What Is Digital Marketing, Definition, How to Do it, and Examples
You might have heard of our current time referred to as the “digital age.” There’s a reason for that.
We conduct much of our conversations online. Most of us have multiple devices in our homes, from smartphones, smart watches, and tablets to desktop and laptop computers.
Digital marketing is a big part of this transition from the analog age to the digital age. Why? Because marketers follow consumer behavior.
If consumers didn’t hang out online, marketers wouldn’t either. They’d meet up with people in person or blast their favorite television programs with commercials.
The Internet and Internet-connected devices have ushered in digital marketing in a big way. But what is digital marketing? How can you define the practice? What are the best ways to pursue digital marketing?
Those are the questions we’re going to answer for you today. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to launch your own digital marketing campaign — or revamp an existing one.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is marketing that takes place via Internet-connected devices. Email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, and many other facets of digital marketing are essential for today’s entrepreneurs.
Digital marketers spend their time studying how people relate to one another online, creating content for online consumption, and mastering digital mediums. As you get more comfortable with marketing in the digital space, your readership, viewership, and sales will likely grow.
Digital marketing is also the use of digital technologies, such as SMS and push notifications, to reach people on Internet-connected devices. For instance, you might get a prompt to review a store as soon as you step into it. Your smartphone has likely entered a geotagged region, which allows the store to target you personally.
What Is the Definition of Digital Marketing in Knowledge Commerce?
In Knowledge Commerce, digital marketing provides entrepreneurs with a platform through which to share their ideas, promote their products, and build an audience. If you work in the Knowledge Commerce space, marketing through digital channels allows you to reach more people without spending a ton of money or employing a staff of hundreds.
You can recognize digital marketing in the Knowledge Commerce field if it meets all of these criteria:
- You’re using the Internet to distribute your marketing materials.
- You’re promoting a particular product or service.
- People consume your marketing materials via digital devices.
It’s that simple.
However, while it’s easy to understand and recognize digital marketing, it’s far more difficult to accomplish it effectively. Many try and fail.
As long as you dedicate yourself to understanding and practicing marketing, however, you’ll dominate your space.
“As long as you dedicate yourself to understanding and practicing marketing, however, you’ll dominate your space. #Kajabi” — Tweet this!
How Should You Do Digital Marketing?
You need a strategy if you want to market your Knowledge Commerce products digitally. In other words, you need a plan of attack for every product you sell.
There are many different ways to utilize marketing on digital platforms, but you can’t do them all well. Instead, you have to master a handful of them until you’ve exhausted their benefits for your company.
Following are some of the most important aspects of digital marketing. Start with three or four of them, then move on depending on the results.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When people search for terms via Google and other search engines, SEO helps them find relevant content.
For instance, if you search for “Kajabi” on Google, the first organic listing looks like this:
We rank for our own brand term because we’ve optimized our website for SEO.
You can do the same thing. SEO requires attention to specifics like keywords, meta-tags, image alt-tags, internal linking, backlinks, and domain authority. The important thing, though, is to target keywords for which your audience is searching so they can find your page via search engines.
Many people assume that content marketing refers exclusively to blogging. That isn’t the case.
Content marketing refers to any text-, video-, image-, or audio-based content that you use to promote your product or service. You might choose several mediums, such as:
- Blog posts
- Articles on static pages of your website
- Sales pages
- Landing pages
Many other options exist, and you don’t have to limit yourself to one medium.
The important thing about content marketing is that it typically serves two distinct purposes:
- Educating, entertaining, or inspiring your audience; and
- Making your product or service more attractive to the people who consume your content.
If it doesn’t do both, it’s not working hard enough.
For instance, you could write 1,000 words on how great your product is. If it doesn’t provide any value, though, people likely won’t make it to word five.
You might notice that many of these digital marketing strategies overlap. Inbound marketing is just one example.
An inbound marketing strategy is one that involves attracting potential customers to your content or brand and inviting them to interact with you.
