Blog, Marketing

What is digital marketing? Understanding the individual components can make all the difference. 

Digital marketing is more than social media. It is any kind of marketing done in the digital space– whether overt or covert in nature. It is made up of four main sectors– social media marketing, search engine marketing, conversion rate optimisation and content marketing.

However, this is a fluid and highly responsive discipline. When the web changes, it follows. Sometimes, in fact, digital marketing leads the way.

When you think of digital marketing, social media is probably the first thing to pop into your head. You’re probably thinking ads on your sidebar and sponsored posts. But social media marketing is more than that. It can be much more subtle. For instance, anything a brand posts on their Facebook or Instagram page is a kind of marketing. if it serves to improve their personal image or even just keep them front of mind, it’s marketing. It’s not just established brands who market themselves: see ‘Instagram stars who make their living from sponsorships’. Or YouTubers who earn their cash from the ads on their videos. What they teach you is that rich content is the way to capture audiences: more on that later.

Search marketing works is a bit more targeted than social. It works with the way Google (and other search engines) serve up your website. Google wants to deliver the best results to those who seek it so you need to be what people are searching for. There is a big focus on getting on ‘the first page of Google’– and there’s a good reason for that. In the age of mobile, things must be easy to access with a small screen, and quick to load. “Easy to access” means page one or two. You need to cater for what your audience are searching for, and Google will reward you.

With search marketing, your focus needs to be human-focused– and it must avoid “tricking” the search engines. Techniques that attempt to fool the search engines fall under the category of “black hat search engine optimisation. Some involve spamming links to your website across the web and stuffing your content full of the terms people use when they search. Search marketing incorporates the ads at the top of your search, too– read our guide on pay-per-click ads here!

With the advent (and supremacy) of adblockers, however, digital marketers are getting more creative. And that’s where content marketing comes in. Those YouTubers and Instagrammers we mentioned before are also experts at content marketing. If you are creating something that is not explicitly an ad but serves to increase brand awareness, reputation, or to gather leads, you are content marketing. Content marketing revolves around providing useful, entertaining, and engaging content for your brand. It is never “in your face”, but aims to build a genuine rapport with existing and potential customers. It’s like a conversation. A conversation that can lead to great things…

And that brings us to the final– yet crucial– component: conversion-rate optimisation. Most of this marketing drives you– directly or indirectly– to your website. And when they get there, your website needs to be ready. Conversion optimisation is the art of taking consumers to sale. If your website is conversion optimised, it should be easy for consumers to do what it is you want them to do. Whether that’s to buy your product or get in touch with you. It’s stuff like making buy buttons more enticing and making contact forms simple to fill in. It sounds simple, but it comes from a sophisticated understanding of your consumer and what appeals to them.

To take someone through to that final step– whether it be contact or sale– you need a team of experts on your side. We like to think we know a thing or two about digital marketing– we offer a full suite of services from social media to conversion optimisation. It’s everything in the digital space, for wherever you want to take your business.