Traditionally, startups would rely on print media, outdoor advertising, coupon mailers, and direct mail to get the first customer through the door. But thanks to the internet, the world has changed.

These days, 62% of customers’ primary use of the internet is to find information and discover brands. This means that if your business wants to tap into a vast pool of possibilities, it should be using digital marketing to generate leads and boost sales.

Let’s discuss the basics of digital marketing. We’ll take a look at the different digital marketing tactics and show you how to use them to your advantage. And if you’re just getting started with your digital marketing strategy, no worries. We’ll cover the talents you need in your team to get the best results. Ready?

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing, also known as online marketing or internet marketing, refers to the array of marketing tactics companies use to engage and interact with customers and prospects online. Digital marketing happens across multiple media channels and can take many forms, including: 

Email marketing: As the name suggests, this is a form of marketing that uses email. Email marketing has an insanely high ROI of 3600%, and it’s no surprise many companies use this tactic to generate leads and nurture them into customers

Content marketing: Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as a strategic marketing approach that focuses on creating and distributing relevant, valuable, and consistent content to attract or retain customers. According to SemRush, 97% of businesses use content marketing to increase brand awareness, attract new customers, and more. 

Social media marketing: Social media marketing is any form of marketing activity you do through social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, Instagram, and more. These days, 71.6% of potential customers search for brand information on social media, so using this channel to showcase your business is crucial.  

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO is a marketing tactic that entails optimizing content to boost SERP ranking and drive more valuable traffic to your website. SEO goes hand in hand with other digital marketing tactics, including content creation, email, and social media marketing. 

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC): PPC refers to online paid ads where you pay each time a user clicks on your ad. PPC can take many strategies, including paid search campaigns, YouTube ads, social media ads, display ads, Google Local services ads, and shopping ads.

Video marketing: Video marketing is exactly as the name suggests — a marketing tactic that uses video. Like email marketing, video marketing is incredibly effective in increasing web traffic, generating leads, and boosting direct sales because it’s very popular and engaging. 

When putting these strategies to use, it’s helpful to look at the process of getting more traffic to your website, which is ultimately the goal of digital marketing. Once you generate website traffic, you want to convert that traffic to email subscribers and leads. From there, you’ll nurture those leads until they become customers.

First, you’ll want to attract those visitors to your website. Second, you’ll want to convert that traffic to leads and gather their contact information. Then, you’ll want to use that information to nurture them until, lastly, you convert them.

Attract: These tactics should lead people back to your website.

  • Social media marketing
  • PPC
  • SEO
  • Video marketing

Convert to leads: These tactics help encourage site visitors to sign up for your email marketing.

  • Content marketing
  • Video marketing

Nurture and convert to customers: These tactics can be used to provide your subscribers with more information so they can become educated on what you do and offer and ultimately make a purchase.

  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Video marketing

Digital Marketing Team Members

Interestingly, 89% of top marketing teams align marketing roles with their customer journey strategy. If you were to borrow the approach of these teams, you’d probably have several different roles in your marketing team, such as: 

  • Marketing strategist
  • PPC manager
  • Project manager
  • Social media specialist
  • Content writer
  • Content editor
  • SEO specialist
  • Graphic designer
  • Front-end developer

However, keep in mind that not every team is comprised this way. Depending on your goals, output, and budget, your team may only need a few key players. 

How Do You Use Digital Marketing?

While there are many digital marketing tactics, not all can drive traffic and enhance revenue generation for your business. Here’s how you can get the most out of digital marketing:

  1. Define your marketing goals: What do you want to achieve — acquire new customers, increase brand awareness, or boost retention rates? Set the key performance indicators (KPIs) for your marketing goals
  2. Define your target audience: Identify your potential customers and get their demographic data such as age, location, income, etc. The more details you have, the easier it will be to reach out to them. 
  3. Determine suitable marketing channels and tactics: How do you reach your target audience? During your target audience research, you probably have details about where they like to hang out online. That information should guide you on the best channels and tactics to drive your message home. 
  4. Create and optimize messages for each channel: You have to adopt a multi-channel marketing strategy to maximize performance. However, you have to ensure the message is consistent across different channels
  5. Measure performance: Monitor campaign performance based on the stipulated KPIs and integrate insights from Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) to delve into the impact of distinct marketing channels to make agile and interconnected adjustments to improve results. 

7 Digital Marketing Terms You Need to Know

If you’re getting started with digital marketing, you will likely see plenty of marketing terminologies floating around. It can be challenging to keep up with all the jargon, but here are the top seven terms you should know: 

  • Buyer persona: A fictional representation of your archetypal customer, built based on the data you have about them. 
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): This is popular in PPC strategies and refers to the cost you pay every time a user clicks on your online ads. 
  • Call-to-action (CTA): The button you use to call the attention of potential customers and nudge them to take a desired action, such as purchase, sign up, or click. 
  • Lead generation: The process used to gather potential customers for your business. 
  • Conversion rate: The percentage of customers that take a desired action, such as signing up for a newsletter, purchasing a product, or opening an email. 
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC): The cost of acquiring a customer. CAC = sales and marketing expenses/total number of conversions or customers. 
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV): Also known as lifetime customer value, CLV refers to the revenue a customer brings to your business. CLV = customer lifespan x frequency of purchase x average purchase amount. 

In marketing, things move at lightning speed. Oftentimes we think we can just go with the flow, and our business will see the results that come with being agile. However, no matter how flexible your marketing approach is, it’s crucial that you’re up to speed on digital marketing basics. We hope this guide serves as a great refresh and that you refer to it often, even through the shifts and pivots your marketing strategy is bound to take. 

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by Benchmark Team