Outbound marketing, by contrast, refers to strategies like running television commercials and making cold calls. An inbound approach is less intrusive and disruptive. It’s permission-based.
Content marketing qualifies as inbound marketing. So do email marketing and social media marketing.
Social Media Marketing
It’s true that many people use social media to check in with their friends, update distant relatives about their lives, and share photographs of last night’s dinner. However, they’re also interested in brands.
In fact, a recent MarketingSherpa study revealed that 95 percent of responding adults between ages 18 and 34 follow at least one brand on social. If you can take advantage of that trend, you can direct people to your site and sell more products.
Many entrepreneurs shudder at the idea of paying for advertising. It can seem a little bit intimidating.
However, you can decide on your budget and goals ahead of time. If you don’t get good ROI, you can either stop your PPC campaign altogether or try a different platform.
While content marketing, email marketing, and other forms of non-paid digital marketing are great for long-term success, PPC can generate short-term wins. An influx of cash can make your business more stable and speed up the process of building your brand.
Think of affiliate marketing as a profit-sharing approach to digital marketing. Your affiliates promote your Knowledge Commerce products to their audiences. If one of their readers clicks on a link and buys your product, the affiliate gets a percentage of the sale.
In other words, no money comes directly out of your pocket. The affiliate only gets paid if someone buys.
We’re fans of affiliate marketing because it’s a great way to broaden your reach. If you don’t want to pay an influencer to promote your products, you can instead work with affiliates who don’t expect up-front payment.
A native advertisement appears on a major publication. It looks like any other piece of content except for the word “sponsored,” which typically appears on the teaser and the final product.
Native advertising is designed to educate the reader and promote the product. In other words, it’s not just sales copy. It needs to provide the reader with actionable value.
One of the great things about digital marketing is that you can automate it. From email autoresponders to advanced scheduling for social posts, you can find many automation tools within Kajabi itself.
You know how important email marketing has become. It’s your direct line to people who have already interacted with your brand and showed interest in your products.
It’s also one of the best ways to usher your prospects through the sales funnel.
Adding your subscribers to different email lists can make the practice even more effective. Categorize them based on their last interactions with your brand, their purchase history, and other criteria.
Plus, you can add them to multiple email series. One series might help them compare different products in your category, for example, or provide roundups of your best blog posts. Another could provide step-by-step instructions for reaching a specific goal. The sky’s the limit.
Public relations isn’t anything like it used to be. At one time, you had to rely on a major media outlet, such as the New York Times, mentioning your business in its Lifestyle section. Otherwise, you were dependent upon press releases.
These days, however, digital marketing lets you get noticed by journalists in dozens of different ways.
A blogger, for instance, might take your online course, then write a post about it so his or her audience can check it out. It’s a free form of marketing and it works extremely well because it’s transparent and authentic.
You might even get noticed by a journalist at a major publication. That results in even more exposure — and potential sales.
What Are the Primary Benefits of Digital Marketing?
We’ve covered the definition of digital marketing and the different ways in which you can do it, but how will you ultimately benefit? After all, you don’t want to put forth all that work only to receive nothing in return.
Companies in every industry have proven over and over again that digital marketing works. It produces several key benefits that can help a business of any size grow and prosper.
Let’s look at a few of those benefits in more detail.
Everyone wants more traffic, right? Business is a numbers game, whether you’re operating a Knowledge Commerce company or a brick-and-mortar store.
For instance, maybe you sell flowers from a street stand. If 5,000 people walk by your stand on a given workday, you’ll likely sell more flowers than if you only encountered 500 people on foot.
The same principle applies online. No, you can convince everyone who visits your website to buy something. But the more traffic you get, the more sales you enjoy.
That is, as long as your product solves a problem and provides real value.
When you get good at digital marketing, you can not only attract more traffic to your website, but convert more of those visitors into customers. They’ll be impressed with your sales copy and other content, so they’ll want to shell out cash for your paid products.
Traffic isn’t just a vanity metric. It’s also a vehicle to higher sales numbers.
