What Is Digital Marketing? A Guide to Marketing in Today’s Digital World

In the world of business development and branding, going digital is all the buzz. So just what is digital marketing and how can we use it to grow our businesses?

Digital Marketing Defined

Digital marketing is the advertising and promotion of businesses and their brands through digital media channels. Digital media, at the moment, includes websites, social media, radio, television, mobile and even forms of traditionally non-digital media such as billboards and transit signs. Essentially any marketing media that is delivered electronically is considered digital marketing.

This leaves only various forms of person-to-person (P2P) marketing, print advertising and direct marketing outside of the digital marketing umbrella. Even then, print ads, direct mail, print directories, billboards and posters are all starting to connect to their digital counterparts. With items like URL landing pages, QR codes, web banner advertising, online directories and text codes, traditional marketing and advertising almost always has a digital marketing connection.

Why the Focus on Digital Media?

The shift to digital media is being driven by marketing agencies, business owners and consumers alike. The ever-increasing demand to show quantifiable results makes going digital a dream for the digital marketing agency. Most digital media, including websites, social media and mobile advertising is much easier to track than traditional marketing media such as print advertising.

For business owners, many forms of digital advertising are very low cost. Having a web presence, engaging customers in conversations through social media and e-mail marketing are low cost alternatives to print advertising and direct mail. These digital channels are available to businesses of any size, and help to even the playing field for start-ups, small businesses and independent consultants seeking new business.

For consumers, the fast pace of life makes digital advertising a must. When consumers are in need of goods and services, gone are the days of thumbing through a phonebook to find them. Now, we whip out our mobile devices or head to our computers for answers – and we find them fast.

Using Digital Media to Build Your Business and Brand

No matter what size your business is – large or small to medium sized business / enterprise (SMB or SME) – you can effectively market your business through low-cost digital channels. The foundation of your marketing efforts will be your website. Invest wisely in your website, and be sure that it does the following:

  • Adequately represents your business and brand (look and feel, messaging)
  • Adequately speaks to your target audience
  • Can be found by searchers on top search engines
  • Is up-to-date and easily navigable
  • Provides multiple channels for customer communication
  • Connects to other marketing efforts

It is recommended that you work with a professional web design firm that is skilled in web development and search engine optimization. Because your website is the foundation to and from which all other digital channels will lead, it should be considered one of your top business investments.

Once you have your website complete, the next steps would be to launch regular monthly or bi-monthly e-mail campaigns, and connect with customers via social media. If you are truly on a shoestring budget, these are efforts that can be done in-house (by someone with the proper knowledge) or for a low cost by an outside digital marketing agency. Be sure that all of your efforts lead customers back to your website where they can fully engage with your business, products and services, and choose the channels through which they contact you.

If you’re interested in getting aggressive with search marketing, you can set aside some digital marketing dollars for search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising. Many businesses today rely heavily on being found online to gain new customers. A common misconception among business owners is that simply having a website means that customers will find it. Not so. Your site must be built with specific key words and phrases, meta data, page content and linking strategies that will help it reach top search rankings.

Because many key words and phrases have stiff competition for top search rankings, you will need to supplement your organic search engine optimization efforts with pay-per-click advertising. Getting established with pay-per-click advertising campaigns can be a little daunting, but with a little time, effort and instruction, that too can be accomplished in-house, or for a reasonable cost through an outside digital marketing agency.

Beyond e-mail, social media marketing and search engine marketing, you can venture into a host of other digital marketing efforts. Mobile advertising, radio, television, electronic billboards and much more are available as marketing outlets. Whatever digital efforts you choose, they should all connect and tie into your foundation – your company website.

If you have the means, a wise investment would be to engage the services of a digital marketing agency to assist in your marketing efforts. Today, many digital agencies offer multiple levels of service to accommodate businesses large and small.

What is Available Within Ecommerce Marketing Strategy?

An ecommerce marketing strategy may include many different types of marketing efforts. This will usually depend on the goal you want to achieve with the campaign.

If you are looking to find out what is available to you with an ecommerce marketing strategy then you have many things to choose from. These include new content on your site, article writing and posting, blogs, email campaigns, press releases, and much more.

An ecommerce marketing strategy may include many different things like article writing, content, blogs, email campaigns, press releases, and more. The purpose of a marketing strategy is to announce certain events, create hype about a business, make customers curious, and provide an end result of higher sales. Branding is a big reason that people use marketing to create a name for themselves and their business. There are many companies that you can hire to provide marketing techniques for your company. The wonderful thing about the web is that a campaign is low cost to free. You can perform your own marketing techniques at no cost to you but your time if you know how to do these things. It is usually best to hire someone to help you in order to get the results you are hoping for.

