The Two ‘W’s of Digital Marketing: What Is It and Why Should I Care?

By James Kwon

On the face of it, digital marketing has replaced one type of medium for another. Mad Men’s Don Draper didn’t have the internet to turn to when he landed the ad account for Heinz Beans, instead, they had prime time television slots. In a modern episode of Mad Men, a team of ad executives might instead run banner ads on a popular news website or deliberate over whether bean consumers are more likely to be on Tik Tok versus Twitter. Digital marketers don’t just advertise on these mediums because they are new. They advertise on these mediums because that’s where today’s consumers are spending their time.

At its core, digital marketing is any marketing that exists online. It meets consumers where they are most active—their favorite websites or social media networks—and utilizes search engine optimization to get in front of consumers on sites such as Google. Digital marketing hasn’t just given us new mediums to market through. It has also given marketers unparalleled insights into the behaviors of their audiences.

Despite these powerful insights many businesses are yet to implement a digital strategy that truly brings in leads, grows awareness, and produce measurable results.

What are common examples of digital marketing?

Digital marketing utilizes digital channels to reach current customers and new audiences. Some common examples of digital marketing you have probably noticed are:

  • Email Marketing: Email marketing is often used to promote events, sales, blog posts or other content a businesses audience might find useful. It can also be used to show customers they are valued — a thank you email for signing up to the monthly newsletter might include a 10% promotional code, or an offer to connect with a knowledgeable staff member.
  • Digital Advertising: From display advertisements that look a lot like traditional ad campaigns to Google ads, digital advertising utilizes keywords and carefully defined analytics, to reach highly targeted audiences to great affect.
  • Social Media Marketing: It costs nothing to start a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account and is a great way to promote products and services and connect with consumers for free. Businesses can also opt to run paid advertising that targets a wider audience than just their followers.
  • Content marketing: Blog posts, infographics, and ebooks are all examples of content marketing. Creating content that helps consumers — whether through providing free information, advice or tips — can grow brand awareness, increase traffic to a website and ultimately increase leads.
  • SEO: Search engines optimization can be improved to help a website, blog or piece of content perform better in search engine results. A website that appears on the front page of Google’s search results has a higher chance of being clicked on than lower-ranked pages.

While the above examples aren’t an exhaustive list of digital marketing tactics they are the most common, and many digital marketing agencies focus on supporting these services. For more examples of digital marketing tactics, check out Hubspot’s blog on digital marketing.

Why should I start a digital marketing strategy?

Every business should have a digital marketing strategy. But that strategy should be specific to their industry and their business goals. Digital marketing can be just as effective for B2B and B2C consumers but each approach will look different.

B2B digital marketing strategies: These might include focusing on lead generation, driving traffic through your website with the aim of getting warm leads your sales team can follow up on. Social media sites, like LinkedIn, will have more of an impact on your customers than Facebook or Instagram. Content marketing can also be a strong way to attract customers into your pipeline.

B2C digital marketing strategies: With customers becoming more and more comfortable with shopping online, your website and social media need to make purchasing a smooth process. Instagram and Facebook marketing, email marketing and influencer marketing can provide opportunities to connect with your customers and to showcase products and services.

Digital marketing isn’t just popular because it works. It also helps us understand what marketing works and why. Opposed to traditional marketing, digital marketing allows marketers to make decisions based on tangible information. With traditional marketing, it has been hard to know how many people actually watched a television advertisement, or read a brochure before throwing it away. Digital marketing gives accurate, real-time information and allows marketers to make decisions on what their audience is paying attention to.

While some agencies only focus on inbound marketing, at Figmints we like to take a more balanced approach to marketing.

What’s digital marketing? Here’s what over 160 people think.

Even if you have a good grasp on how marketing works, understanding the nuances of digital marketing can be tough. In a recent survey, we asked 161 people what services they expect from a digital marketing agency. Read more below to see the results and what they mean.

The Top 5

With 19 different choices, the top 5 services people expected from a digital marketing agency were Social Media Marketing, Digital Advertising/PPC, Email Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, and Content Marketing.

Diving deeper into what this could mean, it’s clear that digital marketing is popularly considered to be related to social media, search engines, and emails. This makes perfect sense as, in the digital world, these three tools are where people spend most of their time. It’s also interesting to note social media marketing as the top result. Though it’s just one piece of the digital marketing puzzle, social media marketing has skyrocketed in popularity due to the ability it provides organizations to directly interact with their audiences.

The Bottom 5

Falling in as the services people least expect from a digital marketing agency, the bottom 5 were outbound calls, inside sales support, direct mail, native advertising, and print advertising. Considering why these are in the bottom 5, it’s pretty clear that none of them are directly digital in nature. Rather, all of these services fall into the scope of a traditional marketing agency.

What services does an agency provide?

In the realm of marketing, numerous services exist. With all of these services in mind, agencies are naturally expected to perform a combination of most if not all of them. However, in a typical agency, not every possible service is performed at once. Rather, a specialized set of services is used for each project to further propel whichever marketing strategy is decided upon. This means that for some clients, their digital marketing agency may focus exclusively on social media marketing. For others, the agency may focus on a combination of search engine marketing with email marketing.

CEOs vs. Marketers

Contrasting opinions between colleagues with different positions is common in any business. One area where this is especially true is in considering how CEOs and business owners differ from marketers in their perception of what marketing is and how it works. For the most part, the CEOs who took our survey (54 in total) gave similar answers to the marketers (57 in total). However, there were some areas of disagreement.

The five services where CEOs and marketers differed in their answers were native advertising, conversion rate optimization, inbound marketing, and search engine marketing. For all of these services, marketers felt that they applied to digital marketing more than CEOs. This makes sense for most as, when considering granular services like inbound marketing, CEOs typically are less involved and do not consider them as valuable to a marketing ecosystem than other services.

Is digital marketing solely what I should be focusing on?

At Figmints Digital agency, although we specialize in digital marketing we also offer inside sales support, inbound and outbound marketing, direct mail as well as some types of print media. Because we believe the right mix of tactics and marketing strategies is what it takes to find your new clients or customers.

Digital marketing might not be the right approach to getting your business in front of potential C-suite customers. While content marketing can get in front of potential customers, many sales teams don’t have enough time to follow up on warm leads. While every business will benefit from digital marketing strategies, at Figmints we use a range of approaches to move potential customers through the marketing funnel and actually get results.

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