A lead is someone who might be interested in your product, but who has not converted into a customer. Maybe they’ve signed up for your email list or followed you on social media. They might even have reached out to you personally.
Lead generation is one of the most frustrating parts of digital marketing, but it’s also the most rewarding. Like website traffic, leads convert into sales — when you have your conversion funnel set up correctly.
Getting active on social media, building an email list, running PPC ads, getting online PR, and other digital marketing strategies will generate far more leads than you could without those assets. You become more available and visible to target consumers.
Think about a television commercial. You don’t know how many people actually see it, much less how many people buy your product because of exposure to that ad.
Digital marketing changes the game. You can set up rules (or models) that tell you what touchpoints a customer made with your brand before ultimately buying your product.
For instance, a custom might follow a process like this:Using an attribution model, you can decide which of those touchpoints carries the most weight. For instance, you could give the first and last touchpoints equal weight or distribute the weight evenly across all channels.
By studying these touchpoints, you can figure out which touchpoints are the most persuasive, which allows you to optimize your digital marketing strategy accordingly.
Access and Cost
Digital marketing provides you with unprecedented access to your target audience. Just jump on Instagram or Facebook and start interacting. Or set up a blog, optimize it for SEO, and wait for people to find your content via search.
At the same time, you don’t have to part with your hard-earned money to gain that access. Sure, a television commercial might provide lots of access, but you probably don’t have the funds in the bank to cover the bill.
At least, not if you hope to earn a respectable ROI.
When it comes to marketing, you want to spend less than you earn from your marketing or advertising efforts. That’s just good business sense. If you’re paying more than you bring in, you risk going out of business.
What if, after you set up a Facebook page, you discover that none of your target consumers is active on Facebook. With many other marketing campaigns, such a discovery would spell disaster.
Not with digital marketing. You can simply jump ship to Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter. Digital marketing is highly adaptable because you have so many options to pursue.
What Kinds Of Content Should I Be Creating?
As we described earlier, there are lots of different types of content. From social media posts to articles, to online PR, you can focus your efforts on innumerable options.
So where do you start? How do you decide which type of content deserves your attention most?
Start by asking yourself a series of questions. If possible, write down your answers and study them carefully. Following are the questions most relevant to deciding on the best types of content to create.
Consider Your Audience
Remember that every decision you make should come down to your audience. What do your target customers need and want?
If you discover that most of your customers don’t enjoy reading long articles, for instance, you probably shouldn’t invest time in 3,000-word blog posts. That would only irritate your followers and constitute wasted effort.
Instead, you could focus on developing a podcast, hosting webinars, and publishing videos.
Additionally, you’ll want to think about where you audience lives, what they do for a living, and how much free time they have. Craft your content strategy around those details.
Understand the Complexity of Your Product
If you’re selling a complex product, you might need to weave public education into your content strategy. Explainer videos and lengthy tutorials can help your target market understand why they need your products and how they’ll benefit.
Identify Your Specific Goals
What do you want to achieve with your business?
At the beginning, for example, you might focus on generating more web traffic and building your brand. In this case, you could establish your credibility with articles, video tutorials, and social media posts that inspire your followers.
Later in the game, you could switch to converting prospects into customers. Explain how your product can make a visceral change in your customers’ lives.
Analyze Your Current Reach
What percentage of your target market are you currently reaching? The answer should inform your content strategy.
Often, you want to take a broad approach with your content at the beginning. Cover a wide range of topics, often for beginners or novices in your niche, so you can capture as much attention as possible.
As your reach lengthens, get more specific with your content. Offer advice for people who might be more educated about your category or topic.
Build Content for Specific Stages of the Sales Funnel
One of the most important things to consider when deciding what type of content to publish is the sales funnel. People move from awareness to consideration to decision, and in each of those stages, the consumer is looking for a different type of content.
In the awareness stage, people are just starting to explore your niche. They might have stumbled across one of your blog posts or a piece of content from one of your competitors. They’re intrigued, but nowhere near committed.