Article writing is common for an ecommerce marketing strategy. Article writing is used for many different things like providing content on the web pages of a website and posting them throughout the web. The goal for articles when used as content is to have integrated keywords that will work with the search engines and for them to be interesting for the users to read. Article writing is very beneficial when used properly. Article writing across the web usually integrates links back to a website so inbound links are present. This works with the search engines also and provides an easy way for readers to check out the company site and see what the business is all about.

Blogging is another form of an ecommerce marketing strategy which people opt for. There are thousands of blogs across the web. The goal is to find relevant blogs discussing products or services offered by the business so you can talk about your business too. Blogs have shown to be beneficial when used as articles, integrating links back to the site, and talking about the business. People actually read and pay attention to blogs and they can be verry beneficial.

Email campaigns are popular uses of an ecommerce marketing strategy when a business wants to announce an event like a sale or special they are holding. This is a good way to reach out to thousands of people at the same time. A small percentage of people will go to the site out of curiosity and click around. This will improve site rank and possibly sales if they make a purchase.

If you are trying to get the word out about certain events and you want to have a big turnout then you might also consider hiring a professional to provide press releases. A press release ecommerce marketing strategy will target the local media. Many customers focus on the media to learn about sales and events in their local area. When you use a press release campaign, press releases will be sent to the media outlets and they will provide the advertising for you. This is a low cost campaign and it is very effective. This type of strategy is used when advertising things like big event sales and any type of event you want to draw a crowd to.

Distinguishing Characteristics of the Best Affiliate Programs

There may be literally hundreds of affiliate programs ongoing in the Internet at present, but only a handful of those may qualify as the best and the pick of the crop. It would be in your interest as well to join the best affiliate programs because there are greater chances for you to earn big money from a select few but highly recommended affiliate programs than joining numerous affiliate programs that offer little or absolutely no support to its affiliates.

Distinguishing Characteristics of the Best Affiliates Programs

Expect the best affiliate programs to have the following characteristics. If the affiliate program you’ve got your eye on offers everything on this list as well then don’t waste your time: join it right away!

The Best Affiliate Programs are Picky.

They don’t waste time with useless affiliate websites. They only choose to accept affiliate websites they are convinced of having the potential to grow with them. And realistically speaking, you’ll benefit more from a selective affiliate program because at the end of the day, other affiliates of the online merchant are your competitors as well. But of course, if there are only a few of you in number, you get the luxury of thinking them as comrades.

The Best Affiliate Programs are Selling Something Unique.

It could be a product or service, but the keyword here is unique. The affiliate merchant is selling something that few – or if you’re lucky no one else – is selling and that’s to your advantage because once again, you’ve got the market all to yourself. This however is probably the hardest qualification of all so if the affiliate program you’ve got your eye on has everything but this – it’s okay. Best doesn’t mean perfect, after all.

The Best Affiliate Programs have Room and Plans for Growth.

The rate of money you’re earning from an affiliate program may become stagnant or unchanging if the affiliate company is uninterested of or unable to grow its business. This is obviously bad news for them but it’s bad news for you as well: when you’ve sold everything there is to sell to your existing customers, what next? Working with such an affiliate program simply puts to waste all the years you’ve worked hard. If you wish for an affiliate program to be a permanent source of income for you, make sure that the company you’ll be working with has definite long-term plans.

The Best Affiliate Programs Offer Competitive Rates.

Naturally! Why work for an affiliate program that offers substandard rates when you have the opportunity to work for something better? Always look for the best rates. Take your time to browse the Internet. It’s better to have a small group of affiliate programs that offer competitive rates than a large number of programs which offer lower fees. Why work more when you don’t have to? Why work for less when you don’t have to?

The Best Affiliate Programs Don’t Compete with their Affiliates.

Again, this may seem like a given, but there are still a number of affiliate programs who insist on cheating on their affiliates and there are still a number of affiliates who let themselves be cheated on. Affiliate programs work better when members and the parent company work together and not against each other.

The Best Affiliate Programs are bound by the Law and Ethics.

They don’t hesitate to show you the full contract upon request. The terms and conditions are clearly and fully explained and you’re welcome to inquire as often as you need about working with them. They treat you in an ethical manner. They don’t cheat you out of your money. They’re even willing to negotiate because they understand it’s your right to do so.

The Best Affiliate Programs have Reliable and Accurate Tracking Systems.

That way you’d be able to get a hold of your sales or lead records any time you want to. Don’t feel shy to ask what tracking system software they’re using. Having a reliable and accurate tracking system would ensure that you’re being paid the correct amount of commission every month.

The Best Affiliate Programs Always Offer Marketing Support.

Last but not the least, the best affiliate programs understand that the success of affiliates are their success as well so make sure they provide as much resources and support they can afford to their affiliates.