What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is a general term for any steps a company takes to connect with customers through electronic technology. Digital marketing promotes and sells products or services to prospective customers through online platforms such as email, social media, mobile marketing, online customer communities, webinars and other video-based content.

The digital marketing process involves similar tactics as traditional marketing. Organizations can combine both traditional and digital marketing techniques as a strategy.

Importance of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing helps an organization appeal to a much larger audience than it could through traditional marketing methods because the reach of the internet is worldwide. This marketing method also enables organizations to target prospective customers who are most likely to buy their product or service. For example, a company can advertise holiday sales by emailing past customers or by sharing news of the deals on social media.

Organizations have a number of different online methods they can use to reach out to customers, including through emails, social media, text, banner advertisements or affiliates.

The five pillars of social media marketing represent the steps an organization must take to connect with potential customers.

Social media provides a common way for individuals to interact and communicate with organizations. Likewise, marketers can collect insights from their target audience on these platforms and increase customer engagement by communicating with them. Digital marketing strategies can be quickly shifted as needed. The platform and format of communication can be changed if the target audience moves platforms, for example.

Digital marketing has become more complex because of the various new communication channels that have emerged, but also in terms of the analysis required to make sense of customers, prospects and their preferences. Organizations use a variety of tools to understand the behavior and preferences of customers, prospects and leads. From social media listening to predictive analytics and big data analytics, organizations enlist a variety of resources to understand customer responses to their digital marketing efforts.

Types of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing can appear in many forms, including the following:

  1. Email marketing
  2. Social media marketing
  3. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
  4. Content marketing
  5. Sponsored content
  6. Affiliate marketing
  7. Short Message Service (SMS) marketing

Digital Marketing Benefits

Benefits of digital marketing include the following:

  1. Global and local reach
  2. Targeting specific audiences
  3. Cost-effectiveness
  4. Customized channels

Digital Marketing Challenges

  1. Time-consuming
  2. Competitive
  3. Data privacy
  4. Technology

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