in sales and can leverage the Internet’s capability to drive organizational sales upwards. These same companies will often ask you to devote some time in order to enhance their bottom line.
Jobs that are listed on different boards include but are not limited to:
Many universities throughout the country offer formalized programs to help prospective entrepreneurs get themselves into the game. While they are good for education, they cannot trump learning through hands-on experience. People can learn about marketing in the digital space by doing.
Udemy offers numerous courses in online marketing, along with specific classes where you can learn about different services/products such as Amazon FBA, Shopify, Magento, and WordPress. These classes are often taught by experts who have utilized these platforms and have successfully made businesses through them.
If you’re still having trouble figuring out where to start, you should look for a mentor that has been there and done that. Having a mentor available will help guide you through the ropes and navigate through the finer intricacies of the business world so that you won’t have to fight through the difficulties alone. Ask any of the more renowned entrepreneurs and they will most likely give you the same answer. Here is a great resource for some of the best online digital courses available.
In conclusion, we have given you a detailed explanation of digital marketing along with some terms to help you familiarize yourself with the concepts explained. We also explained the kind of marketing jobs that exist within different enterprises so that you’ll know what’s available if you’re interested in something. You do not have to do everything that is on this listing.
When learning about digital marketing, do a test run on a few of the techniques and strategies that are available and figure out which ones work best for you. There’s a lot to learn when it comes to marketing in the digital space, but with dedication and practice, you’ll be able to find the success you have long sought.
Last Updated: 4.23.20