Right now, you need to create content that helps establish awareness. What does your company stand for? What unique quality or experience do you bring to the table?
At the consideration stage, consumers have decided they want to make a purchase. They don’t yet know exactly what they will purchase, though.
They’re narrowing down their options based on what they need. Specifically, they want to know whether your digital products provide the information they want.
Create content that explores the depth of your knowledge on the topic as well as the advantages of your digital products. What benefits can consumers expect to walk away with?
By the decision stage, consumers know exactly what they want. They’re just looking for a reason to buy.
It’s time to pull out the customer testimonials, links to influencers and online PR, and expert reviews. Show that you’re capable of delivering on your promises with your content.
What Are Some Digital Marketing Examples?
Are you curious about how other entrepreneurs have leveraged digital marketing to grow their audiences and boost their sales? We’re here to show you.
Let’s start with one of the most recognizable publications in the world: National Geographic. The empire might have plenty of money, but it also leverages free digital marketing platforms like Instagram.
It has nearly 90 million followers and amazing engagement levels.
But social media isn’t the only digital marketing game in town. You’ve likely heard of J. Crew, right? It’s one of the most well-known fashion brands in the world.
In addition to running ads and conducting other paid media, it also operates a popular blog.
As you can see, even the biggest brand names in the world have embraced digital marketing — and not always the kind that requires you to drop lots of money.
Sure, you can advertise digitally. But sometimes, the free versions of digital marketing yield the best results.
Do I Need a Huge Budget for Digital Marketing?
This is a common misconception. Obviously, many companies spend thousands or even millions of dollars on digital marketing. But if you don’t have Nike’s or Coca-Cola’s budget, you’re not out of the game.
Small businesses are the bread and butter of digital commerce. They allow people to build their own empires, however small or large, without having to spend a ton of money.
In fact, you don’t have to spend anything at all if you’re already a Kajabi customer. You can create a blog, email list, webinar, and a host of other digital marketing assets without shelling out another dime.
Yes, digital marketing takes time, but that’s better than draining your budget. The harder you work to attract and retain customers, the healthier your business becomes.
Plus, since digital marketing automates many processes, you can spend more time on the creative aspects of entrepreneurship.
What’s the Difference Between Digital Marketing and Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is part of digital marketing. It’s a subset of the umbrella term.
More specifically, though, inbound marketing refers to a very set-in-stone process. It was developed to give marketers a blueprint for reaching their audience.
Digital marketing is infinitely more broad. It describes a large set of marketing practices that you can use independently or together, or in any combination, to bring your product to more people.
Does that mean digital marketing is better than inbound? Not necessarily. They’re two different approaches that entrepreneurs can take. But you don’t have to decide between them. You can try both and see which one works out best for your business.
Use Kajabi to Turn Your Knowledge and Content Into Products You Can Sell
It’s difficult to run your own business online. You have to sort through and buy myriad tools to automate the system, then you have to build your product and market it to your audience.
Kajabi takes some of the frustration out of the process. How? We combine all of those tools you need into one convenient platform.
If you’re interested in digital marketing, Kajabi can give you a big leg up over the competition. We walk you through the entire process and set you up for success.
In fact, we even offer a 14-day free trial to help you get the swing of things before you become a Kajabi customer. It’s a risk-free decision that can turn you into an entrepreneur overnight.
There’s no reason to ignore digital marketing. In fact, there’s every reason to pursue it aggressively.
Digital marketing is any marketing strategy that takes place through digital means — usually through Internet-connected devices.
There are many examples: inbound marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing are just a few. You can start with three or four strategies, then branch out from there.
Many advantages of digital marketing exist, from increased web traffic and better content performance to cost-effectiveness and access to your audience.
If you’re going to try digital marketing, focus on the right types of content. Base your decision on your audience, product, goals, current reach, and customers’ buying cycle stages. To get an idea of what works, review our examples of digital marketing.
Remember that you don’t need a huge budget to market your product digitally. You just need time, patience, and a willingness to learn.
Have you tried digital marketing? How has it worked for you?
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